Let me preface this review by stating that I am huge Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Cameron and Terminator fan. I have seen T2 dozens of times and have owned about 6 releases of the film over the years (currently 3 – ultimate edition dvd/xtreme edition dvd/skynet edition bluray). This does indeed bias my review because many of my comments are tied to my love of the original film and how ‘I would have done it’ had I been the editor. As always, no disrespect is intended. Only a constructive criticism and review.
First off, we have a DVD9 release, very nice. this allows for a complete release with all the bells and whistles of a commercial DVD. even without popping the disc in I know this is a cut above the normal fanedit DVD.
Upon start up we are greeted with a slick image of an Owl and the words “A ThrowgnCpr Production” with some nice bass groove. This is nice and adds to the production value IMO. Then Bang! we get launched into a really fantastic menu intro clip in near HD quality followed by the interactive menu typed onscreen in terminator-vision. Amongst the options are more features than some commercial releases: play, chapters, bonus features, etc. each with a sleek motion transition to accompany the action. This is without a doubt the best fanedit menu I have seen all year.
The Main feature:
Technical: As mentioned before Throw chose to use the Ultimate Edition DVD as his source which was his only pitfall. The Ultimate edition released back in 2000 looks poor when compared to newer transfers/releases of the film. The image is blurry at times (on my 40″ 1080p HDTV the white intro credits were very soft and showcased lots of color bleed) and looks less good than what we have seen in other transfers. It isnt what I would call unwatchable, but it looks worse than it should (or could) have. There were also instances of judder noticeable when slow camera pans across stationary objects occurred (see: the intro w/ flames on playground equipment and the fence at Pescadero) These observations aside, the picture was clear and stable throughout and was quite watchable.
Many tiny changes have been made and I felt most were for the best. the addition of “Hands of Fate” where we normally see “Judgment Day” in the credits was masterful, my jaw dropped with jealous zeal when I saw it slam up with seamless integration. I dont know how Throw accomplished this but damned if it isnt beautiful.
Custom credits allowed ‘fanedited by TC’ another seamless integration. The new bad to the bone scene makes me smile because other than the first time I saw the original I have always disliked the silliness of the scene. Throw's reconstruction of the scene from the ground up is really something special even if it adds nothing to the narrative besides concealing the t-800′s allegiance this time around. I did feel that the sound effects/dialog needed to be louder here though as they seemed (to my ear) a little low in the mix. but I’ll take it, the score from T1 works wonders here and masterfully calls back to the original terminator film.
Removal of Robo-humor throughout helped the film but I think the editor should have gone further. the ”stand on one leg” scene could do without johns “put your leg down” line and the smile scene is always painful to watch. its sooooo slapstick and fails to work for me every time. I know the point is to show the T-800 is learning but I still hate that horse face smile.
Other instances of audience winking/robohumor removal puzzled me (this is where ‘I would have done it different’ comes in). The “model citizen” line from Silberman seemed to cut too late -I would have cut on Sarahs face, rather than as Silberman begins to turn. The “Trust Me” Arnold line in Cyberdyne (I feel) cuts too late also, as we see John beginning to run to Arnold to stop him from killing humans. I would have cut earlier, but thats just me. I also felt the Kyle Reese dream sequence played funny. I wish I could better articulate my feelings here but i cant, something just felt off.
I only raise these issues to better illustrate my personal bias. I feel it would be unfair to not explain where I am coming from even if personal bias is usually something you dont want in a review, a classic like T2 is impossible to remove bias from the equation. Otherwise the edits are spot on and really benefit the film, I didnt for a second miss the “No Problemos” the “Chillout Dickwads” and the “Hasta La Vista Baby’s” great work!
Custom end credits were very smooth, almost too smooth, and looked very crisp compared to the films intro text. I love the attention to detail by adding yourself in twice (that I caught) as well as the fanedit.org and ThrowgnCpr Produtions logos. Very well done. I was caught off guard when I saw my handle in the credits. I dont know what I did to deserve that honor, but I thank you all the same as it was a very pleasant surprise.
The Bonus Features:
Wow, for a fanedit, there's a truckload of material here the featurette focusing on the sound reconstruction of the bad to the bone sequence is the crown jewel. its informative and interesting, well narrated and a great example of how fanediting can be used to alter/enhance a scene. Even though its a few minutes long IMO this is right up there with the commentary track on Attack of the Phantom. Required viewing for any aspiring editor.
Great stuff from SNL/30 Second Bunnies/GNR I havent seen the ‘Toonces’ skit or the ‘You Could Be Mine’ video in YEARS and never saw the ’30 Second Bunnies’ before. Nothing remarkable about this material other than its inclusion to round out a full package.
Overall this is a great package for Fanedit fans as well as Terminator fans. We get a great edit of a classic film and pile of features not previously released on the plethora of Terminator DVD’s over the years.
Editing: 9 of 10 As I mentioned there were no technical issues in the editing only things I would have done differently
Entertainment: 9 of 10
Image & Video Quality:
Image quality was less than optimal. The source material wasnt the best choice but it was still enjoyable and not too distracting. some minor judder in certain camera pans.
Video Quality: 7 of 10
Audio Editing & Audio Quality:
Seamless, great editing from start to finish. my only quip is the levels on the reconstructed scene seem slightly low.
Audio Quality: 9 of 10
Audio Editing: 10 of 10
Best DVD authoring I have seen all year. Fantastic menu w/ full transitions. A truckload of extras and smooth near HD quality motion menus.
Presentation: 10 of 10
Final Result: 8 of 10 for me
A few minor issues hold this back from being a perfect edit but most are technical in nature and do not reflect on the editing and enjoyment of the film. This is a fantastic take on a classic and provides yet another option for us folks who have seen this film in 3 different versions (more if we count ADM/Tubes/Scaperat’s edits ;) ) Required viewing for T2 fans.
T2 is a really good film (8/10). And, as such, hard to fanedit to be better. And I'm not sure this edit is "better". Certainly as good as the excellent original, but I'm not sure better.
It is different, darker in tone. With cutting the cheese, some of the humanity is gone, perhaps? And some of the levity, although strictly out of character in the original, helps to lighten the film - this edit is very heavy, particularly in the middle where the "teaching the Terminator" has been cut.
However it is worth the price of admission for one scene alone: the bad to the bone. This is how the original SHOULD have been! Yes, it's that good. It straightens out the narrative in the first act, and improves the film drastically.
So, would I recommend it? YES!
Would I never watch the original again and instead replace it with this one? No.
Would I alternate versions? Probably!
Good job, Throw, this was an editing tour-de-force because of THAT scene. Wow.
Regarding editing decisions:
The obivous high point to me is the reworking of the bar scene.
No more Bad To The Bone.
I actually liked it in the original but it works ALOT better here.
It would have worked even better if the T1000 doesn’t kill the cop when he arrives. This way, we are more inclined to think that he is a good guy.
The way it is now, they both look like bad guys and we wonder which one worse.
I agree more robo humor could be cut. The standing on one leg scene along with the horse face smile could easily go.
Actually, that whole leg scene is groan worthy, especially where John acts like a douchebag (“are you calling moi a blah blah blah?).
I’d cut some of John’s lines short as well whenever he says stuff like “that’s intense” or “now we have skynet by the balls” and things of that nature.
Cutting the torment that Sarah goes through early on makes her look way too mean when she breaks out. When she beats the crap out of that guy with the broom stick, we actually feel sorry for the guy. Instead, I’d like to be cheering her on since the creep is actually getting what he deserves.
Why cut the motorcycle jump? That was cool…
The T1000 going through John’s room doesn’t really add anything.
I had no issue with the video quality. It seems to me that this issue is way overblown for this edit.
The DVD menu and extras are all impeccable and truly impressive.
Overall, I enjoyed this very much and was well worth the download.