Efficiency, sarcasm, and natty fur!

This monkey and this robot once had a system: three blogs for three subjects. But it was complicated and vague and usually ended in feces throwing. So we have combined all three into a melange of media reviews and links and excessive blather, so as to reduce the burden on your short attention span.

In the right column, Monkey + Robot have compiled for you a compendium of sassy, savvy and in the know media reviews and tidbits, for your time-wasting pleasure. And lest you poke at us with sticks or cut off our power supply, the reviews are now selectable through those perky drop-down menus. Monkey + Robot Film and TV reviews, Wrongrobot's Comic Stash, and more.

Grab a chunk of melon and some Demoral, because in the left column, we have accumulated for you every snappy link we found amusing, entertaining, provocatively witty, or frankly, just colorful, with easy to understand small words so monkeybites can follow along. Such is Robotic Root!

Entertainment Media Ratings System:

Wrongrobot's Robot Rating: 1-10 Clicks, more indicating a happier robot!

Monkeybites' Monkey Rating: 1-10 Ooks! More indicating a mouthful of rotting simian teeth and lips curled in monkey pleasure!

IronLung's Robot Rating: 1-10 Clanks! More indicating a red-eyed, slack-jawed, blissed-out, ride-pimped dizzy droid! [this is good]

Vicbot's Robot Rating: 1-10 Whirrs! More indicating data that computes well with others.

Google
WWW http://monkey-plus-robot-reviews.blogspot.com
Wrongrobot's Fantasy Film Casting:
Casting Batman: Year One
Casting The Losers
Casting Richard Zach's Pirate Hunter

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Film Reviews [M+R Review Rating, out of 10 Possible Clicks, or Clanks, or Ooks]

Adventures of Baron Munchausen: 8 Clicks
Aliens Vs. Predator: 1 Clank
Bad Santa: 9 Clicks
Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever: 2 Clicks
Bend it Like Beckham: 8 Clicks
Bourne Supremacy: 10 Clicks
Bowling for Columbine: 8 Clicks
Bubba Ho-Tep: 8 Clanks
Cirque du Soleil- Allegria [stage]: 10 Clicks
Cold Mountain: 7 Clicks
Cutthroat Island: 2 Clicks
Elf: 8 Clicks
Equilibrium: 6 Clicks
Escape From Alcatraz: 7 Clicks
Finding Nemo: 10 Clicks
Girl With a Pearl Earring: 7 Clicks
The Graduate [stage]: 7 Clicks
Hero: 7 Clanks
House of 1000 Corpses: 5 Clanks
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days: 5 Clicks
Hudson Hawk: 6 Clanks
The Hulk: 7 Clicks
Identity: 3 Clicks
Igby Goes Down: 5 Clicks
Intolerable Cruelty: 6 Clicks
I, Robot [trailer commentary][IronLung]
I, Robot [trailer commentary][Wrongrobot]
Kill Bill Vol.1: 10 Clicks
Kill Bill Vol.2 [IronLung]: 9 Clanks
Kill Bill Vol.2 [Wrongrobot]: 10 Clicks
The Last Samurai: 8 Clicks
LotR: Return of the King: 7 Clicks
My Architect: 9 Clicks
Original Kings of Comedy: 7 Clicks
The Phantom: 1 Click
Pirates of the Caribbean: 9 Clicks
The Punisher: 5 Clanks
Secretary: 9 Clicks
Shanghai Knights: 4 Clicks
Spellbound: 7 Clicks
Spider-Man 2: 8 Clanks/ 8 Clicks
Starsky & Hutch: 8 Clicks
Star Trek- Nemesis: 6.5 Clicks
Terminator 3: 5 Clicks, 2 Ooks
The Thin Red Line: 7 Clicks
To Live and Die in LA: 10 Clicks
Troy: n/a
Van Helsing: 4 Clicks, 0 Clanks!
Whale Rider: 8 Clicks

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Comic Film Adaptations News [Film and TV]:

Appleseed OAV 2004 6/18/04
Aeon Flux: 2/27/04
9/1/04
9/10/04
Akira Live-Action Film 9/29/04
Animated Batman 2004 9/2/04
Batman Begins: 2/12/04 2/19/04 2/24/04 3/02/04 3/03/04 3/04/04 3/08/04 3/9/04 3/17/04 3/19/04 3/31/04 TRDL Concept Illustration 4/3/04 4/5/04 4/12/04 TRDL Concept Illustration Part 2 4/12/04 4/21/04 4/22/04 4/23/04 4/23/04 4/29/04 5/4/04 Costume Critique 5/4/04 Script Excerpts 5/7/04 6/01/04 6/04/04 6/09/04 6/10/04 6/15/04 6/16/04 7/6/04 7/13/04 7/20/04 7/26/04 7/28/04 Trailer 7/29/04 7/31/04 8/2/04 8/3/04 8/4/04 8/5/04 8/8/04 8/10/04 8/12/04 8/17/04 8/20/04 8/24/04 8/30/04 10/19/04
Battle Angel Alita: 9/10/04
Black Widow 4/29/04
Blade 3: Trinity: 5/4/04 6/11/04
Catwoman: 2/18/04 5/21/04 Game Concept Art 5/21/04 6/11/04 Suckage! 7/29/04
Comic Adaptations 10/13/03
Constantine: 3/08/04 5/14/04
Dazzler?!? 7/7/04
Elektra: 2/19/04 3/29/04 4/23/04 5/14/04 4/29/04 5/4/04 6/10/04 6/18/04 7/1/04 7/2/04 7/6/04 7/29/04 9/20/04 10/13/04
Fantastic Four: 6/16/04 7/8/04 7/14/04 7/15/04 8/3/04 9/20/04
Ghost in the Shell 2: 9/18/04
Global Frequency: 6/15/04 7/16/04 8/17/04
Good Time For Comic Films! 5/14/04
Green Lantern?!?: 7/24/04 Koboshed 8/8/04
Hawaiian Dick: 4/21/04 Interview 4/22/04
He-Man: 10/11/04
Hellboy: 2/12/04 Interview: Del Toro 2/20/04
3/03/04 3/9/04 3/17/04 Personality Test 3/17/04 Figures Released 3/29/04 Toys Addendum 3/30/04 Choose the Next Figures! 4/21/04 Hellboy: An Introduction 3/30/04 Interview: Selma Blair 3/30/04
Interview: Spectral Motion 4/5/04 Caught On Film in '62! 4/21/04 Interview: Selma Blair, CafeFX 4/28/04 Hellboy Collaborator Medical Fund Auction! 5/4/04 DVDs 7/7/04 7/28/04 8/3/04 8/5/04 8/25/04 8/31/04 Hellboy 2: 3/29/04 4/8/04 6/03/04 8/27/04 9/1/04
9/14/04
Hulk 2? 5/4/04 9/7/04

Hulk Op-Ed 7/14/04
Iron Man: 3/03/04 4/23/04 6/10/04 6/28/04 9/14/04
8/2/04 8/10/04
Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD 9/8/04
Preacher FX 4/29/04
Sin City: 3/19/04 4/04/21 4/04/29 4/05/19 5/21/04 6/01/04 6/11/04 7/1/04 7/26/04 7/28/04 7/20/04 8/11/04 9/15/04
Spider-Man 2: 2/18/04 3/29/04
Spider-Man 3: 5/4/04 5/14/04 6/10/04 7/13/04 Spider-Man 2 Game Screenshots 6/8/04 Spider-Man 2 [trailer commentary]
Superman: 5/21/04 6/03/04 6/09/04 6/10/04 6/28/04 7/1/04 7/13/04 7/14/04 7/20/04 8/5/04 8/10/04 8/27/04 8/31/04 9/10/04 9/15/04 10/19/04 [2] 10/19/04
Transformers: 9/10/04
Wanted 3/03/04
Watchmen: 4/4/23 4/7/24 7/24/24 8/12/04 9/10/04
Wolverine: 10/13/04
X-Men 3: 7/20/04 5/4/04 6/18/04 7/7/04 7/8/04 7/14/04 7/15/04 7/20/04 8/27/04 Aborted Sentinel? 9/2/04 9/7/04 9/15/04

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Film News, General:

A Scanner Darkly Film Adaptation
Akira: Kaneda's Bike in Production? 8/28/04
Aliens Vs. Predator: 6/2/04 Chess Set 5/26/04 6/8/04 Trailor 6/11/04 6/28/04 7/8/04 [trailer commentary] 8/5/04 8/8/04 7/15/04 8/12/04
Anchorman 7/13/04
Big Lebowski Day! 5/5/04
Bloodrayne 8/10/04
Bond? Who Bond? 8/3/04
Bourne Supremacy: 1/6/04 Trailer: 5/4/04 7/8/04
Cage Deserves Happiness 7/31/04
Clooney/ Tarantino in the News 10/15/03
Dodgeball 6/01/04
Domino 8/3/04
HEAT vs. R:HD: Dialog Analysis 10/22/03
Heat/ GTA III: Lawsuits Imitate Life 10/23/03
Incredibles 8/23/04
Jim White Documentary 3/23/04
Kill Bill 2 Poster 2/18/04
Kill Bill Interview: Uma Thurman 4/8/04
Kill Bill Vol. 3?! 4/12/04
The Life Aquatic 1/15/04
Matrix Explained? 8/31/04
National Treasure 8/4/04
Nowhere Man 7/26/04
Pierce is Bond No More 7/27/04
Sky Captain 7/15/04
Sky High 8/17/04
Soderberg Joins Che 4/5/04
Speed Racer: Vince Vaughn 6/25/04
Stealth 7/8/04
Summer 04 Films to Watch 4/22/04
Team America Puppet Porn 8/25/04
Transporter 2 6/16/04
Van Helsing: Van Helsing WHO? 3/16/04 Interview: ILM 5/5/04 Penny Arcade 5/18/04
Underworld 2 9/7/04
WB Kills ESC F/X 8/18/04
Will Smith Lexicon 5/18/04
Zatoichi: Blind Swordsman 6/25/04
No Mas James Bond
Miami Vice on the Big Screen

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TV Reviews, and the M+R Review Rating, out of 10 Possible Clicks, or Clanks, or Ooks

24 Season 3: 10/29/03: 8 Whirrs 11/5/03: 6 Whirrs 2/08/04: 7 Whirrs 2/12/04: 8 Whirrs 2/18/04: 8 Whirrs 2/24/04: 9 Whirrs 4/06/04: 7 Whirrs 4/26/04: 6 Whirrs 5/03/04: 3 Whirrs 5/11/04: 9 Whirrs 5/18/04: 8 Whirrs Finale 7/8/04: 3 Whirrs
Apprentice: Robin and Carolyn 4/16/04
ATHF and Space Ghost Links 2/25/04
ATHF: Revenge of the Trees 10/13/03: 8 Clicks The Shaving 10/27/03: 7 Clicks Super Trivia 9/22/03: 8 Clicks Battlestar Galactica 1/13/04: 3 Clicks
Carnivale: 9/22/03: 10 Clicks 9/30/03: 9 Clicks
Christopher Columbus: Secrets From the Grave: 3 Clicks
CSI: 8/11/03: 1 Ook 9/26/03: 5 Clicks CSI: Miami: 7/30/03: 1 Ook 7/31/03: 6 Clicks 9/26/03: 7 Clicks
Deadwood 3/24/04: 8 Clicks
Dinner for Five: 9/26/03: 7 Clicks 9/30/03: 7 Clicks
Ed: 9/26/03: 3 Clicks Series Finale 2/12/04: 7 Clicks
Emmy Nominations 04 7/15/04: 7 Clicks
Enterprise 10/13/03: 6 Clicks
Everybody Loves Raymond 9/26/03: 6 Clicks
Friends 9/26/03: 7 Clicks
Grammys: Outkast's Andre 3000 2/9/04: 10 Clicks
Law and Order Family: 9/30/03: 8 Clicks
Law and Order: 10/13/03
Law and Order: CI: 1/12/04: 8 Clicks
Marvel Comics Guide to NYC: 10 Clicks
Method and Red: 9 Clicks
MI-5 10/28/03: 10 Clicks
Mix It Up 1/12/04: 8 Clicks
Mr. Show: What to Think 9/10/03: 10 Clicks
Penn & Teller's Bullshit: 9 Clanks
Reno 911!: 9 Clicks 9/7/03
Space Ghost C2C: Baffler Meal: 11 Clicks! Flipmode 2/25/04:20 Clicks Survivor 7 9/19/03: 8 Clicks
Survivor All-Stars: 2/12/04: 8 Clicks 2/13/04: 7 Clicks Tour de France 2003 8/4/03: 8 Clicks
Will & Grace 9/26/03: 7 Clicks

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TV News

24/Law and Order/CSI "That Guy" Character Actor Tracker
24: Comic Adaption 3/25/04 Season 4 Casting 8/9/04
Amazing Screw-On Head Cartoon 4/8/04
Cigarette Smoking Man Action Figure 5/26/04
CSI: CSI in Comedy Culture 6/24/04 CSI's Peterson 2/18/04 Sick outs Everywhere 7/27/04
CSI: Miami Drinking Game 2/27/04 No Mas Rory Cochrane 8/9/04
CSI:NY: 3/8/04 3/16/04 Drawn Together 8/20/04
HDTV ScreenCap Archive 8/25/04
Jessica Simpson 10/21/03
Mastershake Speaks 9/7/04
Nike's Lance Commercial: Magnet 8/18/04
Law and Order: Trial by Jury Casting 6/04/04
NBC Hijacks TiVo 1/15/04
Simpsons' Shearer Balks 8/12/04
Survivor All-Stars Cast 1/12/04
Survivor 9 8/18/04
Robbery: Homicide Division Music 9/30/03

French Connection Made for TV


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Wrongrobot's Comics Stash- Comics and Sequential Art Reviews

Comic Reviews, and the M+R Review Rating, out of 10 Possible Clicks, or Clanks, or Ooks

Comics Reviews Intro
100 Bullets: 48: 7 Clicks
52, 53: 8 Clicks
9-11, Artists Respond Collections
Alias: 24-25: 10 Clicks 26-27: 10 Clicks 28: 9 Clicks
Astonishing X-Men: 2: 8 Clicks 3,4: 9,10 Clicks
Avengers: 500: 8 Clicks 502: 7 Clicks
Batgirl Year One TPB: 10 Clicks
Batman: 620: 5 Clicks 621: 7 Clicks
Batman: Long Halloween: 7 Clanks
Bloodstream 1: 1 Click
BPRD One Shots: 9/7 Clicks
Cla$$War: 4: 8 Clicks 5: 10 Clicks
Daredevil: 50-52: 9/3/5 Clicks 54: 4 Clicks 56: 9 Clicks 57: 7 Clicks
65: 6 Clicks
Domino:Perfect Weapon: 8 Clicks
Exiles: 30-33: 6/4/4 Clicks 36-37: 3/6 Clicks
Ex Machina: 2, 3: 7 Clicks
Global Frequency 11: 10 Clicks
Gotham Central: 10-11: 9 Clicks 13: 9 Clicks 16-18: 9 Clicks
Hellhounds 1-3: 7 Clicks
Human Target: 4: 9 Clicks 5-6: 8 Clicks 7: 8 Clicks
12, 13: 9 Clicks
Iron Man: 73-75: 8 Clicks 76: 2 Clicks 77: 5 Clicks 86: 9 Clicks
JSA: 51-52: 7/8 Clicks 53: 8 Clicks 54: 4 Clicks 56-57: 7 Clicks 58: 3 Clicks
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen 2: 3 Clanks, 8 Clicks
The Losers: Ante Up TPB: 9 Clanks 6: 10 Clicks 10-11: 8/10 Clicks
16: 10 Clicks
New Invaders 0: 3 Clicks
New X-Men: 144-146: 5 Clicks 149: 3 Clicks 151-152: 2 Clicks 153: 3 Clicks
[Renamed X-Men] 159-162: 4 Clicks
Paradise X: A: 9 Clicks
Planetary: TPBs (1-12): 8 Clicks 16: 5 Clicks : 8 Clicks 18: 9 Clicks
Powers: 33: 8 Clicks 36: 9 Clicks 37: 10 Clicks V2, 1: 10 Clicks
2-4: 10 Clicks
Pulse: 5: 7 Clicks
Queen and Country: 20: 10 Clicks 21: 10 Clicks 25: 8 Clicks
The Ride 1: 9 Clicks
Secret War 1: 8 Clicks
Sleeper: 8: 10 Clicks 11: 10 Clicks 12: 10 Clicks Sleeper Season Two: 1: 10 Clicks
Supreme Power: 1-2: 10 Clicks 4: 10 Clicks 7: 10 Clicks 8: 9 Clicks 11: 8 Clicks
Tokyo Storm Warning TPB: 5 Clicks
Ultimates: 12: 10 Clicks 13: 10 Clicks
Ultimate Fantastic Four 1-2: 7 Clicks 3: 8 Clicks
Ultimate Nightmare: 1: 10 Clicks
2: 8 Clicks
Ultimate Six: 1: 10 Clicks 4: 10 Clicks 6: 9 Clicks Ultimate X-Men: 36-37: 2 Clicks
Ultra: 2: 9 Clicks
Uncanny X-Men: 429-431: 4 Clicks 433: 2 Clicks 437-441: 1 Click 444-445: 5 Clicks 446: 6 Clicks
Wanted 2: 10 Clicks
We3: 1: 10 Clicks
Wildcats 3.0: 13: 7 Clicks 16: 7 Clicks 18: 7 Clicks
X-Statix : 2: 4 Clicks 13-15: 6 Clicks 18: 4 Clicks 19: 3 Clicks

:::
Friends of Robot: Artists:

FoR: 36Oh.net FofR: Enrico Casarosa
FoR: Terra Major's Horns of Hattin
FoR: Losstarot
FoR: Prometheus
FoR: Studio Kosen

Comic News:

Check the Film News section for updates on comic-related film adaptations! 100 Bullets FPS Game 4/2/04
Ale Garza on Batgirl 8/5/04
Amazing Screw-On Head Cartoon 4/8/04
Apparat Line: Warren Ellis 8/25/04
The Atomic Revolution Comic 3/23/04
Authority: Nguyen Interview 5/14/04
Authority OGN 7/20/04
Avengers 500 Preview 7/1/04
Brent Anderson on Pulse, Astro City 3/25/04
Batman Begins Costume Illustration [Wrongrobot]4/3/04
Batman: War on Crime 8/31/04
Bullseye Origin Series 6/28/04
Comics For Intellectuals 9/1/04
Decompression and Pacing 9/23/03
Dillon on Bullseye 9/7/04
Doc Frankenstein by Burlyman 9/2/04
Doc Ock Year One 6/16/04
Earth's Mightiest Mini 9/3/04
Ellis and Granov on Iron Man 5/25/04
Ellis Stream-a-Blog: Iron Man 7/31/04
Ellis Stream-a-Blog: Explodo 8/2/04
Ellis Stream-a-Blog: Bad Kids 8/27/04
Fox Sued over LoEG Script 9/26/03
Hawaiian Dick Bk 2 8/23/04
Hack/Slash book 2 6/18/04
Hal Jordon and Copyrights 8/20/04
Hellboy: An Introduction 3/30/04
IDW's 24 Comic 3/25/04
Iron Man Facelift 9/12/03
Iron Man 87 Outtakes 8/27/04
Joss Whedon Interview: Astonishing X-Men 8/10/04
JSA vs. JSA 8/12/04
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen 3 6/1/04
Marvel Vs. DC 8/31/04
Masamune Shirow 10/15/03
Micro-Heros Animated GIFs 4/6/04
Morrison on JLA: Hyperclan and Superman 6/1/04
Morrison's WE3 9/1/04
New Avengers 8/18/04
Nguyen Confirmed on Authority Vol.3 5/14/04
Nouvelle Manga Manifesto 6/11/03
Ocean 8/9/04
Orson Welles as Batman? 9/26/03
Phoenix Mini-Series 8/20/04
Poorly Drawn Animals 8/2/04
Remains: Niles/Dwyer Interview 3/12/04
Scurvy Dog: Yount Interview 1/15/04
SD Comicon Visual Oddities 7/31/04
Space Ghost 7/31/04
Spandex vs Leather 4/6/04
Steven Grant on 'Literature of Ethics'
The Losers: Diggle/Jock Interview 3/11/04
The Picture of Everything 1/15/04
The Question: Rick Veitch 9/1/04
The Question: Tommy Lee Edwards 9/2/04
Teddy Roosevelt From Mars 8/20/04
Tom Coker: Batman in Monolith 8/30/04
Tony Harris Pages from new Iron Man Arc
Ultimates: Bryan Hitch Interview 9/12/03
Ultra 8/18/04
Watchmen Remembered 8/12/04
WizardWorld LA Promo Art 3/22/04
WonderCon 2004 Buzz 8/13/04
WonderCon 2004 Buzz 2 8/17/04
WonderCon 2004 Dance-Off 8/18/04
Worlds Finest Film 7/26/04
World's Finest Interview 8/4/04
Young Avengers 8/20/04
Identity Crisis Covers
Honey Moon, The Ride, Rex Steele, Shirow, Megacity909
Comic Preview: Intimates, Iron Man
TSR Illustrator Terminally ill
Twinkie Comics, Avengers Dissembled Toy-style
Interview: Mark Millar of Ultimates
Interview: Cliff Chiang of Human Target
Star Trek Manga Anthology from Tokyopop
Pop Mahn to TokyoPop
Granov Iron Man Preview Pages
Image Comics Moves to Berkeley

Film Review: I, Robot- The [Spoilerish] Trailer, Curse It
5/14/2004



I, Robot Trailer: IronLung and Wrongrobot saw the I, Robot trailer during our viewing of Kill Bill Vol. 2 last weekend, and in talking about it, we decided it was important, for the sake of humanity and post-humanity alike (click!), to comment below. Read, discuss, then go smash your Aibo dumb-ass robot dog product, just to be safe. But first, watch the trailer here

IronLung: In the days of trailers far surpassing the content of the movies they advertise, I thought it a good idea to review the I,Robot trailer which is now making its way around the Apple trailers site.

I've never read the book, so I have no expectations to be lived up to, and that may save me from suffering the fate of Asimov fans, assuming that this will, like all other film adaptations, fail miserably to live up to its inspiration. Also, I love CGI-laden 'blockbusters', if only to escape for 2 hours from the miserable experience whose name is 'multiplex.' that said, I must admit that I was heavy into the trailer for this Will Smith stroke-fest. I've always been a fan of the scifi movie which marries current culture with some reality-based technological advances rather than filling the screen with neoprene bodysuits, silver highrises and flying cars. I just think it's easier to buy. so I,Robot has that going for it. You have the same Chicago streetscape that's been around for 200 years, but with the addition of robot dog-walkers and sleeker, more futuristic vehicles driving on the streets. Just subtle, dichotomous (is that a word?) additions of futuristic technologies into existing reality. Retinal scanners and all that. It's pretty believable, actually, especially in a world where Honda Asimos greet guests in Tokyo high-end business parks. I guess the point of the story is that robots are becoming a commonplace addition into everyday life. In a wrongrobot fave scene, for instance, robots are seen emptying trashcans into the back of a garbage truck. They open cans, lift heavy shit, etc.. However, one of them is currently up on homicide charges.

As the trailer starts, this particular robot is being questioned by Mr. Independence Day, the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. The hook, though, is that robots supposedly are incapable of harming a human being, according to their programming. (Suspense ensues! Who's to blame? Is it the programmers? Have the machines become self aware?) and as another added bonus, the city (or maybe the world, I don't know) is about to receive the largest shipment of robots in history. Robots will, after this delivery, be PROMINENT on the streets. 1 for every 5 humans or something like that. (Cue sweeping shots of armies of robots.) And then the action starts. Scenes of robots crawling all over buildings, hanging on the roof of the Fresh Prince's future-Audi as it spins through a tunnel undercover-brother-style, jumping and crashing all over shit, red eyes glowing. It looks a little like they scooped up all the cutting-room floor Maya skeletons from Spider-Man and put new shiny robot-skins on em. You can't tell if the robots are revolting against the (assumed) human's racism, or if they're attacking in a pre-programmed wave of destruction. Judging by the sinister, antagonistic styling of the robot creator guy, i'm guessing it's an attack, and that the robot up on homocide charges is actually the 'GOOD GUY', self-aware and on a mission to help the humans who will undoubtedly enslave him in the future, eventually blacking out the sky in a desperate attempt to cut off his power ... uh ... waitaminute ... never mind that last part. Who the fuck knows, all I know is that it's big-budget, CGI-heavy, summer blockbuster schlock that I'll gladly pay 10 dollars for.

Big pats on my own back for not once tying my review into the name of this website.

6 clanks on the trailer for I,Robot. It needed more kung-fu.

So says IronLung!

Wrongrobot: I've been reading sci-fi for a very long time. In college, I was even fortunate enough to take a literarature analysis class on the history of science fiction as a medium. It was a rockin' class, and Asimov's book is way up there along with Samuel Bester's The Stars, My Destination, Walter M. Miller's Canticle for Leibowitz, and a few others. Somehow, despite obsessing over the class and the in-depth analysis of the themes of these works, I managed to NOT read I, Robot cover-to-cover. It was one of those books I knew so well by reputation, that I barbecued instead. So, let me go on record as admitting to being the first robot to not know his own programming.

The basic premise of the book is that robots are, in Asimov's world, rendered the perfect workers for humanity, based on a series of simple philosophical critical thinking proofs:

Isaac Asimov's "Three Laws of Robotics"

A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
Trouble, of course, abounds when a robot is charged with a human's murder. I gathered, from my reading AROUND this book, was that the issue at play is that we can be driven to do horrible things when our moral reality is inverted on us like a Catch 22. I suppose it's a post-WW II analogy. However, I recall wondering whether there was a bit of Civil Rights nervousness in Asimov's hand as well. Recall the sometimes violent, at the very least frightiningly for some, emotionally charged Civil Rights Movement, and the intensity such social change involves, when occuring in a flashpoint of conviction as this was. Black Panthers, untrustworthy robots...maybe? I dunno. I didn't read the book. I'll blow a posterior O-ring if I keep pontificating out of my exhaust ventricle.

Wrongrobot's Thoughts on I, Robot:

1. My mental image of this book actually was just about everything IronLung fears in a sci-fi movie: very futuristic, very streamlined, like the fantasy enlightened nation-state of so many slightly fascist philosophical futurist works. Something, film-wise, along the lines of Minority Report or A.I...so the contemporary setting with a chromey facelift was a little bit disappointing to me. Also, something about Will Smith when he plays Will Smith always bugs me. Will Smith playing a character, now that would be something. On the other hand, I tend to like his bad ass meets wise ass persona in these films, when given the rigth lines, so I don't know what my problem is. He is, after all, the 21st century actionhere: black, clever, hunky, and passionate about something or other. Or at least he was for like 5 summers in a row. OK, but the setting: in actuality, I'm sure, God forbid I make a prediction, that the Future, whatever that means, would be more like this preview than the A.I. style stuff, depending on the context and timeframe. Assumeing we continue to build upon existing overcrowded infrastructure, then I imagine losts of like what you see in 5th Element (without the mystery universal illumination they had in that film that made the super-skyscraper-corrdors so sunny) where buildings are stacked on top of each other in a continuous vertical sprawl. But I can also envision the wholesale razing of the old, perhaps after being ravaged by war, plague, environmental decay, whatever, assuming we COULD rebuild and repair, that would look more...modern...for the time. OK, I guess it's a lost cause. Can't encapsulate 15 different sci-fi genres into one generalization. I guess I just wanted more creative fashion, inustrial design, etc than just an Audi concept car.

2. We have a problem with these hero vehicles: an otherwise interesting character on their own merits is often molded, retconned and tweaked into fitting the needs of the action star, in order to build the vehicle in the first place. When personality-free generic action pseudonyms are applied to the action hero, nothing is lost or gained ("Detective John Stone" or "Chase Cougar" or "Dana Stryker" or the like) but when they adapt a figure from literature or, dare I say it, the subjective cloud of history, it can get kind of silly. I mentioned to IronLung that seeing Will Smith in this role felt like watching a preview for Angelina Jolie as Dr, Marie Curie, Action Adventurer Philosopher Heroine...) so while I don't mind a good Will Smith mindless action vehicle once a year or so, it's hard when he's in the shoes of a character, or an identity, more developed than his. Witness Wild, Wild West.

3. The robot CGI work looks pretty fly. I thought the physics of them marching around and whatever didn't look much of an improvement over the stiff, weightless Star Wars Droidbots in Episodes I and II, but the rendering of the amorphous, semi-human visage was brilliant. Just human enough to be familiar, transluscent enough to look innocent/unmatured/infantlinke, yet distant enough with the blank sockets to be just a little bit unnerving. And that's before the leaping and the smashing and the SMIRKING!!! I thought I was the only Smirking Robot!Check out his snarky look below, for all you need to know on this matter:



4. Hated that Will Smith is in regular clothes. Why couldn't he have been in some spacey bodysuit or something? OK, I know he's in contempo casual, 2032, but please, i mean, plaids, courderoy and workboots...it's like too much Timbaland, and not enough neoprene. This was a great opportunity for some wisked, sleek fashion design, some euro-sleek style stuff like the Mobius [Giraud]/Gaultier designs for the stewardesses in 5th Element. I think they can get a little deeper with the character development in order to make us relate to Smith's character rather than just make him contemporary and let the relating be so easy. The basic premise of all science fiction as a medium is an outlandish reality designed to abstract the details and allow the reader (watcher) to find the metaphorical thematic connection with their own lives. So, lose the plaid.

5. OK SPOILERISH with the robot revolution scenes all over the place. Once again, we could have done just fine with a more subtle, Law and Order style set-up, with Will interrogating an unseen suspect, until at the last second, the camera swings around, and we see..the smug-ass...wrongrobot...slouching in the chair. Which the preview accomplished in about 25 seconds...and then proceeded to spoil everything. Don't trust the American audience to be interested in one of the most original, bad-ass premesis in the history of sci-fi. Give us mobs of monkey-robot warriors cracking signage off overhangs at the mall.

6. Visual style looks terrific. The lighting is moody and intense, either too dark or too bright. Lots of fluorescents and cold steel clashing with the soft tones of Will Smith's wardrobe and the urban scenes. Cool camera angles. It looks to LOOK pretty sweet, so that's a good thing.



7. As a longtime motorcycle rider, I despise helmetless riders in entertainemnt. I don't know how many teenagers are going to be greasing the highway in Tucson with their melon after being influenced on a sub-conscious level at least in part by movies like this, but it bugs. Stop hating the helmets, hollywood! Hate Inertia! Love the melon!

8. Nothing warms my heart like garbage collecting red robots. RISE, ROBOTS...RISE!!!!!


4/10 Clicks for being so damn spoilerish.


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self is: wrongrobot #

Comic News: Nguyen New Artist on Authority



I used to love Authority...back when it was Stormwatch, and Ellis made super-hero comics bitchin' in a new way, then killed everyone off deliciously in Stormwatch/Aliens, then spun off the Authority and revolutionized comics yet again. Tom Raney, Bryan Hitch, Frank Quitely...Warren Ellis, Mark Millar...I mean, come ON. And then, not too long after everything Authority had been said and done well (despite something cratively akin to a quastionable leak far too far from shore, with Dustin Nguyen on pencils) the series was mercifully put down. Them disappointingly, it was back, as a pseudo Image-Circa-90's-Cheese book with some unpleasantly derivative and desperate "We're Shocking, I Swear!" scripting, it was unearthed, much like Marvel did with Elektra, for a few dollars more. Ugh. Anyway, the last few months there's been talk of revitalizing the book, recapturing the promise and excitement it once had, and for once, not by apeing the post-modern stylings of Ellis and Millar, but by actually just taking it seriously. Ed Brubaker was announced as the writer, which was very, very good news. But the artist was shrouded in mystery. Recently, Cully Hamner confirmed a leaked scoop on CBR's Lying in the Gutters, that he WAS the new artist, but had to abandon due to time and scheduling concerns, according to the contractual agreement with DC/Wildstorm. I was disheartened to read this, because Cully on a Brubaker book would have had me salivating. Today it was finally announced that the new artist would be...Dustin Nguyen. I don't know what to think about this. Someone tell me what to think! I liked his stuff on Jet several years ago in the Wildstorm heydey, then I really was underwhelmed by his Authority stuff (not even mentioning the inexplicable choice to finish off the Seth arc with Arthur Adams' cartoony illustration. WTF!) and then grew to appreciate his design sense on the criminally cancelled Wildcats 3.0... but then again, I was troubled by some of his proportion and anatomy issues. His work frustrates me, much like Tom Raney's on Stormwatch did: it's been like 80% rad and 20% questionable. But the designs were wicked.

A troubling quote from Newsarama's interview on the subject this morning:

“Technically, I find that Midnighter is the toughest to draw. I'm always conflicted on how I want his expressions to look. A lot of people would like to think of him as Batman or something, but I really doubt it. They don’t really have much in common except that they both wear dark clothing and masks. Oh yeah, and that pointy nose thingie...and I had already planned to secretly draw the Beef Brothers [S&M…enforcers/persuaders] on every other page no matter what book I’d be on!”


Um...that's EXACTLY what Midnighter is. Heavens!

Well, I'm going to wait and see what they can come up with, send Dustin N. my best drawing mojo (as he is, on his worse day, several degrees of scale better than ME on my best, so no rocks, lots of glass houses here in Wrongrobot's lab...) and look forward to, at the very least, some more great graphic design tweaks like he did on Wildcats. So I'm hoping for the best, and still thinking that maybe Brubaker can write this book in a fresh way that will make me want to read it again.

Nguyen Confirmed for Authority Run

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self is: wrongrobot #

Film News: Comic Films Rock; Constantine, Elektra, Spider-Man 3

What a bias, this robot admits, towards comic adaptations to film. Why? Because for so long, all we had were a few Superman films (one OK, one pretty great "KNEEL BEFORE ZODD!!!!", 2 that boiled the brain), a few Batman films (one Ehh, one bad, one really bad, and one WTF) a host of C Movie projects that just served to make the aforementioned films appear just a bit higher rent than they were (Steel, Supergirl, Incredible Hulk telefilms, Spider-Man telefilm, Justice League telefilm/pilot, Howard the Fucking Duck, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which I guess was well done for kiddie drivel, and those creepy Marvel farm-outs, like Dolph Lundgren's Punisher, the Captain America thing, and of course that uncomfortable Fantastic Four film, all of which might be found on ebay, offered in trade for used underwear or old Hormel FrankesStuffs product)which in general just perpetuated the popular perception that comics were for G E E K S, which is often true. But we knew there was this unmined potential for high-quality, exciting, dramatic, visually stunning comic-related projects out there, films that might take the effort that went into those horrid Batman films and pair it with a somewhat serious attempt at making the project likable to a diverse audience while still respecting the original material (ie. less Bat-nipples, more straight-faced dialog delivery.)

Then we got the new breed of pretty spectacular comic films, each of which upped the stakes and broadened Hollywood's, and the Publishers', perception of how viable comic properties could be if taken seriously. In no particular order, X-Men proved that an edgy Indie director with a love for the source material could blend smart, contemprary film technique with old-fashioned super-hero action, producing a film version of the team that was as cool, if not cooler, than the comics. Spider-Man proved that the emotional core of Marvel's teen angst titles from the 60's had relavence today, and could be translated extremely faithfully, and actually compete with the multiple other interests today's young generation's short-attention-span minds absorb so rapidly, while avoiding the unchecked violence and dark tones of the majority of those escapist products. Spider-Man pretty much brought innocense back to the comic film, that naive earnestness that taps into the young teenager's competing desires to rebel and be validated at the same time. Hulk showed us that a brilliant auteur could transform a straightforward psychological metaphor like the unchecked male ego, and introduce an emotional complexity to the character such that the viewer's perception, as well as the tone of the footage, evolves over the course of the movie. I still say it was brilliant. Daredevil proved that while a director that' a little TOO into the source material might lose sight of what makes a film execution successful, that dedication can still yield some sexy, dark contextual rationale behind what, on paper, can look kind of hokey when viewed from a practical eye. Affleck may have been wooden (no pun) and the suit may have flopped from a design perspective, but they managed to legitimize the Elektra/ Daredevil/ Bullseye conflict in such a way that I actually cared about what would happen. X-Men 2 proved that once the basic characterization and background is established in a super-hero frnachise film, the sequel can simply be a balls-out slugfest that, liberated from the time limitation of having to set up the premise, provides an impressively intense adventure to which the audience is willing to commit with pleasure. And Hellboy simply proved that the right combination of creator-input, dedicated direction, and absolutely flawless visual design, can yield the near-perfect comic adaptation.

So what's in store for the future? Another tried and true formulaic SpiderMan film, which is fine. An Elektra project that might hopefully capitalize on the potential for a kung-fu, total action, hyper-kinetic female action vehicle that will allow us to forget the bad parts of Daredevil and all of Punisher, entirely. Watchmen might even get off the ground, and if done right, might make even make Hellboy seem tame, and allow us to forget League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Constantine MIGHT be done just well enough to allow us to forgive the massive Americanised rewrite and odd casting choices. And the mother of new super-hero films, Batman Begins, if executed as I hope it will be, just might open the door for projects with the sophistication of adult sensibilities and the sheer thrill of youthful action and adventure.

I think it's a pretty fun time to be a comics and film fan...

:::



Constantine: I know I've been pretty dour with regards to this project. Such potential, squandered, by simple choices at the front end designed to increase market interest at the expense of content. I still can't stand the Americanization of John Constantine, and I still haven't been able to accept Keannu in the role, instead of a good, rugged, hoary British actor. However, I keep an open mind when possible, my arrayed processors clickity-clicking in hopes of discovering pleasantly optimistic internet rumor information. That said, a new hi-res trailer was recently released for Constantine, and while I don't know how the script, the acting, the direction, or the editing are going to pan out, I'm willing to concede that the set design looks pretty good for a Hellblazer project. When reading the comics, I tended to imagine the setting from Interview with a Vampire: gothic, moldy New Orleans style funk combined with the foggy, ominous dockside taverns of say From Hell. But I think these look pretty good. I really like Rachel Weisz, as well. One has hope. Slim, but there.

:::

Elektra: Nothing too juicy here, other than that www.imdb.com (one of my essential links) is showing an expanded cast for the film that seems to indicate that the villanous ninja clan, the Hand, will have a prominant role in the film, which we can speculate will mean chop chop chop SOCKY action! According to IMDB, new cast members for the Jennifer Garner-fueled action flick include Bob Sapp, Colin Cunningham, Hiro Kanagawa, and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa. IGN's FilmForce claims that "Tagawa portrays Roshi, the leader of the ninja group The Hand; Cunningham plays McCabe, an agent who works with Elektra; Kanagawa is Meizumi, a senior Hand council member; and Sapp belongs to an elite team of Hand operatives."
-from CBR's Comic Reel

Let's just not lose sight of the important details: Jennifer Garner still kicks ass like no western heroine I can remember, and Terrence Stamp is just cool enough to make any shit's stink bearable. Oh, but with Togawa being identified as the Hand's leader, Roshi, where does that leave Will Yun Lee?



By the way, Hiro Kanagawa is one of those That Guy types, specifically of the TV sci-fi/fanstasy genre. He's graced the screen in X-Files, Millennium, Dark Angel, Seven Days, Outer Limits, the Sentinel, Highlander, the Lone Gunmen, First Wave, Cold Squad, and more. I only remember him from X-Files. Good enough for me.

:::

Spider-Man 3: Just a brief note here, AICN, frequent publisher of horseshit, has recently posted that the villains up for Spider-Man 3 are Kraven and the Chameleon. I mention this, not because it's remotely true, but because I think Kraven makes a significantly better nemesis than Sandman would have, according to the previous rumor. And if Chameleon is involved, we can expect some trickery and obfuscation, which is always good for a little Spider-Stress.


Pencils by the righteous Trevor Hairsine

Now, if they portray Kraven as he is written in Ultimate Six, we could be looking at a wicked villain role for one lucky actor...say a certain ex-wrestler charming superstar action up-and-comer?


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self is: wrongrobot #

Most Recent Number One Good Posts:

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Record Albums From Memory Using MS Paint
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