On DVD, Terminator 2:Judgment Day is Pure Eye Candy

Jun 20, 2001 (Updated Mar 20, 2004)
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Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:excellent picture & sound quality, great bonuses, still a great movie

Cons:a Terminator that doesn't kill????

The Bottom Line: Find out the real difference between a DVD and a video tape with this movie!


Having a house with three children ages 10 and younger, means I rarely get to watch an R rated movie straight through. In this case, that was a benefit.

The first time I had to pause Terminator 2: Judgment Day on our DVD player was during one of the scenes of the future where the machines are hunting down the humans. As I climbed the stairs, I turned to look at the television screen and was greeted by a perfect image of one of those shiny, skeletal machines against a backdrop that included an explosion. There was absolutely no way to tell what effects had been filmed separately and meshed together to create the scene.

I knew right then and there that I was in for a treat.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day continues the story that we saw in the first movie (worth watching - if you haven't seen it, go rent it!). The machines of the future send back a prototype model T1000 (excellent portrayal by Robert Patrick) Terminator to kill the leader of the humans as a pre-teen boy. The leader of the humans, John Connor steals a T800 model Terminator and sends it back to protect him. So now Arnold Schwarzeneggar is the good guy instead of the bad guy. Only problem is that everyone thinks he is the guy responsible for all the deaths in the first movie, so the police are hot on his trail. It doesn't help that the T1000 took on a policeman character right from the beginning.

The effects in this movie are incredible. This was the first time we saw widespread use of the morphing technique that allows the liquid-metal T1000 to take on all different characters. The depiction of the nuclear explosion in Sarah's dream is also excellent and chilling.

My only problem with the movie is the story itself where young John Connor orders the T800 not to kill anyone. So he goes around shooting people in the leg. We're supposed to believe that really makes him better? We know that the T800, John, and Sarah are trying to prevent the nuclear holocaust that was slated to occur in 1997, and seeing people writhing on the ground in pain after Arnold shoots them in the leg occasionally comes off as just plain stupid. Still, I do see something of the point to it, since John Connor does evolve into such a leader of the humans that he must place an very high value on a human life, but I think it was a very weak spot in an otherwise excellent story.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day is a movie I would recommend someone watch as their first movie when they buy a DVD player, it is that amazing to watch! After that first pause, I deliberately paused it during a number of special-effects scenes just to see the picture quality of the still shots. At different times, I had to scroll back to the scenes where I had to stop the movie (pesky kids again) and again, I saw that the quality was truly amazing. This is a movie that will show you the true difference between a video tape and a DVD.

The sound was also very high-quality, so it is worth having a quality stereo to hook up to as well. I could hear the glass on one of my picture frames rattling during different times, and I had the sound quite low.

What makes this a Special Edition is all the bonuses. There are so many that they had to use another disc. There are a few documentaries, including a Showtime presentation as well as a documentary about the ride at Universal Studios. There are teasers and trailers galore. The movie plays in widescreen, and there is the theatrical version and a version with restored footage.

What didn't you see in this movie the first time around? We miss a scene of the T1000 searching John Connor's room. Sarah Connor has a dream sequence while in the mental hospital that links into the first movie. There is also a scene of the processing unit of the T800 being removed. These are the scenes that I thought may have actually added something to the movie. There are some more, but I didn't think that not having them in the movie made a real difference in the story. All in all, it adds up to a little less than 20 minutes.

There was so much extra on that disc that I never got around to finishing exploring it before I sent it back to Netflix, but I will be purchasing this DVD - it's really worth it!


© 2001 Patti Aliventi


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