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Review of T3: Rise of the Machines 731

The Terminator movie series offers explosions and cyborgs galore, but you knew that already. Guns too, and cool special effects involving R-rated nude people in electrified spheres, but you probably guessed that too. So you've seen the trailer and are wondering whether "T3: Rise of the Machines" is worth seeing. Short answer: eh, whatever, it's big and dumb. For the long answer, keep reading. (No real spoilers.)

Let me first draw your attention to CNN's review. The CNN reviewer tells you this "darker and slicker" sequel is "worth the wait," gives you the long-form plot setup, shows you the sexy look of the "babe-a-licious" babe, and promises you "emotional weight" with "wit" and a "stunning and thought-provoking" climax. What he doesn't mention is that CNN and the movie's producer/distributor are both owned by AOL Time Warner.

It's been ten years since I watched the first Terminator and maybe I'm remembering it better than it was. But it had an emotional depth, a heart that neither of its sequels matched. T3 is slicker, yes, but darker!? It's light fluff. The nightmare of nuclear destruction in the original was rendered without CG effects, but I'll remember the skeleton clutching the chain-link fence long after I've forgotten this week's pixel-perfect explosions. And the "storm is coming" ending of the original was genuinely thought-provoking, with a chilling resolve that just embarrasses this week's Hollywood ending. Claire Danes is no Linda Hamilton.

The effects are what you'd expect from a modern zillion-dollar action movie, but not groundbreaking the way that T2's were at the time.

I found nothing about it witty. I chuckled through the chase scenes -- it's mostly chase scenes -- because they were so over-the-top and the plot holes were so glaring. Apart from that, there was only one funny line. (I assume everyone else is as bored as I am with the "dry cool wit like that" dialogue.)

Best unintentionally funny line: "I've got enough C-4 to blow up ten supercomputers!"

Best unintentionally funny visual: tie between fumble for the car keys, and offscreen killing sprays blood across photo.

Dumbest joke: gratuitous mocking of effeminate guy.

Best absurd effect: missile blows apart the wall in a small office ten feet from our heroes, they avoid injury by diving to floor. Duck and cover!

Best plot hole: Terminatrix's chronic failure to remember that she can run fast.

Heavy on the exposition, light on brains and heart, forgettable. See it if you really jones for big trucks smashing stuff. If you just have to see a movie, see "28 Days Later" instead. Rated R, not recommended for anyone whose mental age matches their valid ID.

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Review of T3: Rise of the Machines

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  • Ruined (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Any more, it seems they ruin perfectly good movies with excessive bad content. I mean, does nudity enhance the movie at all? It could be just as good of a movie and be rated PG.
    • Re:Ruined (Score:5, Funny)

      by sexmachine1066 ( 656799 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:07AM (#6366859)
      Anon Coward must be a female. :)
    • by Alereon ( 660683 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @11:01AM (#6367164)

      While I will most certainly agree that tossing some random naked chicks into a movie can't make up for a bad movie overall, it's not like said random naked chick can actually turn a good movie into a bad movie (unless, I suppose, it was a kids movie). If they're not replacing good content with nudity, then who cares? When it's a question of breasts vs. another ten seconds of a car chase, I'll take the breasts, thank you very much.

      Now let's play "guess my age and gender!"

    • Re:Ruined (Score:5, Interesting)

      by hhnerkopfabbeisser ( 645832 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @11:03AM (#6367169)
      Some poeple in the US tend to be a little to uptight about this.
      I mean, there is nudity in reality, so why shun it from a movie? A bit of realism in movies doesn't hurt, it's not like you'd want to remove the blood and noise from Saving Private Ryan and show it to your children.
      I always find it hilarious when movies obviously avoid nudity at all cost, which is no problem for a movie that was meant to be hilarious in the first place, but would really destroy the experience of most movies for me.

      As far as I know, most nude-scenes are cut out anyway for the US-versions.

      Actually, in europe, we regard violence in movies as more harmful to young people than nudity, so even without a single nude scene, it wouldn't ever be rated what we call equivalent to PG.
      Remove the violence, leave the nudes, and it would be a perfect PG over here. (this may not apply to all of Europe, but at least significant parts)

      You have your opinion about nudes, however many (or most?) people don't mind, and movies are not produced for you alone. Live with it.
      • Re:Ruined (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Lemmy Caution ( 8378 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @11:17AM (#6367256) Homepage
        I don't think the nudity per se is the issue for a lot of people, it's the pandering aspect. What T&A says to the audience is "this is meant for horny straight males - anyone else is just tolerated here." AKA, the E3 effect.

        The straight male desire assumption (when it shouldn't be necessary in works with more universal appeal - erotica/porn is another question) is more offensive to me than depictions of sex or incidental nudity.
      • Re:Ruined (Score:5, Funny)

        by Rai ( 524476 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @02:46PM (#6368454) Homepage
        I've noticed that most of the anti-nudity holier-than-thou crowd in America are people you wouldn't want to see naked anyway.
    • Re:Ruined (Score:5, Insightful)

      by EvilAlien ( 133134 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @11:10AM (#6367218) Journal
      Why does everyone get so uptight about nudity? Its not a big deal. In case you've been living in a bubble, people get naked every day. Golly, some of them even have sex... I bet there are people who are naked and/or having sex right now! Its 2003, isn't it time we grew up as a society and stopped being such prudes?

      As far as plot justification goes (I haven't seen the movie yet) there is an existing explanation for why the time travellers need to go sans-clothing. As far as I'm concerned, a movie that gets rated PG means the director/script-writer pulled punches and sacrificed content so the uptight censorship idiots won't get their chastity belts in a knot. The real world features violence, nudity, sex, offensive language and concepts. Deal with it... there is no reason to sanitize and dumb down a story so that the over-sensitive can handle it.

  • Skeletons (Score:5, Informative)

    by Zog The Undeniable ( 632031 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:03AM (#6366834)
    Wasn't the skeleton hugging the chainlink fence in T2?
  • Seen it (Score:4, Informative)

    by Boo Robin ( 657702 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:05AM (#6366842) Homepage Journal
    I saw it the first day it came out. It was pretty good, but the ending was a bit lacking. It leaves it real open. :D

    I must say, some parts with the robots looked a tad too unrealistic. It just looked to fake. But then again, that was only one scene.

    It is a good movie to see if you want a little action in your life or love Arnold.

    • Was that really a review of the movie, jamie? All we got was a list of "best" and "worse" trivialities. How lame.

      Bottom-line: The movie is the first true ass-kicking movie of the summer. Everyone thought it would suck without Cameron, Hamilton, and so forth. It turned out to be very good, and it's exciting to see Arnold in a movie role that's perfect for feels like 10 years haven't passed at all.

      The car chase beats Matrix Reloaded's. My jaw was on the floor. And the fight scenes are refres
  • sounds crap (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:07AM (#6366862)
    I remember the piss-my-pants excitement of going to see T2 in the cinema. I remember thinking "The ONLY thing that could be better that this would be a new 'Star Wars' movie."

    Be very careful what you wish for kids, it may come true.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:08AM (#6366867)
    Director: Up and at them.
    Arnold: Up and atom.

    Director: Up and at them.
    Arnold: Up and Adam.

    Director: Up and at them.
    Arnold: Up and atom.
  • by TobyWong ( 168498 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:08AM (#6366868)
    Seems like an ideal thread for him to spin off into some tirade about T3, columbine, and americas wasted youth.
  • "Does the female Terminator have a body better than perfection and move about sexily in tight-to-semi-tight outfits throwing around evil looks which in other circumstances could be interpreted as 'come-hither'?"

    Come on, CNN. You're not telling me anything...
  • by grub ( 11606 ) <> on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:09AM (#6366875) Homepage Journal

    It has Arnold.

    It has explosions.

    It has Arnold.

    It has violence.

    It has Arnold.

    It doesn't have Jar Jar.

    It has Arnold.

    George Lucas never touched it.

    It has Arnold.

  • by AtariAmarok ( 451306 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:09AM (#6366883)
    Does anyone have any good Arnold governor campaign slogans for Arnold's possible pending T4 in Sacramento?

    "T4: The Rise of the Political Machine"
    • by mikeophile ( 647318 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:14AM (#6366915)
      "True Lies"
    • I can see it now . . .

      Ducking paparazzi--"you think I'm the real governor, but I'm not. He's over there. Ha ha ha ha." The hologram disappears as he ducks into the limo (Total Recall)

      Budgetting--"Deficit?! It's not a deficit!" (Kindergarden Cop)

      Wildlife protections--"Hasta la vista, duckies!" (T2)

      Political fundraisers--"Feinstein, my name is Freeze! Remember it well because it is the chilling sound of your doom!" (Batman 3)

      And lastly, to the Legislature, when he declares himself King of California

    • Wait, but eventually the 61st Amendment will be past, allowing Schwarzenegger to become President of the US, and thereby leading to the construction of the Schwarzenegger Presidential Library and allowing Taco Bell to win the Restaurant Franchise Wars.
    • Vote for me if you want to live. (T2) Iraq, remember when I said I would invade you last? I lied. (Commando)

      Who are your constituents, and what do they do? (K Cop)

      Remember the scene from T2 when John Connor tells him you just can't go around killing people, and he keeps saying "Why?" in that dead Terminator voice? If he did that in any political debate, there would be no stopping him.

    • Maybe Minnesota could bring back Jesse Ventura as governor. Y'know, because Minnesotans used to have T-shirts and bumper stickers saying "My governor can kick your governor's ass!". Well, Californians can't leave that be, can they?

      It would certainly make for an interesting match -- at the WWF Arena, the Gubernatorial Smackdown: Arnie vs. Jesse! Minnesota battles California for supremacy!

      The winner would get to be governor of both states and take all the women of the losing state as a private harem. OTOH

  • I will wait for the video to come out. I can't see paying money to see this movie. Before this review it was just a maybe I'll see it, and now I won't waste my money.
  • by SpaceRook ( 630389 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:10AM (#6366892)
    Before I saw this movie, I really did NOT like the idea of a female Terminator. It always pisses me off when filmmakers try to mix sexiness with sci-fi or horror (probably because I'm so conditioned to having the sex appeal subtract from the main story).

    But the Terminatrix was actually cool. She often has this weird half-smile on her face, and her head is tilted down with determination. She reminded me of Haley Joel Osment from AI in some ways.

    There are, of course, some frustrating sequences in the movie. The Terminatrix has about 1,000,000 opportunities to flat out kill John Connor and Kate Brewster, but never seems to take them. Like the Robert Patrick character, she can impersonate other people. She impersonates Kate's fiancee in one sequence, and has a 100% clear chance of killing her before changing to her "regular" form at the last minute and blowing her cover.

    Overall, the movie was pretty good. The ending was much more bold than I was expecting, and it sets up T4 nicely (there are some big unanswered questions that the good Terminator poses that just beg to be answered in a sequel). Here's hoping that if there is a T4, it consists completely of the post-apocalyptic sequences.
    • maybe the machines aren't as smart as everyone thinks that they are.

      They are TOO methodical?
    • by Dr Tall ( 685787 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:17AM (#6366932) Journal
      There are, of course, some frustrating sequences in the movie. That's the problem with having such an overpowered villian: they show off all their powerful weapons to make you afraid, but then they can never use them against the heroes.
    • by sammy baby ( 14909 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @11:16AM (#6367253) Journal
      She often has this weird half-smile on her face, and her head is tilted down with determination. She reminded me of Haley Joel Osment from AI in some ways.

      Mark it down: this is the first time I've ever heard anyone use "like AI in some ways" as a reason to go see a movie.
    • by Mulletproof ( 513805 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @11:58AM (#6367495) Homepage Journal
      Yeah, I really don't see what the problem was with a female in the role. People to don't seem to realize the prime requisite for an evil terminator is a strait face. That's it. You can be asian, black, white, male or female... So long as you have a strait face, it's all good. You don't even have to act. In fact, I highly suspect that's an impediment. How many lines did arnold have as an evil ternimator? The guy in T2? Just have them walk around with a purpose and a serious face. Don't give em more than 10 lines and you're set. It's really a gimmie role, one the woman does admirably.
  • by DuckWing ( 19575 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:11AM (#6366899)
    The one thing I really dislike about the idea of T3 is the complete disregard for the basic premise set up in T2 (or even T1 for that matter). In T2 we see the Terminator and the T-1000 completely melt away. All research work into the project from recovered parts of the original terminator, have been destroyed, so there should be no skynet, no rise of the machines. If sky-net had this kind of advanced Terminator (T-X), why didn't it send that one back for T1 and it probably would have succeeded. There are almost 2 timelines to worry about here and they seem to be going in parallel.

    The same sort of thing happened with the Highlander series. The 2 sequels completely disregarded the premise and plot/story lines set forth in the original (which was awesome). Very disappointed.
    • "T2 we see the Terminator and the T-1000 completely melt away. "

      I'm pretty sure that in T2 they take care to destroy the hand left-over from T1. However, during the factory battle in T2, Arnold's Terminator loses another hand, which remains forgotten, undestroyed.
      • Also, for this wierd time loop of t1 and t2 to have begun in the first place, skynet would have to have been created without the leftover terminator parts at least once. My theory is that the first terminator to come back mearly accelerated the creation of skynet, and when they destroyed the research they mearly pushed it back to the original date. Either that, or offsite backups... I mean, they did only destroy 1 building.
        • by Buzz_Litebeer ( 539463 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:31AM (#6367016) Journal
          Now see thats the way you should be thinking, people seem to forget that the way they are using time in the terminator movies is how they use time in say, Orson Scott Cards "Pastwatch: Redemption of Christopher Columbus"

          Each time the machines send back a terminator they create a small paradox, IE things stop happening the way that they happened the previous time.

          The first skynet could have been created in a different manner the first time, but by sending back the first terminator also facilitated his existance at an earlier date.

          When they destroyed the hands and such of the first terminator in Terminator 2, they merely destroyed the timeline that involved skynet coming to exist in 1997.

          In fact, they boldly say that is the case in the movie, when he is talking about the chick and how he met her, and he said "if you had never been sent back that time, I would have hooked up with her then"

          The original part of the series "could" happen, simply because UNTIL the first terminator was sent back, things DID happen where skynet was created, and almost created its own causal loop in creating john connor, who might not even have had the same father in the original timeline (ie some guy other than the future guy).

          Then when he came back he becames the father, thus destroying some of the time line, etc..

          it gets complicated but if you think of time is completely mutable from any instant to the intstants ahead of it, then the plot can work out just fine.

          • Yeah, but they didn't understand time travel in the 80s like we do in the 21st century. They didn't have the advantages of all the Star Trek experiments to iron out all the kinks of time travel theory. *grin*

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:37AM (#6367048)
      T1: In the future machines send back a Terminator to the past to kill John Connor's mother, because they are losing the war. The Terminator gets destroyed BUT a chip remains (the half arm in T2). The chip in the arm changes the timeline completely and accelerates the coming of Skynet.

      T2: Despite Skynet beeing built earlier, humans still win in the future. Another Terminator is sent back (T-1000). Rebels from future manage once again to save their leader AND this time Sarah and John manage to destroy everything related to this new revolutionary CPU. This only delays the coming of Skynet, again, timeline is changed.

      T3: There is no new CPU, but, there is near infinite computing power in the Internet. Skynet is born.

      Skynet is inevitable, whatever takes form in a super CPU from the future or on the vast porcessing power of the Internet, it's inevitable.

      IMHO, T3 plugged the hole of the paradox in T2. Ok story, nice movie, nothing to write home about.
      • by AKnightCowboy ( 608632 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @11:54AM (#6367478)
        T3: There is no new CPU, but, there is near infinite computing power in the Internet. Skynet is born.

        If the Internet is Skynet then I guess that explains why it only sends naked Terminators back in time. Most of what it knows about humans involve being naked.

      • T2: Despite Skynet beeing built earlier, humans still win in the future. Another Terminator is sent back (T-1000). Rebels from future manage once again to save their leader AND this time Sarah and John manage to destroy everything related to this new revolutionary CPU. This only delays the coming of Skynet, again, timeline is changed.

        Not quite true.

        At the end of T2: the T1000, the original T101's chip and arm and the second T101 were all melted in the steel.

        The second T101's arm, however, was left in

    • Not so fast... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Bedouin X ( 254404 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:40AM (#6367061) Homepage
      Actually it's not as bad as you think and that's thanks to a massive plot hole in T2. If Skynet were truly destroyed in T2 and the war averted, then John Connor would have ceased to exist since his whole being was centered around the fact that he became the leader of the resistance and sent his father back to save his mother. So if you're going to harp on these details you're gonna have to jump on T2 as well.

      Personally I liked T3. As shown, the continuity between the other two films wasn't bulletproof and you ALWAYS have to give the writers the benefit of the doubt on time travel stories because they always tend to be paradoxical on some level. T3 is for old school action fans who can appreciate REAL stuntwork and REAL explosions as opposed to the 3D Studio MAX fests that we see all the time now. This is how action was before people started trying to base their freaking worldviews on it and I, for one, welcome it.

      I also liked the ending...

      spoilers - though they'e probably been said 100 times before this post

      A lot of people seem the miss the fact that the major Terminator theme is one of fate and destiny. The question is whether these can actually be changed. The ending of the 3rd film finishes an arc that gives their idea. Apparently the reason that Connor didn't disappear at the end of the second film was because the WAR STILL HAPPENS.

      The first film was about preserving the humans' chance against the machines by making sure that John Connor is born. The second one was about keeping the war from ever happening. The third is the same but the reality of the situation becomes apparent, like the Terminator said, "Judgement Day is Inevitable."

      I think it's cool that they took the darker path. While people say that it begs for a sequel, I think that it is the perfect ending to the story. John Connor is a classic literary JC character, which means that he CAN'T avoid his destiny. A destiny that becomes even more fitting to his type of character as you learn in T3.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:53AM (#6367127)
        Seems like the T-universe supports determinism after all which makes sense and resolves some of the paradoxes; alas it invalidates Cameron's big "The Future Is Not Set" argument as it clearly is in a single universe set-up.

        There are two arguments for time travel which strangely enough mirror the Matrix Reloaded's arguments about free will versus determinism:

        The first theory is based on determinism: for time travel to remain consistent the past cannot be altered. In other words, the time traveller from the future always existed within the past so whatever changes he attempts to make cannot and *do not* occur in such a way to alter a future timeline. In other words the entire past is set in stone for the present to exist, and as the present is the future's past, the events of tomorrow are similarly predetermined to ensure continuity of the timeline. There is no free will, and the grandfather paradox does not occur: it will be impossible to murder your grandparents and any changes to the timeline you made in the past *always* happened in the past relative to your present.

        The second theory is free will and relies on parallel universes. In this case the grandfather paradox is also fixed because each time traveller ends up in a similar but not equal universe to the one they left. If they change the timeline it does not effect the timeline of the universe they left, only the one they arrived in. Alas, this also means the chances of returning to the exact universe you left are remotely slim. You can never go home again.

        Finally, a time traveller travels along a closed time-like curve that is created when the first time machine is created. In other words they would not be able to travel back to a point previous to the first time machine existing, and would only be able to travel along the 4th dimension on the fixed xyz co-ordinate of the time machine in question. This essentially invalidates all the Terminator films anyway as there is no evidence of time travel equipment present in the 1984 film.

        Ronald Mallett is currently working on a light-based time machine (using the concepts of spacetime frame dragging) so we'll know what is right (if anything) when he turns it on.
        • by Edgewize ( 262271 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @11:50AM (#6367464)
          You make the classic mistake about a one-path deterministic future: "There is no free will."

          From an external viewpoint, it would seem that free will must not exist, because the timeline is completely determined. But we exist as creatures in time, not external to it. At any moment, we are free to make our own choices. Just because these choices have already happened from another viewpoint does not mean that we did not have free will at the time of the choice.
          • Not sure I agree (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Mathonwy ( 160184 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @01:35PM (#6368110)
            That sort of depends on how you classify "free will" then, doesn't it? I mean, if from one view point, it's inevitable that you will choose path A over path B, then... even though you have to go through the trouble of actually "choosing" path A at the time, anyone who had the external view point would have know that your choosing path A was inevitable. And so you weren't really "choosing" at all. (Or at least, you may have seen it as a choice, but from the external view point, your choosing path A was a certainty.) (Things that are inevitable probably don't really count as choices, even if they seem like choices at the time.)

            So... Does that really leave "free will"? Or just the illusion of it, since we can't see the predetermined timeline in its entirety?
            • by Edgewize ( 262271 )
              This is a mind-bender to think about, because the premise is wrong. You are talking about an external viewpoint as if it exists "next to" time, as if you can still watch things unfold. Time is not like a flowing river that you can just step away from. If the timeline is predetermined, then the only way to examine all of it is to be at the end of it. From that point of view, everything is history. It has already happened.

              Today, if you know about JFK's assassination, does that mean that the shooter did
            • External = After? (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Gorimek ( 61128 )
              An example of an 'external' view of the choice is the view of it from later in time. From my vantage point of this moment in time, I know that you chose to write the post I'm replying to here. Seen from here, it is a certainty.

              But does that mean that you didn't have a free choice when you did this? I personally don't think so.
      • Re:Not so fast... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by veneficus ( 4718 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @11:47AM (#6367451) Journal
        Hey guys,

        I just wanted to take this moment to clear up something about time travel. Many contemporary scientists have weighed in on the subject of time travel and continuous-arc timelines, and many believe it just wouldn't happen.

        Existence is just a set of infinite points of time; it is the human in us that says that if the son of X goes back in time and he kills X, then the son must "disappear." In contemporary theory, this is not so.

        The son goes back in time, from a point which he exists. Since he did exist in that time, if he moves to a different "reference point", he still exists. If he kill his father, before he was born, he would not be born in the modified chain of events, but the son would still exist from that point.

        I don't know if I'm quite explaining this right, but that would explain why Reis (Reese?) would still exist after John Connor melted the evidence, and it would still explain why John Connor himself existed after the act. Just because our minds correlate all these facts together to evaluate "passage of time," it does not mean that these things had a specific linkage that would be disrupted through the affect of a particular cause.

        Hope I'm making sense here...
  • by tizzyD ( 577098 ) * <> on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:12AM (#6366902) Homepage
    I actually read the book they wrote after the movie, and in it you learn some interesting facts.
    • The Terminator was sent into the past just before the big mainframe was to be destroyed by the rebels. John Connor had just about won the war.
    • The materials from the Terminator sent into the past created Skynet. This plot line was addressed in T2.
    • A la Hawkins, the Terminator could never succeed. If it did, it would cease to exist. Skynet would not have been created, and thus, it could never have existed. Ergo, no Terminator.
    T2 took some of this plot, but conveniently forgot that the humans were about to win, and created the second movie.

    Problem: it's a time causality loop. You cannot stop it! Why? Because if you do stop the war, you stop the Terminators, and you then never get them sent into the past. Without them in the past, you cannot have Skynet. Get it?!!?!

    T3 is thus the real stumper to me. By this time, all info about the cyborg chips was to be destroyed (remember going back to the office building and performing a bit of good "Office Space"-ish reconstruction). AAMOF, with the destruction of the Terminator in T2, there are to be no systems left. Recall Linda's final dialog . . . (paraphrase)I look to the future with hope...

    And now, there's to be a T4 in discussions? Why would the Terminator be molded after an old man? Arnold looks great, but he's not the glistening Austrian god he was in T1. Oh well, I hear money calling...

    • But, as you remember, the premise of T3 was that humans would inevitably create sentient, artificial life (the afformentioned Rise of the Machines). Skynet, the name given to the sentient AI system controlling the machines, took the form of a software-based US Defense program in T3. this program was called SkyNet for continuity's sake, if you ask me.

      I agree with you about the time causality loop... It was the return of the Terminator to the past that triggered the alternate timelines, as the possible futu
    • by HarveyBirdman ( 627248 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @12:51PM (#6367841) Journal
      Problem: it's a time causality loop. You cannot stop it! Why? Because if you do stop the war, you stop the Terminators, and you then never get them sent into the past. Without them in the past, you cannot have Skynet. Get it?!!?!

      Keep it. :-) There is no time travel, hence there are no real laws of time travel to nitpick.

      Read Poul Anderson's Time Patrol stories. He has a system where you can leave the timeline, someone else can make a change in it beofre you were born, erase the timeline that created you, but you still exist as long as you were not IN the timelne after the change ocurred and propagated.

      This is my main nitpick with people who nitpick time travel stories. THERE ARE NO RULES! In T2, they physically sent a terminator back in time. Once he's there, he exists. He is the physical manifestation of a potential future- the end result of an incredibly complex set of wave functions. Even if his actions skew the probabilities toward a future that does not include him, he exists NOW. The forces and functions that led to his existence in the present have already done their work.

      It's a sort of metatime. You chage a timeline from state A to state B. We now live in state B, but state A did exist at one time, perhaps along some other temporal dimension. From this view of time having more than a single dimension, the effects of state A can linger in state B.

    • Why would the Terminator be molded after an old man?

      Why wouldn't it? He talks about the reason for his appearance in T3. Infiltration.
  • by Openadvocate ( 573093 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:13AM (#6366906)
    Ah, this is one article I am not going to read or any replies of the replies. I fear that T3 will suck, but I have a small hope that I won't. But I always like to know as little as possible about the movie before I see it.
  • Just as good as the others. Everyone should see it. Fit in well with the others, had some good jokes, the big truck chase scenes were great and brought back memories. The TX was hot. Arnie is still the man. Connor still has personality problems.
  • Michael: "Luca Brasi held a gun to his head, and my father assured him that either his brains or his signature would be on the contract."
  • by mccalli ( 323026 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:20AM (#6366956) Homepage
    "The nightmare of nuclear destruction in the original was rendered without CG effects, but I'll remember the skeleton clutching the chain-link fence long after I've forgotten this week's pixel-perfect explosions."

    If only more people thought like that. And if only some of the people that did think like that were film directors.

    I've posted before to this board that I dislike the increasing reliance on CGI in films. A fair point to make is that once upon a time The Last Starfighter was considered pixel-perfect, but now look. CGI dates a film really fast, because graphics improve all the time.


  • T2 Redux (Score:3, Interesting)

    by fbg111 ( 529550 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:35AM (#6367036)
    The actual movie was pretty much T2 Redux with a badder evil terminator and same old Arnold, and I'm getting reeeaaally annoyed that just any old liquid-metal-covered machine can zip through the supposedly organic-material-only time machine as easily as a human can. But I did find a few things interesting in T3:
    One is that Skynet is not the product of any one human or unique technology (eg, the computer engineer Miles Dyson, or the chip from the first terminator which was destroyed in T2, or even Kate Brewster's father in T3), but rather it is the result of the evolution of AI. Skynet is the product of unavoidable historical forces set in motion long ago by the Industrial Revolution, or perhaps even longer ago when man first learned how to make and use tools. Admittedly this is an old and recurring theme in many sci-fi movies, from 2001: A Space Odessy to Matrix/Reloaded, yet I am always interested in seeing different takes on it.
    Further, it is interesting that Skynet is not hardware, it is self-aware software that uses the entire Internet as its corporal host, so to speak. I doubt the script writer was the first to come up with that idea, I'm sure its been floating around AI circles for some time now, but it was nevertheless a new concept for me to ponder. Talk about distributed computing... Are we all doomed to domination by a massive network of PS3's running Linux and infected by a self-aware nanovirus?
    • by arlow ( 649026 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @02:08PM (#6368270)
      I just saw Terminator 3, and the (predictable?) plot-twist at the end unquestionably smacked of the ideological analog of "product placement" by none other than the MPAA -- and no, I am not a conspiracy theorist ;)

      [ Warning: extreme spoilage ahead! ]

      The beginning of the film informs the viewer that a virus is rapidly spreading through the civilian and government Internet, disabling major infrastructure and causing general chaos. Furthermore, by evolving and adapting in ways never seen before by the military analysts, the virus is evading detection/disinfection, and as such is slated to infect the overwhelming majority of the internet in short order. The only seeming recourse available to the US military is to deploy an untested new artificial intelligence system called "SkyNet" that would take over control of nearly all computers in the world, and by some untold virtue of its (artificial) brilliance, expunge all of the world's infected computers of the virus.

      However, the military big cheese (Robert Brewster) running the SkyNet project is very reluctant to deploy it, as he reveals in a prognosticative conversation with the Commander in Chief. The President suggests that launching SkyNet would wrest control of the US military's computers from the virus and give it back to the military. However, Brewster counters that launching SkyNet would give control of the military's computers to SkyNet -- instead of to humans. Nonetheless, when pressed he concedes that SkyNet will still be under human control.

      Unsurprisingly, (consistent with the previously-released but chronologically-subsequent films,) when SkyNet is deployed it becomes sentient, decides that humans are its enemy, seizes control of itself from its operators, and begins the preparations for launching a massive nuclear missile attack against the major population-centers of the world. Our brave protagonists race to the supposed location of the mainframe that runs SkyNet, (deep within a desert bunker,) to destroy it before it can launch the missles. However...


      ...upon penetrating the bunker, they discover that there is no SkyNet mainframe to blow up -- instead, SkyNet *IS* the virus, and is carrying out its computation in a decentralized manner on the millions of infected computers around the world. As such, there is no central "mainframe" to blow up, and our protagonists can do nothing but hide in the bunker to be protected from the impending nuclear apocalypse, knowing that they were tricked into coming there in the first place by several benevolent fate-like forces.

      However, leaving the theater, I began to consider that perhaps the film's examination of the "Pandora's Box of defense technology" theme had a more specific message: if left unchecked, decentralized peer-to-peer networks would eventually cause the downfall of civilization as we know it. Their means of conveying this message seems to be a subtle strategy of suggestion, similar to the advertising practice of "product placement", (in which marketers attempt to improve the brand of a product by paying to have it appear in a positive light in a film.) As such, it seems reasonable that the metaphorical implication of the SkyNet plot-twist is an attempt by the MPAA and friends to cast a negative "branding" light onto decentralized peer-to-peer file sharing networks (like Kazaa) by associating them with the similarly-decentralized SkyNet network that in the film destroys the world -- and is the physical manifestation of the evils of hubris that the film thematically admonishes.

      While the public debate on the efficacy of product placement is similar in nature to debates on the potency of all forms of advertising, (e.g. subliminal advertising,) marketing companies have no doubts that subtle branding has dramatic effects of the behavior of consumers; note the recent explosion of the "viral marketing" strategy in which agencies attempt to brand a product thro

  • alternate review (Score:4, Insightful)

    by KaizerWill ( 240074 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:38AM (#6367052)
    T3 had too many gratuitous arnold-lines. "Ill be back" "She'll be back" "Get off." "I like this car."

    i mean damn. But other than that, and a few other quibbles, it was a GREAT movie. I mean, it was a Terminator movie at heart. It was about the inevitablity of a horrific event that everyone was trying to stop, but couldnt. It even had a touch of the unwilling messiah theme going.

    Really for me it all hinged on the end. The end of Terminator 1 was bleak but hopefull. Judgement Day was coming, but Sarah would have a son who would save the human race.
    The end of Terminator 2 was bleak but hopeful. They thought theyd stopped judgement day, but they couldnt be quite sure.
    If T3 had ended with a happy, for-sure avoidance of judgement day, i wouldve hated the movie, because it wouldve abandoned the theme. but no. Thankfully, the end of Terminator 3 was bleak but hopeful. Judgement day was fucking inevitable, and the best you could do was to do your best afterwards.

    so i thought it was great, and i consider myself a fair if not good judge of movies. make your own choice of course.
  • At age 54, Arnold still kicks ass. But what the fuck happened to Claire Danes? When did she go from 18 to 40 overnight.... damn she looks like shit! Overall plot was a bit bland, but you can see the setup for T4. The action was great, nice effects! And the one liners were perfectly blended into the dialog. Well worth the few bucks, and a nice escape from the summer heat.
  • by Scholasticus ( 567646 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:55AM (#6367134) Journal
    T4: The Terminator Returns Again
    T5: The Terminator & Robin
    T6: The Terminator vs. Mothra
    T7: The Attack of the Clone Robots
    T8: Abbott & Costello & The Terminator Go To Mars
    T9: Terminator Resurrection
    T10: Star Trek: Nemesis
    T11: The Terminator Has A Fistfull of Dollars
    T12: The Terminator Goes To The Grand Canyon With The Brady Bunch
  • by misleb ( 129952 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @11:07AM (#6367196)
    Is it just me or are special effects in movies getting worse? Maybe I am just getting older and too attached to the "good ol' days" or something like that, but I sincerely feel that the original Star Wars series was far more moving and "believable" than the latest 2 movies. Same with Terminator, as this reviewer notes. There is just something really not right about all the over blown CG effects. The Matrix suffered from this too. For as much as I might have liked the plot in these movies (well, Star Wars I an II were just plain stupid), the effects ultimately turned me off.

    Besides LoTR and animated films like Shrek, almost all action/sci-fi/fantasy films lately have totally over done it with the CG effects. Way over the top. Its like directors and producers have this new toy and can't wait to exploit it every chance they get.

    All I can say is give me animatronics. Give me real stunt people. Give me true artists. Not some kids out of college who just learned out to operate a 3D rendering application.


  • by phillymjs ( 234426 ) <slashdot.stango@org> on Friday July 04, 2003 @11:26AM (#6367318) Homepage Journal
    There are at least two series of books that pick up where T2 left off (I guess nobody thought there would be a T3). Both are very good, IMHO, and answer quite a few questions that may have been gnawing at Terminator fans of the "alt.nerd.obsessive" type since they saw the first movie. If you're hungry for backstory, continuation of the Terminator saga, and/or an account of what really happened on August 29, 1997, you ought to give both of these series a read.

    The New John Connor Chronicles [] series, by Russell Blackford.
    I've read only the first book of this series, but a second one is already out and a third is due in a month.

    T2 [] series, by S.M. Stirling.
    I've read the first two of this series, and the third is on its way to me now.

    James Cameron has no connection with these books other than getting credit (and presumably, some sort of royalties) for originally creating the main characters and the world they inhabit. Having said that, though, the books do achieve a Cameronesque level of story detail, and they do dovetail perfectly with the films-- I don't recall coming across any discrepancies that made me stop reading and say, "Huh?"

  • by JRHelgeson ( 576325 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @11:46AM (#6367446) Homepage Journal
    Being a computer expert, there was one line in the movie that just drove me nuts. "The virus is spreading, but the firewalls are holding up!"

    When the 'internet' was becoming self-aware I just sat there and shook my head and thought, no way in hell would this ever happen with Microsoft products running on 80% of the machines out there... but then I remembered Clippit.

    We don't need to worry about Skynet or whatever, we just need to obliterate that fucking paper clip and we'll save the world.

  • IMHO this movie wasn't as good as T2, but it was better than the first Terminator, and what made most of the difference was that it could laugh at itself. Fumbling with car keys and blood splatters from off screen are a little cliched, but not exactly laughably bad images; the only real unintentional groaner was the "blow up ten supercomputers" line.

    And the intentional humor more than made up for it. There were a couple failed tries ("She'll be back" was too obvious to be funny, for instance), but most of it came off well. Redoing the "naked Arnold walks into a bar to steal clothes" scene, but then tongue in cheek replacing the bar with a male strip club, was hilarious. The Terminator's exchanges with Kate managed to be witty without breaking character, as were the first few Terminatrix scenes.
  • Offended. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Grendel Drago ( 41496 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @12:36PM (#6367739) Homepage
    I always thought that the series, especially the second, had an underlying moral that was offensive to me. That moral is that technology, beyond a certain point, should not be researched, that there are sanctimoniously-pronounced Things Man Was Not Meant To Know. The morality is over a hundred years old (except Frankenstein's monster had much better dialogue), but the presentation has the advantage of technological wizardry. Oh, sweet irony.

    I can imagine the offscreen dialogue at the end of "T2":

    World-Saving Heroes: Well, we've saved your asses.
    Unwittingly Evil Scientists: Thanks!
    WSH: Now, remember, no more robotics or artificial intelligence; it'll destroy humanity, and there's no way we can ensure that it doesn't.
    UES: Umm. Right. So, guys, you want to... uh, take up pottery?
    [rumble of sanctimonious approval]

    And did I mention that Linda Hamilton's speech about the wonders of childbirth was possibly the most disgusting thing committed to celluloid in the last ten years? I think "T2" probably did as much for a shortage of kids becoming scientists as anything else.

    --grendel drago
    • Oh come on! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by GuyMannDude ( 574364 )

      And did I mention that Linda Hamilton's speech about the wonders of childbirth was possibly the most disgusting thing committed to celluloid in the last ten years? I think "T2" probably did as much for a shortage of kids becoming scientists as anything else.

      Look, I agree that Linda's ranting in T2 about how scientists are evil and so forth was insulting but I think it was pretty clear from the movie that she was just talking crazy. Even young John Conner realizes that she's teetering on shaky ground wit

  • Robots? (Score:5, Funny)

    by superdan2k ( 135614 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @03:15PM (#6368595) Homepage Journal
    Damn! Here I thought T3 was a movie about excessive bandwidth. Now I don't wanna see it.

A committee takes root and grows, it flowers, wilts and dies, scattering the seed from which other committees will bloom. -- Parkinson