Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines [Theater]. The buzz on this wasn't very good, but we thought we should see it in the theater anyways. Its obvious that this wasn't directed by Cameron. Two stars. Click below for my full review.We saw this movie in the worst theater in Western Washington. The dank, run down Alderwood theaters. 10% of the seats were broken, it was dank and the movie was merely using stereo. But enough foreshadowing...

First off, I have to say, Arnie looked frigging incredible. I read that he doubled his normal workout (maintenaince mode, I would guess) to get back into T2 form for this. It paid off. But his character..oh what terrible writing and directing they put the venerable Model 101 through in the first scenes.

They essentially mimicked the T2 naked/bar scene, but humiliated the cyborg with a flaming gay stripper. Hilarity did not ensue. It was awkward and only mildly amusing. Then they put the cherry on top of this serving of bad taste with the sunglasses scene. Oh Arnold, did you have no input on this movie?

The new "Terminatrix" was easy on the eyes. Her casting for the part was an excellent choice. The abilities she had were a little over-the-top and hokey, such as remote controlling standard Crown Vic police cruisers. C'mon. A 3rd grader would see through that one...

John Conner was also well-cast, I found him a suitable replacement for the Eddie "the delinquint" Furlong. who would *censored* up their lives to the point of missing out on being cast for a role like that? You're no Leonardo, so take what you can get.

The action scenes were subdued, definately not the Cameron-style we'd hope for. The only substantial scene involved the mobile crane, which I will say, was the best of the movie.

The plot started slow but gained steam as the director finally managed to wipe the vaseline off the viewers glasses and clue them in on the actual story line. Though given the temporal plotline, he's working with both a prequal and sequel, so he's basically layout out the story line as it conforms to Terminator and T2, and the next movie.

Its extremely obvious that there will be a next installment, they left the viewer high and dry at the end, which I don't mind. The final scenes were intruguing and left me begging for more. Well directed. Cameron never did that kind of cliff-hanging with any of the previous installments, though I don't think he saw a franchise coming when he originally made Terminator.

Overall, the movie was a bit slow for what you'd expect. The F/X were well-done, I didn't see any major flaws. [I did notice that when John and Kate landed their cessna, they cast a shadow on top of the shadow left by the Cessna...]. It seemed like this was more of a story-telling movie than an action movie, setting up for the, what I assume, will be the real finale with the war between the resitance and Skynet.

If you can see it in a theater, pay matinee and pray they show it in SDDS or DTS at least. It does deserve that much.

I'd definately own it, round out the trilogy.

Two stars.