Digital Breakdown: ‘Transformers’ more than meets the eye

You’d think “Transformers” wouldn’t be good because it’s based on a kid’s cartoon and directed by noted blow ‘em up director Michael Bay. Surprisingly, that’s not the case. Actually, it’s far from the mundane adaptations that Hollywood has been cranking out in the past five years. It’s a smart, action-filled romp with jaw-dropping special effects and a plot decent enough to be mildly believable — that is, if gigantic robots from Mars fighting a civil war actually did visit Earth.

The two-disc DVD special edition has nine feature ettes, concept art, an image gallery and more. While the set is great, and worth the money, an extended edition of the film will likely come out sometime next year. Wait for that and rent this.

Price: Standard definition, $36.99, Blu-ray/HD definition, $39.99.

Rent or buy: A great rental.

GRINDHOUSE PRESENTS: PLANET TERROR — TWO-DISC SPECIAL EDITION

Talk about ying and yang in reference to Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino’s failed project “Grindhouse,” a double feature including a film by each director. Tarantino’s “Death Proof,” which came out on DVD a few weeks ago, is all about setting a mood and compelling, although somewhat unnecessary, dialogue. Rodriguez’s “Planet Terror” is all about gory goodness; it’s the quintessential modern-day, big budget zombie flick.

It’s a great selection on DVD in an extended, unrated version that cuts up the gore, ups the zombies, and ups the over-the-top enjoyment of a flick that would have soared as a stand-alone film. A second disc has special features including a 10-minute “film school” and audio commentary by Rodriguez, an interesting audience screening track commentary, five making-of feature ettes, a poster gallery and trailer compilation.

Price: $29.95.

Rent or buy: Buy.

THE REAPING

It’s never a good sign when a film is introduced, postponed, then re-introduced into theaters at a far later date. That was the fate of “The Reaping,” starring Hilary Swank as a myth-busting scholar who stumbles into a situation where the 10 Biblical plagues become a reality in a small, secluded town. Check out the DVD’s special feature that shows how to create your Biblical plagues in your backyard.

Price: Standard definition, $28.98, Blu-ray/HD definition, $39.99.

Rent or buy: A good rental.

STUDIO 60 ON THE SUNSET STRIP — THE COMPLETE SERIES

In 2006, NBC introduced two shows that focused on what goes on behind the scenes at a “Saturday Night Live”-like sketch comedy show. “30 Rock” with Tina Fey survived, “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” didn’t. It was taken off air before the season’s mid-point, the remaining episodes were “burned off” in the summer.

For those who missed some episodes, all 22 are included here on six discs, accompanied by one audio commentary about the pilot and one mediocre featurette.

Price: $58.98.

Rent or buy: Buy — fans only.

Other DVDs coming out Tuesday: “A Mighty Heart,” “That 70s Show — Season Seven,” “Return to House on Haunted Hill,” “Sam Katzman Collection,” “Ice Spider,” “Kings of South Beach,” “Hollow Man: Director’s Cut,” “Christmas Do Over,” “Crazy Love,” “Murder Party” and “Girl 27.”


Read all of Peter Brown's DVD reviews at Digital Breakdown on Examiner.com.

artsentertainmentOther Arts

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Former Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs spoke to San Francisco’s new Guaranteed Income Advisory Group on April 16. (Courtesy SFGOV)
City launches task force to explore Universal Basic Income programs

San Francisco on Friday launched a guaranteed income task force that could… Continue reading

Muni’s K-Ingleside line will return six months earlier than previously announced. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
K-Ingleside train to return on May 15

Announcement comes on the heels of pressure from Supervisor Myrna Melgar

Demonstrators march from Mission High School towards the San Francisco Police station on Valencia Street. (Jordi Molina/ Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Vigil, march honors those killed by police

Deaths of Daunte Wright, Roger Allen and others prompt renewed calls for defunding

A Recology employee stands at the comapany’s recycling facility on Pier 96 in 2016. (Jessica Christian/2016 S.F. Examiner)
Nuru scandal: Feds charge second former Recology executive with bribery

A second former Recology executive is facing charges for allegedly bribing ex-Public… Continue reading

Skier Andy Padlo crosses a frozen Spicer Reservoir. (Courtesy photo)
Stormy weather tests skiers’ mettle on Dardanelle traverse

Overcoming challenges makes outings more rewarding

Most Read