Befriending a young lad named Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin), Marcus heads north from what’s left of Los Angeles (surprisingly, Hollywood still looks about the same!) to find the bastards that gave him a second chance at a life in a seemingly lifeless world. Meanwhile, Connor and his Resistance fighters (veteran character actor Michael Ironside has a small part as a General) are preparing for a pre-emptive strike against SkyNet, after discovering the enemy has assembled a massive hit list of rebels, including both Connor and Reese.
A lot of people cite it as little more than a “popcorn movie.” Technically, Terminator Salvation is such a film: it relies heavily on special effects, while the story (which is good) hops into the back seat to nap every now and again. Amazingly though, the special effects aren’t the usual “pile o’CGI crap” that we’re accustomed to seeing nowadays. Instead, McG uses some of the more “traditional” visual effects techniques (i.e. methods dating back to the mid-‘90s), giving the movie a more believable feel to it — which is definitely a good thing. Plus, there are a great number of nods to the original film(s) that should please the fans.
On Blu-ray, Terminator Salvation boasts an absolutely stunning 1080p/VC-1 2.39:1 widescreen transfer. Being that it’s a post-apocalyptic adventure, the color scheme is deliberately washed-out, so don’t expect the reds, blues, greens, etc. to flop out at you. That doesn’t mean it’s bad, however: the video presentation herein is spectacular, with some super-sharp contrast, next to no (unnecessary) grain, and extremely fine detail throughout. Thanks to the filmmakers’ sparing use of CGI, Terminator Salvation looks even better in High Def, as computer-generated special effects tend to stand out a lot more (in my opinion).
The Blu-ray release of Terminator Salvation houses the original PG-13 Theatrical Edition of the film on one disc, while the R-Rated Director’s Cut (my preference) resides on another disc. Both features include a DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless soundtrack. Put simply, this mix is wonderful, and the movie has enough explosions, music queues, and dialogue to keep all of your speakers working full time. The Theatrical Cut of the film also contains a French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. Subtitles are included on both cuts in English (SDH), French, and Spanish.