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From director Michael Bay and executive producer Steven Spielberg comes a thrilling battle between the heroic Autobots® and the evil Decepticons®. When their epic struggle comes to Earth, all that stands between the Decepticons® and ultimate power is a clue held by young Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf). Unaware that he is mankind s last chance for survival, Sam and Bumblebee, his robot disguised as a car, are in a heart-pounding race against an enemy unlike anything anyone has seen before. It s the incredible, breath-taking film spectacular that USA Today says will appeal to the kid in all of us.
"I bought a car. Turned out to be an alien robot. Who knew?" deadpans Sam Witwicky, hero and human heart of Michael Bay's rollicking robot-smackdown fest, Transformers. Witwicky (the sweetly nerdy Shia LaBeouf, channeling a young John Cusack) is the perfect counterpoint to the nearly nonstop exhilarating action. The plot is simple: an alien civil war (the Autobots vs. the evil Decepticons) has spilled onto Earth, and young Sam is caught in the fray by his newly purchased souped-up Camaro. Which has a mind--and identity, as a noble-warrior robot named Bumblebee--of its own. The effects, especially the mind-blowing transformations of the robots into their earthly forms and back again, are stellar.
Fans of the earlier film and TV series will be thrilled at this cutting-edge incarnation, but this version should please all fans of high-adrenaline action. Director Bay gleefully salts the movie with homages to pop-culture touchstones like Raiders of the Lost Ark, King Kong, and the early technothriller WarGames. The actors, though clearly all supporting those kickass robots, are uniformly on-target, including the dashing Josh Duhamel as a U.S. Army sergeant fighting an enemy he never anticipated; Jon Voight, as a tough yet sympathetic Secretary of Defense in over his head; and John Turturro, whose special agent manages to be confidently unctuous, even stripped to his undies. But the film belongs to Bumblebee, Optimus Prime, and the dastardly Megatron--and the wicked stunts they collide in all over the globe. Long live Transformers! --A.T. Hurley
On the DVD
The special edition of Transformers is packed with extras (and more than a few product placements for Hasbro). The entire second disc is devoted to featurettes on aspects of making the technical tour-de-force--and the land mines involved in tinkering with a beloved '80s franchise. Executive producer Steven Spielberg is very much a part of the proceedings, from his introductory comments ("I think everybody likes the idea of taking something you're familiar with and turning it into something you're not so familiar with--like an 18-wheeler become Optimus Prime") to mentions of his films that influenced this one, like E.T. and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
Director Michael Bay is brash and entertaining as he talks about his initial reluctance to take on the project, his indoctrination at "Transformers U" at Hasbro, and his enthusiasm for guerrilla-style action filmmaking. Star Shia LaBoeuf says, "He is the sickest action director" out there, and there's plenty of evidence here to support that. Other great highlights include features on how key scenes were shot, including the heart-pounding desert battle and the shootout in the streets of downtown L.A.--adrenaline-pumping stuff, even without the Transformers CGI'd in. --A.T. Hurley
More Than Meets the Eye
The Original Movie
Transformers Image Gallery (click for larger image)
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Take the robots completely out of the equation here folks, and what are you left with? A completely, by-the-numbers Hollywood puke fest. To make this easier on the eyes I will proceed to number each step in making a Hollywood blockbuster according to my friend Bay:
1) Pick an up and coming young actor to play the lead role who was previously successful in other popcorn bucket pukers. Insert Shia Lacooch here, or Will Smith. Whoever's not busy that week
2) Find an undiscovered female sidekick that has little impact on the plot but is always scantily clad.
3) Take every sad little opportunity that you can to take pot shots at the government, FBI, and local police departments, because hey, who doesn't hate at least one of those groups in America right? Insert bad acting government officials, massive conspiracies, utter incompetence, and definitely have one of them use the line "my ridiculous government salary" at least once, because all government workers are overpaid and the average Joe hates them people while they spit their tobaccky and cuss. This sells tickets folks.
4) Continuing with the above premise. Always make the US military look good. Americans want to believe in their military and they can not be shown as failing in any movie. Insert-one marine taking on entire robot force and saving the day here. Again, let's recap, always make the government, FBI, and police look bad..but...always make the military look good. Ok?
5) Now, you must add in a lot of car commercials. We are not inundated with enough car commercials on a daily basis from television and radio. No! We must have them at the movies as well. I want to see Bumblebee as a Camaro. And he must be the newest 2008 model. Who cares that he was actually a Volkswagen Beetle. Then you must show the teenage boy getting his crush, scantily clad female, into his cool new car and then assuming he will be badda binging her in said car. Also we must make the cop car a brand new Mustang. Ford and GMC must be represented well here. German car companies cannot be represented well (thus the beaten up Beetle in the used car lot). God bless the USA right folks?
6) And finally, Soundwave. What have they done to you my precious Soundwave? They made the once great robot, who stood side by side with Megatron, into a radio/spider/gremlin/annoying little puke. BUT, he was able to transform into a cellphone, then later a soda machine that sells Pepsi. Remember, you need the newest cell phone and you must buy Pepsi. Are we watching the superbowl or a transformers movie? I forget.
All I can really finish with is this. Michael Bay's Transformers bares absolutely no resemblance to the original cartoon. In fact, he didn't even try for a resemblence. If you choose to overlook the brainwashing techniques thrown into this trash then I weep for you. I am glad that I still have my childhood memories of the toys and the cartoons to save me from my visions of this film.
I could go on for days and days, but I think I'm going to go buy a Mustang and a Pepsi. Rock on Michael Bay, you simple-minded blasphemis clown. Keep laughing your way to the bank to count those millions you keep making off suckers like me and the rest of these shlubs. God bless GMC and America. Yeehaa!!!!
This travesty of a movie was so terrible, I believe many viewers were left in such denial as to be unable to provide rational reviews. Many fans wanted this movie to be so great so badly they must have become delusional, their minds creating the story they wanted to see. I challenge everyone who saw this movie to ask themselves, their friends, what happened during the movie. You will find yourselves drawing a blank. Those who have seen this flick more than once have done so only because subconsciously your trying to fill in the blank. Think about it.
I have, and while I can quote lines from the 1st movie verbatim, I have a hard time remembering anything about this movie other than the scenty, dangly thing hanging on Bumblebee's mirror...you know what I am talking about. Bah weep grahn ah weep ninee bahm. Another issue I have, not just with the movie, is the latest obsession with every Autobot Leader being Optimus Prime, and every Decepticon Leader being Megatron. If you are going to use these names you had d@#m well better put them in the movie. Optimus was a basic rig and Megatron was a gun. And, do not make excuses about mass to size ratios and gun laws. Anyone who has ever seen the Transformers knows that part of their arsenal of advanced technology includes mass shifting and subspace shunts. Their aliens for crying out loud, but they are not bugs. Furthermore, the question everyone should have been asking was "Where did Optimus Prime's trailer go?" Not, "Why does he have a mouth?"
Anybody involved in filmmaking or entertainment knows that a good story always has underlying themes. With the Transformers there were several. The proverbial battle between good and evil, the integration of biblical undertones, the political influence of the time; The Cold War, (why do you think the good guys had blue eyes and the bad guys had red eyes?) Even the names meant something. The name Optimus Prime, for example, is derived from the Latin words for best, and another meaning 1st in occurrence, and Megatron, mega meaning large/great/powerful and tron meaning machine. This movie does not possess any of these aspects. In layman's terms...it suc?ed big time.
Yes, I am a '80s child as well. I watched the cartoons and had the toys. Heck, I still have many of them still in the box; OCD. The whole machine to robot thing has always been awesome. Even now, I have some hope that the sequel will adhere to the spirit of the legend Transformers has become.
The special effects were great, the actors too. Unfortunately, there were too humans and not enough Transformers. The storyline behind this movie blew, and the movie ended with a whimper, not a bang. Too much of this movie was spent on the wrong thing, much like Deep Impact. This movie is supposed to be about TRANSFORMERS. The plot had massive holes through it, especially in the final scene.
I would strongly recommend that original fans of the 80's cartoon stay away from this movie. In addition, I also recommend that you write to Hasbro and tell them to get it together. If you see it you will be disappointed. The 80s cartoon movie was so much better than this in terms of storyline. Michael Bay is now on my list of most hated directors. Brian Goldner allowed Transformers to be distasteful and obnoxious, though I am not surprised considering his track record and lack of interest in the Transformers until he realized just how much money they can generate.
Why throw away your money so recklessly? That is the question you should ask yourself. Do yourself a favor...rent it. 'Till all are one.