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Short Circuit (1986)

 
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 11:06 pm    Post subject: Short Circuit (1986) Reply with quote




My kids and I loved this movie so much when it first came out that we went around quoting Johnny 5's dialog — while imitating his cute voice.

Okay, so it was cuter when my kids did it. Especially my daughter.



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Actually, this is actual her daughter, my granddaughter — but she's a dead ringer for my own daughter at that age, who is now Ticket2theMoon, a proud member of All Sci-Fi. Very Happy

Syd Meads' amazing robot is a true work of art, a brilliant creation that can portray human emotions, despite the fact that it doesn't look remotely like a human.



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The stars of the movie, Ally Sheedy and Steve Guttenberg, make a cute couple. Here's Ally —



— and we all know what Steve looks like. Rolling Eyes

The movie gives us a feel-good story that has a surprise ending which leaves the audience grinning from ear to ear. It's one of the most enjoyable sci-fi movies from the 1980s and 1990s, those happy decades that gave us The Rocketeer and The Last Starfighter.

My advice, guys, is to round up your kids or your grand kids or your wife or your significant other and snuggle up on the couch while you watch Johnny 5 battle the evil humans as he champions the rights of artificial lifeforms everywhere. Shocked

And he wins! Very Happy


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__________________ Short Circuit movie clip


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Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?


Last edited by Bud Brewster on Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:46 pm; edited 5 times in total
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scotpens
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess Short Circuit is fun for kids, but I just found it insufferably twee. Especially with that silly voice for the robot.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

I've learned over the years that many of the movies I saw with my children while they were growing up were much more appealing to me because I shared them with the kids.

I feel like the voice is the perfect comic delivery system for the funny lines of the robot. It's childlike and enthusiastic. And since I'm childlike and enthusiastic, it was very endearing. Very Happy

Of course, he had his bad-ass side, too. Twisted Evil








I'd venture to say that if Johnny Five's voice didn't appeal to you, NAO's voice won't either. They sound a lot alike — which means I like 'em both, and you like neither of 'em. Very Happy





But even if you don't care for his delightful, childlike voice, the unbelievable robotic ballet in the video below will knock your socks off if you have an appreciation for beauty, an ounce of imagination, and the brains to realize that this little robot is the ultimate blend of art and science.

____ 20 Nao Robots Dancing in Synchronized Harmony


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Last edited by Bud Brewster on Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:49 pm; edited 8 times in total
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Brent Gair
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I enjoy this movie. I think the reason I like it more than Scotpens is that I watch it more as a romantic comedy. Steve Guttenberg and Ally Sheedy are (more or less) part of my generation. The science fiction is a bonus Smile.
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Gord Green
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just loved the semi-anthropomorphic design of Johnny-5. It was just human like to make it acceptable to react to it in a human to human-like manner, but just techno like to realize it was an automaton.

If robots are ever to be accepted in human-robot interactions it is going to require an imprinting on the human psyche that there is an interface of co-relationships that exists between organism and technology.


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Krel
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember reading an interview with the writer when the movie came out. He didn't really care for the movie. He wrote it as a more serious piece, and he really didn't like how they made the head of security into a buffoon. He wrote the character as worried, caring man, that was frantically searching for the robot because there was an escaped death machine on the loose that he wanted to stop before it killed someone. He saw the character as a hero.

David.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

Now that you mention it, Krel, some of the characters in this movie were either miscast or not played as well as they should have been.

I agree with the writer's opinion of Security Chief Skroeder (G.W. Bailey), who is presented as a stereotypical military loudmouth bonehead. Maybe if he'd been funnier (somehow) he could have added more to the movie, but just strutting around barking orders while he shows us how much smart Number 5 is than him was not what the movie needed.

Austin Pendleton isn't very convincing as the head of a large company that created those amazing robots. He was sort of funny and likable, but certainly none too bright.

Even less convincing is Steve Guttenberg as an engineering genius who's been secluded in a lab most of his life and has no social skills.

Ally Sheedy and Fisher Stevens were just fine, however, both providing funny moments that worked well with Number 5. I even like Fisher's goofy dialog. Very Happy




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Last edited by Bud Brewster on Mon Dec 18, 2017 5:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

I was pleased to discover that IMDB has some very interesting items about this enjoyable movie. As in previous posts, the blue text is from the IMDB trivia items.
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As per the original movie's attempt to portray a living robot in the "real world", every part of Johnny and his brethren was built to have a specific, logical purpose behind them; this was originally a source of contention between the director and the prop designer, the latter of whom insisted on giving Johnny "eyes" to give the character a method of visually expressing emotion. As a result, Johnny's iconic "eyelids" were created, with the explanation that they were sun guards/camera coverings.

Note from me: Actors know that eyes can express any emotion. Artist know it too.

I'm not an actor, but as an amateur artist I love to render the eyes of my subjects. The graphite drawing below was done by me many years ago from a magazine photo I found and liked very much. I have no idea who the sweet old lady is, but I've always imagined that in her youth, she was beautiful.

In the drawing, her eyes seem to show how she misses her youth. Sad (And these days I see the same look in my own mirror each morning.)






So, Johnny 5's clever robotic eyes are a major plus for this amusing character.





Many of the little tricks done by Johnny 5 on-screen (like flipping through book pages in a blink of the eye and tossing a washer into the air in a mimic of a scene from an old gangster movie he saw) were done using relatively simple, yet ingenious sleight-of-hand prop effects. For instance, the pages were flipped using an air hose, while the washer was flipped using a piece of string at both ends sideways. Not only did this save money for the producers for the actual robot and the screenplay, but they proved remarkably effective in getting just the right look needed for the scenes.

Note from me: The flipping pages of books is convincing, but I've always thought the flipping of the coin looked like a cartoon animation effect.

In this film and Short Circuit 2 (1988), Johnny 5's voice is provided by puppeteer Tim Blaney. This casting decision was made due to the director's belief that real-time interaction with the robot prop would make the interaction seem more natural on-screen than if they edited Johnny's voice in during post-production.

Note from me: Some folks like the cheerful, childlike voice. Other folks don't. Being a cheerful, childlike person, I like it. Cool

Director John Badham and Ally Sheedy previously collaborated in War Games.

Note from me: Hey . . . a triple feature with War Games, Short Circuit, and Godzilla (1998). Hmmm . . .

The script called for extensive stop-motion animation to be utilized, but director John Badham opted to use practical effects.

Note from me: Nobody loves stop motion more than me (well, nobody still alive . . . ), but I'm glad they didn't try to blend stop motion with live action. It NEVER works! Sad

Stephanie and Number 5 dance to a scene from Saturday Night Fever (1977) which was also directed by John Badham.

Note from me: Hey, I LOVE that scene! Ally Sheedy's sweet nature just melts my foolish heart when she and Number 5 have that wonderfully flirtatious moment. Very Happy






When the dance sequence was filmed. John Badham danced with Ally Sheedy as they talked through and rehearsed the scene which Johnny 5 dances with Stephanie to "More Than a Woman" by The Bee Gees.

Note from me: Oh my God, that lucky son of a . . . gun. He got to dance with Ally. (* sigh)

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Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?


Last edited by Bud Brewster on Mon Dec 18, 2017 5:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Gord Green
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Look at the way the Sophia robot reacts with people and you can see that Johnnie is not too far away from reality!


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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

Is this you Youtube you meant to post?
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_Tonight Showbotics: Snakebot, Sophia, eMotion Butterflies


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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

I posted a fan-made trailer for The Last Starfighter (1984) on the thread for that movie, and the trailer had this amusing message at the beginning.






I wondered just how true the claim at the bottom was, so I made a list of 1980s science fiction films that I thought were good, just to see if that decade really did produce a significant number of “the best” sci-fi movies.

This movie is on the list I made. I know what I like about the film (and a few things I don’t like), but I’d like to hear the pros and cons from the rest of you folks.

So, what do you think, guys? Cool

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Eadie
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did you ever notice that Johnny-5's face looks just like WALL-E's face?
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

Just like Johnny 5? Really? Confused

Nope, don't really see the resemblance. What am I missing, Eadie?

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Gord Green
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Nope, nope, nope….These are TOTALY different...…"



Said the blind man!

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Krel
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wall-E's face look like it was made from a pair of binoculars.

David.
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