Tag Archives: robots

Pacific Rim (film)

Pacific Rim is a 2013 sci-fi monster flick directed by Guillermo del Toro. It’s about a bunch of gigantic alien monsters called Kaijus attacking Earth. Earth’s only chance for survival is to build a bunch of giant robots called Jaegers to fight the Kaijus. Each Jaeger is piloted by two soldiers because reasons. Charlie Hunnam stars at Raleigh Becket, a former Jaeger pilot who comes out of retirement to fight more Kaijus. Idris Elba plays Stacker Pentecost, a former Jaeger pilot who now runs the program. The other main character is a hot Japanese chick named Mako Mori (played by Rinko Kikuchi) who can’t speak much English, but she sure is fun to look at. Her family was killed in a Kaiju attack, and she was rescued by Pentecost when he was still a Jaeger pilot. Raleigh and Mako team up to pilot a Jaeger against the wishes of Pentecost, but they are drift compatible so he has no choice but to let them work together.

I only mentioned the plot because there actually is one. It’s not just a bunch of chaotic fight scenes involving giant robots battling giant monsters and toppling buildings. It’s not Transformers. It’s what you wanted Transformers to be. The fight scenes are epic and awesome. You really get a sense of scale and you feel like there is something at stake. Guillermo del Toro knows how to frame shots so you actually know what is going on and you can follow the action. My biggest beef with the film is that the climax takes place in the ocean instead of in a city. I wanted to see more buildings toppling and citizens screaming and running for their lives. But the ending is still awesome. It’s one of the best monster movies of all time. It’s not a great film, it’s a great blockbuster.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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A.I. Artificial Intelligence (film)

A.I. Artificial Intelligence had the potential to be one of the best films of all time. Stanley Kubrick and Steven Spielberg collaborating on a movie about robots and the future seems like a guaranteed hit. It starred the kid from The Sixth Sense before he hit puberty and was still a bona fide child star. It even had Jude Law playing a sexbot. This was a whole new world to explore but it becomes a glorified version of Pinocchio.

Henry and Monica Swinton (Sam Robards and Frances O’Connor) are a loving couple with a kid in a coma. To pass the time they decide to adopt David (Haley Joel Osment), an advanced mecha with the ability to love. He’s programmed to love his mommy like he’s a real boy. He fills a void in her life and things are good for a while. Then her real son wakes up and David is obsolete. She decides that abandoning him in the woods is better than destroying him. She ditches him and David can’t understand why she doesn’t love him.

He decides that becoming a real boy is the only option. So he hits the open road with his faithful robot teddy bear and a pimpbot named Gigolo Joe in search of the Blue Fairy, who he believes will grant his wish to become a real boy. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t happen. Instead there’s a ridiculously bad ending. It’s a disappointing conclusion to a disappointing movie.

The movie looks cool. It has great visuals and special effects. But it just doesn’t work. It’s hard to pinpoint where it all went wrong. It probably started when Kubrick died and they decided to make it anyway. This was also one of the first signs of Spielberg losing his touch. He still makes decent films, but they are no longer iconic. A.I. is forgettable and regrettable. You probably haven’t thought about it for years until you read this obscure review for it. Did I mention the terrible, terrible ending?

Critically Rated at 9/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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R2-D2 and C-3P0

R2-D2 and C-3P0 are the lovable droids in the Star Wars films. They were faithfully serving the Rebellion in the original trilogy, and they were doing whatever they did in the prequel trilogy. In the ‘70s and ‘80s the two robots were the epitome of technology. But now, in whatever year this is, you see how outdated they are. First off, you’re living in the past if your iPhone is more than 12 months old. C-3P0 was built by a ten-year old Anakin Skywalker and somehow was still working and serving Skywalkers at the end of Return of the Jedi. It’s cool that he’s still working but he’s at least thirty years old. It might be time for a new protocol droid.

R2-D2 is just inefficient. He communicates through bleeps and bloops and has a hell of a time handling stairs. He might be the worst designed robot of all time. Siri can talk to you. R2-D2 doesn’t even have text display capability. He is terribly designed and looks like an inefficient vacuum cleaner without a hose.

The creepiest thing about them is that they are intelligent. They can trick and manipulate people. They can scheme and plan things out and improvise when things go wrong. They are Skynet without the evil. And even though it would be a simple upgrade to get R2 to talk, they don’t ever do it.

Critically Rated at 12/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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