Five Great Movie Robots

Posted on July 12, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Did you know that the word “robot” was invented by Czech writer Karl Capek for a play produced in 1920 called R.U.R?

In honor of today’s release of “Pacific Rim,” take a look at some of the other great movie robots:

Metropolis (1927)  Fritz Lang’s classic dystopian tale (it inspired a memorable Apple commercial) is the story of a revolt against the 1%.  It has been beautifully restored to included scenes originally cut by censors.

Forbidden Planet (1956)

The first major studio sci-fi feature film was inspired in part by Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.”  The scientist played by Walter Pigeon has a sidekick, Robby the Robot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BogNQ__nOeI

Robots (2005)

This adorable animated film stars Ewan McGregor in a story of (literally) scrappy outsiders in an entire civilization of robots.

The Iron Giant  (1999)

This animated story about a boy who befriends a weaponized robot is a heartwarming gem, inspired by the work of poet Ted Hughes.

Wall•E (2008)

This love story between an analog trash-collecting robot with a fondness for “Hello Dolly” and a sleek digital robot designed to seek out signs of new life is one of Pixar’s best.

 

Related Tags:

 

For Your Netflix Queue Lists Neglected gem

Gangnam Style: Robots and More

Posted on September 25, 2012 at 8:00 am

Psy has inspired more people to get up and dance than anyone since Los del Rio had everyone dancing the Macarena.

Even robots are dancing gangnam style.

And of course there are flash mobs.  Barcelona, Spain:

Bergen, Norway:

Cornell University

I think this one’s my favorite:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6PVSSedym4
Related Tags:

 

Music Shorts
ir.gif

10 Great Movie Robots

Posted on October 6, 2011 at 3:56 pm

In honor of this week’s “Real Steel,” here are 10 movie robots worth watching.  The term “robot,” by the way, was invented by playwright Karl Capek in his 1920 play, “R.U.R.”

1.  Transformers The first in the series was a great summer action film and I admit to tearing up when it looked like Bumblebee had been destroyed.

2.  Robots An underrated gem, this charming film about a world of robots has imaginative visuals based on the work of illustrator William Joyce and a heartwarming story featuring the voices of Ewan McGregor and Halle Berry.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57kshAyVrec

3.  Bicentennial Man Think of it as Pinocchio played by C3PO from “Star Wars.” Robin Williams plays “Andrew Martin,” a robot who wants to be human, in this adaptation of a story and book by Isaac Asimov.

4. Forbidden Planet The first big-budget sci-fi film was inspired by Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.”  Leslie Neilsen stars as a spaceship captain to comes to a planet where a mysterious scientist, his daughter, and Robby the robot are the only survivors of an Earth colony.

5. Robot Jox In the future, wars are conducted by gladiator-style battles between giant robots in this film starring Gary Graham, Anne-Marie Johnson, and Paul Koslo.

6. I, Robot Will Smith stars in this film based on one of Isaac Asimov’s best-known books, the story of an investigation into a possible murder of a human by a robot.

7. A.I.: Artificial Intelligence Steven Spielberg completed the film begun by Stanley Kubrick, an uneven but ambitious and visually stunning story about a robot child.  The scene in the robot junkyard is heart-wrenching.

8. Spy Kids: All the Time in the World 4D Ricky Gervais provided the voice for the robot dog, which writer/director Robert Rodriguez said had so many functions he was like a Swiss army knife.

9. Return to Oz This is a much darker story than “The Wizard of Oz,” so it is not for younger kids, but it is an imaginative adventure and Tik-Tok the mechanical man is a delight.

10. Metropolis This brilliant German expressionist film from Fritz Lang was made in 1927, about a dystopian future with managers in luxurious surroundings and workers condemned to live in dungeons.  A beautiful robot modeled after a kind-hearted woman from the managers group plays a crucial role.

And the one I am most looking forward to is the upcoming film based on Boilerplate: History’s Mechanical Marvel, directed by J.J. Abrams.

Related Tags:

 

For Your Netflix Queue Lists Science-Fiction
THE MOVIE MOM® is a registered trademark of Nell Minow. Use of the mark without express consent from Nell Minow constitutes trademark infringement and unfair competition in violation of federal and state laws. All material © Nell Minow 1995-2024, all rights reserved, and no use or republication is permitted without explicit permission. This site hosts Nell Minow’s Movie Mom® archive, with material that originally appeared on Yahoo! Movies, Beliefnet, and other sources. Much of her new material can be found at Rogerebert.com, Huffington Post, and WheretoWatch. Her books include The Movie Mom’s Guide to Family Movies and 101 Must-See Movie Moments, and she can be heard each week on radio stations across the country.

Website Designed by Max LaZebnik