on 12 October 2012
Cant believe I completely missed the release date on this classic film on Blu-ray and only just received it nearly two weeks after it was available.
This was the film that kick started Cameron's career , and with the huge success with this and all his other films (where he and he alone can only outgross himself at the box office) he's been firmly placed with the big players in Hollywood...and rightly so!
This film has always been a firm favourite of mine and its still just as popular after nearly 30 years and have bought many versions throughout the decades.
Although this film already had a Blu-ray release for a while now (US import only) , I never bought it , as I find US imports to be tricky at best when playing them in the UK... Sometimes they work , sometimes they don't , but this newer UK version is a vast improvement from previous released formats and I can quite honestly say that the picture quality is now just how it should be.
Though the film was mostly shot at night (..mostly) , the daytime scenes are the ones that impress the most with the overall quality.
Detail has to be seen to be believed and you'd be forgiven into thinking that this was filmed on anything other than a state of the art HD camera as facial closeups are just astounding ! Being able to see the pours in peoples skin and count the individual hairs on their heads is pretty amazing , especially when you think just how low a budget this film was , it impresses me even more and can now hold its head up very highly indeed in the quality stakes.
When it came to the old Remastered DVD , for whatever reason , and I really can't get my head around as to who thought this was a good idea , the Future War prologues original text had been replaced with cheap nasty subtitles (the kind you'd find on Ceefax) , but thankfully , this has now been replaced back to its original text on this Blu-ray... Not even George "Because I can" Lucas would have tampered with that , but you do get the feeling that this had nothing to do with any choices Cameron had made , and any input in the last two format releases had been left in the hands of corporate owners who think they know better !
The sound... Hmmm , tricky one this. Although its presented in 5.1 DTS master audio there are some good points and some bad.
The good points are that the sound is better than its ever been and the surround effects of ricocheting bullets , screams and explosions are fantastically transferred with a rich crisp clarity... However!
The bad points are that certain sounds (not all , but mainly gunshots) have been replaced with different gunfire sound FX from its original theatrical and VHS release.
Although this alteration was done a couple of years back on the Remastered DVD to accommodate for the newly improved sound format of the time , it still sticks out like a sore thumb from someone who has watched this film over a tragazillion times and was kind of hoping with the new technology of today , it would have been possible to simply enhance the original sound and put it back.
Brad Fiedel's score (although brilliant) almost suffers with the new clarity. Apart from the iconic main theme , the new and improved clarity with the sound makes other parts of the music score just sound that more... "electronically 80's" if that makes any sense to you as you can quite literally hear the datedness of the keyboard that he's using.
Although , I really must stress that these "bad points" really are just my own personal discrepancies that I have with the sound , and in no way am I slating the excellent quality of the transfer , so this really shouldn't put you off upgrading this film at all.
Extras are a bit of a let down by getting slightly less than the Remastered DVD. Most of the extras are here , but the "Other Voices" documentary has been omitted on this Blu-ray release and can't for the life of me think why they have done this , so don't get rid of your Remastered DVD version just yet !
Its always a pet hate of mine when features are skimped on with Blu-ray as there really is NO EXCUSE for companies to do this... And wasn't that one of the selling points of Blu-Ray ??? Its not like there isn't enough room on a disc (50GB) to fit it all in , and its a shame that Cameron hasn't done a commentary or even add the old half hour "making of" that you got on VHS , along with everything else instead of giving you less when making a transfer... Again , feels like corporate bean counters interfering.
The film itself really is worth a ten star rating , MINIMUM ! And the new picture and sound are a huge improvement over previous releases , and despite what some reviewers are saying , this film is NOT CUT in anyway shape or form no matter what running time is advertised !
All in all , this is a very worthy upgrade , but have dropped one star purely for skimping on the documentaries and the lack of anything new on the extras , as I'll only ever review the product and not the film itself.
on 23 December 2007
Made on a budget of around 6.5 million dollars its a real marvel a film like this was made, quite simply its edge of your seat thrills and non-stop suspense at its finest, but with great heart and tremendous story. A lot of work has clearly gone into this wonderful movie and its evident on screen. With Cameron's masterful story telling, an underrated cast with some chilling effects for the Terminator cortesty of the legend himself Stan Winston and an amazing story which maintains realism despite time travel and the sci Fi elements i honestly cannot find one significant flaw in this movie.If you like action or sci Fi or thrills or intricate story or even a bit of horror or even a love story then you will like/love this film because it somehow SUCCESSFULLY combines them all seamlessly.
As for the DVD it has been re-released on several versions but the Definitive edition is just that, it has all the documentaries and features the other versions had but with a few extras. Disc one contains the film itself in its best picture and remastered sound, basically the typical DVD improvements that you get as opposed to VHS. Disc Two contains about half a dozen deleted scenes some more relevant than others (one which contains a very good twist which sets up part of the story for The sequel T2) and several documentaries. The legacy of the terminator and closer to the real thing are OKAY its "Other voices" which contains the real gold, fantastic look into the films making cast,crew, effects and a number of brilliant anecdotes regarding effects,filming,casting(given budgetary constraints things like the last Scenes were made involving a good few VERY interesting stories) this two disc set comes in a metal slip book and is almost certainly the best edition you will get for the first Terminator movie.
A great Film presented in a premium DVD package it is a movie you need to see at least once in your lifetime. Top notch entertainment.
on 25 February 2009
I'm making this review as a way of differentiating the various DVD releases and informing people this "Ultimate Edition" is the must have. This review is not of the movie, since we all know this film is ground-breaking. This review is purely for fellow fans, like myself, struggling to find the best DVD edition to own. This really is the definitive DVD edition of The Terminator. As a massive fan of the first two movies, I own all of the DVD releases. This is easily the best release of the first film on DVD ever. Here is why:
#It has collectively, the same amount of extras as those found on the previous release, although, there are a couple of new clips added in one of the documentaries, as well as a whole new documentary for this release. There's also deleted scenes, interviews, photo galleries the list goes on. Those of you looking for the extras, you will not be disappointed, I sure as hell was not.
#In terms of picture quality, sound quality and everything else in between, this is the best of the lot. I'd advise you watch the film with headphones on a HD TV for the full impact!
#There is a lengthy booklet that goes deep into what the film has achieved, a few snippets of comments from those who worked on the film.
#The packaging is excellent, and definitely the best looking of the various editions.
I hope this helps anybody who were trying to figure out which was the best release. Lucky you, you've found it.
Latest DVD release for the terminator.
Let's talk about the movie first, just in case anyone reading this hasn't seen it.
1980's america, and ordinary lady sarah connor has her life turned upside down when a cyborg from the future travels back in time intending to kill her. so that she won't give birth to the man destined to lead the human fight against machines that want to rule the world. Her only hope is kyle reese, a human fighter from the future who has also travelled back in time. But his mission is to protect her. The terminator shatters sarah's life, and she and kyle have to run and fight to survive. To live, Sarah will have to find the will to fightback.
One of the best action movies ever made. It never lets up for a second. And it benefits from excellent casting. Schwarzenegger was originally down to play reese, but we went for the terminator role instead. a smart move because it suits him better. uttering less than forty words in the entire film, he's an absolute force of nature. a seemingly unstoppable force of destruction.
Michael Biehn and Linda Hamilton as reese and sarah respectively both fill their characters with so much humanity that you can really root for them.
Violent and with a fair amount of adult language thus a 15 certificate, but never gratuitous. a movie that should be in the collection of every science fiction and action movie fan.
now about the dvd:
this is a new single disc edition with absolutely no extras. The disc begins with the ubiquitous anti dvd piracy add but just pressing next will take you to the main menu. it offers direct scene access, and the following languages and subtitles:
languages: english czech polish
subtitles: english czech danish finnish greek hebrew norwegian swedish.
and that's that. There's no digital restoration or the like to the print, but the picture quality is good enough anyway. if you want to add this to your collection cheaply, or if you want a cheap way to encounter a classic movie you've not seen before, this will suit you fine.
on 26 August 2009
I bought this on import for my playstation 3 as i read it wasn't region coded, i received it within 3 days from a uk supplier who distributes imported blu ray dvds and needless to say i wasn't disappointed. The picture is amazing, the main menu well designed and the packaging was superb too, a nice 3D hologram cover, the special features are in standard definition but that dosen't really bother me. The question is why hasn't this film been released in the U.K. yet? sometimes i don't understand these marketing decisions made by 20th century fox etc. Oh well all i can say is BUY IT BUY IT BUY IT, a classic not to be missed and fully uncut, the film has never looked better, especially the technoir club scene in all it's retro glory :-)
on 23 September 2009
When I went to buy this movie I was anxious to get the uncut version. I was confused by a couple of things. Firstly, the original VHS release was rated at 18 and the DVD releases are rated at 15. Secondly, the VHS release has something like 6 minutes extra run time over the DVD's. This is all academic really as a) the original video transfer is so horrifically bad and b) the soundtrack is at the wrong pitch, so you couldn't enjoy watching it anyway.
To date I have not been able to reconcile either of these issues, but I did buy this version of the movie and I can confirm that all the usual scenes that are cut when the movie is aired on TV (multiple gunshots to the first Sarah Connors back, cutting out the eye etc...) are intact and uncensored. The video transfer is also excellent (37 inch plasma, component video input, 580p) and the sound is as good as its going to get from a movie of this age.
One small irritation for me, you cannot watch the extended scenes found in the extras as part of the movie.
I hope this was helpful.
on 31 May 2015
I take it everyone's seen terminator so this review is about the new remastered Blu Ray the picture and sound is amazing the amount of detail is amazing better than the original Blu Ray release hope the new movie will be good
on 22 February 2003
To start with, Terminator is much better than Terminator 2. I enjoyed T2 a lot, and own it on DVD too, but it just can't compare as a film. I think the 1st film plugged into the Eighties' zeitgeist of fear at developing technology, growing hedonism, and the potentially dangerous atmosphere of Regan and Thatcherism. Cameron had no studio pressure to produce a blockbuster, and it shows. T2 is commercial-yes, it's funny, has great stunts and revolutionary special effects, but the darkness of Terminator is replaced by audience-pulling sentimentality and too much didacticism. Terminator is dark, edgy, and genuinely chilling.
Arnie is perfectly cast as the Terminator, creating a malevolent, completely relentless and really frightening villain. T2 never left you in any doubt that the T1000 would be defeated, but in Terminator, it really does seem as if Sarah may not make it. Watch the infamous 'I'll be back' scene when Arnie searches the police station for Sarah. He really pulls off a remarkable performance-as he strides down the corridors, scanning left to right, you can believe he is a machine. Linda Hamilton and Michael Biehn pull off their roles with aplomb, too, avoiding fluffy, romantic stereotypes. Hamilton makes Sarah a heroine you can truly feel for, and the love story is moving.
Enough about the film...what is the actual DVD like? Several reviewers commented on their versions being cut but as far as I can tell, the special edition is the full, uncut version. My old copy that I taped off TV actually had a few cuts, but this DVD version includes the full scenes. One reviewer mentioned that his DVD lacked the scenes where the Terminator repairs his damaged arm and face but the special edition DVD has both these. The eye-removing scene is included in every second of its glory (I still can't watch it without squirming!) This reviewer also mentioned that part of the early scene with the punks was cut, but the special edition DVD has the full version of that, too. However, I do agree with another common complaint-the titles of the future sequence are appallingly naff, and they really should have left the original, which suited the film.
The extras don't compare with the ultimate edition T2 disc, but I suppose with such a low-budget movie from the 80s, they didn't have much content to include. The deleted scenes are interesting, the trailers and storyboards are just trailers and storyboards, the production photos and publicity are quite interesting, but the documentaries are extremely good. I think it's the 'Other Voices' one which I especially enjoyed, as it describes the guerrilla film shooting needed to complete the movie, and the effects used. Obviously it has dated-the stop motion metal skeleton is laughable, but the full size model and robotic parts are fine. I also like the future scenes-they are suitably surreal, and fit the noir-ish feel of the movie. Sometimes miniatures and models are more convincing than CGI . Sadly, no commentary--I would have enjoyed an Arnie/Jim one!
Overall, anyone who has a special interest in sci-fi, noir, or 80s movies should rush out and buy this, but I reckon that anyone who likes film at all should also own it! I love old black and white movies, foreign subtitled movies and 'arthouse' movies, but Terminator is also up there on my list!
on 21 June 2016
I have put off buying The Terminator on Blu-Ray for years now. Having a nice edition on DVD, I didn't see the point in buying it again. I read reviews of earlier editions of the Blu-Ray and people complained of the poor transfer, which only cemented my decision to hold off. Last year it was released once again in new packaging. Being one of my favourite movies from the 80s I read reviews for this new edition and although there are no new extra features to speak of, the film has apparently been remastered. Most of the reviews I read praise the picture quality so I thought I'd take the plunge, after all it is only around £8 with postage. After watching the movie I can confirm the picture quality is absolutely superb, the best I have ever seen this film. It's especially impressive considering the film was shot predominantly at night. There is zero grain to speak of, the colours are vibrant and skin tones are natural. Overall an excellent blu-ray disc. This is a bargain at this price and I would of happily paid more for this release I was that impressed. If you are reading this review and are thinking of picking up this film on Blu-Ray, be sure to buy the one released in 2015, although it doesn't specify in the description or even on the box art, this is indeed the remastered version. The copy where The Terminator is knelt on the cover with the endoskeleton visible is the one you want. A classic movie given the treatment it deserves. A deserved 5 stars.
on 6 October 2006
On a recent viewing, for the first time in, well ever, I preferred The Terminator to that of its sequel. For years I had preached to anyone willing to debate all things terminator that #2 was one of the very few examples of where sequels surpass their predecessor. I have now seen the light. I can now shake my head in bewilderment at the folly of my ways. I am now a film connoisseur. I now recognise that The Terminator is a classic, cult, eerie, dark, gritty, suspenseful techno thriller. I still love Terminator 2; the special effects rocked a whole lot more, it has a great storyline, acting and some very cool moments but it also had moments of humour injected into it (and a whiney, pre-pubescent kid). It took the edge off of what remains a potentially chilling subject. I must not get drawn into the diabolicality that this series has become with # 3. Must not....
For the first time in a long time, whilst watching films - especially an 'old favourite' i.e. one watched again & again, I felt genuine suspense and on-the-edge-of-my-seat ness. Arnie was at his most formidable; silent for most of the movie. Genuinely menacing. Little emotion. The concept of a machine/robot in the form of a human (and lets face it, even an advanced machine would lack some of the subtleties and tact that humans possess) is portrayed perfectly. Other than the famous "I'll be Back" quote, there are no one liners to water down the noir of this film. Many films, and Arnie's latters are prime example, overdose and pride themselves into cramming as many one liners in as possible. James Bond at its pinnacle of naff (Moonraker) for example, managed several 'gentleman's triples' whereby 3 sets of dialogue in a row are 1 liners. This is not a measure of success!
So what makes a good one liner in a successful context? Looking at The Terminator which pulls it off awesomely, "I'll be back" was said with no raised eyebrow, no trace of wittiness, no trace of humour. It was memorable, haunting, timeless (that one is key). It was not clever. It did not hold any ulterior motive, hidden meaning or double entendre. It was 'badass' in its purest extreme. So the combination of those things and its simplicity made it work. Terminator 2 was less successful with 'Hasta la Vista baby'. I don't recall anyone talking like that in early 90's let alone 15 years later. And good god, in # 3 "Talk to the hand..." wasn't the Terminator supposed to be from the future, not 1997 when "talk to the hand" was funny? (actually I recall it was more annoying than funny, even in 1997).
Hmmm I've gone off on a tangent, back to the film. Micheal Biehn (Kyle Reece) in this film is very cool and idolistic. He has stood the test of time in his acting, character, and purpose in this film. Perhaps that's another reason why this film suppresses its sequels: we could understand the viewpoint of a human battling against machines much more than we could a machine vs. a machine in the sequels. You can genuinely rally to Kyle Reece's cause through his faultless performance. Together with James Cameron's impeccable writing & directing, this has to be one of the all time great sci fi's despite its 1984 restrictions on budget & special effects.
My favourite scene, in fact one of my all time favourite movie scenes, has to be in the tech-noir club when the Terminator is homing in on Sarah Conner. There is a very simple but effective scene, full of tension and suspense, heavily increased by the music (80's pop - one would think that this is hardly sinister) going very tinny and echoey and the camera work switching to slow motion. Its an incredibly powerful movie moment. Look out for it or as most people would have seen it - look back for it.
On a side note, and only partially related to the review, I am usually very sceptical of films starting with the word 'The'. To me it often conjures up images a real Hollywood turkey. The Core, The Cave, The Transporter to name a few. In my head I just hear that deep, tenor, growly, testosterone'd movie trailer voice announcing a cheesy tagline and then a "the" title. I then have to recall The Terminator - perhaps made at a time before the "the" movie downfall occurred. It breaks this trend, and I force myself to continue with such riskily titled movies.
10/10. 5 stars. A+. 100%. Why isn't it in your movie collection?? Oh... it is...