STUDIO: Artisan & LionsGate
MSRP: $23.49
RUNNING TIME: 472 minutes
• Theatrical version Special Edition version with 16 extra minutes
• Dolby Headphone Audio Track
• Commentary by James Cameron and William Wisher
• Extreme Interactive Mode with Graphic Commentary and Rare Behind-The-Scenes Footage
No Fate But What We Make featurette
T2: On the Set featurette
• T2: High Definition
• Infiltration Unit Simulator and T2 FX Studio
• Skynet Combat Chassis Designer
• Easter Egg: T2 Extreme DVD Trailer

Total Recall:
Imagining Total Recall featurette – 30 minutes
• Rekall Virtual Vacations
• Visions of Mars – 5 minutes
• Storyboard Comparisons
• Conceptual Art Gallery
• Trailer and TV Spots
• Photo Gallery
• Production Notes

The Running Man
• Lockdown On Main Street featurette – 24 minutes
• Game Theory featurette – 20 minutes
• Commentary by producer Tim Zinnemann and director Paul Michael Glaser
• Commentary by exec producer Rob Cohen
• Meet the Stalkers
• Trailers

Red Heat
• East Meets West featurette – 10 minutes
• Bennie Dobbins: A Stuntman For All Seasons featurette – 12 minutes
• I’m Not A Russian: But I Play One on TV featurette – 5 minutes
• “Making Of” TV Special – 15 minutes
• Trailers & TV Spots

The Pitch

It’s four times the Arnie.

Finally, Schwarzenegger got to show his full range

The Humans

T2: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong, Robert Patrick

Total Recall: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ronny Cox, Rachel Ticotin, Michael Ironside, Sharon Stone

The Running Man: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria Conchita Alonso, Yaphet Kotto, Richard Dawson

Red Heat: Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Belushi, Ed O’Ross, Laurence Fishburne, Gina Gershon

It wouldn’t be until years later that actor Ken Gibbel here would discover why he tasted just the faintest hint of Suzy Amis…

The Nutshell

These are four re-re-releases packaged together under an old T2 cover art packaging. 

The Lowdown

Just in case you need the plots of these films re-capped:

Schwarzenegger returns in his signature role as the unstoppable cyborg
from the future in this superior sequel to 1984’s Terminator.  This
time however, his mission is to protect the adolescent John Connor
(Furlong) from a more advanced terminator, the liquid metal T-1000
(Patrick), who will stop at nothing to kill him. 

Robert Patrick’s biggest quirk?  The occasional need to role play with “The Stranger”…

Total Recall:
In this futuristic action thriller, Schwarzenegger is Douglas Quaid, an
ordinary construction worker who fantasizes about Mars for reasons he
can’t explain.  When he discovers that his entire life is a lie, and
he’s not who he thinks he is, he finds himself on the run by dogged
secret agents who are determined to kill him.  Quaid also learns that
the answers to all of his questions, including his identity as well as his role in the biggest
secret in the galaxy, will be found on the Red Planet.

The Running Man:
In a dystopic 2019, America is a police state and the citizens are
pacified by violent television programs where criminals frequently do
battle for their lives. The most popular of these TV shows is The
Running Man, hosted by sleazy TV front man Damon Killian (Dawson) and
featuring criminals on the run from Stalkers, flamboyant killers with
specialized weapons.  And Ben Richards (Schwarzenegger), a framed
police officer, is the show’s newest contestant.

Red Heat:
In this buddy action comedy, Schwarzenegger is Ivan Danko, a Russian
police officer who travels to Chicago to bring back a Soviet drug
dealer who is responsible for killing his partner.  However, things
don’t exactly go as planned and Danko has to team up with loud-mouthed
Chicago cop Art Ridzik (Belushi) in order to get his man.

“Remember Villechaize, bitches…!”

OK. The long and short of this DVD offering is that it’s four of Schwarzenegger’s films, seemingly picked at random, in their special edition presentations that have been out for years.  The Extreme DVD of T2 was released back in 2003 (George Merchan’s ’03 review), Total Recall way back in 2001 (although that’s this packaging and the version of this release looks more traditional like so) and Running Man and Red Heat were released in 2004.  There’s no new extra features and this is a four-way double dip.  Chances are you probably have most or all of these already.  In terms of quality of the choices, two of the films, T2 and Total Recall, are some of the Governator’s most iconic, The Running Man is middle tier yet still memorable and fun in many ways, and Red Heat is bottom rung, and not nearly as good as I remembered. 

Must have product tie-in for the upcoming remake: the Apple iRonside…

Even though this is topic is such message board tripe, if you’re getting four films of Arnold Schwarzenegger together, the optimum choices vary with taste of course.  But generally, I’m thinking any of the obvious choices these could be rotated for maximum appeal:

Pumping Iron
Conan The Barbarian
The Terminator
Total Recall
True Lies

“…and tell Ray Combs I said hey when you see him…”

However, if they really wanted to get your attention, they could have gone with oh, say, a WTF? line-up:

Hercules In New York
The Jayne Mansfield Story
Scavenger Hunt
Red Sonja

Or a chick friendly line-up:

Kindergarten Cop

Damned if Ventura didn’t make an impressive plea to be in T2…

Or perhaps selections from his blue period:

Last Action Hero
Jingle All The Way
The Sixth Day
End of Days

The options are really quite endless.  Okay, they’re more like

 P(n, r) = \frac{n!}{(n-r)!}.

where n is the number of elements available for selection, and
r is the number of elements to be selected (0 ≤ r ≤ n).  But I digress…. You’ll know if you need to have these or not. 

The Package

Collectively, there’s hours worth of material to go through here.  All of the DVD menus show their age except for T2, which still holds up
pretty well.  The rest generally look like they were put together by
something akin roughly to a Commodore 64.  Also, the metal skin of the
T2 Extreme packaging has been replaced by more traditional plastic. 
This is overall a generally cheap offering, even in price.  If you
don’t have any of these then getting them in this four-pack ain’t a bad
way to go, although at this point I’d say it’s worth the money to
probably invest in the Blu-rays (although I don’t believe Red Heat has
one…no big loss) as even some of the transfers are rough on these in

Considering how these discs stack up against each other, T2 is almost as good as the other three combined.  And with the exception of that one, these could all use some updating, especially Total Recall, which demands at least a two-disc Get Your Ass Back To Mars Edition.  Although it’s a better film than Running Man, Running Man has a better presentation, including two discs and commentaries by Paul Michael Glaser and Rob Cohen.  I barely consider Red Heat worthy of a Special Edition tag.  It seems that even cable has forsaken that particular film as I haven’t seen it rerun anywhere in years.  Bottom line is, if you have these, then move along.  These re-releases are like the spam that you should have already filtered out of your e-mail.  If you don’t have these and have an Schwarzencraving, then grab ‘em.  If you have the means and the desire, then get the Blu-rays.

T2: 9.2 out of 10
Total Recall
: 7.6 out of 10
The Running Man
: 7.7 out of 10
Red Heat
: 5.9 out of 10