Blu-Ray Review: Catch Up on ‘Terminator’ Mythology With HD ‘T2: Judgment Day’

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CHICAGO – I’m far from alone in my generation when I say that “T2: Judgment Day” rocked my world. I vividly remember seeing it as a teenager and absolutely loving every minute of it. That’s why I reacted so harshly to the disappointing “Terminator: Salvation,” a film that produces none of the jaw-dropping awe of the James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger classics. With a perfect Blu-Ray release for a beloved ’90s action masterpiece, go back to the best with “T2: Judgment Day - Skynet Edition”. Blu-Ray Rating: 5.0/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 5.0/5.0

The back of the Blu-Ray edition of “T2” pretty much says it all - “The Special Effects Epic That Changed Action Movies Forever”. What more do you need to know? Honestly, “T2” is the kind of film that I would think those of you that are on the frontline of the next-gen wave of HD would place high on a list of most-wanted Blu-Ray titles. The good news is that it lives up to expectations. This is a must-own.

T2: Judgment Day - Skynet Edition
“T2: Judgment Day - Skynet Edition” was released on Blu-Ray on May 19th, 2009.
Photo credit: Lionsgate

The Blu-Ray release of “T2: Judgment Day” is a schedule-clearer. In other words, if you really want to fully experience the wonders of this edition, you’re going to need to cancel plans.

Of course, it all starts with the film itself, available in either the theatrical version of the 1993 special edition version that runs 16 minutes longer. Both versions are presented in 1080P High Definition with all new English 6.1 DTS-HD Master Audio tracks. There has been some controversy over the quality of the picture compared to previous versions (best recapped by the great Digital Bits).

Unlike Bill, I don’t have the previous version to compare to, but the video looks amazing to me and the audio is even more remarkable. The DTS mix is an Earth-shaker, perfectly mixing score, effects, and dialogue. It’s one of the best audio tracks yet produced. Flawless.

As for the film itself, it features a descriptive narrative audio for the blind, an audio commentary with director James Cameron and co-writer William Wisher, an audio commentary with 26 cast/crew members, D-Box Metadata Track to connect to D-Box Motion-Based Systems, and a THX Optimizer to configure your home theater setup.

Not bad but it’s just the tip of the metal forehead of this glorious Blu-Ray cyborg. How does over 8 hours of interactive special features sound? Overload? Yeah, a little bit but there’s nothing a fan could ask for after this edition.

Start with over 140 minutes of behind-the-scenes video and multimedia galleries accessible through “Interactive Modes,” an amazing array of material that can be viewed picture-in-picture as the film plays. Viewers can access interviews, the screenplay, storyboards, trivia, and more as the movie plays.

BD-Live opens “T2” up to a world of more material including quizzes, games, and bonus content through an internet-connected player.

As someone who has reviewed hundreds of Blu-Ray and DVD releases, I am rarely overwhelmed by a home release, but “T2: Judgment Day” is nearly exhausting in its scope. With the two different versions, variety of commentary tracks and multiple ways to watch behind-the-scenes material, you could watch “T2: Judgment Day” in a different way every time you pick up the Blu-Ray release. The film itself looks remarkably fresh, nowhere close to its nearly-two-decade age. And a release like this one will keep this action classic alive for the HD generation.

Also released last week on standard DVD from LionsGate to coincide with the “Skynet Edition” of “T2: Judgment Day” is a box set of special editions of three other Arnie films - “Red Heat,” “The Running Man,” and “Total Recall”.

‘T2: Judgment Day’ is released by LionsGate Home Video and stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Robert Patrick, and Edward Furlong. It was written by James Cameron & William Wisher and directed by James Cameron. The “Skynet Edition” Blu-Ray was released on May 19th, 2009. It is rated R. content director Brian Tallerico

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Terminator Salvation

the best part of Terminator Salvation had to be the visual effect (big surprise), the detail was pretty amazing

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