Posts Tagged ‘San Fransokyo’


Screen Shot 2014-11-07 at 3.03.57 PMCP24 film critic Richard Crouse reviews “Interstellar,” “The Theory of Everything” and “Big Hero 6”!

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Screen Shot 2014-11-07 at 10.57.40 AM“Canada AM” film critic Richard Crouse reviews “Interstellar,” “The Theory of Everything” and “Big Hero 6.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

Metro Canada: Big Hero 6 and Isaac Asimov’s robotic rules in the movies

Big-Hero-6-BoyBy Richard Crouse – Metro In Focus

Science fiction author Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics are a trimmed down version of The Ten Commandments for androids. Simple, direct and to the point, Asimov declared, “A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.”

Asimov’s rules have inspired short stories, video games, music and cartoons. Roland Charles Wagner’s short story gave them an erotic spin in Three Laws of Robotic Sexuality, while the game Portal 2 sees all military androids sharing one copy of the laws of robotics.

In the tune Robot, space rockers Hawkwind sang, “You’d hold the whole world in your metal claws / If it wasn’t for the Three Laws.”

And in the Mega Man series by Archie Comics, automatons are almost defeated by an anti-robotic terrorist group because they must abide by the three laws.

This weekend, Baymax, the lovable inflatable robot at the heart of Big Hero Six, abides by the laws. “Hello,” he says. “I am Baymax, your personal health-care companion.”

The roly-poly inflatable bot can almost instantly diagnose and treat a variety of diseases but even when he is transformed into a crime-fighting warrior, he still plays by the rules.

Asimov’s stories have been turned into films like I, Robot and Bicentennial Man, where the robots follow the dictums. But not all movies stay true to the rules.

In Alien, the Hyperdyne Systems 120-A/2 cyborg character Bishop (Ian Holm) says, “It is impossible for me to harm, or, by omission of action, allow to be harmed, a human being,” but later tries to kill Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) by choking her with a rolled up porno magazine.

The 1951 classic The Day the Earth Stood Still has both good and evil robots. When alien android Klaatu’s message of friendship to earthlings is met with a bullet from a sniper, his eight-foot metal robotic assistant Gort lets loose with a disintegration death ray.

Finally, worse than Blade Runner’s killer android Roy (Rutger Hauer) or the robot gunslinger from Westworld, is Maximilian, the silent-but-deadly android from The Black Hole.

Not only does he wordlessly do the bidding of the evil Dr. Hans Reinhardt (Maximilian Schell), the blood-red bot later merges with his human creator to lord over the fire and brimstone of hell. Lawgiver Asimov surely would not approve.

BIG HERO 6: 3 ½ STARS. “Cuddliest Causer of Mass Destruction.”

BH6For all intents and purposes “Big Hero 6” is an animated superhero movie aimed at kids too young to sit through the violent theatrics the Marvel universe offers up. The main difference, and the thing that makes the movie special, comes in the form of an empathetic blowup doll who could give the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man a run (or maybe just a waddle) for the title of Cuddliest Causer of Mass Destruction.

Set in San Fransokyo, the story focuses on fourteen-year-old robotics genius Hiro Hamada (voice of Ryan Potter). His brother Tadashi (Daniel Henney) is also a whiz kid but has taken a different route. Hiro spends his time making robots to fight in illegal bot wars while Tadashi studies at the “nerd school” and has built the inflatable health care companion Baymax (Scott Adsit). Realizing his potential is being wasted Hiro puts his big brain to work to create microbots with a Borg-like collective consciousness that impresses the university’s Professor Callaghan (James Cromwell) so much he offers Hiro a scholarship. Before he can enroll, however, a tragedy claims the life of his brother. Compounding his heartbreak, Hiro discovers his technology has fallen into the wrong hands. Finding out who took the tech leads Hiro down a dark path of revenge, but with the help of Baymax and Tadashi’s friends Gogo (Jamie Chung), Wasabi (Damon Wayans Jr), Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriguez) and Fred (TJ Miller) the young genius can get some closure and discover his inner super powers.

There are set pieces in “Big Hero 6” that rival anything from the Marvel imaginations. Characters fly, breath fire and do battle with lasers. Buildings are leveled and there a giant time travel hovers in the air, threatening to transport everything in sight to another dimension. It’s big, impressive stuff, but the thing people will remember when they leave the theatre is Baymax, a rudimentary inflatable robot who walks like a baby penguin. His “nonthreatening huggable design” makes him look like a roly poly vinyl snowman with ovals for eyes. He’s nondescript, like a bloated crash test dummy, but he is the heart and soul of the movie.

Without him “Big Hero 6” would mostly be a series of slickly rendered—the animation is really lovely—action sequences, catchphrases and plot threads about revenge and life lessons. With him, however, the movie has real heart. The balloony Baymax doesn’t just rescue Hiro’s humanity; he gives the movie a large dose of it as well.