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Terminator (Special Edition)
5.1 EX and 2.0
French and Spanish
French and Spanish
Voices; Creating the Terminator, and "The Terminator A Retrospective
||Yes 2 Theatrical Trailer,
One Foreign Trailer and 2 TV Spots
||Yes, 7 "terminated scenes"
Gallery and Original Treatment
Michael Biehn, Linda Hamilton and Paul Winfield
with Gale Anne Hurd
||Gale Anne Hurd
This movie spawned millions of really
bad Schwarzenegger impressionists saying, "I'll be back."
In fact it has become a staple in American Pop Culture. Even
the handful of people who have not seen this picture, know
what film that line is from. And unlike the movie that gave
us another one of Arnold's famous lines, "It's not a tumor,"
"Terminator" deserves to be so fondly remembered.
**This is an amazing film on many
different levels. On a purely science fiction front this movie
rocks. It has your dark and desolate future, time travel and
robot that is actually terrifying. The effects by Stan Winston
and Fantasy II are incredible and hold up well against today's
special effects laden films. Well, all except the laser bolts
that do look a bit dated. The film also gives us one of the
few female heroes of the 80's. Even though Sarah Connor spends
much of the film running and being saved by Reese, by the
end of film she realizes her own strength and potential, and
uses that to save herself. This is brought to full focus in
the equally good "Terminator 2." The performances by all involved
are icing on the cake. This movie sent both Cameron's and
Arnold's career to the stratosphere. Biehn and Hamilton have
a wonderful chemistry together and are perfect for their parts
as Reese and Sarah. When you consider the incredibly low budget
they had to work with this film is even more incredible. Simply
put, this is one of the best films ever made.
For every fan that waited with growing
anticipation of the release of "Terminator" after the incredible
"Terminator 2" DVD was released, the image and sound alone
are worth the wait. After years of grainy, poorly lit copies
of VHS and the equally poor previous DVD version, we finally
get to see the movie as it was intended. The film was shoot
on an extremely tight budget on rather cheap film. As a result
the film didn't look its best. Some of the night scenes were
simply too dark and film showed a lot of grain and flaws.
However it has now been completely restored. Artifacts on
the film are rare and not distracting. The night scenes, which
are most of the movie, have clear blacks and well-defined
shadows. There is no edge-enhancement evident giving us a
film that has great definition.
***This is a sound driven film.
In almost every scene there is something to listen to. With
the 5.1 EX sound, you can hear all of it. When I first put
the movie in and listened to the opening future sequence,
I knew I was in for a treat. Every speaker gets used. The
sound smoothly wraps around from one speaker to the next as
the hunter/killer machines pass by. Bass extension is excellent
with a rich deep low end as well as clear high ends that are
free of distortion. While all of the action sequences come
through loud and clear there are also some small sounds we
can hear for the first time. You can hear the click of the
Terminator's boots on the pavement, and when Reese shoots
him with the shotgun in the bar you can hear the shot hitting
the metal skeleton of the Terminator. The dialogue has also
been cleaned up. It sounds softer and more natural here than
in any other transfer. For a comparison the original mono
soundtrack is available as well. Even listening to the first
scene shows its limitations.
Even with the sound and image alone
being worth the wait, we have a great set of extras to make
the package irresistible. All of the extras are on side B
of the DVD. One of the highlights is "Other Voices" documentary.
This contains new cast and crew interviews inter-cut with
photos and footage from production. Unfortunately Arnold and
Hamilton are only featured from old 1991 interviews from the
set of "Terminator 2." This has a running time of an hour
and offers a thorough look at every aspect of the film from
the first ideas, to casting, to the special effects crew,
and the reception of the film by the public.
***In addition to this behind-the-scenes
look, there is also a short 16-minute featurette called "The
Making of The Terminator: A Retrospective." This consists
of a 1986 interview with James Cameron spliced together with
1992 piece that features Arnold and Cameron sitting down and
talking about the film. It is a lot like the Chris Farley
Show from Saturday Night Live. There is a lot of "do you remember
that time when … that was awesome.
***We also have 7 terminated scenes.
This is a format I wish more DVD's would adopt. For each scene
there is a brief introduction explaining what the shot is
and why it was cut. Then you can watch the scene alone, or
with commentary by Cameron giving even more information. While
you understand why each scene was cut, it is nice to see them.
***Not since the "Jaws" DVD have
I seen such a huge Stills Gallery. It is broken down into
five categories: James Cameron Artwork, Production Photos,
Stan Winston Special Effects, Fantasy II Special Effects,
and Publicity Material. This gallery has hundreds and hundreds
of pictures and a must see for any fan. ***There is also a
special treat for all the readers. Included on the DVD is
the original 40-page treatment done by Cameron to pitch the
film. The print is quite large and easy on the eyes. It is
fascinating to see how much of the first treatment was kept
in movie, as well as seeing the little things that changed.
***Finally there is an easter egg
on side one. Under the special features there if you click
down you will highlight a box on top of the screen. When you
select it you see one of four short interviews featuring James
Cameron, Michael Biehn, Gale Anne Hurd and Brad Fiedel discussing
various aspects of the film.
This is a wonderful DVD package.
For those few who have not yet seen the film, this is the
version you must see. For any fan they have probably already
pre-ordered it. The only thing missing from the DVD is a commentary
track. We all know that Cameron loves to talk about himself,
and with this being his first film, it would have been great
to hear exactly what all went on. It also would have been
nice to have some more current information from Arnold and
Hamilton. Other then those minor details this is the DVD package
that the film deserves.