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post #1 of 55 Old 12-21-2017, 12:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Terminator 2: Judgment Day Ultra HD Blu-ray Review



Ralph Potts reviews the Ultra HD Blu-ray release of James Cameron’s sci-fi/action classic that helped define the genre.



The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/UHD Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

81



Details:

Studio and Year: Lionsgate - 1991
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 137 minutes
Genre: Sci-Fi/Action

Disc Format: BD-66
Encoding: HEVC
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English/French DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, German DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, English, French, Spanish, German
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong, Robert Patrick
Directed by: James Cameron
Music by: Brad Fiedel
Written by: James Cameron, & William Wisher
Region Code: A

Release Date: December 26, 2017


"I’ll Be Back…"


My Take:

Skynet, the 21st century computer waging a losing war on humans sends a second terminator back in time to destroy the leader of the human resistance while he is still a boy. His mother is the only one who knows of the existence of the Terminators, human-like robots that exist only to kill and are nearly indestructible, and Sarah, the boy's mother is currently in a state mental hospital because of her 'delusions'. A second protector is sent back to the past by the Human resistance to protect John Connor, their future leader, at all costs.


Terminator 2: Judgment Day shattered the definition of action-filmmaking to become one of the most celebrated sequels of all time. Even in an age of anything-is-possible digital blockbuster filmmaking – with onscreen action often entirely fabricated and “unreal” – T2 remains a touchstone for both filmmakers and movie fans on the use of visual effects, fusing high-tech thrills with an emotional and compelling story.

I have been a fan of The Terminator films going back to 1984 when I saw the The Terminator in the movies. The original film was impressive and to that point unlike any other sci-fi movie I had seen. The combination of sci-fi action, special effects, drama, and even a little horror, combined with a resonating story left an impression. As much as I liked the original, Terminator 2: Judgment Day was off the charts. To me, its impact was similar to that of Star Wars, in that up to that point, I had never seen anything quite like it.

James Cameron knows how to create exciting, visually engaging, and memorable films. The action sequences and special effects in T2 at the time were in the stratosphere. Quite honestly, I think that they still hold up extremely well over 25 years later. I remember being amazed by Linda Hamilton’s physical transformation from the original film to this one. I don’t know how many times I have watched this movie over the years, but it has been quite a few. I have owned the original, Ultimate, and Extreme Edition DVDs, and the Skynet Blu-ray Edition. For me it has always represented forward thinking, advance technology and intelligent filmmaking.


Replay Value:


Parental Guide:

The rating is for strong sci-fi action/violence, and for language throughout.


AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


Audio: 86
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialogue Reproduction:
  • DSU Rating * (non-rated element):



UHD Presentation: 76
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • HDR: Dark Highlights:
  • HDR: Bright Highlights:
  • HDR: Expanded Color & WCG:
  • Resolution:
  • Visual Impact:



Ultra HD Blu-ray has finally been released and eager enthusiasts are ready and willing to see what it has to offer. For those not familiar with the details regarding Ultra HD Blu-ray you can refer to my article that includes some pertinent data on the subject. Here is the link:

Ultra HD Blu-ray Has Come to AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Terminator 2: Judgment Day comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Lionsgate Home Entertainment featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 channel sound that has an average bitrate of 4 Mbps.

For its recent 3D theatrical re-release Terminator 2: Judgement Day was remastered, purportedly overseen by Director James Cameron, from the original 35mm film elements, and Its presentation in Ultra HD appears to be derived from the 4K Digital Intermediate result.

Let me start by saying that Terminator 2: Judgment on home video has never been a looker, however when I heard of its remastering, I hoped that its release in Ultra HD would allow us to see it in its finest light since appearing on shiny discs.

Before I went into viewing the Ultra HD rendering, I spent some time looking at select scenes from the VC-1 encoded Skynet Blu-ray release. I then watched those same scenes on the Blu-ray version found in the Ultra HD Combo Pack, which appears to have been minted from the new master. The thing that immediately struck me was the improvement in contrast and black levels. Whereas the VC-1 encode looked washed out, with overcooked whites, and mediocre depth in low level transitions, the new Blu-ray provided improved delineation and deeper fields of black. The color timing appeared different, with hues that leaned ever so slightly toward teal, during scenes where color levels were drained for thematic effect. Saturation was deeper, in a complimentary fashion, which warmed up fleshtones, and primary colors.

Switching to the Ultra HD version, I did notice an uptick in sharpness and definition. Finer details were discernible, particularly in the clothing worn by the cast. Wide-angle shots didn’t appear appreciably deeper in terms of dimensionality, offering depth similar to the 1080p rendering, with perhaps a minor improvement. Unfortunately, there was a decision to use digital noise reduction to “clean up” aspects of the image. The application isn’t heavy handed or pervasive, but the effects are noticeable, with some instances being subtle, while others are more on the blatant side. I have opted not to refer to specific moments, since there are many who may not notice this, and pointing it out could impact their experience. Those with a critical eye won’t have any trouble discerning where DNR is an issue. While use of it is generally unacceptable, this is far from the most egregious cases I have seen.

I felt that in general the presentation offered middling to fair resolution, not in keeping what we have seen from the better offerings, especially for re-mastered catalog titles, that was probably more hit than miss. The improvements seen on the 1080p version where present, offering a slightly deeper sense of depth that complimented both bright and dark scenes. The rendition of color yielded vivid primary and secondary hues (the dream sequence in chapter 7 is good example), while the noticeably reserved application of high dynamic range added a bit more pop and delineation to highlights and natural lighting. Contrast is improved, however, there are still moments of overcooked whites, but far and away much better than the VC-1 encode. I saw some minor moire effects (like on the air conditioner fins on the outside of the trailer when Sarah, Arnold and John arrive at Enrique’s compound in chapter 7).

Looking at this Ultra HD presentation as a whole, given the status of its subject, I would say that it is disappointing. It’s not a complete misfire, and does offer elements that improve upon the previous home releases of Terminator 2: Judgment Day. However, given the potential that a newly minted 4K restoration presents, I see this as a missed opportunity.

I used to use T2’s soundtrack as demo material back in the early days of DVD. It no longer stands out but its DTS-HD Master audio 5.1 channel mix effectively supports the film’s recorded elements on Blu-ray. The presentation features sparkling clarity and focused imaging. Dialogue is refined and tonally distinctive as it seamlessly blends with the front three channels. The vocal performances are sibilant free with smooth transitions and opulent texture. Excellent channel separation enhances the discerning of sound effects and the orchestrated elements present in the music as the sound field bristles with sonic detail.

The surrounds are utilized for discretely placed sound effects and atmospheric extension that creates an enveloping presence. Robust dynamic range and low frequency effects combine to provide good solidity and weight to the audio without sounded unnatural. These primarily come in the form of bass content associated with the effects that contain lower bass frequencies. I was pleased this audio presentation, finding that it sounds great while highlighting the strengths of the source material without ostentatious display.

Like many of you reading this, I would surely like to see this soundtrack get a facelift, along with an immersive surround mix.


Blu-ray Video:


Video: 86
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:



Terminator 2: Judgment Day comes to Blu-ray Disc from Lionsgate Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 27 Mbps.

See my comments above.

Bonus Features:
  • Disc 1: Terminator 2: Judgement Day Ultra HD Blu-ray
  • Disc 2: Terminator 2: Judgement Day Blu-ray
    • *NEW* “T2: Reprogramming the Terminator” 55 Minute Documentary Including Exclusive Interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Cameron, Edward Furlong and More
    • 2 Feature Commentaries including 23 members of the cast and crew, including director James Cameron and co-author William Wisher
    • “The Making of T2” 30 Minute Featurette
    • Seamless Branching to View 3 Different Versions of the Movie
    • 2 Deleted Scenes with Audio Commentary
    • Trailers
  • Digital HD Copy



Final Thoughts:

Terminator 2: Judgment Day is a sci-fi/action classic that set the bar for others to follow. Its critical success as an inspiring creative work has spawned quite a following that includes several sequels, a TV series and a legacy that few films in this genre can claim. The fact that it has seen multiple home video releases is evidence of its popularity and impact which it justly deserves. It comes to Blu-ray in this highly anticipated Ultra HD Combo Pack from Lionsgate Home Entertainment featuring fair overall video quality, solid DTS-HD Master Audio surround sound, legacy supplements, and a brand new exclusive feature. I can’t help but feel letdown that Terminator 2: Judgment Day on Ultra HD Blu-ray didn’t live up to expectations. Fans will have to judge for themselves, but I hope to see another release that provides top notch quality.





Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews



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Last edited by Ralph Potts; 12-21-2017 at 05:57 PM.
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post #2 of 55 Old 12-21-2017, 12:53 PM
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Thats rather disappointing. Glad I held off this long on ordering.
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post #3 of 55 Old 12-21-2017, 01:07 PM
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Thanks for the review. Looks like I will be sticking with my 2015 Lionsgate blu ray version, which still appears to be the best.

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post #4 of 55 Old 12-21-2017, 04:55 PM
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They must know this is a poor 4k version. Its $16.59 on Amazon for a 4k which is ridiculous for a pre order. Thanks for saving me some more coin Ralph and Merry Christmas to you and your family.

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post #5 of 55 Old 12-21-2017, 05:19 PM
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Thanks for the review Ralph. Bit of a let-down, I agree.

Can I make two minor points about your review?

1. It's Judgment with one E. You use two E's (Judgement) repeatedly in your review. Allegedly a stylistic choice by Mr Cameron himself.

2. I think the standard 'Ultra HD Blu-ray has finally been released...' paragraph and link is superfluous and could be moved to the end. I always find myself scanning ahead when reading your reviews because of that paragraph.
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post #6 of 55 Old 12-21-2017, 05:58 PM
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Thanks for the review, and for saving me some coin. I had high hopes for this. How often does James Cameron screw the pooch?

One of my favorite sci-fi movies, was really hoping for a strong showing here. Have a Merry Christmas Ralph!
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post #7 of 55 Old 12-21-2017, 06:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by analog8 View Post
Thanks for the review Ralph. Bit of a let-down, I agree.

Can I make two minor points about your review?

1. It's Judgment with one E. You use two E's (Judgement) repeatedly in your review. Allegedly a stylistic choice by Mr Cameron himself.

2. I think the standard 'Ultra HD Blu-ray has finally been released...' paragraph and link is superfluous and could be moved to the end. I always find myself scanning ahead when reading your reviews because of that paragraph.

Greetings,

Thanks for pointing out the spelling of Judgment analog8. I also think your suggestion about shifting the intro regarding Ultra HD is a good one. I will revise my template.


Regards,

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post #8 of 55 Old 12-21-2017, 06:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorilla Killa View Post
They must know this is a poor 4k version. Its $16.59 on Amazon for a 4k which is ridiculous for a pre order. Thanks for saving me some more coin Ralph and Merry Christmas to you and your family.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowan611 View Post
Thanks for the review, and for saving me some coin. I had high hopes for this. How often does James Cameron screw the pooch?

One of my favorite sci-fi movies, was really hoping for a strong showing here. Have a Merry Christmas Ralph!

Greetings,

You're welcome guys. Merry Christmas to you as well!


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post #9 of 55 Old 12-21-2017, 07:16 PM
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I do not own a 4K/UHD projector yet, but will be done eventually


Just want to say, it is nice to see, that they also doing older titles.
Once I got the new projector, I will only buy the 4K version if available in my part of the word.
6-12 months ago, only a very few movies were available in that format around here, but now they are available a Lot more often


This movie and review about the transfer, re-enforce my decision to buy only the new movies coming out in 4K (once I got the projector).
And not replace all previously bought BD, like a did with DVD, replace around 400 DVD to BD, and now would be about a 1000 BD to be replace, way too expensive for a very few replay value.


Ralph Potts, Thanks for taking the time to do another great review for us.


Merry Christmas to all


Ray
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post #10 of 55 Old 12-21-2017, 07:22 PM
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I had the choice and I went with the 3D...the best it's ever looked and I have owned every incarnation that has been released.
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post #11 of 55 Old 12-21-2017, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorilla Killa View Post
They must know this is a poor 4k version. Its $16.59 on Amazon for a 4k which is ridiculous for a pre order. Thanks for saving me some more coin Ralph and Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Love your signature


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And also Merry Christmas to you and your family.


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post #12 of 55 Old 12-21-2017, 07:48 PM
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Great review, Ralph. I toyed with blind buying this, and went with the UK 3D. That one looks pretty darn good and, based on what you said in your review. I made the right choice.

Thanks for all of the great reviews this year (although my pocketbook would say otherwise

Merry Christmas to all!
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I was going to see the 3D re-release in the theater and then somehow missed it. Did it even show here? Now I have to import a region B locked release from the U.K. It's like they don't want me to see it or something. Nice that UHD finally gets rid of region locking.
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post #14 of 55 Old 12-21-2017, 10:24 PM
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Ouch, looks like one of your lowest UHD video scores yet. I'm already let down with this one.

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post #15 of 55 Old 12-22-2017, 12:47 AM
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James Cameron should hang his ego head in shame .

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As the others have said Ralph, thanks for the great review and even more thanks for saving me a little bit of money. This is a huge disappointment for me because I am a big fan of this movie and have owned it in its several incarnations. I was looking forward to an immersive soundtrack and top notch video quality, but alas, I guess I will have to wait a bit longer. Hopefully Mr. Cameron will read the reviews and his ego will force him to release a better mix.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you.

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I'll be sticking with my Japanese steelbook from a few years back.
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post #18 of 55 Old 12-22-2017, 07:54 AM
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From this and other reviews, I get the impression that the blu-ray in this set is pretty close to what we have been waiting for, most notably a new 4k scan/digital master from the film elements that is way better than a very old digital master that was barely a good source for blu-ray, let alone 4k. I also get the impression the blu-ray represents that master to that format's abilities before it was "tweaked" for 3D conversion, but still after Cameron made changes to the color grading and other changes he wanted.

For the UHD, it seems like they put on a"tweaked" for 3D version in 2D on the disc when they really should have just used used the "pre-tweaked for 3D" 4k master.

This of course is speculation.
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post #19 of 55 Old 12-22-2017, 07:54 AM
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What a shame.
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post #20 of 55 Old 12-22-2017, 10:22 AM
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Unfortunately, there was a decision to use digital noise reduction to “clean up” aspects of the image. The application isn’t heavy handed or pervasive, but the effects are noticeable, with some instances being subtle, while others are more on the blatant side. While use of it is generally unacceptable, this is far from the most egregious cases I have seen.
I find this to be very sweet regarding the amount of texture-less elements (on the BD at least) due to the use of DNR.

I'm not sure if that's a side-effect of the format, or that the 4K restoration was originally good in terms of level of details, or that there also is EE, but on the BD, the DNR is turned up to 11 and has sucked all life from the picture. It is as texture-less as it can get (though I guess there's always worse) and I don't see how this isn't heavy handed.
This isn't what Gaumont is doing, or what Universal has done with Jaws. It reminds awfully texture-less things like Predator UHE or the 1st Patton release.

If this is only getting a mild pass, no wonder the industry keep resorting to stupidly across-the-board applied destructive digital filters.
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post #21 of 55 Old 12-22-2017, 01:19 PM
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Thanks for the review Ralph.

A real bummer. Review No.4 this week that says more or less the same.
Because the 3D version gets thumbs up all around, I will go for that one and call it a day until JC releases a worthy 4K version.

Cheers and Happy Holidays to all!
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post #22 of 55 Old 12-22-2017, 01:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenia54 View Post
I find this to be very sweet regarding the amount of texture-less elements (on the BD at least) due to the use of DNR.

I'm not sure if that's a side-effect of the format, or that the 4K restoration was originally good in terms of level of details, or that there also is EE, but on the BD, the DNR is turned up to 11 and has sucked all life from the picture. It is as texture-less as it can get (though I guess there's always worse) and I don't see how this isn't heavy handed.
This isn't what Gaumont is doing, or what Universal has done with Jaws. It reminds awfully texture-less things like Predator UHE or the 1st Patton release.

If this is only getting a mild pass, no wonder the industry keep resorting to stupidly across-the-board applied destructive digital filters.
Greetings,

I can't speak to what you're seeing on your system/set up. I can tell you that what I see isn't in the same league of the first Blu-ray release of Patton or the second Blu-ray release of Predator. I won't kowtow in order to please those that have an ax to grind regarding their beliefs that the industry spends their time ringing their hands, finding pleasure when the consumer is disappointed. My comments stand as is, reflective of my experience.

If you feel otherwise, feel free to jump in, write a review, and be judged by readers like yourself. Just be careful, you may find it different when you're on the other side.


Regards,
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post #23 of 55 Old 12-22-2017, 01:52 PM
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I might have poorly explained myself : I dont believe the industry as a whole like to take stupid technical decisions. I however strongly believe some people in the industry dont know what's right to do and the good thing is : I'm not a mechanic but I still know something's wrong when my car doesnt start. So it's the same here : I dont work in the industry but still know some companies too often resort to filtering digitally their restorations. And everytime this kind of work isnt pointed ou negatively, it sends the message they have no reason to learn to do better.

Plenty of companies are doing a fine job.
But those who dont should have learnt how to correct their workflow years ago. Yet, in 2017, for Terminator 2 restored in 4K, here we are, complaining about heavy DNR ans visible EE.

But that's a whole different matter than your arguments for defending your take, which I'm fine with.
But I do think the effects of the digital filtering, at least on the BD, are more destructive than what you describe.
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post #24 of 55 Old 12-22-2017, 02:03 PM - Thread Starter
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I might have poorly explained myself : I dont believe the industry as a whole like to take stupid technical decisions. I however strongly believe some people in the industry dont know what's right to do and the good thing is : I'm not a mechanic but I still know something's wrong when my car doesnt start. So it's the same here : I dont work in the industry but still know some companies too often resort to filtering digitally their restorations. And everytime this kind of work isnt pointed ou negatively, it sends the message they have no reason to learn to do better.

Plenty of companies are doing a fine job.
But those who dont should have learnt how to correct their workflow years ago. Yet, in 2017, for Terminator 2 restored in 4K, here we are, complaining about heavy DNR ans visible EE.

But that's a whole different matter than your arguments for defending your take, which I'm fine with.
But I do think the effects of the digital filtering, at least on the BD, are more destructive than what you describe.
Greetings,

Thanks for your response/clarification. At the end of the day, what we are essentially talking about are apples to apples. The message that anyone reading my review would take away is, this is a poor effort, and we expect better. As I said, I won't resort to language that over emphasizes the point simply for the sake of doing so. It's not fair to the readership or the studio.


Regards,
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post #25 of 55 Old 12-22-2017, 03:00 PM
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So first they cancel the Endoarm limited edition, now the 4K release itself looks like a dud. It is unbelievable to me that the release of a movie the magnitude of T2 can be botched so badly. I guess I will stick with my MondoX steel book version for the time being.
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post #26 of 55 Old 12-22-2017, 03:32 PM
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Love your signature


Big thanks for supporting the troops, coming from an allied Canadian Vet.


And also Merry Christmas to you and your family.


Ray
Im not sure where I saw it but it resonated with me, it is however unfortunate we cant make it a reality. My take is they should go protest your govt not the guys defending your way of life



Big Thanks to you and your family for your service.
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post #27 of 55 Old 12-22-2017, 03:38 PM
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Thanks Ralph for the great review. I finished watching the 3D version from amazon uk yesterday and it was a pretty impressive 3D conversion. Just wish it had an immersive audio track. I will still be picking the 4K version just because I am a big fan of the movie.
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post #28 of 55 Old 12-22-2017, 04:00 PM
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How bad can this disc really be? At least it is 4K so I am expecting better quality picture compared to the BD. I am still looking forward to the 4k release. At least it is substantially cheaper then most 4k discs this makes it worth it in my opinion. Too bad no immersive audio.
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post #29 of 55 Old 12-22-2017, 05:36 PM
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Hi Ralph

Is the newly scanned plain vanilla HD BluRay version of the movie better than any of the previously released HD bluray versions? If yes, can one buy the new bluray scanned version without having to spring for the UHD version as well? Thanks again for a great review.

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post #30 of 55 Old 12-22-2017, 06:11 PM
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How bad can this disc really be? At least it is 4K so I am expecting better quality picture compared to the BD. I am still looking forward to the 4k release. At least it is substantially cheaper then most 4k discs this makes it worth it in my opinion. Too bad no immersive audio.
James Cameron messed with it too much. Looks like a different movie.

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