- The Washington Times - Monday, November 9, 2015

Arnold Schwarzenegger was back this summer in the cybernetic role that turned him into a pop-culture superstar in Terminator Genisys (Paramount Home Entertainment, rated PG-13, $39.99).

Director Alan Taylor’s (“Thor: The Dark World”) reimagined, rebooted, re-adapted, facelift of a sequel arrives on Blu-ray allowing home theater fans unlimited viewings to admire the special effects but also to try and digest its dense plot.

Actually, the tale gets so riddled with time-traveling mumbo jumbo and unwelcomed canon twists (the surprising villain was not applauded), it would give Doc Brown a permanent migraine.

Despite a quality set of actors taking on the iconic roles — Emilia Clarke (“Game of Thrones”) as Sarah Connor, Jason Clarke (“Zero Dark Thirty”) as the battle-scarred John Connor and Jai Courtney (“Divergent”) as Connor’s most trusted soldier Kyle Reese — only Mr. Schwarzenegger shines as the aging Terminator Guardian called “Pops” by Sarah.

Caught in the middle of the ever-raging time displacement war between humanity and Skynet, his presence on screen was enormous during action scenes and his interpretation of a T-800 smiling was as hilarious as was nightmarish.

The digital transfer highlights the blockbuster practical and computer-generated special effects. Just a few include a helicopter chase, harrowing school bus crash on the Golden Gate Bridge, battle between T-800 (Model 101) and T-1000 Terminators and Skynet’s latest creation, a man and machine hybrid fused at the cellular level called a T-3000.

The Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (upgradable to Dolby Atmos) sound mix delivers the chest-pounding action of a futuristic opening war between man and machine and consistently complements some near-heart stopping explosions.

For extras, viewers get a trio of featurettes. Each gets bogged down by cast and production members spending way too much time complimenting the brilliance of one another.

However, the reverence paid to Mr. Schwarzenegger is certainly earned and, of course, his peers spend plenty of time reaping praise upon him.

The best of the extras spends 15 minutes (not near enough time) on the visual effects and breaks down what it took to have Mr. Schwarzenegger fight a 1984 version of himself in one of the best parts of the movie.

What I needed was an overview of the entire franchise featuring longer interviews with “Terminator” patriarch James Cameron (he spoke on one of the featurettes) or an optional commentary track with Mr. Taylor and writers Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier explaining their plot motivations.

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