'The Terminator' [Blu-ray Book]
(Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, Linda Hamilton, et al / Blu ray / R / (1984) 2011 / MGM)
Overview: In the year 2029, the ruling super-computer, Skynet, sends an indestructible cyborg (Arnold Schwarzenegger) back in time to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) before she can fulfill her destiny and save mankind.
Blu ray Verdict: This is the fourth release of this film on blu-ray already and I would guess there will be yet a few more to come! There is the 2006 original, a 2009 lenticular cover version, a 2010 blu-ray/DVD combo and now this 2011 Blu-ray book.
While I won't debate the merits of the film itself, MGM is currently in the middle of bankruptcy proceedings and I assume this is the primary reason for this new release. Unfortunately, they haven't bothered upgrading the original MPEG-2/LPCM 2006 mastering of the film itself; all the versions contain identical disc content.
As for the movie, well, come on now, we all know the storyline ... but, for the sake of the review, and those that have lived under rocks for over 20 years I shall at least discuss the portrayed roles. Arnold Schwarzenegger's performance is a wonder to behold to this day! I still don't think enough people appreciate how great it truly is. He is totally convincing as a machine, and nothing to do with the fact that he is an actor of limited range (ok, maybe that's part of it!).
But imagine how hard it must be to literally be "emotionless", but to react not as a human would, but as a programmed machine would, and he pulled it off. Most other actors that play robots (including the ones in the sequels) tend to play it the same in an all-too obvious, monotone manner, and aren't able to hide human characteristics.
The other two main performances should not be overlooked either. Both Michael Biehn (as futuristic rebel soldier Kyle Reese) and Linda Hamilton (as Sarah Connor future mother of resistance leader John Connor) deliver knockout performances as well. The actors really "sell" the movie and lift it to a higher level than lesser or miscast actors would have.
So, if you don't already own this film and want a fancy book style package for a 5 year old Blu-ray master, go ahead and pick this up. Otherwise, you're better off finding a less expensive older version. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
7 Deleted Scenes
Creating The Terminator - Visual Effects & Music
Terminator: A Retrospective