What can really be said about The Terminator that hasn't been said already? The 1984 film is an iconic and riveting science fiction classic from the directorial expertise of James Cameron. It was a film that helped put Arnold Schwarzenegger even more on the map (as if he wasn't already), and it single-handedly spawned a movie franchise that continues to this day.
The Terminator is one of those films that just keeps getting released time and time again. It makes sense since it's so popular, but several double-dips over the years simply don't add much to the experience at this point. Take the Limited Edition Blu-ray Book Edition. This rehash of the Blu-ray release from 2006, and there's not much in the way of new features of reasons to buy the film again. What that being said, the film itself is as awesome as always.
The Terminator tells the story about the end of the world, so to speak. Artificial intelligence has risen up and obliterated its human oppressors. It has deemed them to be the number one threat in the world, and naturally it brings out the big guns to take us down. Nuking cities across the globe, the stragglers are left for the machines to snuff out. Just when the tide of the battle starts to shift the machines send a lone terminator (Schwarzenegger) back in time to kill Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), the mother of resistance leader John Connor. A solitary human was sent back in time as well, and it's Kyle Reese's (Michael Biehn) duty to thwart the terminator and save Sarah.
As the terminator arrives back in the 80s, it's only natural that there's very little that can stop him. Reese is the only one who knows how to destroy the machine, and Sarah is caught unaware as other women with her name start getting executed. It's a taught, action-packed game of cat and mouse that becomes a special effects treasure trove as it rolls forward. All across the board performances in The Terminator are spot on. There isn't a bit of camp to the material, and it's this serious attitude that helped solidify the franchise. The Terminator, along with its distant cousins Alien and Predator, is dark, violent, and the epitome of great action sci-fi. It's a film that deserves to be in everyone's collection, but this version isn't necessarily the pinnacle of what fans would expect.
One of the reasons this Blu-ray release falters is thanks to the transfer presented here. It's anything but high end and it really doesn't do the film the justice it deserves in high definition. The Blu-ray disc is presented with 1080p that utilizes an MPEG-2 encoding. The underwhelming transfer is identical to what has already been presented on Blu-ray, and that is to say it's not a heck of a lot better than the DVD. Heavy doses of grain, speckle, dirt, and other bits of compression plague this release. It's not unwatchable, but it is definitely nowhere near as sharp or detailed as a Blu-ray transfer should be.