Robots

MGM

There’s nothing quite like the autumn when the cooler weather allows you to open your windows and enjoy the fresh night air. And nothing serves as a buzzkill than hearing sirens or gunshots in the distance. Even as society has grown and people feel they’ve become more enlightened, crime is still a big problem. Sure, not every place is like Detroit in films like Beverly Hills Cop and RoboCop – or like Detroit in present day, for that matter. However, with crime still running rampant in some areas, it’s enough to keep one awake at night (especially if you keep hearing those sirens and gunshots in the night air). Everyone wants to do something about crime, but it’s not like we really want someone to turn into a maverick cop like Sylvester Stallone in Cobra. In reality, you’d want a super cop to actually care about civil liberties, laws, and individual rights. Though it’s a really violent film, the title character in Paul Verhoeven’s RoboCop at least attempts to serve the public trust, protect the innocent, and uphold the law. It helps that these prime directives were hard-wired into his programming. And that got me thinking: Is the world ready for a real-life RoboCop?

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The Best Short Films

Why Watch? This sweet movie from Sandy Widyanata features a young boy who steals a busted up video game controller from a young girl. She chases him through their neighborhood junkyard, and what happens when he pushes a few buttons is a pleasant surprise. Shot to perfectly capture the endless summer day of youth, the CGI is seamless and the story is so familiar that it tells itself (except for the last few moments of course). This excellent gem is like a cool sip of lemonade on a hot day sweetened with sci-fi. What will it cost? Only 1 minute. Skip Work. You’ve Got Time For More Short Films

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According to The Hollywood Reporter, newcomer Matthew Lieberman has been signed to write the Short Circuit reboot going on over at Dimension Films. He’d previously written the not-at-all-liked Dr. Doolittle: Tail to the Chief which went straight to video on the coattails of the Eddie Murphy movies, but this project is an interesting way to get a foot in the door of the feature world. What’s more important is that Tim Hill is set to be the director. Hill’s recent work includes Alvin and the Chipmunks, Hop and Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties (apparently everyone involved loves “tail” puns). All of that sounds awful, but once upon a time, Hill also directed Muppets From Space. How someone got from weird and wonderful to boringly broad and homogenous is anyone’s guess. Forget it, fans. It’s Chinatown. That’s sad, but the most fascinating thing about bring back Johnny Five to life is that instead of appealing to a movie geek crowd, the production is attempting to take a character from a strange little 80s movie that’s been reduced to a catch phrase and make him a children’s entertainment icon. To do that, Hill and company will be able to sidestep the treacherous balance between old fans and new by completely disregarding old fans. Of course, the bigger question will be whether a robot movie like this will fly in a time where actual robots are running our lives for us. Will Johnny look like an Erector Set that talks or will […]

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The power of Gigantor is in Bryan Barber‘s hand. The music video and Idlewild director grew tired of being passed over for bigger budget gigs, so he decided to buy the rights (including toys and video games) for a movie-ready concept that, according to Deadline Toyama, he’s describing as Transformers meets The Goonies. That’s some solid math right there. The project he’s picked is Gigantor – the Americanized anime version of Tetsujin 28-go – which features an incredibly large robot controlled by a 12-year-old boy by remote. The television show was on in the 60s, around the same time as Speed Racer, and it saw a mild resurgence in the 90s. This is a shrewd move by Barber who clearly wants to take control of his own directorial destiny. It’s unclear whether the gambit will work (as it depends on a studio or financier believing first in the project and second in Barber as the right director for it), but it would be unbelievably fantastic to see the giant tin can up on the big screen. It would no doubt be a tonal cousin to The Iron Giant – a movie that makes me cry just thinking about it – and it has the potential to be a major hit with kids of all ages. Plus, Gigantor is just damn cool. You can check out some of the original animation in this video (while checking out the theme song being performed by 90s alt-metal slackers Helmet):

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With the entire original run of The Twilight Zone available to watch instantly, we’re partnering with Twitch Film to cover all 156 episodes. Are you brave enough to watch them all with us? The Twilight Zone (Episode #20): “Elegy” (airdate 2/19/60) The Plot: A few astronauts land on a planet where no one moves a muscle. The Goods: A spiritual cousin to the very first episode of the series, instead of one man stranded in a world without people, three astronauts land on an Earth-like planet where there are people, places and even farm dogs. Mysteriously, either these common nouns are all tied for Most Realistic Statue or they’re all trying to do their best Marcel Marceau impression. Things look idyllic, but everyone is idle. A woman is perpetually being crowned as a local beauty queen; a bearded gent is forever being named the new mayor; and one man alone sneaks his way through the unmoving masses to spy on our adventurers and to withhold an explanation for what’s going on.

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With the entire original run of The Twilight Zone available to watch instantly, we’re partnering with Twitch Film to cover all 156 episodes. Are you brave enough to watch them all with us? The Twilight Zone Episode #7 – “The Lonely” (airdate 11/13/59) The Plot: An inmate serving his sentence in solitary confinement on a far away asteroid struggles with both his sanity and humanity after receiving a very special gift. A gift… with boobs. The Goods: James Corry (Jack Warden) is four years in to a fifty-year sentence for murder on his own private asteroid, and his only human contact comes every few months in the form of a rocket ship bearing supplies. He counts the days until the next delivery as it means he’ll get precious time talking with the compassionate Captain Allenby (John Dehner). The ship arrives and he rushes around his small shack setting up a chess board and playing cards as this human interaction has to last him several long months. Circumstances dictate the ship make a quick turnaround leaving no time for conversation or games, but Allenby leaves a surprise for Corry as consolation for his pardon review being refused yet again. The gift is a robotic woman named Alicia (Jean Marsh), and her presence will test the depths of Corry’s loneliness and the strength of his desire for human contact. He’s initially disgusted at the idea of a cold, mechanical, human-like machine, but slowly her human traits and displays of real(ish) emotion forces […]

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There’s nothing better than hearing news of Guillermo Del Toro getting a new movie off the ground, especially when it happens to involve giant monsters and regular-sized humans in giant robotic suits doing battle. Since he couldn’t make it all the way to the coldest part of the world with Lovecraft, Del Toro is, of course, heading to the Pacific Rim, and it looks like he’ll do it with Charlie Hunnam. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the star of Sons of Anarchy is signing on to star in the film as one of the pilots of a giant robot “who needs to climb back into the driver’s chair.” Why he’s fallen out is anyone’s guess, but it probably involves the safety regulations on those seat belts being pretty lax. Have you ever test-driven a Mecha-Bot 3000? Vinyl was a poor choice for seating. This is a break-out chance for a great actor to prove his salt with a big budget and a visionary director behind him. Not much more needs to be said than that. Hunnam crushes in Sons of Anarchy, and as long as the melodrama is reigned in for someone struggling to face his giant robot-driving past, he could truly take this opportunity and fly with it.

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It might be nice to have a timeline on this so we know exactly how long we have to be on the edge of our seats, but J.J. Abrams has nevertheless dipped his toes into what might become his next project over at Paramount. According to Deadline Omaha, Fringe co-executive producers Monica Breen and Alison Schapker have been hired to re-write a script for Zanbato – a story involving Japanese history, fighting robots, and whatever else the pair has up their sleeves. As we all know, Zanbato is a type of large sword called a “horse-chopping sword” because it was built to kill a rider and his horse in one fell slice. Robots with big swords? Abrams? The Fringe writers? How long do we get to be in this state of excitement again?

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Why Watch? Starring Max Records from Where The Wild Things Are, this effects-heavy, absolutely brilliant short features a young boy getting a robot helper that he hopes will help by fixing his family. Then, of course, it has no problem going on an adorable rampage with one hell of an ending. The kind of ending that makes you stand up and applaud even though you’re sitting alone at your computer. The people demand more Blinky. What Will It Cost? Just 13 lucky minutes of your time. Does it get better any better than that? Check out Blinky™ for yourself:

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From the title alone, it seems like a brilliant idea. Or at least an idea that will see some large-scale destruction at the cold, metal hands of old-people’s-medicine fueled machines. After Tin Tin and Warhorse hit screens a little over a year from now, Steven Spielberg will dive in to production on Robopocalypse, based on the forthcoming novel from Daniel H. Wilson. Spielberg was excited about the project from before the book was even finished – watching as the author turned in pages to his editor and to screenwriter Drew Goddard for screenwrite-ification. That begs the question: how is this robot movie different than any other? Like, say, Terminator or A.I. for example. [Deadline Mansfield]

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Scott Beggs

Review: 9

Movie Reviews By Scott Beggs on September 8, 2009 | Comments (7)

9movie

A movie that (I swear to you) wasn’t directed by Tim Burton explores the limits of ragdoll action sequences with a gorgeously envisioned post-robot-devastated world where the population is sparse and so is the story line.

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SurrogatesRobots

Director Jonathan Mostow and the stars of Surrogates show off some new footage where robots are leaping tall buses in a single bound and talk about the deeper implications of the story itself. Imagine a world where Bruce Willis has a full head of hair. I know. Scary.

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avatarheader

There’s a giant machine from Avatar just hanging around the show room floor at Comic-Con waiting to be taken out for a joyride. But it looks a lot like a few other movie machines we’ve seen before.

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sm-transformers2-head

Now that everyone on the planet has had a chance to see Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, to make hilarious YouTube videos calling out Rob Hunter’s review of it, and to send us emails about us covering the film too much – we’re covering it EVEN MORE. What happens when two Rejects disagree this strongly? Get angry and find out.

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shout-terminator

The reviews for Terminator Salvation are mixed. Not exactly what the studio would hope for with a summer tentpole. Does that mean they should stop the franchise? The usual idiots verbally spar it out for this week’s Shouting Match.

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Lazy Sunday Afternoon

Christopher Walken is one cool cat. He is an Oscar caliber Hollywood actor, stars in music videos and (apparently) build robots in his garage.

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