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DVD Reviews

HTF DVD REVIEW: "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines" w/scrnshts (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED)

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#1 of 157 OFFLINE   Adam_Reiter


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Posted November 03 2003 - 12:14 PM

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

Studio: Warner Brothers

Year: 2003

Rated: R

Directed by: Johnathan Mostow

Film Length: 109 minutes

Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen 2:35:1

Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Digital
Subtitled in English and Spanish

Bonus features: (From back of DVD case)
-Feature film with 2 commentary tracks with the stars and director
-Dolby Digital 5.1 Audio for maximum home impact
-Movie and video game trailers
-Languages: English and Francais(Dubbed in Quebec)
-Subtitles: English, Francais, & Espanol
-Introduction by Arnold Schwarzenegger
-Go on set with the HBO First Look Making-Of-Documentary
-SGT. Candy Scene
-“Terminal Flaws” Gag Reel
-T3 Visual Effects Lab: Build Your Own Eye-Popping Action Sequences
-Skynet Database of weapons and personnel dossiers
-Terminator Timeline
-Dressed To Kill
-Toys In Action
-The Making Of The Video Game
Release Date: November 11th, 2003



First I have to thank my HTF Brother, Herb Kane for letting me review this title! Many thanx Herb!

Next, all I have to say is, Whew! That was one hell of an action movie! I’m not exactly sure what astronomical force came over me so as not to get myself to the theaters when this movie came out, but I sure wish I had! While I don’t think that Terminator 3 stands shoulder to shoulder with the epic movie that was Terminator 2, it was still a kick ass movie in its own right! The action scenes were downright staggering at times. The one that stands out the most to me is the chase scene with remote controlled police cars, fire truck, and the massive crane truck that the T-X drives! HOLY CANOLI, was that some crazy stuff or what?! I couldn’t help but watch that scene with my mouth wide open! Truly awesome! Only question is now, will there be a Terminator 4? Hmmm, possibly this time around, T-800 comes back to save the State of California? You never know…. Stay tuned!

Here is the synopsis from the T3 website:
A decade has passed since John Connor (Nick Stahl) helped prevent Judgment Day and save mankind from mass destruction. Now 22, Conner lives “off the grid” – no home, no credit cards, and no job. No record of his existence. No way he can be traced by Skynet – the highly developed network of machines that once tried to kill him and wage war on humanity, Until…

…. Out of the shadows of the future steps the T-X (Kristanna Loken), Skynet’s most sophisticated cyborg killing machine yet. Sent back through time to complete the job left unfinished by her predecessor, the T-1000, this machine is as relentless as her human guise is beautiful.

Now Connor’s only hope for survival is the Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger), his mysterious former assassin. Together, they must triumph over the technologically superior T-X and forestall the looming threat of Judgment Day… or face the apocalypse and the fall of civilization as we know it.



With a 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio, the picture quality for this DVD was OUTSTANDING! Aside from the presence of more video noise in the picture, I’d say the quality almost stands toe to toe with X2: Xmen United! MPEG-2 Compression averaged about 5.5Mbps

As you might expect, the transfer is absolutely stunning! The colors are most impressive in T3. They are rich, and vibrant, and saturated, but not overly so. The warmth of the colors really comes through in this transfer. As you can see from some of my screenshots, especially the one with Claire Danes where the shot is orange from the explosion, the picture looks just gorgeous! The blacks are perfectly black, and blend in with the letter-boxing at times they are so black. The skin tones are spot on, perfect! The quality of the transfer is very film like! One of the best I have seen! There was just a tad bit more background video noise than what I wanted to see, and really in my mind, the only thing that holds T3 back from a flawless transfer! I didn’t recall ever seeing pixilation, or any compression issues. Absolutely no film dirt what so ever! I also never remember seeing any Edge Enhancement during the movie.

Edit: There are certain instances of EE found. Case in point, my first screen shot of the X-850's, is loaded with EE. This scene so far seems to be the worst offending EE in the movie that I have found. There are slight traces of EE found throughout. The EE didn't catch me eye the first time around, and is not bad to the point of distracting. Only when I really looked for it, did I notice the EE.

Overall, an almost perfect transfer to DVD!. Again, I use X2 as my personal reference. I still give T3 a 5 out of 5 stars for picture quality, but now am going back and changing X2 to a 6 out of 5, since it has the slight edge.

SEE FOR YOURSELF!: (click on the picture for a bigger version of the screen-shot)

More screen shots here!

Picture Quality Rating:
Picture: 5 / 5



The DVD is mixed in Dolby Digital 5.1. @ 448Kbps. Sound was excellent! They use the new more aggressive mix for Home Theater systems, similar to the Lion King DVD. I for one, am completely behind this type of mix for the big block-buster action movies. People want to have that aggressive sound exploding out of the background. Let’s put an end to this mere “background ambience” and start kicking people’s asses with the sound. Let's make their jaw’s drop, and put them right in the middle of the action. I love this new mix, and I can’t wait to see it on more DVD’s.

The T3 audio is definately no slouch, from the thundering lightning entering your living room, to the ricocheting bullets, you will love this audio mix. The front soundstage is definitely something to behold. Very active sound in the front three speakers, and crystal clear to boot. Dialog is firmly centered when on screen, and pans from left to right are perfect. The soundtrack is bold and perfectly set in the left and right speakers, with some rear ambience thown in. Make sure you turn up the volume as close to reference level as possible when watching the chase scene with the huge crane! Jaw dropping!

LFE was very good, plenty of explosions, therefore plenty of LFE. I hope you have a big and nasty sub for this flick, it takes no prisoners, and just might make you one if you have neighbors that like to complain!

Update: Ok well, once again I stand corrected! I take it all back about the LFE. You have to understand that when I watched T3 this weekend, I had people over all day, and new babies being born, and I really couldn't stretch the legs on my B4+. Well, I turned the volume up to -5 tonight on the "Crane Truck Chase Scene" at about the 32:00 minute mark.

HOLY "You know what" folks, this scene is now going to be my demo scene right along side DTS LOTR!! OMG, the bass was hitting so hard, that the lights in my living room were dimming because the sub amp was sucking up all the juice. ABSOLUTELY pheonomial scene when played at a nice loud volume, and with a top notch sub. This scene in my eyes in now one of the top 2 scenes for surround sound activity, and extreme bass activity. T3 certainly does reach as low as LOTR in the LFE department! I also played the scene a 3rd time with the bass a tad hot, and it was just crazy. Almost too much bass! When the crane is slaming into the cars, and the cars are exploding... I'm at a loss for words. So, so awesome! God I love my B4+ Sub!!

The ending of the movie with the explosions was great too. But you owe it to yourself, to crank up the volume at 32 minutes in. YEE HAW!! What a ride! I love T3 all just that much more now. Thank you WB, for a truely sweet DVD!!

Sound Quality Rating:
Sound: 5 / 5


This DVD an outstanding amount of extras! [/b]

Disk 1 Extras:

Commentary #1

This commentary is definitely the better of the two, because it has everyone in it. Director Johnathan Mostow, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nick Stahl, Claire Danes and Kristanna Loken all have a say about the movie. Interesting about this commentary, is that each actor was recorded separately, each in a different city. The only exception is, Claire Danes recorded her commentary with the Director Jonathan Mostow in London during the T3 premiere. This was Claire Danes' first time doing this for a DVD. The commentary is chock full of info, and you have all these different actors commenting and therefore get to hear all different viewpoints about the film.

Although I really wish they could have recorded the commentary together, this was a very cool commentary indeed. It's funny to listen to the beginning of the commentary, because all that Arnie talks about his how awesome Kristanna’s body looks, and he goes on and on about her inflatable boobs. Then after that, all he talked about was his body, and how he was worried about what people would say about it after watching the film. Pretty funny stuff!

Commentary #2

This commentary is just with the Director Jonathan Mostow. This commentary is also very good to listen to, because instead of Arnie’s “Body Babble”, you get to hear all the little tidbits of movie making info from the Director himself. Jonathan was a real big fan of the Terminator movies, and was really exited about directing this movie. He only wanted to do the movie with Linda Hamilton at first, but the more he thought of it, she wouldn’t have made a big change from T2 to T3, like she did from T1 to T2. Instead, he figured the John Conner character would be making that big evolution from T2 to T3, which he made the movie to center around the John Conner character. Listen to this commentary if you want the more technical and movie making aspects of the T3 movie. If you want more of an entertaining commentary, listen to #1.

Theatrical Trailer

This is the standard Theatrical Trailer.
Total Running Time: 02:23 / Aspect Ratio: 16:9

Video Game Trailer

This is the trailer for the T3 Video game from Atari. You can fight as Arnold, and it features the cast from T3. It contains over 60 minutes of computer animation and clips from the movie. The game looks like it might be decent, I will have to surely give it a rent for my XBOX.

Total Running Time: 01:43 / Aspect Ratio: 16:9

Disk 2 Extras:

Introduction by Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold gives a quick little intro telling us about the extras on the DVD such as the commentaries and such. He ends it of course with an “I’ll be back!”

Total Running Time: 34 seconds / Aspect Ratio: 4:3


This is basically a behind the scenes type documentary. There are interviews with the entire cast, the Director Jonathon Mostow and Producer Andrew Vajna. We get to see some of Arnold’s funny antics. Everyone comments on how he likes to joke around and everything. For instance, on a scene when Arnold and Anna and hand fighting each other, Arnold goes up to Anna and grabs her by the shoulders, and then they start dancing with each other! Claire Danes seems to be in shock about growing up with the Terminator movies, and then suddenly find herself apart of the Terminator world. We see a piece where Arnold commends Anna for playing her part very well, with her martial arts, her flexibility, and her stone cold, emotionless face. There is a piece that we get to see the first “Terminator”, the T-1, and they talk about how all of the robots were actually built for the movie. We see the T-1, and the T-X, and even a very stunning robot that they built of the half charred Arnold robot. I thought that it was all make-up when I watched the movie, but no, some scenes are actually the very convincingly built robot.

Total Running Time: 13:01 / Aspect Ratio: 4:3 Letterboxed

SGT Candy Scene

HAHA! This is a funny scene extra sence that they filmed where we see a “presentation” at the Skynet facilities. “SGT Candy” is showing off the T-1 and other robots. SGT Candy is Arnold Schwarzenegger, dubbed in a hilarious southern accent. We find that CRS, modeled the T-100 is after Sgt. Candy. I won’t give away too much detail, so as not to ruin the surprise! I so wish they would have kept this scene in the movie, it is absolutely sweet!

Total Running Time: 01:51 / Aspect Ratio: 4:3 Letterboxed

Terminal Flaws : Gag reel

There are approximately 17 or so gag scenes played in a row with a kooky song in the background. Nothing really spectacular here, and only mildly amusing. I am sure they could have some up with some much better gags, but oh well.

Total Running Time: 03:01 / Aspect Ratio: 4:3 Letterboxed

T3 Visual Effects Lab

This extra comes in 6 parts and includes interviews and behind the scenes for all of the special effects and stunts, according to the section you choose to watch. We get to see everything from the computer CGI, the animatronic robots, green screens, puppeteering, stunt work, pyrotechnics, everything related to these types of scenes. This is a very cool section! I loved it!

Total Running Time: 02:36 / Aspect Ratio: 4:3

Crane Chase
Total Running Time: 07:48 / Aspect Ratio: 4:3

TX Transformation
Total Running Time: 08:01 / Aspect Ratio: 4:3

Future War
Total Running Time: 08:40 / Aspect Ratio: 4:3

Crystal Peak
Total Running Time: 09:24 / Aspect Ratio: 4:3 Letterboxed

Create your own visual effects
Create your own scene. Choose Robots, or Underwater Scene. Turn on or off smoke effects, or choose if the T-850’s use lasers or flame throwers. You can clearly tell what elements were in the movie originally, because when you add a different element to the scene, like a flamethrower, its looks kinda cheesy.

Total Running Time: 13:01 / Aspect Ratio: menu in 16:9, created scenes in 4:3 Letterboxed

Skynet Database

This is basically a sort of trivia game, that when you answer certain questions right, it will give you a list of robots or people that you can access information about. For instance, go to the “Human Archive” choose “John Conner”, and you will get a rundown on all of his specs like “current age”, “current location”, and “history”, along with a small window with running video and pictures on John Conner to the right It’s almost like the database files that the T-X accesses during the movie. This is a very unique and very cool extra for a DVD set. I am sure it took a lot of time to make!

Total Running Time: 09:43 / Aspect Ratio: 16:9

T3 Web Options

This gives you info on what you can find on www.terminator3shop.com. The T3 Store, the T3 Game and T3 hub.

Terminator Timeline

4 sections starting with 1984, and followed by 1995, 2003, and 2027-2032.

Here is a snippet of the info that comes from the 1984 section:

01:52:00 Cyberdyne Systems Model 101 Series 800 – Infiltration-Combat Unit – Arrives in Griffith Park, Los Angeles, CA via Time Displacement Sphere. Mission: Terminate Sarah Connor

02:01:00 Kyle Reese, Sgt. Tech/Com DN38416, Recon/Security, Arrives in Los Angeles via Time Displacement Sphere. A volunteer for the human resistance, Sgt. Reese is assigned to protect Sarah Connor, who has been targeted for termination

22:31-56 T-101 Locates Tech Noir Nightclub, confirms primary target identification. Termination interrupted by Sgt. Reese. “Come with me if you want to live.”

Primary target retreats with Sgt Reese in a stolen gray Ford LTD sedan. High-Speed pursuit halts in a massive collision. LAPD arrest Sgt. Reese. Sarah detained for questioning.

08:46:11 Sgt. Reese recites a message from future General John Connor intended specifically for Sarah. “The future is not set.”

While recuperating in the tikki motel, Kyle shares his admiration of John with Sarah and admits his affection for her. Sarah and Kyle conceive their son, John Connor.

Its goes on and on like this for each year, and different times, following the timeline. I just gave you a snippet here.

Story Boards

This extra takes the scenes of the climax of the movie at Crystal Peak, and matches them up with the original storyboards. If alternates from split screen windows side by side, or top and bottom with the storyboard drawing, or it plays the scene in the entire window if there isn’t a storyboard drawing to go with that particular portion.

Total Running Time: 03:54 / Aspect Ratio: 16:9

Dressed to Kill

This is a piece on the clothing styles for Arnold, Kristanna, and Claire. We see sketches of prototype costumes for each of the actors. Everyone chimes in briefly on this one, as we get comments from the Director, Arnold, Nick, Claire, Kristanna, and costume designer April Ferry.

Total Running Time: 02:11 / Aspect Ratio: 4:3 Letterboxed

Toys in Action

This is a short piece with Todd McFarlane (comic book writer/artist, creator of Spawn, toy figurines), the designer of the T3 toys. We see Todd and his guys actually sculpting and painting the toys and talking about the various stages and steps of getting the toys created, from concept, to store shelves. This is really a very cool piece to watch, especially if you are a huge fan of Todd McFarlane like I am.

Total Running Time: 06:35 / Aspect Ratio: 4:3 Letterboxed

PC Game Trailer

This is the game trailer for the PC version of T3. This one has online multiplayer, and I am not sure if the other versions (PS2, XBOX) will be.

Total Running Time: 01:36 / Aspect Ratio: 4:3

Making of the PC Game

Interviews and comments from Arnold, Kristanna, Nick, Director Jonathan Mostow, Producer Andrew Vajna, Producer Mario Kassar, Character, Creature Creator Stan Winston, CEO of Black Ops Entertainment, John Botti, and Game Director Jose Villeta. The producers and creators worked very closely with the video game developers at Atari and Black Ops, to make this a world class game. They did not want the game to be an afterthought. The hilarious Sgt. Candy Scene was filmed for the video game. All of the characters from the movie are in this game, and look just like the real actors. This game is very closely related to the movie in every aspect. We also get treated to some of the behind the scenes stunt work for the game. I can’t wait to rent this sucker!

Total Running Time: 08:56 / Aspect Ratio: 4:3

Extras / Bonus Features Rating:
Extras: 5 / 5





"T3" is a great movie, and an even better DVD package! It has all the little nooks and crannies for hardcore Terminator fans. Super Duper Picture quality, coupled with an outstanding and aggressive audio mix, and topped off with tons and tons of extra features! I’d say it’s a Terminator strawberry-rhubarb pie, with French vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, and a fat ol’ maraschino cherry on top… almost perfection!

I am HIGHLY RECOMMENDING that you buy this DVD! If you ever liked the Terminator movies at all, do not walk, RUN, to buy this movie on November 11th!

This has been,

#2 of 157 OFFLINE   jonathan_govols


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Posted November 03 2003 - 12:17 PM

Great review! I can't wait to own my 2nd favorite Terminator movie (T2 is my favorite action/sci-fi movie ever). I was very impressed with this movie and it has one of the best endings ever.

#3 of 157 OFFLINE   David Illingworth II

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Posted November 03 2003 - 12:31 PM

Glad you liked it Adam! I also thought this was an excellent installment in the franchise. I basically stopped thinking of it as a sequel and just another episode, a la James Bond. A really fun movie with its own flavor and style. Only wish there had been more deleted scenes. This was one of the few movies I watched and thought "It wouldn't hurt at all to make this a little longer." The pace was absolutely breathless!
Have you ever heard of Vietnam, Larry?

#4 of 157 OFFLINE   david*mt


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Posted November 03 2003 - 01:34 PM

Nice review! I enjoyed T3 and will probably pick it up. While not as good as T2 or the original, it was way better than some have suggested. By the way, do any of the overseas versions have DTS? I would love to hear how it compares the Region 1 DD.

#5 of 157 OFFLINE   David Galindo

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Posted November 03 2003 - 01:35 PM

While I don't like this as the sequel to the great Terminator films, I do like this as a fantastic action flick. Really fantastic! Ill definitely be picking up this one on the 11th. Great review!

#6 of 157 OFFLINE   AndroiDad75


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Posted November 03 2003 - 01:45 PM

Wow, great review. My brother seen this at the movies and said he was very disappointed with it, so I didn't bother. I wasn't even going to think about getting it, but because of this review I can't wait. Thanks, Rob

#7 of 157 OFFLINE   Tim Glover

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Posted November 03 2003 - 01:52 PM

Great review Adam! I share your enthusiasm. Posted Image

While not as good as the original or T2, (what real action-sci-fi films are)...it's still an impressive movie that I really enjoyed.

I am a big Ahnuld fan and was glad for this one to be a success. Looks like a great dvd too. Can't wait for next Tuesday. May have to make the trip to Wal-mart at Midnight on Monday Posted Image

#8 of 157 OFFLINE   Herb Kane

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Posted November 03 2003 - 01:59 PM

Great review buddy... I may have to buy this one now... Posted Image

My Top 25 Noirs:

25. 711 Ocean Drive (1950), 24. Odds Against Tomorrow (1959), 23. Desperate (1947), 22. Pushover (1954), 21. The Blue Dahlia (1946), 20. The File on Thelma Jordon (1949), 19. He Ran All the Way (1951), 18. The Asphalt Jungle (1950), 17. The Killing (1956), 16. I Walk Alone (1948),...

#9 of 157 OFFLINE   johnbr


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Posted November 03 2003 - 02:03 PM

The R2 has DTS.Big bummer the r1 do's not it would be cool in dts 24/96.Posted Image

#10 of 157 OFFLINE   ChrisBEA



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Posted November 03 2003 - 02:05 PM

Nice review, I can't wait for this disk. When I walked out of the theater after seeing it, I said this movie was better than it had any right to be. I LOVED the ending. Some of the most intense action of the summer!

#11 of 157 OFFLINE   David Galindo

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Posted November 03 2003 - 02:43 PM

The ending just makes you all excited for a sequel, no? I hope that happens now that Arnold is gov...

#12 of 157 OFFLINE   Bill>Moore


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Posted November 03 2003 - 03:02 PM

Nice review. Looking forward to picking it up. Not as great as the first two, but a decent action flick and certainly looks like a worthy DVD.

#13 of 157 OFFLINE   Craig Beam

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Posted November 03 2003 - 03:18 PM

I absolutely agree about the ending... It elevated it from a decent action picture to a great film. Very brave. I can't wait till next Tuesday!

#14 of 157 OFFLINE   Jonathan White

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Posted November 03 2003 - 09:12 PM

"Arnold goes up to Anna and grabs her by the shoulders" Are you sure is was the shoulders? He's not up to his old tricks is he? I can't wait for this DVD, I loved the film and hope the make a fourth.

#15 of 157 OFFLINE   oscar_merkx


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Posted November 03 2003 - 09:52 PM

I didn't expect the ending as well. It was def much better than expected

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#16 of 157 OFFLINE   Joe Fisher

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Posted November 03 2003 - 11:43 PM

Great review Adam.

Saw this in NYC last week and hesitated on buying it. Glad I did.

[quote] But you owe it to yourself, to crank up the volume at 32 minutes in.. [quote]

I already did Adam. Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image I love the part where the T-X drives the arm of the crane through the building. Simply awesome.


#17 of 157 OFFLINE   Dave H

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Posted November 04 2003 - 12:42 AM

Great review. When you say there is more video "noise" in the picture than in X2, what exactly do you mean by noise?

#18 of 157 OFFLINE   Michael Alex

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Posted November 04 2003 - 12:49 AM

On the October issue of Empire Magazine (UK), the director of T3 said that that there would be a second DVD version of the film in the future, since the deadline for the first release didn't allow him to produce all the features he had wished to include. I'll try to find the article and paste it here tomorrow...
"It's not that I don't want to be understood, but I can't, like Spielberg, say, make a film for the general public — I'd be mortified if I discovered I could. If you want to reach a general audience, you have to make films like Star Wars and Superman which have nothing to do with art."

#19 of 157 OFFLINE   Jason Adams

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Posted November 04 2003 - 01:19 AM

I LOVED the movie when I saw it. I saw the full-screen version at my local rental shop last week. Posted Image As you see, they like to break street date. Posted Image I'm getting this, the Indy box set AND the Honeymooners set today. Big day folks, big day. Posted Image

#20 of 157 OFFLINE   Chris Atkins

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Posted November 04 2003 - 01:34 AM

This is my #3 movie of the year.....my wife's #1....we absolutely loved it in the theater...last movie I saw in the theater too (my wife gave birth 4 days after we saw T-3).

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