I wasn't kidding
. I think it's terrible how little I've seen of recent TV and cinemas from my favourite genre I've actually seen, so I'm setting about actually looking at it.
Starting with DVDs I find around the flat.I, Robot
One thing I've decided on when judging modern SF movies is to judge them as movies/ shows in their own right and not as adaptations. I avoided watching I, Robot until today based purely on firm rumours that it was a terrible
adaptation of the Asimov stories. But maybe it's not so bad as a film in it's own right? Story
It really is very unfair to judge this as an adaptation, because it isn't one. But it is, in fact, a rather good film that acknowledges the laws that were the premise of Asimov's works.The major difference being: Asimov's laws were meant to be great. The movie paints the laws as being faulty. So, the same starting point, but a new plot - well, the plot of Blade Runner
with added elements of whatever it is the plots of the first two seasons of Heroes
has ripped off. Anyway, it works. It's gripping, it's thought provoking, and the characters are as three dimensional as you want from an action movie like this. They have interesting motivations which create good dialogue, anyway.Pretty
Oh boy, is it ever pretty. The robots are all gorgeous CGI effects that blend seemlessly in with the live action. The futuristic Chicago has that wonderful 'near future' look - very obviously the city we know from today, with added product placement and AI -operated machinery painted on perfectly. There's a visible but not too sharp contrast between the clean shiny white 'haves' and the dirty, dark and rusty 'have nots', even doen the the older robots.
And the action sequences which are the point of the movie are top notch.Science Fiction
Well, it starts with the Three Laws which are the premise of Asimov's work, and thus sets itself up as having the same premise, and a very firm premise it is. Of course, it then goes on to find flaws in the Laws which Asimov never intended there to be, but it still does so in a logical way to tell a story.
I don't know enough about A.I. systems to fault the science, but it seemed fine to me. Particularly the evolution and adaptation of intelligent systems.Nanites were used as a plot device, but not dwelt on too much.
The relations between humanity and robots was the major pillar of the movie, and also the weakest one: the film can't seem to decide if humanity as a whole sees robots as people or things, but then, that's very clearly the point: no one can decide if they're people or things, and what's the more dangerous viewpoint, and the confusion, whether deliberate or not, is quite poignant.
: Surprisingly good. It was a great mistake to dismiss a good film for being a poor adaptation.