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February 7th, 2005, 06:32 PM
At least they didn't get Tara Reid to play Susan Calvin... (For details, see Alone in the Dark)

February 8th, 2005, 06:50 AM
OK - I've now bought a copy of the Illustrated Screenplay (sadly, not the one I remember reading originally - this one has less pictures!) - and am rereading it. (Well sort of rereading - For some reason I only read part of this before - or I've forgotten an awful lot).

In the introduction, either Ellison or Asimov (Ellison, I think) says that he sees Susan Sarandon as Calvin. Hmm.


I had forgotten how good this screenplay was - and i'm not a big fan of reading screenplays.

Archren - LOL - agree, those Heinlein women are just too intimidatin'! :)


February 8th, 2005, 09:02 AM
I had forgotten how good this screenplay was - and i'm not a big fan of reading screenplays.

And that's what makes the current movie even more of a travesty.

February 8th, 2005, 02:24 PM
I could totally see Susan Sarandon as Susan Calvin. That would've been awesome! Oh well <shrug> :rolleyes:

February 8th, 2005, 03:05 PM
I know.

Reading the information in the introduction from Asimov and Ellison is SO depressing....


February 9th, 2005, 05:50 PM
Hobbit: now you realize the extent of my aggravation with the so-called "I, Robot" adaptation...

...But then, many visitors to scifiweekly.com might have known that already.

February 9th, 2005, 07:10 PM
Hobbit: now you realize the extent of my aggravation with the so-called "I, Robot" adaptation...
No, I think I always have done, Shehzad - and I have known the background to the non-making of the film for a while. ( I remember waiting, waiting and waiting for it to appear when I was younger - that and the Dune film, but that's another story. :) )

(Oh, and Yes - I did see the scifiweekly.com letters btw. Did you get much against your view?)

I think the difference is that I have tried to divorce the one-which-won't-be-made from the one-which-was-made. For whatever reasons (and I guess they know more about it than I do :) ) the Ellison/Asimov movie wasn't made, nor will be made. Difficult to swallow, I know, and annoying.

But Hollywood is full of scripts that could/would've been better, had they stuck to them and not diluted them. I reluctantly understand that. (See book The Greatest Films Never Made.)

I do understand that the film is (even at a fundamental level) different from many of the principles that I, and presumably you, hold dear. The examples are many: there is violence, when the original author was in favour of peaceful negotiation; there are 'nasty robots' when one of Asimov's key ideas was that robots are there 'to serve man'.

I still don't understand why it has 'based on ideas by Isaac Asimov' when much of it doesn't. I still don't see what Hollywood likes about the screenwriter Akiva Goldman, who has his name on far too many films I dislike. And yes, I think it is wrong that the film/ the producers/the Asimov estate/whoever has allowed the film to be allied to the Asimov name.

I knew all of that. And yet, I was able to watch the film, try not to think too much about it being an Asimov film, and enjoy parts of it. (But not all of it. :) )

Here's a quote from the Asimov introduction:

'My nonappearance on the screen has never bothered me. I am strictly a print-person. (Later: ) Whatever talents I might have, writing for the eye is not one of them, and I am lucky enough to know what I can't do.... On the other hand, if someone else - someone who has the particular talent of writing for the eye that I do not have - were to adapt one of my stories for the screen, I would not expect that the screen version be "faithful" to the print version.'

(That must have sent the solicitors home with glee!)

There will be people out there who do not know the original Asimov stories.

Whilst the film is not what I want, the fact that it has encouraged others to read the stories, who would probably have not normally read the stories, is a pleasing outcome. The problem I guess might be when they find that Asimov has no mention of Will Smith.... but for some it might just work. And in that respect I am pleased.

Don't get me wrong - it may sound like I am defending the film. I am not. There is a lot that I didn't like, and a lot that IMO could have been better/different. Nevertheless, I have to be honest and say that there were parts of the film I enjoyed, though it was not intellectually challenging nor what I would've liked to see myself. It was not an Asimov movie.

As a piece of entertainment, it could have been worse. (Seen Catwoman? :) )

But it could have also been a lot better.


February 9th, 2005, 09:17 PM
I know. Could've been much worse. I didn't see Catwoman, but I did see some other stinkers (Rollerball was on TV the other day... peeeuw!!!). It's just that the book is so near and dear to me that I can't bring myself to bear to watch whatever they made that carries its name. If LotR had stunk, it'd be the same way. I probably would enjoy parts of the movie, and maybe as a whole too. Its just that I can't in good conscience reward those who created such a travesty. My hard-earned money (and it IS hard-earned :)) is better spent on the 2nd season of Quantum Leap, or the boxed set of Firefly. If it's on HBO one of these days, I'll probably watch it. I'm just not paying out of pocket for it.

But then, I have some strange convictions sometimes.......:)

And there were other letters later on which expressed similar sentiments to mine, mostly after the movie came out.

If you can watch the film while blotting out Asimov's name, more power to you: you're a stronger man than I! I don't think I could bring myself to do that... But then, I'm the one who points out medical mistakes on TV and in movies.

Interesting how much discussion this one movie has generated!

February 10th, 2005, 06:17 AM
If you can watch the film while blotting out Asimov's name, more power to you: you're a stronger man than I! Or more of an idiot - you can take your choice! :)

If LotR had stunk, it'd be the same way. Absolutely. And I know people who have big issues with the LotR films for changing the book. My view is that the LotR films, having gone from 'the book that cannot be made into a film' to something which is very good, has raised the bar. Which makes I Robot even more frustrating.

Is there anyone you can borrow a copy from, rather than pay for it? Then you wouldn't reward those who made it.

Interesting how much discussion this one movie has generated! Nah, it's just me, doing my usual long-winded comments.... :D

I know it's alittle off topic but it seems to be where we're going with this thread. Can anyone name a recent movie that might be worthy of being seen as a 'worthwhile' (ugh!) sf movie? Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind might fit the bill I guess, but I haven't seen it, so i'm basing it on what people have told me. I really enjoyed Spiderman2, but I'm really trying to think of something more 'typically sf' rather than 'superhero'.


Evil Agent
February 15th, 2005, 01:43 AM
There doesn't seem to be much interest in producing 'smart' sci-fi flicks... as if Hollywood just doesn't trust the intellect of the masses..and who can blame them I guess? Stuff like 2001:A Space Odyssey doesn't do nearly as well in the theatres as something like The Chronicles of Riddick (which is cool, and entertaining, but not very 'smart').

The Matrix is the closest good sci-fi movie I can think of, recently, although some would disagree with me. But it does a decent job of raising some philisophical questions (although pretty shallow stuff), and it has an amazing visual style and look.

There are some movies I haven't seen that look interesting, like Solaris with George Clooney. Apparently that's a remake of a movie, which itself was based on a book said to be almost unfilmable. Maybe you should check it out! :)

PS I don't think you can call Eternal Sunshine... Sci-Fi, whatever people have told you about it... the ideas are a bit out there, maybe even sci-fi, but the setting and feel is much more our time. A surreal romance is what I'd call it, some kind of experiment in the impossible. Like the Truman Show or something, also featuring Jim Carrey. But it's good!