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Review - Bicentennial Man

ddot True to Asimov's vision? (Very slight spoilers) (226 comments)


True to the vision? I'm not so sure...


First off, before going any further, let me state that Bicentennial Man is a pretty damn good movie and an excellent example of sci-fi effects-laden blockbuster without a single gun or explosion I can remember. That part -- Asimov's trait of writing "humans being, not humans doing" -- is remarkably intact for a movie coming out of Hollywood.

The original story itself (and the lengthier
collaborative version "The Positronic Man" with Robert Silverberg that the movie is based on) deals with humanity on several levels; the emotional, as seen in the movie, and the social, which is just barely touched on, mostly during the last act of the movie. The original dealt at length with the legal and social ramifications
of a machine joining society (the infamous scene
where two men command Andrew to dismantle himself
on a roadside springs immediately to mind) which
are excised completely from the story, leaving
basically a huge tear-jerker of a film. I left
ever-so-slightly disappointed at the fact that
Asimov's excellent fable had been mutated a little
too close to its Pinocchio origin. I wanted more depth, I'm afraid.

Nevertheless, this is an excellent film with
very subtle and interesting special effects. My med-student fiancee couldn't stifle an "oh, COOL!"
during one scene with closeups of artificial
organs...

In short, see this movie, read the book.

d.

about 15 years ago

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