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Hobbit
February 1st, 2005, 12:34 PM
Thanks, HE. Yes, I've seen that (not easy to get in the UK!), and read part of it a long time ago. It was given 'Asimov-approval' before he died, wasn't it?

That would make a brilliant grown up film, wouldn't it?.


But it was a bit shallow and I would like to read the Asimov now - which I should think will be a bit more profound.
Interestingly though, Leiali, I'm not sure you'll be impressed with Asimov's characterisation if you've not read him before. It is old-fashioned and quite brief, often rather stereotyped characters now. Rather like Arthur C Clarke, characterisation was not always Asimov's strongpoint, especially in his shorter stories. But the ideas are fab (though again a little old) and I like him a lot, if you can cope with those limitations.

I do suggest that people do try the short stories though - just for comparison!

Hobbit

Shehzad
February 1st, 2005, 10:18 PM
To see that the movie is a blasphemy of Asimov's work?

Leiali
February 4th, 2005, 11:25 AM
I read some Asimov a very long time ago..I like Jack Vance, so I think I can handle 50's sci fi, though I think I see your point about characterisation there Hobbit. It depends on whether it is relevant to the story or not I think........ Though, when I finally read Do Androids dream of Electric Sheep by Phillip K Dick having watched Blade Runner several times I must confess I did roll about laughing about the cod pieces. I took it seriously after that though and appreciated its value.

Hobbit
February 4th, 2005, 11:42 AM
To see that the movie is a blasphemy of Asimov's work? Yeah.

I know that Shehzad's not going to like me saying this, but (and it's a big BUT!) I found that if you can watch the film without trying to think too closely of Asimov's work (again, not easy!) as an 'entertainment with Will Smith' (not always the same thing!) it's OK. I still think that it is better than the Bicentennial Man film.

Having said that, one of the things that it has done is get one of my children (who enjoyed the film) to pick up a copy of the stories. Whilst I have big (make that BIG!) reservations of the Asimov link to the film, at least it has done that.

(So has the Cruise/Spielberg War of the Worlds, which I also have BIG reservations about, but that's another story).

Though I am still mystified myself as to why the Asimov estate has linked itself to the film. I suppose it's because the film would've been made anyway with or without the Asimov references. Better to get credit for your ideas than not, I guess.

But I know.... it's not the best filmed example of Asimov's work by a long long LONG way. (That's yet to be made. One day.)


Hobbit

Shehzad
February 4th, 2005, 04:08 PM
Yeah.

I know that Shehzad's not going to like me saying this, but (and it's a big BUT!) I found that if you can watch the film without trying to think too closely of Asimov's work (again, not easy!) as an 'entertainment with Will Smith' (not always the same thing!) it's OK. I still think that it is better than the Bicentennial Man film.

I have no problem with it being a fluffy Will Smith thriller. I have a problem with a movie pretending to be based on Asimov's work while simultaneously going against everything Asimov wrote about. Asimov created the Three Laws as a reaction against the cliched robots vs humans stories prevalent in his day. He railed against mankind's "Frankenstein Complex". When a movie is based on one of his books, what does it depict? Humans vs robots and mankind's Frankenstein Complex.

The War of the Worlds movie cannot be near as bad. The only way it could be is if Tom Cruise's character takes a gun, infiltrates the Martian base and plugs in a laptop into their mainframe to take down all the fighting machines' shields and disable their heatrays, thereby allowing humans to win...

Heck, even Starship Troopers and Battlefield Earth were at least true to the spirit of the original books. I consider I, Robot (the movie) to be a MUCH bigger travesty than either of those. I have not and will not watch it, and have actively discouraged all my friends from doing the same. The same held for "Bicentennial Man"-- any movie based on Asimov's works that has a Celine Dion song in the soundtrack is a travesty.

Rant over.

Hobbit
February 4th, 2005, 07:50 PM
I have not and will not watch it, and have actively discouraged all my friends from doing the same. I tend to work on the idea of 'know your enemy' - that (and the fact that my children wanted to see it) meant that I saw it.

I pretty much got what I was expecting - ie: little connection with the original stories! It sort of leads me back to an earlier point - if it didn't have USR, Susan Calvin, and the Three Laws of Robotics in it, and wasn't overtly connected to Asimov, or I Robot, (which would gut the movie, but it could be done) would that have made a more palatable film?

Your point is well made, Shehzad, and up to a point, I agree with you. I'm still not sure why the Asimov estate decided to link itself to the movie, other than for the reason mentioned above, as well as the possible knock-on effects of increased book sales (which have happened).



any movie based on Asimov's works that has a Celine Dion song in the soundtrack is a travesty. LOL - agree with that one. This is another point which I don't understand - seeing what a mess the Hollywood machine made of that one, why did they agree to the Will Smith movie?

And as for the War of the Worlds film - what you suggest may yet happen. I'll wait and see. :(

Hobbit

Shehzad
February 4th, 2005, 11:40 PM
I pretty much got what I was expecting - ie: little connection with the original stories! It sort of leads me back to an earlier point - if it didn't have USR, Susan Calvin, and the Three Laws of Robotics in it, and wasn't overtly connected to Asimov, or I Robot, (which would gut the movie, but it could be done) would that have made a more palatable film?


Yes, it would. After all, I went to watch Troy, Van Helsing and Chronicles of Riddick. If it had been totally unrelated to Asimov, I likely would have watched it, and perhaps even enjoyed it.

But Bridget Moynahan as Susan Calvin.. *shudder*

Hobbit
February 5th, 2005, 03:52 AM
But Bridget Moynahan as Susan Calvin.. *shudder* LOL... must admit it's an actress I knew little about before I saw this film.

Who would you see as Susan Calvin, then?

Hobbit

Shehzad
February 5th, 2005, 07:46 AM
I don't know... most of the actresses are too charismatic to be Susan Calvin. She's supposed to be this abrasive intellectual. Bridget Moynahan couldn't be an intellectual with a brain transplant.

Archren
February 7th, 2005, 04:37 PM
LOL... must admit it's an actress I knew little about before I saw this film.

Who would you see as Susan Calvin, then?


Hate to say it, but the obvious choice is Jodie Foster. Unfortunately, she's such the obvious choice that she's almost cliched. (When people learn I'm a scientist, they often all of the sudden find a resemblance between either me and Jodie Foster ("Contact") or me and Helen Hunt ("Twister").) Another one, depending on when the movie is made vs Calvin's life span (in a couple of the stories she is quite old) would be the lady who plays Aunt May in the Spider Man movies.

Susan Calvin was one of my role models growing up. She wasn't sexy, she had a heck of a brain, and she was flawed. She was way more useful to me than those darn Heinlein women who are all brilliant, 24/7 sexy & have automatic calculators in their heads. Susan Calvin was a heroine for the rest of us! :D So to me making her really sexy really ripped the heart of it out for me, and I never saw the film. :(