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on January 6, 2004
No one really thought Terminator 3 would be made. Sure, the title "Rise of the Machines" has been tossed around since at least 1997, but with Cameron's near-perfect T2 and the franchise being more than a decade old, most fans didn't give any serious consideration to a third installment. But someone decided to go ahead and make T3 anyway.
I went into T3 with low expectations. All the comments I'd heard on the movie pinned it as average to slightly above-average at best. The director was so-so, the running time was way under T2, only Arnold chose to return, and the box office reciepts weren't that great. And sure enough most of the movie matched those expectations. Fun action, but a lot of re-hashing of what had been done in the first two movies. Minimal character development, just enough to make the viewer give a damn about the heroes. Competent direction, but everything seemed to operate on such a small scale, considering that this was supposed to be the last hours before judgement day.
So far, the movie was a decent popcorn flick that was worth my money and thankfully didn't manage to embarass the legacy of the movies before it.
Then the final few minutes of the movie rolled, and everything changed. I don't know how I managed to not spoil the ending for myself, considering all the reviews I read, but I was totally blown away. Yeah, I heard they were leaving room for a Terminator 4, but I didn't expect it to happen this way. Suddenly, the small scale of the movie seems to make sense, as if it's all clever misdirection of some sort. T3 could've worked a lot better with a more stylistic director and a slightly longer running time, but as it stands, its ending makes it a more-than-worthy entry in the franchise. Before, I dreaded another installment. Now, I'm looking forward to it.
WB's treatment of T3 on DVD is something of a disappointment. Audio/visual is very good, and thankfully the movie comes in a keepcase instead of a snapper, but the supplements are just there to take up space. There's a good deleted scene that must be watched by all fans, and a few decent featurettes, but most of the bonus material is promotional in nature. Given how loaded the past Terminator discs have been, T3 simply doesn't compare.
T3 is a great popcorn movie with a jaw-dropping ending. WB needs to learn how to make a decent 2-disc special edition of its summer movies. 4 stars.
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Too bad California could not have kept him as govenor for life ... poor California... but it would have meant no more Arnie messes on film. The writing is indifferent here and without the strongest of directions, Arnie just doesn't know what to do but scowl and imitate a robot imitating a robot. His best series, bit not the best of the series.
Not really recommended as action films have come a long way since this was made.
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TERMINATOR 3: RISE OF THE MACHINES [2003/2009] [Blu-ray] [UK Release] Takes You Beyond High Definition!

A decade has passed since John Connor [Nick Stahl] helped prevent Judgment Day and save mankind from mass destruction. Now 25, John Connor lives "off the grid," no home, no credit cards, no cell phone and no job. No record of his existence. No way can he be traced by Skynet - the highly developed network of machines that once tried to kill him and wage war on humanity. Until, out of the shadows of the future steps the T-X [Kristanna Loken], Skynet's most sophisticated cyborg killing machine yet. Sent back through time to complete the job left unfinished by her predecessor, the T-1000, this machine is as relentless as her human guise is beautiful. Now John Connor's only hope for survival is the Terminator [Arnold Schwarzenegger], his mysterious former assassin and together they must triumph over the technologically superior T-X and forestall the looming threat of Judgment Day or face the apocalypse and the fall of civilisation as we know it.

Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nick Stahl, Claire Danes, Kristanna Loken, David Andrews, Mark Famiglietti, Earl Boen, Moira Sinise, Chopper Bernet, Christopher Lawford, Carolyn Hennesy, Jay Acovone, M.C. Gainey, Susan Merson, Elizabeth Morehead, Jimmy Snyder, Billy D. Lucas, Brian Sites, Alana Curry, Larry McCormick, Robert Alonzo, Michael Papajohn, Timothy Dowling, Jon Foster, Mark Hicks, Kim Robillard, Matt Gerald, William O'Leary, Rick Zieff Rick Zieff, Rebecca Tilney, Chris Hardwick, Helen Eigenberg, Kiki Gorton, Walter von Huene, Jerry Katell, George A. Sack Jr. and Eric Ritter (uncredited)

Director: Jonathan Mostow

Producers: Andrew G. Vajna, Colin Wilson, Hal Lieberman, Joel B. Michaels, Guy East, Nigel Sinclair and Moritz Borman

Screenplay: James Cameron and Gale Anne Hurd

Composer: Marco Beltrami and Brad Fiedel (themes)

Cinematography: Don Burgess

Video Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Audio: English 5.1 TrueHD Master Audio, English: 5.1 Dolby Digital, French: 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish: 5.1 Dolby Digital and Audio Description: English 5.1

Subtitles: English, English SDH, Finnish, Hindi, Italian, Norwegian and Swedish

Running Time: 109 minutes

Region: All Regions

Number of discs: 1

Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Andrew's Blu-ray Review: In 'Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines,' just as in ''T2'' a dozen years ago, the original T-1 killer cyborg from the future, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, does battle on the streets of Los Angeles with an updated, sleeker, deadlier model. Last time, you may recall, it was the T-1000, played with metallic sangfroid by Robert Patrick. Now, in an apparent concession to the turbo-feminist lad-mag action-movie times, the state-of-the-art killer cyborg from the future is the T-X, who touches down on Rodeo Drive in the arresting and unclothed form of Kristanna Loken, and who goes about her subsequent business in a red leather pantsuit and a silver Lexus coupe.

The film is not weighted down by plot, but it does have a recognisable storyline featuring legitimate characters and a few nice, but minor twists. Some degree of attention is helpful and Terminator 3 is not an intellectual challenge, but neither is it vacuous. The film has plenty of action sequences, some of which are spectacular. Director Jonathan Mostow has wisely not relied too much on computer graphics for these. A fair amount of stunt work was required, and the computer components are incorporated seamlessly. Additionally, Mostow does not play the game of cutting every second or so, and the music never upstages the visuals. Terminator 3 gets the most bangs for its buck by letting the camera linger on the spectacle, and allowing tension, not flashiness, to be its hallmark.

The old-model Terminator, delivering his usual one-liners with abandonment, in that familiar Austro-Californian monotone, has his hands full with this limber, ruthless new machine, which has been sent back in time, as Arnold Schwarzenegger was in the first 'Terminator' film, to kill off the future leaders of human resistance to machine tyranny. The first instalment in the franchise, directed by James Cameron and starring Linda Hamilton along with Arnold Schwarzenegger, which is nearly 20 years old. The rapid evolution of special-effects technology since then, and the concurrent spread of multi-sequel blockbuster franchises, gives those influential pictures a decidedly antique aura.

In part because of the example of 'Terminator 2,' which was a pioneer in the use of computer-animated imagery in a live-action setting; sci-fi action movies have become ever more visually elaborate and also more pretentious. Next to the baroque postmodern pseudo-sophistication of the ''Matrix'' films, which similarly explore the fate of humanity under threat of machine dominance, the new ''Terminator'' has a lumbering, literal-minded old-style feel. Which is not, on balance, such a bad thing? Mr. Cameron has long since ascended from action auteur to king of the world, leaving his duelling robots and their human prey in the hands of Jonathan Mostow. Jonathan Mostow's previous film was 'U-571,' a highly competent exercise in that squarest of all action subgenres, the submarine movie. And if he lacks James Cameron's unusual gift for finding human drama amid all the explosions, chases and collisions, Jonathan Mostow does at least film the explosions, chases and collisions with professionalism and something like wit.

'Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines,' despite seemingly preventing Judgement Day, as seen in the events in the film Terminator 2: Judgment Day,' and this time an adult John Connor [Nick Stahl] does not believe that the war has truly been averted. He chooses to live 'off-the-grid' in Los Angeles, with no permanent home or job in order to prevent anyone from tracking him. He fears prove to be warranted when Skynet sends a new model of Terminator, the T-X [Kristanna Loken], back through time in an attempt to kill as many of the future human resistance's lieutenants as possible, thereby tipping the balance of the war in its favour. The T-X is an advanced hybrid of the T-800 and T-1000 models and has been designed with an arsenal of powerful weaponry and the ability to remotely control machines with the use of 'nano-transjectors'.

While searching for medicine after a motorcycle accident, John Connor has a chance encounter with Katherine Brewster, an old school friend who, unbeknownst to them both, will go on to become John's wife and second-in-command of the resistance. When the T-X arrives to terminate Kate, it quickly discovers John's presence and begins interrogating her for information, but as before the future resistance is able to send a reprogrammed Terminator [Arnold Schwarzenegger] back through time to protect John Connor and Brewster. Arriving just in time to save them from the T-X, this new Terminator has one mission: to ensure the survival of John Connor and Katherine Brewster so that they may fulfil their destinies.

With the ending of 'Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines,' does this means it means a set-up for Terminator 4, and allows parts of the story have yet to be told. But, from an action standpoint, is there any way that the fourth picture could be anything other than a re-hash of its predecessors? And can the franchise succeed without its star, who, barring a failure to gain political office, will not be interested? Those are questions for the future. However, considering how well Terminator 3 is likely to fare at the box office, the future won't be that far away. It has taken a long time to get Terminator 3 to the screen, and, while the production doesn't rock the action motion picture industry to its foundation, it's a credible and entertaining movie, and was worth the wait.

This Terminator professes not to recall ever having said ''hasta la vista, baby,'' but he does let fly with gems like ''I'm back,'' ''She'll be back,'' and ''My database does not encompass the dynamics of human pair-bonding.'' He also says, ''You're terminated'' to his robot rival, perhaps testing out a slogan intended for the next sequel, which is now out in the cinema and eventually released on a 3D Blu-ray disc.

Blu-ray Video Quality ' Sony delivers Terminator 3 with a 2.40:1 aspect ratio, with a stunning encoded 1080p image transfer that looks pretty good for the most part. Obviously this is the newest of the Schwarzenegger Terminator films, so one would expect it to look significantly better than the older films, and it's fair to say that it does. The first thing that struck me was how clean the image is, with hardly any blemish to be seen anywhere on the print. It's also fairly detailed, although it's not the sort of razor sharp clarity found on the very best releases (but this seems to be due to the way Terminator 3 was filmed). I don't have the intimate knowledge of the film required to be certain that colour rendition is completely faithful to the source material, but if the DVD release is a reliable indicator it looks to be reasonably accurate if a little unnatural (skin tones are a good indicator of this as they occasionally have an 'artificial quality' to them). Blacks are deep and stable though. All things considered it appears to be a solid representation of the original material even if it's not 'reference quality', so fans should be happy.

Blu-ray Audio Quality ' As is customary for their Blu-ray releases, Sony provides a 5.1 TrueHD soundtrack that offers plenty of aural thrills and spills. Right from the get-go all five channels are utilised to deliver an engaging experience, from the future war sequence and the fast-paced T-X pursuit, to the cemetery shoot-out and 'rise' of the machines at the C.R.S. base. The cemetery and C.R.S. scenes in particular stick in my mind for the copious amount of bullets that fly around the soundstage, accompanied by some nice, deep bass, especially when the T-1s fire their mini-guns. Actually bass is probably worth singling out, because it's incredibly powerful throughout. It's not just the obvious explosions that benefit though, as even less obvious things like the T-X's flame-thrower pack a fair amount of low-end punch. Subtle elements aren't forgotten either, and there are times when the atmospheric sounds do a wonderful job of convincing you that you're along for the ride. On the negative side I did find the dialogue a little indistinct at times, particularly during the louder moments. The aggressive use of the surround channels was occasionally overwhelming as well, and Marco Beltrami's score could also have done with a slightly stronger presence in the mix, although that's really a personal thing. Even so, this is still a very impressive soundtrack that could easily serve as a demo title for those wanting to show off their surround set-up.

Blu-ray Special Features and Extras: The disc actually contains a reasonably generous helping of bonus material, featuring most of the previously available DVD features and some brand new high definition content. Some of the features from the two-disc release are missing, which is a shame, especially considering less than thirty-five gigabytes of space is used on the disc.

Audio Commentary: Commentary by Director Jonathan Mostow, actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, actor Nick Stahl, actress Claire Danes and actress Kristanna Loken: This is the same commentary track that appeared on the DVD releases. Each participant was recorded separately and their comments edited together later, so it doesn't have the sort of flow you get with most group commentaries, but it's actually still pretty informative. Arnold comes across as someone who's just a little bit too obsessed with his own body (and Loken's for that matter). It borders on creepy at times.

Special Feature: Storyboards [1080p] [4:00] You get a montage of the film's climatic Terminator vs. Terminator duel scene, and the entire sequence is shown as a side-by-side comparison between the storyboards and the final finished film, complete with soundtrack. This is actually a split screen feature that shows the Crystal Peak storyboards alongside the completed footage. I guess this could be quite interesting if you're into the whole 'how did the scene evolve' thing.

Special Feature: TV Special: HBO First Look [2003] [24:00] This is a pretty standard documentary that covers all of the promotional bases without providing any real insight into the production. It was obviously designed to drum up interest prior to the launch of the film, so it focusses on the action and the new 'Terminatrix' (I'm sure that should be 'Terminatress). The cast pop up to tell us how great the film is going to be, but that's about as deep as it gets.

Special Feature: Deleted Scenes and Blooper Reel [3:01] Yes, it's the usual sight of actors fluffing their lines and things going wrong. None of the gaffs are particularly very funny though.

Special Feature: TerminatorVision: Picture-in-Picture Experience [1080p] This is the disc's BonusView feature, which provides additional commentary from director Jonathan Mostow, as well as producers Mario Kassar and Andrew Vajna, who have recorded new introductions and full-length interviews, and a window video footage pertinent to the on-screen events. So far BonusView features have left me somewhat underwhelmed, but this one is actually reasonably interesting, even if there is a fair amount of space between the video segments. Jonathan Mostow dominates the track, so much so that you could be forgiven for thinking that it's a solo effort, but the video segments show some interesting footage and is well worth watching.

Special Feature: Dressed to Kill [1080p] [3:00] This is a very short look at the various attire worn by the characters, with the focus on the T-850 and the T-X. It's way too short to be of any real interest.

Special Feature: Toys in Action [1080] [8:00] In this documentary, Todd McFarlane talks us through the process of creating Terminator toys. While I found the artist work fairly interesting, I did get a bit tired with Todd McFarlane himself. He is way too enthusiastic about plastic dolls.

Special Feature: Sgt. Candy Deleted Scene [1080] [3:00] This is a total oddity, as this is the much-talked about Sgt. Candy scene, which features Arnie playing a character that would be the physical basis for the Terminators. It's a fun scene to watch in isolation, but I can see why it was lifted from the film.

Special Feature: Making of the Video Game [1080p] [8:57] This promotional documentary for the making of the first T3 makes it look a hell of a lot better than reviews suggest. True to form everyone goes on about how great it will be, with even the late, great Stan Winston professing his love for it. Oh dear.

Theatrical Trailers: The disc includes trailers for Terminator: Salvation and The Da Vinci Code, along with the usual Blu-ray showcases.

Finally, try as I might, I just can't view Terminator 3 as a valid extension of the Terminator franchise, because there is something missing, which I cannot put my finger on. I did get some enjoyment, if I watch it for the pyrotechnics and robots beating each other up, rather than as a serious science fiction picture, but it's too dumb to be taken as a proper continuation of Jim Cameron's films. I don't think this Blu-ray is going to do anything to change the minds of people who dislike the film and me included, but at least it's technically competent with solid video, great audio and a fair helping of bonus material. If you are a fan of Terminator 3, then this should definitely be on your 'must buy' list and so glad I have this in my Blu-ray Collection with the other Terminator films, making it an amazing collection that I love to watch when I am in the mood, as there is so much action in these genre films, you never get bored and you always see something new with each viewing and again I am so glad I now have nearly all of the brilliant Arnold Schwarzenegger franchise films in my Blu-ray Collection, but of course there is more to follow. Highly Recommended!

Andrew C. Miller ' Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon November 21, 2012
Terminator 3-Rise of the Machines(released July/03)stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Terminator,Nick Stahl as John Connor,Claire Danes as Kate Brewster,Kristanna Loken as T-X,David Andrews as Lieutenant General,and others.It is a rather ambitious film that has alot to tell,which is its main drawback.The first two by Cameron kept it simple and straightforward,which were its virtues.However,this one features the best S/FX of any of the Terminators,and as such reaches a level on a par with the first.
The story finds John Connor 10 years later from the last,a loner and continually on the move.His mother has died,thinking they had averted a global conflict with the machines.However,this is a Terminator movie and that is not to be.This time Ah-nold "beams" back into 2004 ,as does another advanced T-X model with enhanced capabilities.To add to that,it is female in form.She has been sent back not only to terminate John but his closest lieutenants and she sets about doing just that with the usual terminator proficiency.Ah-nold coincidentally finds John caged in a vet hospital by one of its employees Kate,who it turns out knows John and will become his closest associate in the future,not to mention his wife.At the same time the T-X has also arrived and is terrorizing the pair.John and Kate who,with Ah-nolds assistance,manage to escape.
They head to a memorial park where Sarahs body is supposedly interred.Ah-nold smashes the wall and pulls out the casket,inside of which is filled to the brim with weaponry,to which Ah-nold helps himself.It seems the USAF took over the Cyberdine systems research and now has the Skynet system up and running.Unbeknownst to the trio however,all satellite systems are starting to shut down.And the USAF are at a loss to explain the virus which seems to have invaded their computer systems and others around the world.The so called virus,is the Skynet system's own plant so the USAF would have to eventually let it take over control of every system in order to "repair" it.The USAF thinks it can control it,but Skynet has become too self aware by now and when Skynet is finally given control,it institutes the war of the machines against mankind by launching preemptive nuclear strikes around the world.
The trio come to the conclusion they must stop the Skynet system at all costs.At that they are ultimately unsuccessful,but they are directed to an underground facility north of the central one. There it is hoped that they will be able to stop Skynet once and for all.John and Kate fly a Cessna to the location and while attempting to gain access they witness the arrival of the T-X.Ah-nold arrives shortly thereafter and holds off the T-X until the pair can reach the underground facility.It turns out what they thought was their salvation and access to stopping Skynet was no such thing.They were sent to an underground location designed to protect officials from nuclear fallout;a survival bunker.They can do nothing but sit back and wait.After a while they start to receive radio messages from civil defense authorities across the country,and they realize there is now hope of humanity rising back up and fighting the machines.
It is an ambitious films with alot of nice moments such as the massive crane chase through the L.A.streets, with Ah-nold dangling on the end of it.There are funny moments such as when near the end the T-X arrives at the underground shelter ahead of Ah-nold in a normal sized chopper.Then shortly after Ah-nold arrives,but his is the size of a Sikorsky.There are two or three times when Ah-nold tries to come out with some snappy comebacks,as from the last movies,which are now iconic sayings.Ah-nold says"Talk to the hand" and"She'll be baaack",referring to the T-X.None of them have the same memorable punch as the others did in the first two movies,and have been quickly forgotten.The film has much too much detail to tell and should have been kept on a straightforward line like the previous two;so it lost a little bit of ground there with my ratings.However what really gives this movies its' chutzpah,are the improved S/FX,far superior than the first two.It would be neat to see what they could do today with Ah-nold in a new Terminator film.
Technically speaking the film is clear and crisp in its w/s a/r of 2:35:1.Extras abound in this two disc collection.There is commentary by all the main stars,a gag reel,featurettes on every aspect of the films making,both major and minor,right down to the video game and figurine off shoots.
All in all a nice return to the Terminator franchise.Ah-nold is on game,but the film just gets a little too busy and even Ah-nolds comeback lines don't pack the same punch as before.However the incredible improvement in technology helps hide alot of the films flaws.4 solid stars.
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on July 19, 2004
in part 3 here,sara conner is dead.john conner is in his early 20s and keeping his self impossible to trace.they send this extremely sexy terminater chick to kill his officers since he cant be located.arnold must protect john and this other chick who is an officer later on.they call her a captain.a cap is by no means 2nd in charge like they say in the movie.that would be a general.arnold shows again in another excellent performance in the terminater movies.i dont know who that sexy chick terminater is but damn is she fine!john,however,is really ugly and nasty.his officer,the chick is pretty but an uptight bitch.its kind of violent for children.this is as youve read already the third part to this fantastic series.the bad terminter chick has many neat powers like dna testing,talking to other machines,mimicking dial up tones,controllling other machines etc.there are a few more.its the second best of the 3 .any terminater fan will love it.only like squeamish and non-intellectual sell out julia roberts types will not like this.but screw them anyway.no fate but what we make does not carry over to this one.this is arnolds second best.the special effects are cool.the action is great.im still waiting on a 4th part with the man vs machine war.
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on April 7, 2004
For those who don't follow the Terminator series or who have not seen the first two movies then this will be a great flick to watch. But for those who are fans of the Terminator story and love the first two moves, this is a dissapointment.
First of all, let me acknowlege that this is a great movie. It is very well done. However, the plot is a far cry from what a Terminator movie should be. One dissapointing factor is the special effects. They are well done but over used. T2 pulled special effects off right. Using computer animation just enough to get the point across and not come off looking cheesy or fake. In T3 it is obvious that computers were used and at several points it is completely obvious that Arnold Shcwarzenneggar is fake. Particularly in the crane scene. The other terminator is completely fake when she comes out of her skin and it looks really dumb.
Another point of disapointment is in how the Terminator finds his cloths. Getting dressed is a staple of the series. In T1, the termiator beats up some punks for his wardrobe. In T2 he walks into a bar and beats up a bunch of bikers. See the them so far? In T3 guess what he does? Beats up some bikers? Slaughters some people and takes everything they have? No. He goes into a bar at ladies night and ruffs the clothing away from a homosexual male dancer. How stupid is that.
At several points in the movie as well director Jonathan Mostow tried to add humor, but he ended up making just cheesy one liners. Arnold is know for one liners, but they are usually not a stupid as this.
A disapointing factor in the plot I found was that the new Terminator was actually a terminator designed to terminate terminators. That is so non-creative. They would have been better off keeping them both original T100 or T100s.
The movie does have good points though. You get to see more of the history of the terminators and in this way, the movie does add to the terminator story well. There is a more detailed history of SkyNet and how it came to be. You even get to see the actual takeover of SkyNet. There are many intersting new technologies that keep up with how we run lives today, such as the way the terminator can link up to databases through the cell phone. Although this a fresh idea, I think it makes the movie too timely. T2 is completely timeless and it can be watched and not make you think about "what life was like then," as T3 is sure to do 10 years from now when someone will watch it and go "haha, look how funny cell phones looked back then."
T3 is a well made movie and I will give it that. But it is a shambles of what it should have been. It is HUGE dissipointment if you are a big fan of the first two movies. If you can watch it without thinking back to thw other movies and becomming angry as I did, then you can enjoy it. T3 is a complete work of HOLLYWOOD, making it a complete work of DISAPOINTMENT for the fans.
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on February 7, 2004
This is a movie that simply past it's prime. It's a movie that should have been made long ago and today simply capitalizes on the previous success of the series and plenty of action and special effects to bring in crowds.
First of all the movie was NOT made by James Cameron (the creator and director of the other 2 terminator movies). This is the main reason why T3 is so bad in comparison to the other movies. There is no hint of Camerons style. T2 in particular had a distinct "feel" to the movie - a blend of action, mild humor, and an epic theme that melded together into a style that just worked well. T3 without cameron is like a child without a father and suffers from this in a very apparent way as can be seen in it's flawed delivery.
The plot has arnold returning as a reprogramed terminator on a mission to defend John Conner (once again) from death at the hands of an even deadlier terminator - the female TX. We learn that judgment day was not stopped by the events of the last movie (big shock), only posponed. The mission now is not to stop judgment day, but to survive it. The addition of connor's future wife and 2nd in command into the plot is intriguing, yet with the exception of a few moments, this was never expanded upon in the movie as much as it could have been.
The TX is even more advanced than the T1000 of T2, and sports some nifty nano technology that lets her control other machines as well as morph her physical form into complex weapons - a logical progression from the last "new" teminator bad guy. This lends itself to an abundant amount of cool special effects, although some of the effects are a bit too flashy and feel like the sort of CGI you'd expect from an intro sequence to a video game. The fights between arnold and the TX are pretty hard hitting, with some good action sequences... it's great when they bust each other up, though this is a little over used throughout the entirety of T3.
At the bottom of my frustration with this movie is that the whole scenario of 2 terminators sent back in time feels old and done already. In many ways T3 felt too much like a remake of T2, without any of the human elements that made T2 so great. I also could not help but cringe at the acting here. The acting barely passes for decent through most of the movie, while in several places the acting is downright awful. I couldnt help laughing a few times at some of the just plain corny lines, and in particular arnold's all-around poor performance. Besides that, most of T3 felt a bit rushed, while the action was almost non-stop, the moments inbetween were very poor, showing that the director was only really paying attention to the action sequences and special effects, unlike cameron who masterfully blended the action together with a sutible amount of drama and softer scenes, without coming off as corny. Im tempted to give this movie 2 stars thanks to the bad acting and poor scripting.
But T3 still serves a purpose if all you want is plenty of action and CG effects. If you're looking for the truely great conclusion that the series deserved... you'll be very disapointed.
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on December 27, 2003
Okay, I'm going to get one thing clear right now. I KNEW that James Cameron wasn't involved in this flick before I saw it. I KNEW that Arnold Schwarzenegger was starting to show his age (a little). I KNEW the she-Terminator (Kristanna Loken, though her name is hardly going to be considered important in the final analysis) would do little more than look pretty while she was ripping people in two. That said, I had zero expectations for anything that could match up with the first two films in this series. As a result, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I actually enjoyed this one.
First off, director Jonathan Mostow and the cast do a commendable job picking up where Cameron left off. Ahnuld is still cool as ice, and heck, it's not like this character ever required HIM to express any emotional range (The scene where he puts on the stripper's Elton John sunglasses is priceless). Nick Stahl, in my opinion, is far more capable of his role than Eddie Furlong ever was - AND he does sport something of a resemblance to Michael Biehn, which makes him more qualified physically for the role of John Connor (see the first film for the whole story on the Reese-Connor connection). In the noticeable absence of Linda Hamilton (the movie is admittedly naked without her, so to speak), Claire Danes is top-notch as the general's daughter who expresses everything from rage at her apparent 'kidnappers' to grief over...well, I don't want to spoil that for those of you who haven't seen it.
Then there's Ms. Loken. Yes, she pops up naked at the start of the whole affair (it's explained in the first flick that the time-travel device used by Skynet won't accept inorganic material, hence the Terminators' outer 'flesh' shell), but her parts are conveniently obscured. THEN she assumes the first female form she can rip open and goes on a killing spree, doing away with Connor's future lieutenants quite tactlessly. This must be the bloodiest film in the trilogy; the Terminatrix character uses everything from tearing people's chests open with her bare hands to having her hands turn into laser cannons and buzzsaws to get the job done. There's minimal gore, but a lot of blood; obviously Mostow didn't want to overplay his hand on the violence, knowing there would be a healthy dose of it, and he deserves credit for that.
THEN there's the actual chase/fight sequences. WOW!!!!! For lack of all that liquid-metal/morphing in T2, T3 instead gives us wild, incredible fight scenes between the Terminators that look far more realistic than most comic-book-based films can provide. Some folks might complain about Arnold slapping around a woman (at least in a non-suggestive manner, but I digress), but believe me, HE ends up taking more damage for it. The special effects are outstanding...and that doesn't even cover the bit with the crane. Let's just say you have to see that one to believe it - words fail me there.
And, yes, the ending is a bit of a downer, what with Judgment Day finally, truly happening and half the human race being atomized as a result. Some of you may complain about me spoiling the end of the movie for you, but when you think about it...with all of the stupid religious and political power-play crap going on in the world presently, is seeing a sci-fi movie end with Armageddon really something to be whining about right now?
One last thing I loved about T3 - Earl Boen reprising his role from the previous films as Dr. Silverman, the psychiatrist who interviews Reese in T1 and Sarah in T2, seen here consulting Ms. Danes's character after she (briefly) escapes Terminator and John. You can tell the poor shmuck is still shaken up by the events of T2 even as he tries to console Kate; even more so when he sees that big guy in the leather and sunglasses wading through relentless gunfire yet again. Placing him in this film, even for a few minutes, was a stroke of comedic genius.
In the end, T3 has a big legacy to overcome. And while it has its faults - and yes, it is INCREDIBLY violent - it still refuses to turn away from the challenge of its story, and in that right is, in my eyes, a rousing finish. Period.
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on December 26, 2003
Terminator 3 does an average job of attempting to explain itself. There is both a prologue and epilogue that attempts to explain and link this movie with the other Terminators. We get to learn of how the world came to be in the future, and how, after visited by another T-101, John Connor is now the new leader to try to save the world from the rise of the machines. He meets up with Kate Brewster (Clair Danes) through a series of events and she also learns her role in the future of mankind.
I didn't really go into this movie believing it would be much, but was pleasantly surprised with some of the acting, action sequences and plot. However, as usual in action movies, some of the chase scenes were dragged out incredibly long. I think if this movie would have focused more on building a solid story line through building the characters it would have made for a more effective story.
One thing that definitely was a negative was the character of John Connor. He comes across as a whiny, Generation X slacker type that no one watching feels sorry for. He seems to spend his time feeling sorry for himself and complaining about having to lead mankind. He tends to become an irksome point of the movie, and hardly fits the description of "hero." If they would have made him a stronger character I think it would have vastly improved the script.
Still, Terminator 3 is a fun movie. Sequels are definitely one of the hardest types to make successful, and I believe that Terminator 3 succeeds, albeit in a "ho-hum" way.
Recommended if you take it in with a relatively open mind.
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on December 20, 2003
This is not the new Bible of science fiction. This is supposed to be the last episode of the saga about thE fight between machines that take over the world and men who are nothing but easy preys for these computers. Of course John Connor has to be saved along with a girl, who cares about which one provided she can lay some eggs. And this couple has to be saved by being led into the atomic shelter of the President of the United States just before the machines erase life from earth with all the atom bombs men have accumulated. Judgment Day cannot be avoided. This is one recollection from the Bible. But only one man and one woman, plus maybe a few descendents, will survive. That is definitely not the Book of Revelations but a new version of the Genesis. In other words, when machines have become the supreme authority of the world, when they have killed God since no one can believe in religion anymore when they are plugged on the Internet and its ungodly blabla, there can only be a catastrophe coming, the end of the world that in a way selfdestroys, and the promise of a new beginning - which will lead to the same catastrophe in a few hundreds of centuries - that sounds like or smells like a rewriting of the Bible in a new very apocryphal version. And do not ask this film to have any complex psychology. On one side machines that have no psychology at all, only a plain programmed mission. On the other two human beings who are terrorized by fear, fright and some other versions of dread. All the others are nothing but props necessary to hold the setting. But it is entertaining because of the very total unbelievableness of the fable. If you can suspend your disbelief for more than five minutes, you must not have seen many movies lately and I would advise you to get to the cinema more often. By the way, the special effects are rather colorful.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU
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