Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (The Ultimate Edition)

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
10 out of 10
Extras Rating:
9 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

Starring:
Arnold Schwarzenegger as T-800 Model 101
Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor/Narrator
Edward Furlong as John Connor
Robert Patrick as The T-1000
Earl Boen as Dr. Peter Silberman
Joe Morton as Miles Bennett Dyson
S. Epatha Merkerson as Tarissa Dyson
Castulo Guerra as Enrique Salceda
Danny Cooksey as Tim
Jenette Goldstein as Janelle Voight
Xander Berkeley as Todd Voight
Leslie Hamilton Gearren as T-1000 Sarah
Ken Gibbel as Douglas

The DVD:
I finally got a chance to check out the Terminator 2 – Judgment Day Ultimate Edition DVD. (Say that three times fast!) It is definitely an impressive package that any Terminator fan will want to add to their collection. A fine attention to detailed was given to this presentation. As you move from section to section, there are some very cool computer animated scenes that lead you along. For example, some sections open with the Cyberdine Systems logo. Then, in some areas, it is set within the future. You go inside Skynet and view the manufacture of Terminators, the central computer of Skynet, and more. It’s very well presented.

There are a couple of new features added since previous editions of T2. They include a documentary on the making of T2: 3-D, the MCA/Universal 3D movie and show at the theme park in Florida. I have yet to see the show, but this gives you a pretty good idea of what it is about. The documentary goes into detail on the combination of live action and film, the 3-D effects, bringing the cast together, and more. It was also fun to see James Cameron at work in doing everything from directing to helping dress the set. There are even a few blooper shots of Schwarzenegger dropping his gun while doing that cool flip/reload move. If you haven’t seen the show, the basic premise is that the T-1000 pursues John Connor, Sarah, and the good Terminator into the future. The heroes encounter a bunch of new robotic weaponry and even face Skynet itself. If you haven’t seen this in Florida, this is a cool glimpse that will motivate you to go.

Also included on the disc are the trailers for T2. All three versions are included. These are a great treat because they have exclusive footage that was filmed just for the trailer and didn’t appear in the movie. This includes a scene showing the construction of a Terminator. To top it off, Japanese versions of the trailers are also included.

Another new features is the new option of Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround EX or DTS 5.1 ES. I can’t comment on the sound just yet because I’ve only been able to view the DVD on my computer. Yes, it is a sin, but there you have it. :)

Besides these new additions, there’s also the good stuff we have seen from previous Terminator DVDs. The film kicks off with a special T2 related THX intro. You can watch the theatrical version of T2 or the Special Edition version which includes around 15 minutes of new footage. This includes a dream sequence featuring Kyle Reese, an incredible sequence where Sarah and John pull a chip out of the Terminator’s head and flip a switch to make him learn, more footage of Miles Dyson, and more. One of the other treats is seeing more of the effects of the T-1000. After being frozen and blown to bits, we see him having problems functioning. He begins to mimic things he touches like the floor, gratings, and railings at the steel mill.

The audio commentary is really well done and provides unique insight into all aspects of the film. We learn about certain types of camera shots, lighting effects, CG effects, and other technical aspects of the film. But we also learn more about the characters and their motivations, the stunts, the locations, and other cool stuff. I particularly liked the commentary on in jokes such as the gas station in the film featuring the “Benthic Petroleum” logo – the name of the oil company from The Abyss. The chemical storage drums used for the explosions towards the end featured a name that was a tip of the hat to Sean Connery’s Outland. They also pointed out cameos by one of the co-writers, Schwarzenegger’s assistant, real bikers, and more. The commentary also explains why some of the scenes were cut and why other scenes were added after test screenings. 26 cast and crew members ranging from Cameron himself to the police advisor on the film provide the commentary. By having such a variety of people, it gives a much broader perspective on the whole filming process and the final product.

Included as extras on the DVD are tons of storyboards, the screenplay on the film, and a web interface that points you to Terminator related things on the internet. Documentaries on the making of the film provide some cool behind-the-scenes footage. Of particular interest to fans should be the notes and video clips on every aspect of the creation of the film from getting the rights to it all the way to the merchandising.

The DVD also features Easter Eggs – hidden features that can only be accessed by hitting certain codes on your DVD player. One set of codes allows the movie to play with a couple of extra scenes – a shot of the T-1000 searching John Connor’s room and another “happy ending” that does not allow room for a sequel. You can check out more about these at IGN DVD.

All in all, Terminator is back and better than ever. This is one you won’t want to miss.

Order this DVD @ Amazon

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