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Ultra HD : Highly Recommended
Ranking:
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Release Date: October 10th, 2023 Movie Release Year: 2023

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts - 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

Overview -

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts brings the action back to the 1990's with some of the best emotional moments of the franchise along with some of the most satisfying action beats in a Transformers movie to date. The Dolby Atmos audio track sounds pitch-perfect while the Dolby Vision-enabled 4K video presentation looks outstanding. The bonus features are all wonderful too. Highly Recommended! 

 

OPTIMUS PRIME and the AUTOBOTS take on their biggest challenge yet!  When a new threat capable of destroying the entire planet emerges, they must team up with a powerful faction known as the MAXIMALS. With the fate of humanity hanging in the balance, Noah (Anthony Ramos) and Elena (Dominique Fishback) will do whatever it takes to help the TRANSFORMERS as they engage in the ultimate battle to save Earth.

OVERALL:
Highly Recommended
Rating Breakdown
STORY
VIDEO
AUDIO
SPECIAL FEATURES
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
4K Ultra HD Blu-ray + Blu-ray + Digital
Video Resolution/Codec:
Dolby Vision HDR / HDR10
Length:
126
Aspect Ratio(s):
2.39:1
Audio Formats:
English: Dolby Atmos
Subtitles/Captions:
English SDH, French, Spanish
Release Date:
October 10th, 2023

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

Ranking:

Are audiences tired of the Transformers franchise? Since Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg set out to remake that original live-action adaptation all those years ago to much love and box office success, the following five sequels might have made some decent money but were relegated to worst-of lists. With Bumblebee, audiences received a grounded Transformers story with better human characters. Now Transformers: Rise of the Beasts will show audiences everywhere that this franchise is headed in the right direction with excellent action sequences and dramatic emotional turns that will have everyone cheering for these robots in disguise once again.

Hasbro hit a goldmine with their Transformers toy line back in the '80s. It spawned cartoons, films, comic books, and action figures galore. In order to sell more toys and keep those dollar signs pumping, the creatives thought that mixing vehicles and robots would also go hand-in-hand with jungle animals and robots with Beast Wars. Transformers: Rise of the Beasts gives the tired trope of vehicles with big-name voice actors destroying cities and their enemies some much-needed breathing room with some great-looking new characters that resemble gorillas, rhinos, cheetahs, and even an eagle. It doesn't matter what age or background anyone comes from, but when a gorilla robot with Ron Pearlman's voice swings over a highway and hits a villain with a giant rock - everything is right in the world and everyone's inner pre-teen is screaming with joy. And that's the type of excitement one can expect with Transformers: Rise of The Beasts

That's not the only emotional pull though. Filmmaker Steven Caple Jr. proved himself with his last film Creed II and has perfectly crafted a mix of ambitious action and hefty emotions for both humans and our favorite Autobots. Homeworld devastation, protecting loved ones, and having the courage to believe in one's self-worth are the key ingredients that drive this film's plot, while all the action and carnage are blowing up inside the action beats. All of this is led by Noah Diaz (Anthony Ramos of Hamilton and In The Heights fame), who is down on his luck and looking for a job to provide for his younger brother and mom. Taking place in 1994, the music soundtrack boasts everything from Nas to Digable Planets as Diaz cruises the streets which is where he runs into a Porsche that happens to be an Autobot named Mirage (voiced by the amazing Pete Davidson). Mirage's gimmick is that he can disguise himself as almost any machine and duplicate himself into multiple projections. And this being Pete Davidson, Mirage has many of the same jokes that Pete is known for, providing some funny moments throughout. 

This new friendship is ignited when an ancient device is discovered by a science intern (Dominque Fishback) that hurles a portal from Earth to Unicron, an evil Terrorcon whose sole purpose is to eat planets. This alerts the other Autobots, including Bumblebee and Optimus Prime down on Earth to fight back with a severe caveat that says if they destroy the ancient device, it will not only prevent Unicron from coming to Earth but also end the Autobots' chances of ever getting back to their home planet, Cybertron. There are some great emotional tones that are delivered throughout where Optimus Prime and Diaz realize they aren't so different after all and it's beautiful to watch unfold on screen, especially Prime coming into the leader everyone knows him for. 

For the past six films in the Transformers franchise, the action sequences that were once great and game-changing had gotten pretty stale, especially with Michael Bay's fast, quick cuts that didn't allow for any of the action to really be seen on the big screen. With Caple Jr.'s vision, he allows for the action to fully penetrate those climactic moments without being inundated with severe editing. Not only that, it's easy to tell that films like Iron Man, Avengers: Endgame, and even Lord of the Rings were major influences for this movie, which works out perfectly. There are big moments that will conjure big applause from everyone and one major end credit stinger that will change the course of the franchise in much bigger ways. The voice cast that includes Peter Dinklage, Michelle Yeoh, John DiMaggio, and Peter Cullen are all fantastic, but it's Ramos who really sells the emotional beats of the story. 

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is the best film in the franchise to date and if this is the way the films are headed, count those lucky stars because gargantuan plans are on the way that will have everyone ready to return to the theater. This is Highly Recommended, not just for the performances, story, and action, but also for its amazing '90s soundtrack that will have those toes tapping. 

 

Vital Disc Stats: The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts transforms to 4K + Digital Code via Paramount. The sole disc is housed inside a hard, black plastic case with a cardboard sleeve. The artwork is the same on both. It features the main characters and Autobots of the film looking outward. There is an insert for a digital code. 

NOTE - we haven't been able to pull 4K-sourced images from the disc yet, when we can, we aim to circle back to get new pics in and/or add a video sample.

Video Review

Ranking:

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts comes with an impeccable 2160p UHD 4K transfer with Dolby Vision that looks stunning. This is probably the best-looking Transformers to date visually because it journeys to the jungle and mountain regions where more Earthy tones collide with those bright pops of primary colors.

The color palette early on in the film is filled with darker sequences at night that are a bit on the warmer side. The metropolis city boasts those steely grey and beige-like interiors and skyscrapers around. inside the museum is no different with various shades of red and brown. These images are perfectly balanced and nuanced with some amazing black levels that are inky and rich with no instances of murky shadows or crush. On the flip side of that, once the movie transitions to the open landscapes, the colors transform into a beautiful rainbow of blues, greens, and, browns with some excellent highlights of bright reds and yellows on the Autobots. Explosions deliver a fiery red and orange color palette that has cool greens and blues in the background which makes this a beautiful picturesque film to watch. Skin tones are also natural.

The detail is super sharp and vivid as well. Closeups reveal facial pores, individual hairs, stubble, beads of sweat and blood, and textures in the wardrobe in all lighting conditions. The CGI Autobots are phenomenal. The textures of metal, rubber, and even the hair and feathers on the animals are exquisite and can be identified easily and individually. There are no problems with pixelation or exaggerated smoothness, but rather a very realistic presentation of such beasts and robots. Wider shots of the landscapes, cars, and other city-wide buildings are impressive as well with no softness to the image. There are no problems with video noise, aliasing, or banding either. That Dolby Vision really upgrades the 1080p picture with those striking color nuances that make this the brightest and best-looking Transformers movie out there.

Audio Review

Ranking:

This release comes with an amazing Dolby Atmos track that legit rocks the entire speaker system. These sound effects are very loud, robust, and lively at all times. Those big explosions and otherworldly autobot noises are perfectly clear with the scraping sounds of metal, sparks, and rubber on the ground. The transformations of the vehicles into robots are wonderful and engulf each speaker. Gun blasts and engine revving are phenomenal and provide ample low-end room for the bass to soar. The bass never is overbearing nor does it cross into rocky territory.

Atmospheric sounds are fantastic with people walking and talking inside the city or other apartments, along with cars honking and distant explosions rocking nearby buildings. The score and music cues are the best in the franchise and really liven up the action beats. The height speakers bring down turbulent weather, gunshots, debris falling from the skies, and other explosions that sound off above. Each bullet or flying machine transitions perfectly from one speaker to the next. The dialogue is clean, clear, and easy to follow. There are no audio problems with this presentation.

Special Features

Ranking:

There are about 90 minutes of bonus features located on the 4K Disc here. There is NO audio commentary sadly and no extra talking about the amazing score or song list in the film. All of these extras could have been made into one long documentary instead of listing them individually. Still, the content here is super fun, informative, and engaging. 

  • Human Affairs (UHD, 8 Mins.) - Quick cast and crew interviews deliver information about the tone and themes of the film with some quick on-set footage.
  • Life In The 90s (UHD, 7 Mins.) - More of the cast and crew discuss bringing the film into the 1990s and all of their nostalgic memberberries. 
  • Heroes (UHD, 10 Mins.) - The cast and crew talk about the protagonists of the film and their character traits, even showing some of the voice acting and behind-the-scenes. 
  • Villains (UHD, 9 Mins.) - The same as above but the focus is the antagonists. 
  • The Chase (UHD, 6 Mins.) - The cast and crew talk about that fantastic chase scene through the city street and how they accomplished that sequence.
  • The Battle Of Ellis Island (UHD, 7 Mins.) - Another brief look at the action sequence inside the museum.
  • Into The Jungle (UHD, 11 Mins.) - The cast and crew talk about the new Autobots and bringing the locations deep inside the jungle. 
  • The Switchback Attack (UHD, 7 Mins.) - One of the major action pieces of the film is discussed by the cast and crew.
  • The Final Conflict (UHD, 11 Mins.) - The climactic battle scene has an in-depth explanation of how the filmmakers made each shot with precise delivery and timing. 
  • Deleted Scenes (UHD, 14 Mins.) - There are seven deleted scenes in total that include alternate openings and endings. 

 

Final Thoughts

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is one phenomenal action film and the best Transformers movie to date. It's got some amazing emotional beats, some of the best action set pieces of the franchise, and the best soundtrack. The 4K image with Dolby Vision looks excellent and the Dolby Atmos audio mix sounds impeccable. The extras are worthwhile as well. Highly Recommended!