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Terminator Anthology

by Kevin Taft
Contributor
Tuesday Mar 26, 2013
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All four "Terminator" films are locked and loaded together in the "Terminator Anthology" Blu-ray collection from Warner Home Video. Starting with the groundbreaking "The Terminator" that launched Arnold Schwarzenegger’s career and put James Cameron on the map, it is followed up with the theatrical and extended cuts of "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" which was groundbreaking for its special effects and action sequences. The lesser effort "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines" stars "Homeland" star Claire Danes, tabloid fodder Nick Stahl, as well as Kristanna Loken as our first female terminator. Finally, we have "Terminator Salvation" which was met with a less than stellar reception and introduced Sam Worthington, launching his pre-Avatar career. The films are digitally remastered and look terrific. Sound is also good with "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" and "Terminator Salvation" boasting the best sound of the four installments.

There are over 15 hours of special features on the discs which is fantastic, just don’t expect anything new that wasn’t already on the single film Blu-ray discs already released.

  • "The Terminator:" A few short documentary featurettes about the making of the films and the special effects. These are classic features and look as though they were part of a VHS release. There are seven deleted scenes that are mildly interesting.

  • "Terminator 2: Judgment Day:" Includes three versions: The Theatrical Release (137 min), the Special Edition (153 min.) and a bonus Extended Special Edition (158 min) that includes an alternate ending. To access that version you need to enter code 82997.

    The film includes articulate and fascinating audio commentary from Cameron and co-writer William Wysher, and an interesting second commentary that just takes random interviews from most of the cast and crew to discuss the film. While it doesn’t always match exactly what is on-screen, it’s pretty informative. There are two deleted scenes (the rest are included in the extended version of the film), one including the alternate ending where Linda Hamilton in old-age makeup gives us a hopeful ending. We also get three trailers and a couple of previews.

    There are also BonusView ways to watch the film, but nothing all encompassing or new. It’s the same stuff from previous releases.

  • "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines:" This film includes three audio commentaries - one with director Jonathan Mostow, a second with Mostow and the cast, and a third with Mostow, the screenwriters, production designer, and director of photography. The cast track is the best of the three.

    Other shorter features include the "HBO: First Look," "Dressed to Kill" about the costuming, "Toys in Action" about the toys associated with the films, "Storyboards" featuring side-by-side comparisons, and a deleted scene movie-within-a-movie scene called "Sgt. Candy Scene." It also includes the Theatrical Trailer.

  • "Terminator Salvation" includes special features that have only been released on Blu-ray. There’s a Director’s Cut that features a wimpy three minutes of bonus footage most notable for a topless Moon Bloodgood. "Maximum Movie Mode" features pop-ups as you watch the film to give you behind-the-scenes info. "Focus Points" are production vignettes that appear during Maximum Movie Mode, but that can be watched on their own. "The Moto-Terminator" is a short featurette regarding the construction of the driverless scouting machines from the film. Lastly, there is the 19-minute featurette "Re-Forging the Future" which is more of a generic ’making-of’ doc. There are some bonus features if you have the BD-Live portal.

    If you own the "Terminator" Blu-rays, there’s no reason to purchase this set, but if you don’t, it’s well worth having in your collection.

    "Terminator Anthology"
    Blu-ray
    $49.99
    www.warnerbros.com

  • Kevin Taft is a screenwriter/critic living in Los Angeles with an unnatural attachment to ’Star Wars’ and the desire to be adopted by Steven Spielberg. He can be seen in the flesh on the weekly PBS movie review series "Just Seen It."

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