Reviewed bymjw2305Vote: 9/10/10
Firstly, i have not read Asimov's book and therefore cannot remark onany errors in translation from book to film.
I have read many of the comments posted here on the IMDb, but fail tosee why so many people feel the need to mention that the world isperceived as perfect in the the future, maybe it is, maybe it isn't,the fact is, it's not important. This movie quite simply follows thelife of a man trapped in a robots body and his quest to be accepted inthe world, and be allowed to love and cherish the people close to him.
I have to say that i didn't expect much from this movie, i thought itwould be a kids film, full of typical Robin Williams style laughs, iwas way off in my assumption. This is probably Robin Williams's bestperformance and it is a very emotional journey through change anddevelopment of the human condition.
Overall the film is quite amusing, very touching and is full ofrealistic characters all very well cast to not overshadow 'Andrew' ashe quests over 200 years for acceptance.
A great movie 9/10
Reviewed bynlebayVote: 8/10/10
Most people who have seen this movie are of the opinion that it wasaverage at best. Indeed there is no complicated plot, no big actionscenes and a predictable ending but there is a Story. It's Andrew withhis Box of Chocolats, simply going through life searching for whateludes him and what we generally take for granted - humanity. Thecharacters along the way are well acted - in particular the robotcreator and his ditsy assistant. This movie is a tear jerker asAndrew's friends come and go and lifetimes pass him by without himreally comprehending it all. The only real failings were the large gapsin time and how Andrew came about - but then it's difficult to compress200 years into 1 1/2 hours. If you enjoyed Azimov's books as much as Idid, then this movie is for you. Far better in my opinion than IA or IRobot who also took their cues from Azimov.
Reviewed byBlake French (firstname.lastname@example.org)Vote: 8/10/10
BICENTENNIAL MAN (1999) ***
Starring: Robin Williams, Sam Neill, Wendy Crewson, Embeth Davidtz, andOliver PlattDirected by Chris Columbus. Running Time: 133 minutes. Rated PG (formild language and some sex-related material)
By Blake French:
Chris Columbus is very good at directing tearjerkers. He has a history ofconstructing such movies as "Stepmom" and "Mrs. Doubtfire." "BicentennialMan" is being misadvertised as a humble family comedy. Although it startsout unsatisfying, the film gradually becomes more and more penetrating as wediscover the film is really about inner emotions, the changing of times,how people change over time, and the meaning of life from an original pointof view. "Bicentennial Man" is a sweet, touching production with lots ofheart and a shapely message.
At first "Bicentennial Man" looks to be about a futuristic family who buysan android robot that is supposed to do housework and serve them. The familyof four includes two children, one named Little Miss, and the parents whoare called by the name of Sir and Ma'am. They adopt Andrew expecting him tobe similar to all the other androids in the area. Nearly every household hasone. However, Sir soon notices certain features about Andrew that make himunique, different from any other android he has ever seen. Andrew occupiescreativity and emotional personality, elements that these robots arepresumed not to contain.
The film doesn't contain a good an introduction to the family who adoptsAndrew, which is mainly the reason why I was never entirely concerned forthe characters. But the reasoning behind the lack of focus on the family isdue to the fact that "Bicentennial Man" isn't about the family who buysAndrew, but a narrative of Andrew himself.
A running flaw in the film is our foundering curiosity that only grows moreponderous as the script progresses. The audience desires more informationabout why Andrew is so different from the other robots. There are obviousreasons, sure, but what I wanted was an explanation of why he is special. Alust for information that is never appropriately granted.
The film skips ahead a generation or so. Sir and Ma'am age and Little Missgrows to be a full grown woman. Many things change for Andrew. He begins towonder what lies beyond the likes of his household. He longs for emotionalreactions to take place on his face and the concept of freedom. Sir hastaught Andrew about death, sex, love, humor, and time. He gradually wantsmore and more independence. This is where Andrew starts becoming interestedin turning from a mechanical being to a biological being.
The age advancing make-up is believable and awe-inducing. I could hardlytrust my eyes that Sam Neill wasn't an old man in the movie. However,although I can see that the filmmakers had no other reliable option, Idisliked the jumps in time the it takes. The time gaps force us out ofmassive plot pieces, some of which are important to the characterdevelopment.
There are some really funny moments in "Bicentennial Man." Most of themappear when the picture becomes a bit emotionally heavy, in order to relievesuch tension in the audience. This is a wise choice in the writer's part;the viewers who do mistake this movie as a family comedy will gain somesatisfaction from these insulated humorous moments.
I wanted more information on how the robot Andrew gradually becomes''human.'' I felt cheated out of a lot of decent, noteworthy material here.I felt this way because the scenes where we do have the privilege to seeAndrew reinvented are wonderfully inventive and interesting. The film shouldhave leaned towards that material a little more.
The movie features super charged performances by the entire cast. RobinWilliams offers an emotionally accurate acting job that brings the confusionand imagination of the android Andrew to life. The supporting cast is alsofilled with fine performances with Sam Neill, Wendy Crewson, Embeth Davidtz,and Oliver Platt.
Even though I can admit that "Bicentennial Man" contains several flawedmotives, I still was a little surprised that the film opened to manynegative reviews. This isn't a bad movie, just a differently anticipatedone. The movie sets up its effective conclusion from the very beginning; itis the only logical climax for such a story. Although it leaves viewers witha sense of well-being, I thought it posed too many spiritual and biologicalquestions. Overall, however, the movie is a well-depicted idea that deservesmore appreciation from audiences than its receiving.
Brought to you by Touchstone Pictures and Columbia Pictures.
This film follows the 'life' and times of the lead character, an android who is purchased as a household robot programmed to perform menial tasks. Within a few days the Martin family realizes that they don't have an ordinary droid as Andrew begins to experience emotions and creative thought. In a story that spans two centuries, Andrew learns the intricacies of humanity while trying to stop those who created him from destroying him.