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DVD Review

DVD cover

Dark of the Moon


Starring: Shia Labeouf, Josh Duhamel and Rosie Huntington Whiteley
Paramount Home Entertainment
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 12
Available 23 November 2011

With the third instalment of the Transformers film franchise, it seems that man’s trip to the moon was all a lie. The race was really to recover some Autobot technology. But no one wakes a sleeping giant without there being consequences...

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011 - 2 hrs, 28 min, 04 sec) is the third in the Transformers trilogy from Michael Bay.

Okay, first up, to be fair to the films, they never promised to tell us anything meaningful about life. These are as near to pure entertainments as you can get. The only reason to include human protagonists, at all, is to move the story to its next exhilarating action sequence. While the first film impressed us with its ability to make the Autobots believable characters, the second showed what you can do when you play with a successful formula, making an inferior sequel.

With the drubbing that the second film suffered, Bay has gone back to the franchise's roots, pretty much reproducing the first film with a few twists. So an Autobot ship crashed on the moon and when Optimus Prime and Megatron discover its existence, the race is on to recover a cargo which could turn the tide of their civil war.

What they find is Sentinel Prime, one of the most revered of the Cybertrons and that planet's one time ruler. Obviously, Optimus is delighted to meet his old friend and mentor, but Sentinel has his own agenda.

It wouldn’t be a Transformers movie without Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) and his quest for love and respect. At least they give a little comic relief to the generally dour Autobots, who are great when they are beating the hell out of each other, but you would want a long conversation with them.

Following the departure of the previous girlfriend, Sam's new squeeze, is, as usual, way out of his league. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley plays Carly Spencer as window dressing, but all his girlfriend’s remain as such, so it’s difficult to know what else she could have done with the role.

John Turturro returns as Simmons, appropriately over playing his role, as do most of the cast, especially John Malkovich (Bruce Brazos) playing Sam’s mad and fruity new boss. Such is the monetary success of the trilogy, they even got Buzz Aldrin playing as, you guessed it, Buzz Aldrin. Frances McDormand as Mearing is frankly, slumming it, but I bet it got her great kudos with the younger members of her family.

Given that the film was originally in hi def 3D, it seems almost a crime to be watching it on a standard def DVD. It’s still pretty good and for kids who don’t care about such things as definition, certainly a cheaper way to buy the film. The DVD has a clean print and a DD 5.1 audio track, with a collection of subtitles. More surprising is that the disc contains no extras at all.

So, another Bay fight fest, with the usual mixture of comedy, massive plot holes and spectacular CGI.


Charles Packer

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