Terminator 2 revisited

Recently I had the pleasure of acquiring the “Ultimate” edition of the Terminator 2 DVD. Now this is something else.

This DVD features an amount of extended footage that is really, really astonishing to see.

The total running time of the extended movie is 156 mins, that’s nearly 2 and a half hours!

There are a whole lot of bonus features in the DVD as well, including
documentaries, director commentaries, etc. But you can go and read
about them on the back of the DVD cover – I won’t stress on these at
all. Everybody else does that. :)

What I will stress on, in great detail in fact, is the whole lot of footage which never made it to the theatrical release.

A discourse on Movie Making
First, a discourse on movie making, though. And the business. Feel free to skim through this if you’re not really interested in the background.

Most movies rarely, if ever, reflect the director’s complete original vision of the movie. Any movie gets this whole lot of impact from various other factors. Censors, for one. The censor certification that is awarded to a movie has a *huge* potential impact on the revenue generated by it.

And let’s face it, people. Movie-making and showbusiness on the whole, just like any other business *must* make money. And if the censorship body goes ahead and gives a movie like Terminator 2 a “R” rating or even the ultimate restricted one, the dreaded NC-17 rating, a huge chunk of target audience won’t get to see the movie in the movie hall, the intended place for you to watch. Yes, the kids, teenyboppers and the teenagers, *all* of whom don’t get to watch it. No matter what you do with your home system, you and your entire buying might cannot match the performance that you’ll get even in the crappiest theatre as compared to your cutesy teeny bopper home theater system. All apologies to you if you own one of these

Alright. On with the extended scenes, already!

Some of the scenes that were removed are so essential to the main story it leaves me wondering how we ever “got” the original story at all. Anyways, here’s the list of extended footage that I found on the DVD. Your mileage may vary but if it does you’ll be seeing more, not less.

One word of caution. If you are actually going to get the DVD (I’ve listed some options at the bottom) then I suggest you skim over the spoilers and buy it straight away. The cinematic experience of seeing these for the first time, embedded right into the story of the main movie was quite overwhelming / exhilarating.

And so I must put up my standard SPOILER WARNING! ! ! ! Do NOT read beyond this point if you wish to enjoy the movie. Really.

The list
#1 Sarah and Kyle dream sequence: Kyle Reese actually comes and talks to Sarah and reminds her that “The future is not set”. He goes on to tell her that her son (John) is in danger and she must protect him. Kyle disappears, Sarah runs after him only to find herself exiting the building into the familiar park fence nightmare scene.

#2 T1000 searches John Connor’s room: I’m not particularly sure of this, but I don’t really recall the liquid metal terminator searching John’s room and finding his hidden box of information and photos on his Mom.

#3 T800 brain opening sequence: When the Terminator (T800) and John rescue Sarah from the asylum they ultimately land up in a garage where they rest for the night. Before resting, in the movie, the Terminator fixes wounds on Sarah and she reciprocates. That’s where the scene ends in the theatrical release. In this version, John asks the terminator if he can “learn” new things. T800 replies by saying that he has a neural net “learning” processor, but Skynet shuts off the learning programming before sending Terminators out on the field. Then there is surreal sequence where Sarah peels off a section of the T800’s scalp, and with step-by-step instructions from the Terminator himself, proceeds to remove his CPU. What happens next is even better. But I’m not telling. Go buy the DVD. :)

#4 Terminator training, John Connor style: John befriends the T800. We saw small parts of this in the theatrical release. All of you are now required to exclaim most emphatically, “Astalavista, Baby!” and “No Problemo!”. :)

What you didn’t see is small scenes (microscenes?) from the footage where there’s even more of these. John tries to teach the Terminator how to smile. That particular scene is hilarious!

#5 Dr. Miles Bennett Dyson’s explanation: Dr. Dyson is at the finishing stages of developing a prototype of the copy of the neural net processor (from the original movie). There’s a whole, long scene where his wife gets a full explanation from Dyson, telling her in detail of what his vision of the processor is, and why he’s trying to build it. This scene added a whole lot of perspective “humanness” to the Dyson character that was not present in the original release. Feels all the more endearing when Dyson, in a desperate attempt to atone for sins he’s not yet done, takes his own life in a huge C4 explosion in his Cyberdyne office.


But that’s not it! I’ve only put down the long scenes that I do happen to figure out. Throughout the movie one can find these microscenes that were cropped out during final editing. Together these add up to quite a lot of footage.

This includes:
Gore: All the fights in the movie are more elaborate. Take the example of when Sarah knocks out the guard with a broken off broom stick. You’ll see a spray of blood that was just not visible in the theatrical release. A must see for the hard-core / cult enthusiasts.

Snippets of extra footage in the scene where John and T are checking out weapons in Enrique’s mexican hideout.

Snippets of extra footage in Cyberdyne systems

T1000 screwing up footage: T1000’s hand gets stuck to a railing and  his feet get deformed in the metal foundry in the ending climax. The “stuck” parts take on the color of railing and metal floor as well.

A lot more detailed Terminator fight scenes: All the Terminator fight scenes are much more detailed (and gory) than the theatrical release. The scene where the T1000 takes out the T800’s main power source in the climax is particularly detailed and much longer.

“I need a vacation”: Some parts are dedicated to the whole “learning” Terminator bit. The terminator (T800) tries to smile, it ultimately cracks jokes like “I need a vacation” after killing off the T1000. I think these were rightly removed, since they provide too much and too out-of-place comic relief to the whole movie.

The Alternate ending
Ah yes, we come to the alternate ending, the one thing that not a lot of people know about Terminator 2. After the Terminator (T800) kills himself, there’s a whole flash-forward scene where John Connor is grown up and playing with his kid in a park (the same park?) while Sarah watches. And narrates her conclusion, in which she says that the nuclear war never happened and they lived happily ever after. Or thereabouts.

Why was this scene eliminated completely? Ever heard of this movie called Terminator 3? How would that get made then, hmmm……? :)

How do you get it?
Hmm……. I don’t think you should hesitate. Just go for buying it straight from Amazon. They’ve got several copies at different prices, the cheapest one was only 4 dollars and change, last time I checked.

UK residents could also buy from Shop UK.

Terminator 2, Judgement Day - Ultimate (DVD)

The Indians seem to pretty much be stuck with buying the VCD on ebay.in. No wonder there’s so much BitTorrent and eDonkey activity on the Internet. But I digress. The Indian option seems to pretty much still be restricted to going to the local DVD wallah and begging him to get it for them. Or the cousin/friend in the US can help. Or you can go ahead and buy from Amazon. Like the rest of the world.

Incidentally, Ebay.in has Terminator 3 DVDs available! :)

What else can you get?
Not done shopping yet? :)

Even more goodies available for you!

Buy.com is accepting pre-orders for the Blu-Ray version.

Terminator 2-Judgment Day (Blu-ray)

Entertainment Earth sells a life size endoskeleton T800 arm.

Terminator 2 Life-Size Endoskeleton Arm

StuffKidsLike.com sells an 8″ tall beautiful resin doll of the T800 as well.

Terminator 2 Head Knocker

My Conclusion

A must have for every memorabilia / collectors showcase, this particular DVD is not to be missed.

Highly recommended.