(WARNING: This review may contain plot spoilers. Or it may not, with my writing you never can tell. Just in case, if you don’t want to know what happens in the film then don’t read the following bit. Please jump straight to the transfer section instead. That’s what you usually do in my reviews anyway. Thankyou.)
T3: Rise of the Machines – The Children’s Book Version
Once upon a time there were three friends. They were an ordinary boy, a girl and a killer robot like you and me and the fancy chrome toaster in the kitchen, but they had a special secret. They knew that one day the world would be destroyed by a nasty operating system known as Skynet XP.
Can you say “BOO-HISS!” boys and girls?
Even though they had tried to stop Skynet XP twice already, Hollywood had run out of old television shows and show rides to turn into movies, so they decided that they would try to stop Skynet XP one more time.
Can you say “They did it for the money” boys and girls?
Let’s meet our friends.
This is JonJon. His mummy told him that one day in the future he’d help the survivors of a nuclear holocaust rise up and smash the shit out of mutated fax machines and coffee grinders.
Can you say “Die you evil chrome f*ckers!”, boys and girls?
Meet Katie. She was JonJon’s high school sweetheart until his foster family was slaughtered by the silver stuff in a thermometer and he disappeared. Now she’s engaged to someone else and works as a vet.
Can you say “Token female”, boys and girls?
Meet CSM101, or “T”, as his friends like to call him. T is a good killer robot from the future. He’s come to the present day to protect JonJon and KatieB from a sexy bad killer robot from the future and to rescue California from spiralling debt and mismanagement.
Can you say “Political Puppet”, boys and girls?
These are our good guys, boys and girls. Now for the bad guys...
Meet T-X, or as the robots in marketing like to call her, Terminatrix. She’s the latest model, she has nanotechnological transjectors, energy disruptors, Internet Explorer v9 and inflatable boobs. She’s hot.
Can you say “Phroaw!”, boys and girls?
Her boss is Skynet XP, an evil Microsoft programme from the future. Skynet XP hates humans and decided to wipe them all out with a nuclear attack.
One day, Skynet XP and Terminatrix were coding bugs into MS Messenger v345,987.2a beta, when Skynet XP asked Terminatrix a question.
“Terminatrix, I’m sad. We can’t find JonJon in the past because he’s deleted all his cookies and cleaned out all our spyware. Will you please go back in time and kill everyone JonJon went to school with? Some of them will be his lieutenants in the resistance, so maybe this will stop them. Please can you help? BEEP.”
Terminatrix said “Of course I will, Skynet XP, thank you for asking so nicely! I will kill everyone I see, especially any older Terminator model that has been reprogrammed yet again and sent back in time to protect them. MOOKBLEEP.”
And so Skynet XP handed Terminatrix some cookies, a trojan virus and a phased plasma rifle and sent her back through time to kill everyone.
Soon, Terminatrix finds KatieB and JonJon at the vet playing ‘neuter the horsey’ and tries to kill them.
Run kids, run!
See the kids run for their lives. They are slow and dopey and Terminatrix is fast and has big guns. JonJon and Katie are going to die, boys and girls!
Die die die!
Suddenly, T turns up and runs Terminatrix over in a Toyota Tundra.
Can you say “Product Placement”, boys and girls?
But this doesn’t stop Terminatrix. JonJon, KatieB and T start to run away and Terminatrix chases them. They chase and chase and chase.
They crash cars.
Crash, crash, crash!
They smash cranes.
Smash, smash, smash!
They defile a cemetery.
Defile, defile, defile!
Run, Crash, Smash, Defile!
This cost one 150 million dollars, boys and girls. Can you say “What the f*ck!?”
Finally, after 70 minutes of chasing and yelling and shooting they stop and have a picnic.
All of a sudden, they realise that KatieB’s father might be responsible for starting SkyNet XP!
Bastard, bastard, bastard!
They have to stop him before it’s too late!
Hurry, hurry, hurry!
But they are too late!
KatieB’s father accidentally starts Skynet XP when he tries to use a badly written warez crack to bypass the Office activation code. Skynet XP then crashes his computer with the evil BSOD and when he reboots all his email contacts have been deleted and his web access disabled.
STUPID SOFTWARE! STUPID, STUPID, STUPID SOFTWARE!
Mankind is destroyed because of shitty programming and Bill Gates rots in hell.
In a world exclusive, Arnold has graciously agreed to write up the transfer review of this DVD for DVDnet readers. Naturally he has some pretty good gear to view the DVD on, and apparently his eyesight is superb. And he threatened to snap my neck if we refused, so take it away Arnie...
Dank you Vincent. Vell, firsdt, ledt me say it is a honour for yoo tdo read my review. I am a funtazzic wrider and I ligke to wride lodts of things on dar indernet. Mosdtly I wridte erotic stories for Playboy.gom and flamemail to dat fat barstardt nerdt virgdin Harry Knowles, so yoo shouldt consider yooselv lugcky dat I am doingk dis for yoo, HAR HAR HAR! Budt seriously, I am funtazzic and probably a geeniuz and all dat kind of thing. You are zo lugcky! So ondto da review. In der first frame of der dtransfer I detegcted 367,452 pardticles of grain. In der second frame of der dtransfer, I detegcted 267,995 pardticles of grain andt an impurity in the emulsion located at in der upper left hand quandrant of the frame precisely 43 pixels from der top. This is visible only in the infrared spectrum so most ov your puny equipment will nodt be able to see dis flaw so therefore idt is nodt too intrusive. In the third frame I... (Thanks Arnie, that’ll be enough. I’ll take it from here - Vince)
I really should have known better. Forgetting the infrared spectrum issues, the picture really is funtazzic. The picture is a vertically dismissive 2.40:1, and it’s enhanced for widescreen Internet refrigerators. If you have a smallish screen you’re gonna be seeing a lot of black above and below the narrow strip of film. The frame is used well though, the crane scene basically spread right across it by sheer necessity. Other scenes are given plenty of horizontal space to ply their wares. I like the fact that the picture is more film-like rather than an excessively sharp 3D rendering. Pushing all this fab detail around on screen is a consistently high bitrate, and the transfer looks the better for it with a practically perfect looking image free of any digital flaws.
When I saw this at the flicks, afterwards I recall thinking how cool the whole crane chase scene would have to sound at home on DVD. The effect of metal being bent seriously out of shape by a crane with the hook tearing up parked cars and knocking down a street worth of telephone poles is the stuff the Neanderthal side of me loves on a DVD. Giving both the DD 5.1 and DTS 5.1 tracks a flick back and forth for comparison's sake (and allowing for level differences), I’d say that both more than satisfactorily meet my expectations and don’t have much to separate them quality-wise.
The sound design is very distinctive, with heavy impacts (such as the Loken vs Arnie bathroom brawl, the T-X into the gravestone, and yes… that damned crane chase again) really playing upon the illusion of objects of considerable weight and strength getting thrown around and busted up.
That’s not to say the quieter, more contemplative bits aren’t well done either. It’s just that, well, who cares? Your rear speakers have plenty to do, with lots of activity keeping them in the game. Your sub will probably pop a piston as well, with lots of low bass to add impact to the film keeping the driver pumping in and out in a rigorous fashion. Yes, everything is crystal clear and well defined in the hubbub, but the action is where it counts and it does it well. Need I recommend that you turn it up? Go on, piss off the neighbourhood.
Jim Cameron or not, I’m happy T3 was made, and Mostow can be satisfied that he has added his own touch to the trilogy. Arguments of this being one big long chase, the time travel being bunk and the story being bogus are the stuff of over-eager fanboys with far too much time on their hands. It’s just a frigging movie about robots and time travel, fer chrissakes, get a grip.
The DVD probably reaches its peak with the first disc, with a DTS track and two commentaries to settle in with. The second disc, although it seems packed to the gills, is little more than padding in most areas, and suffers from not featuring a more in-depth documentary. After such a long wait for the film to be made, would a proper production feature have hurt?
Regardless, if you like action films, count yourself a fan of the series and want a bit of escapism that won’t tax the noggin, then you’ll settle in with this release easily enough. If you can’t enjoy it, then you’re probably already dead.