Movie Review: The Iron Giant: Signature Edition

IMDB, The Iron Giant“The Iron Giant: Signature Edition” on IMDB

Sci-Fi/Thriller, 108 Minutes, 2015

In 1999, untried director Brad Bird [IMDB] convinced Warner Bros. to give him $70 million to create a period sci-fi animated feature based on Ted Hughes 1968 novel The Iron Man. Due to some bizarre circumstances he was given significant control over the production and was able to follow his vision. He made the movie that he wanted to make. It was amazing.


A.I. Movie Festival: Unnecessary Intelligence!

Jinx, Space CampA.I. has provided filmmakers with a wonderful tool to explore the human condition. We can guiltlessly examine the absolute best and worst aspects of ourselves in a safe and approachable way. The reflective interaction between man and machine has produced some of the most iconic moments ever set to film.

Then there are other times. Times where A.I. is introduced and your only reasonable reaction has to be “What the fuck?” Here are two of those times.


A.I. Movie Festival: Genisys

IMDB, Terminator Genisys“Terminator: Genisys” on IMDB

Science-Fiction/Action, 126 Minutes, 2015

Getting 1984’s The Terminator [IMDB] made was a struggle for sophomore writer/director James Cameron [IMDB]. It was finally completed on a modest budget after collecting a small herd of backers. It was a massively unexpected success. Cameron followed it in 1991 with Terminator 2: Judgement Day [IMDB]. Enjoying a budget over 15 times higher than its predecessor this was a lavish, complex production that pushed the limits of filmmaking.


A.I. Movie Festival: 80’s Intelligence!

Tron, MCPThe 80’s was a great time for A.I. in film. We had reached a point, technologically, where the idea of smart machines seemed more inevitable than fantastical. Crucially, filmmakers could also assume their audiences were computer literate enough to understand more advanced concepts. Just as importantly, they knew that the audience wasn’t too savvy. A flurry of technobabble could make ridiculous claims sound reasonable and in the 80’s we got a lot of technobabble.


A.I. Movie Festival: Heartbeeps

IMDB, Heartbeeps“Heartbeeps” on IMDB

Comedy/Sci-Fi, 78 Minutes, 1981

I continue my month of A.I. with one of the absolute strangest movies in the genre. This movie is bizarre on a multiplicity of levels. It was Audy Kaufman’s [IMDB] first (and only) leading role in a film. Its budget was nearly double that of its contemporary, Escape From New York [IMDB]. Stan Winston [IMDB] did the effects! John Williams [IMDB] did the score! This was going to be a huge film!


A.I. Movie Festival: Chappie

IMDB, Chappie“Chappie” on IMDB

Action/Sci-Fi, 120 Minutes, 2015

I start off my month of A.I. with one of the movies I was most looking forward to. Neill Blomkamp [IMDB] , despite having a name that sounds like an expensive sex act, has brought us some of the best, most thought provoking science fiction of the past decade. That said, he’s not the most subtle, or even the most original, writer. District 9 [IMDB] was an incisive, if blunt, commentary on the inherent disaster of institutionalized inequality. Elysium’s [IMDB] Haves-versus-Have-Nots theme was even less elegant, but effectively timeless regardless.

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