Browse Category: Robot

RECAP: Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004): Kerry Conran

In the pre-Superman era, popular culture was dominated by pulp fictions, stories printed on the cheapest paper made and consumer by children. When they weren’t reading about the exploits of Dick Tracy or The Shadow, they were listening to them on the radio.

Kerry Conran loved those pulp serials growing up, and he worked hard to make his own. Nearly all of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow was filmed on a green screen. Unlike many CGI spectacles, Sky Captain eschewed realism in its sets and backgrounds.

Many locations appear like mattes on canvas, adding terrific style. Also adding to style are the art deco pastiche. These are the biggest draws of the film. Come for the style, stay for the action.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Joe Sullivan, Sky Captain, and Polly Perkins, intrepid reporter, chase a mad scientist across the globe to foil his world-beating plans.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Westworld

Westworld (1973): Michael Crichton

Used to be that movies borrowed their films from other source materials. HBO seeks to change that up, mining this decades-old sci-fi film for its 2016 series Westworld.

One of the most successful Harvard medical school dropouts, 30-year-old Michael Crichton wrote and directed his first feature film after publishing two best-selling novels.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: The robots populating a fantasy amusement park malfunction, killing the park’s guests.  Continue Reading

Robocop 2

Robocop 2 (1990): Irvin Kirshner

Robocop was a wonderful gift to Detroit. But in 1990, life is worse, so much worse that a corporation is offering to buy the city. Kirshner, ten years removed from directing another sequel featuring robots, helms the shoot of the second in the vaunted, untouchable Robocop franchise.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Robocop struggles to stay human while hunting a drug-peddling robovillain and its corporate backers.

Hero (5/10)

Robocop has three prime directives: serve the public trust, protect the innocent, and uphold the law. Complex humans struggle to do those things, and have for, say, 15,000 years. How Robocop can navigate obtuse and flexible meanings confounds me, but it does, because Robocop never screws up. He bank shots a bullet into a goon’s head. Using math. Any kid who says they’ll never use math in the real world, show them that scene. Continue Reading

Terminator: Genisys

Terminator: Genisys (2015): Alan Taylor

We’ve waited 12 years for Arnold to return to his signature role. We’ve mostly forgotten that there was a Terminator movie between this summer’s Terminator: Genisys and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. That movie, Terminator: Salvation is by far more famous for the recorded on-set tirade of ‘roided-up Christian Bale. If you remember anything about the finished product, good for you. T5 is meant to be Paramount’s major film franchise in a cinematic world full of film franchises. 

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Terminator!!!!!!!! Continue Reading