Domo Arigato

So I've been on vacation for a week. Not really doing too much, but apparently enough to slack off on my blog, so ready yourself for a flurry of posts the likes of which mere mortals cannot fathom. Let's kick it off with Robots.

So Kelsey and I went to see the flick at the Westown UltraScreen, the Official Preferred Theater (tm) of my moviegoing experience. I am willing to go see pretty much any computer animated movie, because even if they suck, like Shark Tale or The Polar Express, I can still enjoy the process, and the insane amount of effort that goes into bringing this type of cinema to the masses. Plus, Robots had the new Episode III trailer, but that's another post.

I love Pixar. Even since I saw Toy Story a whole bunch of times back in high school, I've been enamored with their films, each and every one of them. So if I am comparing Shark Tale to Finding Nemo, or Antz to A Bug's Life, I'm gonna go with the Pixar film, hands down. The problem that seems to plague most of the non-Pixar CGI flicks is lack of originality. While each has it's merits, Ice Age and Robots mimick the buddy comedy of Monsters, Inc. and Shrek, and Robots also borrows liberally from A Bug's Life, in that a plucky, yet clumsy inventor makes good, and Finding Nemo, in the father-son bonding storyline. While the only completely different film of the genre that got a US theatrical release, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, was a box-office flop, I believe it was more due to mislabeling the film as a Final Fantasy feature. I am anxious for the day when studios are willing to take more risks with their animation departments, with The Incredibles being a step in the right direction.

Anyway, Robots. It concerns a plucky, yet clumsy inventor, Rodney Copperbottom, who travels to the big city to present his ideas to corporate hero Big Weld, and predictably, finds out that the city is very different than he thought. Seems that Big Weld Industries is under new management, who wants to force all the older robots to upgrade, or be destroyed. Strangely enough, all of Rodney's new friends are older robots. See where this is going? Since he's the small-town kid, he has to save the day. I might be reading too much into this, but if this story was told with humans, the basic premise would be about genocide. Kinda dark, but whatever.

The voices are a mixed bunch. I'm befuddled as to why you would cast Ewan Macgregor for an animated film and then have him use an American accent. Not that I'm complaining, but I just don't get the logic. Robin Williams is Fender, Rodney's new best friend, and continues to act like he's on drugs, even though the 70s are long over. I don't know.. Williams kinda lost me a while ago. Am I supposed to take him seriously? I have no idea anymore. The rest of the cast, including Mel Brooks, Greg Kinnear, Halle Berry and Amanda Bynes, are pretty forgettable. There are apparently a bunch of celebrity voice cameos, but they're so obscure that I had to IMDB the cast list to find out who was what. A wasted opportunity if you ask me.

I did laugh at Robots, though. If there's one thing I've learned in life, its that breakdancing robots are always funny. The film does at times rise above it's script, and provide moments of wonder. But overall, I was not that impressed. It's a bit too derivative, a bit too kiddie, and a bit too bland. The computer animated films that have really amazed me have always advanced the medium in some way or another, and I really don't think Robots did that. It get an average score of C.


Blogger Kaylee said...

You have the BEST movie reviews...I always read them before I check out a movie! You could be the next best world renowned movie critic. :)

11:30 PM  

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