T3: Rise of the Machines - The Extras
Matt Day has taken an early look at the extra features from the T3: Rise of the Machines R2 release, the 2 disc set will be arriving from Columbia on the 28th of November.
The second disc kicks off with this imaginatively titled piece, which as you’d expect is a selection of talking heads and clips from the film, all telling you that they are very, very excited to be doing a Terminator movie, and that they all feel they really have a story to tell. I really don’t know why film companies enjoy heralding these pieces at the top of their extras listing, there really is much better material on the disc that could have top billing.
Sgt Candy Scene
This lone extra scene arrives without explanation – at least until you explore the Making of the Video Game section of the disc – and tries to answer a couple of questions about the origin of the Terminators, and why they all look like Arnie. It’s very tongue in cheek, and it seems was never meant to appear in the film, just act as a nice little extra for the game players.
Terminal Flaws: Gag Reel
The biggest flaw here is that the gag reel just isn’t funny, unless watching people giggling for no reason makes you laugh hysterically. There are a couple of nice moments of Arnie fooling around, it seems despite what his film efforts would have you believe – Kindergarten Cop, Junior, Jingle All The Way - the man does have a sense of humour, but this is largely unfunny and unmemorable.
T3 Visual Effects Lab
Featuring: Introduction, Crane Chase, TX Transformation, Future War, Crystal Peak, CRS Lab
This is the most in depth section of the disc, a few key scenes are broken down and explained and the effects crews reveal which elements were make up effects, which were CG and which were done with real life robots.
Stan Winston gets to talk here about the original Terminators, the T1s, and while they look like a new model Johnny 5 from Short Circuit – albeit rather better armed – they are very impressive machines, and were fully working robots, and Winston is clearly very proud of his achievement.
They also look at the final fight between the Terminator and the Terminatrix, including how they managed to show a hole all the way through Arnie’s head, how the Terminatrix was able to melt, how much fun truck drivers have driving very large vehicles through buildings that were only built so they could be destroyed, and a seemingly very complicated process or morphing one character into the Terminatrix. Ironically for all the time spent exactly matching movements on set the final edit contained a number of cutaways from the shot, surely meaning less accuracy would have been required.
Create Your Own Visual Effects
This part of the effects lab deserves a special mention as it is taking advantage of some of DVDs more rarely used features. 2 short clips from the film are available and you can decide which effects will be present in them, from whether or not there should e a blanket of smoke over the screen to deciding if the endoskeletons should be firing lasers or flamethrowers. It could have been more extensive, but it’s a nice addition to the set.
Answering a very simple question will allow you access to the Skynet Database, where you can view text profiles one the key players in the Terminator saga, though anyone who’s seen the films would have no need to, all accompanied by clips of the characters. Amusingly the clips of Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese are just cheap imitations, clearly Colombia didn’t like the sound of licensing fees just for the sake of their extras. Also selecting the clip of the T101 – all the clips play in the corner of the screen – will take you to an easer egg of a short behind the scenes clip.
The paradoxical time jumping of the Terminator movies is laid out straight here in a text based feature attempting to make sense of the plots of the films.
A four minute section of the film featuring the final confrontation is presented alongside the storyboards, but the simple concept is rendered irritating by the design. The storyboards are constantly moving, first they appear above, then the image goes to full screen then they reappear below, you’ll spend more time chasing them than watching them.
Dressed To Kill
A cursory look into the costume department, showing a few brief sketches, teasing you with footage of the costume designer telling us she is about to show 10 designs for the Terminatrix’s costume to the filmmakers, and then only revealing the one we see in the film.
Toys in Action
The T3 toys have been created by Todd McFarlane’s excellent company – who really are market leaders for sculpted figures – and here we get to see him talk very enthusiastically about the work that goes into making the toys. It apparently takes 10 months from starting work to a customer buying the toys, and it’s easy to understand when you hear him talk how he manages to produce such consistently excellent figures, he’s a fan first.
Making of the Video Game
Don’t be fooled by the infomercial! As good as they make the game look here it’s apparently exactly the kind of sloppy movie translation they claim to be avoiding. This is really an extended advert for the game, but at least it offers a full explanation for the Sgt Candy scene earlier on the disc, so is worth watching for that alone.
As an accompaniment to the film this disc works quite well, and there is certainly a lot of footage on the disc to wade through. This, on top of the commentaries that will be present on the first disc, will make enjoying the 3rd instalment of the saga on DVD a lengthy process, but those who have sat through many of these blockbuster special editions may come away feeling their time could have been better spent. There is a lot in the way of promotional material here, and there’s only so many times you can sit through an explanation of computer generated effects before you get the feeling you could do it all yourself. Much like the film itself, they’ve packed a lot in, but it lacks originality.