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3.8 out of 5 stars337
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 30 June 2015
After the classic original and the mighty mouth dropping sequel, having a 3rd movie was always going to be risky buisness. The first 2 movies were not only fantastic but also wrapped the story up well. Alas Hollywood beckons and the tills KA CHING! and Part 3 was made anyway.

The story follows John Conner now played by a different actor in Nick Stahl- it would have been preferable had the producers got in Edward Furlong- the emotional connection to Schwarzenegger would have been worth Furlong's cheque.

The deadly terminator this time a female will probably be met upon at first as bah! Yes she is a blonde, yes she is wearing make up and yes she looks stunning- would the machines really care what she looks like? Robert Patrick who played the T1000 in T2 was hardly anything to look at- and that is what made his character more appealing and real. However it must be said that this new Terminator named TX kicks some butt. Played brilliantly by Kristanna Loken. At least Loken gets the role and creates despair along the way- she moves like a robot, so glamour aside thumbs up here.

The movie suffers though from Nick Stahl and his accomplice played by Claire Danes. Both give poor performances, simply unbeliveable- a devastating cast choice. Stahl plunders through the movie grabbing any chance to look his best inbetween action shots. Danes non reaction to her finaces death is critical- and she never claims her role for herself- any other actress could have played it.

Finally onto the big man- Schwarzenegger- and quite frankly if it wasn't for him the film would be forgotten about quickly. He plays the role so convincingly that you forget Schwarzenegger has starred in any other movies. He is the Terminator- and garces the screen everytime he is on it. He never breaks character and gives an awe inspiring performance- it's easy to tell that Schwarzenegger loves this role.

The film moves around as one would expect- with Schwarzenegger protecting both Stahl and Danes from the TX. There is a terrific action sequence during the car chase scene and only dabbles of slight humour thrown into the film. The film goes along nicely. But you can't help thinking something is missing- but what action film wouldn't feel like a come down after T2? The final act tries a little shock value but in truth it's the final twenty minutues or so where momentum is lost- and you get the feeling that the scriptwriters weren't entirely sure how to end this one.

The effects are good but nothing like we have seen- all in all this could have been a huge disaster- it ended up being very decent in the continuation of the story- but deep down we all know this one wasn't needed.
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on 2 October 2013
Doesn't have the gritty feel of 'Terminator' or the sleek cutting edge of technology look of 'Judgment Day,' but it's a decent addition to the Terminator mythos. Until the gutsy ending, there doesn't seem to be much of a reason for this movie to have been made. And damn if it's not fun to watch. It's a slick, smooth and indeed explosive instalment, but it has neither the spit and polish of T2 nor the grittiness of the cult hit T1.The sequel expands on the nature of fate that the previous pictures explored so well, culminating in a rather bold third act where saving the day takes on a more unconventional meaning.A largely engaging, throwback-level action realization of a surprisingly dark conceit.Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines may lack the mythic pow of the 1984 original and the visionary thrill of T2, but it's a potent popcorn movie that digs in its hooks and doesn't let go until an ending that ODs on apocalyptic hoo-ha.Unlike the first two movies, this one doesn't bear the directorial mark of James Cameron, but it still manages to deliver heart-pounding suspense and dark science-fiction vision of a world destroyed.This doesn't make a lot of sense, but who needs plot continuity when there's Claire Danes?
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on 14 July 2009
This could and should have been a very good film, but it was frankly appalling. There are a number of reasons for this...

1/ Nick Stahl is twenty million miles from the level of gritty-faced rebel that Christian Bale is. I'm not bigging Bale up particularly, I don't really like him, but this role should NEVER have gone to someone like Stahl.
Whether he was told to play John Connor as a whiny tosser by the director, Jonathon Mostow, or whether that was just his natural take on the character I don't know, but it didn't work at all.

2/ This is a B-movie. The first two films in this franchise were international blockbusters that broke the boundaries in effects, storytelling and acting (Ah-nuld excepted, naturally). This offering is cack.
Like sequels such as Ghostbusters 2, the values are way below that of its more successful predecessors, as is the directing and editing. It is a disgrace to place such a lame offering in line with two pieces of cinematic genius like The Terminator and T2.
How in the name of all that is sacred Jim Cameron could honestly describe this as "In a word... great!" is beyond me. Compared to his offerings in this franchise, it is unmitigated garbage.
I think it might have been the LA Times which said the movie was "content to be a B-movie and remain loud, dumb and obvious."
Couldn't have put it better myself.

3/ The continuity has been ripped to shreds.
We know the original film's events were set in 1984, with the future Kyle Reese had just come from - the year the war against the Machines had ended in victory for the human rebels - being 2029.
This was established in T1 and reconfirmed in T2 when John's birth date is categorically shown (on the police computer, searched by the T-1000) as being the 2nd of February 1985 and his current age being ten years old. This would probably place the events of T2 in 1995.
Things then start to fall apart in the first seconds of T3 when a voiceover from John says "when I was thirteen, they tried again". Huh? Where did the extra three years come from? Did they do this so that John's "making out" with Kate when he was a child wouldn't sound just a bit too precocious? A ten year old "making out" is kinda unwholesome, after all.
If it was true though, then that would place the events of T2 in 1998, which was actually a year after the war should've originally started, until the events of T2 postponed it. Errors number one and two...
John Connor is supposed to be, I think 22 during T3. That places the events of T3 during the bulk of 2007. They are actually taking place (as confirmed in T4) during 2004. Error number three...
Sarah Connor's birth and death dates as revealed on the fake tombstone in the mausoleum, have to push the events of T1, when she was nineteen years old, back to 1978 if they are to make any sense, which would place the events of T2 in 1988, but would make the 2004 John in T3 a ripe old 26, not 22. Continuity errors four and five...
There are probably more, but by now I've lost the will to carry on, so I'll stop. I'll just finish by repeating that this is a pale shadow of the first two films and that the writers and director should be fired from all future projects and thrown out of their trade associations. This film was crying out for James Cameron to have had something to do with it. I just hope T4 doesn't suffer similarly from his absence.
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VINE VOICEon 21 May 2014
James Cameron, director and creator of the Terminator series was not involved in any way during the production of this film, and it shows. Nor was composer Brad Fiedel and it shows. Taking away these two crucial factors from a film series that has defined a generation is a very big risk, and this time it didn’t pay off sadly, no matter how well the intention was of director Jonathan Mostow to continue a story that could have been left closed back in 1991 as the credits closed on ‘Terminator 2’.

The basis of the film is almost taking the story from ‘T2’ and recycling it expand a story that doesn’t need to be expanded. Instead of Robert Patrick’s deadly and eerie T-1000 villain, we have a female carbon-copy in the T-X played by Kristanna Loken who tries too hard to evoke Patrick’s menace, fluidity and threat but comes across as just a pale imitation with a few new gadgets.
Both Terminators find their target in an explosive confrontation, a couple of big and loud chase sequences follow, lots of exposition and self-narration, an large military headquarters attack takes place and a final battle with the Terminators ensures as the heroes battle to save the world. It’s ‘Terminator 2’, but without any respect for the gravitas of the story it’s trying to tell and a focus on character relationship and development.

It’s hard to slam this film, as Arnold Schwarzenegger is again perfect as the Terminator himself, the T-800, and he looks in great physical shape. Sadly it’s the script he’s given that lets the character down. Schwarzenegger plays him like no-one else ever could, but when the Terminator drops in sarcasm, subtle hints at humour and even great emotion in what he does and says, it’s clear this really is trying to be something different and family friendly rather than the cold brutality seen in the original 1984 classic and even the 1991 sequel. Young John Connor spent the majority of the second film teaching him emotion and words, but here he already seems pre-programmed to be more comedic and human, which isn’t very good to continue the cyborg killer he should be.

Even Nick Stahl and Claire Danes are reduced to cardboard characters in this big long road/chase movie. Edward Furlong created a young boy turning into a strong, determined young man at the end of ‘Terminator 2’, but now he is played as someone constantly confused, constantly questioning what is happening and constantly narrating events for the benefit of us to follow. I for one didn’t feel this John Connor was the one we saw in the second film.
And Claire Danes only manages to scream and cry during this film, with the odd bit of fighting thrown in for equality. A pointless role given the basis she plays a crucial part in the future war that obviously has just been created for this film’s plot to progress.

That’s one of the big down points; the story. The film gives us nothing new to expand on, except the fact that the threat of Judgement Day wasn’t stopped; it was only delayed. So it almost tries to make the efforts of the second film void and have them replayed here to try stopping the future war once more. But there’s no point because we already know the outcome. There’s no point in also introducing characters over a matter of minutes amongst noisy action sequences and trying to convince us they are the most important characters of the whole series, over the likes of Kyle Reese and even John Connor himself. It’s insulting that Mostow does this to us, rather than expanding the story and relationships laid out so well previously.

Because there is no character development and just hordes of CGI enhanced action scenes and stunts, there is no emotive connection forged with anyone here which was why the previous films were so powerful, because we connected and felt the pain and fear of characters, good and evil. Here, it’s just an action film with the Terminator character thrown in, but even he is watered down.
Mostow plays serious moments for laughs. I admit I did chuckle at the introduction of Schwarzenegger’s character, but because it’s so absurd. He looks in fine physical condition, there’s no denying that, and it’s great to see. But arriving at a strip club to the blaring Village People tune ‘Macho Man’ squaring off against a flamboyant gay stripper dressed in leather and finishing by wearing some Elton John style purple sparkly sunglasses… well, it has to be seen to be understood how this sets the tone for the whole film.

Think about it – ‘The Terminator’ was an 18 and had a brutal, violent and nightmarish introduction that set the tone perfectly. ‘Terminator 2’ was a 15 but still had the gruesome violence and toned down introduction that was handled perfectly to reflect the wider appeal of the tone aimed for. ‘Terminator 3’ becomes a 12, and has a cheeky strip club the basis of our introduction with no violence and plenty of comedic expressions and iconography that sets the tone. Not good, at all.

And as for introductions and tones, we have none of the iconic theme used to signify the arrival, or threat, of the Terminators. Whilst Brad Fiedel used a synthetic, repetitive and machine-like sound to his unforgettable score over both films, here we are treated to a generic mash of orchestral, brass and choir arrangements that most action films incorporate, stripping away the menace that ran through previous films that literally could make you shiver in anticipation when you heard it. Even the adaptation of the main theme used in the end credits is rushed and obviously played on a computer and lasts for less than 1 minute before making way for a typical action film credit moment; a hard rock song.

It wants to BE a Terminator film, but it doesn’t feel or look likes one sadly. If you took away the iconic image of Schwarzenegger dressed in his black leather gear, it would be a basic 100 minute sci-fi action film. The future ‘Terminator Salvation’ at least made an obvious leap in style and tone to differentiate it from the films before, but still trying to maintain a story and theme set out by James Cameron’s vision nearly 20 years before.

‘Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines’ however simply over-doses the CGI sequences and bloats a weak story to become a very mediocre action film, but very disappointing Terminator film that should have been crafted with much more care and attention than it deserved. There are some good moments of course, the action is well staged and the opening and closing moments are genuinely thought-provoking and visually exciting, much like the previous films were, it’s just the actual narrative in the middle that weigh it down.

Which is a real big shame, because I want to like this more than I have to admit I do. Schwarzenegger saves it for me, but sadly I can't lie to myself after watching it for the first time in many years.
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One of the main problems with ‘Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines’ was that it had to follow not only the original ‘Terminator’ movie, but its (arguably better) sequel, ‘T2: judgement Day,’ therefore whatever came next had not just one, but TWO tough acts to follow. In short – it didn’t.

It does its best to follow the plot of the first two movies, i.e. bad cyborg sent back through time by the machine-rulers of the future to kill humanity’s last hope for survival versus protector (also from the future), however, it comes across as a Terminator-made-for-TV movie. If it wasn’t for the fact that Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as the titular cyborg, it has a real sense of being a lot less epic than its predecessors.

For a start, it’s shorter, secondly, the effects don’t seem to have improved much since the groundbreaking ‘liquid metal’ SFX from T2 and it never really makes us care much about the characters. Linda Hamilton did not want to reprise her role as the iconic action heroine Sarah Connor, leaving Claire Danes to do her best to fill her shoes. And, if you’ve been following Edward Furlong’s ‘career’ since he made his name as the young John Connor from T2, you’ll know that he wasn’t in much shape to reprise his role. Instead, Nick Stahl tries his best to play humanity’s future leader and, although credit for making him look like his (on screen) father, Kyle Reece, is never really given much to do apart from look confused at the fact that the Terminator has returned. In other words... T1/2 produced real characters who stuck with us through the ages whereas T3 rushes us from one chase scene to the next and it’s over before you know it.

Don’t get me wrong – I didn’t hate Part III. I own it and watch it every few years (just not as much as the first two, obviously!). It has its good parts – mainly Schwarzenegger. He still holds his own, even playing – technically – a new cyborg from the last two instalments. It’s also worth noting that Part 3 is a ‘12’ certificate, therefore don’t expect the overall dark tone from the other two. There are more wisecracks here which lighten the mood.

But, even if you do hate it, it’s still pretty good fun watching two indestructible cyborgs go toe to toe and the ending is actually quite good. Perhaps the worst thing about it was that it’s great ending leads us effortlessly into Part IV (aka Salvation) and we all know how that one turned out (sorry Christian Bale, but a Terminator is not a Terminator movie without Mr Schwarzenegger taking the lead role).
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on 29 May 2016
Reviewed Version: 2009 UK Blu-Ray by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (Region FREE), BBFC 12

Let's be brutally honest: TERMINATOR 3 - RISE OF THE MACHINES basically is a carbon copy of TERMINATOR 2 - JUDGMENT DAY. Some Cameron fanatics might cry out sacrilege! right about now, me comparing T3 to there precious T2, but I really didn't care too much for T2, which offered nothing really except for a SFX overkill. T3 recycles the same story: evil Terminator sent back in time to kill John Connor, "good" Terminator (Schwarzenegger) sent back in time to protect John Connor, the differences being minimal: Robert Patrick was replaced by Kristanna Loken, who in my opinion makes a GREAT Terminator, Sarah Connor is dead, and replaced by John Connor's (Nick Stahl) Lieutenant, Kate Brewster (Claire Danes). Same old story, different faces. The violence was also drastically reduced for more family friendly entertainment as was the tone, now with even more added comedy.
Schwarzenegger plays the Terminator the same way as in T2, same old same old, Stahl's John Connor is annoying as hell, but then again so was Furlong's in T2. Claire Danes's character is rather dull. I couldn't grow attached to any of the two. Kristanna Loken however really shines as my absolute favorite Terminator next to the 1984 ORIGINAL Terminator, a brilliant show stealing performance, and the best aspect of T3.
RISE OF THE MACHINES is not a terrible movie, but as a TERMINATOR movie I found it rather disappointing. No new ideas, the same story rehashed, bloodless, but decent action scenes make for an okay popcorn sci-fi/action movie and I do like Schwarzenegger, but overall it is just an average movie.

THE BLU-RAY:
Audio: English DT-HD 5.1, Italian DT-HD 5.1, English Audio Description 5.1
Subtitles: English, English HoH (+6)
Runtime: 109:06 mins.

Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Extras: 3/5
MOVIE RATING: 3/5

The Blu-Ray shines from a technical aspect, with good but not excellent picture and audio quality, surely better than the DVD. The extras are quite average: there are two full-length audio commentaries, one with director Jonathan Mostow and actors Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nick Stahl, Claire Danes, and Kristanna Loken and one with only Mostow; and there's also approx. 45 mins. of featurettes plus trailers, but nothing to get overly excited about.
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on 12 October 2009
As it was released few months ago, the quality of this blu ray is up to 2009 standard, lots of extra and lossless soundtrack.

This is superior to the US version which contains dolby 5.1 soundtrack.
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on 14 June 2009
With such a rich and engaging story line to work with you would think that the directors and writers would deliver a stunning film. Alas, that was not to be the case.
Huge turning plot lines are given in typical cliché lines such as: "why yes of course! It all makes sense now!" (which btw it didnt) and ofc the wink to the audience at every possible turn by the director that "yes i know this is terrible but hey! What about those special effects eh?".
Some other reviewers have also mentioned the terrible, downright laughable casting in the film. Its basically built around Arnie and he was far past his best (T2) which is why you dont put any real actors in the film next to him because he would look even more ridiculous.
All in all I found this film to be a complete sellout to the idea that the viewer just wanted cheap laughs at every opportunity to give arnie one final payday.
My advice would be to avoid this and watch The Sarah Connor Chronicles and hope they change the future so this film never gets made!
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on 24 March 2005
The core problem with T3 is Kristanna Loken's hopeless miscasting as the new Terminator. The whole point of a killing machine is that not only is it supposed to be a killing machine, it's also supposed to look like one. Both Arnie's original in T1 and Robert Patrick's liquid freak in T2 made you want to run a mile just by catching sight of them. T3 just makes you go weak at the knees. Call me old fashioned, but someone who looks like they should be on the cover of FHM does not make for a scary cyborg killer.

As a result of this blunder, T3 lacks the sense of dread that made the first two movies such compelling viewing. Instead we are treated to a series of ludicrously over the top car chases, explosions and smash 'em ups, in order to paper over the cracks in the plot. In fact the special effects are in my opinion inferior to T2. The new Terminator is hardly revolutionary either. I would put money on that the T-1000 from T2 could wipe the floor with this dolly. The acting is terrible as well. To be fair to Loken, she at least looks like she's trying to put some effort into her role. Stahl and Danes just look bored with the whole thing. Even Arnie seems more concerned with his pay cheque than breathing life into proceedings.

It's not that T3 couldn't have been a good movie. With a decent script and better acting there's no reason why it shouldn't have been on a par with the earlier films. But as it is it's just one big yawn from beginning to end. Hopefully T4 will put the fear and suspense back into the series. Just forget T3 ever existed.
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on 24 January 2015
This one really was in need of termination.

Not a patch on the first two terminator films.

Interestingly enough,

T1 was an 18 cert
T2 was a 15 cert
T3 ...made for an age 12 audience, but still had fwords, gore, nudity and sexual innuendo ...go figure!

Rubbish film with lame humour and awful casting.
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