SRP $36.99 2.35:1(16:9) DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1 PARAMOUNT

PARAMOUNT is releasing the summer blockbuster, "TRANSFORMERS" simultaneously on dvd and hd-dvd.  Even with Michael Bay's stamp of arrogance and redundancy, "TRANSFORMERS" is an extremely entertaining and fun film. It's also more consistently enjoyable than any of his previous films, making for great repeated viewings.  While not in the same league as Spielberg's early blockbusters, it does manage to capture the better director's blending of humor, teenage sweetness, and action. 

The plot revolves around good robotic aliens and bad robotic aliens coming to earth for opposing, obvious reasons. A likeable teen, with a crush on a fellow high-school beauty, has a relative responsible for finding a special artifact that is pivotal in providing or preventing the bad robot's(decepticons) evil desires to rule the universe.  One of the good robots, has assumed the shape of a car that the teen has recently gotten and, soon enough, the teenage couple is doing battle against ever-changing gigantic robots, being pursued by government agencies, and much, much more! 

"TRANSFORMERS" features what may arguably be the best CGI effects placed on screen so far. It's really that impressive! Unfortunately, Michael Bay believes that if an effect works once, there's no reason not to do it ten thousand times more, and there's a lot of redundant scenes, making the nearly 2 1/2 hour film really stall in its last 15 minutes.

The biggest accomplishment of the film lies in the filmmakers managing to take an idea that could easily have been horribly adapted, and making it not only acceptable, but great fun.  There are moments wherein the image of these robots in terms of their look within a regular human landscape, seems extremely laughable. One of the last shots has Optimus Prime's voice-over as it stands within the burnt yellow hues of a farmland landscape, while the two teens make-out in the foreground.

The hd-dvd and dvd are presented with the correct 2.35:1 aspect ratio(16:9 enhancement for the dvd). One can only hope Michael Bay fights to keep high-def cable airings to retain the full aspect ratio instead of the crappy, cropped letterboxing his "THE ISLAND" has consistently received!  Even with Bay's continued penchant for overblown color, the image is outstanding!  The detail is also consistently impressive, even in dark scenes, making this one of the best looking dvds to be released in 2007!  As good as the dvd looks, the hd-dvd is still notably, even better.  There's greater, nearly three-dimensional depth in virtually every frame!  Colors are even more vibrant, and the image, even more well-polished. Easily one of the best looking hd-dvds of 2007!

PARAMOUNT has provided a "Demonstration quality" Dolby Digital 5.1 mix for this dvd, with a smorgasbord of surround effects. Dialogue is perfectly balanced, within multi-layers of sound and music effects. The .1 lfe effects will give any sub-woofer a run for its money!  A great mix!

PARAMOUNT has offered a Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 mix for the hd-dvd.  While we can't help but be disappointed that this didn't receive a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix, it's hard to think of a better sounding mix!  The dynamic range is more impressive than the standard Dolby Digital 5.1 mix found on the dvd and While Dolby TrueHD 5.1 typically has definition than Dolby Digital Plus, one can't criticize the outstanding quality found throughout the hd-dvd release. The final moments showcase how complex and effective this mix is, combining narration by Optimus Prime, with great, perfectly chosen music.  Dialogue is always intelligible and free from distortion.

PARAMOUNT has carried over all of the extras found on the 2 disc dvd for the hd-dvd release. The audio commentary with Bay, found on the 1st disc, is far more entertaining than one would expect from a director who typically comes across as annoyingly too self-confident. It's actually entertaining and insightful as to the filmmaking process.

PARAMOUNT has included numerous featurettes.