Day 150: Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

terminator 3Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
Jonathan Mostow
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nick Stahl, Kristanna Loken
Rated: R
Length: 109 min.
Release: July 2, 2003

Synopsis: More than 10 years after ‘Terminator 2’, John Connor now exists only as a drifter – living ‘off the grid’, so no more Terminators from the future can hunt him down. Unfortunately, SkyNet does send another one back – and this one is called the T-X, even more powerful & advanced than the dreaded T-1000. However, another CSM-101 Terminator is also sent back to protect John against the T-X. Now, Skynet is patiently assuming control of civilian computer systems, under the guise of a computer virus. John has also met his future wife, Kate Brewster, whose father – a U.S. Air Force General – is in charge of the military computer systems & is leery of up linking SkyNet. However, when the SkyNet virus infects the U.S military computers & leaves the country open to attack, the machines begin their horrific takeover. Soon a nuclear war will result – and the war against the machines will begin. Can the outdated CSM-101 Terminator eliminate the highly advanced T-X – or will a darker future await man following the nuclear attack?

My Thoughts:
Well, he’s back…again. It was a long time coming, and all the hype just made it impossible to live up to. But, for what it’s worth, I did enjoy this movie. Sure, it’s not nearly as good as the other two films. And yeah, it kind of throws the theme of “no fate , but what we make” right out the window…but it’s an entertaining action movie. A top notch action and special effects movie, and lets be honest…that’s what we expect from a terminator movie.

As great as the special effects and action are there are a few things problematic with this film. First off, this was the last movie Arnold did before he took office as California’s governor, so it’s a little strange seeing Arnold play the same type of terminator while he looks older. In addition, the story seems to fly in the face of a major theme of the first two films. “No fate but what we make” was a critical part of the motivation in the first two films. Without giving away to much, that idea is pretty much thrown out the window making us all ask the question…why would that message be sent back from the future in the first place? But perhaps I’m over thinking it too much. Movies and TV shows that deal with time travel can get ruined real fast by over thinking them. Back to the future is one such example. The terminator series is a great example of that as well.

Another problem I have with the film is how the character of John Connor is portrayed. You would think that, having been raised and trained by such a tuff militarized person like Sarah Connor he would have turned out to be more of a badass. Instead, he seems to be on the run rejecting his “calling” and living more like a whiny little punk. Not exactly the approach I would have gone with, but I guess if he was all big, tuff and ready to take on a terminator he wouldn’t have needed another one sent back in time to protect him.

Though not as intimidating and frightening as the T1000 the TX terminator is a solid antagonist in this movie. It’s unique to have a “female” terminator as well. I wasn’t sure how well it would work having Kristanna Loken go head to head with Arnold, but it worked. She played the cold and calculated assassin rather well. I believed she could stand toe to toe with Arnold’s terminator.

Overall, this was still a fun flick. It did the Terminator franchise justice and it was interesting how it gave us a tast of what John Connor was like as a man before he stepped up and became the great military leader he was destined to become. I’m giving this one 3.5 stars.


Day 3: Hook

Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Robin Williams, Julia Roberts, & Bob Hoskins
Rated: PG
Length: 144 min.
Released: Dec. 11, 1991
Trailer Synopsis:
Director Steven Spielberg brings J.M. Barrie’s PETER PAN to the screen with a delightfully modernized twist. Forty-year-old Peter (Robin Williams) has grown up to be a workaholic lawyer with more affection for his cell phone than his wife and two children. When the family travels to England to visit Granny Wendy (Maggie Smith), Peter’s son and daughter are kidnapped by the villainous Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman). Peter’s faithful pal, Tinkerbell (Julia Roberts), helps him return to Neverland–“Second star to the right and straight on ‘til morning”–to the world Peter has forgotten. There the Lost Boys welcome Peter back and try to get him in shape for his fight with Captain Hook. Peter must somehow remember his long-forgotten boyhood in Neverland and learn how to fly again before he can rescue his children away from the evil clutches of Captain Hook. Bob Hoskins costars as Hook’s right-hand man, Smee, and Gwyneth Paltrow, in her first film role, plays the young Wendy.

My Thoughts
Now, before I go into my review I know there will be some who will think “Hey, Dan. Isn’t Hook a “sequel” to Peter Pan? You didn’t watch Peter Pan first! You’re breaking rule number 3!” My response is…no, I’m not. I suppose Hook is a “sequel” in theory…but it is not a sequel movie with a direct link to any particular Peter Pan film. If anything it’s more a sequel to the book. This movie was meant to stand on it’s own with only the basic premise of the Peter Pan story as it’s foundation. It’s not really a “sequel” to any specific movie in the traditional sense. So, I felt it would be best to watch it on it’s own. Okay, with that out of the way on to my reaction.

Simply put I loved this movie! Spielberg hit a home run with this one! It stayed so true to the themes of the original Peter Pan story! In fact, I would say that it made those themes more accessible to an adult audience while still keeping the kids entertained. Ideas of never allowing yourself to grow up too much, love, sacrifice, remember the things in life that make you happy…and so on. Though Robin Williams wouldn’t have been my first choice to play Peter Pan he pulls it of very well. Starting as an uptight businessman who overlooks his family he eventually transforms into the fun-loving and adventure-seeking Peter Pan we all know and love, ready and willing to take on Captain Hook.

And what can I say about Captain James Hook? Dustin Hoffman is perfect! Absolutely perfect as Hook. His portrayal of Captain Hook is well worth the trip through the entire movie and any time Hook is on the screen it’s easily one of my favorite parts. I mean, there is a reason this film is called Hook and not “Peter Pan 2” or something lame like that. This movie is as much, if not more, about Hook as it is Peter Pan. Hoffman’s portrayal of this deeply depressed and disturbed evil genius makes you laugh over and over again while getting angry with him and feeling sorry for him at the same time.

Overall this movie was just so much fun to watch. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. If I were grading Hoffman alone it would be 10 out of 5 stars! Seriously, Hook was fun to watch in this movie.