Reviews written by registered user
|41 reviews in total|
This film is nothing but an interminable sequence of flashbacks where a
middle-to-older age couple tell and retell the story of how they were
duped by a young man into believing he was Sidney Poitier's son.
I saw it because the combination of Donald Sutherland and Will Smith seemed great, but it must be the worst film of both of these two great actors.
In the end, this movie is nothing but a very pretentious psychodrama about how a very pretentious couple of not very successful art dealers came into contact with a boy of lower social class and ended loving him.
There are many far better films than this one in that theme. There is even a line where one of the characters is compared to Henry Higgins that will give a tip to those who want to look for an alternative.
For any fan of Isaac Asimov, this film is a total fraud.
Dr. Asimov went to great lengths to explain his motivation for writing his robot stories in the introduction to "The Rest of the Robots", an anthology published in 1968. In Dr. Asimov's words, "... there seemed only one change to be rung on this plot -- Robots were created and destroyed their creator; ... I quickly grew tired of this dull hundred-times-old tale. As a person interested in science, I resented the purely Faustian interpretation of science".
The film is totally at odds with the philosophy Dr. Asimov defended, and totally different from all the robot stories he wrote. Only a few names and the "three laws of robotics" were copied, but the central point in all his stories, that a robot could never be made to violate the three laws, was not respected. The Asimov robot stories are fun because they try to find situations were there is enough contradiction in those laws to create interesting situations.
"I, Robot", the movie, is just one more remake of that old, old, old story Isaac Asimov hated so much, it's Frankenstein again. If you insist on seeing that same story again, better get Mel Brooks' version, it's funnier.
Let's close with Asimov: "Never, never, was one of my robots to turn stupidly on his creator for no purpose but to demonstrate, for one more weary time, the crime and punishment of Faust".
If there is a film that should never have been made, this is it.
Nicholas Cage plays the part of a most despicable person and, although
the character continuously rambles about the reasons why he does what
he does, he neither explains nor justifies it.
I know this film is not entirely fiction, it shows what's happening every day somewhere. But there are some things that should be best left to documentaries. If there are some gruesome facts that must be presented, at least do it in a "Schindler's List" way, try to find a character that has a moral attitude, do not put the worst possible villain in the hero's shoes.
This film is directed by Brian Cox who is famous for directing ...
well, it seems that the most important film of his career is "Scorpion
Spring". Apart from Music Director Lalo Schifrin, there is no one of
importance in the cast. It's one of those ultra low-cost films, most of
the action happens in a ghost town around the USA-Mexico border.
Anyhow, despite its limitations, or maybe because one's expectations are so low, there is some good suspense in the film. I wouldn't pay a movie ticket to watch this in a theater, but watching it from the beginning in the TV is certainly worthwhile. Considering the limitations, I would rate it 7 out of 10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This film has as much entertainment value as a college sophomore who
had too much to drink.
The superpowers of God, a.k.a Ethan Hunt, aren't consistent. He can track a shirt-button-sized device inside a building halfway across the world, but he can't get a signal on his cell phone. He finds a baseball pitching machine on a few minutes notice at night in Shanghai, or maybe he always packs one on his trips. His agents can fly a helicopter between the blades of a wind turbine, his equipment can track people inside a brick building and pick who are the bad guys and shoot them without human intervention.
It was fun while the "impossible" stuff was done with imagination and creativity, not with super gadgets or super agents.
With all this, the film has as much suspense as painting a wall and watching it dry. Not worth going to the theatre, not worth waiting for the DVD, not worth even waiting for it to appear on TV.
There's one big difference between Science Fiction, with a capital "SF"
and space opera. In SF, the writer takes one "impossible" thing and
asks, "what would happen if this were possible?" In SF, differently from space opera, special effects aren't strictly
needed, that's why Hollywood prefers space opera. In "Minority Report",
however, Spielberg took one "hard" SF story and rendered it to film.
The result was stunning. For about 2 hours, I completely forgot about
anything else. It's the kind of film that one would like to invite the
writer to discuss things over. The intrincacy of the whole story is
resumed at one pont where one character pushes a ball over a table and
another catches it. Anderton: "Why did you catch it?". Witwer: "Because
it was going to fall". Anderton: "But it didn't. Because you caught
it". That's the whole point about SF, taking ideas and seeing what
happens when you twist them in a knot. Plot, acting, and effects,
although good in this movie, are secondary. Spielberg, as he usually
does, did a great movie, and, in this one, he had an excellent story to
begin with. I give it a 10 out of 10. (One minor nit: at one point,
Anderton is being chased by the cops in an automated factory that
builds one car every few seconds. He finally emerges out inside a
just-finished car. That is the only car that comes out of that factory.
What happened to the other cars we saw being built?)
I hadn't seen this film before because of some generally negative
comments I had read about it. Boy, some cinema critics *are* idiots!
The only people who won't laugh seeing this film are those who think
"comedy" is something Woody Allen does in his darkest moments. Those
people never laugh with their bellies; at most, in their funniest
moments, they smile with their mouths but not with their eyes.
They complain that "Rat Race" is stupid, but, if one is a rocket scientist smart enough to understand the math behind quantum mechanics, one realizes that being funny is about being stupid. A joke is, by definition, an unexpected solution a stupid person found for an insoluble problem. Slapstick *is* funny, if done right. And they did it right here, everyone is always at danger of suffering considerable bodily harm, because of their stupid decisions. If the characters were smart enough to make the right decisions, it would be drama, not comedy.
The characters' morals aren't the best, most of the transportation they use, ranging from a hot-air balloon to a supersonic rocket-car, is stolen. And most of them are trying to cause some harm most of the time, from a very botched attempt to sabotage an airport radar, to a helicopter pilot who tries to teach her boyfriend a lesson about fidelity, to the quite successful revenge of a frustrated squirrel salesperson. Even if it weren't for their questionable actions, normal parents wouldn't like their children to meet most of those characters in real life: there are gamblers, neo-nazis, lesbian bikers, a football referee, a tranvestite Lucille Ball impersonator, and even attorneys. But, with very few "bad" words, just three jokes about sex and a couple others about toilets, this is about as "clean" as a film will be these days. Any parent that has objections to letting their children see "Rat Race" is suffering from a severe overprotection problem.
Films sometimes come out in pairs, one for the connoisseurs, another
for the unwashed masses. It happened with the "Matrix" for instance,
released about the same time as "The Thirteenth Floor", a film based on
a related theme, but infinitely more intelligent. I saw "Hackers" for the laughs, that was a ridiculous caricature made
by someone who believes "software engineering" is about setting the
time in a VCR. Now, "AntiTrust" is one of those extremely rare films
that are done just right from the technical point of view. They
captured the spirit of Open Source vs. the micro$oft evil empire. Some
very knowledgeable consulting was employed. Of course, every geek who
saw this film realized at once that Gary Winston has nothing to do with
Bill Gates, since every computer at N.U.R.V. was running some form of
Unix. Insider joke, of course, I have to watch the tape a few more
times to catch some of the other references. "AntiTrust" was done on a
very tight budget, therefore the need for blatant Pepsi merchandising,
but at least the 461645 programmers working in one of the 44709
projects at sourceforge.net should enjoy this movie. Let the ignorant
hordes watch "Matrix" and "Hackers", "AntiTrust" is the movie for us,
I was expecting good entertainment value, or, at least, some good
special effects. Too bad, there is very little suspense, the plot is
as linear as it can get: they go in, meet some zombies, they come out,
no surprises. Okay, it's a "horror" movie, not a "plot" movie, but
still it doesn't grip, one never comes to that point where there is no
obvious way out. The spectator seems to be the most endangered species
here, I believe at least some of them must have died of boredom.
The make-up and effects would be about average for a 1950's horror
movie, we have come to expect much, much better things in this computer
graphics age. Finally, we aren't even granted comic relief. If they are going to
emulate old horror movies, they should at least make it a parody, like
they did with the recent "Mummy" remakes.
It's still a Masterpiece, even if it's not the Master's greatest piece.
Compare it to the recent remake, and you will see why. Peckinpah didn't
need "FX". Cars didn't explode in His films. There were no useless
explosions. The hero had to reload his guns, and he had just as many
shells as he had bought/stolen earlier. There was a stark realism in
Peckinpah's films, a realism that wasn't just technical, but personal
as well. It was like Real Life. As always, no character was really
"good" (except for the extras, maybe), some were "bad" and others were
"evil". The hero was caught in a situation he didn't choose. but he
couldn't avoid either. Doc McCoy was intelligent enough to realize that
violence wasn't the answer, but he was born and grown in violence, so
he couldn't really avoid it. Compared to The Wild Bunch, or Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia, or
The Wild Cross, The Getaway is more like "Peckinpah Light", but it's
still worth seeing.
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