The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Warner Bros. - 2009
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 114 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, English/French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Christian Bale, Anton Yelchin, Sam Worthington, Jane Alexander, Moon Bloodgood, Bryce Dallas Howard, Common, Helena Bonham Carter
Directed by: McG
Music by: Danny Elfman
Written by: John Brancato & Michael Ferris
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: December 1, 2009
"The end begins"
In the aftermath of Judgment Day and the machine takeover, resistance leader John Connor (Christian Bale) must counter Skynet's plan to terminate mankind. Rallying his underground street fighters for a last, desperate battle, he realizes that to save the future he must rescue his own father Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin). But the most shocking discovery comes with the arrival of Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington), a mysterious loner from the past who challenges Connor with an impossible choice and leads them both on a brutal journey into the heart of the enemy.
My affinity for the Terminator film franchise goes back to 1984 when I saw the original during its theatrical release. I haven't missed one since and Terminator 2 remains the best of the lot in my opinion. I thought that this film was well done as well and made a natural progression in its move toward bringing us to the post judgment day world occupied by John Connor as an adult. I liked the human side to the story relative to John's attempts to locate Kyle while struggling with his inner voice telling him to trust Marcus while everything he knows and experienced tells him not to. The well integrated plot conjoins with previous installments in the franchise while also giving us new characters, a chance to see a bit about the workings of the resistance movement, and a few of the machines/terminators including the new T-800 which is the model that is sent back in time to kill Sarah (in the first film). Action/mayhem abounds and there are plenty of excellent special effects to go along with the nicely balanced albeit somewhat assuming script. Christian Bale had no trouble being believable in this role and I felt he was a good choice. It's a shame that Helena Bonham Carter's part was so small, she is a wonderful actress that excels at playing dark characters. Anton Yelchin and the remainder of the secondary cast were solid in their respective roles which contributed to the films overall enjoyment. I think that director McG pulled this off well and did justice to our first visit to the future. I had a great time with it and look forward to the next installment.
The rating is for intense sequences of 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:
Terminator Salvation comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner Home Entertainment featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 22 mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.2 mbps.
This film has an intentionally stylized visual design that utilizes a limited color scheme that works aesthetically well for the films futuristically sci-fi and barren setting. The color range is limited to shades of steely blue, gray and black with splashes of crimson and muted sepia tones. Warm accents are used here and there to break up the film's monochromatic essence. Fleshtones hold up nicely against the de-saturated chroma and don't appear unnatural. Uneven light and shading are prevalent. Contrast is spot on which empowers whites and grays without washing away detail. Whites are punchy and grays are multi-staged and deep. The use of CGI and green screens softens some elements during wide angle pans but I never found it to be overtly distracting. I found the quality of the video to be high. It isn't always razor sharp but it's cleanly rendered with plenty of subtle refinement and delineation that enhanced depth and revealed fine detail in objects, clothing, and physical features. Blacks are dynamic and gradationally revealing which combines with excellent detail in low light and shadowy backgrounds to provide a strong sense of dimension.
The DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is demonstration quality and is sure to please those who like to play their systems loud. This recording has wide dynamic range and boasts superlative clarity and high level detail. Dialogue is definitive and appreciably lucid through the center channel as it penetrates well into the room. I never had any trouble distinguishing changes in the pitch or inflection of voices. Channel separation and imaging is excellent. This draws out both large and small sound elements and allows their directional correlation based upon the onscreen events to be definable. The mix makes effective and often aggressive use of the surround channels to reproduce the spatial and discrete sounds contained in this demanding soundtrack. The listening position is submerged into a 360 degree web of sound that is sometimes riveting as it bombards the senses with a combination of discretely placed near field and panning sound effects. This is a dynamically charged sound mix that utilizes low frequency effects to provide occasionally prodigious bass capable of viscerally potent impact. This a rewarding and reference quality audio presentation that is guaranteed to rock your home theater.
- Director's cut
- BD-Live access
- Theatrical cut
- (HD) Maximum Movie Mode - An uncompromising 360 degree look at the film and its production as described by Director McG as the film plays out. It includes facts, inside/behind the scenes information and is far from your everyday run of the mill BonusView track. It is broken down into 9 segments (see below) that can also be viewed independently.
- (HD) Focus points:
- Digital destruction
- Enlisting the Air force
- Molten metal and the science of simulation
- Building the gas station
- Creating the VLA attack
- Exploding Serena's lab in miniature
- An icon returns
- Terminator factory
- Stan Winston shop
- Napalm blast
- (HD) Reforging the future - 19 minute featurette
- (HD) The Moto-Terminator - 8 minute featurette
- Digital Copy Bonus Disc
Terminator Salvation is an entertaining sci-fi action ride that offers fans a fresh take/new start on the popular Terminator film series. T2 remains my personal favorite but this isn't far behind thanks to a solid script, excellent special effects, and good casting/direction. Warner brings it to Blu-ray Disc featuring tumultuous and reference quality DTS-HD Master Audio lossless surround sound and excellent high definition video quality. There is a multitude of production related Blu-ray Disc exclusive content onboard which includes Warner's Maximum Mode and both the theatrical and director's cuts of the film are present (Woo hoo!). This is a strong Blu-ray Disc offering from Warner that comes highly recommended.
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Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS20 1080p High Definition Front Projector (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)
Carada Precision Brilliant White 96" Screen
Anthem AVM50v THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-83 Universal disc/Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Oppo 970HD universal disc DVD Player (480i HDMI)
Philips TSU9400 Pro Series Touch Panel Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package