Film Forum

Episode Recap

Episode 10


Films Reviewed: I, Robot and The Stepford Wives (2004)

Commentary: Our favorite robots in the movies

Featurette: Behind the scenes of I, Robot

Regarding I, Robot:

Matt: Well, maybe borrowing the title of Isaac Asimov's book and only using a bare minimum of his story won't make Asimov purists happy, but this movie, aside from the clunky first half hour, is solid entertainment.  This is Will Smith's best role in six years, and the visual FX are, to put it simply, mind blowing.  Also, Alan Tudyk (as the voice and model of Sonny, the title character) is just amazing.  You will believe this robot is real.  I really wish the first half hour had been as good as the rest of the film.  Because of that, I can only give the movie three stars.

Aron: Only three stars, Matt?  Sure, movies have to introduce us to characters and set up motives, but this film is nothing short of brilliant!  Not only is Alan Tudyk a stand out, but the effects really bring credit to what can be done with FX so you can't tell what is real and what is not.  The film's message is a very important one in this day and age, if not for all times.  The cast also features a fine performance in Bridget Moynahan as a robotic psychiatrist, as well as spectacular action sequences and some really suspenseful moments.  Fine entertainment!  Four stars!!

Average Rating: ***1/2 (out of ****)

Regarding The Stepford Wives (2004):

Aron: The original film, made in 1975, was a thriller.  This remake is more comedy than it is thriller, and it benefits from that.  Some wonderful comedic performances all around, especially by Nicole Kidman and Glenn Close.  Be sure to pay close attention to the opening spoof of reality television (which could be made sooner than we think).  Not a deep film, but you will have fun.  Three stars. 

Matt: Well, I did laugh when Bette Midler came on screen.  And the film boasts a new twist that I did not see coming at all.  But the film didn't have the punch that it needed to win me over.  Sure, Paul Rudnick's screenplay has some moments, but there wasn't enough of them.  Also, casting Matthew Broderick in a role Kevin Kline is better suited for was a mistake.  Two stars.  

Average Rating: **1/2 (out of ****)

Commentary: "Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto."  While Aron and Matt didn't sing, they did talk about some of their favorite robots in cinema.  Some included Gort from The Day the Earth Stood Still, the Replicants in Blade Runner, the Androids in the Alien films, all the robots from Star Wars and the title character from The Iron Giant.  Lots more robots can be found at your local video store.

Featurette: Behind the scenes of I, Robot, starring Will Smith.