PictureIt's a tough one here. While on one side of the coin, it probably hasn't looked better, the problem is, it isn't that much of an improvement over the SD Special Edition released by MGM. The first thing that hits you is that when Arnie makes his first appearance, appearing from out of nowhere, the picture shows a hell of a lot of dirt and dust specs - and this is apparently a restored print! These dust specs show up constantly throughout the movie and compared to say The Thing, somewhat diminish the experience.
Keeping all that in mind, the movie was somewhat low budget and one can argue that part of its charm is the grainy, gritty look that it has. Personally I'm not so sure about it, but that's personal choice. Colours are fine, although occasionally the black levels aren't as good as other transfers, appearing more of a dark grey than true black, but this is arguably me being picky. I also thought that in places the transfer looked a little soft, but I can only put this down to the age of the movie. I didn't notice any artefacts during the movie, which was nice especially as, being a Sony release, it would be encoded under MPEG2 and is a single layer disc, although I have no way of knowing the bit-rate.
SoundDepending on your viewpoint, this is either a nice 5.1 track or blasphemy. Let's quickly point out that the original mono soundtrack is nowhere to be seen. However the 5.1 soundtrack, either in Dolby Digital or uncompressed PCM is very good, with a suitably bombastic opening, lasers shooting behind and very surprising bass. It's a very bass heavy soundtrack. Sadly, it's not all good news in a sense, as it steals this from the aforementioned Special Edition, but while that's not a bad thing, it does make this very much an average soundtrack for Blu-ray rather than an exceptional one.
ExtrasIf my memory serves me well, the extras here are literally the same as the first DVD release of the movie. We have 7 deleted scenes, a featurette called “Creating the Terminator - Visual Effects and Music” and the retrospective featurette. While they're ok, again, they don't hold a candle to the Special Edition DVD that came out a while ago. Of course, we have 3 trailers hyping some Blu-ray titles of the time, in this case they're for xXx, S.W.A.T. and Underworld Evolution.
VerdictWell it's a seminal classic 'innit. Arnie fans love it, Sci-Fi fans love it and in fairness, everyone else pretty much likes it. It certainly looks ok, but I still think there could be an improved version at some point. Until then, it's probably the best edition available now, but only by a whisker.
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