Terminator Genisys

The still-thrilling Terminator franchise has certainly experienced its share of highs and lows over the last 30-odd years. And so creator James Cameron’s ringing endorsement for the latest installment, Terminator Genisys—in which he had no direct involvement—carried a lot of weight with fans. While giving major respect to the classic canon, this fifth movie is superbly smart, inventive, and even quite funny at times. There’s time travel, so a summary is complicated and fraught with spoilers, but here’s the gist: We’re reintroduced to familiar events of the saga, past and future, but seemingly at every turn there’s a new wrinkle or a huge surprise. So now the determined Skynet has thought up an entirely new way to ensure its survival. Although it lacks the dark, visceral impact of its R-rated predecessors, Genisys still rewards devotees with fresh twists, clever homages, and loads of action.

The movie was captured digitally, but appropriately it fools us with its convincingly organic appearance. The 2.4:1 cinematography favors brightly backlit faces, but ample detail is evident, and image quality is rock-solid throughout, with outstanding use of color and minimal compression or encoding issues. Genisys was yet another stereoscopic conversion from 2D, but terrific results like these are eroding my opposition to non-native 3D. Depth is effectively established throughout, but special moments like a gaping hole in a Terminator’s chest tie a scene together and work wonderfully.

The Dolby TrueHD 7.1 soundtrack, enhanced with Atmos, is a welcome complement. The spacious mix is truly inspired, from the quiet of intimate moments to the crisply, expansively rendered battle sequences in every era we visit. A wide assortment of weapons is brandished, and each one reveals its own unique sound, all exhilarating. Bass is thoughtfully utilized, imparting a genuine sense of power to the mechanical onslaught as well as mankind’s violent resistance. Hard, discrete surrounds are employed often to keep us in the middle of the fast-paced story, which also involves some interesting overhead elements, notably the flying metal death-dealers of tomorrow.

Where Genisys disappoints somewhat is the supplements, with just three featurettes on the 2D Blu-ray totaling less than an hour. If you’re pressed for time, select the shortest, which explores the re-creation of the Model 101 Terminator from 1984. A DVD and a Digital Copy are also supplied.

Blu-Ray 3D
Studio: Paramount, 2015
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio Format: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 with Atmos
Length: 115 mins.
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Alan Taylor
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney

tommygunzz's picture

For starters, Thank you Chris for the 3d review. I love this movie, and the 3d is outstanding. It just shows that a little quality effort during the conversion process, can produce fantastic 3d. 3d doesn't hurt the film makers vision at all (that is why there is 2d/3d). I would love for 3d to be presented in 1:85 as a standard (It is astonishing on my 100" screen) with medium/strong depth, pop outs always used throughout the movie. If that means keeping those disk bloating featurettes, deleted scenes, and saving those for the double dip (extended version release) to allow the necessary cost/time for a great conversion like this one to happen then, so be it. BTW, I am hopping for a wicked 3d converstion of T2 (with some good pop out effects).