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Musings and Meanderings

Thursday, August 05, 2004

I Robot.

Back in the beginning of July when I heard that this movie was coming out I decided to (originally) re read my copy of I Robot. Haveing done so, I decided to re read the 4 "Robot Novels". Having done so I decided to re read the 5 Foundation books as well. Yea it was a great tour de force of some of Asimov's great works, and now that I have read the final Foundation book I'm going "back" to his later books on the Prelude to Foundation.

Reviewing or discussing these books would be a couple of days blog on their own. No, my point is that I have been immersed in Asimov for 30 days, reading nothing else in the way of fiction. With this mindset I took Alex and Lucas to see I Robot with some trepidation as well as some excitement.

I cannot say I was disappointed. I have been trying to come up with an analogy as to just how this movie fits in with the worlds that Asimov created in his four Robot Novels and the final Foundation Novel. Its not really a good analogy, but it is KIND OF LIKE what the Lord of Rings movie did with the original story. In the LotR there were minor plot changes and character developments that did not exist in the book, but were very comfortable modernizations in order to make good film.

Although I Robot does not stand up to any of the LotR it does have this in common. It fits into Asimov's world very well.

Other than the three laws the major holdover from the short story collection is Dr Susan Calvert. Her screenplay characterization is a very reasonable stretch from the character in that ties the short stories together in the book I Robot. A tad warmer than the book, but we are selling movies here. Bridget Moynahan does a very good job of portraying the robotologist, and even gets in some good action sequences in the process.

Det. Spooner, as played by Will Smith is given enough back story so that this does not become a carbon copy of James West and "J" thank god. Albeit slightly, Mr. Smith does stretch himself in this movie, making him not as two dimensional as these previous characters.

Of course the third star in this movie is the special effects. I decided early on to pay attention to the background in as many of the crowd shots as I could and was rewarded with nearly seamless integration of Robots going about their daily lives in Chicago 2035. As the film moved forward we were treated to our introduction to the NS5 named Sonny. The special effects here are quite outstanding and in no time I had successfully suspended my disbelief and was watching a Robot, not a special effect.

I won't spoil the story for those who have not seen it, but the action gets very fast and furious right till the end. I became very attached to all three major characters, and their resolution of the plot was believable within the genre.

I had seen an interview with Will Smith and read a few articles about him and his dedication to bringing forward the Sci Fi genre as a movie type more into the main stream. I went into the movie with an open mind full of Asimov and came out satisfied that I'd not only seen a great action film, but also a new part of Asimov's world, and the was the most satisfying part of all.
posted by Mike 11:11 PM


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The musings and meanderings of an overworked and underemployed mind