Monday, December 20, 2004

Some movie reviews

I, Robot

Maybe some day there will be a movie called “Isaac Asimov’s ‘I, Robot’”
This movie was so far removed from the story that Asimov told that they dared not even say “Based on the book by ...” in the credits. Instead, they say “Suggested by a book by Isaac Asimov.”
About the only things the book and the movie share is the reference to Asimov’s famous Laws of Robotics, which are spelled out at the beginning of the film.

That being said, however, this was not a bad movie. It’s by no means a classic, but it is a decent B-movie action flick and worth the price of a rental at the least. Will Smith plays a futuristic cop chasing down rouge robots with the same zeal that he showed chasing aliens in the Men in Black movies. I enjoyed picking out the Chicago landmarks I saw this summer from the futuristic cityscape designed for the movie.


This is a premature review because I haven’t finished watching the movie. I bought a used copy from Hollywood Video a while back and we just sat down last night and watched the first part of it. So far it has been pretty good, I was looking forward to seeing Viggo Mortensen in his first film since “Lord of the Rings,” but I was immediately struck by the plot similarities with Tom Cruise’s “The Last Samurai.”
Both films are set in the post-Civil War era and feature a protagonist who is profoundly changed after witnessing a U.S. Army massacre of an unarmed Indian village. Both protagonists then become alcoholics and wind up as performers in Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show. Then they each decide to seek out a new path by facing challenges in a foreign country: Tom Cruise goes to China and Viggo Mortensen goes to Saudi Arabia.
Hopefully, this is where the similarities end and I will enjoy the rest of the movie.

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