Robert Harris

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A few words about...™ Terminator 2 -- in 4k UHD Blu-ray



Terminator 2, directed by James Cameron is a Carolco film, which may, or may not, have something to do with what I’m seeing.

An important film for fans, and something that should be important to the overall lay of 4k turf.

Problem is, whether by design or error, and it really doesn’t matter which, the Lionsgate release is in some ways the 2017 version of the original Patton Blu-ray, and has no reason to exist on 4k media.

Any original film grain is gone. The image is slightly sharpened, made all the more obvious by 4k, and any highly resolved information that might have been on the original work, is gone.

The overall aura is one of being slightly plasticized.

Not nearly as problematic as Patton 1, but the same idea.

This is a pity, as it’s an entertaining film.

What crossed my mind, was that this may be the same old HD master used for the DVDs and older Blu-rays, but I have trouble believing that.

Image - 2

Audio - 5

4k - 2

Pass / Fail - Fail

Upgrade from Blu-ray - No

RAH
 
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Josh Steinberg

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It's a new master that was created with the intention of being the basis of a 3D conversion. The grain was eliminated with the apparent goal of having a better 3D presentation, and was done with the enthusiastic participation of director James Cameron.

However, I've seen absolutely nothing to indicate that this master was ever intended by Cameron to be used for anything other than a 3D conversion.

It seems that this would not be the appropriate master to use for a UHD release.
 
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Robert Harris

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It's a new master that was created with the intention of being the basis of a 3D conversion. The grain was eliminated with the apparent goal of having a better 3D presentation, and was done with the enthusiastic participation of director James Cameron.

However, I've seen absolutely nothing to indicate that this master was ever intended by Cameron to be used for anything other than a 3D conversion.

It seems that this would not be the appropriate master to use for a UHD release.
Why would there be a need, or desire, to reduce grain toward 3D exhibition. Problem is that there isn’t 4k information in the image.

That said, this master would probably be a superb basis for a DVD, or lower rez streaming.
 

Josh Steinberg

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You'd have to ask Cameron that. I don't think he was ever a big grain fan in the first place, so it could be part of a revisionist desire to make it look more "modern".
 

Michel_Hafner

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Glad I cancelled months ago after the first alarming reports. To release such crap in UHD is mind boggling.
 

Konstantinos

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I'm glad Mr. Harris that you don't support this release!
It's a shame such a highly popular film gets a bluray like this, and other unknown B-movies get wonderful filmic restorations!

it seems the 2015 release is the "definite" for now release, although by no means I mean it's great!
 
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Scott Merryfield

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Thanks for the review, Robert. Your observations are similar to others on the 'net, so I decided to cancel my pre-order. Hopefully the next UHD release of this film will correct the issues.
 
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Robert Harris

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Thanks for the review, Robert. Your observations are similar to others on the 'net, so I decided to cancel my pre-order. Hopefully the next UHD release of this film will correct the issues.
One gets into some interesting turf, if & when a filmmaker chooses to modify their work - if that’s what has occurred here.

Does a filmmaker have the aesthetic right to modify their work?

Yes.

Does the audience have to like, or approve of such modification?

No.

I’m generally for originality. Others may not be.

Possibly, a dual release - original & modified.

Again — if that’s the case here, and I have no direct information telling me that it is.
 
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UHDvision

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Thanks Robert, it also crossed my mind that the weird plastic look might be due to the scan being the old 2002 scan only "improved" and upscaled. Nonetheless, despite the kinks, this new version beats all past releases.
 

Lord Dalek

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This being better than the previous transfers is less of a commentary on the alleged 4k scan and more on how deeply awful the other ones were.
 

Angelo Colombus

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One gets into some interesting turf, if & when a filmmaker chooses to modify their work - if that’s what has occurred here.

Does a filmmaker have the aesthetic right to modify their work?

Yes.

Does the audience have to like, or approve of such modification?

No.

I’m generally for originality. Others may not be.

Possibly, a dual release - original & modified.

Again — if that’s the case here, and I have no direct information telling me that it is.
Lets see what happens when the first 3 Star Wars films or THX 1138 gets released in 4K. Like to see both original or modified as a option.
 
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Dave H

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I thought I read a new 4K scan was done for 3D. As bad as the DNR is, there is a lot more detail, different color, and different framing pointing to a new scan. However, I'll probably just stick with the 2015 Lionsgate BD as I prefer films to look like film and the BD even with its flaws comes closer to that.
 

Ryan Barrett

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I read elsewhere that there was "fake grain" added back in to make the picture look more like...well, "film." Isn't the point of a restoration to make "X" look as close to original as possible? I can't believe (if it is the case) that Cameron signed off on this nonsense...I've read accounts of flaws, "private parts," and a number of other items digitally removed...hell, I saw screencaps elsewhere that the "purple looking" lasers during the opening have been changed to blue? What an absolute travesty. I do not understand why this film, arguably one of the greatest action films of all time, no matter what format...laserdisc, DVD, bluray, and now 4K continues to receive subpar releases on home video. Disappointment doesn't even begin to describe my feelings on this release.
 
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revgen

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Why would there be a need, or desire, to reduce grain toward 3D exhibition. Problem is that there isn’t 4k information in the image.

That said, this master would probably be a superb basis for a DVD, or lower rez streaming.
It's easier for the conversion company (Stereo D) to convert the 2-D image to 3-D by eliminating the film grain. However, normally artificial grain is added back into the image to make it look less like plastic and more like film like they did with Titanic 3-D. This didn't happen on the T2 master for some reason. The T2 3-D conversion was done on a smaller budget than Titanic, so that may explain why.

Lionsgate and StudioCanal should have went back to the original 4k scan before grain removal was performed for the 3-D conversion. I'm sure Cameron has that original scan stored somewhere.
 

Camper

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I sold my 2015 Blu-ray when this was announced so I will have to watch this release till a better one comes along. It's only $13.79 at B&N and that's rock bottom for a new UHD release.
 

Scott Merryfield

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I sold my SkyNet version, but still cancelled this order. I don't care how inexpensive it is -- I'd rather not have a de-grained, overly plastic-looking film on my shelf, because I will never want to watch it. I cancelled my order of the first BD release of Spartacus for the same reason, but I did own the first BD release of Patton, and it wasn't pretty.

I'm okay with getting rid of the SkyNet version despite this. That release had to be the most poorly authored BD I ever owned. It took forever to load. I would get annoyed whenever I put it in a player. I can wait for a better version to be released -- we all know this will not be the last T2 released.
 
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PMF

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One gets into some interesting turf, if & when a filmmaker chooses to modify their work - if that’s what has occurred here.

Does a filmmaker have the aesthetic right to modify their work?

Yes.

Does the audience have to like, or approve of such modification?

No.

I’m generally for originality. Others may not be.

Possibly, a dual release - original & modified.

Again — if that’s the case here, and I have no direct information telling me that it is.
Maybe this will end up being like "The French Connection"; as it wasn't too long before Friedkin's modifications disc was replaced by the audience's favored and original version.
 

Colin Jacobson

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It's a new master that was created with the intention of being the basis of a 3D conversion. The grain was eliminated with the apparent goal of having a better 3D presentation, and was done with the enthusiastic participation of director James Cameron.

However, I've seen absolutely nothing to indicate that this master was ever intended by Cameron to be used for anything other than a 3D conversion.

It seems that this would not be the appropriate master to use for a UHD release.
I watched this tonight and must admit I was more bothered by the change in colors than the "degraining".

Yeah, the image does have that "plastic" look to a degree, but not as badly as with the Skynet BD or some of the other usual DNR culprits.

The colors are really different than in the past, though. The movie always leaned blue, but it had other hues as well - and now they're GONE.

When I flipped between the 4K and the 2015 BD, I was shocked at just how different the colors looked - and having seen "T2" on 87-skillion different formats over the last 26 years, I'm pretty sure the "old colors" were correct...
 

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