Terminator: Dark Fate (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Terminator: Dark Fate 4K ReviewTerminator: Dark Fate is both a movie that never needed to be made nor one that I wanted made.  I never even bothered to see it theatrically.  Surprise, surprise, right?  There was absolutely nothing about the trailer that appealed to me.  NOTHING.  I say that because I embarrassingly judged a book by its cover so to speak.  The trailers for Terminator: Dark Fate looked atrocious to me.  Not one of them sold me on the feature I sat down with today.  Worst of all the previous entry, Terminator Genisys, pretty much  destroyed my childhood by tampering with both the timelines and characters from the first two epic Terminator films.  So where would this one take us?  Oh yeah it erases that last entry too.  I suppose I should be thankful here then, huh?  Absolutely!  As Brandon Peters said to me offline in a group text it’s those 3-star films you have to worry about eating crow over.  I hate to admit it, but he was so right.  Let’s chat about that down below.

Terminator Dark Fate 4K Review


Normally this first paragraph here I always reserve for delivering the fundamentals about the film: its direction, script, main cast, etc.  However, I’m going to save that all for the next paragraph because yeehaw I unbelievably had so much fun with Terminator: Dark Fate.  It wasn’t that bad at all.  Being a lifelong fan of the early parts of the Terminator franchise the fanfare is actually quite enjoyable and a lot of fun (to me).  It kind of has that Rambo: Last Blood kind of vibe to it: same great taste but with new flavors and twists.  It’s what I wanted out of the last Halloween movie that wiped out parts 2-8, but ultimately provided nothing new.  At least this one had something new for the digital age we live in and embraced its self awareness with fan-pleasing humor and some gigantic, wild action sequences.  It’s hard not to pick up on that strong women power vibe some of my friends were complaining about, but ironically the filmmakers find a way to contradict themselves with that too.  I’m not into spoilers though so I’m stopping right there.  

Terminator: Dark Fate is directed by Deadpool’s Tim Miller from a screenplay written by David Goyer, Justin Rhodes and Billy Ray.  This time out though James Cameron regains creative control and supposedly comes from a story he developed too.  It’s the sixth entry in the Terminator franchise and acts as a direct sequel to 1984’s The Terminator and 1991’s Judgement Day.  That means Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Terminator Salvation, Terminator Genisys and the short lived television show never ever happened.  While I’m grateful about the latter two I actually did not hate Rise or Salvation.  However, like I stated up above, this one accomplished an X-Men:Days of Future Past and did something much better with the erasing opportunity here than I felt Halloween did two years ago by delivering the same old product.

Terminator Dark Fate 4K Review

I think the biggest thing here outside of Cameron returning and Dark Fate erasing previous storylines is Linda Hamilton reprising her role of Sarah Connor.  Arnold Schwarzenegger also comes back here returning as a T-800 Terminator (I think that is correct).  That’s nearly a 30-year reunion for the pair.  The rest of the cast rounds out with a buff Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes and Gabriel Luna as the baddie.  Dark Fate is set some 25 years after the events of Judgement Day.  We pick up with the latest events in Sarah Connor’s complicated life despite stopping “Judgement Day” all those years before.  Unfortunately some of the plot lines remain the same here.  Once again two are sent back in time with the same exact narrative.  However, it’s the fun factor that saves things here from dismal awry.

Gabriel Luna embodies the “advanced” Terminator model (he’s new model because this is a new timeline) sent back to 2020 to take out the future Resistance threat to the “legion” of machines, Dani Ramos, portrayed by Reyes.  Hulking Mackenzie Davis on the other hand plays the hero Terminator (think Arnold in Judgement Day).  She’s an augmented one, which simply means she’s sort of a cyborg soldier.  She’s sent back in time here to keep Dani alive.  Where’s John Connor you’re probably wondering and how does Sarah Connor even fit into all of this if I didn’t mention Edward Furlong’s name?  Rest assured this is all part of the new flavor and twists I alluded to up above.  There are some connections, but this is a new day for Terminator and it’s not all about John Connor anymore.  I kind of like that!  It’s something new.  I also love how they utilized Arnold here as aging Terminator, but one that’s very much a different version of himself than we ever saw in this franchise.  Thank you!  

Terminator Dark Fate 4K Review


The below video score and related critique of things here are based solely upon my viewing of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Paramount’s Terminator: Dark Fate.

  • Encoding: HEVC / H.265
  • Resolution: Upscaled 4K (2160p) – 2K DI
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
  • Dolby Vision: Yes
  • HDR: HDR10
  • Clarity/Detail: Terminator: Dark Fate arrives on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc in an upscaled 2K Digital Intermediate and all you Fake versus Real folks are going to eat your heart out because it looks exceptional.  So much so that I got into a heated argument about this subject yesterday.   The person who shall remain anonymous balked at the fact that anyone would buy a 4K Disc that’s not mastered in native 4K, but rather is a 2K DI.  I argued such valid points of providing 2K DI titles that look exceptional on the format, deeper blacks, richer color saturation, HDR, Dolby Vision and so on.  Nothing I said budged them and so I created the below poll (click on the image to take part in) on our official 4K Facebook page (with over 7K followers).  It looks like I’m in the majority way of thinking, but what about you?

So where were we?  Oh yeah!  Things look great here!  Textures, fine details and more are pristine and after a quick comparison with the 1080p material on the Blu-ray there’s a noticeable uptick in detail in this “4K” presentation.  I know other reviewers have discussed this at length, but the visibility of Grace’s implant scars impress throughout.  The usual factors such as concrete textures, gray hairs and Linda Hamilton’s endless wrinkles impress as well.

  • Depth: Despite all the CGI wizardry at use here there are a multitude of great examples of how depth of field creates vast action sequences throughout here.  The onscreen characters also have that three-dimensional pop too, which we all crave on the format.
  • Black Levels: Black levels are consistently dark, deep and inky throughout.  HDR and Dolby Vision prevents the nighttime sequences from consuming the characters completely like the nighttime train ride.  I mean it’s dark, but its beautifully legible too.  
  • Color Reproduction: Here’s where I was very impressed with this one at.  The colors!  They were surprisingly rich and bold.  Yes there’s a slight yellowish to the color palette, but the colors were outstanding.  Even when we go to the future world battle sequence the contrast just pops off your screen.
  • Flesh Tones: The skin tones all look natural and authentic throughout this “4K” presentation here.
  • Noise/Artifacts: In my viewing there were zero nasty artifacts or noise to be found here.  Things are crystal clean with zero problems other than some weak CGI like explosions from time-to-time, but you’ll have that with a movie like this.

Terminator Dark Fate 4K Review


Like I mentioned up above in the video section, the below audio score and critical comments of such are based solely upon my viewing of Paramount’s 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Terminator: Dark Fate.  

  • Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, English Audio Description
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish, French
  • Dynamics: The surround audio is presented here with wide open dynamics and a large sound field.  Everything about it just sounds monstrous and extra spacious.  Battles are rendered with utmost of destruction and mayhem and the score bends in harmoniously to keep you engaged throughout multi-dimensionally.  There’s a huge sense of object orient placement and priority between the channels that never feels tiny, but all engulfing.  Nothing seems to get lost in it all either.  That’s always good!
  • Height: There are some discreet moments int he height channels like flying vehicles, electricity of the Terminators falling from the sky , helicopters, plane dives and more, but it’s the comprehensive way the Atmos channels are used that impress me the most.  This surround track doesn’t discriminate and it shares its load amongst all channels to pack a powerful punch into everything it puts out.  Take the score for example.  I mentioned it in the dynamics up above, but it bleeds into the height channels too and attacks you multi-dimensionally.
  • Low Frequency Extension: The LFE channel handles itself with utmost of ferocity and I think you can imagine why.  The action sequences within are off the hook here and the LFE attacks with aggressive bass moments within all the action, gun shots, explosions, sound effects, plane crashes, sledgehammer moments, score and so much more that it delivers on.
  • Surround Sound Presentation: The rear channels are engaged throughout with prioritization during the action and battle sequences such as fight scenes, explosions, gunshots and more plus that sweet Terminator score which never lets you go.  This bombastic track puts you in the middle of just about everything even in quiet of times too.
  • Dialogue Reproduction: The dialogue levels are always loud, clear, intelligent and pleasing throughout.  I never once had to strain to hear any spoken word.  I love that!

Terminator Dark Fate 4K Review


The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release is packed with over an hour of very worthy bonus content, including deleted and extended scenes, in-depth featurettes taking us through the process of reimagining the world after “Judgment Day,” a look at the climactic final showdown, a visual effects breakdown and more.  In addition, and here’s the kicker for most, the Digital Copy (redeemable via the enclosed code) includes access to two more featurettes and pre-viz sequences showcasing how the action was planned out prior to filming.  Plus, select digital platforms will offer film commentary by director Tim Miller and editor Julian Clarke, as well as an introduction and commentary on the deleted scenes.  I can confirm the iTunes version does in fact have this said audio commentary as shown in the image below here.

Terminator Dark Fate itunes Extras

For now though let’s focus on what extras are disc based.  The below are all housed on the 1080p Blu-ray Disc.

  • Deleted and Extended Scenes (HD, 8:54) – You have the following included here: I Need Your Car, Internet Café, Augmentation Volunteer, The Crossing, Alicia Confronts Sarah and Let Me Save You.  There’s a Play All option available too.
  • A Legend Reforged (1080p, 20:11) – Here we explore the new story and Terminator world under Tim Miller’s TLC and direction, James Cameron’s involvement in the film and more.  Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger and the new characters and actors who play them all chime in on the making of this one.  You can tell that Miller is extremely appreciative of having Cameron back in this world.  It was interesting to learn about how the writing process was in spawning this story not to mention how everyone feels the character of Sarah Connor is so important, hence why she’s back.  Funniest comment was when Linda says I suggested Sarah is fat so I don’t have to work so hard.  Ha ha.  Supposedly all the stunts are done by her too so she had to train.  Loved hearing about how she also came down to Texas for weapon training.  I could have helped her out!  They do touch upon how there’s three strong women in this Terminator.
  • World Builders (HD, 32:46) – This one starts out by talking about how big and bold Dark Fate is.  I absolutely love how they talked about the complex digital effects including the de-aging sequences in the beginning, which let me tell you looks spectacular.  Linda Hamilton’s in particular looks amazing.  We also go on location in the 30 days they spent shooting this one in Spain and more locations such as our T-800’s family house (no joke).  Other opportunities awarded to us here include exploring set designs and artwork, stunts and action sequences, practical effects and so much more.  I did love how Tim Miller talked about how to achieve zero G in a plane, which is something I questioned while watching the film.  Now I know the rest of the story and why zero G is a real thing that would happen within this sequence.  Interesting!  I loved the attention to detail in this particular sequence right down to the actor’s hair.
  • Dam Busters: The Final Showdown (HD, 8:30) – This one here explores the big finale of the show that serves as the film’s “kill box.”  They go into detail the building of the sets, filming locations, fight choreography, stunt work, pre-viz and more.
  • VFX Breakdown: The Dragonfly (HD, 2:33) – This one is simply a visual effects comparison montage from the movie’s future battle sequence complete with pre-renderings and drawings, filming, the many layers, green screen and so much more crammed into this two and a half minute featurette.  It’s pretty impressive and comes with a cool soundtrack to boot!

Terminator Dark Fate 4K Review


I don’t know what else to say that I didn’t say already up above.  I’m eating crow because I wanted absolutely nothing to do with this one and I bashed it based on the trailers alone.  Little did I know that I would have a blast with this one and I’m genuinely proud to add this 4K title into my personal home media collection.  However, I’ll go one further than that.  I’m also proud to say Dark Fate is the new timeline and direct sequel to Judgement Day.  The third through fifth Terminator features never happened.  There!  I said it!  Are you happy now?  Ha ha.  So here’s the real deal folks.  I recommend giving this one a chance.  Don’t judge a book by its cover like I initially did.  You wanted the best and now you got the best with 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray.  Don’t hesitate at all.  Click on that Pre-order link down below now!


DISCLAIMER: This 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray review was judged and graded using the following 4K certified Ultra HD Premium television set found here and player here.  Make sure to check out all our 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray reviews archived here.  The images used above within the review are not actual 4K screenshots.  They are for illustrative purposes only.  



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Terminator: Dark Fate


Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

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