Ralph Potts reviews the Ultra HD Blu-ray release of the explosive new chapter in the Terminator franchise that brought Arnold Schwarzenegger back in the role that made him a superstar.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Audio/UHD Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )


Studio and Year: Paramount - 2015
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 125 minutes
Genre: Sci-Fi/Action

Disc Format: BD-66
Encoding: HEVC
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1, French/Spanish/Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish, French, Portuguese
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jason Clarke, Jai Courtney, J.K. Simmons
Directed by: Alan Taylor
Music by: Lorne Balfe
Written by: Laeta Kalogridis & Patrick Lussier
Region Code: A

Release Date: June 12, 2018
"The Rules Have Been Reset…"
My Take:

I Reviewed Terminator Genisys when it was originally released on Blu-ray and have included my comments from that review here. The ratings for the film, Atmos sound and bonus content will be the same as they are identical to the original release. New comments and ratings for the new Ultra HD video are below.

When John Connor (Jason Clarke), leader of the human resistance, sends Sgt. Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back to 1984 to protect Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) and safeguard the future, an unexpected turn of events creates a fractured timeline. Now, Sgt. Reese finds himself in a new and unfamiliar version of the past, where he is faced with unlikely allies, including the Guardian (Arnold Schwarzenegger), dangerous new enemies, and an unexpected new mission: To reset the future...

"New Mission, New Threat, New Fate." That was the tagline line of this summer's release of Terminator Genisys. As badly as I wanted to get out to the theater to see it I was out voted on several occasions in favor of other films and subsequently never made it. It's release on Blu-ray gave me something to look forward to so I waited, impatiently. I have found that the casting in the Terminator films to be essential and when I saw that Jason Clarke, Emilia Clarke and Jai Courtney were in place along with Arnold I had high hopes.

Hmmm, I really wanted to love this film but man its muddled script left a lot to be desired. I guess it's intended to be a reboot of sorts but it pulls a bit too far from the narrative roots of its predecessors. If you try and decipher the chronology you'll wind up with a headache as the coinciding events as described don't line up. There are a couple of who's and when's, that aren't explained satisfactorily. Such as, who sent "Pops the Guardian" to save Sarah from the T1000 in the altered 1973? Exactly WHEN did the fracture that altered everything occur (purportedly when Reese enters the Skynet time travel device but…)?

I didn't care for the concept of young Reese, the fragmented glimpses of a past that "could" be and the rather corny connection that was established between that, Genisys, adult Reese and Sarah's past. I actually cringed when Sarah stopped young Reese and his parents (on the stairs as they were exiting the police station) in order to make sure that minute detail was emphasized. I won't mention the whole father daughter thing between Sarah and the "Guardian". I didn't find a lot of crafty writing and conceptually strong material designed to balance what appeared to be a solid platform with which to launch a new beginning here, with the narrative threads that began with the first two films. It just kind of jumps off, tossing things in there without providing the kind of viable details that fans of the series would require.

Was I disappointed in Terminator Genisys? Yes, I was. Did I dislike it? Not really. As with the other films in the series, there is ample action, entertaining special effects and a fun familiarity, most of which revolves around Arnold. I liked Jason, Emilia and Jai although the chemistry between the two of them wasn't nearly as good as between Linda Hamilton and Michael Biehn. J.K. Simmons might as well have not been in the film at all as his character was a waste of time. Poor conceived or not the pacing was on point and the plot had enough going for it to keep me interested. I didn't much care for the ending and hope that if there is another installment that we see a more cohesive and well-rounded effort.

Replay Value:
Parental Guide:

The rating is for intense sequences of sci-vi violence and gunplay throughout, partial nudity and brief strong 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.**

UHD Presentation(HDR-10): 86
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
  • HDR: Dark Highlights:
  • HDR: Bright Highlights:
  • HDR: Expanded Color:
  • Resolution: 
  • Visual Impact: 
UHD Presentation (Dolby Vision): 88
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
  • HDR: Dark Highlights:
  • HDR: Bright Highlights:
  • HDR: Expanded Color:
  • Resolution: 
  • Visual Impact: 
Dolby Atmos Rating: 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
  • Level of immersion: 
  • Soundstage integration: 
  • Audio object placement: 
  • Effectiveness: 
  • Entertainment factor: 
Terminator Genisys comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Paramount Home Media Distribution featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 channel sound.

For its presentation in Ultra HD Terminator Genisys was derived from 2.8K/3.4K sources, rendered from a 2K DI, and up-converted to 4K. Terminator Genisys is a stylized sci-fi action film that was shot with a specific visual aesthetic in mind and that comes through here. This film has a teal splashed aesthetic, making use of dark greens, black, and gray, with the occasional use of more vivid elements. This is primarily a dark film and its low-level sequences had excellent depth and dimension. The use of HDR was good but, not among the best applications that I have seen. The presentation incorporates a series of action-based set pieces where dark interstitials are offset by vivid bright elements and they come off very well. The use of shadows mixed with streaming light looked very natural also.

Resolution gets a boost although the differences between the UHD and 1080p renderings aren’t staggering. Close-ups tend to be better refined with resolvable texture in the various interior/exterior sets and physical features being a bit easier to detect. I believe that what we are seeing is a faithful rendering of the film’s elements, which when all is said and done, is all we can ask for. The question now becomes, is the Ultra HD version worth considering over the Blu-ray? I would say that if you’re a fan, and truly want to own Terminator Genisys in its finest form, the answer is, yes. If you’re happy with the Blu-ray and are hoping for a night and day difference, the UHD rendering may disappoint you.

Dolby Vision vs HDR-10:

I utilize the TCL 55P607 UHD Dolby Vision HDR flat panel in my review system to enable me to compare the visual quality of titles that contained the Dolby Vision metadata versus its HDR-10 counterpart on the same disc. All titles are first watched via my JVC front projector. I then select specific scenes which are watched on the TCL, first via HDR-10 then via Dolby Vision. The TCL isn’t among the top tier flat panels with DV, however it came recommended by AVS Senior Editor Mark Henninger, and calibrates/performs extremely well for a set at its price point.

* The cumulative A/V score will still be based upon the HDR-10 rating, with the DV rating serving as informational only for now.*

Comparing the DV and HDR-10 presentations for Terminator Genisys, I found the HDR to be close, but felt that the DV rendering edged out the HDR-10 presentation. Much of this came when comparing the same scenes and finding that the rendering of the gradations in the white detail and specular highlights were better delineated. I wouldn’t categorize the difference as stark but, it was enough that it caught my attention. The reproduction of color, blacks and shadow detail was roughly the same for each. I felt both look solid but, would say that the DV rendering was my preference.

For those not familiar with the details regarding Ultra HD Blu-ray you can refer to my article that includes some pertinent data on the subject. Here is the link:

Ultra HD Blu-ray Has Come to AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Bonus Features:
  • Disc 1: Terminator Genisys Ultra HD Blu-ray
  • Disc 2: Terminator Genisys Blu-ray
    • Reset the Future: Constructing Terminator Genisys
    • Paradigm Shift
    • Family Dynamics
    • Old. Not Obsolete.
    • Tactical Apparel
    • A Once and Future War
    • Infiltration and Termination
    • Manipulating Matter
    • Exiles in Time
    • Battle on the Bridge: Multi-Angle Scene Breakdown
    • Angle 1: Previsualization
    • Angle 2: On the Set
    • Angle 3: Previsualization/Final Film Composite
  • Digital Copy
Final Thoughts:

Terminator Genisys is the fifth installment in the iconic Terminator film franchise. Conceptually speaking it had good potential but inevitably suffers from a middling script. Be that as it may I still managed to find entertaining elements in the muddled story, entertaining action and typically fun special effects. It is making its Ultra HD Blu-ray debut in this Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack from Paramount Home Media Distribution, featuring a faithful video rendering (which includes Dolby Vision HDR) that makes the most of the source material, a terrific Dolby Atmos immersive sound mix, and legacy supplemental material. As a fan, I am pleased to own Terminator Genisys in Ultra HD. For those considering an upgrade, I would recommend a rental prior to purchase to determine if the difference in video quality justifies it.
Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from  Spectracal )
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Emotiva XPA-7 Gen 3 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems