Bumblebee 4K Blu-ray Review
By Chris Heinonen on
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.
Bumblebee Movie Review
I’m very upfront about not liking the Transformers films. Even as someone that grew up watching the cartoons, and recently found my collection of Transformers comics, they are just too loud and empty for me. Bumblebee is nothing at all like those films, instead it is directed by Travis Knight who helmed Kubo and the Two Strings previously. Bumblebee is a fantastic film that manages to blend plenty of action with real, human emotions, character depth, and growth.
Hailee Steinfeld is wonderful in the main role, bringing the emotions of a teenager that also has more depth than just being a standard kid. Her family is good and has a backstory and real-life issues, and Bumblebee has remarkable emotion for a robot that is unable to talk. Hopefully, the Transformers films in the future can continue to be like Bumblebee, which is very enjoyable and a film I’ll watch again in the future to test review gear.
Bumblebee Technical Review
Bumblebee was shot at 3.4K on an Arri Alexa camera but, given the VFX heavy nature of the film, finished at 2K for the digital intermediate. The disc does contain a Dolby Vision layer which is what I watched. Overall the image in Bumblebee is fantastic. HDR is used extensively, with chrome that sparkles and explosions that light up the screen. Dolby Vision does a good job of maintaining those highlights on an OLED, as I went back to a couple of scenes with Dolby Vision disabled and there was more clipping of highlight details. There is a sizable portion of the film that takes place at night and here you can see everything in the shadows, with headlights and other elements making for nice HDR elements. Aside from the 2K DI, the overall image is great.
The Dolby Atmos soundtrack is loud, dynamic, and never stops from the opening scenes. Atmos speakers are used well and fairly often, and the subwoofer gets a serious workout during the action. With this being far more dialogue driven than other Transformers films it is easy to understand, and the soundtrack (The Smiths!) comes across as well. With this soundtrack, I’ve got nothing at all to complain about.
Bumblebee Special Features
- Sector 7 Archive
- Agent 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
- The Story of Bumblebee
- The Stars Align
- Bumblebee Goes Back to G1
- Back to the Beetle
- California Cruisin’ Down Memory Lane
Bumblebee Review System
Sony A1E OLED, Panasonic UB820 UltraHD Blu-ray Player, KEF Ci5160RL-THX Fronts, Ci3160RL-THX Center, 2x Ci200RR-THX Surrounds, 4x CI200RR-THX Atmos Speakers, Anthem MRX 1120 Receiver, SVS PB-3000 Subwoofer.
Very well done film that is completely different and much better than the other Transformers films, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos that are superb.
Only a 2K digital intermediate.
Bumblebee is a great film that mixes action and a good story that far exceeds the other Transformers films. The Dolby Vision image and Dolby Atmos audio are superb and make for a great film experience.