Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Short Circuit (1986) Review:

Movie history has shown us that audiences have been handed knock-off items before. Of course, most of them are either made so badly that they gain a cult following or they just sink altogether with no one behind them at all. And then there are the few that stand the test of time for being executed well and received few to little recognition. Just like the film Leviathan (1989), which was a combination of several previous films, still had a lot of appeal to it. The same goes for Short Circuit.

Steve Guttenberg as the wiz-tech who designed #5
It obviously does not have the same story line but the looks and the feel of it are almost parallel to the movie of E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982). Short Circuit is literally about a "Short Circuit" in the robotic war machine. The "Short Circuit" occurs when a bolt of lightning strikes the robot and gives it its own brain. Like any character's origin, they are always new to their surroundings. The robot analyzes and senses its perimeter to make an assessment of what it should do next. And as time goes on, the character begins to learn how to react quicker in different situations.

However, none of this were to have happened if it wasn't for the help of Ally Sheedy's character, Stephanie Speck. The voice of the machine is by Tim Blaney. Steven Guttenberg plays the creator of the machine (Newton Crosby) in this story. Guttenberg makes a good nerd, especially for what he looks like and his inability to communicate like a normal human being. Along side Crosby is his close friend Ben, played by Fisher Stevens, who I'll admit besides the robot, had some funny lines.

Ally Sheedy & #5 taking in input
I thought the robot character was well done too. The personality is very childlike and innocent which makes it a cute character to watch and listen too. It's not to say it has the greatest story or the funniest lines, but it does have character. In a sense it appears to look like a premature WALL·E (2008). The puppetry is well done too. All the movements are smooth and coordinated, making it look very lifelike. The soundtrack by David Shire is good too. The re-occurring them is welcomed as is the emotional tones there inserted inside them. If only this film could be looked back on as not a cheese film but of something with more value than that, then it really would stand the test of time.

Short Circuit is well made for its time with realistic puppetry, comical scenes and good music. Yet it still can't detach itself from the era that it came from.

Points Earned --> 8:10

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