He’s Back, And Let’s Hope She Comes Back Again Too!
This week in The Couch Potato Report the Terminator is back, but he’s missing his Canadian, and Three’s Company finally comes home.
Any discussion of the greatest science fiction films of all time has to include at least one of the first two TERMINATOR movies. Created by Canadian James Cameron the gist of the story is that a cyborg is sent back in time to the present day to stop the future from existing.
The original TERMINATOR was released in 1984 and was a tremendous success. It was also the first big movie role for a former Austrian bodybuilder.
Everyone can pronounce his name these days, especially in California where he’s the governor elect, but in 1984 the name Arnold Schwarzenegger was mangled by film fans and journalists alike.
By the time TERMINATOR 2 – JUDGEMENT DAY came out in 1991 everyone knew the bodybuilder simply as Arnold and James Cameron had also established himself as a filmmaker to be reckoned with.
But no one could have guessed that “T2” was going to change the way we watched movies forever. Compared to the special effects in films these days T2 could be considered tame, but in 1991 the computer effects were groundbreaking! I can personally remember walking out of the the theatre is awe and wondering “How did they do that?!?!”
But that was 12 years ago. In the intervening years movies like THE MATRIX and JURASSIC PARK, and James Cameron’s own Oscar winning film TITANIC, have upped the ante in what moviegoers have come to expect and demand.
So when it was announced that there would be a TERMINATOR 3 fans of the series rejoiced. When that announcement was followed up with the news that James Cameron wasn’t going to be involved, the rejoicing turned to skepticism.
“How could they do a TERMINATOR film without the person who created it being involved?!?!”
Well they did, and at the end of the day TERMINATOR 3: RISE OF THE MACHINES isn’t as bad as it could have been. It isn’t groundbreaking like the first two but it does start out with a very quick pace and never really lets up.
Regarding the story, well that is where you have to be willing to forget some of the story points presented in TERMINATOR 2.
Y’see, it turns out that the apocalyptic “Judgment Day” of T2 was never prevented, only postponed. So if you can get past that, T3 is not bad.
The hero of the series, John Connor, is now 22 and he’s being pursued yet again. This time by the advanced T-X, a sleek female “Terminatrix” programmed to stop Connor from becoming the savior of humankind in the future.
Schwarzenegger’s disadvantaged T-101 cyborg once again arrives from the future to join Connor and attempt to thwart the T-X’s relentless pursuit.
Linda Hamilton, who was such an integral part of the first two TERMINATOR films is sorely missed in this sequel. But she’s not missed half as much as James Cameron.
If you can imagine what would happen if someone else decided to make decisions for your babies after you’ve guided them for almost twenty years, then you would have some concept of what is going on in TERMINATOR 3.
Johnathan Mostow has taken over for Cameron. His resume includes BREAKDOWN and U-571, both good popcorn movies, but the TERMINATOR films have always set the standard for action in films, not just followed what everyone else is doing.
Mostow fully deserves credit for not attempting to simply follow Cameron’s footprints in the snow and create a carbon copy of the first two movies. But in the end that is also why T3 will never be considered a classic film that can stand on its own. It’s merely the latest film in the TERMINATOR series, a series that looks like it will continue, with or without Schwarzenegger – or James Cameron for that matter – having anything to do with it.
Yes, T3 is a fun, exciting popcorn thriller, that is just as humorous in parts as its predecessors. And yes it is great watching Schwarzenegger return to his signature role after years of making basically unwatchable movies, but TERMINATOR 3: RISE OF THE MACHINES is a TERMINATOR film in name alone. Its good, just not as good.
So now there are three TERMINATOR films, and three’s company.
There’s also THREE’S COMPANY: SEASON ONE.
Originally planned for release in 2004 the release date was moved up when fans began clamouring for episodes of the series after the untimely death of John Ritter on September 11th.
Normally I would have a problem with the fact that this release was moved up to “capitalize” on Ritter’s passing, but in this instance I’m just glad I have these shows to watch, laugh at and remember John Ritter by.
Originally broadcast in 1977 THREE’S COMPANY: SEASON ONE contains all of the six full-length, unedited episodes from the first season of one of the greatest TV series of all time.
Ritter, Suzanne Somers and Joyce DeWitt aren’t quite firing on all cylinders in these first six episodes, but you’ll be surprised at how funny they still are, even though they’ve been seen hundreds of times.
One movie I know people have seen at least that many times is DUMB AND DUMBER, starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels.
Well, before the adult years that took place in DUMB AND DUMBERER there was high school.
In DUMB AND DUMBERER: WHEN HARRY MET LLOYD we’re shown how the two friends for first met.
I lamented a few minutes ago that James Cameron, the creator of the TERMINATOR, was no longer involved in the series. But at least T3 has the original star!
Not only are Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels no where to be seen in DUMB AND DUMBERER but the Farrelly Brothers, who co-wrote and directed the original, are also missing in action. Be forewarned, this movie has no pedigree to the first movie, except for the names of the characters.
That said, there are at least two HUGE laughs in this otherwise pointless prequel, so if you just want to laugh at utter stupidity then give DUMB AND DUMBERER: WHEN HARRY MET LLOYD a try.
But if you want to laugh at well written, completely enjoyable comedy, then pick up KING OF THE HILL: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON. This new box set of the Sunday night TV staple has a wide array of laughs and special features.
COMING NEXT WEEK
Bruce Springsteen: Live In Barcelona -A recording of Bruce Springsteen and his E Street band performing in Spain on October 16, 2002.
The Santa Clause 2 – Santa must find a bride before Christmas. (Tim Allen, Molly Shannon, Elizabeth Mitchell)
Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life – Angelina Jolie returns as the video game heroine in this sequel no one wanted.
Sinbad: Legend Of The Seven Seas – The adventures of Sinbad, the swashbuckling hero. (Brad Pitt, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Joseph Fiennes)
Enjoy the movies and I’ll see you on the couch!
He’s Back, And Let’s Hope She Comes Back Again Too!