Saturday, July 21, 2012

DVD Review: Transformers Prime: One Shall Stand

No sooner do I post on waiting for my editor to okay my review when suddenly, BAM!  Here it is.  Read on...

Article first published as DVD Review: Transformers Prime: One Shall Stand on Blogcritics.

Transformers Prime: One Shall Stand combines the epic season finale of season one and the first three episodes of season two together into an unedited movie-style presentation. It’s exciting, fun and full of adventure as both the Autobots and Decepticons must band together against a common foe, the dark harbinger Unicron. Threatening to destroy the planet Earth, and possibly the universe, they must stand as one to defeat this seemingly indefeatable foe.

Transformers Prime is easily one of the best Transformers television series since the introduction of Transformers in the '80s. A well thought out and engaging show, the writers have definitely taken the time to make it appeal to new comers and old fans alike.

When I first came to see Transformers Prime, I had a huge concern with it being a CGI show. I tend to be unforgiving when you step into the realm of CGI as the detail in the models of the characters, the set pieces and locations can detract from the enjoyment of a show. If there isn’t enough detail to appease my visual appetite, I tend to become bored with the imagery and loose interest. With Transformers Prime, they have added a fair amount of detail in almost every aspect of the show.

The Transformers themselves have great detail that surpasses my expectations. Many of the battles between the Transformers leave visible marks, scuffs and damage that you normally wouldn’t see. One of my favorite characters in terms of detail is Megatron. His body has small scratches and obvious wear from the many battles he’s been engaged in over time. The least detailed characters in the show are probably the humans, and for me that is acceptable. We’re not going for completely realistic look here and I’ll be honest, it’s really all about the Transformers.

One may ask at this point, “What’s so good about this DVD? I already own season one!” Transformers Prime: One Shall Stand does what an earlier release, Transformers Prime: Darkness Rising did. It takes seven episodes and seamlessly edits them together into a single presentation to make it more like a movie. It is also the only place you can get the first three episodes of season two on home media. Some may feel this is a waste of money, to purchase something they already have with the season one DVD and will have when they buy season two. For me it’s a huge plus as I loved the presentation in a movie format rather than episodic. For that one reason alone, if you’re like me, you’ll love this DVD. It brings that much more emotion to the epic story arc that happens from season one to season two.

The DVD comes with two special features. The first of them, “A Look at One Shall Stand”, is an interview with Jeff Kline, Duane Capizzi and Steven Melching. The interview covers the series as a whole, speaking a lot about the process that goes into writing the episodes for the show, with insight into how they come to decisions on what ends up on screen, and what remains nothing more than a thought. The interview runs just over 12 minutes.

The second feature is a very cool and fun feature, running just over 22 minutes long. “One Shall Rise, Part 2”, shows us the entire second episode in the season 1 finale story arc in the form of an Animatic. From beginning to end, you get to see the very rough, yet enjoyable, version of the episode before any computer rendering for the episode is done. It is the ground work for what goes into every episode of the series. This feature is well worth the time to watch.

Exciting, engaging, epic… Pick your favorite word to describe it, or make up your own; Transformers Prime: One Shall Stand delivers on all levels. It is a fun presentation of an intense and dramatic story arc that should not be missed. Fans of Transformers Prime and of Transformers in general shouldn’t miss this DVD. I would definitely recommend this to anyone, even if they already own season 1 on DVD and plan on buying season 2 when it releases.

Transformers Prime: One Shall Stand will be available on DVD on July 31.

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