Note that, due to space limitations, this review will contain mostly technical details.
This Blu-ray disc features all three versions of the film. There's the 137-min theatrical version, the 152-min Director's Cut, and then the 156-min Extended Special Version Director's Cut, the latter of which is accessed via the menu with the code '82997' (since Judgement Day is August 29th, 1997). If you want spoilers of what's in the extended versions, take a look here.
During the two or three times I've previously seen this film, I didn't rate it above half-marks as it was too silly, but now looking up at the widescreen image with the DTS sound blaring away in an uncut and complete print, it's all so much more inviting. Also, re-watching the content since having played so many first-person-shooters makes me realise they're emulating films like this and now I thoroughly enjoy what I once wasn't too fond of. The extra footage helps enormously in this director's cut and it's all come together perfectly.
If any film was expected to shine in HD it would be Terminator 2 and there is every reason to expect the best from this disc. From the intricate workings of Arnie's innards, to the shiny chrome look of the T-1000, the image is full of colour and is crystal clear in its 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen frame. For the record, I'm watching on a Panasonic 37" Plasma screen via a Samsung BD-P1500 Blu-ray player.
I watched the film in DTS 5.1, as I don't have any HD sound equipment and, quite frankly, my room isn't big enough for all of that. However, with the whole thing cranked right up to maximum enjoyment levels, while every bullet and explosion were impressive, there were still many big sounds that made me leap out of my seat and swear a lot, most notably when Miles Dyson is forced to set off that big bang in his office...
The extras are as follows:
* Interactive Modes: These are all extra features that appear within the film and play during the Extended Special Version only (come on, now, that's surely the one version you're going to watch more than any!). You can switch between these while watching the film, sometimes viewing more than one at once. This is clever stuff and what Blu-ray extras should be about. If there are any complaints, it does take a minute or two to enter or exit the interactive mode, but it's worth the wait.
o Visual implants: picture-in-picture video about the making of the film.
o Trivia Data Overlay: View text commentary and trivia during the film.
o Production Data Overlay: View specific shot methodoligies during the film.
o Linked Data Modules: Branch out from the film to view behind-the-scenes audio slideshow segments.
o Source Code: View the original screenplay in sync with the film.
o Schematics: View original storyboard sequences in sync with the film.
o Query Mode: Take a T2 Trivia Quiz during the film.
o Processor Tests: Test your skills with minigames during the film.
* HD trailers (1:17, 1:40, 2:05, 2:27): Firstly a teaser in 16:9, showing a Terminator robot being built, then two trailers in 16:9 with the voice of the late, great Don La Fontaine, all of which were used for the cinema release; and then one in 2.35:1, again with 'the voice', for the Extended Special Edition. It's great to see them in top-notch quality as they were pretty ropey back in the day.
* Terminated Data: Or, two 'deleted scenes' with optional commentary, but without giving spoilers, these are scenes that show in the Extended Special Edition.
* Dyson Protocol List: Credits for this edition of the film.
After that comes something named "Skynet Access" that tells me it needs to be used in a Profile 2.0 player... which mine is after the update shortly after I got it. But there's nothing under this, so I can only assume it's referring to the fancy menus as it loads up.
* D-Box Motion Code: Yes, I hadn't heard of it either, until recently, but according to this D-Box corporate video, the idea is that as well as experiencing top-notch audio and visual effects, you'll also get motion effects - rather like a souped-up La-z-boy chair. In short - I. WANT. ONE. NOW! However, it appears the only one you can physically buy at the moment is a computer game racing chair that costs a penny under £13,000.
Another video shows that in the US a system can cost $10,000, which is comparatively reasonable even if no-one has anything like that money available in these credit-crunch times. However, I do like the comment on that video that states "I wonder what happens if your watching porn?" Well, ask Jacqui Smith - I'm sure she's got one on expenses!
# THX Optimizer: Audio and Video tests to help you set up your system.
# T2 THX Trailer: The T2 logo explodes loudly in front of your face and them melts to form the THX logo, even more loudly.
The menus are done in a Skynet mainframe style, and states, for example, that it's accessing info from previous viewings of the disc such as stored bookmarks that you've set in the player beforehand. The Skynet menu also says it'll run with full animation if you've not got the Blu-ray player hooked up to the internet. Well, I only connect mine when I need to run an update so I'll leave it as it is.
There are 80 chapters which is fantastic, there are subtitles in four languages and the main menu is nice and fancy but does repeat a very small piece of the theme over and over, so if you leave it on there for a short time you'll be reaching for the mute until you return to the film.