am 4. August 2015
TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY [SKYNET EDITION] [1991/2009] [Blu-ray] [UK Release] The Ultimate Hi-Definition Terminator Experience!
The finest film of its kind, ‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day’ [Skynet Edition] captured Arnold Schwarzenegger at the very apex of his Hollywood celebrity and James Cameron at the peak of his perfectionist directorial powers. Nothing the star did subsequently measured up to his iconic performance here, spouting legendary catchphrases and wielding weaponry with unparalleled cool; and while the director had an even bigger hit with the bloated and sentimental Titanic, few followers of his career would deny that Cameron's true forte has always been sci-fi action. T2's pivotal blending of extraordinary live-action stunt work and FX looks more and more like it will never be equalled. The Blu-ray Disc release that is ‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day’ [Skynet Edition] includes three versions of the film, which includes the Theatrical version, Second the special edition version featuring 20 minutes or so of additional footage, and finally the third version which is accessible via a special code.
FILM FACT: Awards and Nominations: ‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day’ received many accolades, which are as follows: 45th British Academy Film Awards: Won: BAFTA Award for Best Sound for Lee Orloff, Tom Johnson, Gary Rydstrom and Gary Summers. Won: BAFTA Award for Best Special Visual Effects for Stan Winston, Dennis Muren, Gene Warren Jr. and Robert Skotak. Nominated: BAFTA Award for Best Production Design for Joseph Nemec. 64th Academy Awards: Won: Best Make Up for Stan Winston and Jeff Dawn. Won: Best Sound for Tom Johnson, Gary Rydstrom, Gary Summers and Lee Orloff. Won: Best Sound Editing for Gary Rydstrom and Gloria S. Borders. Won: Best Visual Effects for Dennis Muren, Stan Winston, Gene Warren Jr. and Robert Skotak. Nominated: Best Cinematography for Adam Greenberg. Nominated: Film Editing for Conrad Buff, Mark Goldblatt and Richard A. Harris. The highest-grossing film of 1991, ‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day,’ has since been ranked by several publications such as the American Film Institute as one of the greatest action films, science fiction films and sequels of all time. The film's visual effects saw breakthroughs in computer-generated imagery, including the first use of natural human motion for a computer-generated character and the first partially computer-generated main character. ‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day’ was a critical and commercial success and influenced popular culture, especially the use of visual effects in films.
Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong, Robert Patrick, Michael Biehn, Earl Boen, Joe Morton, S. Epatha Merkerson, Castulo Guerra, Danny Cooksey, Jenette Goldstein, Xander Berkeley, Leslie Hamilton Gearren, Ken Gibbel, Robert Winley, Peter Schrum, Shane Wilder, Michael Edwards, Don Lake, Richard Vidan, Tom McDonald, Jim Palmer, Gerard G. Williams, Gwenda Deacon, Don Stanton, Dan Stanton, Colin Patrick Lynch, Noel Evangelisti, DeVaughn Nixon, Tony Simotes, Diane Rodriguez, Dalton Abbott, Ron Young, Charles Robert Brown, Abdul Salaam El Razzac, Mike Muscat, Dean Norris, Charles A. Tamburro, J. Rob Jordan, Terrence Evans, Denney Pierce, Mark Christopher Lawrence, Pat Kouri, Van Ling, Michael Albanese (uncredited), Ed Arneson (uncredited), Bret A. Arnold (uncredited), Jim Dahl (uncredited), Martin DeLuca (uncredited), Takao Komine (uncredited), Joel Kramer (uncredited), Anne Merrem (uncredited), Scott Shaw (uncredited), Steven Stear (uncredited), Sven-Ole Thorsen (uncredited), Randy Walker (uncredited) and William Wisher Jr. (Galleria Photographer / Cop) (uncredited)
Director: James Cameron
Producers: James Cameron, Gale Anne Hurd, Mario Kassar, B.J. Rack and Stephanie Austin
Screenplay: James Cameron and William Wisher Jr.
Composer: Brad Fiedel
Cinematography: Adam Greenberg
Video Resolution: 1080p
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audio: English: 6.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English: 2.0 Dolby Headphones, French: 5.1 DTS-HD High Resolution, German: 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and German: 2.0 headphone-surround
Subtitles: English, French, German and Turkish
Running Time: 136 minutes
Region: Region B/2
Number of discs: 1
Studio: STUDIOCANAL / Optimum Home Releasing
Andrew's Blu-ray Review: Using his imagination and not much more, James Cameron devised ‘The Terminator,’ with the lean, mean 1984 action film that became a classic of apocalypse-minded science fiction. What this meant, is that in keeping with inexorable Hollywood logic, was that James Cameron would become a prime candidate for sequel onslaught. He would be able to follow up his original shoestring hit with a second instalment whose budget is reportedly somewhere near the $100 million mark. That figure suggests at the very least a typographical error, not to mention mistakes of a more serious kind. Surprise, James Cameron has made a swift, exciting special-effects epic that thoroughly justifies its vast expense and greatly improves upon the first films potentential, but rudimentary visual style. He has also broadened his initial idea to encompass better developed characters; after all, the first Terminator was barely verbal, a livelier wit and a more ambitious, if nuttier, message.
But here we have a cautionary tale: ‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day’ anticipates nuclear disaster in the year 1997 unless there is intervention from the forces of good, who happen to specialize in shootouts, clubbing, slamming, poundings and explosions. This tirelessly violent, ultimately exhausting film has the utter sincerity of all good science fiction, and a lot more flair than most, but it suffers from a certain confusion of purpose. In the end, it amounts to quite the pistol-packing plea for peace. Arnold Schwarzenegger returns as the Terminator in this explosive action-adventure spectacle. Now he's one of the good guys, sent back in time to protect John Connor, the boy destined to lead the freedom fighters of the future. Linda Hamilton reprises her role as Sarah Connor, John's mother; a quintessential survivor who has been institutionalized for her warning of the nuclear holocaust she knows is inevitable. Together, the threesome must find a way to stop the ultimate enemy-the T-1000, the most lethal Terminator ever created. Co-written, produced and directed by James Cameron, ‘The Terminator,’ ‘Aliens’ and ‘Titanic,’ this visual tour de force is also a touching human story of survival.
Some do say, 'Terminator 2: Judgment Day' is it really the greatest sequel ever? I know 'T2' has many, many fans who rate is higher than 1984's cult sleeper hit 'The Terminator,' and I would never try to persuade them otherwise. 'T2' doesn't work quite as well as the original, if only because the first two 'Terminator' films are very different beasts. 'T2' doesn't so much replicate the scrappy B-movie thrills of the first 'Terminator' as morph its chintzy charms into a bombastic, special-effects-laden morality play. 'T2' isn't a remake or even a reimagining instead, it pumps up the best qualities of 'The Terminator' and grafts them onto a family drama, adding fable-like qualities. Weird, yes, but judging by its grosses, it worked.
No need to recap the story of 'T2' for the three people who have yet to see the film. Let's just say that James Cameron wisely doesn't try to revert to his main characters, especially Linda Hamilton's Sarah Connor, and of course the Terminator is back to the state where we last left them at the end of the first film, as most sequels-slash-remakes would. Rather, he turns Sarah into a nut-job who has effectively abandoned her son and turned herself into the martyr to end all martyrs, allowing the story to expand naturally into new directions. But even better, James Cameron inverts the Terminator himself and it is no secret to reveal that the mean ol' Arnie of 'Terminator' is all soft and cuddly in 'T2,' now the protector of the young John Connor [Edward Furlong]. So not only does that give 'T2' a great spin on the original, but it allows for the introduction of a brand-new villain, the morphing T-1000 [Robert Patrick]. Let's just say had James Cameron simply restaged the Sarah-Terminator battles from the first film only with more money, we wouldn't still be talking about 'T2' today.
'T2' ironically, cemented its status as such an influential blockbuster. Quite frankly, the film's once-cutting edge CGI effects have quickly become slightly outdated. Even back in 1992, and I thought at the time the films effects coup, the "liquid metal" T-1000, looked brilliant, but even by the rules and structure of the fantasy world James Cameron created the effect we felt was ahead of its time. While in the framework of the film we all felt we could believe that a liquid metal Robot could go around and kill people, and especially at the time I was still confused as to how his clothes and skin miraculously reappear at a moment's notice. Are they liquid metal, too? And where is the C.P.U. central processing unit located? How are all the individual molecules bound together? And how come whenever the T-1000 gets split apart or blown up, all the pieces can still function? And if the machine is supposed to be liquid metal by Earth standards, this is still, after all, supposed to be a "realistic future," how does the metal heat itself up and cool itself off so quickly, a lot of questions that we never really had answers to?
Perhaps in a spirit of detente, James Cameron, who wrote the screenplay with William Wisher, limits the story's weaponry mostly to guns, providing no technology on a par with the Terminators themselves. But this makes for inconsistencies and repetition, since the T-1000 can heal himself, albeit rather spectacularly, any time he springs a leak. It takes special tricks, like the one whereby the Terminator reduces T-1000 to brittle fragments that become liquid blobs and then reassemble and rise again, to cope with such a special fellow.
Also notable about ‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day’ are Arnold Schwarzenegger's perfect aplomb, Brad Fiedel's ominous music, Edward Furlong's fine, scrappy performance as the story's young hero, Linda Hamilton's wild-eyed combativeness and the film's apt casting of Joe Morton as a successful computer entrepreneur on whose decisions the future depends. "It's not every day that you find out you're responsible for three billion deaths!" he exclaims, late in the story. This, in the feverish atmosphere of ‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day’ is what passes for a sober moment.
Blu-ray Video Quality – Presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, encoded with an awesome 1080p transfer, James Cameron's ‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day’ [Skynet Edition] arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of UK-based distributors Optimum Releasing. The disc contains the Theatrical and Special Edition versions of the film as well as the Extended Special Edition version. The access code for it is 82997. The special edition version seems to be using seamless branching which delivers the missing footage in with the theatrical cut of the film. First thing you'll notice there is no longer the macro blocking and artefacts that plagued the previous version. Unfortunately there has been some noise reduction applied which causes the image to occasionally have a smoothed out look. Fine detail and clarity are much improved as is sharpness. Blacks are middle of the road, never the deepest images in a few scenes. Flesh tones remain natural throughout. If you had the original release on DVD or Laserdisc, you will notice a massive improvement in sharpness, detail and clarity. Until James Cameron actually decides to oversee a new restoration of the film, this is the best presentation.
Blu-ray Audio Quality – This release is presented in a few different audio calibrations and formats. The primary one and the new track is the 6.1 DTS-HD Master Audio accompanied by 5.1 DTS-HD High Resolution track. Keep in mind that the surround mixes on here are THX certified so LIONSGATE claims anyway. To say this is demo material is an understatement. Though we haven't gotten the reference transfer hoped for, this is the ‘T2’ audio presentation you have been waiting for. Bass is powerful and packs a huge punch during the many action set pieces. Dynamics are very impressive for a film from 1991. There are audio effects that emanate in a 360 sound field that really enhance the feeling that you are right there in the fight for the future. Nice subtlety was noticed as well. Dialogue is clear throughout and well defined. The iconic score sounds amazing from the opening titles through the film and the end credits. A superb job has been done for this presentation and it can stand on its own against a few of the action film mixes from more recent films.
Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:
Audio Commentary: Commentary with Director James Cameron and Co-Author William Wisher: This Audio Production Commentary is supplied from two archival tracks culled from the previous DVD releases. Director James Cameron in his first ever commentary track is accompanied by co-writer William Wisher. This is a real treat for fans as Cameron goes into great detail of all the aspects of making the film. Wisher is a good co-pilot as he is very articulate and just ad passionate about the film. Highly recommended you listen to this.
The second audio Writer and Director Commentary track is excellent as well. It contains an assemblage of audio interview extracts. Featuring a total of 26 members of the cast and crew of ‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day’ [Skynet Edition], Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong, James Cameron and a montage of the technical and film crew. There is so much information and great trivia on this track that if you're even a casual fan you will come away with a greater respect for the film and its achievements.
The 2 Feature Audio Commentaries with 23 members of the Cast and Crew: This is the twenty six participant strong 1993 commentary track that was included with the majority of the previous releases of the film. Chances are that you've probably already heard it if you own one of the older copies of the film on the inferior NTSC DVD.
Special Feature: Deleted Scenes [1080p] [6:00] Since the Blu-ray disc provides both the extended and theatrical versions of ‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day’ [Skynet Edition], we are only given 2 deleted scenes separately from the film. The first is a really cool scene with the T-1000 searching John Connor's bedroom. I love the way Robert Patrick plays this scene with the T-1000 never really touching, instead he sort of glance his hand over items seemingly gaining information that way. The other scene is the highly debated alternate ending, featuring Linda Hamilton in old-age make-up and a future LA with people in the background wearing outrageous outfits to look futuristic. It doesn't work because it does not fit with the look and tone of rest of the film, never mind the fact that is a clichéd happy ending. If this scene was kept in the original theatrical cut, I doubt the film would be as beloved.
Special Feature: Feature Length Picture-in-Picture [1080p] Watch behind the scenes along with the film.
Special Feature [1080p] Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes Slideshow with Cast and Crew comments using state of the art branching technology.
Special Feature: Text Production Commentary and Trivia Track with Animated Graphics in sync with the film [1080p] This is a text-based quiz that runs along with the film and asks you to answer multiple choice questions about on-screen events. It's slightly annoying that the film pauses every time a question pops up, but at least it saves your progress between sessions, a function that I assume requires a Profile 2.0 player.
Special Feature: Storyboard and Script showed in synch with the film [1080p] Select this option to view original storyboard sequences in time with the film independently of the other features.
Special Feature: Interactive Quizzes and Games while you watch the film: This mode allows you to play Terminator-themed mini-games. These take the form of sliding puzzles, timed combinations and the like. You can skip through the film to the next puzzle if you don't want to wait, and your score is saved at the end of each session should you wish to take a break.
Special Feature [1080p] Seamless Branching of the Theatrical, Directors and Ultimate Cuts of ‘T2.’
Special Feature [1080p] Trailer Downloads, Text, Biographies, Banners and Wallpapers available via BD-Live.
Special Feature [1080p] Bookmarks, D-Box Motion Codes and THX Optimizer.
Theatrical Trailers [1080p] It gives you three trailers plus a couple of extra previews. Included are the films teaser and two theatrical trailers. Also included is a video promo for the ‘T2’ special edition DVD, and the T2 THX logo that features the THX logo being blown away then melts like the T-1000 and rises back up with the famous THX sound. It is nice that LIONSGATE decided to present all of the clips in 1080p video and they look real good. Overall, the bonus materials are loaded big time, but unfortunately it is all recycled from the DVD releases.
Finally, ‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day’ [Skynet Edition] is a very solid, feature-packed Blu-ray release which exploits the second generation abilities of the high-definition disc format to recommend its inclusion into Arnie film fans' and Terminator fanatics' home video libraries. This film has had multiple home entertainment releases going back over fifteen years via VHS, LaserDisc editions, and across numerous DVD releases and editions which always promised more of the movie audiences crave. Credit to LIONSGATE for delivering a much more robust Blu-ray effort which justifies the Skynet Edition just three years after the bare bones treatment it got, and indeed the vastly upgraded DTS-HD soundtrack and treasure trove of bonus material approach must-see status. But overall, the ‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day’ [Skynet Edition] extends the Terminator franchise into the 21st century where it belongs, both technologically for home viewing and thematically in its futurist dramatic frame of reference. James Cameron's mind-bending tale of destruction and destiny, placing mankind's future on the narrow shoulders of young John Connor, has never looked and sounded better, and this Skynet Edition pulls out all the stops to enhance your TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY [SKYNET EDITION] you will experience so much better, than ever before and of course as you can guess that I am totally honoured to have another Arnold Schwarzenegger film in my Blu-ray Collection. Highly Recommended!
Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom