Transformers review - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 10 Old 07-01-07, 01:10 AM Thread Starter
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John Simpson
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Transformers review

Hi all,

Just got back from seeing Transformers -- feel a little light headed from all the action. Whoa...

I won't go into a review of the movie itself, but will concentrate on the home theatre aspects. Briefly, it's a superb movie, if a little baffling in its reasoning (they want to lure the Decepticons *into* a highly populated area?). You'll see what I mean.


I will say it for the record: this is the new LFE showcase movie. Right from the Universal logo opening (nicely "Transformerised"), the cinema subwoofers were going bezerk! The Autobots each have their own sounds, and all of them weigh heavily in the bass department. Bumblebee's sports sound, Prime's diesel thumper... each distinctive and recognisable. Then there's the action sounds: not just the battles, but the Autobots walking around, even talking. More bass. Jurassic Park was nothing.

The surround effects also get a good workout, with the city battle giving a superb example of how a hovering helicopter *should* sound. Not over the top, though, which is a relief. All nicely realistic.

You'll be seeing many demos of this disc in hi-fi shops when it comes out.


Here, I wasn't so enthralled. It may be my mid-aged eyes, but action in CGI is moving so fast these days it's getting hard to make out what's happening. This is hugely apparent in this movie: often I was so disconnected from the battles because I simply couldn't see what was going on. The camera moves, the motion blurs... they probably look great while being designed, but at 24fps I couldn't keep up.

It makes me wonder: is 24fps enough? It used to be fine for human-controlled dollies, but with the advent of virtual cameras, motion is becoming far too complex. We might be at a point in movies where persistence of vision is now working against us, keeping the image on our retinas far too long...

Mind you, the *detail* in the robots is mind blowing. Even when they've completed a vehicle-to-standing transformation, things are still going on (Prime's head continues to form even after he's walked a few steps). The little gears, hydraulics, and all manner of mechanical bits literally ripple with life. For examples of visual detail, this film will again be a benchmark.


So, if ever there was a movie to test the extent of your IB setup or new Runco projector, this is it. It would be a travesty not to buy it on HD disc. Just don't ask why the US Government needs to rely on teenagers to work out their problems!

Last edited by John Simpson; 07-01-07 at 01:32 AM.
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post #2 of 10 Old 07-01-07, 01:30 AM
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Re: Transformers review

Man... this just sound so juicy... I can't wait!

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post #3 of 10 Old 07-01-07, 07:25 AM
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Re: Transformers review

Thanks for the review, John. I'm a light animation watcher; I actually think my wife likes this type of thing more than I do! But this sounds like a good one, and will definitely be on my list when it comes out on DVD!

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post #4 of 10 Old 07-01-07, 11:24 AM
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Re: Transformers review

While I don't doubt a film like this would have plenty of bass, I don't think it can be proclaimed the new LFE king based on a movie theater reproduction. For all we know, hypothetically, all the bass could be centered ~30hz
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post #5 of 10 Old 07-11-07, 08:33 AM
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Re: Transformers review

$68 million the first weekend. They can afford a hefty soundtrack.
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post #6 of 10 Old 07-11-07, 08:33 AM
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Re: Transformers review

Yeah, I also thought the "shakeycam" and the superspeed of the robots movement were a little over the top. I felt like I was sitting too close or something. That's too bad cuz I liked the movie overall.
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post #7 of 10 Old 07-19-07, 07:56 PM
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Re: Transformers review

I saw this with my wife last week. It was much funnier than I expected! The action was pretty good, but a little frenetic.

The plot in a movie like this is usually just an excuse for action. And this plot did not exceed expectations. It was pretty hard to take seriously that the mech-God was in that handball...

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post #8 of 10 Old 07-27-07, 08:14 AM
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Re: Transformers review

To those who are discussing how the plot was a bit unbelievable... What age group are you in? I don't mean this in a derogatory way, it's just that the movie followed very closely. I grew up watching this show, and was a die-hard fan... Yes, a geek at an early age!

I really want to go back to see this movie at least one more time in theaters. I seriously felt six again after watching it... And I mean that in a great way!

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post #9 of 10 Old 07-27-07, 04:11 PM
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Re: Transformers review

For me it's not that the plot was unbelievable - you have to suspend disbelief to accept the basic premise of robots from another world.
My problem with the plot was once you accept the given universe some of the decisions made by the writers didn't make sense.
But, overall, I give it 2.5 or 3 stars out of 4 and if the HD-DVD transfer is good, I'll probably buy it.

The choice that made no sense to me was why take the cube to a populated city? In fact, I think they should have written things so that Bumblebee is asked to destroy the bad guy that was frozen once he starts thawing out. From there, have the bad guy thaw out and fight back, more autobots show up and fight, next thing you know they are in Las Vegas busting the place up. THAT would have been fun to watch!

BTW, I'm 42 and never paid attention to the Transformers when younger and my son never paid attention to them either - he was a Power Rangers/Thomas fan.

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post #10 of 10 Old 07-27-07, 05:32 PM
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Re: Transformers review

I was able to overlook the plot and other little things. I enjoyed it for what it was. The one thing I didn't like was John Turturro's character. If he would have played the part a little straighter, more serious,...I dunno, it just didn't work for me. The "transformation" from arrogance to righteous to fumbling idiot,... he just didn't seem to fit with the rest of the movie or other characters. They already had Anthony Anderson for comic relief, which also bugged me some. Many films would be much, much better without these types of characters.

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