Blu-ray Capsule Review: Terminator Salvation

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Terminator Salvation

QUICK THOUGHTS: Terminator Salvation as a film is no better on Blu-ray than it was in theaters when I gave it a “D” review, but I will say watching it in the comfort of my own home is far less annoying than it was when I had to endure it’s stupidity at the cinema. Of course, at that time it was a major letdown. Now, I know exactly what to expect, a film made up of action set pieces completely devoid of anything resembling an intelligent storyline. As long as you are cool with that this film delivers.

On Blu-ray the action is just as impressive as it was in theaters outside of a few complaints I won’t even worry about getting into here as you can read my theatrical review for those details. The visuals of the film are equally impressive and I still think DP Shane Hurlbut deserves some recognition for creating a post-apocalyptic world with real character, especially after enduring the wrath of Bale.

Sometimes big dumb action films are just what the doctor ordered. This one is mediocre in those terms and such films are typically letdowns for me in theaters. Perhaps this is a film that will one day become a guilty pleasure, but for now it remains in my dog house.

SUPPLEMENTS: I’m impressed with the supplementary material on this Blu-ray release even though they may appear limited at first glance. As listed you get a featurette looking at the making and execution of the Moto-Terminator, a featurette looking at the re-imagining of the Terminator franchise and a look at the film in “Maximum Movie Mode.” Fortunately for fans this is much more than just a three-feature disc.

The two featurettes are self-explanatory, but the “Maximum Movie Mode” is another director-guided look at the film much like what was done with Warner’s release of Watchmen on Blu-ray. Director McG will occasionally come on screen and discuss a scene along with the presentation of picture-in-picture interviews and behind-the-scenes looks, storyboards and continuous commentary. On top of that it includes a Terminator mythology timeline, which any fan of the franchise is sure to get a kick out of. It’s a MUCH better way for this material to be presented rather than continuing the monotony of making-of featurettes. Of course, you can still watch the picture-in-picture featurettes individually using the disc’s menu system, but why do that? It has become so tiresome to watch how they created special effect shots, which is really all the majority of these features boil down to. It’s information we already know and need very little of continuing forward unless we are talking about the advent of bullet-time or whatever it is James Cameron’s bringing us with Avatar.

On top of this you also get two versions of the film, which includes the director’s cut which offers very little in terms of anything new outside of the much talked about (and useless) nude scene featuring Moon Bloodgood (featured directly above), which was cut in order to secure a PG-13 rating. I should also note the “Maximum Movie Mode” is presented on the theatrical cut.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Overall I would instantly recommend this disc to those that enjoyed Terminator Salvation in theaters. It is an excellent transfer and will look great on your HD flat screens. However, if you weren’t a fan in theaters I don’t think the “comfort of your own home” exception weighs large enough to make this a must buy. I will say I had more fun with it at home than I did in theaters, but a lot of that had to do with the fact I was able to check my email and browse the Internet when the story really started to get dull.

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