22

The theme of July's movie night will be: Robots! 🤖

Your film should significantly involve, or be about, robots. At least one of them. Possibly, but not necessarily, giant robots. Mechas are counted. Cyborgs & organic robots will be counted, since there's fuzzy grey area I'd rather us be able to explore there. I'll leave it up to voters & common sense to figure out what is Robot-ish enough for the Robot film night.

Inspirational link for robots. (Has sound. 🎵)

Post your robot movie suggestions here!

Bonus points:

  • +1 if there's multiple robots.
  • +1 if it's available for us to watch together on Watch2gether or Rabbit.

Voting ended: Iron Giant wins!

Date and time:

  • Saturday 15th July, 6pm UTC+0
  • Sunday 16th July, 8pm UTC+0, time negotiable.

The Sunday session is a tradition from Arqade's film nights: they host informal Sunday sessions for those who couldn't make it to Saturday, and the same would work well for us here.


Clarifications:

  • You can nominate more than one film.
  • It is OK if you cannot tell us about the robots because of spoilers. Just promise there's robots, and tell us about the film itself instead. :)
  • 16
    Time-travelling robots? – Rand al'Thor Jun 3 '17 at 23:49
  • 1
    Sure! As long as they're robots. (Robots!) – doppelgreener Jun 3 '17 at 23:52
  • 5
    I think you missed something there... – user58 Jun 4 '17 at 5:57
  • Crap, Rogue One is still not on YouTube Movies, and it'll probably be expensive. – Gallifreyan Jun 4 '17 at 9:51
  • Someone has to nominate Ghost in the Shell (the anime), though I'm not sure if it's available for streaming. – Gallifreyan Jun 4 '17 at 10:29
  • @Mithrandir That is amazing. I never knew about that one. Thank you. :D – doppelgreener Jun 4 '17 at 10:58
  • 5
    When I saw this meta title I assumed it was actually an announcement that we'll be watching Robots rather than having a vote this time. :) – The Dark Lord Jun 4 '17 at 17:04
  • If I was to propose an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, would I get better response if I chose one of the movies which would itself be eligible? – can-ned_food Jun 12 '17 at 22:43
  • @can-ned_food Yep, I would definitely suggest picking a movie which is itself eligible. – doppelgreener Jun 12 '17 at 22:49
  • Man I can't believe there was one of these with "multiple robots" as a criteria and no-one suggested Enthiran (aka 'Indian Robot'). Now that's multiple robots. – user568458 Jun 19 '17 at 22:48
  • There's still time! – doppelgreener Jun 19 '17 at 23:08
  • 1
    wrt to timing, can I request Sunday night instead of Saturday night? There's a much larger chance that I'll be able to join on a Sunday night than Saturday night; I've wanted to join the film night for the past few months, but haven't been able to :/ – Shokhet Jul 2 '17 at 16:23

14 Answers 14

23

The Iron Giant

Before Vin Diesel was Groot, he was the Iron Giant. This is a 1999 animated film directed by Brad Bird. It tells the story of a friendship between a boy and an alien robot, who is for the reasons of miscommunication, antagonised by some people, despite being quite friendly.

Here is the synopsis from the Google blurb:

In this animated adaptation of Ted Hughes' Cold War fable, a giant alien robot crash-lands near the small town of Rockwell, Maine, in 1957. Exploring the area, a local 9-year-old boy, Hogarth, discovers the robot, and soon forms an unlikely friendship with him. When a paranoid government agent, Kent Mansley, becomes determined to destroy the robot, Hogarth and beatnik Dean McCoppin must do what they can to save the misunderstood machine.

The film has been very positively received by the audience and critics (Rotten Tomatoes, IMDB), as well as a family-friendly 7+ rating on Common Sense Media.

It appears to be available for streaming on Netflix and Amazon.


  • To the best of my knowledge (I haven't seen this film) it has only one robot.

  • It's available for streaming in multiple venues. +1

  • 3
    Iron Giant's definitely one of my favorite robot-themed films, and I was hoping it would get nominated. :) – doppelgreener Jun 4 '17 at 13:43
  • 1
    The Giant's dream sequence, a formerly uncompleted scene now available in the Signature Edition, features many robots. – Gaultheria Jun 7 '17 at 6:26
  • 2
    So, as @Gaultheria recommends, we all need to see the “Signature Edition”. – can-ned_food Jun 15 '17 at 20:22
16

Big Hero 6. It's for all people. Kids, adults. Males, females. Comics book geeks, sci-fi nerds, "normal people". It doesn't matter. The main and most popular character in the movie is Baymax, a robot with a dragon costume. It did win the Best Animated Feature award at the Oscars a few years ago, so I guess that means something. And besides, it has true emotion and humor that anyone can relate to. And yes, there are multiple robots besides Baymax. The plot of the film is based on little microbots (somewhat). So yeah, Big Hero 6. +1 for multiple robots

Here's a picture of the robot. enter image description here

If not this movie, then Metropolis is what I'd go with. True classic.

  • I actually wanted to see this film. Do you know if it's available on YouTube Movies or Netflix, or anywhere else? – Gallifreyan Jun 6 '17 at 9:53
  • Yeah, it's available on Youtube. – Donatello Swansino Jun 6 '17 at 23:09
  • Great movie. Nice nomination. – TGar Jun 8 '17 at 13:17
  • Must have seen a different version of the movie. I never saw Baymax wear a dragon costume. Fred does, though. – Scott Mermelstein Jun 8 '17 at 20:25
  • What Fred wears is something akin to a Kaiju costume. When I say Baymax wears a dragon costume, I mean that his armor is meant to resemble a dragon. That was intentional. – Donatello Swansino Jun 9 '17 at 1:36
13

Blade Runner

1982 two theatrical releases: USA and international
1992 director's cut
2007 the final cut

scene from Blade Runner.  Deckard is interviewing Rachael with the Voight-Kampff device.

You know the story. Pollution has almost exterminated all non-human animal life on earth. Artificial organo-synthetic ‘replicants’ are built to take their place as domestic companions for the excessively abundant human population. They are also used in humanoid form, and are thus designed to perform dangerous or undesirable jobs in place of humans.
Four such humanoid replicants happen to escape from an interplanetary transport. ‘Blade runners’ are special cops who hunt down and apprehend rogue replicants; a blade–runner named Deckard, who may or may not be a replicant himself, is tasked with finding and capturing or killing the escaped replicants.

Directed by Ridley Scott, with Art Direction by David Snyder, from a screenplay, originally titled “Dangerous Days”, written by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples.
Inspired somewhat by Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? — i.e., from the premise therein of replicants and a detective tracking them down.

teaser for the Final Cut version.

+1 for multiple robots.
-1 because, in honest decency, most people are probably expecting metal or exposed electronics or some form of superficial differences to distinguish the robots. The replicants are strong, and can endure extreme conditions, but they only have their emotional immaturity to reliably distinguish them from humans.
They do have a crimson eye tapetum which is visible under some conditions, but that is only used ironically and for indicating replicant status to the viewer.

  • 1
    I considered it, but couldn't find a streamable copy anywhere, legal or otherwise (well, I could, but not for the shared video room). – Gallifreyan Jun 5 '17 at 6:35
  • I could edit this a bit, improve format and clarify somewhat (e.g. the replicants have that eye reflectivity thing), but if it isn't streamable, then I guess it wouldn't work anyway. – can-ned_food Jun 5 '17 at 13:11
  • You should always edit to improve and clarify :) Maybe someone more able will find a copy for us. – Gallifreyan Jun 5 '17 at 13:13
  • So on the bottom line, which version are you proposing to watch? – TARS Jun 12 '17 at 17:29
  • @TARS That depends on (A) whether this beats out The Iron Giant, and (B) whichever version is more widely available. I have a 4 DVD set which includes all of them. – can-ned_food Jun 12 '17 at 22:26
12

Metropolis (1927)

Metropolis film poster

Directed by Fritz Lang, written by him and Thea von Harbou (his wife), starring Gustav Fröhlich, Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel and Rudolf Klein-Rogge.

This is one of the first science fiction films ever made. And it features a robot.

11

Short Circuit (1986)

Johnny 5's alive!

A former military robot gets struck by lightning and develops quite a personality... Some great comedic moments, memorable quotes and come on - it's got Steve Guttenberg (of Police Academy fame) and Fisher Stevens as Ben - what more could one want from a film?

Remember: failing to upvote for this film is a vote to disassemble Number 5 - and Number 5 says NO Dissassemble :)


Apart from Johnny 5 - there are other robots (although only briefly) - alas, not as friendly or as cool as J5 (no spoilers) - and it appears it's available in full on youtube.

  • As much as I loved Short Circuit and Johnny 5 as a child, the grown up me finds the whole white-guy-in-brown-face part a bit dubious these days. – user22478 Jun 12 '17 at 20:54
10

The World's End

enter image description here

This is a comedy about a group of friends reconnecting after many years to return to their hometown for a bar crawl, just like the one they'd done in their youth. It's a story of a man trying to hold on to his past, even when the rest of the world seems ready to forget it all and start something new. But also, and I don't want to spoil anything, there are robots. Lots of robots. To find out how the robots fit in, and to see if the heroes can finally make it to the World's End pub, you'll just have to watch the film!

Bonus Points:

+1 for multiple robots.

  • 👍 I've edited to clarify that it is OK if you can't tell us about the robots. – doppelgreener Jun 4 '17 at 0:09
  • "Robot" means "slave." They're not slaves. – jwodder Jun 4 '17 at 2:09
  • 3
    @jwodder: no, in English, "robot" does not mean slave. – Martha Jun 7 '17 at 1:31
  • 1
    @Martha: (a) "Robot" comes from a word that means "slave." (b) It's a quote from the movie. – jwodder Jun 7 '17 at 3:06
  • 2
    @jwodder: haven't seen the movie, so can't comment about (b), but about (a): the etymological fallacy is, well, a fallacy. – Martha Jun 7 '17 at 14:17
  • @Martha: You'll have to take that up with the not-slaves. – jwodder Jun 7 '17 at 14:42
  • Technically, the Czech word describes forced and onerous labor. So far as I am aware. – can-ned_food Jun 12 '17 at 22:42
10

Now is not the time nor the place, but I must admit I have always been a fan or Ron Perlman, ever since Beauty and the Beast. In fact, he was the only factor that made the film Looney Tunes: Back in Action worth watching for me. Ehm, anyway, to cut to the chase,

I nominate Pacific Rim.

It may not be the best movie ever, but it has the redeeming feature of bringing mechas to mainstream. You know, if somebody not familiar with anime asks you "What's that, a mecha?" you can say, "you know, those robots from Pacific Rim."

It does feature multiple robots

enter image description here

and it's on Netflix, which means it can be watched through Rabbit, right? (Don't know anything about Rabbit, sorry).

  • Alas — I found the story to be shallow, the aliens to cliché — or was it the other way around? Both for both. I also thought the special effects uninspired. I liked Charlie Day, and I almost liked the scene where he tomb-taps the piece of — er, spoiler alert. Anyway, not that anyone cares. – can-ned_food Jun 4 '17 at 13:06
  • @can-ned_food I know, and I agree. That's what I meant with "not the best movie ever" (which was meant to be an understatement) but still, I meant what I said about its redeeming features. And I wouldn't mind watching it again together with people of a like mind. – Mr Lister Jun 4 '17 at 16:47
  • Hey, it leads out my (¿symbolic) nomination by five votes or so. I just thought i'd mention why i sadly downvoted where i usually simply don't vote when i disagree. – can-ned_food Jun 4 '17 at 22:33
  • 5
    It's terrible as a film, but excellent as a summer blockbuster, which is all it ever wanted to be. – MissMonicaE Jun 5 '17 at 12:30
9

WALL-E

In the distant future, a small waste-collecting robot inadvertently embarks on a space journey that will ultimately decide the fate of mankind.

enter image description here

I am not big fan of animated movies but I loved Wall-E. Film has lot of emotions and won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

Wall-E is the main characte discovers a new purpose in life (besides collecting knick-knacks) when he meets a sleek search robot named EVE.

Eve:

When EVE is first seen in the movie, she is hostile and dedicated to her task. However, after meeting WALL-E, she began to warm up to him and befriend him. enter image description here

+1 Multiple Robots

  • This is literally my favorite movie, period. – Bob Jul 4 '17 at 17:58
7

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

You might have heard of this one. It's a true classic about two robots going on interplanetary adventures while saving the Galaxy!

…And the human and non-human sidekicks they pick up along the way.

enter image description here

+1 Multiple robots (the two stars, plus some guests like the scene-stealing "Mouse Droid")

  • 3
    You ever try to shoot those mouse droids in Dark Forces, then feel guilty about it afterwards? – can-ned_food Jun 4 '17 at 8:03
  • @can-ned_food - .... no, never. shifty eyes – Radhil Jun 4 '17 at 13:11
  • 3
    Needs synopsis... – The Dark Lord Jun 4 '17 at 17:08
  • 1
    @TheDarkLord +1 for that, definitely must be added. – Gallifreyan Jun 4 '17 at 18:46
  • 3
    @TheDarkLord There was something about a princess fleeing her arranged marriage to a Prince Valium, and a guy named Dark Helmet, and the power of the Schwartz. I can't remember. – can-ned_food Jun 5 '17 at 3:30
7

Partly because it seems so obvious...

Robots (2005)

Brief synopsis:

In a world of sentient robots, striving young inventor Rodney Copperbottom (Ewan McGregor) wants to work for the avuncular Bigweld (Mel Brooks), whose Bigweld Industries makes spare robot parts. But Bigweld has just been deposed as company head by the villainous Phineas T. Ratchet (Greg Kinnear), who wants to make all robots submit to profitable forced upgrades. In this animated adventure, Rodney and his friend Fender (Robin Williams) go underground to fight Ratchet's evil plans.

I watched it a while ago - I can't remember much of it but I had a reasonably positive impression of it. Any film which features Robin Williams can't be a complete right-off.

+1 For featuring multiple robots.
+1 (Arguably) For featuring nothing but robots and no non-robot characters.

It also seems to be relatively easy to access.

  • 5
    I'll grant you that bonus point. If the theme is Robots, and you get a bonus point for multiple robots, I can't imagine not granting another bonus point for nothing but robots. :P – doppelgreener Jun 4 '17 at 17:12
7

I expect that lots of you, know that movie. But I like it for a long time and it would be a great loss not to mention:

I, Robot

Poster

It is based on Isaac Asimov book of short stories called I, Robot, yet the movie itself is not a copy of any of the stories from the book (so no spoiler there, I suggest you to read the book as well as it is great too).
There is a really really large number of robots (not just one type of them though).

It is an action movie (there is Will Smith, so it has to be), but it also has a few great thoughts (and also cool cars, nice women, holograms, tattoos, funny product-placements, cyborg, police, a cat and a lot more).

  • 1
    I took the liberty of editing your post to make it more fit for Web 2.0. Nice nomination, +1! – Gallifreyan Jun 6 '17 at 21:03
  • 1
    You possessed the Cojones (gahones) I didn't have, nice nomination! – Edlothiad Jun 8 '17 at 10:17
  • 4
    The extended version features a five minute scene of the entire crew pissing on Asimov's grave. – SQB Jun 8 '17 at 11:14
  • @SQB I didn't see that, what is it about? – TGar Jun 8 '17 at 13:14
  • 2
    The low-down on the relationship between this and Asimov. It was originally titled Hardwired. It its 2004 form, it employs his idea of the Three Laws of Robotics. There's no failure of creativity there: Asimov developed those laws for the pragma of avoiding certain forms of robot stories which he thought cliché and uninteresting. The concept of an a.i. which applies the Three Laws to the entire human populi as a whole is similar to the story ‘The Evitable Conflict’ in I, Robot… It more resembles The Caves of Steel than anything in I, Robot. – can-ned_food Jun 10 '17 at 15:02
  • I actually would've liked to see the original screenplay. Of course, I'm someone who really enjoyed Primer, so … – can-ned_food Jun 15 '17 at 21:04
  • It's a detective story like The Caves of Steel but it also takes a bunch of things here and there from the stories in iRobot. But the main plot is not from the books. It's kindof a standard Hollywood plot. – xdhmoore Jun 25 '17 at 22:06
4

THE BLACK HOLE (1979)

Plot Summary/Details

It is the year 2130 A.D. An Earth exploratory ship, the USS Palomino, discovers a black hole with a lost ship, the USS Cygnus, just outside its event horizon. The lost ship is generating an artificial gravity field, keeping it safe from the terrible forces of the black hole. Upon boarding the vessel, the crew of the Palomino learn that the Cygnus is under the command of the brilliant but fanatically-driven Dr. Hans Reinhardt (Maximillian Schell). The crew begins to suspect that things aboard the Cygnus are not right, and begin to unravel a terrifying mystery about the ship and the plans Reinhardt has for her.

Robotic Presence

There are at least 3 robots who are major characters. V.I.N.CENT (voiced by Roddy McDowell) is part of the crew of the Palomino. There is also B.O.B. (voiced by Slim Pickens) who is a similar, but older design to Vincent. And then there is Reinhardt's personal assistant and apparent enforcer, the sinister and utterly silent Maximilian. There are also some lesser robotic presences, but I don't want to give away any spoilers here.

Maximillian (Maximilian)

Reasons for Submission

I'm not going to say The Black Hole is top-notch cinema. It's not. It has a 5.9 rating on IMDB, and while I think that's a little harsh, I wouldn't put the film above 6.5/10. So, why even suggest it? Because the film has a wonderfully surreal quality due to a very uneven vision of what the film is supposed to be.

This was the first film Disney made that wasn't "G"-rated all audiences fare, and it shows. There are very traditional elements of Disney film-making in the script, with some dialogues and visuals that are downright cornball. There are also elements of the film that are very dark and scary, to the point that they would have been more at home in a film like Event Horizon than a Disney film. It's as if the screenwriters decided that throwing parts from an "R"-rated film and parts from a "G"-rated film would balance out into a good "PG" film.

Likewise, the visual effects exhibit the same extremes. There are some truly breathtaking effects (for the era) in The Black Hole, and there are some incredibly cheesy ones, too.

And then there's the ending, which I (obviously) won't reveal here, but plunges into the deeply philosophical and unexpected.

To make a long story short (too late, I know), it's not a great film, but I've found it makes for some very interesting viewing all the same.

  • 1
    I have to be pedantic - It's spelled V.I.N.CENT - "Vital Information Necessary, CENTralized". Another reason the film is historically important - the TV special about the film, couched as a special about classic special effects, brought the world the first look at Mike Jittlov's "The wizard of Speed and Time". – VBartilucci Jun 19 '17 at 1:37
  • Good catch. Fixed in edit. – Helbent IV Jun 21 '17 at 4:09
4

Terry Pratchett's Going Postal.

I have one word to say: GOLEMS!!!!!

The Golem is the pre-scientific ancestor of the robot, and the Discworld Golems hold a certain appeal (at least for me).

Whilst I have not seen this movie, I have read this book numerous times (it is my favourite Pratchett novel).

Its got comedy, its got drama, its got oodles of murder, and it is up to its armpits in Golems.

To honor the late Sir Terry Pratchett, I nominate this 2 part made for TV movie for the July movie night.

  • 1
    Your nomination is my concern, Magikarp. – can-ned_food Jun 21 '17 at 18:42
3

Silent Running

1971

In a future where the entire surface of the earth is covered by climate-controlled buildings, no plant life remains; all wilderness has been eradicated. All food is synthesized by artificial technology.
Giant space freighters are consigned to serve as the only remaining zoological and botanical gardens.
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4934401

Okay, so there are three actual, factual, robots here, but they aren't anywhere near the focus of the story. They are not quite main characters, either — not until

Lowell (Bruce Dern) loses the other human crew members, and has only the robotic Drones as his most humanoid companions.

So…
Why do I nominate this? Anyone who tells me that the didn't cry when

Number 03, a.k.a. Louie, gets hit by the debris in Saturn's rings, and falls off the ship,

or when

Lowell destroys himself and Number 02 a.k.a. Huey, and Number 01 a.k.a. Dewey is the only one of the drones or humans to carry on taking care of the forests at the end,

should be kicked in the shin — if they don't cry at that, then they are probably a robot themself. And, a pitiful one at that, who lacks the ability to sympathize for a fellow robot.
Okay, so the robots were but one reason of many for the wealth of emotions at the finale — but they were so darn cute!

And, come on:

Why couldn't Number 02 be allowed to ride along with Number 01?


+1 multiple robots
+1(?) there are quite a few duds and baits out there, but at least one bad copy on YouTube and is available on Netflix

  • Could you give us a low-spoiler synopsis as well? :) Maybe a movie poster would also help us understand the kind of movie this is. – doppelgreener Jun 15 '17 at 21:10
  • Tee hee, of course, @doppelgreener – can-ned_food Jun 15 '17 at 21:39

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