Robot Stories Reviews
One story I liked "Machine Love", one story I didn't like "The Robot Fixer" and the other two were average.
Each story is about the length of a TV Show minus the commercials.
Overall Rating: 5.4/10
There is very little heavy lifting on display here; no deep sci-fi ala Philip K. Dick or even pondering the ethics of Robotic Code, or, except for the last tale, any pondering of morality or the soul, as one gets with Asimov. Belying the title, these series of stories are concerned more with simple human elements, and really, robotics, or AI have very little to do with it.
For example: the first story, entitled Robot Baby, deals with parenting more than anything. A young, successful career couple decides to have a child - only in this future scenario the couple must first tend and nurture a robot baby. There is a nice twist at the end of this story, which makes the viewing viable, but really, without the twist the story is very "been there, seen that".
The second story is so very "so what" that I'm not even going to give it a second thought, while the third has only a "cute" factor going for it, along with one of two decent performance in the film (oddly by the writer/director himself - hmmm, perhaps the entire project was merely a way for him to show off his robotic shtick).
The fourth story has a bit of gravitas to it, containing the other bright performance, in a tale dealing with questions of the soul and the definition of humanity. Here there is a bit of artistry in the filmmaking, but otherwise the stories are all very straight forward, and the direction and cinematography echo that.
Overall, nothing to write home about, or even truly recommend.
[font=Century Gothic]1. My Robot Baby: Marcia(Tamlyn Tomita) and Roy(James Saito) are a young couple seeking to adopt a baby but first they are given a robot baby in order to discern what kind of parents they would make.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]2. The Robot Fixer: a mother(Wai Ching Ho) seeks to reach through to her comatose son through his old toys.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]3. Machine Love: an android, Archie(Greg Pak), is employed at a company as a computer programmer.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]4. Clay: John Lee(Sab Shimono), a sculptor, learns he is dying and must now decide whether or not he wants his brain digitally scanned for posterity.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]All four stories are touching and poignant tales about the human condition. It helps that they all emphasize character over technology.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]Note: Greg Pak is also a very good comic book writer.[/font]
Told in four separate stories, the film opens with a vignette about a childless couple who want to adopt, but first they have to pass a parenting test. To ensure that they will be good parents, they have to care for an egg-shaped robot ?baby? that will record how well or poorly it is taken care of. Things begin just fine, but soon the wife finds herself becoming abusive like her mother before her. Breaking down, she realizes her failure, but the robot baby coos and comforts her, and then she begins to really love it.
The second vignette is BORING. A genius computer programmer is in a vegetative state which forces his mother to come to grips with how she raised him, and she ends up becoming obsessed with his toys in an attempt to get close to him.
The third vignette is aptly titled ?Robot Love? where a humanoid office worker observes the office romances and adapts his personality to make room for that in his own life and falls in love with a ?female? humanoid worker from the next office building which culminates in a love-making scene where they push each other?s buttons to climax. Yeah?okay.
The fourth vignette is by far the best. In the near future people don?t die, instead, they upload their consciousness into a computer mainframe which lets them still interact with the world via a holographic projection. A dying sculptor struggles with his desire to experience life as it was meant to be and being with his wife who is always with him via a holographic projection. It?s very interesting in that it questions what makes us human, but this story isn?t enough to salvage the motley array of futuristic visions.
[i]Robot Stories [/i]is a compilation of four short films by director Greg Pak. All involve some form of robot interaction with humans. The third one was my favorite. It was the only one I truly felt an emotional connection with - even though they are all supposed to be deeply involving. It's worth checking out, but it's no [i]Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior [/i](that was random).