Terminator Salvation - Extended Cut [Blu-ray] [2009]

Actors: Christian Bale, Sam Worthington, Bryce Dallas Howard
Directors: McG
Format: Anamorphic, PAL
Language: English
Region: 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe)
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Number of discs: 1
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
DVD Release Date: 23 Nov 2009
Run Time: 115 minutes



When one thinks about it the Terminator movies had the pitch perfect ending with the last few minutes of 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day . . .

However Hollywood has never let story-telling prerogatives get in the way of sheer avarice and since then we have been treated to a TV series and two big screen sequels. This 2009 sequel is a step up from 2003’s superfluous Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines at least in the sense that it doesn’t rehash the old “assassin sent from the future” plot shtick again. Instead it moves the action to post-apocalyptic 2018 as the human resistance is fighting an AI named SkyNet that is intent on exterminating humanity.

THE DISC: Some Blu-ray discs should maybe sport a warning label like those “Smoking Will Give You Lung Cancer and Then You’ll Die Horribly” ones found on cigarette packs . . .

The warning label for the Terminator Salvation Blu-Ray should read “Warning: Menus Take an Inordinately Long Time To Load.”

Or “Warning: This Blu-Ray Disc May Not Actually Play on Some Players.” Users on complained that the movie refused point blank to play on some players. In most cases downloading and installing the latest firmware worked – but some complained that that still didn’t fix the problem. So be sure to keep your purchasing slips in case of a refund. Problem machines include the BDP-S300, Philips BDP3000, LG BD370 and the Playstation 3. The disc played fine on my Sony BDP-S300, but loading times were a bitch. Go make some coffee after you’ve inserted the disc . . . Using the menus also resulted in several blank screens. The trick is to play Dead Zen Monk and sit them out.

The main selling point of the Blu-Ray edition is that it boasts an extended director’s cut of the film that runs three minutes longer than the 115 minutes long theatrical version. Good luck spotting the differences between the two versions – we couldn’t really and can only surmise that the new version has longer scenes instead of any new scenes per se.

There are no audio commentaries, but the wealth of making-of featurettes more than make up for that. Reforging the Future is a sort of general look at the film while Moto Terminator is a brief 8 minutes long look at how they went about creating those robot motorbikes (hint: they built it on top of a Ducati frame and used digital effects to add more detail). Focus Points is an in-depth look at how several special effects were achieved. It was nice to see that Hollywood is still in the business of building large scale miniatures and then blowing them up instead of using CGI.

WORTH IT? As a brainless action movie rental Terminator Salvation is perfect fodder for those evenings you only want to escape the drudgery of the lingering economic recession which they said would be over by Christmas but isn’t. However it falls short as a worthy Terminator entry. Special effects may be hugely improved, but the movie skimps on characterization and leaves one uninvolved with the plight of its human protagonists.

The first two movies may have had only one Terminator, but that Terminator was Death Itself. Here human characters take an impossible beating at the hands of machines, but still keep on going. This movie also tries too hard by inserting snatches of famous dialogue and pieces of music from previous installments. These efforts are truly groan-worthy.

RECOMMENDATION: Worth a rental at best.

NOTE: This review is based on the Sony Pictures Home Entertainment disc sold outside the States. The States-side disc is distributed by Warner. How much the two editions differ is unclear but we have a suspicion that they might be pretty much the same as far as special features go. The Warner edition probably won’t feature trailers for Sony flicks such as Angels & Demons and Boondock Saints 2 though. The menus might load quicker too – who knows? In our experience we have encountered few – if any – loading and playback issues with Warner Blu-ray titles.



blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest Headlines

Most Popular

Copyright © 1997-forward James O'Ehley/The Sci-Fi Movie Page (unless where indicated otherwise).