has an average rating of 8.1 on IMDb
1080p in MPEG-2 on a 25gb disc
Uncompressed Linear PCM 5.1
– 108 minutes
– Sony (originally MGM)
Overall Verdict – A Classic Worth Owning
— Review written by Brendan Surpless
The Movie Itself is directed by James Cameron (known for Numerous classics including “Titanic“, “True Lies” and “The Abyss“). If you don’t know what the original “Terminator” film is about by know, I’ll still tell you. If you haven’t seen the film, for some reason, drop everything right now and go watch. Anyhow, the original “Terminator” sees our old California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger staring in the main role as the evil, villainous Terminator. The Terminator has been sent back to the year 1984 with one goal in mind. He must eliminate, at all costs, one Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) so she can’t give birth to the eventual leader of the rebellion against the machines, her son John Connor. Luckily for Sarah, and unfortunately for the Terminator, a protector has also been sent back. Kyle Reese (Michael Bien) is sent back to stop this villainous figure all while trying to convince Sarah that he means no harm.
As the Terminator searches for Sarah Connor, Kyle must be careful as to how he approaches Sarah. As Sarah quickly learns, someone is out to get her as she finds out that another woman, by the name of Sarah Connor, has been killed. This causes her to think someone is obviously out to get her. Sarah decides to go out by herself and ends up at a club called TechNoir after seeing someone following her (This happens to be Kyle who wants to protect her). The Terminator, naturally always one step ahead of Kyle and Sarah, has already found out where she is when Sarah calls her roommate Ginger (who the Terminator killed thinking it was Sarah). The TechNoir club scene has one of the most skillful scenes in an action film. Sarah is waiting at the club for the police to arrive. When Sarah drops a cup and bends down to pick it up, Cameron slows down the action to see that the Terminator was, literally, a few steps away from Sarah. Talk about a scary and convincing scene.
Looking more and more into the film, I found it interesting how stars like O.J. Simpson was one considered for the role of the Terminator. Even Michael Bien was billed as the villain, but once Cameron met the towering Schwarzenegger one day at lunch, he knew he had his villain placed out. Considering this was the film that launched Schwarzenegger’s American career, Schwarzenegger has a scary, tall, deathly look that he brings to this machine. As he walks around, he never changes his facial tone, rarely speaks, and always seems to evoke a terror in the audience. I remember originally seeing the film in the early 90’s when I was 5-6. Schwarzenegger was very terrifying and convincing as this villain. If you need to be convinced that Schwarzenegger was a great actor at one point in his life, see films like this or “The Predator” for more evidence.
“The Terminator” is the prime example of a fine action, sci-fi film. The film has an excellent, haunting score by composer Brad Fiedel, fine director by James Cameron, good acting on all parts, incredible, tense action scenes, and a pretty interesting story. If you haven’t seen this film, slap yourself for not doing so, and then run to your local store and don’t rent but buy an immediate copy of this classic.
Video Quality on this release is 1080p in MPEG-2 on a 25GB Single-Layered Disc. Having owned “The Terminator” on nearly all formats (minus Laserdisc), I feel confident in knowing how the movie is suppose to look. But imagine my shock when I popped in this Blu-ray version and noticed a solid improvement over the DVD counterpart. While a majority of the film’s grain has been cleaned up (which doesn’t really stand as a huge positive in my book as both myself and Justin are against any studio that uses DNR filters) resulting in what some newbie fans might deem as the type of picture that “Blu-ray deserves and requires”. With MGM (Sony) doing this to a classic movie of this nature is just disturbing in my eye. But I’m not really going to get too into this. Now onto the others positives of this transfer.
Colors are solid for the most part. With this being a “darker” film so to speak I noticed that a majority of the colors did hold up. The most obvious color of black looks good enough but seemed to lack an overall spark. Now this could be because of the age of the film (24 years) or how exactly the movie was shot (35mm negative). Also something that hi-def does to this movie is overly showcase how cheesy some of the effects look. Bah maybe I’m nitpicking. Anyhow this earns a solid “3.5 Star Rating“.
Audio Quality on this release is in Uncompressed Linear PCM 5.1 Surround. Now this is a huge annoyance for myself. I remember purchasing the Special Edition DVD back in 2003 and noticing how the original Mono track sounded BETTER than the 5.1 track. Bullets sounded tiny and felt like little pings instead of actual sound effects. Imagine my annoyance that MGM (Sony) decided not to include the Mono track on this Blu-ray release!!
Since a majority of the film contains explosions and firey action, little items like the scrapping of the endoskeleton after being hit with the truck toward the end, sound extremely scary and lovely at the same time. The Dynamic range has been improved quite a bit, if that was possible. Bullets crash into glasses, cars smash into walls, tankers explode, motorcycles rev and zoom, all while our ears try to keep up with the effects. Dialogue, while being partially muted in the prior release and somewhat tough to understand in some of the louder scenes, has been completely restored and fixed up.
Still despite my annoyance of the lack of the original Mono track I can’t help but feel that this might be the best “The Terminator” will ever sound. Another solid “3.5 Star Rating“.
- The Terminator: A Retrospective: This eighteen minute documentary sees Cameron and Schwarzenegger give us a lot of information from their respective 1986 and 1992 interviews. The film’s concepts, Arnold originally casted as the hero, and how the film came about are addressed here.
- Other Voices: Back Through Time: This longer documentary, topping out at sixty minutes, focuses on a lot of recollections from the cast, filmmakers and director. Considering my love for the film, I found this documentary even more interesting the second time around.
- Terminated: This collection of seven deleted scenes are available with or without commentary by Cameron. I found it very interesting why Cameron deleted some of these scenes as a lot of them added much to the film’s characters and helped to explain things.
- Galleries: Here we get a sample of Cameron’s own artwork, various production photos, Stan Winston’s special effects and different types of publicity materials used to promote the film.
- Trailers: Here we get three trailers in the film’s regular trailer, the foreign trailer, and the film’s teaser.
Blu-ray Disc packaging: