|Category||Science Fiction/Action||Theatrical Trailer(s)||None|
|Rating||Other Trailer(s)||Yes, 1 - Teaser Trailer|
|Year Released||1990||Commentary Tracks||None|
|Running Time||131:17||Other Extras||None|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Dolby Digital||5.1|
||Soundtrack Languages||French (Dolby Digital 2.0 ,
English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448Kb/s)
English (MPEG 2.0 , 192Kb/s)
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes, moderately|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The fact that this sequel exists at all is a severe contradiction of the plot in the original Terminator. During one scene, the protagonist of the film stated quite explicitly that a) only one Terminator and himself were sent back in time and that b) nothing without living tissue can go through the time displacement equipment. This, I believe, would make it very difficult for the new, improved Terminator known henceforth as the T-1000 (Robert Patrick) to go back in time to make a second run on his master's enemy. This, in turn, results in the two Terminators confronting each other as they attempt to acquire young John in a shopping mall. Another funny thing is that while this is supposed to be the year 1994, the video game parlour in the film is filled with machines that look as if they were from a whole decade before then. Fans of director James Cameron like to ramble about how accurate he is with details, but the fallacy of this statement is revealed in just one sequence during which Sarah tells Dr. Silberman (Earl Boen) that there are "over 215 bones in the human body", and the forearm is just one. There's actually 206 bones in the human body, and the forearm actually consists of two major bones. It's just as well that Cameron concentrated on dazzling the viewer with the effects of this film, because otherwise he'd being boring them with a lot of bull.
The rendering of the colours seems to be done quite well in this case, and it is even quite clearly superior to a mint-condition VHS cassette. Shadow detail is brilliant and especially faithful to the original theatrical release. Low level noise is almost completely absent, which is especially good for this because of the high proportion of the action which takes place in the dark. It is even better when you consider that the introduction sequence is basically one big scene of darkness. If there is one small problem with the disc in the video arena, it is that the subtitles rarely coincide with what the actors are actually saying. This is somewhat irritating, given that the subtitles default to on, and in French. While it only requires a few pushes of the buttons on your remote to turn them off, navigating the menu is somewhat counter-intuitive and this is definitely more effort than we should have to make. This problem affected both the Grundig GDV 100D, and the Toshiba SD-2109, so I can presume that it is a universal problem. Even though it sounds somewhat ethnocentric, the original soundtrack language (in this case English) should always be left as the default simply by virtue of being the language the film was originally scripted in.
This disc is in the RSDL format, with the layer change at 62:18. I'm afraid that I must disagree with Michael about the quality of the placement. This change, while placed in one of the better spots where it could go, is moderately interruptive to the flow of the film. Additional footage that was shot for this film was placed in the point where the layer change occurs for the Special Edition that was broadcast on Australian TV a couple of years ago, but which still has yet to make it to video. All in all, I'll call this an average layer change.
Brad Fiedel's score music is almost as powerful as the action sequences of the film, although it is nowhere near as constant as I would like, especially given how well integrated his score music was in the original. Countering this is the fact that Fiedel is one of the few composers who've worked in Hollywood that I would mention in the same breath as the great Basil Poledouris, or the even greater John Williams. As with the action scenes, the music gives the subwoofer a bit of a workout, with bass-heavy percussive effects used to deliver the punch of the music. Although it has no direct association with the action onscreen or the characters of the story, it supports the film remarkably well. The music has a particularly enveloping presence during tense action scenes. The rest of the music consisted of pre-recorded music, and thankfully there were only two distinct songs of this variety used. The first of these was so memorable that I still don't remember whose work it is. The other is the song You Could Be Mine, by Guns 'N' Roses, who stand as a great example of what happens to competent musicians when their egos run away with them.
The surround channels get a fair amount of use in this film, with the subtle placement of sounds within a speaker-created field being a major enhancement to the film's overall feel. The back speakers support the off-screen sounds well, and the centre speaker supports the dialogue quite well, too. If there is a real star of this audio mix, it is the subwoofer, which makes every gunshot literally sound like an atom bomb with a heavy reverb. Only one thing keeps this film from being a reference quality audio transfer. The sound of the T800 Endoskeleton's foot coming down at the end of Linda Hamilton's introductory narration is rather muted compared to what it should have been with a Dolby Digital remix (in the cinema, it was almost heart attack-causing material). Apart from this section of the film, and one other than currently escapes me, the bottom end of this sound mix was stunning in its relentless power.
The video quality is excellent.
The audio quality is excellent and meets the film's demands quite well.
The extras are woefully inadequate for a film that basically heralded the arrival of digital special effects.
|DVD||Grundig GDV 100 D, using composite output; Toshiba SD-2109, using S-video output|
|Display||Panasonic TC-29R20 (68 cm), 4:3 mode, using composite input; Samsung CS-823AMF (80 cm), 16:9 mode/4:3 mode, using composite and S-video inputs|
|Audio Decoder||Built-In (Amplifier)|
|Speakers||Panasonic S-J1500D front speakers, Sharp CP-303A back speakers, Sony SS-CN120 centre speaker, Yamaha B100-115SE subwoofer|