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Official HTF HD-DVD Review: Terminator 2 Import - Recommended


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38 replies to this topic

#1 of 39 Gary Murrell

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Posted June 12 2007 - 10:52 AM

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Studio:


Studio Canal



Year:


2007


Rated:


R


Film Length:


137 minutes Theatrical/152 minutes Special Ed.


Aspect Ratio:


16X9 Enhanced Widescreen (2.35:1) (both versions)


Video:


1080p/24
(both versions)


Audio:


English DTS Master 5.1 (both versions)


Subtitles:


English, French (both versions) (forced French on theatrical)



Release Date: 2007 Import


Overview and Film Information



Everyone knows the what is the now legendary story of what some
would argue is the best sequel in film history, "Terminator 2 Judgment Day" has
thrilled movie nuts and hardcore fans ever since its release back in 1991. T2 is
just one of those impact films that comes along ever few decades, the action,
the special effects, even the strange but equally great musical score will never
be forgotten. For those interested in a simple plot summary, here is one
courtesy of IMDB:


Nearly 10 years have passed since Sarah Connor was targeted
for termination by a cyborg from the future. Now her son, John Connor, the
future leader of the resistance, is the target for a newer, more deadly
terminator. Once again, the resistance has managed to send a protector back to
attempt to save John and his mother Sarah.



T2 is no stranger to home theater owners and has been released
on every format known to man including Blu-Ray, multiple DVD releases, multiple
laserdisc releases, even a WMV and D-Theater HD release. Naturally one of the
most popular films of all-time would be expected to be released on one of the
new optical based HD formats and that time has come. Lionsgate (the domestic
distributor for T2) released T2 on Blu-Ray disc very early in the formats life.
The release had a few issues, some of which were opinions that the video quality
were not that great and the most of which is that the release was only the
theatrical cut of the film and did not include the much preferred Special
Edition version. This special edition HD-DVD release of T2 will not be found on
store shelves in the USA and will not be found on the Blu-Ray format, this
version is a special French only release from Studio Canal and must be imported
if you wish to own it. We would like to think the great folks at Xploited
Cinema
for their amazing service and for providing us with this release.


This special edition version of T2 is a 2 disc set that contains
both versions of the film, the theatrical cut and the Cameron Special Edition
cut. Each version is on a separate disc for the ultimate in picture and audio
quality. There are some slight issues with this release that need to be pointed
out, the theatrical version of the film (Disc 1) features French subtitles that
are not removable, however by using the "C" and "D" buttons on your Toshiba
remote you can move the subtitles and make them smaller, for me and my 2.40:1
projection system this was perfect because the subs can be moved completely into
the black bars and out of the film image. The Special Edition version of the
film (Disc 2) has French and English subs that are user selectable along with
the option of no subs. In addition to the forced French subs on disc 1, the
menus are only in French, this however is not a problem as things are self
explanatory. Disc 2 has user selectable menu languages.


Video Quality **** out of *****


The video quality of both the theatrical and Special Edition
versions is the best that has ever been seen in the home theater environment,
easily bettering the D-Theater release from a few years back. Both versions are
featured in 1080p/24 resolution and are in the OAR of 2.35:1. Video quality is
amazing throughout, many scenes look so good in fact that it is shocking to me
personally because I have never seen T2 look so good. Colors are nearly perfect
and are rich and natural thanks to the super high chroma resolution. Detail
throughout the film averages from fair to great and is excellent in many
scenes. Blacks are solid and very pleasing, which is important for many of
T2's nighttime scenes. Contrast ratio is also very good and shows itself many
times, albeit some rare scenes slightly on the milky side. Whites and blacks are
also slightly clipped and crushed respectively in a few scenes. Both versions of
the film exhibit a slight minor mushy/NR type look and are missing some of the
natural film grain that is expected, this is minor at worst and is not true for
the entire film. It is my opinion that this could be overcome with a new master
and there is a possibility that NR could have been slightly used on this film in
a few scenes. Both versions of the film are downright beautiful 95% of the time
and I recommend them without question, if you are a fan of T2 then you must own
this release, it is a guaranteed smile on any fans face. One great demo scene to
check out is Chapter 7 on the theatrical version of the film, this scene shows
the film at it's best.


Audio Quality ****.5 out of *****


The audio quality of this release leaves right off where the
video does and those are some tough shoes to fill. Both versions of the film
have included a downright breathtaking English DTS-Master 5.1 soundtrack. If the
current Toshiba HD-DVD players could playback the lossless DTS-Master track then
audio quality would be even better. In the current firmware'd Toshiba players
you will want to playback this release from the digital audio output. DTS Master
tracks include what is known as a core DTS track, this core track is a lossy
full-bitrate DTS track at 1506kbs, equivalent to DTS on laserdisc and early DVD.
I have heard so many T2 tracks over the years that I could go on for ages, but I
can say without a doubt that this is the best I have ever heard T2 sound. Both
versions of the film have amazing detail & clarity, downright scary good
ambience and very natural environments. Details and effects are sharp but not
localizable in the least. Bass is solid as a rock, tight and deep. This DTS
track delivers in spades on both releases and when combined with the video is a
true delight.


Extra Features and Menus * out of *****


There are no extra features on this release. There is a nice
preview trailer showing many of Studio Canals releases and upcoming films
including Serpico, The Fog and The Graduate (which will be covered in future
reviews). Both discs include a rather simple test tone and video setup pattern
and a short explanation of how the subtitles work. Menus are nice and well laid
out, easy to navigate and simple.


Overall **** out of *****


If you are a fan of T2 and own a HD-DVD player, I cannot imagine
one not being pleased with this release. Personally I have rarely been this
excited over a HD-DVD or Blu-Ray release thus far in both of the formats short
existences. The video and audio qualities are without a doubt top notch. If you
are however a fan of extras (which I am not) you may want to hold onto that T2
Ultimate Edition DVD release. If you are simply looking for the downright best
image and audio quality that T2 has to offer, then you will want this release
without question. If you only own or plan to own HD-DVD, then this is it, unless
Lionsgate plans to go format neutral. If you have always wanted the Special
Edition version of this film in HD, this is it also. So far the previous
D-Theater, WMV and Blu-Ray releases are all the theatrical version of the film.



#2 of 39 ppltd

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Posted June 12 2007 - 11:25 AM

Gary, I had the opportunity to watch this imported HD DVD last weekend and agree with you completely on the PQ and AQ of this release. IMHO, the PQ even bests last years Lionsgate BD release (which I also own).

Thank you for the fine review.
Thomas Eisenmann(Last updated 09/30/11)

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#3 of 39 Cees Alons

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Posted June 12 2007 - 11:31 AM

Thanks for the review, Gary.

I ordered it back in Januari, from Amazon France, more or less a gamble - only to receive "unfortunately delayed" messages a few times (all in French). But I have to agree with you that the final result is almost unbelievably good!


Cees

#4 of 39 Gary Murrell

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Posted June 12 2007 - 11:46 AM

thanks guys, I too was very pleased with this, more than pleased in fact, I think I may make some custom cover art for the set Posted Image

-Gary

#5 of 39 Jordan_E

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Posted June 12 2007 - 12:09 PM

And this is why I try to stay away from these sort of reviews! Good job, Gary! You convinced me to try and sneak this past the wife on the old plastic money.
And you believe, at heart, everyone's a killer...

#6 of 39 StevenW

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Posted June 12 2007 - 05:06 PM

It would be great to one day see a side by side comparison of the US and French releases.

#7 of 39 Matt Hough

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Posted June 13 2007 - 02:29 AM

I enjoyed your review, Gary.

I would like for Blu-ray to have another crack at T2 with this extended cut, since I was rather disappointed with the previous Blu-ray release of the theatrical edition. Not terrible, of course, but I didn't consider it that big a step up from SD-DVD.

#8 of 39 Nick Graham

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Posted June 13 2007 - 03:24 AM

Must....resist....spending....$40...to....import.. ......


CURSE YOU MURRELL!!

#9 of 39 Tim Glover

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Posted June 17 2007 - 02:37 PM

Nice review Gary. I'm all over it. Posted Image

#10 of 39 Brent M

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Posted June 17 2007 - 03:21 PM

This review pushed me over the edge and I just ordered my copy from Xploited Cinema today. Can't wait to get it as T2 is one of my all-time favorite action flicks. Posted Image
"If you're good at something, never do it for free."

#11 of 39 Tim Glover

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Posted June 18 2007 - 06:24 PM

Just did the same Brent! Posted Image

#12 of 39 Brent M

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Posted June 18 2007 - 06:44 PM

Mine shipped today and the e-mail said it will be here in 2-5 days. SWEET!!! Posted Image
"If you're good at something, never do it for free."

#13 of 39 ppltd

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Posted June 18 2007 - 11:38 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Glover
Just did the same Brent! Posted Image

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent M
Mine shipped today and the e-mail said it will be here in 2-5 days. SWEET!!! Posted Image

Tim and Brent, I promise you that you will not be disappointed. This is a very well done release.
Thomas Eisenmann(Last updated 09/30/11)

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#14 of 39 Cees Alons

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Posted June 19 2007 - 12:44 AM

Second that!

Next we need The Terminator (which I already own on BD too).


Cees

#15 of 39 ppltd

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Posted June 19 2007 - 03:44 AM

Cees, who owns the EU rights for Terminator?
Thomas Eisenmann(Last updated 09/30/11)

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#16 of 39 Cees Alons

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Posted June 19 2007 - 07:47 AM

Thomas,

I'm not sure. There have been numerous releases on VHS and DVD - even "trilogy sets" - by different studios: (Fox) Pathé, Carolco, Sony Pictures (!), but most of them by "MGM Home Entertainment (Europe)".

The BD is available here too (probably just a US import).


Cees

#17 of 39 Mark Cappelletty

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Posted June 19 2007 - 11:16 AM

Got mine today from xploited. Wow! Pretty amazing looking.

#18 of 39 Tim Glover

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Posted June 19 2007 - 06:20 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent M
Mine shipped today and the e-mail said it will be here in 2-5 days. SWEET!!! Posted Image

Mine shipped today too Brent! Looks we both can enjoy Awnuld in HD DVD. Posted Image

#19 of 39 Viper

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Posted June 20 2007 - 02:58 PM

Sad we have to import awesome movies like this rather than getting U.S. releases in a timely mannor.

#20 of 39 Tim Glover

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Posted June 20 2007 - 03:02 PM

In some ways it's kind of cool to get a few imports. One of those nananabooboo things to brag about. Of course we spent double! Posted Image





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