Robot And Frank [Review 35 for FQ13]

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Why I Saw It: This was one of those movies where I had heard some good reviews for the film, knew it was a sci-fi movie, and so I decided to give it a shot. Frank Langella is a great actor, so I knew I could at least expect a good performance.

What Was It About?  “In the near future, Frank is a retired catburglar living alone. His successful son, Hunter, struggling to care for his father’s worsening mental faculties from afar, gets him a robot caretaker. As Frank considers taking up his old profession, he finds a renewed sense of purpose and direction with a robot at his side.

Rating: 8.3 out of 10

Memorable Performances: This could be the most memorable performance I’ve seen from Frank Langella. It was just as good as what he did in FROST/NIXON, but because he wasn’t hidden beneath identity-changing make-up, it makes it all the more easy to attribute the role to him – especially because he wasn’t doing an imitation of an iconic historical figure. Susan Sarandon’s performance was enjoyable, but upon a second viewing, you can better understand some of the nuances of the high quality performance she gives.

Potential Nominations for Film Quest ’13:  

  • Best Supporting Actress – Susan Sarandon
  • Best Actor – Frank Langella

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Favorite Parts: Nearly any of the scenes where Frank is interacting with the robot were really enjoyable. The ending of the film admittedly caught me a bit off-guard, but it added an extra depth to the film which helps put my rating of it in the 8-range (and I’m considering making it higher).

The Regrettable Aspects: The presentation didn’t detract from the film, but it didn’t add to it either. There were too many standard camera shots, and not enough artistic vision on display. Had the film been given a better “look” in terms of presentation, it would be worthy of considerably better praise.

Would I watch it again? I would, absolutely, watch this again. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’d want to own it, and I probably won’t request it from Netflix to be delivered without a really good reason. If it’s a night where there doesn’t seem to be much to watch, I might check to see if it’s on Netflix Instant.

To Whom Would I Recommend It?  I’d recommend it to just about anyone who enjoys films. This movie isn’t entertaining in many traditional ways, but it’s a great story, it’s well acted and it has some great quirks to it. It’s absolutely one of my Top 10 favorite non-violent sci-fi movies.

Other Recommendations:

A.I. – Artificial Intelligence – A far more emotionally-driven movie than I was first expecting, this film does a great job at showing how robots can serve to meet an emotional need in some individuals.

SECONDHAND LIONS – It’s sometimes tough to understand exactly why I want to relate two movies to one another, but I think it’s because of the relationship between someone who likes their routine and an individual who shows up, initially unwanted, and becomes a vital part of the old dog’s life.

I, ROBOT – The only real link between these two films is that this continues to delve into the relationship between people and robots, albeit from a less emotional standpoint. It does bring about some interesting topics of discussion pertaining to a robot’s role in society.

If you’ve got recommendations for alternatives to ROBOT AND FRANK, or for other similar films, let me know!

Next up, A FISH CALLED WANDA.

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3 responses to “Robot And Frank [Review 35 for FQ13]

  1. Good review man. It has a sweet feel to it that keeps the movie’s heart right in place. The idea of robots taking over our sons and daughters by helping out elders is all but too realistic and I wouldn’t be surprised if it started occurring very, very soon.

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