Amy was here from Thursday to Monday this past weekend. I taught her how to play racquetball and she taught me how to play tennis. She took me to a store called Wild Oats that is pretty interesting. We also went to see I-Robot on Saturday night. Here is my review of that:
I haven’t seen every Alex Proyas film, but this has to be the worst one I’ve seen. Having said that, I should state that is still better than some other attempts at the genre. There are several factors that drag this movie into a three star (or two) review. First off…product placement. Not only was there product placement, but it was patently absurd. At least in Minority Report we saw what the brands would look like in the future, in I-Robot we see “converse all-stars, circa 2004,” a JVC (or was it Bose?) cd player model year 2004 among other things. What a terrific coincidence that detective Spooner (still can’t get over the name..) only likes to keep “circa 2004” appliances/items in his apartment. The other half of the product placement was the automobile factor. In Minority Report we saw a whole new breed of cars (on the mag-lev system) and one red Lexus of a future variety. Now, obviously these movies need chase scenes, and that means the hero needs a fast car to drive…it has to be SOMETHING, so I have no problem with that sort of product placement…however…detective Spooners car AND EVERY OTHER CAR in the movie was an Audi. Not only that, but Proyas decided to go the Back to the Future Part II route and simply put “futuristic” body cladding on current cars. In BTTF part II we could tell that most of the cars were simply Ford Probes underneath. Here we can plainly see that the cars are Audi A4s, A8s, and TTs (he jumps out in front of a black “future” TT in the opening chase sequence). What Proyas did seem to do a good job of, however, is the other technology. Computers and TVs are simply flatter-flat screens. The opening street scenes were just too much though, apparently every single thing people use today changes completely in the next thirty years. Did I see a kid riding a three wheeled bike?
Now, on to the plot.. blah… Such a standard genre ending…christ – if you’ve seen The Wizard of Oz you know how this movie will end. The writers painstakingly made great effort to give Will Smith his trademark comic book dialogue “atchooo!….oh, I’m sorry, I’m allergic to bullshit” I couldn’t help but think of an episode of southpark when Will Smith “figured out” the great plan when his grandmother said something about breadcrumbs ..which lead to something else…which lead to something else…”breadcrumbs…Gigi, you’re a genius.” That was just one of the many clich? of sci-fi in this movie. Another problematic point was that there would be (estimated) one NS-5 robot for every 5 humans (in the US or the world?). When the revolution starts TV stations warn us that the same thing is happening throughout the country. Instead of seeing this mass destruction on a national scale (the company that makes the NS-5 is also responsible for defense contracts..can anyone say SkyNet?), we see a few choice blocks of downtown Chicago…with only a few thousand robots. Lets see… According to the US census bureau NOW the (US) population numbers over 290 million people. By 2035 that should be a lot more, but we’ll just say 300 million. So, one robot for every 5 people…that would be sixty million robots. Quite a shipment. At the end of the movie we are led to believe that these robots are rounded up and shipped to a pier (?) in what used to be part of Lake Michigan. We see a few thousand robots here, not 60 million. Maybe they shipped them to a bunch of different places..even so, with 60 million robots you would think there would have been more than just a few hundred guarding the “mother” robot at head quarters wouldn’t you? Not so… Why does every future sci-fi villain these days have to have a giant human head made out of a bunch of little things? I can see traces of Proyas’ style in this film, but overall it seems more akin to John Woo or Jerry Bruckheimer. The only standout sequence for me was the highway fight/crash. After all this, then we have to deal with the Chris Cunningham connection: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=794&ncid=790&e=1&u=/eo/20040716/en_movies_eo/14531
Byron couldn’t get authorization to fly to Dayton in time, and so I won’t be hanging with him this weekend. It is also still up in the air whether he’ll be in Texas or Arizona when I’m on the road.
Mom and dad are in Quebec City for the next six days.
Brian didn’t sell his car yet, so he will be moving out later than me. It looks like I’ll probably live with Mr Machine and maybe XXX, and then we’ll get a place with Brian later. Speaking of XXX, something weird is going on with my resume. Go to google, and search for “XXX” (XXX’s last name) and see what comes up. …weird, huh? My only explanation for this is that XXX must have watermarked his Word resume. When I redid mine I used Mr. Machine’s as a guide, who had in turn (I believe) used XXX’s. Anybody have any better ideas? (Name removed upon request)
Amy is planning a return trip on August 4th. She can’t wait to study the rednecks at the Ohio State Fair and I can’t wait to study her again.