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Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (DVD)

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      27.11.2011 15:00
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      Not bad

      2003's Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines was directed by Jonathan Mostow and written by John Brancato and Michael Ferris. The film is set ten years after Terminator 2: Judgment Day and John Connor (Nick Stahl replacing the drug addled Edward Furlong) is living "off the grid" in Los Angeles and keeping his head down. His mother Sarah Connor - we learn - has been dead for several years from leukemia. This is mainly because Linda Hamilton didn't like the script and turned the film down. I'm not sure a Terminator film without Linda Hamilton ever truly feels right to be honest. Like making an Aliens film without Sigourney Weaver. Anyway, back to the plot. Although there was no nuclear war in 1997 as predicted by the the Terminator in the previous film, Connor doesn't believe that he has escaped the fickle finger of fate just yet. "The future has not been written. There is no fate but what we make for ourselves. I wish I could believe that. My name is John Connor, they tried to murder me before I was born, when I was 13 they tried again. Machines from the future. Terminators. All my life my mother told me the storm was coming, Judgment Day, the beginning of the war between man and machines. Three billion lives would vanish in an instant, and I would lead what was left of the human race to ultimate victory. It hasn't happened, no bombs fell, computers didn't take control, we stopped Judgment Day. I should feel safe, but I don't, so I live off the grid - no phone, no address, no one and nothing can find me. I've erased all connections to the past, but as hard as I try I can't erase my dreams, my nightmares."

      Connor's dark suspicions prove to be correct when a "Termanatrix" or T-X (Kristanna Loken), a new type of advanced Terminator that is designed to look like a beautiful woman and can control other machines and turn into liquid metal to shapeshift and mimic other people, travels back in time programmed to kill Connor and Kate Brewster (Claire Danes). Brewster is a young woman who Connor becomes tangled up with and destined to become one of his closest allies. As in the second film, an old T-800 Terminator model (Arnie again of course) is sent back in time by the human resistance of the future to protect Connor. Not the most inspired plot ever but it builds to a modestly satisfying coda. It might have been more interesting to have Arnie as the villain again actually but he doesn't play villains anymore unless you count Batman & Robin where he took on the role of Mr Freeze and gave a performance that was more wooden than a million tonnes of teak. It's not a bad film and passes the time in reasonably entertaining fashion but the major problem with Terminator 3 of course is that James Cameron declined to direct a third chapter and so it always feels somewhat Terminator-lite without him. Less violent and epic. Cameron would have jazzed this up a bit, made it darker and given it more energy. Terminator 3 is pretty much what you expect from a James Cameron free Terminator film that has been diluted and toned down to gain a lower certificate. Expensive and slick but just lacking a certain je ne sais quoi. More like a regular action film.

      Schwarzenegger's arrival into the past this time lands him in some sort of gay club and he puts a silly pair of comedy sunglasses on by mistake for a moment in what is meant to be a brief hilarious twist on his usual biker sunglasses. You fear for the worst here but the film never becomes gratingly in-jokey or a parody despite riffing on Terminator 2 in particular a lot. It has much more in common with second film than the first one but is reasonably respectful of the Terminator mythology established by Cameron. Jonathan Mostow is a competent director of action and does ok here. He directed that excellent Kurt Russell thriller Breakdown and that World War 2 submarine thriller where he had the brave Americans capturing the Enigma machine from the Germans! Thanks a lot Hollywood. Just airbrush Britain out of World War 2 why don't you. His big set-piece here - a huge chase involving the world's largest crane and much destruction - is fun and inventive even if it does go on for too long. Schwarzenegger apparently chipped in some of his own money in the end to get this sequence in the film as the studio were grumbling about the ever rising budget. It was worth the effort I think. I suppose it was inevitable they'd go down the female Terminator route sooner or later and the tabula rasa Kristanna Loken (looks like a prettier version of Tamzin Outhwaite!) is decent enough as she tracks our heroes in a red leather catsuit and silver Lexus coupe. You probably didn't need Meryl Streep for this part.

      It's somewhat surreal at first to see Arnie laying the smackdown on the doll like features of Loken but the Terminator on Terminatrix fight scenes are well handled with rubble strewn punch ups in khazis and such like. Action films love fight scenes in public toilets don't they? Strange. The slinky T-X riffs a lot on Robert Patrick's T-1000 - in that it is an advanced model and Arnie is an old banger and therefore takes a lot of abuse. He's like David Haye fighting one of the Klitschko brothers. There is probably a bit too much T-1000 riffery though with Loken frequently saying "That's a nice..." in mimicry of Patrick whenever she is about to forcibly take a gun or vehicle from some unsuspecting bystander. Arnie, back in his most famous role nearly 20 years after he first played it, is effective again although he does look a bit waxen now with his dyed hair and pancake make-up. His face looks slightly odd as if he's had some work done. I expect that's because he probably has! He's still iconic though. It's like that last Dirty Harry film they made. Clint Eastwood was looking a bit old to be, er, busting punks as a no nonsense policeman but he's STILL Clint Eastwood no matter how old he gets. Edward Furlong is no great loss here (I find his voice a bit annoying) and Nick Stahl is effective enough if a bit dull. Claire Danes seems to be an attempt at compensation for the loss of Linda Hamilton but Hamilton - and James Cameron of course - are missed here and cast a lingering shadow over proceedings.

      Terminator 3 is slick and an enjoyable ride but ultimately isn't that memorable. While I can remember almost everything about the first two films without watching them again, I found I could barely remember anything about Terminator 3 until I viewed it again. It's a decent enough actioner but no great shakes compared to its more famous predecessors.

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        01.08.2010 19:25
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        Easy watch, refreshing

        Arnold Schwarzenegger's old, obsolete Terminator is back in black.
        In "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines," the battle-scarred Schwarzenegger, once Hollywood's favorite special effect, has against all odds transformed into an old-fashioned underdog of imposing flesh, brute force and relentless drive holding his own in the face of the digital paintbox of modern effects.

        The film opens like a remake of "T2": John Connor (now a scruffy, haggard Nick Stahl) is once again the target of an assassin from the future and another Terminator (Schwarzenegger) is sent back to protect him.

        This time, however, a second, more reluctant target (Claire Danes) gets the paternal bodyguard's services as well.

        While a voracious computer virus devours the Internet and shuts down the communications network, the once and future heroes of the human resistance race the clock to stop the military from activating the thinking super-program SkyNet on the communications infrastructure and unleashing a fate worse than "The Matrix."

        The new Terminator T-X (Kristanna Loken) looks more like she's stepped out of "Blue Lagoon" than the machine age when she first strides down the street, but this year's model has the liquid malleability of the previous film's T-1000 poured over a veritable Swiss Army knife: Inspector Gadget as a Victoria's Secret mannequin.

        The supposedly emotionless killing machines somehow manage more dramatic interest than the human cast, as the Terminator turns into a tough-love father figure and T-X sneaks in looks of smirking satisfaction during her reign of terror. Stahl can't seem to get worked up about much of anything and Danes spends most of the film looking lost, perplexed or just pissed off at the whole ordeal.

        Director Jonathan Mostow delivers an impressive display of property damage in his first signature scene, a battering chase with a small platoon of riderless cars and a barreling construction crane that practically levels a neighborhood, and continues in the same vein throughout the film.

        But where "Terminator" creator James Cameron transformed previous man-versus-machine duels into show-stopping spectacle, Mostow favors momentum. He powers through his set pieces with such speed that you rarely notice (or just don't care) when the plot and the characters fail to connect. (It makes you wonder if the script was whittled down from a Cameron-size epic to a lean, swiftly paced doomsday roller coaster when Cameron passed on the project.)

        It may lack the mano-a-machino grit and grungy gut-punch of the original down-and-dirty "Terminator" and the eye-popping effects spectacle and epic action movie ambition of "T2: Judgment Day," but in a summer of comic book super-operas dense with psychological torment and sprawling well over two hours, the unpretentious efficiency of "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines" is refreshing.

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        17.05.2010 12:17
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        The new T-X terminator is easier on the eyes than its predecessors

        Director: Jonathan Mostow
        Producers: Hal Lieberman, Mario F.Kassar, Joel B.Micheals, Andrew G Vajna and Colin Wilson
        Writers: Michael Ferris, Tedi Sarafian and John D. Brancato
        Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kristanna Loken, Nick Stahl and Claire Danes .

        Released in the summer of 2003 this third movie in the terminator saga runs for an hour and fifty minutes and continues to follow the plight of John Conner as he, together with help from the future, tries to avoid his own termination in order to help save the world that is yet to come.

        ** BRIEF PLOT...

        The year is 2004 and we see John Conner, (played by Nick Stahl), living on the streets of L.A. as he avoids the authorities.
        Then, flashing to the year 2029, another terminator is sent back by Skynet to terminate John, after the previous failings in 1984 an 1987. Only this Terminator is a more advanced model than before, this one is the T-X (played by the Kristanna Loken), the first female Terminator to grace the movies.
        The T-X having the ability to bring advanced weapons from the future hidden inside its frame and the power of remotely controlling other machines.
        So with the T-X hunting John Conner it is not long until the T-1000 terminator, (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger) is hot on their heals with orders to protect John from the more advanced and even more dangerous T-X terminator

        So, once again it again becomes a battle of wits and pure brute force as the terminators try to fulfil their programs, one to rid the future of John Conner, the other to protect the future.

        ** MY OPINION...

        I enjoyed watching the terminator movies and I was hoping that this one would be as good as the first two, with as much action and a plot to end all plots.
        Sadly, I felt a little let down by the story as the powers that be seemed to want to spend more time, money and concentration on the special effects.

        Don't get me wrong, it is a good enough plot to keep you entertained and is crammed with everything a good movie needs, such as the many chases, involving most vehicles you can think of, some cracking fight scenes between two characters that shouldn't exists and much much more.
        It has several twist within the movie, trying to entwine bits from all three movies as if finalising the terminator saga, but these twist can become a little confusing if you lose concentration at the crucial points.
        Plus, the writers do a fine job in squeezing in the explanation as to why one of the most crucial characters from the previous terminator movies, namely Johns mother Sarah, (usually played by Linda Hamilton), didn't appear in this third movie, which is quite plausible.

        Toward the end of the film the special effects really do come into there own with the CGI boffins really showing why they get paid so much, with some cracking entertainment and very breathtaking viewing.
        So, with the T-X as determined to exterminate John as the original terminator was the writers continue to create some great ideas of how to seemingly kill the machines off only to see them rise from the ashes, keeping the terminator story alive and kicking without making it too unrealistic.

        The acting is as good as ever, but what did you expect, especially from the emotionless Schwarzenegger as he relishes in his role for the third time. Then their the new faces of Stahl, (The man without a face), who does a fine job in portraying the now grown up John Conner.
        And then there's the very new and very shapely Loken as the rather more attractive Terminator, who really does look like she was made for the role as she battles with the mountain of muscles Schwarzenegger with the graceful prowess of a top athlete in skin tight trousers.

        In all, I thought this was a great film, although maybe not as good as the previous two, but is still worth watching, if only to make sense of the trilogy.
        So if you want to get a copy of this third terminator story then it is being sold for around the five pound mark on amazon at the moment, but, as I always say, shopping around may save you even more money.

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          08.05.2010 16:32
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          Third Terminator fiilm

          Fairly obvious from the title of this film but it is the third in the Terminator series and once again in this film Arnie is back and just as in the second film he is now on the side of the good guys having been sent back to look after John Connor who in this film is played by Nick Stahl.

          In this film the terminator sent back by skynet is in a woman form, played by the teutonic looking Kritanna Loken, and she is rather bendy as she is able to contort and change her shape, she is again far more equipped to operate than the older version terminator played by Arnie. She has been sent back to kill some of Connors eventual supporters however this brings her into contact with both him and his future wife Kate played by Claire Danes.

          This film showed that the franchise was beginning to run out of steam and also the plot was becomming more stretched especially as essentially at the end of the second film it appeared like the machines had been defeated however this film sort of patches together a credible plot to cover these events.

          The film is still proficient with the special effects and as an action movie it works well enough however watching it I was feintly disappointed with the standard of acting as the characters were not as strong in their performances. Not the worst sci fi thriller I have ever seen but certainly not a patch on the first two Terminator films.

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          25.01.2010 19:41
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          An entertaining sequel that's not overlong like T2

          Well, it always takes someone brave to direct a sequel to a classic that's considered sacrilege by the majority of the public but that someone was out there and he did it!

          There are glaring mistakes in the continuation (John Connor's age, for example) but they can always be explained with a lot of made up thinking.

          Arnie returns at an advanced age but don't let that turn you off. He dedicated himself to getting his body back in the SAME shape as it was for T2. In fact, his body measurements were the same for that film!

          As a movie, I enjoyed this one....people won't like this but I enojoyed it more than the second. Okay, shoot me now!

          As found in my review for T2, I said it was a bit long and slow in the middle and the tone of the film was vastly different to the first.

          The tone for this one is the same as T2 so that's not changed but there are no overlong drama scenes to just fill up the film. Instead, like the first film, there is a good balance of action and drama.

          The film also clocks in at around an hour and 45 minutes so it's not too long either.

          The effects are wonderful in this film, mixing practical effects with CG really works wonders for realism.

          Kristanna Loken as the T-X is formiddable but not as intimidating as Patrick's T-1000 in T2.

          What didn't help that was the fact this film has a few various intentionally funny sequences to lighten the mood. Dumb move!

          The action sequences are very impressive, just as good as they were in T2, in my eyes.

          The terminator theme is nowhere to be found in the film except for the end credits, which is another mistake.

          This is not a perfect sequel but for all it's faults, I still find it a more entertaining watch than T2 because the pace doesn't stop.

          Recommended.....surprisingly.

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          17.10.2009 17:25
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          Not great, but could have been much worse.

          Following a twelve year hiatus, Arnie reprised his most famous role once more for Terminator 3, which has a plot thats very similar to the second film. Once again, the rogue, self-aware computer defense network Skynet sends back a terminator from the post-apocalyptic future in order to kill John Connor before he can go on to lead the human resistance after the nuclear bombs have landed and thus challenge the dominion of the machines.

          Neither Edward Furlong nor Linda Hamilton, the original actors who played John Connor and his mother Sarah Connor are in the film this time, with Hamilton's character being omitted entirely and John Connor's character played by a rather weak Nick Stahl after Furlong was not asked to reprieve his role on account of a substance abuse habit.

          After the Cyberdyne building was destroyed in the second film, the Skynet program has now fallen under the jurasdiction of the US Air Force, and Schwarzenegger once again finds himself duty-bound to protect John Connor from a next-generation terminator whist trying to shut down Skynet before it becomes too powerful, whilst Sarah Connor's role is effectively replaced by that of Kate Brewster (Claire Danes), the daugher of a US General who helps John and Arnie in their effors to infiltrate the Air Force Base hosting Skynet.

          There is admittedly more to the plot than that, but that's what it essentially boils down to; a weak facsimile of the previous film. Even the new Terminator, female this time, and played by Kristanna Loken, is little more than a copy of T2's villain: she can still change shape but can also produce prosthetic weaponry this time, and is in fact based on a character originally concieved for the second film.

          T3 has neither James Cameron nor the original production studios on-board, with Warner Bros picking up the baton, so perhaps its not suprising that the film is lacking the spark and intelligence that made the first two films so great. It rather seems as if the film's makers knew this, as they have chosen to largely play the film for laughs, for example parodying the original scene in T2 where arnie steals a biker's clothes by having him don a giant pair of Elton John-style glasses instead, and although this approch culminates in a film of an ultimately much lower calibre than its predecessors it is, at least, entertaining, which is more than can be said of its po-faced, unimaginative and incredibly dull sequel, Terminator 4. The very ending is actually rather impressive, and rescues the film to a small degree, but overall it still remains a derivative film, if a mildly diverting one.

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            07.10.2009 14:01
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            This is another example of a film that never should have been made - avoid

            Wow. What a let down this movie was. I suppose though, it was to be expected. After having one sequel that surpasses the original, it was unlikely that this second sequel would do the same, especially that James Cameron was no longer the director, and Jonathan Mostow was, and especially after Linda Hamilton refused to come back to her character of Sarah Connor.

            For those of you not in the know, the Terminator story revolves around a war in the future between a human resistance led by John Connor, and the machine army that seek to eliminate human kind. The machines were built by a super computer called Skynet, which in turn was created by the US government to centralise the country's defences. When Skynet became self aware, it saw human kind as a threat, and launched an all out attack against them.

            Most of humanity was wiped out in an apocalyptic nuclear war, but the survivors fought on against the humanoid robots Skynet assembled to wipe them out. An effective machine that Skynet developed, was the terminator, a human looking cyborg, designed to infiltrate human strongholds.

            Twice in the past, Skynet has sent these assassin robots back in time to kill the leader of the resistance - first, to kill his mother before John is even born, and secondly, to kill him as a teenage boy. On both these occasions however, Skynet's plans were foiled, as the human resistance was able to send back a soldier to protect John.

            Again, in this movie, we see Skynet send yet another terminator back, female this time, and played by Kristiana Loken, and the resistance also send back a second captured and reprogrammed terminator (Arnold Schwartzenegger) to defeat Skynet's warrior. However, as the movie progresses, it becomes clear that John Connor (Nick Stahl) is not the only target...

            Don't get me wrong, there is quite a lot of good stuff in this movie, especially the last five or ten minutes, which I thought were great. The stunts are fantastic, and more screen time for Arnie is always a good thing!

            However, there are just far too many bad points, and they destroy any good in the film. Apparently, Sarah Connor has died from cancer (nice way to end her story...), and the fact that they thought they had ended the war in the last film? No... they just delayed it. Jeeze.

            There is also FAR too much humour in the film and it comes across as some lame juvenile comedy. Do I want to see a terminator wearing stupid yellow Elton John style star sunglasses? No! Do I want to hear a terminator telling someone to 'talk to the hand'? No!

            A new addition to the cast, is in the form of John's love interest, and wife to be, played by Claire Danes. In my opinion, this is a completely pointless storyline and character that in the end, pretty much adds nothing to the outcome. I'd much prefer to see John as a loner who just happens to be a great leader.

            Arnie, who is visibly much older in this movie, still manages to look quite convincing as a killing machine, even though he looks a bit softer now. The the female terminator, or terminatrix, is a fair enough terminator, but nowhere near as creepy as Robert Patricks T-1000 in the previous film.

            The recent TV show, Sarah Connor Chronicles, did the admirable thing of wiping Terminator 3 from continuity. It is a disgraceful film that pays no respect to the mythology. That said however, if you take it with a pinch of salt, and couldn't care less about the history, give it a go! The action scenes are worth watching.

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            27.08.2009 14:42
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            Not a bad film, but compared to it's prequels, sub-standard

            Terminator 3 was the long awaited 3rd film in the series. Released in 2004 & set in the same year. I found it dissapointing.

            John Connor (Nick Stahl) has been living his life as a loner in LA. Judement day as prohesised in the original films never came & the war against the machines has yet to take place. Hovever, Connor has yet to truly believe that events have really been averted.

            Unable to locate John Connor at that time, Skynet sends back a new prototype Terminator the TX (Kristanna Loken) to kill all of Connors lieutenants & generals. As ever, the resistance manages to send back a protector. This time it is a redesigned T-850 model 101 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) to protect the targets which include Connor's future wife Kate Brewster (Claire Danes). Both Terminators arrive in the past & the battle for the future begins once more.

            I was dissapointed with this film the first time I saw it. I don't know that if this is because I was expecting so much or love the first 2 films so much but I couldn't help it. After watching it on further occasions, I don't hate the film but I just don't find it ias good as the originals. I think that the movie is slowly paced & needs to move faster. Also, i think the ending could have had more emphasis put on it & more of it shown (I'm trying not to give it away if you haven't seen it). It's not a bad film. The action scenes are good as are the special effects. The plot is not bad. The acting is more than adequate. I just think that it is lacking greatness. With it being the sequel to 2 truly great films, this is a bit of a let down.

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            13.07.2009 23:00
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            Add another star if you want to see a pointless actioner.

            After the brilliance that was The Terminator, and that rarest of rare thngs - a sequel in Terminator 2 that lived up to the standard set by the original - Terminator 3 always had a lot to live up to. And twelve years had passed, which would suggest that the standard of CGI effects should have increased.
            There were doubts, however. The fact that the true star of the series, Linda Hamilton, declined the opportunity to reprise her role as Sarah Connor, the character the series is essentially built around, sent out a stark warning of what we may come to expect of this flick. Add to that the fact that by this point, Ah-nuld was approaching 56 years old, and one had to wonder if he still had what it takes to don the shades and brandish the Uzi 9mm one more time.
            Besides all this, James Cameron, the series'creator, stated that T2 was intended as the end of the story and no T3 had been in the pipeline - no question, this was doomed from the word go.
            Maybe I'm just a stickler for attention to detail, but in the opening voice-over by John Connor (Nick Stahl) - we're talking mere seconds into the film here, folks - the first error is revealed. Connor claims that "when (he) was thirteen" a terminator was sent back through time to attempt to kill him. Sorry, no. The first two films make it quite clear to anyone paying a jot of attention that Connor was born in 1985. Judgement Day, according to T2, was set to occur on 29 August 1997. By T3's misguided logic, T2 therefore took place in 1998 - after the very same Judgement Day that our heroes were trying for all their worth to prevent.
            A minor error, you might say. Well, director Jonathan Mostow, not satisfied with screwing up the timeline of the series' mythology, decides then to camp it up good and proper.
            And throwing in a female Terminator was solely done to generate much needed publicity. There was no sense of impending doom that the first two movies were shrouded in. This is a mockery, quite honestly. If you don't care as much about the legacy of the first two films as I do, and you just want a movie that you can watch with a bag of sweets and a beer, this will probably satisfy as a mindless campfest with a plethora of inane stunts that gives the impression of a director and stunt coordinator trying too hard to show off, and all it serves is to leave you thinking "What the...?!"

            I'll leave it there. There's not much positive I can add to this right now. Maybe if the vastly superior T1 and T2 didn't exist, this would only be a silly but fun actioner. Otherwise, there's not much going for it.

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              09.07.2009 12:17
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              The second is the best so far, can't wait for the fourth!

              More than ten years on from the last visit of the Terminator, John Connor has become a drifter since his mother died. Not believing that they truly destroyed the takeover of Skynet, John moves from place to place, leaving no mark of himself, in fear of being found again. Squatting in a veterinary surgery, he bumps into Kate Brewster, an old school friend. However, neither of them are safe and, soon enough, John realises that all his mother and he did was delay the coming of Judgement Day. When the most deadly robot yet, the T-X, is sent back in time and comes across John and Kate, John must once again fight for his life. But this time the T-X has been programmed to terminate, not John, but Kate who just happens to be John's future wife.

              With the protection and help of yet another Terminator, John and Kate must protect themselves against the T-X at the same time as trying to prevent the completion of Skynet and the rise of the machines.

              ~ Cast ~
              Terminator - Arnold Schwarzenegger
              John Connor - Nick Stahl
              Kate Brewster - Claire Danes
              T-X - Kristanna Loken

              In the third edition of the Terminator films, we see a change which comes in the form of the beautiful female terminator, T-X. Although I've heard people say that they didn't like the fact that the part was cast as a female role, I actually liked this difference as I thought it brought a more sexy and modern feel to the film - she was always wearing some sort of tight leather clothing and one of her powers happened to be the ability to enlarge her breasts. She did seem to have every single power imaginable being made of liquid metal, the ability to transform into other people or objects, able to control any other machines and vehicles, a gun for an arm, a blow-torch for the other arm ... the list really could go on. It's pretty unbelievable actually that anyone bothered to try to protect themselves against her - they may as well have just given up the fight as soon as they saw her to save themselves all the energy of trying to run away and shoot at her with no effect whatsoever. Kristanna Loken played the part brilliantly with robot-like characteristics and a permanent emotionless and straight face and she did look like a woman not to be messed with.

              Nick Stahl was a good casting and played the role of John Connor well although for some reason his character seemed to be fairly wimpy and didn't act at all like he would soon be the leader of a human resistance.

              Claire Danes was OK, not brilliant, not rubbish, but I didn't really feel anything towards her character.

              This film was a lot more modern and up-to-date than the previous two and contained many more special effects including fast car chases and plenty of huge explosions. There was a big jump on of more than ten years from the last film's release and I would have expected nothing less on special effects in 2003. However, this one just wasn't as good as the others, especially the second, which is still my favourite so far. I had enjoyed the small comical moments in Terminator 2 including all those famous lines of Arnie's but there was no comedy present in the third. As in the first, Arnie didn't have much to say and I was hoping to see a bit more development of his character as in the second film where he picked up human traits. I didn't even hear his famous line of 'I'll be back'. Maybe he did say it - anyone remember? - but that really just shows how much attention I was paying! I did enjoy it, it was a decent enough film, but it just seemed like a constant chase and there was nothing much else going on.

              I'm glad I've seen them all now though, eventually, and I'm very much looking forward to seeing the fourth edition tonight!

              Running time: 109 minutes
              Certificate rating: 12A
              Director: Jonathan Mostow

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                04.07.2009 11:33
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                A decent sequel full of explosive thrills and gravity defying action

                Having just re-visited the original two excellent films, and having heard many disappointing things about the subsequent films, I reluctantly parted with my £4 for this DVD in the current HMV sale. As usual, with films that I am only moderately interested in, it took me a couple of nights to get through it.

                The Terminator background is this. John Connor is the son of Sarah Connor, and future leader of the resistance against the uprise of warring machines. After a nuclear holocaust wipes out a mass of humanity, it is left to the select few to carry the torch for human life. Not content to allow this to happen though, a terminator and a protector is sent back in time. The first time it was to terminate and subsequently protect Sarah before she gave birth to John. The second time it was to protect a ten year old John. This time....

                John Connor is a drifter. Its the eve of the haulocaust and he finds that he is being pursued once again by one of the terminator's sent from the future. Unbeknown to him, his future army is being attacked and picked off one by one. His new protector is another from the line of the T-101's that once protected him and his mother, and therefore looks and sounds exactly the same as the previous one.

                Along for the ride is Kate Brewster, who is a former school friend of John, but who he barely remembers. She is unwittingly sucked in to the action, but is unaware that she actually plays a pivotal role in the future of mankind. Together, they must reach Skynet before the haulocaust takes place, and before mankind is wiped out. As explained by the T-101, Judgement Day was not cancelled, it was simply postponed.

                There are many notable things about Terminator 3. The first is the absence of Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor. Hamilton was superb in the previous film, and much like Halloween without Jamie Lee Curtis, the film feels hollower without her. There is a brief and far too convenient explanation of her absence, which most will raise an eyebrow at, but it at least emphasises the film's message that human beings are as disposable as the machines they are fighting.

                Terminator 3 is not a superb film in the way that Terminator 2 was, or indeed the original, but its not far off one of the most entertaining action films I have seen in recent times. The return of Arnold Schwarzenneger as a much older, but not wiser, terminator makes the film a somewhat better experience than it might have been without him. As if to push the point that he is not the same character as the second film, he is given slightly different tics and attitudes, and his lack of emotional attachment to Connor is somewhat startling.

                The action sequences are sensational for the most part, and the hammer and tong battle between T-101 and the terminator is exhilerating. The use of everything around them including the walls and toilet urinals to batter each other is a good move as it makes the fights authentic and believable. Elsewhere, half the city is blown up and demolished as the lead characters race through on any vehicle they can get their hands on. The more explosive the better.

                Whilst this is somewhat a vanity project for Schwarzenneger, it is comforting to see that he is happy to be beaten up and smashed against half the buildings he comes in to contact with. The terminator is a ferocious beast, and comes speeding at her targets with little regard for anything other than its mission. The most surprising thing about it is that this time around the terminator is a woman. In one of the later sequences in the film, we see her grapple and scratch defiantly at her targets with the ferocity of a robotic Catwoman, making this one of the sexiest screen performances since Pfeiffer's turn back in 91.

                Kristanna Loken is the terminator, and she is perfect in the role. I'm sure her initial nudity wont be lost on the film's great many male viewers. She is devoid of human expression, and having never seen her in anything else I couldn't say if that was particularly for this part or whether she is just a botoxed-to-death Hollywood starlet. It works though. Claire Danes is a mild irritation until the final act. She is as sexless as she is whiney, and I dont think I could have enjoyed her being thrown around the back of a truck more.

                For John Connor, the filmmakers got Nick Stahl. Prior to this film, Stahl specialised in tv weepies, but turned in a good performance as Connor. His growth from drug addled drifter to the man who is potentially going to save our butts is engaging to watch, and he even manages a smile or two in the process. He's hardly a dead ringer for Edward Furlong, but with so long between sequels, it is barely important.

                Whilst this is bog standard action fare, and not a patch on its predecessors, it is 90 minutes of pure unadulterated fun. All the relevant references are here, and Schwarzenneger even delivers a twist on a few of his most famous lines. The story is also plausable within the confines of the series, and much of the time travel jargon that boggled my brain in film 2 is played down to the minimum here.

                James Cameron has had nothing to do with the films since the second film, and hands over directorial duties to Jonathan Mostow. Mostow has done very little at either end, but is a dab hand with the action. Its surprising that he has directed little else til now. His creation of the uprising machines, and indeed his re-invention of the terminator robots, is excellently done and his shedding of the terminator skin is flawless.

                I'm glad I purchased this film now, and its just one more example of critics snobbery towards Hollywood fodder. When the story is a faithful addition, and the action is as flawless and entertaining, there's not much reason to find flaw with this second sequel. Off to the cinema I go to see Salvation...

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                  30.06.2009 00:20
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                  A few missteps but mostly a fun blockbuster

                  I recall seeing this film in the cinema back in 2003 and being so hyped for it - I was naive enough to think that it could be as good as the first two masterful entries into the series, helmed by action maestro James Cameron. Thus, I was quite disappointed and dismissed it as a pretty hollow film. However, before Salvation came out, I gave it a re-evaluation just to refresh myself, and found that, when taken at face value, it is certainly an entertaining blockbuster that, whilst never reaching the heights of the other films, is a finely tuned thrill ride, tailor made for the Summer audience.

                  It continues the travels of John Connor, who now lives off the grid, so as to avoid detection from the terminators. However, one, the Terminatrix (T-X) finds him, and so, much like the second film, another Terminator, a goodie, played again by Arnold Schwarzenegger (seeing as his model, the T-800, simply came off of an assembly line), is sent back through time to ensure that he isn't killed, for otherwise the human resistance will not be sufficiently rallied to overthrow the machines.

                  The new baddie, the Terminatrix, has a variety of nifty powers - a complex computer database, a remote control system that allows her to control other machines such as cars, and a number of weapons such as phaser blasters and huge flame-throwers. She can, also, imitate any human being that she comes into contact with, ala the T-1000 from the second film.

                  Whilst Kristanna Lokken is nowhere near as terrifying as Robert Patrick, she has a certain presence, and the film's action sequences are exhilerating. The film is sullied slightly by some very goofy humour, and not enough of Cameron's trademark humour (because, obviously, he didn't write T3). Needless to say, though, the ending is an absolute doozy, and is a surprisingly ballsy move for a blockbuster. The performers, Nick Stahl as Connor and Claire Danes as his tenuous love interest Katherine Brewster, turn in decent performances, and Schwarzenegger has the screen presence he's always had. Surely better than the fourth film.

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                    27.06.2009 12:26
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                    Don't expect it to be as good as the predecessors.

                    This film's main downside is that it doesn't compare to it's predecessors....well, that's what the fans will say anyway, nut i thoroughly enjoyed this instalment of the now saga like termintor story, even if it does tone down the violence significantly to appeal to a wider audience.

                    Plot-
                    The war with machines has not occured as was predicted, and the great John Connor (Nick Stahl) is simply living out a poor existence as a nobody, and staying off the grid to avoid being hunted by any future terminators from the future. However, the machines have sent back a new terminator, the very sexy T-X (Kristina Loken) to kill John just before the war is about to begin. The humans though, have once again sent back the terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) to protect John. Cue epic fight scenes between the two, in which all manner of madness occurs, and many references to the films predecessors. The beautiful Clair Danes is also thrown in as Connor's love interest Kate Brewster.

                    The acting throughout is better than expected, with Loken and Arnie playing the opposing robots with convincing coldness. Stahl is quite likeable as the future hero, and is well suited i felt due to his almost puppy dog like persona, as this fits in well with Danes' snooty and tough character. The relationship between the two isn't all too convincing, but doesn't have to be, as they have only just met in the film.

                    The action throughout is quite intense, with no real breathing space, as carnage scene goes to tough robot scene and back to carnage. The plot takes a backseat here, and thats fine, as it basically is the countdown to the war, and nothing really more, leaving the watcher to sit back, enjoy, and not think too much.

                    The voilence tone down for me was the main downside, with very little blood throughout, and the most deaths cut out, which is in direct opposition to the original terminator, where the death scenes were as brutal as they could be. While i can understand that the director was simply trying to appeal to a wider audience, it is a shame as many viewers like me loved these movies for the brutality of the terminator.

                    Conclusion-
                    Even if this is a softer movie, there is no denying that it is not very fun throughout, with the action scenes fast and furious, and the special effects very impressive. The acting also in none too shabbly, and overall this is recommended for any action junkie out there!

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                      07.06.2009 18:03
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                      A fairly pointless addition

                      With the fourth instalment of the Terminator series just being released I thought I better re-familiarise myself with 'Terminator 3 Rise of the Machines'. This was released in 2003 after a twelve year gap from the release of 'Terminator 2 Judgement Day'.

                      As a very brief background, the first film told the story of a terminator cyborg from the future coming back to kill Sarah Connor. At the same time another cyborg is sent back to stop the terminator achieving his aim. The second film has the same story except the terminator is trying to kill John Connor, Sarah's son. The reason for the cyborgs was due to a future battle between man and machine where the machines are trying to destroy the human race. The leader of 'the resistance' in the future is John Connor so the terminators are sent by the machines and are attempting to remove the future leader before he is born and then as a teenager.

                      This third instalment, unsurprisingly has two cyborgs being sent back but this time it's to kill John Connor's (Nick Stahl) future lieutenants as Connor has dropped 'off the grid' so they could not trace him. That's the main issue I have with this film. It is nothing new to the point that it is ridiculously predictable. Almost the entire movie is a rehash of the previous two from the arrival of the two terminators, to seeing them get their clothes to moving on to the hit list. The only real purpose of it comes in the last 10 minutes where it sets the scene for the fourth instalment. This movie was completely unnecessary and could have been covered in the preamble of the next movie. It seemed like they thought that introducing a female cyborg was sufficient for it to appear fresh, sadly not.

                      Another annoying thing was Nick Stahl's John Connor. It was a bizarre choice to portray the future leader of men. He seems timid and completely out of place. I could understand this if this movie covered his initial discovery of what was going on but he has had it drummed into him from when he was old enough to understand and is not a patch on Edward Furlong's playing of the character in T2 who was far more of a leader despite being much younger. In fact, his future wife Kate Brewster (Claire Danes) would seem like a far more natural leader than Connor ever would. I found it an odd change in character and it wasn't really explained at all.

                      There is the odd bit of humour dotted throughout the film and I found it worked quite well. Seeing a naked Schwarzenegger preparing to 'negotiate' with a camp male stripper was the funniest thing I have seen for a while in this type of movie. That said some of the humour was a little forced and tended to repeat scenarios from the previous films.

                      A real feature of those previous films were how cutting edge the special effects were. Some of the effects in T2 would be more than acceptable in a current film. The effects in this one were good but again not much different from before, it was almost like previous effects with a slight upgrade. I know it's harder and harder to be visually impressive when the bar is set so high these days but I was a little disappointed that this didn't push the boundaries further, especially with a rumoured budget of $200m.

                      The thing I liked about T2 was how intimidating and impressive that terminator (Robert Patrick) was. This time the female terminator (Kristanna Locken) seems like a lesser threat despite being a supposed upgrade. Probably nothing to do with the actors, more how little the script allowed Locken's terminator to deviate from the find someone, shoot someone, move on scenario. I expected that there would be a climatic major showdown between her and Arnie but it never really materialised and this aspect seemed like another missed opportunity. To be fair the ending, in terms of the story worked quite well and is probably the sole redeeming thing in this movie. The feeling of a hopeless future and the inevitability of it works perfectly and would not have worked in any other way. So you leave the movie with a feeling of dread but hopefully Terminator Salvation will lift that and give us a movie to rival the first two in this series.

                      I felt this added very little to the series. If you have not seen the movies you could probably get by with watching the first two before seeing the fourth. It's not a bad movie, it's just a real disappointment in what had been a high quality series up to this one.

                      I picked this up for £3 in Tesco and at the price of a rental it's maybe worth buying if you have the other two and want to complete the set. Beyond that I would avoid.

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                        04.06.2009 20:00
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                        Could have been so much more!

                        Sadly, Jonathan Mostow tried to go all comedy with Arnie with this one, and for me (a true Terminator fan) it was unforgivable. The opening scene with the T800 putting on a pair of comedy glasses just set the wrong mood from the start.

                        Which to be honest is a shame. The film isn't that bad in places, underneath the try hard special effects and 'comedy' moments, the story does stay pretty close to Camerons vision.

                        Nick Stahl isn't great as Connor, and having John become a coward who has given up on life to become a waster was a bad storyline choice in my opinion. In T2 he was ballsy kid who knew what he was to become, in T3 John is waste of space and it just doesn't feel right.

                        Arnies new enemy is poor too, again Mostow has gone over the top and the new TX whatever it is, can just do too much and becomes too unbelievable - though she is very good to look at!

                        I can't help but feel T3 could have been brilliant - the end scenes of the nuclear war beggining is great, it's just a shame the rest of the film had to be so light-hearted in places. The Terminator saga should be dark and thought provoking - not laugh out loud family entertainment.

                        If only Mostow had more belief in his film, it might actually have come out good!

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                      • Product Details

                        Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines starts in high gear and never slows down. The apocalyptic "Judgment Day" of T2 was never prevented, only postponed: John Connor (Nick Stahl, replacing T2's Edward Furlong), now 22 and disconnected from society, is being pursued yet again, this time by the advanced T-X, a sleek "Terminatrix" (coldly expressionless Kristanna Loken) programmed to stop Connor from becoming the saviour of humankind. Originally programmed as an assassin, a disadvantaged T-101 cyborg (Arnold Schwarzenegger, bidding fond farewell to his signature role) arrives from the future to join Connor and future wife Kate (Claire Danes) in thwarting the T-X's relentless pursuit. The plot presents a logical fulfilment of T2's prophecy, disposing of Connor's mother (Linda Hamilton is sorely missed) while computer-driven machines assume control, launching a nuclear nightmare that Connor must survive. With Breakdown and U-571 serving as rehearsals for this cautionary epic of mass destruction, director Jonathan Mostow wisely avoids any stylistic connection to James Cameron's classics; instead he's crafted a fun, exciting popcorn thriller, humorous and yet still effectively nihilistic, and comparable to Jurassic Park III in returning the Terminator franchise to its potent B-movie roots. --Jeff Shannon On the DVD: Terminator 3 two-disc set has only one deleted scene, but it's first-class. The "Sgt Candy Scene" is a must-see and, unfortunately, the best thing on the second disc. The rushed HBO documentary shows us far more flash than substance. Better is the Visual Effects Lab that goes more in-depth with four sequences, although you need to wade through a weak interface for each segment. Making your "own" effects isn't that much fun; you can only choose a few effects that change in two scenes. Anyone looking to get the complicated backstory of the trilogy figured out should dig into the "Sky Net Database" and an intricate timeline. Disc 1 has a 30-second intro from the Governator himself, plus two commentary tracks: director Jonathan Mostow goes into great detail on how the little things (from lighting street scenes to tricks for destroying buildings) count; the second track is pieced together from the actors recorded separately--here Mostow appears with actress Claire Danes doing her first commentary track. The anamorphic 2.40:1 widescreen picture and thunderous DTS 5.1 or Dolby Digital 5.1 sound options deliver everything you would expect. --Doug Thomas

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