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This motion picture is one of a handful of truly great Science Fiction features.
It is certainly on a par with, if not slightly better than, Stanley Kubrick's '2001: A Space Odyssey'.
This film has a brain and a heart. So rare these days.
The action scenes were way ahead of their time. You can see where the Wachowski Brothers got their inspiration for their 'Matrix' trilogy.
I think this tender and moving religious parable concerns itself with the delicate balance between man and machine.
It asks the audience to meditate on the nature of the soul, on the pain of human consciousness and the heavy weight that human emotions can carry.
It is about love & pain. Hardware, software and an acute study of dystopian paranoia.
It's a tale as timeless as 'The Lord Of The Rings' or 'Indiana Jones'.
It is about life and death and dreams.
But ultimately it asks the most important question of all - "Is there a God ?"
In this respect is film is much better than the similarly themed 'The Terminator' (1984. Dir; James Cameron) I cried when I saw this movie in the former Yugoslavia on New Year's Day, 1990.
And I wasn't the only soldier to break down. There was a lot of emotion in that rustic farmhouse that evening. We talked for hours afterwards. there was so much to discuss.
I distinctly remember our Commanding Officer's face - streamed with tears but smiling.
"Now, it's all so clear" he whispered, his body racked with cathartic sobs, "Now I know what WAR is all about!...."
He left the British Army after seeing this film. Some say he does voluntary work in Iraq now.
Don't take these reviews, both positive and negative, as your guide. Make your own mind up. Take a risk and make the bold decision to seek out a VHS copy of 'R.O.T.O.R'. All the answers to life's complex questions are hidden in this remarkable piece of celluloid gold. But one must stick at it. This is no 'no-brainer' experience ! It took at least 6 separate viewing & discussion sessions before I truly mined the rich resources of this multi-layered epic.
In the meantime I will continue to lobby for this film to be released on DVD.
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