In his bodybuilder days, Arnold Schwarzenegger outclassed competitors with superior definition. Now his movies are doing the same in home video’s oiled-up new digital videodisc format. Though there’s argument about exact sales figures, Arnold has evidently pumped five titles into top 25 sellers, including Eraser, Total Recall, and The Terminator. It makes sense, since his movies showcase just the sort of razzle-dazzle action that DVD’s nearly 3-D picture quality captures better than any other format, including laserdisc.

Not that Schwarzenegger’s two newest DVD titles, Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Batman & Robin boast features as special as those on the best special-edition lasers. Sure, the DVD’s resolution kicks even laser’s butt, and the usual DVD bonuses are included, like multiple-language soundtracks (it’s a hoot to hear ”Hasta la vista, baby” with a French accent in Le T2 and ”Sayonara, baby” on the Spanish track). But the T2 DVD feels especially underdeveloped, considering that an extended cut was reworked by writer-director James Cameron for tape and disc several years ago. All you get here is the original; the recut should have been on the DVD’s flip side. For sheer muscularity of presentation, Arnold rules on DVD. But we can only hope that in a better T2 package, he’ll be back. Both DVDs: B+

Terminator 2: Judgment Day
  • Movie
  • 137 minutes