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Terminator 2: Skynet Edition (Blu-ray Review)

12 May, 2009 By: John Latchem


Street 5/19/09
Action Sci-Fi
Box Office $204.8 million
$29.99 Blu-ray, $174.99 Collector’s Set
Rated ‘R’ for strong sci-fi action and violence, and for language.
Stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Robert Patrick, Edward Furlong, Joe Morton.

As inventive as the first Terminator was in 1984, the second film in 1991 really is the crux of the franchise. Between the shape-shifting T-1000 to the visual depiction of nuclear holocaust, and even to the notion of reprogramming the Terminators, Terminator 2: Judgment Day laid a fertile groundwork for not only future sequels, but an entertaining TV spinoff as well.

This new Blu-ray presentation blows the 2006 release out of the water. The effects look amazing and grain is kept to a minimum, despite the film being nearly 20 years old. Most of what is on this disc is already out there but has never really been put together before in a way that Blu-ray Disc allows. There are three different cuts of the film on the disc, including the theatrical version and director James Cameron’s extended special edition.

There’s also a hidden third version, which is the special edition re-edited with an alternate ending that would have made further sequels difficult. This version requires a code to unlock it, but attentive viewers shouldn’t have trouble figuring it out. Just pay attention during the opening monologue.

The disc also includes two previously available commentary tracks. One is an assembled commentary with soundbytes from 26 cast and crew members, available on the first DVD release in 2000.

The second is a traditional sit-down retrospective with Cameron and co-writer William Wisher, recorded for the 2003 DVD release. Cameron admits that he thinks the theatrical version works best, but it was too much fun to not play around with extended cuts. The commentary has been seamlessly edited so as to fit either the theatrical or extended version of the film.

Unique to this new Blu-ray are several interactive functions, beginning with a loading screen that displays a map of the user’s location and info about the Internet provider (assuming the BD player is connected). The interactive modes give viewers the option to play the film with a multitude of on-screen guides, from basic factoids to a trivia contest, to games that take viewers away from the film and into puzzles and activities that relate to the scene.

There are probably a few fans who won’t care about any of this and who are content to keep the Blu-ray they already have with the theatrical version. But anyone holding off in anticipation of something special will want to pick up this one.

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