A call to boycott the opening week of “I, Robot”

hossman
writes,
The link says it all: Boycott
the Opening Week of I, Robot

Simply put, I want to spread the word that people
should boycott the movie I, Robot during its opening
week in protest of 20th Century Foxs blatant abuse
and misuse of Isaac Asimovs classic book. I dont
expect that anything I say will make a dent in the
movies bottom line, but maybe just maybe the studio
will get the message: dont mislead your audience.
If the history of the project is as described
in that link, then I agree: studios should advertise
the movies they make, and make adaptations that are
at least faithful in spirit if not in the specifics.

21 replies on “A call to boycott the opening week of “I, Robot””

  1. y42 says:

    Good start
    What about a boycott of its first century? That’s what I’m planning…

    • questor says:

      Re: Good start
      How about a boycott of the theaters showing this abomination, all
      movies, for the duration of its run?

  2. mbourgon says:

    Two Words…
    Dark City. The guy behind Dark City is directing it. Yes, I too am horridly afraid of this movie sucking, and sucking HARD. However, never ascribe to malice that which may be adequately explained by Marketing. It could be this is the absolute worst trailer produced in order to make this movie the Action Movie Event Of The Summer. (yes, I doubt it too).

    • y42 says:

      Re: Two Words…

      Dark City. The guy behind Dark City is directing it. Yes, I too am horridly
      afraid of this movie sucking, and sucking HARD. However, never ascribe to
      malice that which may be adequately explained by Marketing. It could be this
      is the absolute worst trailer produced in order to make this movie the Action
      Movie Event Of The Summer. (yes, I doubt it too).

      I’ll see your Dark City and Alex Proyas and raise you a Tim Burton and Planet
      of the Apes.

      Be affraid…

  3. esc_oblivion says:

    Give me a break!
    Yes, I created an account *just* so that I could throw in my 2 cents. I for one will be the first in line to see I, Robot. Personally, I think everything about it looks like it’ll kick some serious ass. Whether or not it’s similar, close, faithful or NOT to the book of the same name… I don’t care. Yep. I read books completely separate from movies. Some books if adapted remotely faithfully would suck and most would be doing the “spirit” of the book/film a disservice by trying to force the limitations and strengths of another type of storytelling (book versus film) on another. That said, I cannot believe you’re dissing Alex Proyas. Dark City is certainly not widely concidered to be by any means, “bad.” In fact, it’s one of my favorite films! Right there along side another Alex Proyas film, The Crow. …And I’m an aspiring filmmaker, sci-fi lover, etc. I tend to think there’s perhaps NO ONE better equipped to intelligently directing this sort of film these days, except Ridley Scott (maybe). Anyway, the moment I hear a movie is based on a book I immediately suspend any thought that the two will have any similarities. See you on opening day! : -)

    • y42 says:

      Re: Give me a break!

      the moment I hear a movie is based on a book

      Its not, that’s the whole point!

      They are using Asimov’s name to promote a piece of shit cookie-cutter robot
      rampage action flick. That is wrong.

      I’m an aspiring filmmaker, sci-fi lover

      Go read so real Asimov, aspiring sci-fi lover. Then maybe you’ll understand.

    • fiziko says:

      Re: Give me a break!

      Whether or not it’s similar, close, faithful or NOT to the
      book of the same name… I don’t care. Yep. I read books
      completely separate from movies.

      If it’s an adaptation, it’s an adaptation. There are a
      few kinds of films that call themselves adaptations:

      • Films like Lord of the Rings, that stay
        close to the source material.
      • Films like Spider-Man, that make rewrite the
        source material but don’t dramatically change the nature
        of the original concept.
      • Films like Blade Runner, that significantly
        alter the original concept, keeping few of the ideas.
      • Films like Starship Troopers, that show the
        same kind of comprehension of the original concept as I
        saw in my high school library’s copy of the censored
        version of Fahrenheit 451.
      • Films like The Lawnmower Man, that have
        absolutely nothing to do with some material that already
        exists, but which buy the rights to stamp that name on
        them to attract a completely different project’s existing
        fanbase.

      This call to boycott is looking specifically at this last
      kind of film that calls itself an adaptation. That is
      what I, Robot looks like it’s going to be. This
      is what some of us are taking issue with. I wouldn’t call
      for a boycott of the first three types in any situation.
      The fourth doesn’t deserve to be boycotted, either; that’s
      a case of clueless filmmakers. Those films should suffer
      because the filmmakers who completely miss the point of
      the source material generally don’t have enough neurons
      kicking around to assemble a film worth watching. The
      fifth kind is the one that involves outright lies and/or
      misrepresentation on the part of the film studio, and
      that’s the aspect of this production people are objecting
      to. Those calling for the boycott are only asking for the
      first week, not to avoid the movie entirely. (Having been
      a theatre employee myself in the past, I’d say the first
      two weeks would be more effective, since the percentage of
      the ticket price that goes to the studio is generally the
      same in the first two weeks, and then drops in the third.
      This cuts into the studio profits, and puts those dollars
      into the exhibitors, who are already getting a raw deal.)

      • Dudah says:

        Re: Give me a break!

        I created an account just to defend Starship Troopers, as it’s one of my favorite sci-fi adaptations of a novel I loved. I think this would fall into a whole new category: Movies that take the original concept, amplify it, and use it against itself. Verhoeven’s movie was a crazy ironic commentary on the right-wing politics of the orignal novel. I’ll grant you that he left out some of the cool stuff from the books (ie the robotic exoskeletons, and some other cool tech), but it was acceptable (to me) for the purpose of the message of the film.

        Another example of an adaptation like this (though not sci-fi) would be the Brady Bunch movies.

        • quantaman says:

          Re: Give me a break!

          I created an account just to defend Starship Troopers, as it’s one of my favorite sci-fi adaptations of a novel I loved. I think this would fall into a whole new category: Movies that take the original concept, amplify it, and use it against itself. Verhoeven’s movie was a crazy ironic commentary on the right-wing politics of the orignal novel. I’ll grant you that he left out some of the cool stuff from the books (ie the robotic exoskeletons, and some other cool tech), but it was acceptable (to me) for the purpose of the message of the film.

          Another example of an adaptation like this (though not sci-fi) would be the Brady Bunch movies.

          I liked the booked and even liked the movie, but unless by “amplify” you mean “completely misinterpret” I have to disagree with you. Let’s look at a few small examples, in the book the government did everything they could to discouraged people from joining the military (at least in the beginning). In the movie the government had a massive recruitment campaign. In the book a human life was considered invaluable, in the movie they were cannon fodder. The only thing the movie did seem to get right was the mindless evil of the bugs but other than that Varhoeven was certainly making a commentary about something but it sure as heck wasn’t the politics of the book, I doubt he even understood them.

          • y42 says:

            Re: Give me a break!

            Varhoeven was certainly making a commentary about something but it sure
            as heck wasn’t the politics of the book, I doubt he even understood them.

            Both Verhoven and Heinlein were around during WWII, but while Heinlein was
            serving in the pacific (and was seriously injured, forcing him to a desk job),
            Verhoven was a little boy living in a nazi occupied town. It gave them
            different
            perspectives about war.

            The book was about the value, usefullness and hardships of servicemen, the
            movie was about the inhumanity of facism and the military-industrial
            complex.
            The movie still has the message from the book (no matter what advances of
            technology we get, the infantry men will always
            be the most important part of any army). The whole book repeated it, the
            movie condesend it to the bit where Zim says “Put your hand on that wall!”
            and the parts where Rico is serving under Krytchek (sp?), plus some bits of
            dialog here and there.

            Personally, I think everyone who claims that movie is nothing but mindless
            action needs to watch it again and pay attention this time.

            • Dudah says:

              Re: Give me a break!

              Not sure I could have said it better, though I think there’s more to that theme than just the “hand on the wall” scene. It seems to be a little too subtle, I guess. Not that I think anybody’s stupid for not getting it, as I seem to be the only person in the world who sees this in that movie, except for some Eurpoean friends of mine.

              By “amplify”, I meant you take the bits and pieces you think are important and magnify them until they are the focus. In the end it gives you a different meaning or context, and you’re looking at something that was there all along in a completely different way. “Adaptation” is another great book to film adaptation that I think does this. It’s certainly not a good adaptation of The Orchid Thief, and if anybody went into the theater expecting that then … well, that would be hilarious.

    • Boglin says:

      Re: Give me a break!
      Normally, I would agree with you about the fanboys being ridiculous. It’s just a movie and they’re obviously going to make some changes for things to work well for the non-scifi reading public. (Personally, I thought that the mutated web spinners in the Spiderman movie were an improvement over the comic). What I’m upset about is that the book and the movie are completely unrelated.

      Now, this doesn’t mean it’s going to be a bad movie. However, imagine for a moment that Peter Jackson had named the movies in hin trilogy Moby Dick, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and Ford Taurus Driver’s Manual. The movies would still be great movies, but I’d still be upset because they weren’t what they said they were going to be. If they had stuck with the original title for the movie, which was “Hardwired”, I would have been standing next to you in line on opening day. I guess that’s the difference between us; it wouldn’t have bothered me in the least if they had called O, Brother, Where Art Thou “The Odyssey”, but I would have wanted a refund if it was called “Beowulf”.

      • y42 says:

        Re: Give me a break!

        Personally, I thought that the mutated web spinners in the Spiderman movie
        were an improvement over the comic.

        We’re drifting off-topic, but no mattrer…

        I didn’t. I liked the organic web spinners when I first read Spider Man
        2099
        , where a different chracter is altered by genetic technology and
        gets spider-like powers, including organic web-shooters on his forearms and
        claws that come out of his fingers.

        But in the movie, its Peter Parker, who is no longer a pacifist genious who’s
        mind has been altered with a spider’s instinct for web-spinning that inspired
        him to devise a non-lethal weapon. He cannot
        mix special batches of web fluid to fight his opponents (electric condictivity/
        resistance for Electro, toxic solubility for the water freak, etc), his web-
        spinning is no longer a drag on his budget, etc. It takes a lot away
        from the character (while shamelessly stealing from another), and its done
        because of lousy storytelling.

        Aside from your spider man heresy, right on though. : )

    • mbourgon says:

      Re: Give me a break!

      That said, I cannot believe you’re dissing Alex Proyas.

      I’m not. I have two things to base my preconceptions of this movie on:

      1. Alex Proyas & Dark City. The movie is amazingly good. I watched it 2 or 3 days ago, actually. One of my faves.
      2. The Trailer.

      The ONLY reason I have any hope for the movie is Alex – if he’s involved, there’s hope. It may be false hope, but it’s hope.

    • TwistyHat says:

      Re: Give me a break!

      Whether or not it’s similar, close, faithful or NOT to the book of the same name… I don’t care.

      Yep, its because of idiots like you that Hollywood keeps raping any creative idea to death. Good i hope they are right and P2P kills that damn industy.

      • esc_oblivion says:

        Re: Give me a break!
        I *love* creating a good conflict! Hehe. : -) Thank you to that last poster admitting that Proyas is good. I’d say that before he signed on I was pretty thoroughly convinced that whomever did a film with this concept would fuck it up big time. He’s truly a master storyteller – although he really took a shit on himself with “Garage Days.” I hope he got that out of his system. I too think they should’ve stayed with Hardwired as the title. From what I know it sounds like the studio was worried about Hardwired being to punk or something and so they forced the title change on Alex. If I remember correctly he was signed on when it was called Hardwired. I agree (I guess) that I’d be moderately pissed from multiple respects if we got Alice in Wonderland sold to us as “Dark City.” It’s not fair to Dark City, and not fair to Alice in Wonderland. But, I’m super-psyched for what I’m still thinking of as Hardwired. Looks like it could be far superior to Minority Report and A.I. both! Please, God, let it be so.

        On another notes, I was a little pee’ved about Starship Troopers. Besides spending an assload on a movie on not doing jack-diddly with all that cash, the acting sucked, the military tactics of the bugs which were so admired by the tactic-less humans were offensively non-tactical… I really have a hard time seeing what the hell they were thinking. I mean, if I read StarShip Troopers as a Hollywood Reader I’d be thinking “sweet, we get to spend a buttload and get some jump-suits which no one has ever seen before.” But NO, all the truly cool unique stuff gets jettisoned. On a very superficial level it was fun watching a sci-fi movie in general, but I had to hate it just for all the opportunity lost factors. It was horrible watching that particular film with a friend of mine who points out every far-fetched concept… like the way they had all the huge starships right around the planet – even after they discovered that “oh, shit!” the bugs really can fart some pretty lethal gases our way! lol.

        Whether or not it’s similar, close, faithful or NOT to the book of the same name… I don’t care.

        Yep, its because of idiots like you that Hollywood keeps raping any creative idea to death. Good i hope they are right and P2P kills that damn industy.

  4. Trekkie says:

    My $0.02
    I for one have more of a problem that it’s Will Smith as the main character
    than the raping of the original story line.

    My main problem is that Will Smith can’t act. But he can be the same wise
    crackin black guy in every film. They ought to just name them all ‘Will Smith
    vs.’ and we’d have Will Smith vs. The Aliens. Will Smith vs. the Wild West, Will
    Smith (in a black suit) vs. The Aliens, Will Smith vs. the Guvment, Will Smith
    vs. some white folk, etc, etc. He’s been the ‘Fresh Prince’ character ad
    nauseum now.

    I’ll probably see it eventually. But since my two year old would probably freak
    out at it I’ll probably wait for DVD or HBO unless I find a babysitter

    • Trekkie says:

      Re: My $0.02
      That being said, Mr. Asimov has got to be spinning like a top in his grave. I
      just watched the trailer. Ugh.

      POV changed from the Robot to the cop chasing him was bad enough, but
      now we have a army of killer robots. sigh.

  5. paranoid_obsessive says:

    Apples and Oranges?
    Hmm, I’m seeing a trend here – like esc_oblivion, I too created an account just to reply to this.

    I agree with the idea that it doesn’t MATTER how good or bad the movie is, the entire reason behind the boycott would be to protest the idea of slapping misleading names on a project. God knows this won’t be the first time Hollywood’s done this – for that matter, it won’t even be the first Asimov property that gets butchered (Nightfall, anyone?). In many ways, it would be like if they called “The Matrix” “William Gibson’s Neuromancer”, instead. A good movie, yes. A good book, yes. BUT NOT THE SAME THING.

    If I go to a restaurant and order steak, and they bring me lobster, I’m going to complain. Why? I’m sure the lobster is good, but it isn’t what I ordered. In the same way, we ordered a movie based on Asimov stories, and we get a lobster that the waiter is telling us is really steak.

    I’ll definitely be skipping the first week, and probably the second. Long enough, at any rate, to read some reviews and see if the movie’s worth seeing. Because I certainly won’t be seeing it on the strength of the name. Worst case scenario, I can always wait for DVD. Or go buy an illegal DVD on the streets of NYC.

  6. SteveMB says:

    Meaningless “Boycott”
    It would be a bit fatuous to declare that I’m “boycotting” a movie that I wouldn’t see anyway if they were giving out free tickets stapled to bundles of $100 bills.

  7. SciFi0964 says:

    Arose by any other name…
    I’ve always beleived that if your going to “tell” someone else’s story do so faithfully or entitle the story differently. Hollywood has not always followed this. Even more absurd is the fact that they have retold the same tale but have changed the title (ie. Here comes Mr. Jordan /Heaven Can Wait /Chris Rocks version- title forgotten)

    I am saddened that the title of one of the finest writings of the ScifFi genre is used for the purpose of attracting audiences without remaining primarily true to the plot of the book. They’re trading in on name recognition. I am sure there is some legal easily missed jargon serepticiously slipped in there disclaiming any relation to the original book though.

    Hopefully the next versions of Master of the World, Moby Dick, and Dr. Jeckle & Mr. Hyde will be close to the classic literature and not about the NWO, an underwater porno actor, and a gay couple…

    Personally though, I think I can find some better flicks soon to be in the theaters.

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