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22 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

I'm Here: A Miniature Gem

8/10
Author: Baron Ronan Doyle (imagiking@gmail.com) from Ireland
2 April 2010

The latest short film from director Spike Jonze, I'm Here gives an interesting look at an alternative world, where robotic humanoids live and work alongside the regular population.

Sheldon, such a robot, lives a life of frugal urban mundanity, trapped in an existence devoid of particular discernible meaning. Working as a librarian, he goes about his daily routine, shy and timid, yet yearning for more in his simplistic, ritualistic and empty life. Seeing Francesca, a fembot, whilst waiting for a bus one day, he admires her spirit and liveliness. Befriending her gradually, the two slowly come to fall in love.

I'm Here rapidly and effectively establishes the life of Sheldon: vacuous, monotonous, and incomplete. The simple emptiness of his apartment combines with the austerity of his surroundings to paint an intimate portrait of isolation and loneliness in a world bigger than he; his eyes containing the key faint glimmer of hope of escape from this prison of perfunctory tasks. With staggering special effects, this world is brought perfectly to life, the robots' existence seeming entirely conceivable and their intermingling with society appearing completely normal. The limited facial expressions of the electrical characters often achieve a great deal more than their mammalian counterparts, demonstrating the wonder of the animation. Francesca gives the quintessential antithesis to Sheldon, showing us all he is not though the boldness and fun loving nature of her character. Their pairing is a wonderful one, the effect they have on each other seen immediately and splendidly, the individual characteristics of each impacting upon the other. Sheldon's development is the film's centrepiece, his evolution from the banal emptiness of his previous life to the fulfilling and stimulating one with his new friend accomplished masterfully. Without the advantage of physical intercourse, Jonze is restricted in his realisation of this relationship, yet manages in thirty minutes to give us what most directors can only hope to achieve in three times that. His story is both simple and engaging, moving and uplifting despite its lack of complication, showing us the transcendent power of love.

A miniature gem, I'm Here is involving, engaging, thrilling and uplifting. Jonze once again proves his cinematic brilliance, giving us a fantastic viewing experience, and one which promises to remain in mind for a long time.

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17 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Sweet and Sad in an indefinable way

8/10
Author: SunnydaZe10 from United States
20 March 2010

Spike Jonze is a director known for over-the-top high concept music videos and yet his films are always so emotional and subtle.

Many scenes in this film moved me yet I can't put my finger on why. It captures the loneliness of a big city, but how just a few friends and a sweetheart can cure that empty feeling. Everything is kept so simple as to be universal.

The look of the robots is very retro and ironic. They look older than the computer I am writing this on by maintaining the boxy gray look of a computer from the late 90s. In many ways this short seems to take place in LA during the 90s. Everything seems dated.

I won't say much about the relationship at the center of the story but I do wonder if it is meant to be dysfunctional or not. Let's just say it reaches a very one-sided place in terms of giving more than you get in a relationship. The ending is moving but also a bit creepy when you consider the reality of what has been sacrificed to save a casual lover.

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19 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

Sweet, sad, fixated, inflatable

8/10
Author: Norm Richardson from Edinburgh, Scotland
2 March 2010

Retro robots in the future, same as here and now, but robots stomp about. A quiet, lonesome, librarian robot fixates on a sleeker fem-bot with some questionable robot friends, enters into a one-sided relationship, gives too much, the end. It's the kind of film that doesn't matter, it's slight, it's light, it's quite simple. But give it the half hour it asks, invest a bit of time and let it flow past you, and it's a sweet slice of everyday life. The ups and downs and all the angles of relationships. Filmed in a washed-out sunny California vibe, it's not a technical effort, but it does have an extended pop video feel. Subtle animation give life to the robots, and for all the lack of reality, the characters are believable, and sympathetic.

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

What dreams may come

7/10
Author: vogonify from India
23 January 2011

A shy, young man goes through his mundane life without companionship. Until he learns to dream.

Spike Jonze has made some bizarre-looking movies to say normal-sounding things. I'm Here is one such with a basic premise so basic, you wonder if the facade he uses is just a gimmick for drawing an audience. But his imagery takes you beyond petty suspicions and introduces some remarkable, relate-able characters. In fact, it almost makes you feel that that was the only way to make the film. It is a truly commendable quality of this short.

This is a wonderful effort and takes just 30 minutes to say effectively what many full-length features fail to in two hours. A must watch .

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Scary horror story or cute love story?

6/10
Author: Thomas (filmreviews@web.de) from Berlin, Germany
17 September 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

You have to make up your mind for yourself. I personally found it a really tragic short film. The main character, a strange metallic statue with something that resembles a PC tower as his head leads an isolated lonely life, until, one day, he runs into a sweet robot lady and her gang of friends. From that moment on, he keeps spending more time with the group and finally seems to succeed in bringing more diversity into his life. However, things quickly take a turn for the worse when the lady of his choice keeps having accidents of increased severity. Every accident, she causes irreparable damage to the extent that she's soon losing her arms, legs and even torso and our hero (played by "Spider-Man" Andrew Garfield) keeps sacrificing his body-parts, so she can keep living a sort-of normal life. Is that what true love looks like?

As a whole, I'd recommend the short film, although I believe they could have at least cut 5 minutes from it. Around halfway in, the premise and developments are clear and it's basically just him stepping in repeatedly whenever something happened to the girl. The only real highlight of the second half of the film is the final shot with her in the wheelchair. Nonetheless, it's one of Spike Jonze's best works.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Cute and weird but doesn't make much sense

7/10
Author: robotbling from Canada
4 December 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

(www.plasticpals.com) Spike Jonze is a talented director cut from the same technicolor dreamcloth as Michel Gondry, directing music videos before making the leap to feature films such as Adaptation, Being John Malkovich, and Where The Wild Things Are (incidentally, the young star of Where The Wild Things Are recently starred in another robot short called Blinky).

Jonze's films and videos definitely have a specific feel that is bizarre but heartfelt, and as in Where The Wild Things Are, I'm Here makes excellent use of costumes married seamlessly with CGI.

There's no question that I'm Here is very well made from a technical standpoint, but like Blinky I feel that the whole robot premise is hampered by foggy planning. When people are in a terrible accident or fall deathly ill, their loved ones often wish they could take their place. That is sort of the main idea behind the short, and it works well within the context of modular robot body parts that can be swapped from one robot to another. The robots are presented as 2nd class citizens, prohibited from driving vehicles and possessing limited personal wealth. It is, therefore, something of a sacrifice for the main character to give up his body parts to repair his lover. There's no indication that she'll be able to buy replacement parts for him any time soon, but the film leaves us with the impression that she'll do whatever is necessary to fix him up.

It's cute, and even a little touching. But it doesn't make much sense if you think a little harder about the premise. For example, why should the robots be assigned typical human gender roles? Even in animated films starring living creatures doing so seems natural, but it breaks down when dealing with artificial life. Here, there need be no genders at all – and besides, an artificial intelligence may reproduce itself asexually anyway through file copying or self replication. Perhaps the robots actually possess human brains or digital copies of once-human minds, but this isn't really explained, nor is the source of the female robot's creativity. Is she displaying an unusual level of artistic inspiration for a robot, or is she simply a more sophisticated A.I. than her male counterpart? We know he works a simple job at a library (probably better handled by an on-site cart robot), but her job is never seen – perhaps she was designed to create artwork, in which case her creativity may not be that unique at all.

If they are artificially intelligent and not cyborgs with human brains, shouldn't the information that makes up their memories and knowledge be backed up in the cloud, or in a safe database? If so, losing your body in an accident would carry significantly diminished consequences, since your consciousness would have a life of its own outside the material body. You might even be able to download your mind into another body, share the same body as another robot simultaneously (or in turns), and so on. So in conclusion, I guess you could say I enjoyed the film and it got me thinking, which tends to be my undoing.

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Good

7/10
Author: Harriet Deltubbo from United States
28 August 2014

I really like this type of film, as it reminds me of French movies where it's more about the characters and their environment. One of the bleakest films I have seen in ages. All characters are unhappy souls, surviving in a grim world, unable to improve their lot. The cinematography is stark and bare. It's an amazing work and everything I had hoped for from an artistic standpoint. It's a world where the only thing that keeps lives afloat is the sensitivity of the bilaterally desperately needy relationships on display. It's a very short movie -- too short for my tastes -- but it gets 7/10 in my ratings scale, so check it out.

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Great!

8/10
Author: iseeall from Russian Federation
20 March 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This short movie is about sacrifice. One of the main characters (a robot) sacrifices himself literally by giving away parts of his (its?) body to repair the other, female robot he loves. A cute story with a wonderful message. It's low-budget, true. The heads of the robots are dirty like old computers from the 90s you would find on a junkyard. The word of the future doesn't differ much from today, except there are retro-style robots everywhere doing menial jobs. Still, this kind of "low-budget"- ness feels cool in its own way. I even think that if such a movie would be done as a 1.5-hour film with celebrity actors and a big budget, it would probably turn out not as good as it's now. This is definitely a piece of art and well worth the watch!

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:)

9/10
Author: lw-8027 from United Kingdom
19 October 2012

I'm Here Is a short film about a computer/robot living in a discriminative world of which humans are dominant, we follow the main character Sheldon a lonely Bookkeeper robot fall in love with a 'Live-wire' girl robot who does not conform to the human societies expectations of robots. Throughout the short we get and insight of what its like for the robots and this helps us to empathise with them. I believe in itself the discrimination of the robots does not differ much from the discrimination that has and still is being seen in the real world. Overall I found the short film 'I'm here' very touching and heart warming. I believe that the director wanted to send out a strong message about love and friendship. I perceived the message that without those you love the world can be a lonely place, and therefore you should give an 'arm and a leg' to keep them close.

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