Director: Steven Caple Jr.
Cast: Anthony Ramos, Dominique Fishback, Peter Cullen
Release Date: October 10, 2023
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 7.5/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
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.
Please Note: Paramount Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
‘Transformers: Rise of the Beasts’ joins a struggling, yet brilliant ex-soldier named Noah in the 1990’s who is trying to find a way to keep his family taken care of; eventually relenting and assisting his neighbor with stealing a valuable car against his better judgment. But the one thing Noah never expected was that the car would come to life and that he, along with a young woman named Elena would end up being enlisted by a ragtag group of transforming, robotic aliens (better known to us as the Autobots of course) in order to help them fight for the survival of Earth in addition to a potential way home for the Transformers. With the threat of the massive and dangerous planet-eating Unicron leading a team of villainous Transformers against them, the humans and Autobots will have to join forces with another faction of guardians called the Maximals if they hope to save Earth and find a way home for Optimus, Bumblebee and the rest of their stranded team.
Directed this time around by Steven Caple Jr. (Creed II, The Land) from a screenplay written by Joby Harold (Army of the Dead) and Darnell Metayer (TV’s BMF) & Josh Peters (TV’s BMF) and Erich Hoeber (The Meg) & Jon Hoeber (Meg 2: The Trench), from a story by Joby Harold, Caple Jr. does a solid job at the helm of ‘Transformers: Rise of the Beasts’ guiding along the fun and excitement with style. The film’s cast includes Anthony Ramos (In The Heights) and Dominique Fishback (Judas and the Black Messiah), along with the voice talents of Peter Cullen, Ron Perlman, Peter Dinklage, Michelle Yeoh, Pete Davidson, Liza Koshy and more.
‘Transformers: Rise of the Beasts’ serves up a thrilling, explosive and visually stunning new entry in the popular franchise that tries to find a balance between the drastically different styles of the first five films helmed by Michael Bay and the far more intimate and emotional approach utilized in ‘Bumblebee’ and it largely succeeds in delivering a nonstop good time that may not perfectly hit every mark, but comes together nicely into what is quite possibly the best movie in the series so far. The fans who were hugely fond of ‘Bumblebee’ but didn’t take to Bay’s entries quite the same way should still have a lot of fun with this one although you won’t want to go in expecting a similar film in most regards as much of the raw emotion and heart has been largely downgraded, yet so has the overbearing and frequently eye-rolling tongue-in-cheek humor of the others.
We all know that these days it’s impossible to please everyone and even the most beloved films will have plenty of folks hating on them without needing to look very far on social media, but ‘Transformers: Rise of the Beasts’ does a tremendous job of trying to balance both ends of the fandom here and take some of each approaches best traits and find a balance that most fans should be quite satisfied with, as will those like me who can’t help but love nearly every entry for the most part and tend to appreciate even the simplistic over the top ridiculousness many of them delivered. Jam-packed with memorable action sequences, not to mention bringing to life one of the most deadly and iconic villains of the franchise in Unicron, this new entry is somewhat simplistic, yet truly enjoyable fun with a more constricted run time and the end result is one of the better entries in the series that never slows down or entirely loses its way or its soul throughout.
Overall, ‘Transformers: Rise of the Beasts’ is a massively entertaining and action-packed ride that finds a suitable middle-ground between the hectic, yet visually spectacular approach of the first five films and the more intimate style of ‘Bumblebee’ and crafts a fun new installment set in the ‘90s that also brings one of the most beloved Transformers villains to life. ‘Transformers: Rise of the Beasts’ is definitely highly recommended for any fans of the live-action Transformers films who should find plenty to love about this new, action-packed installment that continues after the events of ‘Bumblebee’ and shifts things into the 90s. It’s a fun, well-balanced (at least certainly for this franchise) and thrilling ride that should easily prove worthy of a rental and a couple hours one relaxing evening at home. The film is also available to stream on Paramount+ at no additional cost to subscribers as of the time of this writing.
The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of ‘Transformers: Rise of the Beasts’ features a full 2160p Ultra High Definition presentation with Dolby Vision and HDR-10, presented in its original 2.39:1 Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks stellar across the board and delivers a clean, sharp and beautifully detailed presentation from start to finish that never suffers from any issues or faults to be uncovered along the way. It shows sharp, crisp detail on everyone and everything appearing onscreen from the Transformers to the humans and all of their individual specifics and details, along with the expansive settings and landscapes that they travel to throughout. The Dolby Vision addition only ups the ante on the overall presentation and contributes some accurate and vibrant colors noticeable throughout which are only further complemented by deep, clean black levels. Overall, this is a wonderful Ultra High Definition video presentation that delivers splendidly every step of the way and should easily thrill fans and first time viewers.
The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release features a Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio presentation. This multichannel soundtrack is no slouch itself and provides a clean, crisp and hard hitting audio presentation throughout. It constantly takes full advantage of all seven available channels in order to send vehicles, explosions, debris and numerous other action-related effects whipping throughout the various speakers, along with music, bits of dialogue and crowd chatter, plus a great deal more; all while never resulting in any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously becoming distorted or rendered problematic in the process. Overall, this is a great Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible) soundtrack that repeatedly contributes some extra fun and excitement to the viewing experience and never disappoints.
The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of ‘Transformers: Rise of the Beasts’ features a solid offering of bonus content that fans should enjoy. Included on the release are some ‘Deleted and Extended Scenes’ from the movie (running approximately 14 minutes in length altogether), in addition to various Behind the Scenes Featurettes that explore different aspects of bringing the new film to life and featuring interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus behind the scenes footage and more. The included Featurettes are ‘Human Affairs’ (running approximately 7 minutes in length), ‘Life in the 90s’ (running approximately 6 minutes), ‘Heroes’ (approximately 10 minutes), ‘Villains’ (approximately 8 minutes), ‘The Chase’ (approximately 5 minutes), ‘The Battle of Ellis Island’ (7 minutes), ‘Into the Jungle’ (10 minutes), ‘The Switchback Attack’ (7 minutes) and ‘The Final Conflict’ (11 minutes).
*Please note: The above images were provided by Paramount and are not reflective of the actual 4K Ultra HD release or its quality. A standard Blu-ray copy of the film was not included in the release that could be used for screenshots therefore the above publicity stills were utilized. They are all the property of Paramount, Skydance and any other respective owners.
Film Rating: 7.5/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
‘Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts’ is Now Available to Own on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray & DVD, & Digital from Hasbro, Skydance & Paramount Home Entertainment
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