Short Circuit

Chappie and He-Man

There are a few overlaps of scenes from the first Chappie trailer to the latest, including a bit where the title robot watches and mimics the cartoon He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. You’d think this was from the same studio putting together a new Masters of the Universe movie. Oh right, they’re both Sony. Synergy! Interestingly, Sony is also one of the studios behind last year’s RoboCop remake and they own the company that made Short Circuit (but not the rights to its planned remake), and those are two movies that are very much felt in this new feature from Neill Blomkamp. That’s not a complaint, because this looks much better than both of those things. Sure, the line “I am consciousness. I am alive. I am Chappie!” doesn’t have the same ring as the rhyming “Johnny Five is Alive!” but then Short Circuit doesn’t have Die Antwoord. Nor does it have Hugh Jackman with a mullet playing a South African, which is much better than Fisher Stevens with a mullet playing an Indian. In fact, Chappie has its own real Indian, or at least an Englishman of Indian descent, with the main human hero played by Slumdog Millionaire‘s Dev Patel. Rounding out the primary cast is Sigourney Weaver, who reminds me of Jodie Foster in Blomkamp’s last movie, Elysium, Blomkamp regular Sharlto Copley as the voice and motion-capture performer for the robot and, yes, Ninja (aka Watkin Tudor Jones) and Yo-Landi Vi$$er (aka Yolandi Visser) of the strange and awesome (see them live if […]


Iron Man

You don’t have to see the RoboCop remake. Normally I’d say that if you don’t see the big new release that you can’t read the new Movies to Watch column, because you’ll get spoiled. But I don’t think there’s much in the way of spoilers here, even if you haven’t seen the 1987 original. There’s a cop, he becomes part robot and then he’s a RoboCop. Without knowing much more than that, you can gather that some obvious precursors include Frankenstein, Blade Runner and anything where Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a police officer of any kind. Yet none of those are in this week’s batch of a dozen recommendations inspired by the new RoboCop. Some of my picks are more obvious with relation to the remake than the Paul Verhoeven version. Speaking of which, that too is another obvious selection I feel is a given if you see the new one and haven’t before seen the old. Go ahead and see the divisive RoboCop 2, also, and while you’re at it go on to RoboCop 3 in order to see something much, much worse than the reboot. Because it was difficult to be reminded of much else besides those predecessors, more than a few of the titles below are merely better earlier works by the talent involved. In spite of what I said above, here’s your reminder that the following list may spoil parts of this week’s movie, so if you haven’t seen the RoboCop remake and plan to, you might not want to read ahead […]



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 […]



What is Movie News After Dark? It is our nightly promise to keep you on the up-and-up in the world of movie news, interesting links, strange occurrences and developments in the world of Breaking Bad. It is also breaking new ground this evening by defying popular opinion on the new Batman movie and featuring stories about not one, but two pop stars! Tonight’s top story, a first look at pop star Rihanna in Battleship, making her big screen debut as a member of the Naval squad who happen upon some Transformers-esque alien tech in the middle of the ocean and are forced to battle it out via a decades-old board game. B2! Oh, you sunk my interest in her character.



Johnny Five is still alive. And unfortunately, he’s in the hands of a Mall Cop director.



For the inaugural edition of Movies We Love, we dug way back to 1986 and picked up Short Circuit, a film about a lovable military robot who is struck by lightning and begins to believe he is alive.



As part of our Year in Review, we’ve asked our resident DVDologist Brian Gibson to lay down his 15 favorite releases from 2008.


Brian Gibson loves to buy DVDs. Come with him on his weekly journey into the depths of credit card debt as he tells you what to buy, rent and avoid.


We ignored covering this for a little bit hoping it was a mistake, but apparently the honchos over at Dimension Films have had a short circuit of their own and are going ahead with a remake of the endlessly entertaining and oft quotable Steve Guttenberg masterpiece that is Short Circuit.



Johnny 5 is alive… in High Definition!

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published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.27.2015

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