Sci Fi Movie Podcast Terminator 3


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Sci-Fi Movie Podcast - Terminator 3

This week on The Sci-Fi Movie Podcast, Jonathan and Rem discuss “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines” from 2003 and directed by Jonathan Mostow. Jonathan was a real trooper, recording the podcast while getting over a cold, which made him sound even more manly (if that’s possible).

Initial Ratings (0 to 10)

Jonathan: 4.0 exploded Power Cores
Rem: 6.4 Decommissioned Nuclear Fallout Bunkers

The Positive
Rem really enjoyed Arnold Schwarzenegger’s deadpan humor, and Jonathan liked Nick Stahl as John Connor, and they both liked the somewhat twisty and non-climactic ending.

Rem also liked how we saw the actual initiation of the SkyNet System, and how it came at the reluctance of General Brewster (David Andrews), and the chase scene with the Crane was awesome!

The Negative
The biggest point of failure with T3 is the inability to connect emotionally with the characters. By the time the credits roll, we don’t really care what about what happened. With a lack of quiet moments, the film lacks a sense of dynamics, and goes for constant action like we see in Michael Bay movies. The quiet moments are necessary to give more value to the action scenes.

We’ve concluded that while entertaining at times, Terminator 3 really didn’t need to be made. Watch Terminator and Terminator 2 and stop there.

Listener Feedback

Shane West
I’ve been a huge fan of the show since I heard about it on The Walking Deadcast. I’m a huge fan of the Terminator franchise in that it made me want to study history due to it’s Cold War themes. Basically, this franchise is one of the reasons I became a History Professor. As it pertains to Terminator 3, I have to say that this is in no way, shape, or form essential sci-fi viewing. Besides the fact that there were some essential continuity errors (ie//Arnold is a T-800 Cyberdyne Series Model 101 NOT a T-101 and that John was 10 years old during the events of T2 NOT 13), this film spits in the face of a wonderful story. T2 was the perfect ending of that story. Even though T2 ended in uncertainty, you couldn’t help but have unbridled hope in the future. Because of T3, I wish they would have used the original ending. T3 neutralized all the sacrifices made in T2. (i.e.// Uncle Bob and Miles Dyson) Those two died for absolutely nothing. With the first 2 movies, I was emotionally invested in the characters. Even today, after seeing these movies over and over again, I still hold out hope for Kyle. I still get emotional when Uncle Bob gives one final thumbs up as he’s consumed by the molten steel. I don’t get that from T3. The plot is full of holes. Judgement Day is inevitable!? Really!? What was all that “there is no fate but what we make ourselves” talk? T3 left me cheated. Instead of the perfect ending to a franchise in T2, we have this followed by Christian Bale grunting for 2 hours pretending to be John Connor. The only positives we got out of this were The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Terminator Genisys (yes, I loved that flick). Can we just pretend that T3 just doesn’t exist?

Ray R
This isn’t the kind of film people feel strongly about. I enjoyed it and it has some rewatchability but “love” is a bridge too far. I don’t think it lived up to the legacy of T2 but it was an entertaining and amusing film in it’s own right. The ending was a nice twist but it’s so late in the movie before the film takes any real risks by that point it’s almost too late to really matter. That said, the twist does have a classic sci-fi feel to it – like a good Outer Limits episode from the 90s.
Best Line Of The Film (also known as the “Jimmy Shaker Day”, ask Jon): “Next time bring a clue, not a paintball gun”

Mitch Todd
I never engaged with the characters, so I never cared what happened. It just seemed to miss.

Jim Goodman
T3 is not an awful movie, but it pales in comparison to the two films that came before it. It kinda breaks/bends the “rules” that were set in the previous movies, but they had to to make this a film franchise. With the time in between the releases of T2 and T3, I would have hoped that a stronger story would have evolved, but the plot just seems to be a bit of a rehash of what came before and that was disappointing. The T-X lacks the character menace of the T-1000, but the action sequences in the film are very well done.

Brian Campbell
It’s tired. It’s been done. The only change in the “Kill John Connor” story is we finally get to see the Apocalypse happen at the end, but even still we don’t get to see a large scale war between humans and machines. By the way, the lead actor was totally miscast. Hard to believe this mousy guy becomes the leader of mankind.

Ton de Witte
Basically a rehash of T2 with some T1 injected. An enjoyable rehash nevertheless but nothing special.

Michael Simshauser
I saw this movie gratis during my brief tenure in recruitment and I’m glad I didn’t pay to see it. Still more enjoyable than Terminator Salvation and a clearer story than Terminator Genisys. Not required sci-fi viewing but an mildly enjoyable sci-fi action movie with a kind of downer ending.

Nick Jensen
The Rise of the Machines is the beginning of Hollywood rehashing great original material and making an underwhelming franchise out of what were two of the best sci-fi movies ever, as they love to do. Some of the storylines were interesting and intriguing; I liked the TX going after people other than John Connor and killing his lieutenants as teenagers, the sub-plot of the terminator in this film being used to assassinate John was pretty cool, and I get a guilty pleasure out of the amped up chase scene with the firetruck and crane truck. Probably the biggest mistake of this movie is the casting of Nick Stahl as John Connor…he is not a good actor and completely not believable as the leader of the human resistance, the future scene with him and his scar makes me laugh every time. If a better actor had been cast as John it would’ve improved this film a lot. I view Terminator and T2 completely separately from the rest of the ‘Terminator’ films, the original two are amazing and sci-fi classics that everyone should see. From Rise of the Machines on the series is definitely NOT essential viewing, but I can watch this movie and be entertained by what it is; not even in the same league as 1 and 2 but still enjoyable enough to turn your brain off and watch.

Doug Ferguson
The main problem with this film is that it shouldn’t exist. Terminator 2 was the ideal ending for the series, but the studio just keeps milking the premise.
That being said, it’s actually an entertaining film. Some of those action sequences are amazing, like the destruction of that highway as Arnold is hanging from that truck. So impossible… so much fun. You just have to get over the fact that this film ruins the significance of T2’s ending.
Not a big fan of the T-X. Couldn’t match the menace of the T-1000 despite being the newer, hotter model, so to speak.

Bill Madia
What I liked about this film was the concept of the apocalypse being unavoidable. As far as recycling plot elements from earlier films, if time travel IS a possibility, the machines, just to be sure, would use it to send agents back to various time periods in the hope that ONE will succeed. I also liked that John Connor did not want the responsibility that he was destined for. To me, it added a dimension to an archetype we rarely see. Luke Skywalker, Paul Atreides, Harry Potter, etc. all accept their destinies. It took years of convincing, alone in a bunker with his soon-to-be wife to make him into the fighter he became. Is it essential viewing? Not really, but it is a good extension of the story. In my opinion.

John Sheehy
1 Pair of Cracked Sunglasses out of 5 from me, for this awful movie. Topher Grace would have made a more convincing John Connors. I was surprised you gave this film a full podcast. It would probably be best featured in a “Top 5 Movies from Essential Franchises that are Not Essential Viewing”… For me this is the Alien: Resurrection of the Terminator series

Jennifer Robertson
Utterly forgettable.



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Sci Fi Movie Podcast Terminator 3