Blu-ray Disc Review: Terminator Salvation

Movie •••• Picture ••••• Sound ••••• Extras ••••½

Terminator Salvation was panned by critics and unloved by most moviegoers, but on Blu-ray Disc we can see it for the special-effects masterpiece it is. The artful, painstaking visual work combines live action, models, animatronics, and computer-generated imagery into scenes so compelling that you might wear out the reverse chapterskip button on your remote.

Go straight to Chapter 9 to see the best home-theater demo of the year. It starts with the attack of a 50-foot-tall robot on a group of survivors in a dilapidated gas station, segues into a trio of motorcycle Terminators chasing a tow truck, and finishes with a battle between a flight of A-10 "Warthogs" and three futuristic robot hovercraft. Throughout the movie, the action seldom slows, and the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack rarely lets your surround speakers rest.

Discs 1 and 2 hold the theatrical and director's cuts. (A third disc contains a digital copy.) The director himself, McG, shows up in Warner's Maximum Movie Mode to explain how the film was made. Even the BD-Live content is worth checking out, especially an onscreen comic book introducing new characters to the saga. Alas, despite having a fully up-to-date Blu-ray player, I was thwarted from joining a BD-Live screening and commentary that McG conducted in December. Nonetheless, Terminator Salvation is my favorite Blu-ray Disc of 2009.