Terminator Genisys - 3D Blu-ray Disc Review

Terminator Genisys - 3D Blu-ray Disc Pacakge
Terminator Genisys - 3D Blu-ray Disc Package. Photo © Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

Terminator Genisys, the latest in entry in terminator franchise, which includes four previous films (The Terminator, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, and Terminator Salvation), as well as a short lived TV series (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), is now available on Blu-ray Disc in both 2D and 3D for your consideration - but it is worth the view, let alone deserving of a place in your Blu-ray Disc collection. To find out what I thought, read my review.

Story

In this installment of the Terminator franchise, after a brief intro, the film starts the action in the year 2029, where human freedom fighters, led by John Connor defeat the machines of Skynet - but all is not victorious as Skynet has sent a "terminator" back to 1984 past to kill John Connor's mother, Sarah. To stop this attempt, fellow warrior Kyle Reese is specifically selected to use the now captured Skynet time machine to thwart Skynet's final failsafe plan to alter the future that it continues it dominance over humans.

OK, if you are Terminator fan you saying "Is this just a remake of the original?" - The answer is yes and no, as when Kyle Reese arrives in 1984 to prevent the Terminator from killing Sarah Connor, the timeline of the original film has been altered, and so a new adventure, with crazy twists and turns, is played out with both familiar characters (yes Arnold is back in a big way) and one-liners and unexpected new characters in a wild roller coaster ride of violence, special effects, and immersive surround sound.

For more on the story, as well a review of the theatrical presentation of the film, read a review posted by Ain't It Cool News, as well as an analysis of plot holes in the film by by Johnny Rico Lifewire.com Action/War Movies Expert.

Also, for additional perspective on the entire Terminator franchise, check out The Timelines of the Terminator Explained and Review of the Terminator Franchise by Johnny Rico Lifewire.com Action/War Movies Expert.

Blu-ray Package Description

Studio: Paramount

Running Time: 126 minutes

MPAA Rating:PG-13

Genre: Action, Sci-Fi

Principal Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Clarke, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney, J.K. Simmons, Dayo Okeniyi, Courtney B. Vance, Byung-hun Lee, Matt Smith

Director: Alan Taylor

Screenplay: Laeta Kalogridis, Patrick Lussier

Executive Producers: Bill Carraro, Megan Ellison, Laeta Kalogridis, Patrick Lussier , Paul Schwake

Producers: Dana Goldberg , David Ellison

Discs: Two 50 GB Blu-ray Discs (One 3D, One 2D with Bonus Features), and One DVD.

Digital Copy: UltraViolet HD and iTunes Digital Copy.

Video Specifications: Video codec used - MVC MPEG4 (3D), AVC MPG4 (2D) Video resolution - 1080p, Aspect ratio - 2.40:1, - Special features and supplements in various resolutions and aspect ratios.

Subtitles: English SDH, English, French, Portuguese, Spanish.

Bonus Features (Available on the 2D Blu-ray Disc)

Family Dynamics - A 15-minute featurette where the cast and crew comment on the Terminator Franchise and how they integrated their characters into the Terminator universe.

Infiltration and Termination - A 25-minute "behind-the-scenes" look at the huge physcial sets used and on-location filming in San Francisco and New Orleans, including how New Orleans was successfully used to portray 1984 Los Angeles.

Ugrades: VFX of Terminator Genisys - A look at how the mixture of both practical and CGI effects were used in the film, including comments by franchise creator James Cameron. The most interesting segment: Staging the Terminator Genisys Arnold vs the original Terminator Arnold encounter - saying anything more right now will spoil it.

Blu-ray Disc Presentation - Video (3D)

Terminator Genisys holds up pretty well in 3D, despite the fact that there a good number of dark and night scenes that can cause problems with 3D depth. Overall, the result appears pretty natural, especially with facial close-ups and clothing texture. Also, the perspective between foreground and background objects is fairly natural.

Also, the use of "comin-at-ya'-style" 3D effects where used at key points, not overused - which was also nice touch.

The only 3D effect that through me off momentarily was a couple of dream-like, memory sequences that appeared to exhibit haloing until I realized that the haloing was part of the dreamlike images and not a sudden problem with the execution of the 3D effect.

Also, with exterior shots of San Francisco and in its environs, the films takes full advantage of its widescreen aspect ratio, with natural depth in the landscapes and buildings.

The 3D conversion for the film was done by StereoD

Blu-ray Disc Presentation - Video (2D)

In addition to viewing the 3D version of the film, I also viewed the film in standard 2D (also included in the 3D disc package) and although I preferred the 3D version in terms of depth, I as not disappointed with the 2D version, which presented a brighter image and had slightly more saturated color.

Blu-ray Disc Presentation - Audio

For audio, both 2D and 3D Blu-ray Discs provide Dolby Atmos and Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel soundtracks. If you have a Dolby Atmos home theater setup, you will experience a more precise and immersive listening experience (vertical height) than with the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 option.

Also, those that do not have a home theater receiver that provides Dolby Atmos or Dolby TrueHD decoding, your Blu-ray Disc player will send out a standard Dolby Digital 5.1 channel mix.

The Dolby TrueHD 7.1 soundtrack I had access to on my system was definitely immersive. There is plenty of flying debris, helicopters, gunfire, and explosions to keep your surround sound and subwoofer channels busy.

Also, scenes that took place indoors (including a hospital and underground bunkers) had a natural acoustic feel. Two key scenes that exploit the surround sound experience very well: The future war scene near the beginning of the film and the "final" battle near the end of the film.

Final Take

Terminator Genisys is definitely a wild ride (check out the school bus chase scene!), and, if you have never seen, or have no knowledge of any of the previous entries in the Terminator Franchise, you will probably be thoroughly confused as characters pop in out of various timelines. It it is definitely a lot to take in on a single viewing.

On the other hand, it is great to see Arnold Schwarzenegger back in full Terminator form (in more ways than one) and Game of Thrones actress Emilia Clarke does a good job of taking over the Sarah Connor role from Linda Hamilton (she even has a similar look).

Of course, there is all that action, immersive surround sound, and your choice of 2D or 3D.

In terms of video quality, both the 2D and 3D presentation an excellent job of the extensive detail work that when into the film's production, but the 3D version is a little warmer and dimmer than the 2D version - However, it is by no means deficient.

In terms of audio, the soundtrack has solid front presence, with very active surround and subwoofer effects.

The bonus features were good, but too short - I would like to have seen more - and their is also no running audio commentary offered on either the 2D or 3D versions of the film. It would have great to have commentary featuring stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Director Alan Taylor, and James Cameron.

If you are a Terminator fan, this movie will more than satisfy, an either the 3D or 2D Blu-ray Disc would make a great addition to your collection.

However, if this is your first exposure the Terminator franchise, you may get lost with the multiple timelines and time travel elements. However, you can always take in the sights and sounds of this chapter - My advice for newbies - get your hands on at least the first two films in the series: The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgement Day - Those two films will add the context you need to fully appreciate Terminator Genysis.

Also available:

The Terminator (1984)

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

DISCLAIMER:The Blu-ray Disc package used in this review was provided by Dolby Labs and Paramount

Components Used In This Review

Blu-ray Disc Players: OPPO BDP-103.

Home Theater Receiver: Onkyo TX-NR705 (using Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Channel Decoding Mode)

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