Top Ten Screen Robots July 18, 2008 A disaffected man seeks a sense of identity in one of the key films of Hollywood’s 1970s New Wave. Once a promising pianist from a family of classical musicians, Bobby Eroica Dupea (Jack Nicholson, in his first major starring role) leads a blue-collar life as an oil rigger, living with needy waitress girlfriend Rayette (Karen Black) and bowling with their friends Elton (Billy Green Bush) and Stoney (Fannie Flagg). Feeling suffocated by responsibilities, Bobby seeks out his sister, Tita (Lois Smith), and, discovering that his father is gravely ill, he reluctantly heads back to the patrician family compound in Puget Sound with a pregnant Rayette in tow. After a road trip featuring a harangue from hitchhiker Palm (Helena Kallianiotes) about filth, and Bobby’s ill-fated attempt to make a menu substitution in a diner, he tucks Rayette away in a motel before heading to the house. There Bobby seduces his uptight brother Carl’s cultured fianc There is no escaping ‘WALL-E’ this weekend and who’d want to- it’s the perfect animation pic. We’ve seen it, loved it and are already eagerly awaiting its sequel (if Pixar can do one for Cars, they can do one for Wall-E!) . In tribute to the lil’ guy, we’re taking a look at some of our favourite metal clad friends: androids, replicants, cyborgs and good old fashioned robots alike. (1) Terminator Model T800 (The Terminator) “I’ll be back.” In contrast, to say Iron Man, the Terminator is a man on outside but inside all robot. We suspect Arnie of the same… He will of course be missed from any future Terminator projects… On a lighter (and more baffling) note, O.J. Simpson, at one time, was considered for the role of the Terminator, but the producers thought he might be “too nice” to be taken seriously as a cold-blooded killer. These times are a changing… (2) R2-D2 and C-3P0 (Star Wars) “You’re droids! We don’t serve their kind here!” We can’t separate them. They come as a pair. This comedy duo had it all: loyal to a fault, wonderfully odd and forever bickering like an old married couple- the Jack and Vera of the space-age ‘Street’. (3) RobotMaria (Metropolis) The first major movie robot, German director Fritz Lang’s Machine-Human was way before her time. In fact, just one look at her and you might be inclined to think she’s the granny of C-3PO. She was the mechanical clone of Maria, beautiful champion of workers rights, replaced by the mad science with the fraudulent Maria who swiftly sets about stirring the downtrodden massive to misguided rebellion which threatens to kill thousands. Thematically a film of its time, but visually years ahead. The final cost of the film was in the region of 7 million marks (aprroximately $200 million today) (4) Data (Star Trek) He may spent the majority of his years on your television screen, but this android eventually got some well deserved silver screen time in four Star Trek movies. Each Star Trek series has had that one character to question the meaning of humanity: Spoke, Data, The Doctor, Odo. Nobody pulled it off with such humour and finesse as Brent Spiner. With or without emotions, Data always had us laughing. An android like no other (well except for his twin brother Lor, oh and B4). (5) Evil Bill and Ted (Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey) Adding another two names to the long list of inanimate objects that can out act Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter, these DIY Robo B-Boys are created by Heaven’s greatest scientist in order to battle the cunningly titled Bad Robot Uses. Afterwards they get to become back-up dancers for Wyld Stallyns. Living the robotic-dream. (6) Wall-E (Wall-E) This one might be premature but damn it, we just loves this little guy. And by the looks of things, all of you who attended our advanced screening loved him too! Think ‘Batteries Not Included’ meets ‘Short Circuit’ and you’ve got Wall-E -pixar’s big gun for 2008. (7) ED-209 (Robocop) “Please put down your weapon. You have 20 seconds to comply” Part heavily armed military tank, part high street pub bouncer, the ED-209 is the ultimate machine to battle crime (and anything else that’s stupid enough to point a gun at him) in Old Detroit, even giving RoboCop a thrashing he won’t want his video-memory to recall. Brilliantly animated by stop-motion godhead Phil Tippett, he’s kinda cute too. (8) Gort (The Day the Earth Stood Still) In the 1951 flick The Day the Earth Stood Still, spaceman Klaatu and his robot Gort come to Earth to promote peace. When that doesn’t work out, Gort teaches us what happens to those who eschew harmony – they die. Will the Keanu Reeves remake stand up to the original? Well Reeves certainly has the limited range of emotions down. (9) Johnny 5 (Short Circuit) He was designed as the perfect soldiers but when lightning hits him, he begins to ask questions, reject commands, and think abstractly. Number Five is alive! Calling himself Johnny-5, the robot learns what it really means to be human: to love and to be loved, to learn the wonder of life (like dancing) and the horror of death. Unforgettably ’80s. (10) Rutger Hauer (Blade Runner) “Wake up! Time to die.” Does Rutger Hauer dream of electric sheep? Who cares! He’s simply brilliant in this film. ‘WALL-E’ is in Irish Cinemas Now!