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DVD Reviews: Terminator 2 Judgement Day - Ultimate Edition

The Final Say!

Review Score
Reviewed by Andrew B
Review Date: 20 July 2003
Distributed by:
Running Time: Universal






The definitive version of Terminator II is finally here and it contains some of the most comprehensive footage and extras that have ever graced a DVD. On the 17th of July, Terminator III - Rise of the Machines will be released Australia wide that not only goes beyond the first two movies but provides the continuation of the Terminator series and what better way to celebrate is with the release of Terminator 2 Judgement Day - The Ultimate Edition.

Terminator II takes place in 1991 where a scientist finally develops a chip that will lead to artificial intelligence. The unfortunate aspect of this discovery is that it will also lead machines to become self-aware and in 1997, the deaths of 3 billion people by nuclear war will occur. Although SkyNet, the leader of the machines may have won the initial war against mankind, there is a fierce battle in the future between machine and man. A charismatic resistance fighter in the not so distant future called John Connor leads the war against the machines and if SkyNet is to survive, it must send a deadly new Terminator back in time to eliminate John Connor.

This prototype Terminator, a T1000 (played by Robert Patrick) is the most dangerous of all Terminators and has the ability to shape change into other people and is also able to turn its body into all types of deadly weaponry such as knives and spears. Fortunately the human resistance have discovered this insidious plan of SkyNet and formulate their own contingency plan to protect the future by reprogramming a captured Terminator (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger) to be sent back in time to protect the young John Connor (played by Edward Furlong). Joined by Sarah Connor, John Connor's mother (played by Linda Hamilton), she forms an uneasy alliance with the Terminator in order to protect John and hopefully change the future of mankind.

Without spoiling the movie further for those that have not seen it, this edition of Terminator II contains an additional 15 minutes of footage that was omitted from the original theatrical version due to cinema time restraints. The additional footage has been remerged into the movie by directory James Cameron to enhance his original vision of the  movie. Various scenes such as the T1000 malfunctioning and an extended footage of Sarah and John Connor removing the CPU lock on the Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) give viewers a greater insight into the minds of not only John and Sarah Connor but also the sentient Terminator.

The video transfer quality of Terminator II looks quite amazing on DVD with sharp colours and crystal clear images. After I watched both DVD discs that came with the package, I discovered no artefacting whatsoever on the picture quality and even the subtitles are extremely clear. Another impressive feature of the ultimate edition is the fantastic menu system that adorns both DVD's and actually make you feel like you are in SkyNet's factory that created the terminators. The presentation of the disc is also shown in 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen Presentation that looks quite glorious on my Philips 80cm widescreen television.

When it comes to sound quality, Terminator II is a step ahead of all its competitors and features a variety of sound modes that include Dolby Digital 5.1 EX, DTS 5.1 ES and for those that lack the correct sound system setup, Dolby Digital Surround 2.0. On Dolby Digital 5.1 and above, you can hear all the background noises quite clearly on the surround sound speakers such as car sounds, people or even bullets whizzing past your head. The soundtrack of Terminator II (created by Brad Fiedel) is brilliant and helps set the atmosphere of this pre-apocalyptic vision of Earth.

Both DVD's are littered with extras that contain a wide variety of special features that include one of the most intensive audio commentaries that include over 26 members of the cast and crew. The commentary boasts all the main actors from the film that include Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Robert Patrick and Edward Furlong and of course the writer & director James Cameron. The commentary is extremely  interesting and discusses the various reasons and explanations behind the movie plus a few entertaining titbits. The first disc also contains a THX optimiser, THX liquid metal trailer and an extremely detailed biography on the actors from the movie.

The second DVD of Terminator 2 Judgement Day the Ultimate Edition contains a plethora of featurettes that include "The Making of Terminator 2: Judgement Day", "T2: More Than Meets the Eye", "The Making of Terminator 2 3D: Breaking the Screen barrier" and the entire screenplay from Terminator 2 that contains over 570 pages of highly interesting information. A special section called Tactical Diagrams contains over 17 storyboard sequences that help explain the various sections of the movie, An interrogation Surveillance Archives with dozens of interviews by cast and crew and of course almost every Terminator 2 trailer to have graced any cinema world wide.

In conclusion, I would highly recommend this DVD collection to any Terminator or science fiction fan as the new footage and extras is easily worth the price of admission alone. Terminator 2 Judgement Day - Ultimate Edition contains hours and hours of extras that is sure to keep DVD owners entertained for years to come. Highly Recommended!

- Andrew B

Babylon 5 Season 2 Boxed set

- Digitally Remastered Special Edition
  Director's Cut of T2.

- 15 Minutes Of Additional Footage.

- Dolby Digital 5.1 EX.

- DTS 5.1 ES.

- Dolby Surround 2.0.

- 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen 

- Audio Commentary featuring 26 members
  of cast and crew.

- Extensive Bios and Filmographies for key
  cast and crew.

- 32 Page Collector's Booklet.

- Exclusive Fully Animated 3D Menus.

- English / Spanish / Portuguese / Dutch

- THX Test Signal Package.

- The Making of T2 Featurette.

- T2: 'More Than Meets The Eye' Featurette
  (explores the scenes that were cut
  from the original theatrical release).

- The Making of T2: 3-D: Breaking the
  Screen Barrier (an in-depth look into the
  making of Universal Studio's exciting
  theme park attraction "Terminator 2: 3D:
  Battle Across Time".

- T2 Teaser Trailer, T2 Trailer #1, T2 Trailer
  #2, T2SE Trailer.

- The Entire T2 Screenplay (574 Pages).

- Original Storyboards sequences (Over
  700 scenes).

- T2: 3-D Cinefex Article "Battle Across
  Three Dimensions" By Estelle Shay.

- Video archive (60 clips including
  interviews, behind the scenes and
  production footage).

- Data Archive (Over 3000 stills)


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