Recently news has reached us that the third best TV show in the history of mankind has been cancelled in the US. We're talking here about Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles --the best show is Arrested Development (also on FOX and also cancelled), and the second best is Lost. If you're not aware of the show, then you should immediately purchase it on Blu-ray or DVD, because it's got Summer Glau in it and also because it's got Lena Headey but also because it's very cool.
Almost as if to cushion the blow, Sony Pictures has chosen the week The Sarah Connor Chronicles was cancelled to release Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. What the company appears to have forgotten is that this is the weakest of the three films -- and when T4 comes out, it will be the weakest of four films. However, it does have some things in its favour. Firstly, it has Arnold Schwarzenegger and having The Governator in your movie immediately adds 30% more awesome to the finished product.
Secondly, it has Claire Danes and Kristanna Loken. Claire Danes was clearly experiencing a pre-Stardust career crisis, which explains her high-calibre appearance in such a film. It's a shame that the lead isn't reprised by Edward Furlong in some ways, but Nick Stahl does a pretty good job of constantly looking over his shoulder in a very 'John Connor' way.
So there's enough here to keep you entertained for a couple of hours. We defy you not to laugh at Arnie's arrival at 'ladies night' and the subsequent events that follow. The special effects are pretty amazing too and the hybrid skeletal/liquid metal Terminator T-X pulls off some miraculous tricks that make short work of Arnie at times.
It also has to be said, like all Terminator movies, this one works brilliantly if you're looking to demonstrate your home cinema. We opened up the throttle on our Onkyo AV receiver and were blown away (almost literally) by the powerful bass right from the start. The picture quality is also top-notch. This being a reasonably recent film, it looks pin sharp and the detail and colour both look excellent.
The initial US release of this film had a problem with the video encode. We're told it was 1080i instead of 1080p, which of course, is not what Blu-ray is all about. The Sony release here in the UK appears to be 1080p, so no need to worry.
Special features are reasonable enough too, with the usual collection of cast and director commentaries. You also get 'bloopers', a deleted scene, and some featurettes, including a documentary.
T3 is released on May 25th and has an RRP of £20 - you should, however, be able to get it for a lot less. We suggest a three movie marathon ASAP and while you're at it, make sure you watch all of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles too.