Not too long ago, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled their company’s exciting plan for delivering affordable stuff to your front door: drones. Flying drones.
Yes, it’s true. Amazon recently announced they’ve developed flying drones to get orders to customers in 30 minutes, rather than 2-5 days. It’s the same idea behind the wraiths the Army has spreading freedom in under-developed countries, one missile at a time. Except, instead of “hot death,” Amazon’s fleet of “Octocopters” would deliver the melon-baller you ordered.
In all honesty, I’m feeling some trepidation about this. After all, Hollywood has proven it time and again: robots are trouble. They lack empathy. We should all write our congresspeople (speaking of evil robots!) to forestall any potential Amazon-ian “Angry Robot” situation.
Our very own movie-loving intelligence has picked three great movies with three evil robots. Presenting the Angry Robot line-up:
First, from Ridley Scott’s original space-based horror-sci-fi-thriller, "Alien" (1979), we present Ash, played by Ian Holm. He doesn’t look like a robot, but he is English, so he’s at least halfway there. In this creepy classic, the infinite distance of outer space stretches in every direction, yet this team of outer-space explorers are confined to a tiny ship, on which resides a nasty alien as well as the aforementioned robot, whose intentions are anything but noble. Let me off at Uranus.
Next comes The False Maria from "Metropolis" (1927). Fritz Lang’s seminal work was the first feature-length Sci-Fi movie in the history of cinema, as well as one of the first (and last) worthwhile movies to feature a sexy robot. The robot’s beauty inspires a mob to murder in her name and abandon their children to a near-certain death. Robots that kill and maim humans themselves are scary, but the ones that make us willingly slaughter ourselves? Now that’s the stuff of nightmares.
Finally, the lighter side of the angry robot trope comes to us from Nick Park, creator of the delightful stop-motion animation series, “Wallace & Gromit.” Normally preoccupied with finding cheese, in "A Close Shave" (1995), which comprises one-third of "Wallace and Gromit: The Complete Collection", the titular pair find themselves facing down a malevolent robot dog named Preston. When it appears the local constables might uncover his evil machinations, Preston (the stinker) puts the collar on Wallace’s intrepid dog, Gromit. "Shave" is a great romp and a fun example of what can go wrong when machines decide they know better than humans.
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