Comparison between the censored British Blu-ray by Paramount Home Entertainment (BBFC PG) (presumably identical to the Australian DVD/Blu-ray/4K Blu-ray) and the uncensored German Blu-ray by Paramount / Universal Pictures (FSK 12) (presumably identical to the US PG-13 version).
- 4 changes
- Runtime of changes: 6.3 sec
BUMBLEBEE and its place in the cinematic Transformers universe
Since Michael Bay brought the Transformers to the big screen in 2007, four sequels followed until 2017. For us, the IMAX Extended Cut of part 2 was particularly interesting (see comparison). After part 5 performed rather below expectations at the box office, Bumblebee, a prequel, arrived in cinemas in 2018 and marks a new direction for the heroes of the Hasbro universe.
The focus is, of course, on the VW Beetle, which accounts for the title and is especially popular with younger audiences. All around you get a coming-of-age story with the cute Hailee Steinfeld. Pamela Adlon, known from Californication, plays her mother and with John Cena the action fan also gets to see a familiar face. In fact, the movie expresses some charm again, which was rather absent in Michael Bay’s soulless metal battles. Instead of hectic storylines from the drawing board, the simple dramaturgy works out quite well, even though you shouldn't expect any big surprises. The movie takes place in the 80’s and has some retro references due to the fact that Steven Spielberg was also on board as an executive producer.
All in all, this is a rather family-oriented adventure. Still, there are some of the usual action scenes and especially the Decepticons let people burst with their shots several times. As expected, in America it was still enough for the PG-13 rating. Other countries weren't so lucky, e.g. in Great Britain and Australia you can now also enjoy a home cinema version that has been defused for a younger audience.
BUMBLEBEE is only censored in the UK and Australia
The BBFC first equipped the uncensored version with a 12A rating, but distributor Paramount obviously saw even more audience potential. Shortly afterwards, a second entry with a more child-friendly PG approval appeared in the BBFC’s database. This was called "re-edited version" and has a runtime difference of 6 seconds. Shortly thereafter it became known that a "modified version" was rated in Australia after the first examination of the original version. In the first run, this version had also received the M (Mature) rating, but Paramount's appeal resulted in the desired PG rating being achieved in Down Under as well.
In Great Britain, DVD, Blu-ray and 4K-UHD were released with PG ratings on May 13, 2019 and thus all three media carry the censored version. It looks the same in Australia, but there it is a bit confusing, as you can see from this picture: The Blu-ray and 4K-UHD now have the M rating after all. However, this rating should only be based on bonus materials and the main film should continue to be censored. It's probably the same censorship as in England, but we only had the British Blu-ray for this comparison.
First of all, we can say that the first two cuts also used some alternate material and thus are actually missing a bit more than 6 seconds. At the beginning of the military battle, a closer view of soldiers flying through the air was erased and also a view of John Cena's blood-smeared face was not deemed suitable for the young viewers. The other two attacks can be found in a scene in which the Decepticons kill or completely pulverize a human being. The last frames have been removed so that the red color of the body remains can't be seen anymore. Shortly thereafter, a cynical commentary referencing the action also had to go. All in all, the surgery is still manageable, similar to the recently compared British version of Aquaman.
Timecodes are ordered as follows:
British Blu-ray / German Blu-ray
08:36-08:37 / 08:36-08:39
In the UK version, the explosion can be seen 0.4 sec longer and the subsequent shot also starts 0.5 sec earlier.
This completely covers up a shot from the original version: In an additional close-up, a few men are thrown through the air by another explosion.
Original version 1.6 sec longer
11:24-11:26 / 11:26-11:30
In the British version, Agent Burns turns and faces Bumblebee in the same shot.
In the original version, he does this in a closer shot instead and so you can see his bloodstained face.
Original version 2 sec longer
34:33 / 34:37
After the hillbilly was shot to pieces, the shot was cut short a few frames in the British version. While until then almost only silver shimmering remains of his body could be seen flying around, here (left in the picture) they turn even more red on the ground.
34:34 / 34:38-34:40
Dropkick comments at the beginning of the shot: "Hmm. I like the way they pop."