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Excuse Me, But There's a Computer Asking for You (1983)

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thought provoking and stupid at the same time
12 June 2003 | by (Banbury, England) – See all my reviews

This film's got a dopey name but it's actually quite clever. It stars Robert A Duncan who isn't exactly a household name but his acting credits read like a superhero's resume - 'The Strongest Man in the World', 'The First Emperor of China' and even 'Canada's First Woman MP' (I Don't think he played the lead in that one!!!)

In this film Duncan plays a scientist who invents a computer which can talk. Not exactly new, but this computer is programmed to learn from other people and is taught to talk by Duncan. The film starts quite slowly but its necessary to build up the plot as Duncan is actually teaching it not only language but also to feel the emotions of the words. Then - inevitably the machine is stolen and ends up in the hands of criminals.

This is where the philosophy comes in - the crims not only have fun teaching it bad words (you have to accept that in 1983 getting a machine to swear was pretty funny) but also that with this comes bad feelings. I won''t spoil the ending but the machine kills someone as a result and towards the finale the philosophical nature of language as well as questions about the morality of playing god come into play.

Ultimately this film is a black comedy. The darnkness seems a little tame by todays standards and the comedy is a bit geeky but i really liked it and urge anyone with an interest in thought provoking sci-fi to give it a go.


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