CLASSIC FILM: Bicentennial Man (1999)

Robin Williams stars as the antsy android Andrew, who longs to be human

Robin Williams stars as the antsy android Andrew, who longs to be human

I stumbled across Bicentennial Man, a particularly odd piece of cinematic history from 1999, as I was browsing Netflix for something vaguely entertaining to watch during an uneventful Sunday evening. Of course, just like most children raised in the 90s, I had heard of the film, starring Robin Williams, but I had never actually seen it. And although I had some preconceptions about what it might be like, it was certainly not what I had expected.

Essentially the film, directed by Chris Columbus, is a retelling of that classic Pinocchio tale, in which something that is designed by human beings to imitate humans eventually wishes to become a real human itself.

Something about this story seems to strike a chord with audiences again and again, no matter how often it is repackaged and reused. Case in point, only two years after the release of Bicentennial Man, AI: Artificial Intelligence was released, despite AI telling a similar tale of an android going on a long and arduous journey to become a real boy.

Anyway, Bicentennial Man takes the popular story of a wooden puppet, who longs to be human, and stretches it to breaking point. It’s not a bad film, but instead of focussing on that central plot point and leading the main character on a path to achieve one goal, it attempts too much and has Andrew, the android reaching to achieve about 15 seemingly insurmountable goals.

The director obviously was hoping to inject some humour into the proceedings when he cast Robin Williams as Andrew, the android, but the film doesn’t seem to know whether it wants to be a romance, comedy or a solemn-faced drama.

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House of Cards stands strong with shocking season two opener

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Kevin Spacey once again stars as the sly and imposing figure of Frank Underwood in season 2 of the hit Netflix political drama

Season two of the Netflix only, political drama House of Cards was released on Friday as a Valentine’s Day treat for all of those who enjoyed the first season. And as one of those waiting eagerly for its arrival I can now say that I was certainly not disappointed by theopening episode of the tale of one man’s ruthless journey to the highest seat in American politics.

As I sat down to watch the first episode I prepared myself for what I expected to be a gentle trickle of a story that would build to major events over the course of a number of episodes. But this time it seems the people behind the show decided to try something different as,without revealing any spoilers, the first episode contains, what must be one of the most shocking and foundation shaking moments of the shows’ history. It really set the tone and pace for what looks to be an exciting and impressive second series.

Kevin Spacey’s character Frank Underwood returns and if possible has become even more power-hungry and ruthless than he was at the end of the previous series. It almost seems that the closer he gets to his ultimate goal of the American Presidency the more willing he is to step on or destroy anyone who might possibly prove to be an obstacle.

Now to move on to episode two…