Bumblebee is available to own on Blu-ray/DVD April 2, 2019 from Paramount Home Media Distribution and director Travis Knight. The latest Transformers film stars Hailee Steinfeld, John Cena, Dylan O’Brien, Jorge Lendeborg Jr, Peter Cullen, Angela Bassett and Justin Theroux.
CYBERTRON has fallen. When OPTIMUS PRIME sends BUMBLEBEE to defend Earth, his journey to become a hero begins. Charlie Watson (Hailee Steinfeld), a teenager trying to find her place in the world, discovers and repairs the battle-scarred robot, who’s disguised as a Volkswagen Beetle. As the DECEPTICONS hunt down the surviving AUTOBOTS with the help of a secret agency led by Agent Burns (John Cena), BUMBLEBEE and Charlie team up to protect the world.
Turns out director Travis Knight (an animator known for his amazing work on Laika’s stop-motion films) can make a REAL Transformers movie. Who knew? Knight’s only directorial work before Bumblebee was the astounding Kubo and The Two Strings, an effort that doesn’t seem like it would be the perfect jumping off point into the loud and wild cinematic world of Transformers, but here we are and we love it.
Bumblebee is a reboot/prequel/I don’t know what to the Transformers film franchise and it’s set in the 1980’s to really amp up the nostalgia, which I feel like they pulled off and I appreciated that little nod to the musical masterpiece that is.. “The Touch”, which fans know and love from the original animated Transformers film. The movie feels more grounded and heartfelt than the others that have come before it and that’s not only due to the fact that Bumblebee is solo for most of the movie, but it’s in the performances, writing and direction of Knight who truly understands and appreciates these iconic characters and their legacy.
The Cybertron war sequence (which was 100% CGI) is what Transformers fans have been asking for since they announced that there would be live-action films. Better late than never, because we now have true, G-1 inspired (that’s the cool name for oldschool designs) robots blasting one another in hands down the best action sequence of any live-action Transformers movie yet. Optimus Prime is barely in the film but when he’s there – he’s the Optimus Prime you all have been asking for and it is glorious my friends.
That being said – there are only two Cybertron sequences and the whole thing adds up to less than five minutes of screentime, so how does the rest of Bumblebee hold up when we get the action to Earth? It’s pretty damn good, but I do think that kicking off your film with the most badass action sequence ever, and then never really getting back to that moment – was a mistake in terms of pacing. As great as the story is, it’s recycled — an ET for the modern age. Bumblebee crash lands on Earth – his memory is wiped and once again he can’t talk (because they still did that move for some reason even if this is a reboot? Why are they doing that?). The lovable Autobot then has to make friends with Hailee Steinfeld (who is great as expected) while Sector 7 (the Men in Black army type dudes with a delightful John Cena in tow) chase him down while also dealing with two Decepticons who are also on the hunt for Bumblebee.
Major props to Justin Theroux’s Decepticon for that cool little vaporising beam he blasts humans with. The results are unexpected, horrifying and make for some pretty fantastic dark comedic moments. Even though they opted for lesser known villains this time around (no Megatron in sight fools – sorry), the conflict still works and the action is even more intense this time around because when the robots are fighting one another – it looks more realistic. The action choreography was much easier to follow in Bumblebee as opposed to the metallic mess of the other films.
What doesn’t work? The pacing – the story has been done before, to death – these are all things that you can definitely notice while watching Bumblebee, but everything else was made with so much love and effort to just get this Transformers live action sh!t to work, that you can’t help but fall in love with this movie. Is it the best of the franchise? No – that title still belongs to Transformers 3: Dark of The Moon – however this one is VERY close to that mark and it did that without the other films’ pitfalls: globe-trotting, F bombs, sexism, racism and you know — all the other fun stuff that Michael Bay felt that he needed to include in a kids film…
They did not slack on the collection of special features here – with a ton of content that shows how Travis Knight and his team recreated the robots while using the G-1 designs as their template – plus tons of insight from the cast and crew. My 4K Copy of the film looked STUNNING – definitely on par with new releases like Aquaman which was beautiful in this format as well. There’s also a damn mini comic included too which I can’t help but love even if it was too short.
Look – if you love Transformers, then you need to add Bumblebee to your collection. The special features are plentiful and they’re all well made and entertaining to check out. The excitement on the faces of the digital effects team when they found out that they would be the first people to bring “classic” Transformers to the big screen is worth the price of the Blu-ray alone.
Sector 7 Archive:A gent Burns: Welcome to Sector 7
Sector 7 Adventures: The Battle at Half Dome (All-New Motion Comic)
- Deleted and Extended Scenes
- Bee Vision: The Transformers robots of Cybertron
- Bringing Bumblebee to the Big Screen
o The Story of Bumblebee
o The Stars Align
o Bumblebee Goes Back to G1
o Back to the Beetle
o California Cruisin’ Down Memory Lane