dvd / blu-ray Review

Transformers: The Last Knight (DVD) : Review


The Autobots and Decepticons are at war, or not happy. Or something. But  there are Dragons, and King Author, and also a drunk Merlin. Mark Whalberg has to save Earth from evil bots. The story doesn’t really matter, as it’s actually just a bunch of exploding effects, and robots shooting things. It’s a terrible movie, and on second viewing, a smaller home screen, compared to the large Imax that one could have seen the film on, the effects look even worse. Rather just avoid the film. There is no value even watching it, let alone actual rewatch value.

Read the full SAMDB review of Transformers: The Last Knight.


Technically, the disc is compressed alright. However the varied aspect ratio issue is incredibly annoying, and distracts one for the film (as bad as the film is). A pretty dismal disc, with decent audio and video compression.

Distributed in SA by Next Entertainment, this is one disc that one should rather avoid.

Transformers: The Last Knight is available now, to purchase on disc, in South Africa.


Video is encoded at a high average bitrate. There are no visible artefacts on-screen. There is also no visible colour bleed. In this effects laden film, there are also no issues in the faster paced scenes, and adequate detail is maintained in darker scenes.

The disc has three actual aspect ratios throughout the film. These are planned, by the filmmakers, but they are incredibly annoying! The image goes from full-screen, to slight letterboxing, to a lot more letterboxing, virtually between every single shot.

From the studio themselves: “Production has confirmed this was completely intentional. Michael Bay shot different shots in different aspect ratios throughout the feature. The technical BOMs state “various” for aspect ratio and this should be on the packaging.

The DVD cover starts the disc is full frame 16:9, 1.78:1 aspect. There is no mention anywhere of varied aspect ratios, so be warned. Online discussion regarding the USA region of the disc talk about two aspect ratios, and the fact that many of the films sequences were filmed in Imax.

Apart from this not being made clear anywhere on the packaging, on the disc itself, or even on-screen, this is a very annoying issue, that detracts from the film. Not that it is a great film to begin with, but still, there will always be those fans who enjoy the series, and this totally distracts the viewer. Bad choice, Michael Bay, and all involved.

Video for the menus is a lot more compressed, but would at least save some space on the disc to allow for less compression of the main feature.


Audio is encoded at a high average bitrate, and is presented in a Dobly Digital 5.1 mix. Dialogue is mostly clear, via the centre speaker. There is frequent use of the surround channels, however panning between them isn’t always as defined as it could be.


Navigation is simple, and easy to follow. The main menu is a motion menu, with accompanying music. The background is comprised of some shots from the film itself.

Text options on the main menu includes links to play the main features, setup, and scenes.

The setup sub-menu leads to a further text menu, where the viewer can then select either an audio or subtitle sub-menu, and make their relevant choice.

The scenes sub-menus comprise of four large, colour, static thumbnails, for a total of 23 chapters. While these are numbered, they are not labelled, so meaning that navigating to a particular point on the disc will require an amount of guesswork.

Bonus Features

There are no bonus features included on the disc, at all, not even trailers at the beginning of the disc.

By Andrew Germishuys

Founder of SAMDB, Andrew has worked full time in the film industry since the early 2000's. He has trained as an actor, completing his LAMDA Gold Medal, and attending many courses in Cape Town acting studios, with masterclasses with some of the international industries top directors, producers and filmmakers.

Working as an actor and armourer in the film and television industry have given Andrew a great balance of skills across the board when it comes to the entertainment industry.

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