Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
The Terminatrix arrived in July 24, 2004, in a clothes shop with mannequins, melting them and a glass frame on arrival. It then walked out of the shop, approaching a confused woman, admiring her car before killing her and taking her belongings. The Terminatrix then went on to killing any of John Connor's future lieutenants, including Kate Brewster and her father Robert Brewster. However, when she coincidentally found Connor, who had been formerly untraceable due to "living off the grid", she made him her priority target.
At the Cyber Research Systems facility, the Terminatrix injected nanobots into the T-1s to have them protect Skynet the moment it got control of the entire U.S. defense grid. It then killed Robert before going after John and Kate. They managed to trap her in a particle accelerator before going to Crystal Peak, where they were told Skynet's central core was located. The Terminatrix broke free of the accelerator and followed them, losing most of its polyalloy skin and half its lower body in the process. She grabbed John, determined to complete her mission but a T-850 unit sent by Kate from the future destroyed them both with its remaining hydrogen fuel cell with a remark of "you are terminated." Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
Yes, Arnold came back. Back for the sequel to the monumental T2: Judgement Day, Reviewing the T-X here, I find myself revisiting the movie just a little bit, in order to put the character of the T-X in to context. Please bear with me.
Being a big fan of the franchise, I really wanted to love T3 when it came out. There was a lot to commend in the film. Arnie seemed to be having fun. The chase scene with the crane was both spectacular and enthralling. And the ending had a nice pay-off. Overall the film was very well conceived, and was very well made. Plus I got a really nice set of shiny collectable foil postcards for pre-booking my cinema tickets. But as nice as these individual elements were, the whole movie just did not come together for me as well as the other two films in the series.
Maybe it’s because there was no James Cameron to push the boundaries of special effects and story telling, or no Linda Hamilton to lend her emotional, if at times a little over-cooked “the end is nigh” seriousness to proceedings. Maybe Nick Stahl just didn’t seem to be that convincing, or the script he was given to work with, that engaging for the audience. Or maybe Claire Danes was, well… Claire Danes. Or maybe the story was a little familiar, as essentially, there are only two ways to tell this particular type of Terminator story, and both methods had already been explored in 1 & 2.
I think my overall biggest gripe was the “Judgement Day was only delayed” plotline. That sort of exposition is one of my greatest loathes of cinema. Quite why storytellers go to great pains to explain something that really doesn’t need explaining is beyond me. Here, we don’t need to know that Judgement Day has been delayed just because we are watching the film in 2003 and Judgement Day was supposed to happen in 1997. As an adult audience, we will accept a movie made in 2003 that shows a post-apocalyptic Earth that supposedly began in 1997. To me, this ranks second to the Wachowskis going to great lengths, across both movies and video games, to explain to cinema-goers why the actress playing the Oracle had changed between parts 2 and 3 of the Matrix, even through we all knew Gloria Foster had passed away in real life.
So for me the fundamentals of this plot device were rather poor. And it really would have been much better if they had moved things on to post Judgement day, brought Arnie back for that, and spent two hours blowing loads of robots up.
She’ll be back!
But anyway, we got T3, and as I mentioned, it’s actually not at all bad. As for the villain, well it had to happen, Sooner or later a ‘female’ Terminator for the series. I guess if nothing else it was better having Kristianna Loken in the film, than Vin Diesel, who was originally considered for the role.
The main idea of the T-X was to fuse a female Cyborg and the ‘cool’ FX liquid metal elements from T2’s T1000. Essentially, the T-X had a hard endoskeleton, coated in liquid metal, which allowed it to morph in to any shape. It also allowed Skynet to transport a Terminator back through time with a weapons system. I am not even going to mention the fact that none of this sits at all well with the original concept – that only living tissue can go through the time machine. This conceit had been shot all over the place years before in T2. I also never really got my head around how the T-X’s endoskeleton appears ‘soft’ in some scenes (for example when it takes a rocket smack in the shoulder in the graveyard scene) and can repair itself, yet has a ‘hard’ endoskeleton in other scenes (such as the ending when Arnie grabs her).
“I have detailed files”
The Cinemaquette T-X is a fully faithful reproduction of its screen counter-part. Produced in perfect 1:3 scale by the team at SWS, and boasting a signed certificate from Stan Winston himself to prove it. The piece is constructed of polystone resin and chrome plated die-cast metal, the latter giving the piece a “cold to the touch” feeling. The piece is built from individual plates like the screen version, each perfectly fitting together around an armature. It has a base, which set the trend for the design of the bases for the rest of the collection to follow. At around 22 inches tall, it is the shortest Cinemaquette released so far. Having said that, it does weight quite a lot, and feels incredibly, incredibly solid.
The paint job of the screen version is accurately reproduced, and as such the T-X Cinemaquette has a very, very nice shiny dark chrome look to it, with individual plates painted black and white. The whole piece is mounted on the signature Cinemaquette base, which has some nice detailing which is reminiscent of the final scenes the T-X has in the movie. The piece also has a very cool little light up feature – which I will come on to in a bit.
The piece is posed in a classic museum stance befitting of the character.
Ok, now I am going to do things a little differently from here on in. I am going to talk through some pictures that deal with each part of the piece, from toe to top. It is my hope that the pictures will give you an idea of the sort of lavish design work that went in to the piece, and the level of detail and faithfulness to the original that was sought by SWS and Cinemaquette.
Well starting with the bottom, we have… err, the base. The wreckage is similar to the scenery from the T-X last scenes in the movie. The SWS logo is on the flipside of that Access Panel. My only criticism of this piece is that the paintjob on the base is a little flat and lacking detail.
Moving on up slightly, we come to the feet. Notice here the individual plates used to construct the feet, and the white plates at the heel.
Moving up again we can see the left leg, the left leg knee plating, and the reverse of the knee which nicely shows off the miniaturised electronic cables SWS reproduced to detail the piece. Again these three shots give you an idea of the individual plating used. In addition, the full leg shot gives an indication of the sort of colour scheme employed.
Ok, going on up towards the body we have a few nice shots of the splendidly understated design work employed around the mid-section. The first is a profile of both legs together. The second, a close up on the plating around the hips, and the third a shot of the rear. To round off we have a shot of the waist. One of the things that makes the T-X female, is the hips and the rear. In these three shots you can see some of the excellent detail work that went in to the plating around these areas. You can also see some of the individual white plates. The cables in the waist also make a nice finishing detail, and like many Cinemaquettes, are only spotted when you really look closely at all the wonderful layers of detail.
“Talk to the hand”
Sorry, I couldn’t resist adding the most poorly conceived Terminator line since Christian Bale told Shane Hurlbut that he was “just done with him, professionally”.
Anyway, moving on to the hands and arms of the T-X, we can see from the pictures below the fine detail once again on these elements. The hands in particular are superbly crafted, and probably, along with the shoulder joints we shall see in a moment, my favourite detail part of this piece.
Across to the other side we get a good look at the weapon arm. Notice the crafting on the joint between the upper arm and forearm. Cracking. A comparison with the movie version reveals a faithful reproduction of the weapon as it appears in the film.
Ok, moving up towards the head we have a shot of the upper back. Again, pay close attention to the individual plates, the PJ, and the stunning craftsmanship.
Next we have a few shots of the front of the torso. The paintjob is consistent with that of the screen equivalent, including the white pate at the centre of the chest. So to is the shape, and the way the character tapers at the waist.
Finally we get to the head. This is again a faithful reproduction of the screen T-X. What I like about the piece are the shoulders. I love the design of the circular element here. I also quite like the two pieces that poke out over the top of the shoulders. I have no idea what they are for in the movie, but frankly, they look cool. The head has all the emotionlessness of the screen T-X. Again, all painted individual plates to finish off.
And just to finish, a couple of shots of piece in full surrounded by some of my other Cinemaquettes.
The piece also comes with a rather nifty little light up feature. This has two settings – constant and pulsate. In constant mode, the piece glows a solid blue. In pulsate the piece, well, pulsates. It is a really nice effect, achieved with blue LEDS. Though I have to say that the LED’s are not as bright when in pulsate mode. A video of the T-X lights working is here.