Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines - The Plasma Cut

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Brief Synopsis:
This edit pares off some runtime to improve pacing, and edits certain aspects of the story so the main characters enter the story without prior knowledge of each other.
The theatrical release of Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines had a lot to live up to after the incredible success of Terminator 2: Judgement Day. Unfortunately what we got was an under budget, stilted story that was badly paced and left you leaving the theatre with a completely forgetable experience.
This edit seeks to improve pacing and the story arc so that we round out the original Terminator Trilogy with an installment that brings us to the inevitable future that is the Rise Of The Machines and the future war.
Other Sources:
The only outside addition to this edit was the replacement of music in two places. The music used was a track called "Fight The Future" by The Anix.
Special Thanks:
Making a movie is difficult and it is never my intention to insult the hard work of the many people who made Terminator 3. I thank the many great artists who give me as a fan, the material and ideas to play with and explore.
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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 exhileration when walking out of the theatre. It was sad, because I love the Terminator, and I love Claire Danes
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 Bruster 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.
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 Termiator 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. And the music used for this scene was ridiculous, who gave permission to allow this stuff in the movie? Was able to remove the music and dub in something more appropriate.

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.
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.
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. 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, so that it can begin.

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.
And we're out.
Cuts and Additions:
Cut List
-Remove Connors Extended 'Off the Grid Voiceover and future victory montage'
-Remove additional voiceover and bike rider closeup.
-Remove TX police officer gun scene
-Remove Arnies gag sunglasses scene
-Resequence of Kates vetranary hospital scenes
Kate discovers empty pill bottle.
Kate allows customer in.
Kate confronts John Connor.
Kate witnesses shooting of customer.
-Remove Arnie asking Kate where John Connor is and her response.
-Remove the firefighter trying to lift Arnie.
-Remove the little sequence of the TX injecting control of the police car electronics.
Add music to adjust cut.
-Remove escape truck rear-ending car in the street.
Add music to previous scene (Kate demanding to stop the car) to merge into the next scene (truck speeding away from the police).
-Remove scene of firefighters looking at Arnie.
-Remove scene where Arnie disposes of the damaged fuel cell which causes an explosion in the desert.
-Replace the music playing in the background at the gas station (It was supposed to lighten the mood for the gag that was here), the music track is played in the end credits.
-Remove the 'Talk to the hand' gag
-Replace part of the soundtrack leading to the truck after the gas station exit, it was still playing the same stupid song.

-Remove Kates description of John as a 'bad boy', so we remove any indication of knowing him previously.
-Remove Johns recollection of Kripkys basement.
-Remove Johns piecing together Kates relationship to him at the RV park and how he would meet her father.
-Remove Kates recllection of Kripkys basement in conversation in the RV.
-Remove Johns dumb joke about Kate reminding him of his mother when she shoots down the mini-HK.
-Remove the extended piece of John directing the airplane.
-Remove the landing and running CGI composite scene when John and Kate reach the bunker.
-Remove the extended part of Johns voiceover so the dialog is more pointed.
-Insert a fade from the corridor shot to the ashes scene of the Terminator.
-Replace the song in the end credits with the song that played in the gas station.

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