88 of 97 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2012
This is a pretty good movie, and I was excited to see it in 3D as I have been amazed by some other 3D blurays (Thor, Captain America, Avatar).
Despite the fact that this wasn't "made for 3D", I was hopeful that the 3D reworking would yield some pretty cool results. Unfortunately, I didn't really see much 3D that enhanced the film or made it really worth it to buy a new bluray since I had the dvd (and it isn't a "gotta have" film for me - I was interested in it for the 3D feature.
If you don't have the film yet, it is a good addition to your collection. If you love this movie and have the dvd, then sure buy it, but if you just like the film and have the dvd, and are looking to expand your 3D film collection for some cool 3D films, you might wanna spend your money on other 3D discs.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
I won't get into a summary of the plot, my opinions on the acting or a comparison to the original movie. All science fiction eventually becomes reality, one just has to read the old Jules Verne novels and most all he predicted has come to pass. Perhaps, with iRobot, Asimov's vision of the future may also come to be reality. Suffice it to say that this film is well done, tense and draws you into a truly popcorn movie. I only review the quality of the Blu Ray disc itself. I do have the Standard Def version as well.
The Standard Def DVD was actually pretty well made; its video and audio were both very good so I do not believe that you will see a night and day difference between the SD DVD and this BluRay.
That said, the BluRay transfer is excellent with no grain or artifacting at all. Granted, you wouldn't expect to see grain in any CGI clip, but there are plenty of scenes that are not wholly CGI and the film retains true skin tones, a very nice contrast and warm color grading. No problems that I can see with the video transfer to Blu Ray which is why I gave it a 5.
The audio transfer is also excellent in lossless DTS HD MA 5.1 and the audio could easily be used for DEMO disc purposes at it utilizes the entire surround system with a great deal of discreet channeling to the rear stage and from front and rear with realistic panning when appropriate. However, as I said for the Standard Def version, its audio was also extremely well edited so the big difference is that this audio, being lossless with a larger bit rate, makes for a more enveloping sound track.
There are extras, a commentary, an alternate ending and CGI renditions of endings as well. If you do not already have a copy of iRobot, despite its age, the film retains sturdy legs and is well worth having in your collection, especially at such an inexpensive cost.
All my movie reviews are of this nature and focus only on the quality of the transfer to BluRay so check them and see if they are of help as well.
Hopefully, this review has been of some help to you in determining your purchase, hope I am on the correct path with a review of the transfer quality as opposed to providing plot summaries.
55 of 71 people found the following review helpful
My first reaction as this film began was "Wait! This isn't Asimov." The Asimov I grew up reading was a weaver of ideas, more mind candy than adventure story. But here I found myself in Will Smith's bedroom, and then suddenly catapulted into a wild chase after a purse grabbing robot. A far cry from the delicacy used by Asimov. It took a while for the shock to wear off but eventually the conflict between Smith's gritty performance as Del Spooner and his original inspiration in the reminiscences of Dr. Susan Calvin (played by Bridget Moynahan) wears off and the view settles into a film that is inspired by Asimov, but does not imitate him.
The sooner that happens, the better, because this is an exceptional film in its own right, even if it does proceed with the speed of a video game. Smith creates a wisecracking character with a deep mistrust of robots. He is called in to to investigate what appears to be an impossible killing - robots can't kill humans, it's the first law of robotics. But Dr. Alfred Lanning (James Cromwell) lies dead and the only suspect is 'Sonny' a Series 5 robot with some surprising circuitry (played by Alan Tudyk).
The death is declared a suicide, but Spooner refuses to give in. suddenly the automated world turns on the detective, whose unlikely ally is Dr. Calvin, a robopsychologist responsible for the psyches of masses of robots about to be distributed around the planet. One hair-raising escape after another propels the story along until viewers find themselves at a surprisingly reflective conclusion. Not exactly classical Asimov, but a great story nonetheless.
Will does a good job as Spooner, but he is upstaged by Moynihan's performance. And both are blown away by Tudyk and the animators performance as Sonny. As you watch Sonny develop from being slightly more simpatico than the scenery into a full-blown personality there are countless moments of surprise. Moynihan and Smith do their best, but from the moment Sonny turns to Spooner and says "Thank you... you said someone not something." The film belongs to the robots.
Excellent animation and CGI create a world that is a retro version of the future - perhaps exactly what Asimov imagined rather than what we would now. The result is a compelling mix of the outré and the mundane that sticks in the mind just as Sonny's wink does.
This is not just an action film. Threaded through it are the same questions that Asimov raised about the nature of self and intelligence. Robots may never be human, but there are far more than furniture. And if their thought processes are alien, they are more than the sum of their programming. The result is one of the more carefully thought out science fiction films in recent times.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2013
I've proudly collected most all 3D Blurays available in the US since the beginning. I must say that I ROBOT is the worst 3D conversion I've ever experienced. I actually sold it on ebay for $9. It looked like a pop-out book - simply unsatisfactory. FOX/SONY has boasted about their new techniquest to convert 2D Classics to 3D classics. Note to Fox/Sony: PLEASE DON"T RUIN ANY FURTHER CLASSICS IN YOUR CATALOG WITH THIS QUALITY CONVERSION. I was so Dissappointed - a Great Movie in a horrible 3D presentation.
Sony/Fox should take some pointers from Pixar or James Cameron for the future 2D- 3D conversion. You thought Last Airbender 3D was bad - experience I-ROBOT and it makes the Airbender look like a classic. Shame on you Fox/Sony - Give us better quality 3D Conversions and we'll buy them.
24 of 32 people found the following review helpful
I watched this one with my family over the weekend and, quite frankly, had a ball. Yeah, to some extent it's a movie with a message, but mainly it's just plain entertaining. If you try to read too much into it, you'll miss the opportunity for a good old-fashioned sci fi romp.
Fast forward to the year 2035. The monolithic company "U.S. Robotics" has put NS-4 domestic assistant robots into mass production, so much so that they are commonplace "members" of American society. Their artificial intelligence is designed to be as much like humans as possible, but is regulated by the "3 laws" programming that is hardwired into every robot. These laws are: 1. To protect human life above all; 2. To obey human commands except if it would violate law 1; and 3. To protect its own existence unless doing so would violate laws 1 or 2. The laws seem a foolproof way to ensure that the robots would never pose a threat to humanity. But all that changed when the man billed as the father of robotic technology and the 3 laws turns up dead in a very public, and very suspicous, manner, just as the new and improved NS-5 model is about to flood the market. The death is quickly written off by all concerned as a suicide. All except detective Dale Spooner, this is.
Being a good cop and a sharp detective, Spooner (played by Will Smith) in not content that the professor's death was a suicide, and begins investigating with the lead suspect, an NS-5 robot named "Sonny". Sonny's intelligence is so advanced, and his "emotions" so well simulated, that he appears to have something resembling a human soul. Spooner believes that Sonny killed the professor, and sets out to prove it. His (over)zealous approach to the task, coupled with his deep distrust of robots and their manufacturer, quickly lands him in hot water with some powerful people. Some difficult and destructive encounters with the metallic menaces leave him looking like an obsessive paranoiac, and ultimately result in his suspension from the police force.
Spooner continues his chase nonetheless, following a series of clues left by the dead professor, as step by step the mystery begins the unwind. All along the way are some great action sequences, plot twists and one-liners. However, except for Will Smith's character (which is the same as it has been in every film he has done since "Men in Black"), nothing about the story is predictable. When the final shoe drops, most viewers will be pleasantly surprised by the unexpected ending.
All in all, I really enjoyed this movie. It was a wild ride with lots of great sci fi treats and effects. The only downsides were the lack of character development on any signficant level -- this is a purely plot-driven movie -- and the fact that Will Smith essentially played himself, much as he always does. Still, it's worth seeing. I certainly don't regret the investment of two hours.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
An action/police procedual movie "inspired" by the work of Issac Asimov, and starring Will Smith.
I was reluctant to see this movie for a long time, until my friend Bridgette convinced me that it was worth watching. My reluctance came from the fact that the movie is very unlike the original Asimov stories, with only the Laws of Robotics and a few names making the transition.
The movie stars Smith as Del Spooner, Chicago police officer who has a real grudge against robots. This is hinted at in the opening title sequence, and is later explained in full detail just why Del has a problem with robots that no one else seems to share or understand. His boss at the precinct can't control him, his beloved grandmother chides him for his attitude, and he rubs everyone and everything raw, especially when it comes to the mechanical entities which now dominate Chicago and the rest of the U.S. in 2034.
So when Robot inventor Dr. Alfred Lanning (played in holograms by James Cromwell) dies in an apparent suicide, but asking for Del in his death message, Del's dislike for robots is put to the test as he visits the gargantuan building that holds US Robotics. Del's abrasive personality and style are matched against the cool and collected Dr. Calvin (Bridget Moynihan). It seems at first that Del's presence is useless and worse than useless. However, the apperance of Sonny (Alan Tudyk) and evidence suggesting that Lanning could not have committed suicide starts a chain of action sequences and investigations that reveal an audacious plan involving the latest model of robot to be released...
While the movie is 65% action and police procedural, and 30% science fiction, the movie does have a small dose of philosophy and the spirit of the original Asimov work As a minor spoiler, I will reveal here that, while not put directly in those terms, the movie's plot revolves around the "0th law". The first time I saw the movie, I recognized this immediately, and on this re-viewing, I appreciate that Proyas (who also directed Dark City (New Line Platinum Series) subtly inserted this distillation of the three laws. Proyas is a great director even if this movie, with its car chases and pyrotechnics does not play to his greatest strengths.
Cromwell does fine as a hologram, Moynihan does okay as Calvin. Tudyk provides a human face to Sonny the robot. Still, this movie, like many of his movies, belongs to Smith's Del Spooner. Smith is as always a protagonist which the viewers can follow. Even if, unlike many of his roles, Del's personality and history have a dark edge that (until this movie) Smith had never really explored before in movie roles. I note wryly that this is the second SF movie he has been in that he has been a police officer. (Men in Black (Deluxe Edition) being the first).
The movie IS a summer blockbuster type movie, but definitely in the upper tier of that subset of movies. The movie doesn't fail to entertain and I enjoyed it a lot.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2005
Australia director Alex Proyas (Dark City, The Crow) has with his film "I, Robot" combined a large enough budget with a desire to tell a good story, to make an intelligent Hollywood blockbuster. Large sections of it are a CGI-driven theme ride of special effects, but unlike other big budget films like "van Helsing" or "Bad Boys II", they don't overwhelm the story, which binds them together. They complement each other.
This story is set in 2035 Chicago. It is a familiar backdrop, because the production and design of the film acknowledges the future will also have a history. Except that although some of the stylish grey computers may look like Note Books or even iPod's, but are instead robots which will do everything from walking your dog, to chasing after you if you leave home without your asthma medicine.
Detective Dale Spooner (Will Smith) is a man damaged in ways which aren't at first apparent to us. Returning to duty after injury, he now harbours a paranoid mistrust of robots only drawn out as the film progresses. In this Smith gets to show us he can act as well as make us laugh. This mistrust is the reason given by the holographic suicide note of robot designer Dr. Lanning (James Cromwell) calls him to the crime.
Alone in his laboratory before his death except for his robots, it doesn't take Spooner long to discover the hiding NS-5 robot Sonny (a CGI-generated character voiced by Alan Tudyk) who he is certain killed Lanning. Not believed by anyone, especially robot psychologist Susan Calvin (Bridget Moynahan brilliantly portraying a person relearning her emotions on the run) so begins a murder investigation that leads to the brink of robo-revolution.
Somehow in an action thriller, Proyas has managed to retain the spirit and themes of the 1950 Isaac Asimov book on which the film is based. Asimov wasn't really interested in the mechanics of robots (he was a chemistry graduate), but instead their effect on us, as they became part of society. Sonny is the first robot able to think for itself. Although it doesn't develop a violent Terminator-like desire for self-preservation (that happens in a more Skynet like computer), Sonny is alien.
A grittier Dark City or The Crow like film would of explored this further. But instead of ending his film with a Will Smith rap song, Proyas leaves us wondering what will happen to Sonny, and hoping for a sequel.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 12, 2005
Given that it only claims to be `suggested by' the short stories of Isaac Asimov, anyone expecting I, Robot to have all but a tenuous connection to the work of the visionary Jewish-American writer, will be a little bit disappointed. Although the film's plot hinges on Asimov's 3 Laws of Robotics (which suggest that a robot can never harm a human), from here Asimov and I, Robot part company. Yet this is pretty much the only criticism that can be levelled against the film. For on the whole, I Robot is that rare of beasts: a fun but intelligent action film, populated by actors who divest their characters with more than one basic emotion.
In this, the latest film from director Alex Proyas, the world circa 2035 has developed a considerable reliance on robotic `Automated Domestic Assistants'. They have become a trusted part of everyday life; cleaning homes, walking pets and basically doing everything that humans can no longer be bothered to do.
On the eve of the release of the latest model robot, the NS-5, Dr Alfred Lanning, the father of robotics, seemingly commits suicide. Called into investigate is homicide detective Del Spooner (Will Smith) a cop who distrusts technology, especially in the form of robots. Aided by robot psychologist Dr Susan Calvin and a rather special NS-5 named Sonny, Spooner begins to investigate further, following the breadcrumbs of evidence that have been left by Lanning from beyond the grave.
In terms of narrative, although some will decry the dumbing-down of Asimov's ideas, the very fact that a big budget movie revolves around the cracks of a seemingly unbreakable circle of logic in the 3 Laws is, within itself, a laudable achievement. In a world populated by empty, vacuous action films, it's refreshing to see a production that tries to inject proceedings with at least a modicum of intelligence.
This intelligence, however, doesn't cause I, Robot to forget that it's supposed to be a blockbuster, and the film includes a couple of cracking action sequences. These are aided by the superb special effects employed throughout the film. In particular, with Sonny, I, Robot can boast what is possibly the most impressive CGI creation ever committed to celluloid.
The film's standout asset, however, is its leading actor. For Will Smith is, to coin a phrase, the complete package. He has the impressive body shape that all action stars need to make their physical engagements believable, but in addition he has an insouciant bravado and a comedy timing that is all his own. Most importantly, unlike so many of his contemporaries, the man can act. As such, Smith moves seamlessly from kicking ass, to dropping wisecracks, to investing his character with complex emotional responses. As countless flops have shown, films resplendent with great effects still come a cropper without a solid performance to ground proceedings. And Smith delivers his performance in spades.
There is a slim chance that by trying to be an intelligent action film, I, Robot will attempt to please too many and end up satisfying none. However, if you fancy a bit more meat on your big-budget summer blockbuster bones, I, Robot is what you've been waiting for.
15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 2004
Although I read Asimov when I was young, I didn't recall enough of it to spoil the movie for me. In fact, I read elsewhere that the movie only loosely follows pieces of Asimov's famous short story collection.
That being said, I loved the movie - it was highly entertaining, and a little philosophical, but not over-the-top philosophical like AI was (and nowhere near as lengthy). Will Smith does his usual fine job on screen, so you won't be disappointed with the acting. Don't listen to the critics who warned you away from seeing this movie - they were wrong again, as usual.
It didn't occur to me when I read Asimov years ago, but I finally "got" the significance of Dr. Calvin's name... John Calvin was a theologian of the reformation who argued that humans are pre-destined by God, and therefore do not have free will. Asimov's Dr. Calvin believes that the three laws of robotics make it impossible for a robot to have their own free will, and in a sense pre-destines their fate with humanity. Oh well, enough philosophy for a simple movie review. You'll have to see the movie if you want to know more.
The DVD also comes w/ some nice featurettes on the making of the movie, cast & director interviews, the writings of Asimov on robots, and various other of the usual things the studio throws in whenever they have some space left over on the disc.
My final recommendation is: five stars for the movie, and four stars for the supplemental material and packaging. This will make a great Christmas present for that sci-fi fan in your family.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 17, 2005
This is honestly one of my all time favorite movies. I simply love it. I don't buy many DVDs, but I bought this one. A personal favorite.
I, Robot is full of action with pure sci-fi fascination throughout. Though the "I" in I, Robot is not the central theme of this movie version, I don't think that's critical. I think Will Smith was the best actor to be chosen for this film. It is well directed and has great effects.
Not only is the plot to this movie great, but it is full of mystery and some unexpected twists. Full, head-on entertainment.
While the plot of this movie is similar to the hundreds of others (i.e. Terminator, The Matrix, etc), I think this one is purely original, especially in the plot aspect of the movie. There is pure action which will keep you glued to your seat. Suspenseful, as well as including a touch of humor.
I would strongly recommend this DVD. Great actors, great director, great story, great movie.