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Robot & Frank


Recommended Posts

This movie is from 2012, but judging by the box office records on iMDB, barely anyone has seen it. I've only barely registered it when it came out and made a mental note to check it out one day.


Well finally I did aaaaand now it's one of my favorite movies ever.


The premise is that a retired burglar suffering from dementia gets a robot to help him out in the house. Instead, the old guy teaches the robot how to do burglary :lol:


It's amazing really. The movie has some flaws (the depiction of police routines is really crap) but overall it's one of the best robot stories ever (I don't know why Her or Ex Machina get so much praise while this one is largely ignored).


Here are some scenes:





BTW I've searched and this hasn't come up in results but if there exists a topic already, just merge or whatever.

Edited by RogerWho
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It's a pretty good film if I remember correctly. My memory of it is now more hazy. A year later we had Her (2013), dealing with similar themes if you are interested.

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I mentioned Her in my original post. I think that movie was quite undercooked and overrated honestly although some ideas were nice; still it was mostly sold on Scarlett J's voice.


Maybe it's just me but I appreciate robot stories that don't try to be too fiction-y, surreal and/or melodramatic as we've had a crapload of those. Considering the levels of AI, voice recognition and TTS we have today already, robots like Frank's one seem to be where we're heading: easily recognizable as robots and no self-awareness that would qualify as artificial life, but with communication capabilities that mimic human relations so well people could have reasonable discussion with them without having to teach them about emotions or whatever. So pretty much the exact opposite of, say, Data from Star Trek TNG. And less melodramatic than Her, Blade Runner, A.I. and whatnot.


The robots in Interstellar were also pretty great in that regard.

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Oh sorry, you did, I missed it.


Yes, me too. That's why I really enjoyed Terminator. Maybe it's a bad example but it's that human interaction with robots/androids that I really find appealing. That may be melodramatic at times but still enjoyable. It's been too long since I seen Frank and The Robot, I can't refer to it meaningfully.

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Apart from the whole terminating thing :)


BTW there was a bit in Sarah Connor Chronicles that described how did Skynet/the robots learn to mimic human interactions so well. Basically they had a traitor human who was helping them and taught them this stuff. Before that, they were pretty intept but it was made clear they were still learning and enhancing through mimicry. Different models had various capabilities when it comes to interaction with humans.


That sounds pretty obvious but in reality, depiction of AI and robots in fiction usually has only two extremes: dumb appliances on par with Roomba and full-blown humanoids (the "we need to teach it about love" kind), rarely something inbetween or steps of evolution from one to another.

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