Top Ten Tuesday: The “Good” Machines
Since we did the Top Ten Evil Machines list a couple weeks ago for ‘Terminator Salvation’, it was only fitting to do a Top Ten Good Machines list for the release of ‘Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen’. Scott, Travis, Jeremy and Kent all put their heads together and this is what we have for you fine folks on “Transformers Tuesday”:
10. The Iron Giant:
Leave it to animation master Brad Bird to find the one, best aspect of Vin Diesel and utilize it to its full potential. Not only does the Iron Giant have the voice of Riddick, its is the best 50-foot, metal-eating friend a nine-year-old could possibly have. Even ten years later, the Iron Giant is among the best movie robots in history. Able to cause massive destruction wherever it turns, this behemoth finds it deep within itself to care for something much smaller than it is. Not only is it the largest robot on our list, it is arguably the most human, as well. How can you argue with a robot who likens itself as Superman? You can’t. That’s how!
09. Marvin from ‘The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy:
One, main aspect that makes a robot in a film more memorable than others is in the choosing of who voices that role. This is something the people behind the 2005 adaptation of ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ knew perfectly well. They had Hans Gruber himself, Alan Rickman, provide the voice for Marvin the Paranoid Android. Who else could offer up the perfect voice for a machine that is, at once, 50,000 times more intelligent than any human being yet wholly pessimistic in the face of any danger? Couple that with the incredible design this adaptation of the story took with Marvin, and you’ve got yourself a great robot in film history.
08. Johnny 5 from ‘Short Circuit':
“5 Alive!” ‘Short Circuit’ is a childhood favorite from the 80’s and remains a popular throwback to an era uniquely its own. The movie managed to blend sci-fi, comedy and action as well as appeal to both kids and adults. Johnny 5 was a hero to many kids and to be honest, it’s shocking there wasn’t more marketing of toys and paraphernalia around this movie and it’s lovable hunk of metal. In a way, Johnny 5 was the predecessor to WALL-E.
07. C3PO from ‘Star Wars':
If you put R2-D2 on a list of greatest good guy robots of all time, his counterpart and translator C-3PO isn’t far behind. Made by a young idealist boy on a small dessert planet, it’s a wonder that the mostly scrap metal Threepio hasn’t fallen apart over the decades. He’s been blasted into pieces, lit on fire, been embarrassingly naked (both embarrassing for the fans and him) and also saved the day once or twice. He’s genuinely worried about his masters and that’s what makes him a great heroic robot. His legitimate agony when he thought he wasn’t fast enough to save Master Luke and the others was always touching. Without Anthony Daniels the role would be nothing of course. Whether he’s annoying Han by telling him the odds or or running through blaster fire to help Artoo open a door, C-3PO is a legitimate hero and friend to the Rebel Alliance and one of the best robots in film history.
06. T-800 from ‘Terminator':
When you put a T-800 on a list of good machines you can only be talking about two versions of the T-800, the model from Terminator 2: Judgement Day and 3: Rise of the Machines. Without the killing power presented in Terminator 1, the impact of Arnold returning in Terminator 2 as a hero wouldn’t be as powerful. He’s one of the most dangerous creations in film history and suddenly he becomes a cyborg guardian angel who has to do whatever a twelve year old boy says. It’s a very cool concept. Top top it off, he was outmatched by a much deadlier and a little bit cooler T-1000 and the uber hot T-X but always seems to come through to save John at just the right moment. Here’s a thumbs up to the T-800, the first reformed robot killing machine.
05. RoboCop from… forgot the name of that movie:
He’s part man, part machine and he’s 100% kick-ass! RoboCop was brought to us with brilliant tongue-in-cheek direction from Paul Verhoeven, featuring violence, humor and just a touch of cheesiness. RoboCop was both a parody and a vision of a possible future reality. He stood for the laws and morals we find precious, but at the same time found himself the subject of ridicule from the very people he protected. RoboCop will always have a place in the hearts of movie geeks the world over.
04. Wall-E from ‘Wall-E':
Wall-E machines are robot trash compactors left to clean the earth from all the garbage left behind by the ‘Buy n Large’ corporation. After 700 years there is only Wall-E still remaining to clean the earth goes about his daily business collecting trash, and compacting them into little square shaped trash piles. Everything is fine until he encounters Eva, a futuristic flying robot who is sent to earth in order to test toxin levels. Wall-E falls in love and eventually follows her back to space where he is responsible for saving all of mankind and making earth habitable again.
03. Gerty from ‘Moon':
Duncan Jones’ ‘Moon’ isn’t even in wide release yet, but we already know what is going to be the most memorable aspect of it in years to come. That would be Gerty, the robot of the lunar base Sarang and the only company Sam Bell has on his three-year contract on the Moon. What makes Gerty so memorable, other than the incredible voice-work by Kevin Spacey, is that Gerty flies in the face of everything we know about robots that control outer space bases. In lesser hands, Gerty would have gone all HAL on Sam, lying to his face and, eventually, jettisoning him out into the confines of deep space. But Gerty is a good guy, and there are sincere moments in ‘Moon’ between he and Sam that really make you fight back the occasional tear. A robot that makes you weep. Now, that’s a good robot.
02. R2D2 from ‘Star Wars':
One of the most faithful, “good” machines on the list would have to go to R2D2. This little droid knows no fear, and survives countless battles to make in all 6 ‘Star Wars’ films. If I were going into battle with the dark side and had to pick a droid to repair my ship I could only think of about 43 droids, but R2D2 is #1 on that list boys and girls!
01. Optimus Prime from ‘Transformers':
Optimus Prime is tasked with defending Sam Witwicky from the evil Decepticons who believe he holds the coordinates that will lead them to the All Spark. He came to earth, after the Decepticons destroyed Cybertron, in an effort to find the All Spark so they can begin rebuilding their home world and put an end to the Decepticon/Autobot war. Optimus Prime is your typical hero, except for the fact he is a Diesel truck that transforms into a badass decepticon killing robot and who cant get behind that? Since this is a list in honor of a new ‘Transformers’ film being released how could we not put him up on top?