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Thread: I Robot

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    Gav
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    I Robot

    I've just read this .

    As someone who has read most of Asimov's Fiction work [and been a bit of a fan of Foundation and the Robot stories] I wondered if anyone had actually seen this movie. After reading the synopsis and looking at the website I have to admit that I put my head in my hands when I read it. This has been brought up before, has any of the guys who contacted me last time round actually went to see this movie?
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    Senior Member achilleus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gav
    I've just read this .

    As someone who has read most of Asimov's Fiction work [and been a bit of a fan of Foundation and the Robot stories] I wondered if anyone had actually seen this movie. After reading the synopsis and looking at the website I have to admit that I put my head in my hands when I read it. This has been brought up before, has any of the guys who contacted me last time round actually went to see this movie?
    I saw the movie. I liked it.

    It had nothing to do with Asimov (aside from the obvious 3 laws), but it was good movie, if you can separate the movie from the book. Much like watching most movies based on books (Blade Runner, LA Confidential, The Bourne Identity, Starship Troopers, etc...).

    It's a fun, entertaining, action flick that ends that credits list the story as 'suggested' by Asimov.

    Although, I found the plot and action to borrow heavily from comic books.
    We're no threat, people, we're not dirty, we're not mean
    We love everybody but we do as we please
    When the weather's fine,
    We go fishin' or go swimmin' in the sea
    We're always happy
    Life's for livin', yeah, that's our philosophy

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    Senior Member Peach's Avatar
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    It only had a little bit to do with the Asimov stories--protagonist a detective who doesn't like robots, Three Laws of Robotics. Otherwise, it was definitely a S.A.M. - a Summer Action Movie. I enjoyed it. Lightweight. Forgettable. Nice special effects and action scenes, and if you like Will Smith it's not one of his gems but it wasn't bad.
    “The whole of life is just like watching a film. Only it's as though you always get in ten minutes after the big picture has started, and no-one will tell you the plot, so you have to work it out all yourself from the clues.”
    Terry Pratchett, Moving Pictures

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    Senior Member darius's Avatar
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    "Suggested by Issac Asimov" is right on the money -- the movie bears nearly no resemblance to the original work.

    However, it's as summer popcorn fare goes, it's pretty damn thoughtful. The movie actually discusses the issues with the 3 laws of robotics at several points.

    If you don't like Will Smith's brand of charisma, you won't like the movie, and he clearly can't avoid being Fresh-Prince-clever, even when he's playing a cop. Visually, it's nice, but Alex Proyas directed "Dark City" and "The Crow" -- those movies had iconic imagery up the wazoo, and this didn't even come close.

    Given the Asimov Foundation's willingness to stamp his name on any tripe that has to do with science fiction, the movie is probably one of the better things that's happened since his death. Also, if anybody is curious about the movie and seeks out Asimov's work because of it, that's a huge plus.

    darius

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    Being somewhat familiar with Asimov's work, and having not seen the movie, all I can say is that it's a shame that they associated the movie with asimov. Not only is it not "suggested" by Asimov, but Asimov went out of his way to avoid such a story, and prevent it. At the time Asimov started writing, almost every robot story was about robots becoming too powerful and becoming destructive. He created his 3 laws so that such a story couldn't exist. This is far worse than just a bad movie version of a book... this is like if they made a movie out of the Communist Manifesto, but in order to adapt it to today's movie audience, they decided to change it so that it supported a free market economy, with the wealth controlled by an elite few ("Communist Manifesto: The Movie--starring Ken Lay, Bill Gates and that guy from Tyco... suggested by Karl Marx).

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    Max
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    What are you talking about, proto? Have you even read I,Robot? It's all about the robot's not behaving the way they should. I haven't seen the movie yet, but as long as it has one of those pull-the-rabbit-out-of-a-hat endings that Asimov always managed to create in his shorts, I'll be happy. Anyway, the book is an anthology- it would be difficult to make the movie like the book.

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    Senior Member Peach's Avatar
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    The movie is actually based on another story entirely, with the Asimov stuff grafted on much later. And though I enjoyed Asimov, and he came up with a few nifty ideas, I haven't tried to re-read the stories much since I realized he mostly wrote long stretches of people talking at one another rather than stories.
    “The whole of life is just like watching a film. Only it's as though you always get in ten minutes after the big picture has started, and no-one will tell you the plot, so you have to work it out all yourself from the clues.”
    Terry Pratchett, Moving Pictures

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    I saw it and liked it. True, it was only "inspired" by Asimov, and according to our local paper was mostly based on an orginal screen play named "Hardwired". It was one of those movies that actually had people talking as they left the theater. It's one of the few recent sci-fi movies without any BEM's, which was a nice change of pace.

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    Gav
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    What cab I say folks? It looks like my worst suspicions were true. When I went to the website and saw the three laws mentioned I thought, "Hey, maybe I was wrong." But after reading these posts I think I may even grudge renting this movie out. I would really like to see an Asimov movie made that stays true to his thoughts about the future - not pocorn fare. Although Bladerunner is radically different from it's orginal story, it's still a thought provoking and interesting film with a lot of replayability. This doesn't seem to have that.
    Why not make a film based properly on one of Asimov's books? Peter Jackson [largely] managed it with his version of LOTR.
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    Senior Member achilleus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gav
    What cab I say folks? It looks like my worst suspicions were true. When I went to the website and saw the three laws mentioned I thought, "Hey, maybe I was wrong." But after reading these posts I think I may even grudge renting this movie out. I would really like to see an Asimov movie made that stays true to his thoughts about the future - not pocorn fare. Although Bladerunner is radically different from it's orginal story, it's still a thought provoking and interesting film with a lot of replayability. This doesn't seem to have that.
    Why not make a film based properly on one of Asimov's books? Peter Jackson [largely] managed it with his version of LOTR.
    It's all about how movies are made. Very few movies are the vision of one person. They are usually about a collaboration. LOTR is Jackson using Tolkien's work.

    Not so with I, Robot, Starship Troopers, and most other movies.

    In the case of I, Robot the evolution was very similar to Starship Troopers. The studio wanted Will Smith in a sci-fi movie (those have been his biggest hits), and found a script entitled Hardwired. The worked on the script, bought the rights to Asimov, worked some themes into the script and then got a director.

    From the start, the goal wasn't let's make Asimov, it was let's make a sci-fi movie...

    Starship Troopers was the same.

    Totally different from LOTR.
    We're no threat, people, we're not dirty, we're not mean
    We love everybody but we do as we please
    When the weather's fine,
    We go fishin' or go swimmin' in the sea
    We're always happy
    Life's for livin', yeah, that's our philosophy

  11. #11
    Gav
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    Wasn't Starship Troopers based on a Heinlein novel? I admit I haven't read that pasticular book so I cannot compare with the movie.

    I understand that, however I was talking about the hypothetical making of such a film. OR, with the wealth of Asimov material available, why didn't they chuck out the cliched [sounding] Hardwired script and make a better movie.

    As I dislike the sound of this movie so much I may have to view it so that I can give a proper critique. However I do sense a "I've haven't felt this robbed since I saw Armageddon" moment cold be in the offing.

    Also I don't think that "it's a summer blockbuster what do you expect?" is enough of an excuse. I don't see why these sorts of movies have to be so dumb. Maybe I'm an optimist at heart...

    I think we could take this thread into the realms of 'why not make a quality movie?'
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    Senior Member darius's Avatar
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    Wasn't Starship Troopers based on a Heinlein novel? I admit I haven't read that pasticular book so I cannot compare with the movie.
    Starship Troopers was based on the Heinlein novel of the same name. No resemblance, and it was not a particularly good movie. Even as an FX-gorefest, I didn't think

    I understand that, however I was talking about the hypothetical making of such a film. OR, with the wealth of Asimov material available, why didn't they chuck out the cliched [sounding] Hardwired script and make a better movie.

    As I dislike the sound of this movie so much I may have to view it so that I can give a proper critique. However I do sense a "I've haven't felt this robbed since I saw Armageddon" moment cold be in the offing.
    Well, if you go in expecting "Armageddon", you'll probably be delighted. I'd compare "I, Robot" favorably to "Minority Report" in terms of its value. If you're expecting to think, what are you doing at a big-budget summer film; brush up on your French, and get thee to an art-house cinema hence!

    In "I, Robot", the 3 rules and their consequences were integrated into the plot enough that the title wasn't inconsequential. As far as "action-ing" it up, I think it was necessary. Do you think the public would go for the "long stretches of people talking at one another" that tend to make up Asimov books?

    darius

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    Senior Member ReverseLunge's Avatar
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    Just saw I, Robot. What the hell is up with Will Smith? The guy is built like He-man now. Didn't he used to be some scawny dude who was the Fresh Prince? He must have gained about 60lb of pure muscle. Kind of weird.

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    Senior Member Joan of Ark's Avatar
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    I saw the movie last night... its really good

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    Senior Member achilleus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gav
    Wasn't Starship Troopers based on a Heinlein novel? I admit I haven't read that pasticular book so I cannot compare with the movie.
    Troopers was based on Heinlein, and totally different from the book. A good thing, because I don't think a war movie about communist bugs with the protaganist in a class room learning philosophy for most of the story would be interesting to watch.

    And they creators original goal was to make a gratuitous action adventure movie. Heinlein came in much later...

    Or how about the Bourne Identity? It was so different from the book, I don't know what the plot of the sequel will be. Still, a good movie, but so different...

    Quote Originally Posted by Gav
    I understand that, however I was talking about the hypothetical making of such a film. OR, with the wealth of Asimov material available, why didn't they chuck out the cliched [sounding] Hardwired script and make a better movie.

    As I dislike the sound of this movie so much I may have to view it so that I can give a proper critique. However I do sense a "I've haven't felt this robbed since I saw Armageddon" moment cold be in the offing.

    Also I don't think that "it's a summer blockbuster what do you expect?" is enough of an excuse. I don't see why these sorts of movies have to be so dumb. Maybe I'm an optimist at heart...

    I think we could take this thread into the realms of 'why not make a quality movie?'
    Interestingly enough, they do make some good movies out there (Spiderman 2 anyone?). One just has to look. And really, Robot is quite good. Some thought provoking concepts, funny, and good action.

    No, it's not academy award winning material, but it was better than Independence Day and MiB if you ask me.
    We're no threat, people, we're not dirty, we're not mean
    We love everybody but we do as we please
    When the weather's fine,
    We go fishin' or go swimmin' in the sea
    We're always happy
    Life's for livin', yeah, that's our philosophy

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    Senior Member whtouche's Avatar
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    Food for thought. Read Ebert's review www.suntimes.com/ebert
    Therein he states that there once existed or still does a screenplay about this type of story, written by Isaac Asimov and someone else, that would supposedly be the most worthwhile piece of science fiction ever, by his own claim. This movie is obviously not that movie. But THAT movie would be a fun one to see made, or even just to read.
    "Their interpretation is, however, refuted most elegantly by your system of radioactive atom + amplifier + charge of gun powder + cat in a box"
    -Albert Einstein, in a letter to Erwin Schrödinger

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    Gav
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    Interesting article. Asimov and Ellison Screenpay? That might be quite interesting. I'd be curious about the script.

    I've not seen Spiderman 2 [I'm going to go see it this weekend]. Now, that's the sort of fun no-brainer entertainment I like. One of the guys described it as "A very silly movie." In the same vein I am quite looking forward to Sky Captain.

    However I would not call all these [I,Robot, Star Wars etc] sorts of CGI effect movies Science Fiction or even allude to it. They should properly be called 'skiffy' [as coined by a British Science Fiction author] or [like Star Wars or Starship Troopers] Space Opera.
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    Senior Member achilleus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gav
    Interesting article. Asimov and Ellison Screenpay? That might be quite interesting. I'd be curious about the script.

    I've not seen Spiderman 2 [I'm going to go see it this weekend]. Now, that's the sort of fun no-brainer entertainment I like. One of the guys described it as "A very silly movie." In the same vein I am quite looking forward to Sky Captain.

    However I would not call all these [I,Robot, Star Wars etc] sorts of CGI effect movies Science Fiction or even allude to it. They should properly be called 'skiffy' [as coined by a British Science Fiction author] or [like Star Wars or Starship Troopers] Space Opera.
    Now, I have a couple of questions/observations:

    Spiderman 2 was incredible. The dialogue, the acting, the story, the humor, and finally the action sequences. People in the audience cried during some scenes.

    Guy I know claimed it was the best movie he'd seen in years (better than LOTR, Seabiscuit, etc..).

    So, although it wasn't the heaviest plot as say Blade Runner, it was a quality film all around. I find it funny that someone would classify it as a silly movie, in the same vein as Sky Captain. Because although it is silly, it's well executed. I think it may be a while before another movie as good as Spiderman 2 is seen. Hopefully Spiderman 3, but we'll have to see.


    And, to clarify, Skiffy = Space Opera?

    And what are the characteristics of Space Opera and or Skiffy?
    We're no threat, people, we're not dirty, we're not mean
    We love everybody but we do as we please
    When the weather's fine,
    We go fishin' or go swimmin' in the sea
    We're always happy
    Life's for livin', yeah, that's our philosophy

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    Max
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    I loved Spiderman2, and I'm hoping it will actually make more money then the pssion, which I think would make me more hopeful for all mankind. Next up, I can't wait until AVP!

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    Senior Member whtouche's Avatar
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    I liked spiderman 2, but I had the same problem with it as I did with spiderman 1:
    Whenever there was a long closeup shot of peter or mary jane trying to look conflicted or contemplative, they just looked tired and lethargic, like they'd had too much valium or something.
    "Their interpretation is, however, refuted most elegantly by your system of radioactive atom + amplifier + charge of gun powder + cat in a box"
    -Albert Einstein, in a letter to Erwin Schrödinger

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