Jan 262020

Terminator: Dark Fate is probably the movie that should have been made 10+ years ago as on the whole, the story was adequate, if not fully fleshed out, and I did like this cast, and newcomer Natalia Reyes was pretty impressive.



Terminator: Dark Fate

Genre(s): Science Fiction, Action
Paramount | R – 128 min. – $44.99 | January 28, 2020

Date Published: 01/26/2020 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: Tim Miller
Writer(s): Gale Anne Hurd & James Cameron (characters); James Cameron & Charles Eglee & Josh Friedman & David Goyer & Justin Rhodes (story), David Goyer & Justin Rhodes and Billy Ray (screenplay)
Cast: Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes, Gabriel Luna

Features: Featurettes, Deleted Scenes
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: 4K, Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2

Audio: (4K/BD) English (Dolby Atmos), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video (4K): 2160p/Widescreen 2.38
Video (BD): 1080p/Widescreen 2.38
Dynamic Range: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Codecs: HEVC / H.265 (4K), MPEG-4 AVC (BD)
Region(s): A, B, C

Paramount provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

Note: The screen captures were taken from the Blu-ray disc and do not represent the 4K Ultra HD transfer.

THE MOVIE — 3.5/5

Plot Synopsis: In Mexico City, a newly modified liquid Terminator — the Rev-9 model (GABRIEL LUNA) — arrives from the future to kill young factory worker Dani Ramos (NATALIA REYES). Also sent back in time is Grace (MACKENZIE DAVIS), a hybrid cyborg human who must protect Ramos from the seemingly indestructible robotic assassin. But the two women soon find some much-needed help from a pair of unexpected allies — seasoned warrior Sarah Connor (LINDA HAMILTON) and the T-800 Terminator (ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER).

Review: Movies that involve time travel are always tricky, even done to perfection – or near – like the Back to the Future trilogy, and tend to be messy. Very few are messier than the Terminator franchise, arguably even more so than X-Men, but even that one consistently retained the same cast. Terminator: Dark Fate is Paramount (with Fox) second attempt at a reboot following 2015’s Genysis, and was a box office disappointment, but still on the edge (thanks to China) where it fooled executives into thinking there still was a market out there for this tired franchise.

Terminator: Dark Fate marks the return of James Cameron, in a participatory role, though not sure how much meaning it has given his stamp of approval for Genysis after all. Now, must admit, I didn’t mind Genysis but I’m also not a massive Terminator fan (love the first two; indifferent from there on), and frankly, I actually found Dark Fate to be a relatively passable popcorn flick with entertaining action set pieces. That said, there were some pacing issues and I can’t be sure if that was due to two competing visions, one from director Tim Miller, the other from Cameron, the series’ creator.

I even liked the two newcomers, Mackenzie Davis and Natalia Reyes, the latter especially was impressive, shame her storyline will evolve further. Returning veterans Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger are in their elements, though admittedly when it comes to Hamilton, her character would’ve benefited seeing her change over the course of 2-3 movies, so it does take some time adjusting. But still, all involved seemed to give it their all, even old-man Terminator (not the same ring as Old Man Logan) wasn’t half bad, though amusing that he has become a family man living in the middle of the woods, yet Schwarzenegger, now in his 70s, still has the charisma for the role.

Now how Schwarzenegger’s T-100 Terminator comes back into the picture was, to say the least, a bit of a stretch sending anonymous texts to Sarah — as atonement for killing John at the opening after sensing changes in time before other Terminators arrive. Pretty clunky, and shortsighted writing.

As mentioned, directing this sixth “entry” (so to speak) is Tim Miller whose name to fame was bringing Deadpool to the big screen in conjunction with Ryan Reynolds, though he departed the sequel, rumor has it, after clashing with Reynolds on control. So it is a bit ironic I suppose that he comes to this movie, probably with a specific vision, only to clash with James Cameron who marks his official return (credited as story writer and producer), apparently taking time out from working on his 5 Avatar sequels or whatever.

Speaking of the writing, and perhaps why this didn’t feel entirely like a cohesive movie, Cameron was one of five story writers which included David S. Goyer (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight), not entirely a high caliber screenwriter, along with a few others such as Billy Ray (The Hunger Games, Overlord and Gemini Man). It’s rarely a good thing to have so many writers, and these were the ones credited, who knows how there were as part of some writers’ room…

In the end, Terminator: Dark Fate was a perfectly serviceable sci-fi action-adventure flick that probably came out too late and with Genysis already attempting a reboot, this was just one too many for the franchise, and sadly another film with an open-ended finale that likely will not be resolved.



This release comes with a glossy, title-embossed, slip cover and inside is the code for the Digital HD copy.

Deleted/Extended Scenes (8:54) — Six scenes here, most of them inconsequential to the plot, but still worth watching.

The Legend Reforged (20:11) — Featurette on revisiting the franchise with a “new” vision; includes interviews by the cast (including Schwarzenegger, Hamilton, Davis, Reyes, etc) and the crew (Miller, Cameron, et al), set against behind-the-scenes footage.

World Builders (32:46) looks at the tone and look of the film, breaking down how the opening scene was done, shooting in Spain as a stand-in for Mexico, amongst other highlights of the production.

Dam Busters: The Final Showdown (8:30) takes a specific look at how the climax of the film was shot.

VFX Breakdown: The Dragonfly (2:33) — Here we get a short feature seeing the visual effects work on the… flash forward sequence.


4K VIDEO – 4.75/5, BD VIDEO – 4.75/5

Paramount unleashes Terminator: Dark Fate onto 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray presented with a 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and given 2160p and 1080p high-definition transfers respectively. The picture here does look brilliant, with some bright, vibrant colors in the daylight scenes thanks to the HDR, while black levels also looked good with a nice starkness to them without seeming crushed. That said, and this is a symptom on how the movie was shot, there were some key night scenes, it was extremely difficult to see what the hell was happening (which does keep this from being reference quality), this was true on both the 4K and Blu-ray discs. Still, details on the two formats were sharp with an edge of course given to the 4K transfer.

AUDIO – 5.0/5

Both formats come with a Dolby Atmos track and this is the kind of movie that takes advantage outputting some great depth during the action scenes while being even-keeled for the dialogue levels via the center speaker.


OVERALL – 4.0/5

Terminator: Dark Fate is probably the movie that should have been made 10+ years ago as on the whole, the story was adequate, if not fully fleshed out, and I did like this cast, and newcomer Natalia Reyes was pretty impressive, though with being absent so long, it was hard to fully buy into this version of Sarah Connor. But with the lackluster box office, if there are future installments, seems like  it could head to streaming.




The screen captures came from the Blu-ray copy and are here to add visuals to the review and do not represent the 4K video.

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