Terminator 2: The Ultimate Edition
Carolco / 1991 / 153 Mins / Rated R


MOVIE
T2, it's one of those movies that gets better with age and has always been a fan favorite. In the U.S. Artisan have released what is one of the best DVD releases ever. 

An expanded edition of the T2 franchise with the original theatrical version, special edition and a secret 3rd extended special edition version you can unlock. Artisan have also collected some of the most extensive extras for a DVD release. All of this fits on to 1 DVD18 disc inside a standard Amaray case. Inside the case is a great 30 page booklet with production notes and chapter listings. All of this is inserted into a silver metal slip case. The only downside of this metal case is the fact that is doesn't have a bottom and I have found the Amaray case slips out the bottom of the tin slipcase if you are not careful.

There's not much more to say about the plot of the movie that hasn't been said already in my review of the Australian edition so all the new information will be included in the transfer and extras section of the review. So without further hesitation T2:UE

The original Terminator was a delight in movie making. Original, fresh and full of action it became one of the most popular movies ever made. 7 years later James Cameron brought back the Terminator in one hell of a sequel that is in some respects better than the original. And that doesn't happen too often.

Being one of the most popular movies made ever, most people will probably have seen this movie, but for the few who haven't here's the plot. The T800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) has come back from the future to save young teenager,  John Connor (Edward Furlong). 

In the future he becomes a resistance leader of a group of human survivors. John  is responsible for the destruction of Skynet, a huge net of computers and robots responsible for the destruction of the human race in 1997. To stop this, Skynet have sent back the T-1000 (Robert Patrick) a liquid metal robot to kill John. This movie is filled with spectacular special effects and great sound. It also ushered in a new wave of special effects for the computer industry. Top stuff.

VIDEO
While this transfer is very good and looks somewhat better than the original R1 release, the picture quality is not quite as good as the R4 release due to the fact that the disc is NTSC formatted.

T2's video is super sharp and free from blemishes, there are absolutely no MPEG or film artifacts present. Shadow detail was very impressive.

Colors are well rendered with realistic skin tones there was a slight period of over saturation near the end of the movie at the steel mill.

Overall T2's video was very atmospheric, bar a few little niggles and was well presented.

Terminator 2 is framed at 2:35:1 and is 16:9 enhanced.

This is a dual-sided, dual layer disc. The layer change occurs at the following times, 64:28 in the theatrical version and at 73:22 in the special edition and extended special edition versions.

AUDIO

Remastered by sound designer Gary Rydstrom, T2:UE now sports one of the best sounding transfers ever. Presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 EX, DTS Surround 5.1 ES and Dolby Digital 2.0

I watched the movie in Dolby Digital 5.1. I did not listen to the DTS or EX versions as I do not have the need for one of those decoders yet.

What I can say about the Dolby 5.1 mix is WOW. This mix makes wonderful use of the split surrounds and employ's many varied effects around the rear of the sound stage. The front of the sound stage is also well taken care of and integrates well into the whole mix contributing to many wonderful directional effects. The .1 channel was well integrated into the mix as well adding that extra oomph.

Dialog was always easy to hear.

EXTRAS

This disc has an excellent set of extras on offer. There is so much on this disc that if I were to write about every little extras on this disc, you would be reading for quite a while.

Firstly the menus, these are some of the best menus that I have seen assembled on a DVD. They are well made and fit into the disc presentation nicely.

Disc One

Audio Commentary - Cast & Crew: This a non-screen specific commentary cut together from interviews from the cast & crew. It is presented by disc producer Van Ling. I was quite surprised how informative it was. This is a good track to listen to.

THX Optimode Test: This is a sensational home theater calibration tool, that calibrates you audio and video settings. It is in depth and really dies help you calibrate your setup perfectly. All discs should have this feature.

Customized T2 THX Trailer

Dolby Digital Aurora Trailer

DTS Trailer

Disc Two

The second disc is grouped into levels. Each level has different features.

Level One features all of the main video extras included on the disc. From here you can select:

Making Of T2: 30 minutes, 4:3 format, Dolby Digital 2.0 mono sound. I remember this special on TV when the movie can out years ago. It is mildly informative.

T2, More Than Meets The Eye: 22 minutes, 4:3 format, Dolby Digital 2.0 mono sound. I had never seen this one before but it is a very good. Made by Showtime US this featurette is about the scenes that were removed from the original but added back into the special edition. I'm guessing this was made as a precursor when the special edition aired on television in the states.

The Making of Terminator 2 3D - Breaking the Screen Barrier: 23 minutes, 4:3 format, Dolby Digital 2.0 mono sound. This is a rather masturbatory documentary about the T2:3D ride at Universal Studios. It is a standard promo featurette of limited value.

Theatrical trailers: This section features 9 trailers in total featuring the Japanese, theatrical and teaser trailers. All are in varying aspect ratios and all are encoded in Dolby Digital 2.0.

Level Two features such delights as the original screenplay, storyboards, a heap of short video clips to showing various aspects of making the movie. Some clips contain  audio commentaries and multi angles.

Level Three features the film school in a box and includes all the supplements on the disc in a set order. This section is very in depth and will take you quite a while to get through. There is a lot of reading as well as watching to do here. It's good to see that a movie has been documented so well.

Subtitles: There are no subtitles on this disc at all. 

FINAL THOUGHTS
An almost perfect movie on an almost perfect disc. A great release for the DVD format. It's just disheartening to know this disc will probably not be released in Australia.

16:9 ENHANCEMENT DISC RATING

VIDEO:
AUDIO:
EXTRAS:

PLOT:
OVERALL:

REVIEW EQUIPMENT

Display: 48" Sony RPTV.
DVD Player:
Panasonic A350 Player using S-Video Cables.
Receiver:
Pioneer VSX-D508 Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround.
Speakers:
Accusound speaker system.

Copyright 2000 by [Roger Ward].
Revised: 11 Sep 2000 19:24:40 +1100 .

DVD INFORMATION
Region Coding: Region 1
No of Discs: 1
MPAA Rating R
Running Time: 153 Mins
Case Type: Black Amaray
Release Date: 29/8/2000
Catalog Number: 12420
List Price: Personal Import
Distributor: Artisan
DISC SPECIFICATIONS
Disc Format: NTSC
Disc Type: No Label
Disc Format: DVD18
Chapters:

(72) Theatrical
(80) Special Edition
Macrovision: Yes
Manufacturer: WAMO
VIDEO SPECIFICATIONS
Aspect Ratio: 2:35:1
Anamorphic: Yes
Film Format: Super 35
SOUND SPECIFICATIONS
Dolby Digital:

5.1 Surround EX
2.0 Surround

DTS: 5.1 Surround ES
PCM Stereo: None
Other: None
Languages: English
Subtitles: None
SPECIAL FEATURES
Audio Commentary: Yes
Theatrical Trailer: Yes
Teaser Trailer: Yes
TV Spots: None
Dolby Trailer: Yes
Documentary: Yes (3)
Cast & Crew Bios: Yes
Deleted Scenes: Yes
Music Videos: None
DVD Rom Content: Yes
Collectable Booklet: Yes
Scene Access: Yes
Animated Menus: Yes
Production Notes: Yes
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