Even though he knows that the date
for Judgement Day has passed, John Connor (Nick Stahl) is still filled with
fear and trepidation that is might still happen. As a computer virus spreads
around the world's computer systems, causing havoc with civilian and military
software, a new Terminator, the T-X (Loken) comes back through time. Her mission
is to kill John Connor and all of his future lieutenants, thus wiping out
any possible resistance to the machines taking over the planet. As before,
a protector, a model T-800 (Schwarzenegger) has been sent back to stop the
assassin and keep the future saviours of the human race alive.
He's back. At last
Arnold Schwarzenegger returns to the character that made him a star and continues
one of the best franchises in science-fiction movie history.
After a twelve-year
absence, the Terminator is back on the big screen but in that hiatus a lot
of things have changed. Gone is Sarah Connor, played by Linda Hamilton, Eddie
Furlong has been replaced as John Connor and most importantly director and
creator of the first two movies James Cameron has absolutely nothing to do
with the project. Does the movie suffer for this? The answer is yes and no.
On the positive side,
Arnold Schwarzenegger is back playing the role that his look and limited acting
talent made him destined play. If there was one part that could resurrect
is declining career it was the Terminator and again he delivers. We know that
he can't convey extensive dialogue or act with any real emotion but give him
the role of an emotionless cyborg that only ever says one sentence at a time
and he excels. This is Arnie as we remember him with power and a screen presence
that cannot be matched in the action genre. The leather jacket, the shades,
the big gun and the one-liners mean that the Austrian Oak is back, as he promised.
Nick Stahl, an excellent
actor in his own right, brings a lot to John Connor. Even after all that happened
to him in the second movie, the character is still filled with self-doubt
and fear of what he is destined to become. Stahl conveys this extremely well,
growing from the child we last saw into the leader he is meant to become.
Claire Danes is also good as Kate Brewster, one of John's future lieutenants
and target for the T-X. She goes through a similar journey that Sarah Connor
goes through in the first movie and Danes's talent makes the character all
that more believeable during it.
The action sequences
are superb. From the amazing crane chase to the battle at the air force base,
Terminator 3 adheres to the same standard set by the second movie. Special
effects guru Stan Winston lets his imagination run wild. From the fully operational
T-1 to the look of the new T-X endo-skeleton, Winston proves again that he
is the master of creature design. It might not surpass the previous film but
the action is relentless, meaning you can't take your eyes off the screen
for a second.
Mostow takes over the reigns from his illustrious predecessor with great gusto.
He handles the action extremely well and balances the story development and
set sequences to complement what James Cameron accomplished in the previous
One the negative side,
the T-X just isn't as menacing as the original T-800 or Robert Patrick's T-1000
from the second movie. While there is no arguing that Kristanna Loken is a
beautiful woman and her character does have some inventive new abilities,
such as built in weapons and the power to control other machines, she just
isn't as cold or as seemingly aggressive looking as her previous incarnations.
She does do well in the action sequences however and she does her best with
the very limited Terminator dialogue.
Marco Beltrami's score
is awful. Gone are the machine sounds and electric tones associated with Brad
Fiedel's original score for the first two movies and they have been replaced
it with orchestral music that you usually have on a science-fiction film.The
Terminator theme isn't even played until the final credits!
The film is also excessively
violent. While this isn't usually a compliant that you make about a Terminator
movie, the third film has a 12A certificate in the UK meaning anyone under
the age of twelve can see the movie, if accompanied by adult. One scene in
particular (you will know which one when you see it) is very graphic and quite
shocking, to the point that it would still have this effect in a 15 or even
18 rated movie. This is not a movie that children under twelve should see
and they shouldn't have watched the first two movies anyway.
All these negatives
are blown away by the superb and unexpected finale. As you sit down and watch
the film, you kind of know what to expect as the movie follows the constant
chase formula of the first two outings but the ending will totally throw you
for a six. It will either set up an amazing and completely different fourth
movie or tie up the franchise splendidly.
As a piece of escapist
science fiction, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines is terrific. It advances
the franchise extremely well and will not disappoint fans of the previous
two. Those of you who where sceptical about how the movie would turn out without
any input from creator James Cameron (myself included) will be pleasantly
surprised and pleased with the end result. The Terminator is Back!
PICTURE & SOUND
The Blu-Ray disc presents
the movie in High Definition wide screen 2:30 up to 1080p, with Dolby TrueHD
5.1 surround sound.
A new function of BD-Live, which allows you and friends to instant message
during the movie
Picture in Picture
Experience Watch 'Terminator 3: Rise of the Machine' and see storyboards,
interviews and other interactive treats as you view the movie.
Commentary by director
Jonathan Mostow, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nick Stahl, Claire Danes and Kristanna
The director and his stars provide individual, pre-recorded separately commentaries
for key scenes and about their own contribution to the movie. While this is
not as good as if they had all watched the movie together and recorded the
track, this is still worth a listen for fans.
director Jonathan Mostow
The man at the helm provides a more traditional commentary track for the movie
and for a single person track, this is worth a listen. The director talks
passionately about taking over the franchise from James Cameron and having
the freedom to inject his own ideas into the already established universe.
This is well worth a listen for fans of the movie.
Director Jonathan Mostow, producer Mario Kassar and stars Arnold Schwarzenegger,
Nick Stahl, Claire Danes and Kristanna Loken appear in a stereo typical and
awful featurette that is punctuated with appalling rock music and some cliched
voice over. This is a disappointed featurette and is no way a documentary.
Watch a storyboard/finished footage comparison for the finale of the movie.
Dressed to Kill
(2.11 mins/Standard Definition)
Another awful featurette that has the stars and costume designer April Ferry
looking at their costumes and the style of the Terminator movies.
Toys in Action
(7.04 mins/Standard Definition)
Comic book writer and Action figure maker Todd McFarlane talks about the process
of making the realistic, collectables from 'Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines'.
Gag Reel (3.02 mins/Standard Definition)
Watch the cast have fun on set and make a hash of their lines.
Making of the Video
Game (8.57 mins/Standard Definition)
Why this is included in the Blu-Ray release is anyone's guest as no one will
be interested in a game that came out in 2003.
Previews of 'Terminator Salvation' and ' The Da Vinci Code'
Besides the inclusion
of 'Cinechat' and 'Terminator Vision', this is the same release as the DVD
presentation in 2003. This is a real disappointment of a collection of special
features, which were bad the first time around and even worst now. While the
HD transfer is excellent, these special features don't make it worth upgrading
to the Blu-Ray.
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