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Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Comparison:

  • 4K Remastered 2017 / 3D Re-Release
  • Theatrical Version (2009 Blu-ray)
Release: Nov 26, 2017 - Author: Muck47 - Translator: Tony Montana - external link: IMDB
Compared are the 4K Remastered Version on the 2017 Blu-ray (originally edited for the 3D theatrical re-release, also available as 2D Blu-ray) and the Theatrical Version on the 2009 Blu-ray (both Blu-rays are the German releases)



Releasing Terminator 2 For Theaters and Home Theaters


There is not much to say about James Cameron's legendary Terminator 2: Judgement Day - except for one thing: It is a must see for any film fan and still thrilling until the very last minute, even nowadays. Detailed information regarding the background of the shooting, deleted scenes, different cuts and more has already been made available in the comparison of the Special Edition. The Special Edition contains 16 additional minutes of footage was released on US Laserdisc in 1995. In addition to that, an Ultimate Cut with two additional deleted scenes was released later on. All three cuts are available on the here compared 2017 Blu-ray - but more about that later.

The reason for the new Blu-ray and also reason for a pleasant anticipation among fans was a theatrical re-release of the newly restored version converted into 3D. Cameron already did it with Titanic (comparison) and Terminator 2: Judgement Day is even more interesting because the old 2009 master is anything but flawless. A new US release was at least a little more grainy and focussed but at the end of the day, it was not that much of an upgrade. For that reason, fans could not wait to get their hands on the new 4K re-release - even though it was announed pretty early that the additional footage of the two longer cuts had not be restored resp. only the Theatrical Version has been completely restored in 4K.

Subsequent to the theatrical release, there were several home theater releases as well: In addition to a DVD and 2D Blu-ray release, there is also a 3D Steelbook (incl. 2D Blu-ray) and a 4K UHD Blu-ray release. The latter will also be available a Collector's Edition with a replica of the famous 8-800 Endo Arm.
What was not certain back then but is certain now: Even though the additional footage has not been restored, both the Special Edition and the Ultimate Cut are available on the 2017 Blu-ray as well.



Postponement, Worldwide Releases and Rumors


Originally supposed to be released early in October, the release was postponed to end of the month and then to November. At least in Germany, Studiocanal kept their promise. In the US however, Lionsgate has postponed the release indefinately - the release is currently set for December 26. Postponing the release obviously caused some trouble in message boards and there was a lot of speculation regarding the actual reason for the postponement.

A review regarding the UHD Blu-ray written by one of the users at the Blu-ray.com board and quoted by Home Cinema Choice, that was also released online early in November, got some people worried as well. The picture rating with only 2.5/5 points mostly results from removed grain for the 3D release and the 2D Blu-ray is based on this edited footage as well. This lowers the existent quality of the 4K restauration for no reason because that should be avoided under any circumstances.

One way or another: The German Studiocanal releases are available since 11/23/2017 (except for the Collector's Edition with Endo Arm which has also been postponed indefinately in Germany) and the UK releases (also by Studiocanal) will be available on 12/04/2017 (also by Studiocanal btw). Whether or not Lionsgate will release their US editions on December 26 as currently stated still remains unconfirmed.

And after all that background information, we finally get to the new 2017 Blu-ray release and the latest comparison of Terminator 2: Judgement Day...



Digital Alterations for the das Re-Release: James Cameron Did It Again


At first, a few words about the picture quality: Yes, the picture of the German Studiocanal releases has been filtered. Nonetheless, it is a huge improvement - as anyone can see here and here (Source: Thread on Cinefacts (German message board)).

But the actual reason for this comparison is the fact that James Cameron once again digitally altered some scenes - as the previous example with Arnold's stunt double being digitally replaced by the real one clearly shows. When Cameron did it with Titanic, he specifically mentioned only one particular shot he had altered digitally. However, the comparison shows that there are several other digital alterations, most of them to get rid of goofs.

One can argue if this is good or bad but the fans did not get upset as they did when Lucas did it with Star Wars. But then again, Lucas did it on an entirely different level - including content changes. It is weird though that even back then, Cameron claimed there was only one single alteration in Titanic. Maybe he did want to end up like Lucas, who knows? Whatever the reason, he did it again with Terminator 2: Judgement Day. About the time of the theatrical re-release, Cameron mentioned in an interview with Entertainment Tonight that he altered one shot only. And again, it turns out to be a lie.



What Alterations Have Been Made for the Re-Release of Termintor 2?


First of all, Cameron was right: The spectacularly shot scene of the truck behind John Connor did reveal that the truck loses its windshield during the stunt. This caused continuity issues because the windshield was still where it belongs in the subsequent shots. Now, the windshield remains intact during impact. A small and yet professionally executed alteration the film benefits from.

This also goes for further goofs. Some people may have become fond of them but again, the film benefits from it:
Three single frames reveal the prop knife in the attack at the beginning of the bar fight.
Camera equipment on a truck has been removed digitally.
While running from T-1000, there was a stunt driver in the trunk during a car stunt.
When Arnold frees himself in the finale, it was pretty obvious that his actual arm was in some kind of sock.
Shortly afterwards, there are visible strings to control the robot arm.

A quite striking alteration is pretty close to the windshiled scene which raises the question why Cameron did not at least admit to that. There are a few shots that show Arnold's stunt double Peter Kent. Especially in the second shot, it becomes very obvious. That goof has been fixed now because Arnold's head has been added digitally. It is indeed a "bigger" alterations not necessarily bad - the stunt double Peter Kent gave an interview and agreed by the way.

Last but not least, there is another curiosity: When T-1000 gets to the past and walks around naked, one could see parts of Robert Patrick's genital area when he turns around. Whether this is a result the enhanced picture quality of 4K and 3D in the theater or whether it always bothered Cameron: This has been retouched for the 2017 release. Depending on the point of view, this could be considered censoring - it is far from being as spectacular as it might sound though.

All in all, it cannot be emphasized enough that all those alterations can be found in both the 2D and 3D Version of the 2017 Blu-ray. Although that makes them identically equal versionwise, the image section for instance slightly differs. Here and here are a few screenshot comparison to illustrate the difference.



Is the 2017 Remastered Version Worth the Money & Have All Goofs Been Fixed?


The first part of the question is hard to respond to and should be considered from both points of view:
The alterations documented in the comparison should not bother anyone because the result enhances the quality. And Robert Patrick's private parts is nothing that needs to be in a film like that either. Again, far from what Lucas did with his franchise. Still curious though that Cameron did it as well.
It is a real bummer that the picture has been filtered. Perhaps, there will be a future release for which that alteration will have been reversed. But still: Despite all the flaws, the new Blu-ray is so much better than the old one. For example: A screenshot comparison shows that there are way less details in the old release.

As for the goofs, there really is no need to "worry": There are numerous in it - Cameron is far from having altered every single one of them. Even in the 2017 release, one can still see bullet holes disappear on Arnold's leather jacket, there are visible dummies in car stunts, different license plates in one scene, holes in the wall before the actual impact or John passes the "Level 2" sign several times on his way down in a parking garage. There are stil crew members in the background every now and then and so is the reflection of camera equipment. For more information, please check entries such as the Movie Mistakes post, the imdb goofs list or dieses sowie this video.

Do digital alterations or still existings goofs reduce the fun of watching the film? No way. Terminator 2: Judgement Day is a classic and has its place in film history. Period!



Time index refers to
2017 Remastered Blu-ray (2D) / 2009 Blu-ray (Theatrical Version)
The 2017 Blu-ray contains additional information regarding Studiocanal. Oddly enough, both the here compared 2D Version and the 4K disc contain information regarding the 3D Version!

+ 31 sec



The 3D Blu-ray on the other contains one morelogo at the very beginning.

15 sec




09:08 / 08:37

When the punk stabs Arnie in the chest, the last 3 frames of the shot reveal that the knife is fake because it gets bent out of shape on impact. This is not the case anymore on the 2017 Blu-ray.

2017 RemasteredTheatrical Version (2009 Blu-ray)



Here a more detailed look at the relevant part:

2017 RemasteredTheatrical Version (2009 Blu-ray)




12:21-12:24 / 11:50-11:53

At the end of the shot of T-1000, one can see Robert Patrick's private parts for a brief moment when he turns to the back. This has been altered for the re-release.

2017 RemasteredTheatrical Version (2009 Blu-ray)



Here a more detailed look at the relevant part - no worries though, this is not even close to pornography. And frankly, one does not get to see that much anyway (no pun intended):

2017 RemasteredTheatrical Version (2009 Blu-ray)




Fun fact: In the scene shortly afterwards, Arnold's stunt double has been digitally enhanced. This is not the case with Edward's Furlong's stunt double in minute 31 - not eben in the remastered version.




30:42-30:44 / 30:11-30:13

The camera equipment on the left (resp. on the right side of the truck) has been digitally removed.

2017 RemasteredTheatrical Version (2009 Blu-ray)



Here a more detailed look at the relevant part:

2017 RemasteredTheatrical Version (2009 Blu-ray)




31:35 / 31:04

As a result of the impact, the windshield of the truck was destroyed and completely hurled out. This caused continuity issues during several close-ups resp. during the entire chase in general because the windshield only has a huge crack. The windshield now remains intact.

2017 RemasteredTheatrical Version (2009 Blu-ray)



Here a more detailed look at the relevant part:

2017 RemasteredTheatrical Version (2009 Blu-ray)




33:27 / 32:28

After Arnold jumping off the angular shaped rood loft (this goof has not been fixed for the 2017 Version!), his face has been digitally altered.

2017 RemasteredTheatrical Version (2009 Blu-ray)



Not as obvious as the subsequent alteration but one can see the difference quite easily after zooming in on it:

2017 RemasteredTheatrical Version (2009 Blu-ray)




33:47 / 33:16

When the T-800 grabs John, it is rather obvious that this is Arnold's stund double Peter Kent again. And here, it is more obvious than before. For the 2017 Blu-ray, Arnold's head has been added digitally.

Fun fact #1: Edward Furlong's stunt double still remains unaltered.
Fun fact #2: The missing headlight on the right is in several shots before and after. This goof could have been fixed but it has not for some reason.

2017 RemasteredTheatrical Version (2009 Blu-ray)



Here a more detailed look at the relevant part:

2017 RemasteredTheatrical Version (2009 Blu-ray)




34:07 / 33:36

For a brief moment, the camera equipment at the top on the right of the truck appears - not in 2017 it doesn't.

2017 RemasteredTheatrical Version (2009 Blu-ray)



Here a more detailed look at the relevant part:

2017 RemasteredTheatrical Version (2009 Blu-ray)




34:13 / 33:42

When getting away from the explosion, the face has been digitally altered again.

2017 RemasteredTheatrical Version (2009 Blu-ray)



Here a more detailed look at the relevant part:

2017 RemasteredTheatrical Version (2009 Blu-ray)




60:13-60:17 / 59:42-59:46

In two shots, one gets to see the stunt driver on the backseast. This has been fixed for the 2017 release.

2017 RemasteredTheatrical Version (2009 Blu-ray)



Here a more detailed look at the relevant part:

2017 RemasteredTheatrical Version (2009 Blu-ray)




60:18 / 59:47

Subsequently afterwards, camera equipment & crew in the back have been digitally removed.

2017 RemasteredTheatrical Version (2009 Blu-ray)



Here a more detailed look at the relevant part:

2017 RemasteredTheatrical Version (2009 Blu-ray)




119:44 / 119:13

After T-800 manages to get free, Arnold's real arm is visible hanging in some kind of black cloak for a brief moment. In addition to that, the shape of a watch (?) signs off by the blue lightning SFX. For the 2017 Blu-ray, that entire part has adapted to the background digitally.

2017 RemasteredTheatrical Version (2009 Blu-ray)



Here a more detailed look at the relevant part:

2017 RemasteredTheatrical Version (2009 Blu-ray)




122:56 / 122:25

Here is an alteration similar to what Cameron did with the wire used to pull a glass off the table in Titanic: The wire has been removed digitally. In Terminator 2: Judgement Day, the wire was for Arnold's robot to move in sync with Arnold crawling.

2017 RemasteredTheatrical Version (2009 Blu-ray)



Here a more detailed look at the relevant part. Not that easy to spot but there is a visible wire from bottom left to top right - as one can see here:

2017 RemasteredTheatrical Version (2009 Blu-ray)




Not exactly cut and dried whether this is a particular alteration as well: When T-800 is being let down to the lava, the coloring differs in general. The old version contains a lot of red and different colors are being used while the new version is almost entirely yellow.

2017 RemasteredTheatrical Version (2009 Blu-ray)




The old Blu-ray contains a few credits regarding the Special Edition, even when watching the Theatrical Version (probably a seamless branching error). This explains the additional length - despite the logo issue at the very begnning.

+ 43.7 sec





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