Terminator Salvation Blu-ray

Saturday, 28 November 2009 11:48

The battle between man and machine officially continues in “Terminator Salvation”, the fourth film in the series, out now on Blu-ray and DVD courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. To give this entrant box office clout, the producers have drafted in Christian Bale of “Batman” fame to star as an adult version of John Connor - leader of the human resistance in a post-Judgment Day world ravaged by deadly Terminators.

John Connor’s destiny was always to lead the human resistance against Skynet and its army of Terminators. It’s 2018, and the future Connor was raised to believe in is altered, in part, by the appearance of Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington – soon to be Jake Sully in “Avatar”), a stranger whose last memory is of being on death row. Connor must decide whether Marcus has been sent from the future, or rescued from the past…

Terminator Salvation DVD and Blu-rayAs Skynet prepares its final onslaught, Connor and Marcus both embark on an odyssey that takes them into the heart of Skynet's operations, where they uncover the terrible secret behind the possible annihilation of mankind.

“Terminator Salvation” was directed by McG of the “Charlie’s Angels” movie franchise. Also starring are Bryce Dallas Howard (Gwen Stacey in “Spiderman 3”) as Kate Connor, Moon Bloodgood (Rita Shelten in “Day Break” and Livia Beale in “Journeyman”) as Blair Williams, hip-hop act Common (Gunsmith in “Wanted”) as Barnes, Anton Yelchin (Chekov in JJ Abrams’ “Star Trek”) as Kyle Reese, with screen legends Michael Ironside as General Ashdown and Helena Bonham Carter as Serena Kogan.

The movie script was devised by John D Brancato and Michael Ferris, who also worked as a team on “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines” and “The Game”. That said, Jonathan Nolan (brother of Christopher of “The Dark Knight” Director fame) apparently had to do some work on it before it could really fly.

The major question is: can the franchise survive without Arnie?  Well, without giving too much away, the film does get around the lack of availability of Mr Schwarzenegger thanks to what’s possible with modern technology! Aside from this, it’s a big responsibility to ask Christian Bale to carry the movie – you’ll remember the fuss over that audio recording of him giving the film’s director of photography a ‘dressing down’. Whether that leak was genuine or a bit of creative ‘PR’, in the end one can understand why Bale would feel the pressure of starring, and indeed why the brooding performance leaves others to often dominate his screen time!

I’m no expert on “Terminator” continuity, but I’m sure that the pudding is being stirred in all sorts of strange directions that may well be contradictory. Perhaps it’s best not to actually think too much about what’s actually going on, and just enjoy the feast of crash-bang-wallop which is sustained throughout this movie. This is probably the whole point – the movie is trying to work on two levels; the one that tries to placate the existing fan base, and the other in trying to bring in new audience members - something that the recent JJ Abrams’ treatment of “Star Trek” did so well in this regard.

In a movie franchise that has at its heart the mantra of advancing technology being allowed to spiral out of control, it is perhaps ironic that one of the main selling points, beyond the movie itself, are the host of extras which take the viewing experience way, way beyond the original film’s content. We’ve always said at the Ministry of Cineology that the secret of being a ‘cult’ media entertainment is that it encourages appreciators to do more than just watch the original product – and in this regard, “Terminator Salvation” has certainly taken this aspect on board in a comprehensive way.

The Blu-ray edition of this revival contains both the Original Theatrical Version and an Extended Director’s Cut with footage not seen in cinemas. In addition, the it is packed with bonus features including two behind the scenes featurettes,  “Re-Forging the Future” (an exclusive look at the film’s production) and “The Moto-Terminator” (a featurette revealing how the film’s visual effects crew and motorcycle manufacturer Ducati partnered to create the slick and deadly Moto-Terminators).

Also included on the Blu-ray release is a feature called ‘Maximum Movie Mode’, which allows viewers to see the Director, McG, deconstructing key moments from the film. There’s also a ‘Picture in Picture’ commentary, as well as cast and crew interviews, storyboards, still galleries and timeline, plus eleven mini featurette ‘focus points’ spotlighting how the special effects were achieved.

In addition, the Blu-ray Disc™ version is ‘BD-Live™ enabled’, which means that purchasers can get connected and go beyond the disc via an Internet-connected Blu-ray player. This allows the possibilities of being able to download further content, give feedback through an exclusive survey, and register for rewards. The BD-Live™ features on the disc include:

  • “Resist or be Terminated” Tech Com videos, featuring nine viral videos documenting the resistance campaign up to the theatrical release, and four new videos from the Home Entertainment campaign; and
  •  “The Final Resistance” - in which viewers can access the secret plans of Skynet. 

There’s also a facility called CINECHAT – this allows movie fans to chat live with friends around the world while viewing this movie, or any other CINECHAT-enabled Sony BD title.

This Blu-ray Disc also includes the latest BD-Live™ feature - ‘movieIQ’. This allows viewers to immediately access continuously-updated information on the cast and crew, and explore relevant trivia such as production facts, and music and soundtrack information - all tied to scenes within the movie.

Priced at an RRP of £24.99 for the Blu-ray (run time 118 minutes) and £19.99 for the DVD (run time 110 minutes), the film is also available to buy as part of a festively-orientated “Terminator 1-4” DVD box set, priced at £34.99 RRP, and as a Collector’s Edition Blu-ray with some stunning life-size ‘Skull’ packaging for a RRP of £74.99 (and if you really want to go the whole hog, there's even a Samsung 500Gb hard drive that comes with a copy of the film pre-loaded onto it at a RRP of £78.99) – or all for less at www.culttvstore.com. All variants have a ‘12’ certificate.

One final thing – there’s an amazing 3D game now live on the official website – head to www.terminatorsalvationdvd.co.uk to check it out.

 

 

                                                                  

Last modified on Thursday, 10 May 2012 16:37

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