August 15, 2012
I've never seen Terminator 3. I've not avoided it, but the opportunity never came up and since it wasn't meant to be very good I didn't really seek it out. I'd heard a lot of good things about this edit though, so I decided to go out and buy a copy of the film just to check out The Coming Storm. So, Uncanny Antman's cut is my first experience of the film.
Visual editing - Almost perfect. There was only one cut that I noticed and that was when a conversation between John and the girl suddenly ends (having read the cut list afterwards, I'm assuming this is where they kiss or talk about kissing or something like that). It wasn't actually a bad cut. I wouldn't go as far as to describe it as jarring, but it just seemed fairly obvious that the scene was meant to play out longer. I watched this with four other people who had all seen the film before (although quite some time ago) and none of them found the cuts noticeable. One person spotted the convo cut at the same time as me.
Audio editing – fine. Nothing noticeable.
Narrative – here's where things fall apart. Obviously, I haven't seen the original movie (which I will be doing just to compare), but from reading the cut list and a couple of other reviews it sounds like there were scenes cut that would be responsible for hindering the narrative. One of the main issues is that characters just keep popping up out of nowhere without being properly introduced. The girl (I'm terrible with names), her father and her fiance could all have done with an earlier introduction. Maybe the scene that does this was cringy, I don't know, but regardless, if removing a scene is going to hinder the narrative then it's better to leave it in IMO. The whole Skynet thing seemed a bit out of the blue as well. The terminator clearly uploads something to the machines, but we don't know what. Things just seem to start going wrong and it's not exactly clear why. I'm assuming this probably has to do with the virus plotline which the editor chose to cut out a large chunk of.
Enjoyment – Never seen the original, but this certainly felt like it could have been a lot worse. Reading the cut list certainly made me cringe at what I potentially could have been exposed to. My chief concerns were with the narrative, but outside of that it was quite a fun ride. The film itself is pointless, but it has a good ending and it kind of fixes the plot holes created in T2 (if Skynet is stopped then John Connor never sends Kyle Reese back and therefore John is not born.).
So, why did I watch this before watching the original? Well, I had no interest in watching the original. But this edit was supposedly meant to make it good. So I thought, if I'm going to watch it, I may as well watch a version that I'm more likely to enjoy. I was also just generally curious to experience a fan edit of something I had no familiarity with; to see if I could tell that it had been tampered with and if I could spot cuts without having knowledge of what would have been removed. Turns out the narrative suffers quite a bit, and I'm not entirely sure this could have been given the go ahead as an official release - then again... fanedit.org exists for a reason :P . Despite apparent flaws though, I did enjoy it and it's sparked my interest in the theatrical release.
I imagine The Coming Storm is probably much better than the original movie, but after reading the cut list I'm also fairly certain stuff that shouldn't have been cut was taken out. I plan on watching the original for comparison, and then I will probably come back and update my review. Would I recommend this edit? That remains to be seen.