Wow – finally! My favorite movie of the summer will come out to play on DVD and HD DVD on October 16th. Both formats are OK initial releases, but leave plenty of room for future extended/director’s/collector’s editions – the DVD audio is particularly weak. Anyway, both releases have a slew of features – from chest-thumping Chevrolet goofiness to what sounds like a cool CGI-model explorer that takes up an entire HD DVD disc.
For now, there’s going to be 2 releases. Each is two discs, but the features and extras aren’t remotely similar:
- DVD “Special Edition” – 2 discs
16:9, DD 5.1 Audio. 5.1 – is that it? Yup.
Disc One: Feature, with Michael Bay commentary track
Disc Two: A zillion featurettes/documentaries – see below for full details
- Transformers HD DVD – 2 discs
1080p, DD+ 5.1
Disc One: Feature, “Head’s Up Display” (see below), web-enabled features
Disc Two: Transformers Tech Inspector – seems to be an interactive production model browser
Final word? There’s no way I’m not getting the DVD release. Its strong out of the gates, but I’m anticipating a future follow-up purchase with better-rounded audio.
The complete details from the Press Release follow after the jump… and there’s more info to come over time!
HOLLYWOOD , CALIF. – (September 5, 2007) The armies of CYBERTRON invaded theaters with a juggernaut fury that shook the summer of 2007, but on October 16, 2007 fans of all ages will discover that there is far “More Than Meets The Eye” to the massive mechanical behemoths when TRANSFORMERS arrives on Earth in spectacular DVD and HD DVD
two-disc Special Edition sets as well as on a single disc from DreamWorks Pictures and Paramount Pictures; distributed by Paramount Home Entertainment.
Earning over $650 million at the global box office to date, the massive production exploded onto screens from the creative minds of director Michael Bay and executive producer Steven Spielberg, in association with Hasbro, taking audiences by storm and becoming the biggest original film of the year. The first live-action film based on the enduringly popular “robots in disguise”, TRANSFORMERS features the ultimate battle between good and evil, as the peace-loving AUTOBOTS seek to protect humanity from the evil forces of the DECEPTICONS. The action-packed film stars a hot young cast of
up-and-coming actors including Shia LaBeouf (Disturbia), Josh Duhamel (“Las Vegas”), Tyrese Gibson (Four Brothers) and Megan Fox (“Hope & Faith”), as well as seasoned performers such as Jon Voight (National Treasure) and John Turturro (The Good Shepherd). But the biggest stars are the TRANSFORMERS robots themselves – including fan favorites OPTIMUS PRIME, MEGATRON, BUMBLEBEE, RATCHET, JAZZ and more – brought to life by revolutionary new VFX techniques developed by the innovative digital wizards at Industrial Light & Magic (ILM).
The TRANSFORMERS Special Edition two-disc sets provide an incredible experience with an arsenal of bonus material that delivers excitement and fun for long-time fans, as well as for viewers who are new to the TRANSFORMERS universe. The extensive special features include commentary by Michael Bay and two multi-part in-depth documentaries exploring the human elements of the film as well as the phenomenal robot stars. Presented in multiple parts, “Our World” and “Their War” include segments with Steven Spielberg discussing his love for the franchise and the early concept for the movie, the extensive casting process, the training, consultants and real-world weapons provided by the military to lend authenticity to the film, the evolution of the robots from Hasbro’s iconic toy line to big-screen stars, the unique vehicles created for the movie, a discussion with ILM’s legendary digital artists and much more.
The discs go even further behind-the-scenes with early sketch concepts of the robots and an in-depth look at the making of the SKORPONOK attack from writing and conceptualization through the creation of the stunning visual effects.
Out-Of-This World High-Def Content:
In addition to superior picture and sound and all of the above bonus material presented in high definition, the HD DVD presentation provides consumers with a host of web-enabled features, which are accessible through all connected HD DVD players. The
web-enabled features take advantage of technology that allows the studio to present the content in a new way. These cutting-edge, online features can be updated, providing consumers with an evolving entertainment experience months, or even years, after the disc is physically produced. Initial features include a TRANSFORMERS Intelligence Mode in which an on-screen dashboard over the film provides information about the robots and weapons, their strength levels, character updates and more. Plus, a GPS Locator that can access a map and GPS coordinates. Paramount’s TRANSFORMERS HD DVD connectivity capabilities will reveal additional HD DVD exclusive features at street date and at various time periods in the future.
The HD DVD also includes a TRANSFORMERS H.U.D. (Heads Up Display) that lets viewers access running text commentary while watching the film and even view relevant behind-the-scenes footage in a picture-in-picture window. Additionally, viewers can explore the main robots’ individual details in high definition with the TRANSFORMERS Tech Inspector.
The TRANSFORMERS DVD is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 televisions with Dolby Digital English 5.1 Surround, French 5.1 Surround and Spanish 5.1 Surround with English, French and Spanish subtitles. Total runtime is 143 minutes.
TRANSFORMERS Special Edition DVD bonus features include:
- Feature film
- Commentary by Michael Bay
- The Story Sparks – Steven Spielberg discusses his love for the franchise and early concept art for the film. Explores how the writers adapted the cartoon into a live-action movie and why Michael Bay is the perfect director for the film.
- Human Allies – A look at how the actors were selected and their experiences on the set.
- I Fight Giant Robots – An exploration of the military training that
Josh Duhamel and Tyrese Gibson underwent for their roles and the various stunts that the actors were asked to perform.
- Battleground – A piece on the senior officials from the Department of Defense and Air Force who consulted on the film to give it authenticity and the key locations that the U.S. government provided access to.
- Rise of the Robots – Explores the interaction between Hasbro designers and Michael Bay to bring the toy line roaring to life.
- AUTOBOTS Roll Out – Michael Bay discusses working with Chevy and its designers and the modifications that were made to the cars seen in the film.
- DECEPTICONS Strike – The film’s military advisors discuss the “toys” they allowed the production to borrow: F-22 Raptors, Ospreys and A-10 Warthogs.
- Inside the AllSpark – ILM’s digital artists discuss the challenges of bringing the TRANSFORMERS to life.
- From Script to Sand: The SKORPONOK Desert Attack – An in-depth look at the making of this particularly epic and challenging scene from initial storyboarding through production and visual effects.
- Concepts – Early sketch concepts of the robots.
TRANSFORMERS HD DVD
The HD DVD is presented in 1080p High Definition with English, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital Plus and English, English SDH+, French, Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese subtitles. In addition to the above features that will be presented in high definition, the TRANSFORMERS HD DVD will also offer the following exclusive content:
TRANSFORMERS HD DVD (cont’d)
TRANSFORMERS H.U.D. (Heads Up Display)—In this mode, viewers can access running text-based behind-the-scenes background information on the production during the feature. Users can also watch relevant picture-in-picture b-roll and video with Bay, Spielberg and other filmmakers during select sequences.
Transformers Intelligence Mode web-enabled features consist of:
- Transformation Mode
- Health Meter
- Weapon Mode
- Robot Bio
- In Scene Indicator
- Text Ticker
TRANSFORMERS Tech Inspector – Gives viewers an unprecedented look at the TRANSFORMERS robots through the exquisitely detailed models created by ILM artists. Users can zoom in on each detail for a closer examination and pause and change the rotation of the models.