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Terminator Three.

i saw Terminator Three.

i suppose you might have missed the plot hook for it, so here it is, as simple as i can say: everything they thought they did right, turned out to be pointless. judgment day is inevitable. in fact, it's happening right now. the proliferation of this mindless, overblown tv specials are an indication of it, because surely no one but a bunch of computer programs could have come up with such a simplified, run by numbers, big explosion type of script. in fact, this occurred to me during the film, when, i dunno, a truck or a car or a helicopter, or possibly a combination of the three, exploded and a chunk of metal tore out of the screen and hit me in the head.

dazed, i found the cinema shimmering, and turning into a field of skulls, where robotic actors walked, holding wads of cash that they used to beat men and women with. the air was thick, rancid, and i found it hard to breathe until i felt a cool, dainty hand on mine. turning away from the mindless destruction in front of me, i turned to gaze into claire danes eyes.

'ben,' she said.

'yes,' i replied groggily.

'it's the machines. they're into he heart of hollywood, buried under the ground, in a bunker. it was walt disney's fault. he wanted to create these bland films featuring men and women that were groomed to a nazi like physical perfection. it's just that we didn't know. the films came out slowly, you see. a snow white here, a beautiful world there. we just didn't realise until it was too late, until the machines were getting scripts and rewriting them, feeding the bland, by the numbers dribble into our heads.'

'but claire,' i said, gripping her hand tightly, 'if we know, if you know, you can fight this, you can tell everyone about it!'

'i can't!'

and it was then, looking into claire's eyes, that i saw the drugs she was fighting against. the drugs that kept her docile, that made her accept everything that was put before us, from inoffensive pop princesses to the novels of matthew reilly. the drugs could not be defeated. it was in the hypnotic signals sent out through the film, laced into the coke we drank, and the majority of the actual substance in our candy. and, as i realised this, one of the actor robots stepped in front of me.

'no!' i cried, releasing claire's hand, 'no! go away!'

but it would not. defiantly, it jammed a wad of cash down my throat, and i coughed, and choked--

i came to on the cinema floor. a piece of gum was stuck to my face. it was pink, or at least had once been pink. i climbed back to my seat, peeling it off. on the screen, arnie was shooting at some people, and the psychiatrist from the second film was milking a few gags from the scene.

perhaps, i thought, i was viewing this all wrong. maybe what i needed to do was look at Terminator Three in a different light. a situation comedy, for example: there's the time travelling terminator, and he has come back to swap a few jokes with the older john conner. 'talk to the hand,' he said, and i laughed. i settled down into the seat, thinking, yep, situation comedy...

but it's not really that funny.

after about an hour, it hit me: tv pilot. yeah. i was watching a tv pilot. next week, the series will begin. join us for the adventures of john conner. it was all there, really: the simple one not plot like, the continual chase scene with absolutely no moments of characterisation beyond a voice over. the promise of romance. will they, won't they. hmm. yeah, yeah, i see it. i mean, a film wouldn't offer me this huge leaps of logic faith, such as the two leads knowing each other ten years previous and the bad guy just happening to show up when they're together. it's a tv thing. has to be. and the lack of a final show down between the two robots? yeah. yeah, i see it.

this film is shit. it really is. it's a tv pilot jammed into your cinema, with no cinematic redemption whatsoever.. i will make bets with people that within six months, a year, whatever, that there will be a terminator tv series upon your small screen. i am making this statement, and i stand by it.

but this is not the real problem of the film. the real problem is arnold's terminator. now, understand, i don't think it's arnold himself--he is as good in this version as he was in the past two, and is let down by the script and directing. arnold is cool. but the terminator doesn't have a place in the film. he doesn't fit. it's wrong. plot, story, everything about it: the original terminator is an obsolete model that has no place in the film, especially next to the sleek, impossible to defeat female terminator. (whose method of death is pretty easy to pick.) you see, the problem with this film, with the franchise, i guess, is that it is no built upon an obsolete machine, which continues to grow more and more obsolete as the films go on, making it totally, one hundred percent, unnecessary to the plot.

of course, you shouldn't forget the script, the directing, and yes, some of the acting. the new terminator girl was particularly bad and unmenacing, if you ask me, and her sudden chest expansion in one early scene struck me as particularly degrading, and moment under which the viewer could judge the film as a whole, in that it goes for the cheap visuals, giving only the most shallow sense of satisfaction, without bothering to justify one moment of it.

Comments

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mariness
Jul. 20th, 2003 10:04 am (UTC)
You should go see the pirate movie and yell out, "AVAST MY HEARTIES AND SHIVER ME TIMBERS!" And then make some jokes about rum.

(Since I haven't bothered to see Term 3, this is as close as I can get to responding to your review...)

benpeek
Jul. 20th, 2003 06:43 pm (UTC)
there are no pirate movies currently out over here, i'm afraid. which is a shame, 'cause i could go a good pirate movie with johnny depp.
ashamel
Jul. 20th, 2003 04:58 pm (UTC)
Haven't seen T3, but it seems a better prospect than the alternatives -- being The Hulk and Charlies Angels 2. I did see The Good Thief and 25th Hour, so my ratio of good movies to crap movies is going well, this month at least. I want to see the Gilliam doco, but not sure I'll get to town.

David C
benpeek
Jul. 20th, 2003 06:47 pm (UTC)
the hulk is better, i reckon. it's just a more solid film. not great, but it won't leave you with that feeling that arnold is a great comedian...

but anyhow, i see you've got yourself a livejournal. neat. more people should have 'em. well, more people who promise interesting things...
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