T2 JUDGMENT DAY (BLU-RAY)
Reviewed by: JimmyO
What's it about
After surviving a murderous terminator bent on human destruction, Sarah Connor must learn to trust a similar model to protect her son John. And when a deadly new terminator comes along in the form, the three have to fight for a very difficult battle.
Is it good movie?
Terminator 2: Judgment Day was a major milestone in the history of cinema. The brilliant effects by Industrial Light and Magic were some of the most impressive ever seen on film at the time. It truly amazed and inspired filmgoers and critics alike. This 1991 classic represented a new era in filmmaking, yet it still carried a solid story with some strong performances, namely Linda Hamilton who will always be Sarah Connor to me. And then of course there was Arnold Schwarzenegger who was pretty bad ass at the time. Even if his Terminator was in for the good fight, and maybe a bit too cuddly for some folks liking, he was still Ahhhnold! As a sequel to The Terminator, Judgment Day raised the bar and still remained true to the classic that stood before. It is a never ending argument which film is better as some prefer the lesser effects and the originality of the first, while some just seem to want this explosive and yes, very impressive sequel. Personally, I think they both have their charm and each one is worthy of being considered a classic.
In case you are unaware and you’ve never seen any of the Terminator films, you are basically looking at a simple story of saving the world from the end… Judgment Day. When man‘s desire and constant search for bigger and better catches up with him and causes annihilation of the majority of humanity. Back in the 1980’s, nuclear war was always in the news and quite frankly, hearing that all the time can be a little terrifying. And with T2, director and writer, James Cameron had the ability to feed on those fears. This story of a massive war between man and machine is really quite timeless. And thankfully the human side has an advantage by the name of John Connor (Edward Furlong) who is destined to finally reign supreme over the machines. From the countless and always exciting chase sequences, including a bad ass truck vs. motorcycle bit, to the morphing terminator, the T-1000, played to evil perfection by Robert Patrick, this is a wonderfully exciting film. But again, there is a story first and the action and things blowing up supports that story which is why it works so well.
One of the problems or advantages (depending on the way you look at it) is that when something is this colossal of an event flick, you are guaranteed to have several versions released in whatever format is available. And with one T2 already on Blu-ray, it is hardly shocking that we now have the “Skynet Edition” which has way more bells and whistles on it than the previous release. Now I will get into the special features, but I will warn you, make sure that your Blu-ray player is up to date because if it is not, there is a more than likely chance that this disc will not play at all. And yes, that may irk those that are new to the Blu-ray world and aren’t “connected”. But with that, this is certainly a wonderful disc to own and it reminds me why this franchise could’ve ended here. Director James Cameron redefined the blockbuster with T2. A supremely successful action film that stands head and shoulders above the following chapters in this saga. I prefer to stick to parts one and two and pretend parts 3 and 4 are a completely different saga altogether.
Video / Audio
Video: While this 16x9 Widescreen, 2.35:1 looks very good, it seems like it should look a lot better being that this flick keeps getting re-issued. I guess they have to save the really amazing picture for the 30th anniversary of the film.
Audio: Here is where the improvement is clear. This DTS-HD Master Audio 6.1 is damn impressive. Now if only the video could’ve matched it.
As for the extras, the main one would be that you get three different versions of the film. At the time of writing this, I preferred the “Director’s Cut” and I’m not sure if the many versions are as warranted as say Blade Runner or George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead to name two. But if you are a super huge fan, this will not disappoint.
When it comes to Audio Commentaries, this disc offers up a couple of them waiting for you to listen, including this particular one which was on the previous edition. It is James Cameron’s first ever commentary which is actually worth checking out again. He is joined by co-writer William Wysher and it makes for a very insightful couple of hours.
Next comes a whopper of a commentary track. It includes a barrage of 26 cast and crew members including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton and Edward Furlong among others. I had the most fun with this due to the fact that so many people are involved (recorded separately btw) that you can’t help but listening in, especially since most of them are interesting enough to make it worth your time.
As far as Deleted Scenes, the Skynet edition offers up a couple of unnecessary sequences that are just good for passing interest. The last is an alternate ending with Linda Hamilton looking old and talking about peace, love and harmony or something like that. You can watch this with or without commentary from Robert Patrick and Ms. Hamilton.
Here is where it gets groovy. With all the previously released 140 minutes or so of behind-the-scenes video and multimedia galleries can all be watched with PIP (Picture in Picture) feature, you can warrant a couple extra viewings. I’m a fan of this as it feels like a visual commentary track. Too bad there was nothing new that they could’ve added. Additionally, you can watch the sometimes interesting (depending on the film) Storyboard-Script mode. Again, I really liked this feature. I love when Blu-ray adds a bunch of bleeps and blips to have fun with although, this could have been simplified here. After awhile, it gets a tad confusing navigating through all of it. And there is much, much more to look at, including Trivia, Trailers and a bunch more for the Terminator fan in all of us. And with BD LIVE, there promises to be a whole Skynet Data Center.
T2: Judgment Day is a classic action film that has stood the test of time quite well. Mainly because it exists as a complete and compelling story underneath the explosions and groovy violence. It is made even better by James Cameron’s tight direction and a terrific performance by Linda Hamilton. And of course, it had Ahhhnold when he was cool and bad ass. While the Skynet Edition is pretty jam-packed, the video isn’t as good as it should’ve been, and the extras are awesome yet sometimes difficult to navigate. I won’t say that this is the definitive edition, because you never know what “new” footage may come out of the woodwork. But this is still worth purchasing for the T2 junkie.