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Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

Jonathan Mostow

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
There's a ghost that haunts Terminator 3 and all its DVD extras. It's the ghost of James Cameron, the man whose ideas, characters and themes are the foundation upon which this flimsy house of illusions is being built — and yet through two commentaries and over an hour of bonus footage, you'll see Cameron's work but never hear his name. It's the elephant in the room throughout: didn't we already see this? Aren't these old ideas? Sure there's talk of innovation — from Schwarzenegger, director Jonathan Mostow and others — but the meat of this effort is all CGI and no heart. Throughout a short doc and featurettes, special effects and action set pieces get all the attention; the script (and the serious legal wrangling over rights that eventually left writer/director/creator James Cameron out of luck) gets largely ignored. Commentaries by the main cast — including Arnold, Nick Stahl (John Connor), Kristanna Loken (TX) and Claire Danes (random girlfriend) — are awkwardly spliced together so that there's no lull in conversation but their comments don't sync to the scenes we're watching. Director Mostow (U-571) is engaging and pleasant on his commentary, but again, no one will acknowledge that James Cameron has done all of this before: the chase, the liquid metal, the morphing effects, everything this sequel is built on. To appreciate Cameron's work, just look into T3's black heart of greed and see what distortions on his genius have been wrought. At least they weren't done in his name. Plus: intro by Schwarzenegger, deleted scene, gag reel, timeline, storyboards, toys and video game featurettes, more. (Warner)
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Coming back soon! If our developer were more machine than man they'd already be here. Useless meatsack.