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Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 7:12 pm 
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I recently received my order from Amazon.com of a vintage hardcover copy of I, Robot by Isaac Asimov.

I order it primarily to find out why so many folks who love the original book (a collection of short stories) seem to hate the recent movie. I have very fond memories of the stories in this collection -- but I have a very high regard for the recent movie.

Call me weird, call me crazy -- I love 'em both.

I've been reading the short stories in the collection, and so far I've agreed with the updating the filmmakers did of the concepts Asimov presented, many decades ago. I even agree with the casting of Bridget Moynahan as Dr. Susan Calvin. The description of her younger self in the book seems to agree perfectly with the way Miss Moyhahan played her in the movie.

How do you guys feel about this book, this movie, and the way the one compares to the other?

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Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 1:26 am 
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Asimov - I have read nearly anything he wrote many times, and watched several versions of this story including the VHS Video mystery game - which borrowed the robot costumes from Dr Who "The Robots of Death." I think the biggest complaints I heard on the film was it casting Will Smith as Spooner and the ending. Will as Spooner didn't really bother me that much. He played the character - albeit with some commercial sponsorship/product placement. The ending I accept being it was a Hollywood big budget and that is just the way it is anymore. It isn't anything that Asimov was trying to convey, it was what the director/producer/studio wanted.

Was the movie Asimov's - no. The characters and some plot points were. Did it convey the story Asimov set out to tell in his stories, no. Was it a fun bang/bang action vehicle for Smith - yes. Did I feel I was cheated as bad as I had been with other remakes - TDTESS, for example - no. Would I, Robot - the Asimov version ever get green lighted by todays studios - sad to say, but no. It simply wouldn't generate the $$$ - which is essentially the bottom line. Will any movie ever be as good as the novel or short story - no, because you can't capture everyones mental interpretation on celluloid.

As I often point out to people who beat this film up, if you want Asimov - read the stories. If you want a fairly accurate version, watch "Outer Limits" version of it. You want a 21st interpretation with lots of cgi and a fun thriller movie - here you go.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 5:42 pm 
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I agree with your analysis of the situation, especially when you said, "Will any movie ever be as good as the novel or short story - no, because you can't capture everyone's mental interpretation on celluloid."

Here's a wacky thought: if we ever develop the technology to allow a person's thoughts, feelings, and mental images to be recorded and then played back by another, two readers of the same book could compare their subjective experiences.

Furthermore, a reader who didn't enjoy the book could see it from the point of view of someone who loved it. And people who didn't possess a strong ability to create mental images based on written descriptions could see what they've been missing all these years.

Last but not least, an author could read his own work and "record" the experience. Then he/she could share their mental images and emotional reactions with their readers.

Yeah, yeah, I know -- there are all kinds of problems with this idea.

Like, why would intelligent readers need somebody else to envision/interpret literature for them? And who in there right mind would allow other people to play back recordings of their personal thoughts -- especially when their thoughts were being stimulated by the skilled writing of a good author?

What do you guys think of this idea? Prophetic . . . or crazy?

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Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:10 pm 
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DrMoreau wrote:
If you want a fairly accurate version, watch "Outer Limits" version of it. You want a 21st interpretation with lots of cgi and a fun thriller movie - here you go.


And the ironic thing is that the Outer Limits episode "I, Robot" is actually not based on Isaac Asimov's stories, but rather on the unrelated Eando Binder original short story (also about a robot), which was written in 1939, more than a decade before Asimov wrote his own robot series.

But indeed the Outer Limits episode seems closer to Asimov's stories than the film starring Will Smith (which is based on Asimov).


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Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 7:02 pm 
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Thank you! Classic, for pointing out the Binder brothers used the "I, Robot" title and wrote about robots before good old Ike Asimov. The Outer Limits episode was a classic. The series of Binder brothers stories were also adapted for Creppy/Erie magazines in the 1960s to great success with fantastic art and scripts credited to the brothers. I have them in my collection.


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