Video QualityTransformers' upscaled-to-4K 2160p UHD presentation is a good one, thoroughly enjoyable and capable of delivering enough visual intensity and added stability to please. The image is impressively filmic, maintaining an even, complimentary grain structure throughout. Textural abundance is commonplace, considering both practical and digital elements. Transformers are amazingly complex, and even as the movie is over a decade old now, the visuals remain amongst the best the industry has seen so far. Paramount's UHD brings out every digital robot nuance with striking complexity, capturing every minute detail within the mass of the larger metallic construct with a precision even the stellar 1080p Blu-ray could not achieve. Likewise, there's a marked uptick in clarity and textural intricacy on real, tangible objects too. Obvious things like sweaty and grimy faces appear significantly more complex here, with perspiration, pores, and general skin textures showing shape, depth, and tangible, lifelike detail with ease. One of the most visually arresting scenes comes when Sam's father takes him to buy his first car. The UHD's ability to reveal all of the wear on the paint, the textures of the old sports car's interior, and perhaps most impressively the accumulated dust and grime on the old yellow Beetle parked next to it makes it a breathtaking, reference worthy UHD moment. Still, there are a handful of shots throughout the movie that lack the same level of absolute sharpness, leaving some surfaces a tad murky and pasty. That said, overall image sharpness and broad, full-screen and even distant clarity are enhanced over the Blu-ray throughout, and more often than not the image's textural brilliance shines through.
The HDR-enhanced colors reveal a positive, often striking boost in pop, saturation, and nuanced accuracy over the Blu-ray. There are plenty of examples, particularly Bumblebee yellow and Prime red and blue, but even natural greens, odds and ends around various home and school locations, general urban grays, military uniforms, and even black cars and helicopters and guns find added depth. The movie isn't quite as inherently, relentlessly, and overbearingly hot as the typical Michael Bay picture, but there's still that unmistakable Bay-signature warm push to much of the film. Black levels, particularly dark nighttime skies, are generally very strong, though there's an occasional lack of total depth. Flesh tones appear balanced and pleasing, never reaching that more typically Bay level of "cooked." The image appears free of any print wear or major artifacts, though a few edge halos are briefly visible, largely straight lines against a few high contrast backgrounds. For an upscaled image of a movie that's this reliant on large-scale digital effects, the results are quite impressive.
Transformers features a new Dolby Atmos soundtrack, and it makes for as much a revelation as the 2160p/HDR picture. Even as the previous 5.1 track was killer for its time, the improvements -- not necessarily in raw clarity but certainly in spatial awareness and increased total stage saturation -- make this a quality step forward in the sound department. Overhead channels engage regularly, not always with discrete, distinct sound elements but certainly in support, adding a critical layer for action movement and stage immersion into any given scene, action notably but also in terms of shaping music and environments with additional detail and envelopment along a new axis. The track is always on top of its game, engaging with striking precision for everything from gentle ambience to rip-roaring action. During the movie's most chaotic scenes, of which there are many, there's no shortage of zipping, zooming, and precisely layered and positioned gunfire, explosions, flying debris, transforming and maneuvering machines, and the like. This is literal "in the middle of it all" kind of audio, the sort that challenges listeners not to duck or even look around as the sound races around the listening area. The sense of length, depth, and height is fantastic and nearly unparalleled, limited by nothing, really, within the listening area. Bass is certainly not shy, either. That classic Transformers electronic low end sound is in full power here, and more traditional oomph from explosions and large machine footfalls don't disappoint, either. Dialogue is of course perfectly precise, the final piece in one of the most intense and exhilarating Atmos listens yet.
4K Bluray detailsVideo
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Resolution: Upscaled 4K (2160p)
HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10
Aspect ratio: 2.40:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1
English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
English: Dolby Digital 2.0
French (Canada): Dolby Digital 5.1
4K Ultra HD
Three-disc set (1 BD-100, 2 BD-50)
Slipcover in original pressing
4K Blu-ray: Region free
2K Blu-ray: Region A