Since we got our very first look at Neill Blomkamp’s new robot drama Chappie, which finally opens in theaters this weekend, there has been discussion about how much the film, or at least what we’ve seen of it, resembles another similarly themed movie, Short Circuit. Such talk has been so prevalent that that I’m surprised this hasn’t happened sooner, but here it is, the inevitable Short Circuit/Chappie mashup. Check out Chappie 5 is Alive below.
Frankly, there’s probably not a lot we can say to sway you when it comes to seeing or not seeing Transformers: Age of Extinction this weekend. You should already know whether or not you’re a fan of Michael Bay’s particular brand of Kool-Aid — and now that I think about it, a grinning mug full of sugar-water bursting illogically through a brick wall is a fairly concise metaphor for Bay’s Transformers franchise in the first place. They should just go ahead and slap “Oh yeah!” on all of the posters. But assuming Age of Extinction is not on your to-do list, and assuming Snowpiercer isn’t playing anywhere near you, we’ve got seven superior alternatives to pouring Bay’s digital excess into your eye holes.
Since the Transformers movies are based on a cartoon and thus, at least theoretically, they should be suitable for all ages, we’re including a variety of different choices here, all of them involving robots in one way or another. And to hear GFR’s Nick tell it, you could marathon all of these in a row and it’d still seem shorter than sitting through Age of Extinction. Hit the jump for all our picks!
It’s easy to be disheartened by the countless remakes in the works in Hollywood these days. It sometimes seems as if they’re determined to remake everything that didn’t come out in the last calendar year, and I’m sure they’ll get around to pushing that boundary eventually. As much as we may rag on Hollywood’s allergic aversion to originality, reboots aren’t always a bad thing. While most of them prove to be pointless, occasionally you’ll get one, like last year’s Fright Night, that manages to set itself apart from the original and succeed in its own way. My first inclination is that the upcoming Short Circuit remake will fall into the “forgettable” category, but an interview with director Tim Hill suggests that he is, at least, trying to make the story more relevant for the 21st century.
The original Short Circuit, released back in 1986, told the story of “Number 5,” a military robot that gained consciousness after an electrical accident. Now calling himself “Johnny 5” and afraid that his creators will reprogram him, he goes on the lam and makes new friends, all while speaking in a cutesy voice for no legitimate reason. While the new version of Short Circuit will launch from the same basic premise, Hill sees several modern trends that the remake can comment on, including the use of military drone craft. He told the L.A. Times…
For kids like me who worn born or raised in the 1980s, “Number 5 is ALIVE!” ranks as one of the greatest movie lines of all time. It’s uttered in reference to Johnny 5, the utterly adorable, input-seeking robot who is brought to life by a lightning strike in 1986’s Short Circuit. And he may be coming back to life on the big screen again, via a “reimagining” in the works at Dimension Films.
The Short Circuit remake has been kicked around for some time now, without much discernible forward motion. The project was announced almost six years ago, dropped, then picked back up by Dimension Films in 2008. Since then, the only real progress that has been made was the hiring of Tim Hill (who directed such classics as Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties and Alvin and the Chipmunks in the creepy CGI-live action genre) last year. Dimension does seem to be getting more serious about the project, though, since it has announced that Matt Lieberman has been hired to write the screenplay. Lieberman’s only writing credit on IMDB is Dr. Dolittle: Tail to the Chief and Dimension says he is “is a recent alumni of the Disney writers program”, so it stands to reason that he’ll work well with Hill. Whether or not that is a good thing for Short Circuit remains to be seen. And there’s still the chance that, despite having a writer attached, the remake will still take years to see the light of day (a la, the long-delayed Ghostbusters follow-up).