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Terminator 3
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matt header
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 623
Location: Milwaukee, WI

PostPosted: 07.02.2003 2:41 pm    Post subject: Terminator 3 Reply with quote

I just watched a sneak preview of Terminator 3 last night and was extremely disappointed. Everything that makes the first two movies stand out - epic action sequences, groundbreaking special effects - are missing. There is not a line of actual dialogue in the movie - it is all insults and comebacks and quips. And for a movie about machines taking over humanity and becoming independently intelligent, it's ironic how poorly the film is computer-animated.

Anyone else have an opinion? Think it's good/bad? I liked the first two movies, but this is a huge letdown.

Matt
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Michael Scrutchin
Studio President


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 832
Location: Pearland, TX

PostPosted: 07.02.2003 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't seen it yet (and I'm not eager to do so), but Rob Vaux seems to be on your wavelength (more or less). In his review he says, "Terminator 3 has what it takes to compete with the other blockbusters this summer, but its lack of humanity denies it any longevity. The first two films are classics. The third is just another carnival ride: fun perhaps, but ultimately disposable."

I recently put a feeback form on the site (linked to at the end of each review) and you wouldn't believe all the hate mail it has generated from borderline illiterates who haven't even seen the movie yet. The latest:

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You suck and die. I'm not pecting it to be better than T2, because I think that is just sooooo inposible for any action movie to do. but I am expecting T3 to kick ass. as for Kate or whatever her name is.?Of course she is no Linda Hamilton...?because she isn't Linda Hamilton DUH! Cut it some slack.?The review was wayyyyy to harsh.?It should have at least gotten a B+ or A- like it did on pretty much every website out there.?By the way, Cable guy sucked.

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I have no idea where the "Cable Guy sucked" comment came from.

Question
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matt header
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 623
Location: Milwaukee, WI

PostPosted: 07.02.2003 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think whoever wrote that reply ate some letters for breakfast and somehow vomited them in random order onto his/her computer. That's the only rational explanation.
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beltmann
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 2341
Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 07.02.2003 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't seen T3 yet, but I'm not sure I agree with Matt that what made the first two installments memorable were their "epic action sequences and groundbreaking special effects." I'd argue that what separates them from most typical actioners is what happens in between the epic action sequences and effects--the first generates a thick sense of dread and suspense, while the second deepens the story's mythology. I'd never defend the series as significant, but the first two are, I think, good pictures in spite of the effects and action, not because of them. We care about what happens during the action scenes only because the story has given us a reason to.

I've always preferred the lean original--I was rather numbed by T2's endless busted stuff. Sheer carnage isn't particularly interesting to me. I would have loved to spend more time with Joe Morton--there was a character of genuine conflict and interest.

As for "cutting T3 some slack..." well, for those of us that think of cinema as more than just simplistic entertainment, and believe in it as an art form, being tough--and more accurate than your average fanboy--is only natural.

Eric
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matt header
Studio Exec


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Location: Milwaukee, WI

PostPosted: 07.02.2003 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that the non-action-sequence material in the first two "Terminator" movies were well-developed and maintained a very solid atmosphere - they both seemed like unusually perceptive films with extraordinarily exciting effects. I don't know if I'd say they succeeded in spite of the action sequences; I think T1 and T2 work because both the drama and the action are developed creatively, and I think both aspects of the films were paid equal attention. True, a lot of T2 seems stuffed with glamorous pyrotechnics, but I thought the action also served to enhance the dark, foreboding tone. In any case, I still disliked T3 - no complex drama AND no intense action.
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Danny Baldwin
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Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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Location: San Diego, CA

PostPosted: 07.02.2003 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

T3 wasn't fabulous, but in the scheme of things, what else is out there? I would solidly recommend it. I think you guys are comparing it to two of the best movies in history, and if you do that, it will indeed seem inferior. It's fun, though--the action is very, very enjoyable. I was kind of disappointed that Mostow didn't try to attempt to make the special effects seem a bit more like Cameron's were, just for the charm. CGI is great, but the wonders that Cameron created years ago were revolutionary. Again, I'm not going to make this a negative comparison to the first and second films, just some food for thought. Wink. I'm not going to say that it's not undeserving of the negative comparison, but I think it is better thought of as it's own individual film; instead of a part of the franchise. Very Happy. I think that grading in the spectrum of current releases--i'd give it a 3 or a 3.5 out of 4 (B or B+). My review will come soon.
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beltmann
Studio Exec


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Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 07.03.2003 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just saw T3, and I tend to agree with Danny. It's certainly far different from the two previous films, but different does not automatically translate into bad. It's unfair to overlook this entry's individual and considerable charms. T2 was essentially a big-budget remake of the original, and I'm glad that Mostow chose a different route. However, I suspect his decision will disappoint many devotees of the series.

Reading the reviews by national critics, I'm surprised by how many have convinced themselves that T1 and T2 are classics of smart sci-fi. After ten years, they must be remembering them through the rose-colored prism of nostalgia. For example, Roger Ebert claimed that "They played elegantly with the paradoxes of time travel, in films where the action scenes were necessary to the convoluted plot. There was actual poignancy in the dilemma of John Connor, responsible for a world that did not even yet exist." I recently revisited both, back-to-back, and I'm not sure elegant is a word to describe anything about them. In fact, I've always felt that the two films lacked a central poignancy, especially in terms of Connor's character.

It's even tougher to defend their action scenes as always "necessary to the plot," since they drone on and on, especially in T2. Some of Ebert's complaints about T3 (and I won't disagree with many of them) seem to apply equally to the others. How are the two previous films not "wall-to-wall action in what is essentially one long chase and fight"? I would argue that there's more actual story and twists this time out. Clearly Mostow lacks Cameron's storytelling skills (that's the relevant difference) but it's unfair to accuse him of reducing the series to a cartoon. It always was one.

While I agree that both earlier films are very good, I always admired them for their skillful evocation of atmosphere, never for their "intelligence." This new entry is not quite in their league, but, like Danny, I still enjoyed it immensely. The comic tone--much broader this time around--took some getting used to, but Nick Stahl and Claire Danes are both wonderful, and the new TX is a witty addition to the series. My favorite bit is when she treats the hearse like a tin can, single-mindedly peeling back its roof to get at the human contents inside.

I also think that audiences weaned on T2's technological advances and oversize budget will have a hard time dealing with T3's smaller size, which is unfair. Its scope remains expansive, but Mostow obviously has fewer resources to work with. This is a problem only for those who think a movie's quality is directly related to the sheen of its state-of-the-art effects. I am not among them. One of my central beliefs as a filmgoer is that a movie's budget shouldn't be held against it. Besides, technology isn't really what interests me.

Well, that's my initial rambling response, 30 minutes after screening it. Perhaps I'll feel differently tomorrow.

Eric
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Danny Baldwin
Studio Exec


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PostPosted: 07.03.2003 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exactly! I think that many people think that the first are more intelligent than they really are because of Cameron's storytelling abilities. I would, however call them classics, just because of the pioneering special effects worth. This one, still is, very good--but for different reasons. Cool
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beltmann
Studio Exec


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Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 07.03.2003 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't want to sound as if I dislike the original Terminator films. They might indeed be classics--but not, in my opinion, for their "intelligence." I'd say the same is true about The Matrix and Minority Report, two films whose external sheen is often mistaken for smarts. I very much enjoy them both, but for reasons far removed from their muddled brain waves.

As far as recent, mainstream sci-fi goes, I found eXistenZ, Gattaca, and A.I. Artificial Intelligence to be the real thing in terms of smarts. In particular, history will be kind to A.I., much kinder than the audiences that missed its bleak view of humanity: Not only does it suggest that our natural descendants may be our machines, it also raises tough metaphorical questions about cloning, the Internet, stem cell research, and even class envy and race division. It's also a study of human self-delusion. Consider how it deals with the way humans are "imprinted" by society in the same way robots are encoded, and the way humans childishly pursue fixed goals. (It's also a film about the futility of arbitrary human attachments.) Even deeper, it's a film that confronts our notions about what it means to watch a movie--our emotional responses are tested, and David's selective memory in the last act suggests how our movies often tell lies about our own culture. Tim Kreider addresses the so-called "sentimental" conclusion by accurately writing, "Spielberg is showing us how myopically we focus on our own trivial love stories while all around us, dimmed by the glow of our own happiness, the world is dying." For me, few pictures of the last decade have continued to so consistently rattle around in my head.

Perhaps my favorite sci-fi picture, though, is Chris Marker's La Jetee, a movie I have seen close to thirty times and, like A.I., keeps growing in my imagination. (I also like Gilliam's feature version, Twelve Monkeys, even though it is a completely different interpretation of the basic subject.)

Eric
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Danny Baldwin
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PostPosted: 07.03.2003 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

beltmann wrote:
I don't want to sound as if I dislike the original Terminator films. They might indeed be classics--but not, in my opinion, for their "intelligence." I'd say the same is true about The Matrix and Minority Report, two films whose external sheen is often mistaken for smarts. I very much enjoy them both, but for reasons far removed from their muddled brain waves.


You didn't come off as though you didn't like them--but I did get the feeling that you didn't think they were classics in the least bit for anything. Thanks for clarifying...
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likeadeadduck
Grip


Joined: 03 Jul 2003
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PostPosted: 07.03.2003 2:58 am    Post subject: T3 was a GREAT movie! Reply with quote

I can easily say that T3 is one of the best movies ive seen in years. It doesnt need to have an intricate story because the story is already explained in the first 2! If it were to do that it would just be restating everything we already know! I agree that the T-X will never live up to the legacy of the T-1000, but Arnold is the real legend in these films anyway. This was a great movie and a wonderful addition to the ongoing Terminator saga. I personally cant wait for a fourth one.
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Danny Baldwin
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PostPosted: 07.03.2003 3:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daniel, Daniel, Daniel...where do I begin? I can understand the fact that you think it's the best movie you've seen in years, though--because, frankly, you don't see any good movies. T3 is a good movie, but to tell you the truth, I'm a bit scared of your current opinion--but I'm not criticizing. Wink
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PostPosted: 07.03.2003 3:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Foolish human!!! Terminator is the greatest trilogy of all time!!!!!
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matt header
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PostPosted: 07.03.2003 5:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tried, man oh man I tried to view T3 by itself, not as a sequel, and not compare it to its two predecessors. I don't know, I still don't like it, and I still wasn't entertained by it. I found little wit or motivation in much of the story, and although Cameron may also have been more interested in glitz and money than complex notions of destiny in the first two films, he gave to them an intensity - in action, atmosphere, visuals, etc. - that set them apart. Some parts of T3 were enjoyable, but I thought none of it was set apart from any of the other blockbusters I've seen so far this year. I appreciate Mostow's attempt at broad humor, something new to the series, but I also don't think it was particularly well-done. I will readily admit that the notion of all of the machines in the world causing the oblivion of humanity is intriguing fodder for a science-fiction film, and indeed, my favorite part of the movie is the end when such a tragedy begins - but the comic-book tone of the rest of the film and a strange absence of storytelling passion diminished its impact. At the end I realized that if T3 was the last Terminator film, it would be a hugely disappointing conclusion, and if the series will continue, then I will not be particularly excited to see what happens next.
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 07.03.2003 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Matt, I agree that the first two films are superior, and that the reason for that is Cameron's contribution--his stories have a passion, and his action scenes have an intensity, that the new entry never quite achieves. I don't think the comic-book tone is new to the series, but it is, perhaps, more clearly emphasized by Mostow. Nevertheless, T3 is competently made, and the TX inspires the same sense of dread that Robert Patrick did.

Eric
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