Reviews of Region 2 discs from Ultimate DVD #15

The Terminator
Bad Boys (Special Edition)

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THE TERMINATOR – Special Ed. • Back to top Rated: 18
Arnie and Jim are back for more...

The Movie

Too often eclipsed by the effects blockbuster that is Judgement Day, the original Terminator demonstrates that Cameron does not need a gargantuan budget to deliver an adrenalin kick that’s packed with dazzling images. And while the whole film probably cost about as much as Arnie’s trailer for the sequel (witness the futuristic effects that really are not that special) the emphasis here is on the thrill of the chase.

Tapping into a common nightmare, Cameron’s story of a killing machine from the future sent back to carry out a “retro-active abortion” isn’t particularly new; in fact, the end credits acknowledge the works of sci-fi writer Harlan Ellison. But it’s Cameron’s embellishments that count, as we’re treated to a love story through time, some mind-boggling temporal paradoxes and Hamilton’s ground-breaking heroine, who grows from fluffy waitress to freedom fighter within the space of the movie. Deprived of much dialogue, Arnie must work with body language and much is made of his huge, imposing frame, resulting in a creature of pure, unadulterated menace.

Unrelentingly dark (much of the film takes place at night), grim and portentous, The Terminator rises above its B-Movie roots to stand as a classic of the genre. Even now, almost two decades 5 stars - Digital Dynamitelater, its appeal still thrives.

The Extras

The print may be a little faded, but the anamorphic transfer offers the best possible presentation, and the remixed 5.1 soundtrack emphasizes every gunshot, while hovering killing machines whoosh between the speakers.

MGM have gone to town on a themed menu, which features a revolving Terminator skull along the lines of the Region 1 T2 disc. While it’s not as sophisticated it certainly does the trick and doesn’t suffer from the common problem of being too elaborate.

While the first disc in this double release offers the movie, scene selection, and DVD-ROM content (three versions of the script), the second holds the extensive extras. A Stills Gallery breaks down into sections, and even includes Cameron’s original 1982 treatment for the story, divided into 12 chapters. There are also Cameron’s artwork concepts, production photos, Stan Winston’s own effects pictures, visual effects stills and publicity materials. Each section consists of around 20-30 frames, and each frame contains up to three quite unique shots.

A Video Materials option offers archive two ‘Making of’ features, which were possibly originally compiled to promote the release of T2. The 20-minute retrospective features a very relaxed chat between Arnie and Cameron, as they recall their first meeting, the film’s budget constraints and its enduring popularity on video and TV showings. A welcome contrast to the usual Spotlight on Location nonsense, this benefits from the fact that the two film-makers are just having fun.

The more substantial Other Voices lasts nearly an hour, with input from Arnie, Hamilton, Biehn, Gale Ann Hurd and a host of effects crew. From the story’s roots in Cameron’s dream (he imagined a cyborg walking out of a fire), to its rejection by most major studios, to the changes in cast (the Terminator was originally to be played by Lance Henriksen, although OJ Simpson was a contender!), this contains a wealth of fascinating material. The highlight, however, is the extensive footage of Fantasy II shooting effects miniatures – including a take of the petrol tanker explosion that goes badly wrong.

The collection of Deleted Scenes (see sidebar) is essential viewing to any Terminator fans, plus there are three TV trailers and two TV spots. Considering the film’s vintage, this is certainly a strong collection; if only someone could convince Cameron to take an interest in his back catalogue, and have a go at 4 stars - Damn Fine Discthe odd commentary track…

David Richardson

Credits
The Terminator - Buy this at Black StarBlackstar

Cast
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Linda Hamilton
Michael Biehn
Director • James Cameron
Year • 1984
Duration • 103 mins
Screen Ratio • 1.85:1
Anamorphic • Yes
Audio • Dolby Digital 5.1
Chapters • 32
Language • English
Subtitles • English, English for the hard of hearing, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Portuguese, Polish, Greek, Romanian, Turkish, Hebrew, Finnish
UK Release •
March 19
Distributor • MGM Home Ent.

Deleted Scenes

Around nine minutes of lost material, which the caption introduction insists ‘do not merit’ inclusion within the body of the film. This reviewer would disagree: some of the material brings a further subtext to the story, particularly in the light of the sequel...

For details, see the issue...

 

Highlight

Chapter 18
Arnie delivers the immortal line: “I’ll be back” And he keeps his promise…

 
 
 
 
 

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This review from Ultimate DVD #15

BAD BOYS – Collectors' Edition • Back to top Rated: 18
Mismatched cops investigate Miami vice

The Movie

Normal rules of film criticism don’t really apply to this slick slab of supercharged stupidity from Michael Bay, who admits in his commentary that “you can drive trucks through the logic”. But with hip buddy cops Will Smith and Martin Laurence ad-libbing snappily for their country and rip-roaring, squib-splattering, adrenalin-aiding mayhem that belies the film’s $9m shooting budget, this is destructive popcorn entertainment that makes the grade.

Don’t worry about the identity swap, witness protection, heroin-stealing daftness. As with Bay’s later Armageddon and The Rock, just pour a large drink, find a really 4 stars - Damn Good Discbig TV and smile.

The Extras

It’s a slightly disturbing disc this one, not for lack of extras – they are in generous supply – but because half of them seem to be catering for psychotic readers of Guns and Ammo. For starters, the 23-minute Putting the Boom and Bang in Bad Boys is a behind-the-scenes feature celebrating the work of the film’s enthusiastic weapons handler, who guides us through every gun used and demonstrates them on doors and fish tanks in 2000 frames per second ultra slow-motion. From several angles. The pyrotechnics expert adds to the fun by showing the right way to rig and explode computer monitors and cars. There’s no mention of director, cinematographer or stars anywhere and all that’s missing is narration by Charlton Heston.

If this hasn’t weirded you out enough, there’s also about 10 Damage Control SFX featurettes giving you a multi-angle option on these various desert-based demonstrations of blowing-up stuff. There’s no comparison with the movies or anything. Is it me or is this odd?

On a more filmy vein, clicking the, yep, pistol icon for Bay’s wonderful commentary provides a hugely entertaining insight into the film. Engagingly honest, self-critical and sweary, this anecdotal catharsis reveals the tight rein on the budget (he supplied $20,000 for an effects shot when the studio vetoed it), the huge amount of spontaneous dialogue and why he had to sack some of his technical crew. Plus a generous badmouthing of the studio. Ace.

On a lesser note, there’s a pointless isolated score (no FX in an action film?!), a trio of uninspired music videos, sketchy talent profiles, the theatrical trailer and a handful of pics of Bay directing. By the way, picture transfer (1.85:1 anamorphic) and sound quality (DD 5.1) are scrumptious.

Overall, one of my fave commentaries ever, but too 3 stars - Worth A Watchmuch wasted ammunition elsewhere.

Jason Caro

Credits
Bad Boys - Buy this Special Edition at Black StarBlackstar

Cast
Martin Lawrence
Will Smith
Téa Leoni
Director • Michael Bay
Year • 1995
Duration • 114 mins
Screen Ratio • 1.85:1
Anamorphic • Yes
Audio • Dolby Digital 5.1
Chapters • 28
Languages • English, French, German
Subtitles • English, French, German, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Hindi, Turkish, Danish, Arabic, Swedish, Finnish, Icelandic, Dutch, Norwegian, Greek, Hebrew
UK Release • January 15th
Distributor • Columbia Tristar

 

Highlights

Chapter 22 – Foot Pursuit
Breathless, wildly exhilarating street chase, climaxing with the slow-motion rising dolly that has become Bay’s trademark.

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from Ultimate DVD #15

Reviews © Visual Imagination Ltd 2001. Not for reproduction

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