Anchored by a simple story about a pair of loners rescuing each other while saving the world, Travis Knight's Bumblebee surpasses all expectations with an excellent mix of intelligible robot action and a strong story starring Hailee Steinfeld and John Cena. The battle extends to Blu-ray with reference-quality video, an outstanding Dolby Atmos soundtrack, and a small-though-enjoyable set of supplements. The overall package is a Recommended thrill ride for the whole family.
You can read our full thoughts on Travis Knight's Bumblebee in our review of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray HERE.
Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
Paramount Home Entertainment brings Bumblebee to Blu-ray as a two-disc combo pack with a flyer code for a Digital Copy. The Region Free, BD50 disc sits opposite a DVD-9 copy inside a blue, eco-cutout case with a sleek, lightly-embossed slipcover. The package also includes a glossy, twelve-page color comic entitled "Sector 7 Adventures: The Battle at Half Dome." After a couple of skippable promos, the screen changes to the usual menu with options along the bottom of the screen, full-motion clips and music playing in the background.
The sci-fi action prequel crash lands on Blu-ray with an exceptional, tricked-out 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 encode, racing across the screen in a style that begs to be shown. Coming fresh off the digital assembly line, the reference-quality transfer boasts razor-sharp detailing in every single vehicle, exposing the tiniest rust spot and scratch on the VW Bug, every rivet of the military SUVs and the shiny chrome trimming along the Decepticons muscle cars. Likewise, we can plainly make every nook and cranny in the interior of the Bug, Charlie's garage and workspace, the military offices and the smallest objects adorning the gaudily-decorated Watson home. The stitching, threading and fabric of the radical 80s clothing are distinct, individual hairs are decidedly clean-cut, and facial complexions come with lifelike texture revealing negligible blemishes. Even the CG action sequences maintain superb visibility of every moving metallic part and the bits of debris flying in every direction.
Presented in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio, the HD presentation also arrives with dead-on, precise contrast, delivering a beautifully bright and vibrant picture from beginning to end. Thanks to radiantly crisp whites in every scene, highlights are particularly extraordinary with a dazzling brilliance during explosions and a sparkling shine along on the chrome bodies of various vehicles and the Transformers. At the same time, black levels are largely inky and full-bodied, providing the image with appreciable depth and a lovely cinematic quality. Although delineation is quite strong within the deepest, darkest corners, there are few moments when shadows, especially in a few interior shots, lose a tad of their luster. Thankfully, Enrique Chediak's cinematography comes to the rescue with a dramatic display of sumptuous primaries throughout and a gorgeous array of richly-saturated secondary hues with yellow, in particular, looking true and accurate. (Video Rating: 96/100)
Bumblebee debuts on Blu-ray with the same awesomely satisfying Dolby Atmos soundtrack as its Ultra HD counterpart. For a more in-depth take on the audio quality, you can read our review of the 4K Ultra HD HERE. (Dolby Atmos Audio Rating: 90/100)
With engines roaring, guns blazing, and a tank full of comedic fun, Bumblebee runs circles around the entire Transformers franchise, making it the best performance vehicle of the series with plenty of heart, humor, and awesome spectacle. Anchored by a simple story about a pair of loners rescuing each other while saving the world, director Travis Knight brings back that sense of astonishment and amazement in seeing giant robots blow up stuff real good. The battle rages on Blu-ray with a stunning reference-quality video presentation and a tricked-out, demo-worthy Dolby Atmos soundtrack. Equipped with a small but nonetheless enjoyable set of supplements, the overall package is a recommended thrill ride for the whole family.