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Artificial Intelligence Movies – Episode 4

July 20th, 2009

Tomas takes a look at Artificial Intelligence in the movies from Metropolis in 1927, to the new trailer for the Tim Burton produced 9. Others on this journey include Terminator, Matrix, Blade Runner, I Robot, Wall-E. Finishing up with Styx’s Mr Roboto!

Some further links:  Artificial Intelligence in Cinema

J.D.’s Top 10 Artificial Intelligence Movies (Scene Stealers Blog)

Original Shane Acker Short Film Link for 9 (Thanks to ShinraAlchemist)

By the way, cool link to the 9 trailer music: Welcome Home by Coheed and Cambria

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Stuff mentioned in this episode:

24 Responses to “Artificial Intelligence Movies – Episode 4”

  1. CJ says:

    Hey Tomas,

    Got to agree with you about the intrigue of these films, and how the real attraction tends to be the way they reflect on humanity.

    It’s interesting that you showed a clip from The Matrix Revolutions as an example of the threatening side of AI. The clip itself definitely shows that side of it, but that film spends a lot of time showing the ‘human’ side of machines/programs too.

    Mr Roboto is also very profound.

  2. admin says:

    Dorian Denes, who is a phenomenal artist, BTW, Just pointed out the great 9 trailer music. It’s Welcome Home by Coheed and Cambria who I know nothing about by ill find out some more. Posted a link to it above as think Tomas is still catching the tube home!

    Check out Dorian Denes work on the link from said twitter account here: or site

    Rob Dougan – Functioning Showloon admin for the minute

  3. Tomas says:

    @CJ: interesting observation in regards to the Matrix Revolution. Would love to hear more of your thoughts going forward…good stuff and thx for watching!

    @Rob: Cheers mate for keeping the fires burning!

  4. ShinraAlchemist says:

    Hn. Definitely the best installation so far, considering the fact that it includes movies that I actually know (and love!).

    The Matrix was one of my favorite movies as a kid, though they were progressively worse. I was not a fan of Revolutions…at all. Regardless, I think that it is one of the key AI movies, and is much more in-depth (not to mention entertaining) than the Terminator series, which also portrays the darker side of robotic intelligence.

    I rather liked I, Robot, despite the fact that it had very little to do with the book. Aasimov’s original work was a collection of short stories concerning robots (and a great read, by the way). I have heard that the plot of I, Robot is more like Robots of the Dawn, but I have not read it myself and cannot say if that is true.

    Wall-E was adorable beyond words. It is, by far, my favorite Pixar movie– and I’m a big Pixar fan. The personalities they give the robots, not to mention the art direction, were superb.

    Short circuit is one of my favorite movies of all time. It, like Wall-E, goes up there in the “Cute” basket.

    As for 9, I have been looking forward it for…a while, really. I saw a trailer back when they first released it and went, “WOAH”. The art direction is gorgeous, and the voice acting is shaping up to be fabulous. I have high expectations for this film.

    Did you know that it’s based off of a short film by Shane Ackerman? You should really watch it– it’s very good.

  5. CJ says:

    @Tomas: I’ll be around! Thanks to Rob for the Twitter link.


    “The Matrix was one of my favorite movies as a kid, though they were progressively worse. I was not a fan of Revolutions…at all. Regardless, I think that it is one of the key AI movies, and is much more in-depth (not to mention entertaining) than the Terminator series, which also portrays the darker side of robotic intelligence.”

    I think I agree with this, though I didn’t totally hate Revolutions. The Matrix sequels have a lot of problems as films and as stories, especially when compared to the first, but there’s still a ton of interesting stuff to be found in them. It makes them worthwhile for the subject matter if not so much for the art. They also offer some complexity where the first could be a bit simplistic, above all because they start to break down that initial machines-are-evil attitude.

    I thought I, Robot was a pretty solid film, though the CGI-heavy action made those parts feel a little bland and unsatisfying.

  6. rob dougan says:

    Interesting to know more about Shane Ackerman. Shinra I think your link is heading to the Dancing Samurai (whick is pretty great too!) Don’t change it!
    BTW tried to leave a comment on your blog but it seems you have to register anouther blog with them to do that. Will try again.

    Great example of Shinra’s Alchemy with words (on her Blog) here:

    Original Shane Ackerman Short Film Link:
    Really worth seeing as Shinra suggested.


    Matrix Revolutions was the only Matrix film I didn’t comtribute music too. But I found it quite Baroque in style and Operatic in scale. I liked it.

    By the way Chris Jordan excellently titled “Fat Man in Tweed” Blog is here

    A renaissance man.

    I would have thought 9 was a great trailer, but probably not seen the film. Now I’m determined to see it. So thanks Tomas! Thanks Shinra! for the Shane Ackerman info and short film. And Thanks CJ! for pointing out The Matrix Revolutions actually fits into the themes mentioned by pointing out that the threatening /human of machines/programs are both present in that film.

    I like Blade Runner best of all the above films I think. Great Music by Vangelis

  7. ShinraAlchemist says:

    Oh my.

    I feel like something of a dumbass now.

    ///o o///

    My experiments with Vocaloid for all the internet to see.

  8. admin says:

    Love it!

  9. Tomas says:

    Love it too and I think that Tim Burton should do a feature lenght on the dancing Samurai! ShinraAlchemist don’t worry about it, when I watch myself on video I feel like something of a dumbass for all the internet can see all the time :)
    You do manage to impress me with your comments so you can allow yourself a couple of more slips before I question your IQ…ergo: fire away!

  10. CJ says:

    A little bit off-topic, but 9 and the Shane Ackerman short film remind me a lot of the old Oddworld games for atmosphere. Very dark and strange and human-but-not.

    Here are some cutscenes from Abe’s Exoddus (1998): (They start properly at 2:45; it’s a recap of the last game before that.)

    The cutscenes are a lot talkier than the Ackerman short, but here’s an example of gameplay: Watch the first minute and you get the idea.

    Oddworld Inhabitants, the company that made the games, recently left the video game industry to work on an Oddworld animated film following the same story. I haven’t heard any news about it for a while, but I hope it’s still happening.


    Your Matrix stuff is awesome. I have Chateau on loop every time I want my life to feel like an action movie. Thanks for the promotion!

  11. I believe that there is before and later after Blade Runner. “Metropolis” is only an outline. Everything what came after the film of Ridley Scott was some unsubstantial copies or not even that.

    There is a existential emptiness in the art that transfers the cinema, it collection very clearly in music, perhaps for that reason it cannot stop listening to ” Furious angels” and perhaps for that reason every time it goes less to the cinema although it dedicates to me to make films.

    I believe in an artistic revolution, at some time in some place is necessary to do it. The cinema not this dead, I resign myself to believe it.
    And is beautiful that are cultural places like this.

  12. Tomas says:

    Like everything, cinema goes and comes in waves. I truely believe that, with the social web forums we are given, we have an opportunity at hand to direct/divert attention to good stuff as opposed to consume what has been mass-molded by big companies and placed on the screens in front of us. There is no great art without the shitty clones. But I should really shut up now because my brain has been pretty much fried by the commercial world since I was young. Still, I will try…

  13. All we have the fried brain Takings fry, us when being born. The question is soon in leaving or not that garbage, ” to create from inside” like a true artist or to let itself take, to copy and to make clones empty of sense. Like all the devoid one of sense, one feels, it is perceived and it does not resist the passage of time. It tell me a film in these 15 years that the passage of time resists… the only one that is happened to me is ” Seven” of David Fincher. A classic in its form to narrate in takings but perfectly fatal film, pure cinematographic essence!

    I’m sorry if I pass in line and my English to me not understands absolutely, but the passion with the cinema often overflows to me.

  14. Todos tenemos el cerebro frito Tomas, nos frien al nacer. La cuestion radica luego en salir o no de esa fritura, “crear desde adentro” como un verdadero artista o dejarse llevar, copiar y hacer clones vacios de sentido. Como todo lo carente de sentido, se siente, se percibe y no resiste el paso del tiempo. Dime una pelicula en estos 15 años que resista el paso del tiempo… la unica que se me ocurre es “Seven” de David Fincher. Una pelicula clasica en su forma de narrar en tomas pero perfectamente fatal, esencia cinematografica pura!

    Perdon si me paso de la linea pero a menudo la pasion por el cine y el arte me desborda.

  15. Tomas says:

    Passion is fantastic and I totally get what you say. ‘SE7EN’ from D. Fincher is a Titan in movie history and I will include it in an episode sooner or later… . Thx Juli! Tomas el Frito!

  16. “SE7EN” is a shot in the head! It does not have name, is perfect. If please it must be at some time! and we do not forget “Crash” David Cronemberg or “Match point” of Woody Allen or the serie “Dexter” , the first session is excellent.
    But Seven is the best one.
    Thanks Tomas! Juli “Speed me”

  17. Robotan says:

    On that note, I think it’s quite significant how movies/books/anime have shaped our perception of AI. For example, partly due to movies like terminator AI research is often perceived as “engineering the apocalypse” in, say, Germany :) By contrast, in Japan, where anime like Astro Boy ( have shaped the idea of robots saving the world, AI is very well respected and generally appreciated. That’s the power of movies for you. Okay, gotta go back to engineer the apocalypse.

  18. CJ says:


    A company recently had to issue this press release because of controversy surrounding a robot that refuelled by feeding on biomass:

    Best press release I’ve ever read.

  19. ibby says:

    hey tomas!!

    just watched your clip and i like it a lot! of course the movies you are mentioning are the ones that most of us agree on.
    i am just glad that you did not mention A.I. since i think that this movie was one of the category “could not satisfy any expectations”

    but one movie is missing! “bicentennial man” is i think worth mentioning, since that movie is telling the story from the opposite side. more like a biography of an A.I. without violence, gunfire and so on and fo forth.


  20. Ethan says:

    That was another awesome ep!

    I reckon artificial intelligence movies can point towards society as a whole. Im not going to go in depth, because very hard to put into context.

  21. Tomas says:

    I think most movies do…that’s why we feel (or should feel) that they talk to us or about our lifes.

  22. Ethan says:

    i meant that they point to society as a massive robot… but like i said, its hard to put into context.

  23. Tomas says:

    Can’t process data…

  24. Ethan says:

    Yea I know, I dont even know what I meant.

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