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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Movie Review:Robots

Premise:A young inventor and his new friends must stop a plot to make the average robot obsolete.

Cast:Ewan McGregor as Rodney Copperbottom, Mel Brooks as Bigweld, Robin Williams as Fender, Amanda Bynes as Piper, Drew Carey as Crank, Harland Williams as Lug, Stanley Tucci as Herb Copperbottom, Dianne Wiest as Mrs. Copperbottom, Chris Wedge as Wonderbot, Greg Kinnear as Phineas T. Ratchet, Jim Broadbent as Madam Gasket, Jennifer Coolidge as Aunt Fanny, Paul Giamatti as Tim, Dan Hedaya as Mr. Gunk, Natasha Lyonne as Loretta Geargrinder

Director:Chris Wedge and co-directed by Carlos Saldanha

MPAA Rating:PG for some brief language and suggestive humor

Genres:Animation, comedy, children's

Notes:Image taken from IMP Awards and belongs to 20th Century Fox.

Pros:Likeable characters. It's funny. Fair voice acting.

Cons:Unimpressive visuals. So-so plot. Ditto with the villains.

Since he was a kid, Rodney Copperbottom has dreamed of coming to Robot City to meet and work for his role model. And now his dream is coming true, except for one thing...

The world it's set in is a "what if everyone was a robot" kind of thing. Everyday tasks, pop culture references, etc. follow this. It's pretty interesting, if not visually inspiring.

The movie's biggest strength lies in its humor. It made me laugh a lot (having Robin Williams in it helps). It also has its share of sweet moments, especially between Rodney and his dad.

One thing I've heard criticized is the plot. Basically, the villains want to render the average robot obsolete, kill them, and take over (or something). So it's not great, nor are the villains themselves. One is over-the-top scary and the other is a whiny wimp. As as I said, the visuals aren't so impressive. The robot world is nice, but not much to look at.

Overall, good for those of us with a soft spot for heartwarming children's films. If that's not your thing, then don't bother with this one.

12/20/2016 update, again.

Sex:At the opening, Rodney's parents put him together, leading to cracks about childbirth and a brief view of a baby's butt. His dad picks up an "extra piece" and asks "We did want a boy, right?" Rodney gets hand-me-downs from his female cousin. Cracks are made about Aunt Fanny's large posterior. A male robot asks about "the dame with the sweet keister." Fender offers to let Rodney bunk with him, adding they'll ignore the gossip. When Rodney asks a crowd who wants to get fixed, a dog covers its groin and whimpers. When Fender's legs fall off, he grabs the closest ones he can find. After he puts them on, a skirt folds out (he responds "This is so wrong, this is so wrong.") He spends the rest of the movie dressed in drag. Earlier, he mockingly shakes his butt at a sweeper. Naturally, that's the moment pieces of it fall off. When asked when he last got oil, he says he can't say in front of his sister. He complains of an itchy backside and flirts with a woman.
A male robot's robe falls down, causing a nearby woman to faint. Piper has an obvious crush on Rodney. At one point she tells a story of his heroism then says just thinking about it makes her static-y. A robot's "pants" fall down, showing his boxers. A shocked man accidentally enters the women's bathroom. A fancy car comes with a hot tub. Couples nuzzle and dance. In the non-humorous category, an evil comes on to a female subordinate.

Violence:Fitting a piece onto his new baby, Mr. Copperbottom says it won't hurt a bit. Of course it does. He accidentally pulls off his son's nose.

Pieces of Fender continually fall off. At one point, he's whacked with a giant hammer. A couple bots smack him in the head. A joke shows drums in a marching band don't enjoy being played.
One of Rodney's early attempts at the dishwasher bot smashes a plate on its head and turns gleefully destructive. The successful one freaks out and wrecks a kitchen. A guy goes after it with a hatchet and falls into some kind of trash bin. Rodney gets magnetized and has a large amount of metal objects flying at him. Ratchet kicks Wonderbot out a window. Birds peck at Rodney. Aunt Fanny accidentally whacks things with her rear end. A city transport involves some travel that you really wouldn't want to go through. Barrels get knocked over, spilling ball bearings.
Cappy warns Rodney Ratchet will use his head for a hood ornament. Sweepers take bots to the chop shop to be cut up and melted down. Someone is implied to be killed in the furnace. A robot falls apart, which others see as spare parts until they're told they should be ashamed of themselves. A villain whacks someone in the head and requests the destruction of several other bot.
Battling the bad guys involves sharp objects and your basic fighting moves. There's also sword (more like pipe) battles, wrestling matches, and deadly dancing. There are a couple of chase scenes.

Language and Insults:"Crap", "m*ron", "crud", "screwed", "fat face", "idi*t", "loser", "heck", "knucklehead", "freak", and so forth.

Drugs and Alcohol:Stuff that appears to be alcoholic (or something) is consumed at a party. Herb gives cigars to a couple guys to celebrate. A guy is transporting something that looks like beer. A sign in a restaurant says no smoking.

Gross humor:There are multiple fart jokes, most relating to Aunt Fanny. Fender accidentally gives Rodney a view of Crank changing his oil (the robot equivalent of relieving yourself). He comments it's his third today, meaning something's wrong. A hydrant tells a dog sniffing at him "Don't even think about it." Fender tells someone there's a model inside them waiting to throw up. Wonderbot burps and hiccups. Fender pukes off-screen. Rodney unclogs a live toilet.

Spiritual:There's a line quoted from Star Wars ("The Force is strong with this one"). Expressions like "speak of the devil" and "bless her heart" are used. Fender calls Rodney psychic friend. Ratchet calls him a fanatic.

So what did you think? Did it shine? Or should it go straight to the chop shop?

© 2014 by M.R.R.

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