Paramount sent me the 4K steelbook release of Transformers: Rise of the Beasts for evaluation, and I must report that although the design is different from the prior collectable megaset (Youtube video), the difference is only noticable when displaying the front. If displayed on its side, nobody would notice. The former has a gungier design, whereas in Rise of the Beasts, it’s cleaner–perhaps more punk rock with a splash of Andy Warhol on top.
The design change is most likely intentional and I’m glad they help distinguish between the different eras the past films are set in.
When watching the deleted scenes, it’s easy to see what writer Joby Harold wanted to shake up. This talent did very well as the executive producer and head of the writer’s room for Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi, and to translate that for this franchise is a wise choice. Although more idea makers lent their hand in crafting the screenplay, the heart of the film is one part his and another Steven Caple Jr‘s. When the alternative introduction shows Optimus Prime not at his best, it’s easy to be afraid of him.
Although we still do not have an explanation why Unicron has become part of the planet, that’s okay. On various forums, the theory is that the series won’t address it since the last two films predate Michael Bay’s works. The Transwarp Key everyone is searching for may well be more than a conduit for wormholes. I caught a line of dialogue where its implied parallel universes can be traversed. Problem solved!
Even though not much is said about why the autobot Mirage is the new kid, it’s easy to recognize his personality and vehicle mode best represents the 90s. Without him, his latest movie wouldn’t have a lot of grounding. In Rise of the Beasts, if the bot can’t connect with what Caple’s vision is for the film, then they weren’t used at all. Although the selection process isn’t deeply expounded upon in the individual videos titled “Heroes,” and “Villains,” I could read between the lines. It’s not necessarily about who are the fan favourites, but who has the better story to tell. While Scourge is the de facto leader in this reboot/retcon, I’m eager to find out if the next films will be set in the present, where he and Galvatron meet!
The deleted scenes don’t really say what’s in store for the future. They mostly show how this live-action world no longer follows any of the animated continuities. Instead, what’s presented is a lot more interesting from a CGI artists and filmmaker’s perspective, namely in how everything is tested before doing all the final computer rendering of the robots. What’s presented is not too different from prior home video releases, where certain elements and blocking shots are revealed.
Ultimately, the bulk of the bonus features is spent on getting fans up to speed about why this film must exist in the 90s instead of where it exists in the continuity. There is a bit of deliberation regarding Bumblebee, and that’s it. Not much is revealed about whether Steven Caple Jr. is a huge fan of Transformers or not. Had he been asked to record a commentary track or provide an unedited interview, I’d be more invested. When there’s more than meets the eye in the planning of how to move this live-action Transformers forward, at least the hints of G.I. Joe being part of the same universe are good enough for me!
Complete Transformers: Rise of the Beasts Bonus Features Listing
- Heroes (10 minutes)
- Villains (9 minutes)
- Human Affairs (8 minutes)
- Life In The 90s (6 minutes)
- The Chase (6 minutes)
- The Battle Of Ellis Island (7 minutes)
- The Switchback Attack (7 minutes)
- Into The Jungle (10 minutes)
- The Final Conflict (11 minutes)
- Deleted / Extended Scenes
The Transit Depot Alternate Opening – Deleted Scene (4 minutes)The Cave/Switchback – Alternate/Extended (4 minutes)
Are You Ready? – Deleted Scene (2 minutes)
This Can’t Be Real – Extended (1 minute)
Noah Comes Home – Extended/Deleted Scene (1 minute)
The Maximal Crest – Extended (1 minute)
Alternate Ending – Deleted Scene (1 minute)