6-Movie Steelbook 4K Collection
review by Bobby Blakey
When director Michael Bay brought the famed Transformers to the big-screen in live action form it was met with mixed results. Despite being a box office mega-hit the hardcore fans have been pretty vocal about their dislike with what he did with the robots in disguise. Clearly their hatred hasn’t wavered their willingness to check them out since it not only spawned a full trilogy with the original cast, but two sequel reboots of sorts and a prequel. Now they are bringing these first six films of the popular franchise home in an all-new steelbook 4K box set.
Unlike a lot of the vocal fans I actually have enjoyed most of the films for what they are and had a great time. Sure there were some missteps and not fully the Transformers I was hoping for, but I love the over the top action popcorn spectacle of them all. The first film aptly titled Transformers was a hard one to kick off the franchise. The attempt to do something new and original while still nodding to the original series. I actually like the movie and what they did, but not a fan of the look of Prime or the direction they went with Bumblebee. The realistic approach of the robots was a bit off
putting at first, but after a while it actually grew on me. It is far from the film I was hoping for, but unlike most I still think it is pretty fun.
The second chapter in the franchise Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen looked to continue the story but a lot of it felt more like they were just rehashing the first film which caused it to struggle. Thankfully they still offered up the insanity of destruction and action that fans are more interested in anyway. I enjoyed this film for what it was as well and loved that they raised the bar in both characters and action to ridiculous proportions.
The third entry into the franchise Transformers: Dark of the Moon was the final chapter featuring Shia LeBouf and is way better than the first two chapters of the series. Everything about this movie seemed more like the Transformers movie all the fans have been waiting for. The story itself was more focused on the Transformers themselves instead of the humans, while still giving all parties ample time
on screen. Minimized are the silly moments with Sam’s parents, the dogs, and the over the top goofiness. This movie is pure over the top transformers action the way it should have been from day one.
The fourth film in the franchise Transformers: Age of Extinction served as a reboot of sorts bringing in Mark Wahlberg as the lead and let Bay shake things
up while keeping the same Transformers in action. I actually enjoyed the fresh new direction this time around and of course the addition of the Dinobots despite them not being completely the versions we love from the cartoon. Once again there are tons of over the top insane action sequences that help to make you forget any issues you might have with the film and just have some fun. There is a lot going on in the story with enough for a couple of films and even though it has such a long run time does feel rushed at times to make sure they get all in there.
Transformers: The Last Knight, the fifth film in the series, looked to dive more into their history with Optimus Prime finding Cybertron, now a dead
planet. I was really digging the idea of all the history, but sadly the film is all over the place and just feels off for most of the time offering up both good and bad to the finished product. I like Mark Wahlberg in just about everything, but at times he feels out of place in this franchise and I don’t really know why. This time around he is given some lighter material to work with, but it still just doesn’t always work. Prime gets very little screen time this time around which sucks for those hardcore Prime fans, but it does give the rest of the Transformers to get more time to banter with each other. I did enjoy getting to see them have more character moments of just hanging out and talking as opposed to just blowing things up all the time, but have no fear there is plenty of that here as well. The hardcore fans might find more to love especially since there is a lot more screen time for the Dinobots despite it being silly.
For whatever reason they decided to restart the franchise once again, but this time taking things back to 1987 with Bumblebee. Right out of the gate it reminds you that this is a new direction for this new film featuring designs from the G1 original animated series for all the Transformers. The story side here actually slows things down a bit for the first time in the franchise and allows the characters to build. At first I felt it was a bit klunky and slow, but then realized it was purposeful and giving us a chance to get more out of Transformer story than just nonstop explosions. There is plenty of big action here to keep fans happy, but there is even more character moments. Steinfeld does a great job and you can really feel here connection with Bumblebee. It’s fun to watch their relationship grow and develop into something deeper. The visuals are great and it is clear why Bumblebee got his own movie. His design is spot on especially in battle mode and of course seeing him as a Volkswagon bug is perfection. There are plenty of nods and connections to the other films as well as G1 version of the Transformers to keep the universe intact.
At this point you either love these movies or don’t. These are the kinds of movies you just go have some fun with them and even the ones I don’t feel are as strong, I still think they are a blast to watch. These 4K releases are a must own as they look amazing. The visuals jump off the screen like you are in the theater and take the home viewing experience to the next level. This set not only includes the films, but tons of bonus content including commentaries, deleted & alternate scenes, outtakes, featurettes and so much more.
Join the battle that’s more than meets the eye when the Transformers: 6-Movie Steelbook 4K Collection rolls out on May 30th from Paramount Home Entertainment.
Check out the latest chapter Transformers: Rise of the Beasts when it hits theaters on June 9th from Paramount.