Top

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (a J!-ENT 4K Ultra HD Review)

December 28, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Terminator 2: Judgment Day” is a magnificent, classic James Cameron sci-fi action film.  And as the film had various releases on DVD and Blu-ray, unfortunately this is not the perfect 4K Ultra HD release that fans may have wanted.  The film would stand on its own but this 4K Ultra HD release defeats the point of being a great release with the overuse of DNR.

Images courtesy of © 2017 Lionsgate. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: Terminator 2: Judgment Day

DATE OF FILM RELEASE: 1991

DURATION: 137 Minutes

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 2160p 4K Ultra High Definition, 2:40:1 aspect ratio, English, French 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, German 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio.  SUBTITLES: English, Spanish, French and German Subtitles

COMPANY: Lionsgate

RATED: R (Strong Sci-Fi Action and Violence and For Language)

RELEASE DATE: December 26, 2017


Directed by James Cameron

Written by James Cameron, William Wisher

Producer: James Cameron

Executive Producer: Gale Ann Hurd, Mario Kassar

Co-Producer: Stephanie Austin, B.J. Rack

Music by Brad Fiedel

Cinematography by Adam Greenberg

Edited by Conrad Buff IV, Dody Dorn, Mark Goldblatt, Richard A. Harris

Casting by Mali Finn

Production Design by Joseph C. Nemec III

Art Direction by Joseph P. Lucky

Set Decoration by John M. Dwyer

Costume Design by Marlene Stewart


Starring:

Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Terminator

Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor

Edward Furlong as John Connor

Robert Patrick as T-1000

Earl Boen as Dr. Silberman

Joe Morton as Miles Dyson

S. Epatha Merkerson as Tarissa Dyson

Castuolo Guerra as Enrique Salceda

Danny Cooksey as Tim

Jenette Goldstein as Janelle Voight

Xander Berkeley as Todd Voight


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, TITANIC), this visual tour de force is also a touching human story of survival.


For those who grew up during the early years of cable television, James Cameron’s 1984 film “Terminator” shocked and electrified audiences with its special effects and the film’s final scenes.

When it was announced that a sequel was being planned and would be released in 1991, bringing back Arnold Schwarzenegger reprising his role as the Terminator and Linda Hamilton, reprising her role as Sarah Connor.

Suffice to say, the second installment of the “Terminator” franchise didn’t disappoint.  Earning $523.7 million in the box office, which was a huge box office success and earning critical acclaim.

The film would also star a young Edward Furlong (“Detroit Rock City”, “American History X”), Robert Patrick (“The Faculty”, “The Marine”, “Charlie’s Angels”) and Joe Morton (“Justice League”, “Paycheck”, “Speed”) and the film has been released on video via theatrical version, special edition and extended special edition on VHS, LD, DVD, Blu-ray and now on 4K Ultra HD.

And I will be reviewing the 4K Ultra HD version.  It’s important to note that the 4K Ultra HD version features the original theatrical version, but it’s included Blu-ray includes all three versions of the film.

The film is set in 1995, John Connor (portrayed by Edward Furlong) is living with his foster parents and tends to get into trouble.  Meanwhile, his mother, Sarah (portrayed by Linda Hamilton) was arrested and imprisoned at a mental hospital after attempting to bomb a computer factory.

Prior to that, John’s mother had been preparing him for his role as the Human Resistance Leader against Skynet, the artificial intelligence that will be given control of the United States nuclear missile technology and would initiate a nuclear holocaust known as “Judgment Day” on August 29, 1997.

With 3 billion humans killed, Skynet would create robots known as Terminators to kill humankind.  But fighting them is the Human Resistance and in the future, John sends a reprogrammed T-800 Terminator (portrayed by Arnold Schwarzenegger) to find and protect his younger self back in 1995.

But Skynet sends a new Terminator known as T-1000 back in time to kill John Connor and this time, the Terminator is made out of mimetic poly-alloy (liquid metal), so this new Terminator can take any shape and appearance and make any part of its body a weapon.  In this case, transforming his arms into blades.

The Terminator T-800 is able to trackdown John, who is running away from the T-1000 Terminator disguised as a police officer.  Because the Terminator follows John’s instructions, fearing that the T-1000 will kill his mother, John orders the Terminator to help him rescue his mother Sarah.

As the two are able to free Sarah, she is intent in finding Miles Bennett Dyson (portrayed by Joe Morton), the Cyberdyne Systems engineer responsible for creating Skynet.

But hot on their trail is the T-1000 intent in killing all of them.

Can Sarah, John and the T-800 survive against the T-1000?


VIDEO:

“Terminator 2: Judgment Day” is presented in 4K Ultra High Definition ala 2160p 4K Ultra High Definition (2:40:1 aspect ratio).

Picture quality was a bit of a surprise.  Digital Noise Reduction (DNR) was utilized for the clean up for the video and so, the film is devoid of the grain that it previously incorporated.  While casual viewers probably may not be able to tell, videophiles will notice the change in details as picture quality is a bit waxy.

IMPORTANT TO KNOW: To watch 4K Ultra HD, you will need a 4K UHD TV with HDR and an Ultra HD Blu-ray Player + a high-speed HDMI (Category 2) Cable.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

Lossless audio quality is very good with an English and French 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack and a German 6.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack.  With the high level of action featured in this film, may it be the T-800 vs. the T-1000 or the Terminator taking on the police with machine guns ablazing, this is no doubt an immersive action-driven soundtrack.

Subtitles are in English, English SDH, French and Spanish.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Terminator 2: Judgment Day” comes with the following special features (on the Blu-ray Disc):

  • T2: Reprogramming the Terminator – The Making of T2 Documentary from 1993 – (30:54) The original “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” documentary from 1993.
  • Deleted Scenes with Optional Audio commentary – (3:13) Two deleted scenes with optional audio commentary from James Cameron.

EXTRAS:

“Terminator 2: Judgment Day” comes with a slipcover, both the 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray disc and an UltraViolet Digital HD code (Theatrical Version).


“Terminator 2: Judgment Day” is one of those films that I watch often, mainly because it’s a film that brings me a lot of memories.

Going out on a movie date with my girlfriend, who would eventually become my wife.  Purchasing the film on VHS, LD, DVD, multiple times on Blu-ray and now once again watching it on 4K Ultra HD.

Of all the “Terminator” film installments, “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” resonates strongly for its storyline and character portrayals and it was an amazing follow-up to the first film.  It was James Cameron’s story, his vision and executed his way.  As for the other films that came after, unfortunately, other films were quite forgetful.

It’s a shame that director James Cameron never came back to “Terminator” soon after the 1991 release, but he, Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton will be back with the sequel to “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” in 2019 and for me, I just want to see the “Terminator” series done right and with James Cameron back, perhaps this is what the franchise had needed long ago.

But as I watch this film again, I still enjoyed it like I did when I was in my teens.  It’s an awesome sci-fi action film that builds upon the original and while there are plenty of action sequences, in today’s cinema world, which dominates many action films over its plot, Cameron wrote a film that balances its action with a storyline that matters.  A storyline that captivates you and a storyline that no doubt took advantage of the special effects of its time in its full efficacy.

Arnold Schwarzenegger was fantastic as the reprogrammed T-800 trying to protect a young John Connor while helping his toned mother, Sarah, portrayed by the toned, muscular Linda Hamilton showing us that she has become a strong female character that can kick a lot of arse. I remember watching her scenes and being amazed of how much she worked out for this film and at the time, showing us a strong female character that took matter into her own hands in order to get the job done.  That was really rare to see in the early ’90s.

You then had the debut of Edward Furlong who had a promising outlook to another young actor at the time, Leonardo DiCaprio but both with two different outcomes in their personal life and acting career.  And sure enough, it was James Cameron’s 1997 “Titanic” film starring DiCaprio that would shoot the young actor’s career into superstardom.  And you had Robert Patrick in one of the coolest antagonist roles at the time.

The film just worked as the action and storyline went smoothly but what James Cameron has planned for the next film, will be exciting to see.  And I look forward to seeing it.

As awesome this film was and how many times I have owned it, I have been looking forward to this 4K Ultra HD version.  As much as I enjoy this film, there are a few problematic things with this release that prevents it from being a five-star release.  All three films are presented in this release, but only on the Blu-ray disc.  The 4K Ultra HD version only showcases the original theatrical version.

The next unfortunate part of this release is the choice to utilize DNR to strip the film’s grain and for videophiles who care about picture quality, this is a no-no.  When you remove the DNR, things look waxy and this may be fine for the casual viewer but for those who invested in 4K Ultra HD, the experience in watching these films in the best way and as close to the original presentation is important.  So, why the choice to use DNR, I am not sure but it affected the picture quality of this release.

But again, all is not lost, as you do get the three versions: theatrical, special edition and extended special edition on the Blu-ray disc and you do get an UltraViolet Digital HD code for the theatrical version.

As for lossless audio, the film sounds great especially how immersive things become during the more action-driven scenes in the film.  So, that’s a plus!

As for special features, the original 1991 documentary and two deleted scenes with optional commentary can be found on the Blu-ray disc.

Overall, “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” is a magnificent, classic James Cameron sci-fi action film.  And as the film had various releases on DVD and Blu-ray, unfortunately this is not the perfect 4K Ultra HD release that fans may have wanted.  The film would stand on its own but this 4K Ultra HD release defeats the point of being a great release with the overuse of DNR.

Linda Hamilton invites Ray Lewis to Marine Corps Ball

July 19, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

With Betty White turning down the marine invitation to the ball because she is taping an episode of “Hot in Cleveland”, Linda Hamilton is now offering to go out to the ball with Ray Lewis in place of Betty. But will he accept?

The Terminator – Digibook version (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

May 13, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

James Cameron’s timeless sci-fi classic “The Terminator” will continue to entertain fans for generations to come. But while this digibook release marks the third Blu-ray release of the film, the Blu-ray is the same with the only difference is that it now comes in a digibook format.  If you have the previous versions on Blu-ray, you may not even need to bother with this release unless you are a hardcore fan or collector. But if you have never seen the film before,  then I definitely recommend checking this latest Digibook Blu-ray release for “The Terminator”!

Images courtesy of © 2010 Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: The Terminator

FILM RELEASE DATE: 1984

DURATION: 108 minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (widescreen 1:85:1), English PCM 5.1 (Uncompress Audio), English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Thai, Korean and Chinese

RATED: R

COMPANY: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc./Twentieth Century Fox

RELEASE DATE: May 10, 2011

Directed by James Cameron

Written by James Cameron and Gale Ann Hurd

Producer: Gale Anne Hurd

Executive Producer: John Daly, Derek Gibson

Music by Brad Fiedel

Cinematography by Adam Greenberg

Edited by Mark Goldblatt

Casting by Stanzi Stokes

Art Direction by George Costello

Set Decoration by Maria Rebman Caso

Costume Design by Hilary Wright

Starring:

Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Terminator

Michael Biehn as Kyle Reese

Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor

Paul Winfield as Lt. Ed Traxler

Lance Henriksen as Det. Hal Vukovich

Bess Motta as Ginger Ventura

Earl Boen as Dr. Peter Silberman

Rick Rossovich as Matt Buchanan

In the year 2029, the ruling super-computer, Skynet, sends an indestructible cyborg (Arnold Schwarzenegger) back in time to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) before she can fulfill her destiny and save mankind.

James Cameron, the mastermind of two of the highest earning films “Avatar” and “Titanic” began his writing/directing career with “Piranha Part Two: The Spawning” back in 1981 but the first film where he would be recognized internationally is for the 1984 film “The Terminator”.

Inspired by “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “Star Wars”, Cameron knew at a young age that he wanted to work on sci-fi films.  While working and editing “Piranha Part Two”, the filmmaker had a 102 degree fever and had nightmares of a chrome skeleton crawling through flames.  From that moment, “The Terminator” was born.

Crafting a screenplay which other Hollywood Studios were after, Cameron would not sell it unless he was able to direct.  No one wanted to give him the chance but his friend, producer Gale Ann Hurd, bought the rights to the screenplay, raised the finances and Cameron would be the director.

Created with a budget of $6.5 million, “The Terminator” would go on to make over $78 million.  A major success and also the synergy that would ignite the career of James Cameron who would go on to make “Aliens”, “The Abyss”, “Terminator 2: Judgment Day”, “True Lies” and then his two big record-breaking films “Titanic” and “Avatar”.

But as the film would be significant for Cameron, it would also ignite the careers of Arnold Schwarzenegger (“Predator”, “The Running Man”, “Total Recall”), Linda Hamilton (“Beauty and the Beast”, “Dante’s Peak”, “Terminator 2: Judgment Day”) and Michael Biehn (“The Abyss”, “The Rock”, “Aliens”).

The Blu-ray release of “The Terminator” came out in 2006.  In 2009, to mark the release of “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” on Blu-ray, a lenticular cover version of the Blu-ray was released.  And now we have a third version of “The Terminator” on Blu-ray which has the same Blu-ray release but it now comes with a digibook with essays, photos and trivia for the film.

“The Terminator” takes place in a post-apocalyptic time on Earth ravaged by war in 2029.  This time, it is the artificial intelligent machines that have conquered humanity and are planning to exterminate the entire human race.

But two people go back in time, to the year 1984.  One is the human resistance fighter Kyle Reese (played by Michael Biehn) and the other is the Terminator cyborg (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger) who was sent back in time to kill Sarah Connor, the woman who would raise John Connor, the leader of the human resistance against the machines in the future.

The Terminator does all he can to find Sarah Connor, by going through the phonebook and killing whoever has that name.  When the first two are killed, many worry about the third Sarah Connor in the phonebook.

As Sarah Connor (played by Linda Hamilton) is shocked to hear the news of a possible serial killer going after anyone with the name, she worries about her friend Ginger who is back at home with her boyfriend.  But it’s too late, the Terminator has murdered them and also intercepts Sarah’s phone call that she is at the club.

Immediately, the Terminator heads to the club to go after his target and as he is about to kill her, Kyle Reese barely saves her by pumping several shotgun shells on the Terminator but knowing that these weapons can only slow him but not defeat him.

John explains that his job is to protect her but she has a hard time believing that he is from the future and that a cyborg from the future is trying to kill her.  But Sarah quickly learns that Kyle is telling the truth and both do all they can to run and escape from the The Terminator.  But will Kyle be able to protect her against a foe that can’t be killed?

VIDEO:

It’s important to note that this third digibook Blu-ray release for “The Terminator” is the same Blu-ray from the second release.

Presented in 1080p High Definition (widescreen 1:85:1), like most films released in the early ’80s and are out on Blu-ray, not many films were able to utilize higher stock film.  In fact, despite the enormous success of “The Terminator”, one must remember that this was not a high budget Hollywood film, “The Terminator” was made with a budget of $6.5 million.   One thing you will notice is that this film has aged and there are scenes in which you can see the dust and speckles.

But still, the Blu-ray release does look better than any other video counterpart that the film was released in but with that being said, one thing that high definition does do for sci-fi films is also show the technology of the time.  In the case of “The Terminator”, the scene in which a rubber masked (life sized puppet?) head looks rubberized.  Granted, you can see detail of that mask, such as the lips and eyes but it was a scene that stood out back then in 1984 and it stands out even moreso in 2011.

“The Terminator” is not going to be the best looking film on Blu-ray but if you enjoy the film, this is the best looking version of the film to date.

AUDIO:

I know that many were hoping for a DTS-HD MA or Dolby TrueHD release of “The Terminator” since this is the third Blu-ray release of the film but this digibook version is the same Blu-ray presented like the previous two versions in the fact that “The Terminator” is in English 5.1 uncompressed and English and French 5.1 Dolby Digital.

With that being said, this is still the better version than its older video counterparts.  There are times when the surrounds are utilized during the action sequences, the music sequences and dialogue is clear even when the action sequences are much more audible.  But considering the age of this film and that it was originally a monaural soundtrack, it was nice to see them mix a 5.1 uncompressed soundtrack but it still maintains the same audio as the original 2006 Blu-ray release.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“The Terminator” comes with the following special features:

  • Creating the Terminator: Visual Effects & Music – (12:58) Presented in standard definition, this featurette goes into the making of the visual effects and the music for the film.
  • Terminator: A Retrospective –  (20:31) Presented in standard definition is an older retrospective and features James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger discussing the script and their memories of working on the first film.
  • Terminated Scenes – (9:56) Featuring a total of seven short scenes cut from the film.

EXTRAS:

“The Terminator” digibook version comes with a book (as part of its case) featuring James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton and Michal Biehn.  With images from the film, also included are the following essays: “James Cameron: Cinematic Terminator” by Richard Tanne and Tech Noir: The Dark Side of Techno” by Travis Baker.  Also, Terminator Trivia.

“The Terminator”, to tell you the truth, I don’t know how many times I have seen this film.  Having owned so many video versions, watching it on HBO as a kid and just playing that very popular scene of the Terminator emerging from the fire over and over again, needless to say, I really enjoyed this film.

Here we are 27-years-later and “The Terminator” receives its third Blu-ray release in five years.

But before I talk about the Blu-ray release, I just to first talk about James Cameron and how admirable he was by sticking to his guns and not selling the screenplay of “The Terminator” to the biggest bidder.  His goal and dream was to direct this film that he wrote and was unwilling to budge.

And when you learn about James Cameron, being poor, broke and taking odd jobs such as become a truck driver to live his dreams of wanting to get his foot in the door of filmmaking is very admirable.  While I’m sure at the time, when so much money was offered to him for “The Terminator” screenplay, I can imagine that family and friends have probably thought he was crazy to turn down the money.  But he stuck to his guns and “The Terminator” would pave the way for him to direct the even more awesome sequel “Terminator 2: Judgment Day”, “Aliens”, “True Lies” and eventually his two masterpieces “Titanic” and “Avatar”.

Sure, there are those who are not too passionate about James Cameron films but one has to admire how this filmmaker has stuck to his guns not just for “The Terminator” but for all his films, wanting to direct it the way he wants and nobody interfering.  There are not many directors who are given that much power but Cameron did it.

With “The Terminator”, with only $6.5 million, he was able to do it and as he did for this film and as he has done for every other film that he has written and directed, they have become box office hits.  Maybe the filmmaker has “The Midas Touch” but you have to give him his due, especially for his selection of talent.  Arnold Schwarzenegger has a lot to thank Cameron for his role in “The Terminator”, this film made him a superstar, an action star and sure enough, Schwarzenegger was one of the biggest stars of the ’90s.

Linda Hamilton and Michael Biehn would also benefit from their role on “The Terminator” and here we are 27-years-later, people still remember “The Terminator”, “Terminator” films are still being made and for any of us who grew up at the time and enjoyed this film, as a sci-fi fan, you can’t help but have this film in your collection.

Which brings me to this Blu-ray release, the third version of “The Terminator” and the question is if this release is worth it?

If you can still find the first Blu-ray version, you’ll notice that it’s being sold now for under $10.  The second version has the lenticular cover but same Blu-ray release and now this third version has a digibook.

I personally enjoy digibooks that go into the history of the film and come with a good number of pages.  In this case, you get about 24-pages worth of content.  From learning how James Cameron became the director of the film, how he got the idea to write the film and the memorable images from the film.

If you really love this film, I’m sure that you’re going to buy the digibook no matter what.  But for others who own previous versions of the film, it may not be priority but if you are collector, sometimes these digibooks go out of print quickly, so for collector’s, it may be worth it.

As for me, having three releases, many fans of the film have been wanting new special features, a better lossless soundtrack and a better remastering using today’s technology vs. what was around when Blu-ray first came onto the scene.

But there are no differences in content and features compared to its previous two Blu-ray releases but if you have been wanting to get this film, now’s the time to get the Digibook version (with the best cover of the three Blu-ray releases by far).n n Overall, If you haven’t purchased this Blu-ray yet or have not watched the film and are wanting to… then definitely pick up this Blu-ray release!

Bottom