But Seriously, What About the Dog?
As Terminator’s natural progression, it’s smart to see Terminator: Dark Fate embed modern dialogs. Immigration and automation factor in, at times aggressively so; this is not an understated story. Three women earn their hero roles, dished out via ludicrously large scale action set pieces, never willing to end or support the story. Terminator: Dark Fate wants too much spectacle, losing its sight line, even if the core remains firm.
Initial impressions might disappoint. Terminator: Dark Fate lacks firm wow factor, choosing a pale range, avoiding intense blacks. Post-production grades this with dimmer grays instead. Highlights do well in Dolby Vision, giving weight to explosions and other bright sources. Overall dynamics, however, stay thin.
This is true of color too, aiming warm if pasty. Terminator: Dark Fate exists in a perpetual chalky pastel, limiting density. Quite often, the HDR look isn’t achieved but this comes at the source not the disc. Intent is preserved, and still bettered over the Blu-ray.
While noise does factor in (a small grain filter hovers over the image too), overall clarity displays rich sharpness and consistent definition. Facial texture impresses in close-ups, while wide shots define cities with substantial detail. With the T-800 now living in a forest, that scenery demands perfect resolution; that’s a given here.
LFE within this Dolby Atmos track never once holds back or weakens. This powerhouse challenges heavyweights like Godzilla: King of the Monsters in aggressiveness. It’s massive from the get go as Terminators march on a beach, and every instance from there can match. Gunfire, punches, engines – all of it hits with flawless crunch, tightness, and weight. When a plow punches through a wall, it’s outright dangerous to weaker equipment.
Surrounds count too. Panning asks a lot of the mixers and sound editors, but they keep up, creating a soundstage that’s fearless in sending material flying. A drone attack in a future scene falls into each channel. Debris fields call heights to their cause. Underwater, liquid flows. Listen too during the waterfall/dam sequence how expertly smaller droplets remain audible against the rush. With all of this, even small ambiance matters. At Dani’s apartment, outside, activity fills the soundstage.
Six deleted/extended scenes run around nine minutes total. A brief VFX breakdown focuses on a future flashback (flashforward?), while the dam sequence earns an eight minute featurette. The meat in these bonuses comes from two other selections, the first being A Legend Reforged. Running 20-minutes, the EPK-like excitement is hard to avoid (but director Tim Miller clearly had a blast making this). World Builders digs into the the effects side in fantastic detail, and does so over 32-minutes. The latter is the best bonuses in this lot.
Terminator: Dark Fate
Made for the now, this sequel smartly updates the lore, but Terminator: Dark Fate succumbs to action overload – both in quantity and scale.
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The following six screen shots serve as samples for our Patreon-exclusive set of 40 full resolution uncompressed 4K screen shots grabbed directly from the UHD: