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Old 07-30-01, 02:25 PM
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I hold in my hands a test-pressing of...

The Terminator!

I have not yet watched the disk in depth, but skipped around here and there just to see what it was like. Unfortunately, no packaging was included (which means I'm going to end up buying this one, anyway. Damn!) BTW, don't ask me where I got it. And, NO!, I'm not going to give it away! Anyway, here are my thoughts.

It is a two sided disk. The movie and a bunch of Easter eggs are hidden on Side 1. And a nice selection of extras are on Side 2, including two documentaries, about 7-8 deleted scenes, a bunch of production drawings and one or two other extras that I'm forgetting right now.

As for the movie, it looks great! Some dirt here and there during the opticals (special effects shots), maybe a little grainy here and there, but let's remember folks this was a low-budget flick, shot on the quick some 17 years ago, and then the source material was maintained by a production company slowly slipping into bankruptcy. Given all that, I found the "flaws" to be very, very minor. (Okay, okay, I don't have a 16x9, hi-def TV, so your mileage may vary).

The 5.1 remix is terrific. Very aggressive, with lots of the effects and the music using the surrounds extensively. The one scene I watched in its entirety, the police station shoot-out, is particularly impressive. One odd thing, though, I noticed that the sound was recorded at a lower volume than most of my disks, meaning that I had to turn up the volume on my system to get the level I wanted. No biggie for me, but I'm sure somebody, somewhere will declare this a problem.

The disk also included the mono mix for you purists. I did not listen to this, nor will I ever!

As for the Easter eggs. They are all scattered on Side 1. Two interesting things about them: 1) they are grouped in "nests," if you will. Meaning that if you go back to the site of a particular Easter egg and play it again, right after playing it the first time, a different video clip will play! So each Easter egg site houses a number of Easter eggs. 2) the video clips all utilize stills and freeze frames matched up to an audio track. So in essence they are audio only. (my friend told me that this had to be done to squeeze all of the eggs and the 5.1 remix on one side of the disk) Still the information in the Easter eggs is very interesting. For example, one that I found contained separate interviews with Gale Ann Hurd, James Cameron and the composer, each explaining their belief as to why the Terminator was not originally recorded in stereo. Cameron's answer is blunt to say the least!

Opening animation is very nice (along the lines of T2) but menus for things like Scene Selection are not fully-animated (again, I assume to save space).

Also, I can finally confirm that the subtitles are the original text and NOT of the player generated variety, as feared. YEAH!

As for the extras, I have not yet watched either of the documentaries all the way through, but one appears to have been shot around the time of The Terminator's release and the other, much more recently. The older one looks like fairly standard Electronic Press Kit type stuff, while the newer looks much more impressive. Just from the way the opening was edited together, I could tell that someone who really loved this movie made the documentary (most likely Van Ling, though I have not yet seen the credits to confirm that).

The production drawings are also a revelation, as many of them were done by Cameron himself. I had no idea he was such a talented sketch artist! Some of the drawings are even done in oil paints. Very cool and amazing how much of the details in the final film were in his head from the get go. I mean the Terminator exo-skeleton looks in earliest drawings almost exactly like it does in the finished film, down to the various places the bolts will go!

The highlights of the disk for me, though, are the "Terminated" scenes. Each of the scenes looks terrific. No workprint footage or video playback fills. These scenes seemed to have been restored with as much care as the film itself. Plus, MGM somehow got Cameron to do a commentary track for each of the deleted scenes! So, you can watch the scene with the original audio or listen to Cameron's commentary. His comments are so fascinating in these small bits that it only saddens me further that he refuses to do feature-length commentaries. Oh, well. Maybe now that he has gotten his feet wet...

Also, one of the cut scenes unexpectedly hints at an abandon subplot that later was fully fleshed out in T2. I had never heard about this before. So, I was blown away by the discovery. Cameron's commentary on this scene was particularly insightful.

And that's about it. In all, though not the Ultimate DVD that is T2 (of course, how could it be? T2 was one of the most highly anticipated films of all time and therefore it's production was documented in great detail), this is a great disk that proves to be everything that fans of the movie hoped it would be! I for one, plan on playing the hell out of it!
Old 07-30-01, 02:49 PM
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James Cameron is a pretty talented artist. In Titanic, the picture of Kate Winslet (sp?) is actually done by him. The scene of DiCaprio drawing the picture has a shot that is actually Cameron's hand drawing the picture.
Old 07-30-01, 08:07 PM
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Originally posted by Khalid
James Cameron is a pretty talented artist. In Titanic, the picture of Kate Winslet (sp?) is actually done by him. The scene of DiCaprio drawing the picture has a shot that is actually Cameron's hand drawing the picture.


He's special.
Old 07-30-01, 08:09 PM
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Originally posted by Tony Block
He's special.
Old 07-30-01, 10:18 PM
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Originally posted by Tony Block



He's special.
I thought he was the "King of the World".
Old 07-30-01, 10:36 PM
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Had the sketchbook in hand

Believe it or not, I had the sketchbook in hand,

after most of the movie related sketches were removed but there were some good sketches in their.

Maybe I'll tell you why I had it sometime!

D
Old 07-30-01, 10:39 PM
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Nice, you lucky SOB.
Old 07-30-01, 10:44 PM
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*smile*

=)
Old 07-31-01, 12:11 AM
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Originally posted by Coral


I thought he was the "King of the World".
Unhunh! That too!

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