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Terminator 3: Rise of The Machines *Updated

flywheeljack

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So having seen all the movies in the Terminator franchise and marking how disappointed I was with everything from T3 onwards, I wanted to take a look at making an edit that would round out an "original trilogy" if you will.
So I went back and watched T3 noting where the story sagged, or introduced ridiculous story writing. I think I have an edit that makes good use of the material in the standard release version (I did make an effort to find extended/special editions but apparently this movie was so 'meh' it didn't warrant one.)
The edit is complete and a cut list is done, so now what to do with my evenings... not sure if Salvation is 'Salvageable' :)

I am also trying to think of an edit name... I was thinking "The Plasma Cut" just because the movie has been cut to improve the pace...

Heres some of what to expect;

List of changes, and why...
When I first saw T3, it was with the expectations set by the first two movies. Tense, well paced and to the point.
I was disappointed with a flabby, vague, kind of goofy thing that was disappointing and left no residual feeling of exhilleration when walking out of the theatre. It was sad, because I love the Terminator, and I love Claire Danes <3 ever since Romeo + Juliet
At the core of the movie though, there is a good story that stays true to its title and wraps the Terminator Trilogy* in a way that makes sense to us modern day tech consumers.
So what to do. Chop out the flab, remove the goofy where possible. Take out as much as was annoying or pointless. Lets go.
 *This is where The Terminator should have stopped. These three movies are the only ones I would accept as being true enough to the core universe they are set in.

Voices In My Head.
There are places for voiceovers, and ways of doing them. In T3 John Connors voiceover is used at the beginning and end of the movie. This is consistent in T2 with one major difference, they are both too long. If the movie can't make its point thru the main medium (the visuals) then I suspect you don't know what you're doing.
So I reduced Connors voiceover scene at the introduction and removed almost all of the voiceover at the end of the movie. Allow the movie to make the point, not someone talking about the movie.

Connors 'Off the Grid' Scenes. 
Removed because if you are watching T3 and don't know ANY of the story, then you need to stop the movie and go watch the first two. Theres also the matter of the entire scene being a voiceover, so out it goes. Show, don't tell.

Terminatrix Arrival.
The arrival of the Terminatrix is excellent, but goes on too long. In what way? The initial scenes have her arrive, find transport, take a disguise and make a connection to the internet to upload the virus. Good, done... uh oh..
In the original cut theres an entire scene that has the Terminatrix get pulled over by a cop, she increases her bust size to manipulate the cop and get his gun. 
The entire scene is pointless. If its intended to show she can change form to manipulate men, its a waste of time because the ability is never used again, and if the purpose is to show how she got a gun...this is the United States, there was a high probability that there was a handgun in the ladys purse or the cars glove compartment.
:|

Terminators Arrival.
The only thing cut here was the dumb gag shades he puts on when leaving the bar. (There were so many stupid jokes in this movie)

Removing Kripkys Basement From The Entire Movie.
So theres an underlying plot thread that was written into the original movie that has John Connor and Katherine Brewster knowing one another from middle school.
When Connor breaks into a veterenary clinic to find some medicine, guess what, it turns out that Katherine works there, what a coincidence. And so theres an entire scene that has Kate and John talking about Kripkys basement.
What a pile of horse shittery. And the only reason its there that I can see, is to have some poorly executed twist later on in the movie.
Removing this scene as well as two other scenes making reference to this stupidity, was necessary. In this way there is no need for some stupidly irritating "coincidence" that various parts of the movie hang on. It was an ongoing irritation that cracked suspension of disbelief and with it gone, the story flows far more naturally and is in many ways similar to Sarah Conner meeting Kyle Reece. 

The Truck Chase.
So theres a centerpiece chase scene that involves the Terminatrix chasing down John Connor in a huge construction crane. Pretty fun. But a few things had to be done to make this more interesting (because believe it or not, it wasn't originally)
One of the first things that was done was at the beginning when the Terminatrix takes control of several emergency vehicles. In the original, theres a scene that has her injecting a probe and them some flashy "into the machine" graphics that look like they belong in The Matrix. This is The Terminator, there are established visual cues here. Out it goes, if you can't cop on to whats happening by the time the next scene pops up and shows an overlay of the vehicles she controls then I'm sorry, movies are not a thing you can do.
The next change was to remove the small cut scene when Arnie gets clobbered with a fire truck and we get to see the confused faces of the firefighters...oh for the love of... its supposed to illicit a laugh? Out it goes, and we get straight to Arnie taking control of the firetruck.
Moving on.
John Connor gets distracted for a second and rear ends a car.
What??
This is a car chase, this is supposed to be fast paced and frenetic. Why the hell am I stopping the action in order to have Connor be threaten by some guy? And then the guy hears Kate yelling and becomes more beligerent. What, are, you, doing??
Out it goes. The car chase continues directly without this pointless scene and moves things along.
You may have noticed that a large part of the problem in this movie has been the tendency of the director (or producers, or editors) to continually start and stop things. Just when you feel like things are running apace, things have to stop for some stupid reason.

Conversation In The Pickup Truck.
This converstation between John and Kate establishes who John is and who the Terminator is, while Kate doesn't believe them (of course she doesn't, Claire Danes isn't an idiot :p ) As mentioned earlier though theres another scene here that mentions Kripkys Basement. Out it goes. 

Gas Station Stupidity.
The group stops for gas and Arnie goes to get supplies. Going good. Oh no, a stupidly dated reference... and too messy to cut around, so I was able to chop most of the scene but still have it make sense.

The Power Cell.
My god. If there was a single scene I hated most in this movie it had to be this one. Its a scene that convinces me that the writers for some movies never bother to research their own lore, and that "mansplaining" really is annoying. The entire scene is Arnie having to remove a faulty power cell from his torso as it was damaged in his first encounter with the Terminatrix. In doing so, he throws it out of the vehicle and it ruptures, causing a small nuclear explosion. Now. Where. To. Start.
According to what Arnie said in T2 the Terminator can last upwards of 200 years with its existing power cell. Not 'cells'. And to be fair, this is a bit pedantic, the real irritation for me about this scene is it exists only to explain the massive power of a single cell when, at the end of the movie, he uses his remaining cell to destroy the Terminatrix.
Sigh. So the writers felt the need to mansplain to the audience, that the cells are super powerful. 
But we could have figured that out just by watching him in the final scene where he puts the cell in the Terminatrix mouth and crushes it, causing an explosion. You know, by watching the movie.
Who the hell wrote this??
By cutting this entire scene we reduce the run time by a good chunk. Thereby increasing the pace a bit.
Moving on.

The RV Scenes
The group finds an RV they can grab in order to get to a safe place. During the conversation that takes place it turns out that Kates dad is responsible for the military program that creates SkyNet.
Here we have to cut the "twist" that Kripkys Basement was supposed to inject into the story. John makes a connection that if he had met Kate when he was younger and never had to disappear after T2, then he would have met Kates father and all this could have been avoided.......
I really hate this scene. Its as close to vomit inducing as its possible to get. For one,this is pointless. The writers consciencously tried to put some kind of predestination weirdness in here. Into a sci-fi movie... sigh. Keep in mind that there are at least a couple of other scenes that attempt to make something out of their being togehter.
Vomit. Out it goes.
John simply makes the connection that Kates dad developed SkyNet and that her dad is in danger. Off we go.
There is one other scene that takes place in the RV where Kate says John was the first boy she kissed, in Kripkys Basement. God I hate the writers. Out it goes.

The Airplane Scenes.
John and Kate find their way to a small airplane and make their way to the mountains. Very nice. Theres needless dialog on finding their way though. Out it goes.
Also there is an entirely abominable CGI scene showing them pulling up to the outside of the mountain base, like its really bad, even for 2003.
Umm yes, we assume they would have to land, and this CGI is not selling me on the reality of that. Out it goes.

The Voiceover and Out.
So the last part of the movie has John Connors voiceover. Attempting to be poignient. Its decent, but like all voiceovers, entirely too long.
I cut it back, and edited the fadeout music so we could see the Terminator Trilogy end with honor.

Not Done Yet.
The credits music was aweful, made worse by some obscure indie folk rock track that was put in there. If I were honest, the music in this entire movie was below where it could have been.
I left the orchestra score at the beginning of the credits as-is, the Marco Beltrami stuff wasn't that bad. But right after I over dubbed with a song called 'Fight the Future' by The Anix, a much snappier and relevant type of song. 
I would have changed a few other pieces of music too, but I don't have the home setup for such a fiddly load of work.

And we're out.
 

Malthus

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Sounds like you have a solid plan. I recall the disappointment I felt watching this in the cinema. The awkward comedy and shoehorned romance undermined what is actually a pretty solid entry in the franchise story wise. It would be nice to see some samples of the edits you've made.

How much have you cut from the original runtime?
 

flywheeljack

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It was originally 1:49 and the edit brought it down to 1:37. So not a whole lot is taken out, but enough to improve its pacing and add back the feeling of urgency that the first 2 entries had.

I'm not sure where I could post samples, or even where I could place this for general consumption. If anyone has any suggestions on file services that would be appreciated. I'm new to this so I'm thinking there may be preferred places for storage.
 

Malthus

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flywheeljack said:
I'm not sure where I could post samples, or even where I could place this for general consumption. If anyone has any suggestions on file services that would be appreciated. I'm new to this so I'm thinking there may be preferred places for storage.

Personally I use Google drive to host my completed edits and workprints although I know many people prefer Mega. Drive gives you 15gb of storage for free per email address.

For samples I use Vimeo which seems to be the preferred choice. They have a free account with a 500mb weekly upload limit and a 5gb of total storage. It's ideal for uploading 1-2 minute clips.

Just be sure any links you share in forum posts do not have download options as stated in the rules.
 

lantern51

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Sounds like an interesting edit. I would like to check this out.
 

Jrzag42

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On behalf of the Fanedit.org Academy, I approve this edit!
 
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