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I have a question about the 433MHz jammer

PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 2:55 pm
by adrienne224
AI, (140 minutes) M ***A1/2 In a neon-lit, soft-focus future flooded by global warming and humanoid robots, a band of idealistic scientists, led by William Hurt, dedicates itself to manufacturing the ultimate domestic accessory - a child robot that can be programmed to love. The end product is a boy-robot brandnamed David, played with a convincing mix of metallic reserve and emotional yearning by Hayley Joel Osment (The Sixth Sense, Pay It Forward).
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A grieving mother (Frances O'Connor) is reluctant at first to accept this glorified toy as a replacement for her real, coma-stricken son, but decides to take a chance and hardwire his love program. The real son, of course, eventually comes to and returns home, none too happy about having to share everything with a "mecha", as robots are referred to throughout the film. So Mum, being the caring soul she is, decides to set David free in the forest rather than send him back to the factory for destruction. And it's a nasty world out there for robots. After managing to squeeze in some emotionally potent moments between mother and pseudo-son, writer-director Steven Spielberg turns nasty with scenes of robot persecution.

Entertainments known as "flesh fairs" involve torturing and destroying renegade robots in front of a cheering crowd and Brendan Gleeson (The General) is the greasy ringmaster who morally justifies his ghastly enterprise with a powerful anti-mecha philosophy. David's quest for survival is fuelled by his obsession with the tale of Pinocchio, in particular the Blue Fairy who was able to turn the wooden marionette into a real boy. He's also accompanied by two extremes of robotic technology - a walking, talking, super-toy teddy bear, and a robotic sex machine, played with carnal glint by Jude Law. AI is a rare creature in today's Hollywood firmament.
It's a thought-provoking, highly emotional and often beautiful film. However, chief among its deep flaws is Spielberg's inability to fuse the story's fairytale elements with the harder edges involving sex and robotic murder. Spielberg does, regrettably, surrender to the kinder angels in his nature - something he certainly didn't do in Schindler's List or Saving Private Ryan - rather than pursuing the more interesting themes of robot-human relations that Stanley Kubrick, who bequeathed the project to Spielberg, was apparently keen on. Still, in the flood of made-for-video mediocrity now flooding the multiplexes, AI is an unusual, entertaining, often touching tale.

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The special effects, though never overwhelming, are top-notch, and Osment walks through the film like a kid lost in a theme park. The Princess Diaries, (115 mins) G ** A frumpy high-school girl (Anne Hathaway) must be turned into a princess by Julie Andrews and Hector Elizondo when it's revealed to her that she is, in fact, a member of the royal family of a fictitious nation called Genovia. A pleasant enough, funny enough, innocuous piece of Disney fluff, but, man, it just goes on and on. There's a terrific, bright 90-minute flick in here, but director Garry Marshall (Pretty Woman) labors the don't-be-a-phony moral to within an inch of human endurance.
Ring, (91 mins) MA ** Lukewarm Japanese scarefest about a death curse with a seven-day delay delivered through the TV screen. A neat opening sequence and a few genuinely surprising effects don't quite make up for a lack of pace and a lot of dead space. Written by Hiroshi Takahashi, based on the novel by Koji Suzuki, directed by Hideo Nakata. The sequel comes out on October 18. The Forsaken, (95 mins) MA * One of the things we lost with the death of drive-in culture was the concept of the B-grade feature. You'd sneak in under the fence to watch some great film like Star Wars or Rollerball, and it would inevitably be coupled with something you'd never heard of, such as Damnation Alley with Jan Michael Vincent.

You'd hang around after intermission for 10 or 15 minutes, but they usually turned out to be rubbish, so you'd leave with no harm done, because you'd already seen the main attraction. The Forsaken is exactly the type of film you'd see at the arse-end of a drive-in double bill, and it certainly would've had convoys of cars dumping speakers and heading for the exit. These days, however, everything's a main attraction. So, instead, you pay a whopping $14 to see some crappy, boring, blood-smeared, vampires-in-the-desert dross, and all the state-of-the-art projection and you-beaut surround-sound just heightens the fact it's badly made, poorly directed junk that will test your patience even when it hits video, which is what it should have been in the first place.
The only thing of marginal interest is the appearance of Izabella Miko, who spends most of the film mute and staring off into the middle distance. She was last seen table-top dancing in Coyote Ugly. Her career is clearly going from strength to strength. The Apartment, (125 mins) PG **** Fabulous 1960 Billy Wilder comedy-drama about a lowly office worker, played superbly by the late Jack Lemmon, who lends his apartment so select members of upper management can conduct their trysts. In return for the favors he hopes to bypass the usual protocol for promotion, but becomes involved with an elevator girl (Shirley MacLaine) and the company boss (the great Fred MacMurray). The newly minted black-and-white widescreen print looks great and highlights some fundamentals of good cinematography and editing that seem largely lost today.
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One of Billy Wilder's skills was his ability to establish and hold shots to focus on story and performance. So much editing in films these days serves to break tension and distract. The Apartment is a great example of how deft editing can build tension and emotion in a scene, as well as punch a great laugh. One, Two, Three, (109 mins) G ***A1/2 James Cagney excels as a Coca-Cola company man working in West Berlin at the height of the Cold War. His boss's hormonally hyperactive daughter has arrived and become involved with an anti-capitalist communist from the other side of the Iron Curtain, and Cagney has to clean up the mess before the boss arrives. Another Billy Wilder gem, made in 1961. With plenty of terrific Cagney in-jokes, it's a genuine example of how one performance can really make a film buzz.

Listen fast for the priceless, unintentionally hilarious JFK reference. Both Wilder films screen at the Astor from Sunday until Saturday, September 29. Angel Eyes, (103 mins) MA *** Jennifer Lopez does a very good job as a rough, emotionally taut Chicago cop who encounters a bedraggled, deeply troubled young man, played by James Caviezel (The Thin Red Line, Frequency), she once saved in a car accident. Director Luis Mandoki coaxes some potent themes about denial, living in the past, forgiveness and accepting the uncomfortable truth that life isn't perfect. Part of the strong supporting cast is Brazilian actress Sonia Braga, perfectly cast as J.Lo's mum.
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Haunted Castle, (40 mins) M **A1/2 Another intermittently impressive 3-D showreel. But when are the Imax people going to make a 3D film with a story? The Reel Dirt As part of the wittily titled Bless Your Big Blak Arts Festival comes this very mixed bag of short video films. Queens in the Castle is a moving first-person mini-doco about an aging gay Aboriginal man; The Opportunists, about a man trying to raise money to pay back a loan shark, has some rough humor and good performances, although it seems to end a tad too suddenly; and A Funny Thing is a neat, well-shot little film set on a massage table. Home Video, however, proves again that being in possession of a video camera doesn't make you Orson Welles. Made in 1986 and totally improvised, the film has an established reputation, although for what is difficult to ascertain. Screens next Thursday at 7.30pm at the Doulton Bar, Village Belle Hotel, 202 Barkly Street, St Kilda. Free admission.