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PCR # 259  (Vol. 6, No. 10)  This edition is for the week of March 7--13, 2005.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith
Three stars

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

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 by Brandon Jones
"The Jacket"....Lizard Battle
 John Lewis
Winter Freeze....Woe Is Me, I Have The Bush Flu....Clint Like Flint
 by Matt Drinnenberg
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 by Mike Smith
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20th Century Fox     
Starring the voices of: Ewan McGregor, Halle Berry, Greg Kinnear, Mel Brooks, Drew Carey and Robin Williams
Directed by: Chris Wedge and Carlos Saldanha
Rated: PG
Running Time: 1 hour 58 mins

It's only been a few months since the double shot of "The Incredibles" and "The Polar Express" took computer animation to new heights. I'm happy to report that "Robots," the new film from the creator of "Ice Age," continues the trend of visual magic.

The film begins with the delivery of a brand new baby. Literally. Dropped off by the UPS van on his parents' doorstep, Rodney Copperbottom (McGregor) is soon assembled and on his way through life. Not having the richest of parents (his father is a dishwasher who sometimes brings his work home with him), Rodney is often forced to wear hand me downs...parts from other robots that they no longer need. Rodney wants to be an inventor and learns to idolize a robot known as the Big Weld (Brooks). After some success with his inventions, Rodney heads off to Robot City hoping to impress the Big Weld. His roller coaster trip through Robot City is an incredible combination of color and movement. Once in town, Rodney meets an assortment of characters. There's female exec Cappy (Berry), the new head of Big Weld's company, Ratchet (Kinnear) and a motor mouthed pal named Fender (Williams). Rodney learns that Ratchet wants to stop making parts for older robots. Taking to heart Big Weld's motto to "find a need and fill a need" he puts his technical talents to work.

What a visually stunning film! The characters and backgrounds flow together easily. And the screen is always full of movement as the story flows by. The script is by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel, who have written such comic gems as "Night Shift," "Splash," "Parenthood" and "City Slickers." It is cleverly written with attention paid to not only the target audience of children but their parents as well. The voice actors deliver their lines brightly. McGregor seems to capture the enthusiasm of being a boy and Williams, in his first animated motion picture appearance since he practically stole "Aladdin," is his usual manic self. I honestly believe that if Robin Williams had been born 30 years earlier he would have rivaled the great Mel Blanc in the world of cartoons! I don't know what he's on but, to paraphrase Rob Reiner's mother in the deli scene from "When Harry Met Sally," 'I'll have what he's having!'

And if the combination of robots and Williams aren't enough, the coming attraction for "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith" will play before the film! On a scale of zero to four stars, I give "Robots"  Three stars

This week's movie review of "Robots" is ©2005 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2005, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2005 by Nolan B. Canova.