The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: LionsGate - 1991
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 152 Minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 6.1 Master Audio, English Dolby Digital 5.1 EX, French Dolby 2.0
Subtitles: English SDH, English, French, Spanish
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Joe Morton, Robert Patrick, Edward Furlong
Directed by: James Cameron
Music by: Brad Fiedel
Written by: James Cameron & William Wisher
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: May 19, 2009
"I'll be back"
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 most lethal Terminator ever created.
Eleven years after Sarah Connor destroyed the original Terminator that was programmed to kill her, two Terminators arrive in Los Angeles from the year 2029. The first is a Terminator that is identical to the one that attempted to kill Sarah, and the second is a T-1000 advanced model which is made of a liquid metal alloy that can assume the shape of anything that it samples by physical contact. John Connor is now a 10 year old living with foster parents Todd and Janelle. He has had an unusual childhood, with his mother Sarah constantly preparing him to fulfill his destiny as the leader of the future human resistance. Sarah's experiences have made her tougher and more vigilant, but also desperate to warn humanity about the coming apocalypse. After attempting to bomb a computer factory, Sarah is arrested and remanded to the Pescadero State Hospital for the Criminally Insane. The Terminator was sent by the future John Connor to protect him from the invading T-1000. Both Terminators separately go in search of John and locate him simultaneously in a shopping mall. After a brief engagement John and the Terminator escape the T-1000.
The Terminator explains everything to John who now realizes that his mother wasn't crazy and that everything she told him was true. He and the Terminator go to Pescadero to free Sarah and are once again engaged by the T-1000. They manage to hold him off and the three of them barely escape. Sarah decides to take matters into her own hands and attempts to alter the future by preventing the creation of Skynet. She goes to the house of the Miles Dyson the man who developed the technology that leads to its creation. John and the Terminator track her to his residence in time to stop her from killing him. Once things are explained to Miles he realizes that his research and development of the neural net processor must cease. The four of them goe to Cyberdyne Systems to retrieve/destroy any remaining chips etc. that could further Skynet's eventual creation. Unfortunately the T-1000 is hot on their heels and once again they encounter the toughest, most dangerous adversary any of them has ever seen. As they fight for their lives against the ever vigilant T-1000 John comes to realize that the Terminator is more than just a machine to him. Before it's over John will be faced with experiences that will shape the man that he is destined to become.When this film was released in 1991 I was blown away. To me its impact was similar to that of Star Wars in that up to that point I had never seen anything quite like it. James Cameron knows how to create exciting, visually engaging, and memorable films. I watched the extended version during my evaluation. I love the Terminator's integration in this story and how his relationship with John is slowly developed over the first two acts. The action sequences and special effects at the time were in the stratosphere. Quite honestly I think that they still hold up extremely well nearly 20 years later. I remember being amazed by Linda Hamilton's physical transformation from the original film to this one. I don't know how many times I have watched this movie over the years but it has been quite a few. I have owned the original, Ultimate and Extreme Edition DVDs. For me it has always represented forward thinking, advance technology and intelligent filmmaking. Each of its DVD releases felt that way as well. Whether it was advanced audio, great bonus content or of course that extremely cool THX trailer.
I didn't bother to pick up the original Blu-ray Disc release because I was holding out for a special edition like this. I think that the wait was well worth it. From what I have read I am not so sure that its video quality represents an improvement over the original Blu-ray release however it does offer DTS-HD Master Audio sound and interactive/bonus features that definitely provide that same feeling of forward/advanced thinking that I have always appreciated about T2. Both the theatrical and extended cuts are included along with two commentary tracks that are highly recommended. The coolness factor when the disc first loads and the Skynet interface pops up is high (you will see what I mean). The BD interactive modes contain tons of production information, trivia, behind the scenes, trivia and more. The Ancillary data contains promotional material which includes the T2 THX trailer. I just love watching and hearing the sounds of the heavy footsteps of the Terminator followed by the slow racking of the 12 gauge shotgun as he saunters up from behind you. There are also a couple of deleted scenes with optional commentary by make-up genius Stan Winston, Linda Hamilton, Robert Patrick and James Cameron. Terminator 2 is a film that had a huge impact on its genre. I think its release on DVD in its various iterations has had a similar effect. I agree that it has been heavily covered on home video but I can't say that I have grown tired of it. It is one of my favorite action/sci-fi films and its importance as a creative work can't be understated. I have the utmost respect for James Cameron as a director and writer. His vision and instinct for what is effectual is quite obvious when you look at his collective works. I applaud LionsGate for there work on this latest Skynet Blu-ray Edition. It contains much of the same bonus content as has been previously released but it is wrapped up in a great package that I am excited to add to my collection.
The film contains strong sci-fi action, violence and language.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
T2 Judgment Day: Skynet Edition comes to Blu-ray Disc from Lionsgate featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 18 mbps and lossless DTS-HD 6.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.1 mbps.
This is my first experience seeing T2 in high definition and I found the results to be quite good. Resolution is excellent as images are appreciably detailed with discerning subtle minutia during close ups and mid level camera pans. Clarity is very good but not definitively so as the video has a bit of a smooth texture that prevents it from appearing razor sharp. It unquestionably looks superior to any of the DVD versions that I have owned. Many of the interior venues and dark sequences have a cool bluish cast that gives them an intentional monochromatic aesthetic that can make it them appear a bit drab. When used colors are vivid and bright with no smearing or blooming and fleshtones appear tonally natural, crisp and lifelike. Blacks seem to mate well with the look of the film but aren't especially deep. Visible detail in dark areas and backgrounds is never a problem as depth is excellent. Grain appears to be diminished and is noticeable here and there. I couldn't say with certainty that noise reduction has been applied as I didn't see any egregiously adverse effects of its use. This isn't a reference quality presentation but in my opinion it represents this film in a positive light and looks as good as ever.
T2's soundtrack has long since been considered a sonic tour de force and I looked forward to hearing how well it translated via lossless audio's higher fidelity. The effects are impressive as imaging and tonal balance across the front sound stage is excellent during panning sequences. Dialogue sounds crystal clear and well textured through the center channel. The audio's superb clarity allows fine detail present in sounds/effects and subtle inflectional changes in voices to be audible. Dynamic range is impressive as action based elements such as heavy weapon fire, explosions etc. have visceral impact and energy. High level clarity/detail enhances the perception of smaller/background elements within the recording and added realism to sounds that have more prominence. Surround sound activity is abundant as the mix uses discrete and ambient directional cues to deliver an enriching, immersive and demonstrative aural experience. Low frequency detail is present throughout and maintains a palpable presence that escalates at times. It has solid depth and authority as it delivers clean, tight bass extension that rumbles through the room nicely.
- Theatrical and Extended Cuts of the film
- Production commentary hosted by Van Ling - featuring multiple cast/crew
- Writer/Director commentary - featuring William Wisher and James Cameron
- Interactive Modes:
- Visual implants - PiP
- Trivia data overlay - Text commentary/trivia
- Production data overlay - Shooting methods
- Linked data modules - Behind the scenes
- Schematics - Storyboards as it follows film
- Source code - Original screenplay as it follows the film
- Query mode - T2 trivia quiz
- Processor tests - (Mini) game mode
- Ancillary Data - Visual campaigns
- (HD)Teaser trailer
- (HD)Theatrical trailer 1 and 2
- (HD) T2 Special Edition trailer
- (HD) T2 THX trailer
- (HD) 2 deleted scenes with optional commentary by Stan Winston, Linda Hamilton, Robert Patrick and James Cameron
- D-Box Motion Code enabled
- BD-Live: Skynet Access (BD Profile 2.0 player required) - Special feature which will be enabled on release day
There is little that hasn't already been said. T2: Judgment Day is a sci-fi/action classic that set the bar for others to follow. Its critical success as an inspiring creative work has spawned quite a following that includes several sequels, a TV series and a legacy that few films in this genre can claim. The fact that it has seen multiple home video releases is evidence of its popularity and impact which it justly deserves. This release marks its second on Blu-ray Disc. I haven't seen the original but as a fan I can unequivocally state that this Skynet Edition release from Lionsgate is ambitious to say the least. It finds T2 looking great and sounding better than ever. The bonus features take you deep inside the world of the film's production as well as the minds of its creators. This is a superlative and fan friendly package that is a must have. Highly recommended.
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