Transformers: The Movie 30th Anniversary Steelbook Digital
Blu-ray + Digital
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In Stunning High Definition, From A Brand-New 4K Transfer!
The year is 2005…
For millennia, the heroic Autobots, led by Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen), have been at war with the evil Megatron (Frank Welker) and his Decepticons over control of their home planet of Cybertron. However, an even greater threat: Unicron (Orson Welles, Citizen Kane), a colossal converting planet that devours everything in its path and is heading right for Cybertron. The only hope is the Autobot Matrix of Leadership. Will the Autobots be able to save themselves and their home world in time?
An all-star cast, including Judd Nelson (The Breakfast Club), Leonard Nimoy (Star Trek), Eric Idle (the Monty Python films) and Robert Stack (The Untouchables), brings this inimitable, explosively entertaining Autobot adventure to life.
Includes Both Widescreen (1.85:1) And Full Frame (1.33:1) Versions!
(Digital Copy redemption expires 9/13/17)
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I admit it--this is a completely subjective review. This is not a 5-star movie, but for kids who grew up at the same time I did, it was a 5-star experience. The first time I watched this, in 1986 I think, it was the coolest thing ever. I laughed...I cried...I got to hear profanity in a kids' cartoon movie, not once but twice!
Admittedly, some of it is a little doofy...like, say, the Junkion Musical Revue sequence. But even today, there's a lot to admire. The filmmakers really wanted to expand the mythology, and took some risks. This movies sees the death of 4 major characters (if you count Starscream as a major character), and only two of them get brought back to life! The beloved heroic character (and probably the best selling toy) Optimus Prime gets an emotional death and doesn't get brought back through some deus ex machina. Ultra Magnus gets blown to bits, but is later rebuilt by the Junkions. Megatron "dies" but gets reborn as Galvatron, who then blows Starscream to bits. Finally, Unicron gets his dang HEAD blown off, which becomes a moon for Cybertron. Heavy stuff for little kids! Also, let us not forget...Judd Nelson, Robert Stack, Leonard Nimoy! And Orson Wells. ...Orson. Freaking. Wells.
The modern-day Transformers movies are garbage, but this low-budget, toy-inspired animated movie unexpectedly has a lot of heart. I don't know what inspired the filmmakers to do something special with this movie instead of making it just a 90-minute episode of the show, but I'm glad they had the inspiration and I'm glad the producers had an open mind.
For this particular release, I'm really quite amazed at the quality of the special features, even though some of them have been on previous releases. For a movie that got poor reviews and lost money at the box office, this release was given a lot of love.
Knowing that there was the potential to put out a completely "full quality" physical media digital copy, as of 2016, copy--4K UHD HDR--then, is the ONLY reason this gets four stars, from me -- particularly because, by the time the 40th and/or 50th anniversary editions are released, there's a good chance it won't be in a physical format. That will unfortunately likely be a thing of the past, in 2026.
The movie is nostalgic but also by far the best Transformers movie made -- even if you count the 3-episode Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Movie ("movie") that was originally shown as such (but which obviously cut to be shown in three episode runs, in syndication, but, again, I'm including it). The cast was incredible, beyond "star-studded," including Orson Welles (giving his last film performance), Leonard Nimoy, Eric Idle ("one of those guys from that quirky British show"), Judd Nelson (while still being in the "brat pack," and playing a brat who matures, in the film, kinda like his character in "The Breakfast Club), Robert Stack, Lionel Stander, Scatman Crothers, John Moschitta, Jr., Casey Casem, Norman Alden (Lou, the 1955 café owner, in Back to the Future, "Hey, kid! Whad'da do, jump ship?") and, of course, Peter Cullen (Optimus Prime's human form) and Frank Welker (Megatron's human form). To see it in this form, in a "home theater" takes me back to the actual theater, but it's unfortunate to know that it could have been of even better quality, right now, (which won't be top quality, for the 40th or 50th Anniversary Editions are released), because that might have TRULY made me feel like a kid in that theater, seeing it in beautiful 4K HDR -- and a collector's edition of that would have been bought up, at $100 apiece, with just a few trinkets included.
I don't wanna spoil ANYTHING specific about the plot, for anyone who still has the opportunity to see it, for the first time, and those who have seen it know how it goes. It's a non-stop, roller-coaster ride of a film that brilliantly explains the Transformers diegesis and moves the G1 narrative along so quickly that it showed not only the world but also the producers just how iconic Optimus Prime and the Transformers had become, in American culture -- in less than two years.