Mr. Belding here, with another review from my new friends over at Shout!Factory. This one is the continuation of the Transformers Prime saga, which I had the pleasure of doing a review for Season 1. So lets jump into this with a little information about it, and my thoughts on the matter!
Once again the AUTOBOTS and DECEPTICONS are at each others throats. With the recent acquisition of the Dark Energon, MEGATRON has been hard at working trying to figure out how to gain its power and carry on the task of the DECEPTICONS once and for all! So now it is up to the ever famous AUTOBOT OPTIMUS PRIME to destroy his nemesis once and for all in order to save the people of Earth and mankind! Not only does OPTIMUS have the task of defeating his ultimate foe, but he has another entity to deal with, UNICRON, the evil leader who was cast away by the resistance on Cybertron, but now becomes alive due to the Dark Energon’s emergence. OPTIMUS and the AUTOBOTS now must form an alliance with the AUTOBOT menace MEGATRON to help defeat UNICRON. There are a lot of twists and turns in this full length feature (runtime 154 minutes) that will be uncovered as well as some serious questions that arise for our fearless leader OPTIMUS; like who he is, who the AUTOBOTS really are and can they trust that the key to salvation can be carried out by a teenage boy.
I really enjoyed the continued story arc. I was really thrown off at some points, being I did not want to read ahead and see what kind of happens. We get to see the origin of OPTIMUS before he was a prime and was known by the name ORION PAX, an archive bot. The CGI is pretty well done. The layout of Cybertron is eerily set and gives you that post apocalyptic feeling. The bots are also well done in their detail as well as movements. Most of the same voices from the season 1 dvd are back. Of course we have Peter Cullen back as OPTIMUS and also legendary voice actor Frank Welker alongside with a superstar cast including Adam Baldwin (Chuck), Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters), Gina Torres (Firefly), Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator) and of course my favorite from the hit show Fringe, Walter himself John Noble!
The video comes at you in Anamorphic widescreen. It definitely does not have the smooth quality the Bluray had, but it was definitely watchable. The colors were never dull, and the up close detail was usually pretty evident. When the bots were at a distance they tended to lose their smooth detail, but that is evident in most DVD quality movies. Action scenes were well crafted out, you did see blurry images with swift action movements as well as a grainy effect, but nothing that really ruined my experience. Like above, the animations were very well done as well as the models and created worlds. 3.8/5
The audio was presented in 5.1 surround. It too was pretty well done. The clanging of metal on metal could be clearly heard, as well as the clear dialogue. I never felt over powered by one sound or another. The score was nicely done as well as the utilization of the individual channels. 4/5
The Special Features included:
A Look back at One Shall Stand: This is basically a nice little interview/look back at the full featured film involving Jeff Kline, Duane Capizzi and Steven Melching. An informative piece if you want to know some back-story about the processes that went into making this.
Animatics: This gives you story-boarding as well as the early rough stages of the CG. It gives you a good look into the development of the characters movements as well as how scenes are constructed.
Overall I enjoyed this. I guess I’ve always been a sucker for transformers stuff. The story is very well done, as well as other aspects of the piece. It has a run time of 154 minutes which was nice. You can own this for yourself now! Its in a store close to you, and I recommend, if you have seen the first season, or if not, go pick it up! You will not be let down. I can’t wait for a continuation of this epic story. Sorry I am geeking out. Until next time, and again thanks to the people over at Shout! Factory and Hasbro for this fine release!