April 13, 2013
OK, first up I didn't see this movie in theatres and the Blu Ray has been sitting on my shelf unwatched since I bought it. This fan edit gave me the push to finally sit down and watch the thing, and I'm glad it did.
The 720p MP4 I watched looked and sounded lovely throughout. In a couple of the shots of the command submarine I got some contrast gradient artifacting uncharacteristic of my setup, and the one really dark night scene (where they test the signal) was just this side of comfortably visible - but both were extremely minor issues in an otherwise flawless encode. Kudos on the crisp visuals and punchy sound.
Absolutely top drawer. I honestly wouldn't know this was a fan edit from the visual editing - it's extremely professionally put together. The cuts are clean and natural; and as everyone else has commented, the colour correction is wonderful. It lends the whole movie a pitch perfect atmosphere, at once post-apocalyptic and yet extremely reminiscent of the franchise. And the pacing is spot on.
If I were feeling critical, I might dock half a point for the cut to the seeker drone after they fix the car engine - something about it was visually *ever so slightly* jarring. But I think the fact that that's the WORST example of visual editing is testament to the skill employed in the edit. All round, it's visually pretty freaking seamless. Seriously nice work.
This one is actually the trickiest for me to score, oddly enough. I'm in love with the soundtrack - it totally brought the whole thing together as a Terminator flick for me. Amazing sound and musical cues, good soundstaging and brilliant little touches like the restoration of Sarah Connor's voice on the tape. Ten out of ten, right?
Unfortunately, it was let down just a little by some off levelling in some scenes. Now, as I say, I haven't seen the theatrical cut so I can't attest to how much of this is present in the original - but on the strength of this edit alone, in some scenes I definitely could have done with a little more volume on a voice here, a little less on a sound effect there, a quieter score over there. So much so that in some scenes I had to turn the volume up to catch a bit of dialogue, and then in others turn it down so as to not terrify the neighbours.
In short, it's a beautiful sounding edit which smacks the nail right on the head in terms of overall tone, but which is just a tiny bit rough around the edges. Nonetheless, I couldn't honestly say those minor issues detracted from the experience - and I'd almost certainly recommend this cut for the sound alone!
I feel like, from reading previous reviews, I should have something negative to say about the plot. But based solely on this cut, it totally worked for me. Everything I'd been worried about... I forgot. It took me on a crazy Terminator ride. Marcus was an intriguing element, it was largely believable (well, y'know), there weren't any glaring plot holes, it was a bit Hollywood in places but never more cheesy than awesome, and generally the machines and the humans both came across as knowing what they were doing.
I especially liked what Agent 9 did to convey a sense that the machines didn't yet know the significance of Kyle Reese - it genuinely felt like that was an ace the resistance had up their sleeves, what with Skynet being so singularly obsessed with John Connor. (I actually got that sense during the movie, and only on reading the cut list afterward realised no-one who saw the theatrical cut would have felt the same - how cool is that!?) Sublime.
As if I need to say more here. Still not the best movie ever made, and not even close to being the best Terminator movie - but I like it a lot more than the theatrical cut of T3, and might even, as I'm feeling pretty stoked about it still, place it pretty much on a par with T1. And that's pretty high praise indeed.
Well done, Agent 9!