|Category||Action||Theatrical Trailer(s)||Yes, 1 - Teaser|
|Year Released||1991||Commentary Tracks||None|
|Running Time||131:17 minutes||Other Extras||None|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||MPEG||2.0|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Dolby Digital||5.1|
|16x9 Enhancement||Yes||Soundtrack Languages||French (Dolby Digital 2.0 ,
English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448 Kb/s)
English (MPEG 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
We got word that the initial batch of discs, which had already been replicated, were to be destroyed because of quality control concerns. Inevitably, this begged the question of just what was wrong with the disc.
Through the kindness of <name deleted>, I was loaned a copy of the disc from the pressing that was supposedly completely destroyed, and put it through our usual detailed review process. You can read my complete review of the rejected disc here. The conclusion that I came to was that the disc was generally good, but was not up to the standard that I would have expected from Columbia Tristar for such an important release.
Accordingly, I was extremely interested when the official Terminator 2 Region 4 DVD arrived today, to see if the quality issues that affected the rejected disc had been addressed. So without further ado, here is my review of Terminator 2, Region 4. I have included comparisons with the rejected version of this disc for your edification.
For those of you that are unfamiliar with the storyline, Arnold Schwarzenegger is a Terminator. In the original Terminator, he was sent back in time to kill Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) before she gives birth to her son, John. Arnie failed in his mission and has now been reprogrammed to protect John Connor (Edward Furlong) from a more advanced Terminator (Robert Patrick) in this second outing.
The special effects are second-to-none and still hold up today, some eight years after the film was made. This is a remarkable achievement in computer imagery, which leaps ahead in quality faster and faster as time passes. Many films only two or three years old now look very dated in their visual effects, but not Terminator 2.
This transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. It is 16x9 enhanced.
The transfer is extremely sharp and extremely clear. This aspect of the transfer is far superior to the rejected disc, which suffered somewhat from variable image clarity. Shadow detail is excellent and there is no low level noise. In short, every problematic scene from the rejected version of this disc has been addressed and rectified. This movie has clearly been recompressed, and the improvement in image quality over the previous version is startling. This current image is almost of reference quality, just barely falling short.
The colours were well rendered and clear, with no evidence of the slight over-brightening that troubled the rejected disc.
No MPEG artefacts were seen. No film-to-video artefacts were seen, other than some trivial aliasing on the grille of the truck that the T-1000 drives early on in the movie. A few film artefacts were present in the image, but far less than I noted with the rejected version of this disc. Once again, this aspect of the transfer is significantly improved over the original disc.
This disc is an RSDL disc, with the layer change at 62:18, between Chapters 13 and 14. It is unobtrusive and well-placed.
French subtitles default to on, which is a minor annoyance with this DVD.
Dialogue was clear and easy to follow at all times.
Audio sync was problematic on a Pioneer DV-525, but there was no problem in this area with the Toshiba 2109.
The landmark score by Brad Fiedel is remarkable and unusual, frequently heavily reliant on percussion and percussive effects to create the appropriate atmosphere. It is an integral part of the overall experience of this movie, and superbly suits the on-screen action at all times. This is a truly remarkable score.
The surround channels were used heavily by this movie, with frequent and precise placement of sounds within the soundfield. This soundtrack has been remixed from the original 2.0 matrix surround mix. I have listened to two versions of this 5.1 remix - the Region 1 version and the Region 4 rejected version - before listening to this version. Until now, I had always preferred the matrix mix of this movie to the discrete mix. The discrete mix, whilst having more precise sound placement, had always seemed very thin and anaemic-sounding. This version of the 5.1 mix is far superior to any of the other 5.1 mixes of this movie. Once again, sound placement within the soundfield is precise and well-defined, but in contrast to the other remixes of this movie, this version sounds rich and full, with a strong and clear bass presence throughout, other than one or two small sections where bass was a little lacking.
The .1 channel was well utilized for the entire movie, frequently adding kick to the on-screen action. Unlike previous 5.1 mixes, this .1 channel sounds full-blooded and aggressive from the very start of the movie rather than weak to start off with.
The video quality is superb.
The audio quality is superb.
The extras are limited.
© Michael Demtschyna
25th November 1999
Amended 1st September 2000
|DVD||Toshiba 2109, using S-Video output|
|Display||Loewe Art-95 95cm direct view CRT in 16:9 mode, via the S-Video input. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer|
|Speakers||Philips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Yamaha B100-115SE subwoofer|