Archive for December, 2012

2013 movie preview

December 31, 2012

2013 movie preview

2013 is going to have its work cut out for it!

This year, 2012, was, in my opinion, one of the best movie years since 1939. It also made more money. That included your typical sequels/prequels, but there were first timers also that both did well (The Hunger Games, Ted) and were well reviewed (Looper, Beasts of the Southern Wild).

We don’t have a major series ending, as we did in Twilight.

Still, there are a lot of geeky movies set for next year. Some of them will probably get shuffled to future years (some of these have already been delayed), and rather than list them by release dates in this post (you can see that in The Measured Circle current events calendar), I’m going to group them by type.

Sequels/Prequels (continuing a movie series, with events taking place after or before early entries)

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (December 13) #2 in a second trilogy

Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen and Richard Armitage are directed by Peter Jackson. As I write this, the first movie has passed $220 dogro (domestic gross), and its far from over.

Star Trek Into Darkness (May 17)  #2

The first movie dogroed over $250m. J.J. Abrams directs.

Iron Man 3 (May 3)

G.I. Joe: Retaliation (March 29)

The first movie dogroed about $150m. Channing Tatum’s presence should help the box office.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (November 22) #2

The first movie dogroed over $400m in 2012.

Monsters University (June 21) #2

This is a Pixar movie, and the first one dogroed over $250 more than a decade ago.

The Wolverine (July 26) #2

Arguably a sidequel. X-Men Origins: Wolverine dogroed about $180m. If Hugh Jackman is nominated for an Oscar for Les Miz, that may make this more interesting to people who otherwise might not see it.

Thor: The Dark World (November 8) #2

The first one dogroed about 181. The Avengers might help push this one (and Iron Man 3).

A Good Day to Die Hard (February 14) #5

Scary Movie 5 (April 12)

Riddick (September 6) #3 (in theatres)

Kick-*ss 2 (June 28)

The first one dogroed about $48m, which is small to justify a sequel. Chloë Grace Moretz, though, has been on the rise since then.

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (August 16) #2

The first one dogroed about $89m.

Despicable Me 2 (July 3)

The first one dogroed over $150m.

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (October 4) #2

It’s been eight years since the first one dogroed about $74m.  Mickey Rourke was nominated for an Oscar since then.

300: Rise of an Empire (August 2) #2

The first one dogroed about $210m in 2006. Gerard Butler does not return.

The Smurfs 2 (July 31)

The first one dogroed about $142m.

RED 2 (August 2)

The first one did about $90m dogro.

Insidious Chapter 2 (August 30)

On a budget of under $2m, the first one dogroed over $50m.

Cloudy 2: Revenge of the Leftovers (September 27)

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs dogroed about $125m.

The Last Exorcism Part II (March 1)

On a tiny $2m budget, the first one dogroed about $41 m.

Sidequels (movies set in the same universe as previous movies, but with events not in continuity with the others…may focus on other characters than the previous movies)

Didn’t notice any big ones this year.

Remakes/Reboots (based on previous movies or TV shows)

Man of Steel (June 14)

Zack Snyder (300) directs from David S. Goyer’s (Batman Begins) script. Amy Adams, Russell Crowe, Michael Shannon, and Kevin Costner appear, among others.

Oz: The Great and Powerful (March 8)

James Franco plays the Wizard of Oz. Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams, and Bruce Campbell are also in it. Sam Raimi (Spider-Man, The Evil Dead) directs.

The Lone Ranger (July 3)

Gore Verbinski directs Johnny Depp as Tonto.

Carrie (March 15)

Kimberly Pierce (Boys Don’t Cry directs Chloë Grace Moretz, Julianne Moore and Judy Greer.

Texas Chainsaw 3D (January 4)

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (December 25)

Ben Stiller takes over the Danny Kaye role.

Evil Dead (April 12)

Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi are producers, but do not appear or direct.

Pedigeeked originals (original movies, but with some geek cred to them…director, actors, screenwriters, source)

Pacific Rim (July 12)

Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth) directs this giant mecha (human-piloted robots)  fighting aliens movie.

Ender’s Game (November 1)

Based on a very popular book, I’m sure they are hoping this one is this year’s The Hunger Games.  Harrison Ford, Abigail Breslin, and Viola Davis all appear.

After Earth (June 7)

M. Night Shyamalan directs Will Smith.

Oblivion (April 19)

Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman in a “ruined Earth” scenario.

This Is the End (June 14)

A bunch of movie stars are partying at James Franco’s house when disaster strikes.

The Seventh Son (October 18)

Based on the book by Joseph Delaney, starring Julianne Moore and Jeff Bridges.

Warm Bodies (February 1)

Based on the book by Isaac Marion, it’s a zombie love story.

World War Z (June 21)

Based on the book by Max Brooks, starring Brad Pitt.

Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters (January 25)

Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton

Jack the Giant Slayer (March 1)

Bryan Singer (X-Men) directs.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (August 23)

Based on the book by Cassandra Clare

The World’s End (October 25)

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost

The Host (March 29)

Based on the book by Stephenie Meyer (Twilight)

Now You See Me (June 7)

Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo and Michael Caine are stage magicians and thieves.

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (March 15)

Steve Carell, Jim Carrey, and Olivia Wilde in a stage magician comedy.

Dark Skies (February 22nd)

Unconnected to the Eric Close TV series. Keri Russell stars.

Turbo (July 19)

From Dreamworks, with Ryan Reynolds as a fast snail

Elysium (August 9)

Neill Blomkamp (Dictrict 9) directs Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, and Sharito Copley.

A Haunted House (January 11)

Marlon Wayans and Nick Swardson in an R-rated comedy

Mama (January 18)

Jessica Chastain may get an Oscar nom for Zero Dark Thirty, and will appear in this horror movie.

Epic (May 24)

Amanda Seyfried, Josh Hutcherson and Beyoncé Knowles voice act in this movie from Blue Sky.

The Croods (March 22)

Dreamworks animated. Nicolas Cage, Ryan Reynolds, and Emma Stone provide voices.

Escape from Planet Earth (February 14)

Animated. Jessica Alba, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jane Lynch, Brendan Fraser, and James Gandolfini.

R.I.P.D. (July 19)

Undead cops: Ryan Reynolds, Jeff Bridges, Mary-Louise Parker

I, Frankenstein (September 13)

Aaron Eckhart and Bill Nighy: based on the Kevin Grevioux comic.

Frozen (November 27)

Animated: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad.

About Time May 10)

Richard Curtis (Love, Actually and Pirate Radio) directs Rachel McAdams and Bill Nighy.

The Conjuring (July 19)

Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga and Ron Livingston

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle.

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Gerry Anderson reported dead

December 26, 2012

Gerry Anderson reported dead

“Anything can happen in the next half hour.”
–from the opening of Stingray
produced by Gerry Anderson

While a lot of people in entertainment may claim to give you the unprecedented, Gerry Anderson, did just that.

Not only did he tell you new and bizarre stories (A mermaid on a submarine that leaps out of the water like a dolphin! The moon ripped from its orbit…and hurtling through space with a still active moonbase onboard!), he did it in a brand new language…supermarionation.

For the uninitiated, that means that means that we watched dramatic television…with a cast of marionettes.

In the case of Captain Scarlet and The Mysterons, one could even argue that it was puppet noir.

I remember watching Stingray and Fireball XL5 (with its rocking theme song) when I think they were first broadcast in the USA. Oddly, Thunderbirds, which is huge in the UK and recently spawned a feature with Ben Kingsley, never seemed to me to be that big here.

Lest you think Gerry Anderson was satisfied pulling the strings, there was also UFO (take a look at the picture on the cover of the DVD set…do you think Niki Minaj and/or Katy Perry were fans?), and Space:1999.

The latter starred Martin Landau, Barbara Bain, Catherine Schell, and Barry Morse. There’s still quite a bit of fandom for this odd duck of a show.

There’s no question that Gerry Anderson filled many hours of tube time for geeks…and we were intrigued both by the ideas and the execution.

Good-bye, Gerry Anderson…the world is a little less original without you.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle.

My take on…Les Misérables

December 26, 2012

My take on…Les Misérables

Tom Hooper has directed a very strong adaptation of the stage musical, Les Misérables.

My Significant Other and I saw it today in a crowded theatre. We don’t always both like a movie, but this is a case where we did.

I should point out that neither of us has seen a stage production of it. In fact, my SO pointed out how well this worked as a movie, to the point where we were curious about how it could be done as well in a live theatre.

Part of that is the scope of it. There are many places, painstakingly created (an Art Direction Oscar nomination is virtually unavoidable, and it will be tough to beat). From the gritty streets of 19th Century France (both above and below them), to mannered cottages, to the inside of buildings as varied as a “sweatshop” and a church, it seem inherently cinematic.

Indeed, the acting is much more suited to a movie than a live theatre. There is a lot of subtlety here, even with powerful songs. It seems far more intimate than you would get from the balcony.

The acting is good. We disagreed a bit about the singing (I like Russell Crowe; my SO didn’t like it as much. I thought Hugh Jackman’s voice was a bit weak in places: my SO thought it was perfect). We also debated over whether Hugh Jackman will challenge Daniel Day-Lewis for Best Actor (I think it is still Day-Lewis’).

Anne Hathaway was astonishing as Fantine, and there wasn’t a substandard performance to be seen (a great tribute to Hooper as director).

We both thought that Samantha Barks was a particular standout as Éponine, although not in a way that unbalanced the movie.

There were also great performances by kids, especially Isabelle Allen as the young Cosette.

Don’t go to this expecting a light and frothy tune-filled romp. This is about a dark time in history, and people suffer. There is violence, although deftly handled so it isn’t excessive.

Honestly, I think will be watching this movie twenty years from now. It’s not perfect, but it is one of the best movies we’ve seen this year. It’s like to garner a number of Oscar nominations (I’d be surprised if it was under 10).

I’m always afraid of building things up too much, and yes, you may find it long. If you are constitutionally unable to accept people singing their thoughts, well, that may make it impossible for you to enjoy it. 🙂 Amanda Seyfried’s voice is so delicate, I doubt it could be heard in the fifth row in a live theatre (although that isn’t necessary here…and you could certainly hear the “family resemblance” to her character’s mother).

Overall, I’d recommend it.

Feel free to let me and my readers know what you think by commenting on this post.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle.

2012 The Year in Movies

December 25, 2012

2012 The Year in Movies

While the counting certainly isn’t over (and we just saw Les Miz in a crowded theatre), this is clearly a great year for geek movies!

Let’s talk about box office first.

If we look just at the domestic gross (dogro), geek movies dominated the top 100.

Title Dogro
The Avengers 623
The Dark Knight Rises 448
The Hunger Games 408
Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 281
Skyfall 279
The Amazing Spider-Man 262
Brave 237
Ted 219
Madagascar 3 216
Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax 214
MIB 3 179
Wreck-It Ralph 172
Ice Age: Continental Drift 161
Snow White and the Huntsman 155
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 150
Hotel Transylvania 144
Taken 2 138
21 Jump Street 138
Prometheus 126
Safe House 126
The Vow 125
Lincoln 117
Magic Mike 114
The Bourne Legacy 113
Argo 106
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island 104
Think Like a Man 92
Flight 91
The Campaign 87
The Expendables 2 85
Wrath of the Titans 84
Dark Shadows 80
Rise of the Guardians 80
Life of Pi 76
John Carter 73
Act of Valor 70
Contraband 67
Looper 66
Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection 66
Battleship 65
Mirror Mirror 65
Chronicle 65
Pitch Perfect 64
Hope Springs 64
Underworld Awakening 62
The Lucky One 60
The Dictator 60
Total Recall 59
Titanic 3D 58
American Reunion 57
Paranorman 56
This Means War 55
Project X 55
The Woman in Black 54
Paranormal Activity 4 54
The Devil Inside 53
The Odd Life of Timothy Green 52
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance 52
The Grey 52
Red Tails 50
The Possession 49
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days 49
Sinister 48
Beauty and the Beast 3D 48
Savages 47
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 46
Moonrise Kingdom 46
The Three Stooges 44
Star Wars Episode 1 3D 43
Here Comes the Boom 43
Red Dawn 43
Resident Evil: Retribution 42
The Cabin in the Woods 42
What to Expect When You’re Expecting 41
Finding Nemo 3D 41
End of Watch 41
Rock of Ages 39
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter 38
Lawless 37
That’s My Boy 37
Trouble with the Curve 36
The Watch 35
Step Up Revolution 35
Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds 35
Frankenweenie 35
2016 Obama’s America 33
House at the End of the Street 32
The Pirates! Band of Misfits 31
Joyful Noise 31
Chimpanzee 29
The Five-Year Engagement 29
Cloud Atlas 27
Alex Cross 26
One for the Money 26
Katy Perry: Part of Me 25
Sparkle 24
Premium Rush 20
Big Miracle 20
Silver Linings Playbook 20
The Secret World of Arrietty 20

Geek movies can also cost more to make, though. Take a look at the movies ranked by profit. I’m using budget figures from Box Office Mojo. They don’t have budgets listed for every movie, and I’m leaving off ones where they don’t. These appear to be production budgets, and there can be considerable costs beyond that (especially marketing).

Title Dogro Budget Profit
The Avengers 623 220 403
The Hunger Games 408 78 330
The Dark Knight Rises 448 250 198
Ted 219 50 169
Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 281 120 161
Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax 214 70 144
Magic Mike 114 7 107
21 Jump Street 138 42 96
The Vow 125 30 95
Taken 2 138 45 93
Think Like a Man 92 12 80
Skyfall 279 200 79
Madagascar 3 216 145 71
Ice Age: Continental Drift 161 95 66
Argo 106 44.5 61.5
Flight 91 31 60
Hotel Transylvania 144 85 59
Act of Valor 70 12 58
Chronicle 65 12 53
Brave 237 185 52
Lincoln 117 65 52
The Devil Inside 53 1 52
Paranormal Activity 4 54 5 49
Pitch Perfect 64 17 47
Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection 66 20 46
Sinister 48 3 45
Contraband 67 25 42
Safe House 126 85 41
Titanic 3D 58 18 40
Looper 66 30 36
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 46 10 36
The Possession 49 14 35
End of Watch 41 7 34
The Amazing Spider-Man 262 230 32
Moonrise Kingdom 46 16 30
The Grey 52 25 27
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days 49 22 27
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island 104 79 25
House at the End of the Street 32 10 22
The Three Stooges 44 30 14
Katy Perry: Part of Me 25 12 13
Sparkle 24 14 10
Wreck-It Ralph 172 165 7
American Reunion 57 50 7
Savages 47 45 2
Step Up Revolution 35 33 2
What to Expect When You’re Expecting 41 40 1
The Five-Year Engagement 29 30 -1
Silver Linings Playbook 20 21 -1
Prometheus 126 130 -4
Paranorman 56 60 -4
Frankenweenie 35 39 -4
The Dictator 60 65 -5
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance 52 57 -5
Underworld Awakening 62 70 -8
Red Tails 50 58 -8
Alex Cross 26 35 -9
This Means War 55 65 -10
The Bourne Legacy 113 125 -12
One for the Money 26 40 -14
Snow White and the Huntsman 155 170 -15
The Expendables 2 85 100 -15
Premium Rush 20 35 -15
Mirror Mirror 65 85 -20
Big Miracle 20 40 -20
Red Dawn 43 65 -22
Resident Evil: Retribution 42 65 -23
The Pirates! Band of Misfits 31 55 -24
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter 38 69 -31
That’s My Boy 37 70 -33
The Watch 35 68 -33
Rock of Ages 39 75 -36
Life of Pi 76 120 -44
MIB 3 179 225 -46
Rise of the Guardians 80 145 -65
Wrath of the Titans 84 150 -66
Total Recall 59 125 -66
Dark Shadows 80 150 -70
Battleship 65 209 -144
John Carter 73 250 -177

As you can see, geek movies are still at the top, but other movies like Magic Mike, The Vow, and Think Like a Man move much farther up the list. Note that the biggest losers are clearly the geek movies (hello, John Carter and Battleship).

I’m also interested in profit percentage. Some low budget movies make many times what it cost to produce them, which means there is less risk. This is a place where low budget horror movies shined this year.

Title Dogro Budget Profit%
The Devil Inside 53 1 5200%
Magic Mike 114 7 1529%
Sinister 48 3 1500%
Paranormal Activity 4 54 5 980%
Think Like a Man 92 12 667%
End of Watch 41 7 486%
Act of Valor 70 12 483%
Chronicle 65 12 442%
The Hunger Games 408 78 423%
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 46 10 360%
Ted 219 50 338%
The Vow 125 30 317%
Pitch Perfect 64 17 276%
The Possession 49 14 250%
Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection 66 20 230%
21 Jump Street 138 42 229%
Titanic 3D 58 18 222%
House at the End of the Street 32 10 220%
Taken 2 138 45 207%
Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax 214 70 206%
Flight 91 31 194%
Moonrise Kingdom 46 16 188%
The Avengers 623 220 183%
Contraband 67 25 168%
Argo 106 44.5 138%
Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 281 120 134%
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days 49 22 123%
Looper 66 30 120%
Katy Perry: Part of Me 25 12 108%
The Grey 52 25 108%
Lincoln 117 65 80%
The Dark Knight Rises 448 250 79%
Sparkle 24 14 71%
Ice Age: Continental Drift 161 95 69%
Hotel Transylvania 144 85 69%
Madagascar 3 216 145 49%
Safe House 126 85 48%
The Three Stooges 44 30 47%
Skyfall 279 200 40%
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island 104 79 32%
Brave 237 185 28%
American Reunion 57 50 14%
The Amazing Spider-Man 262 230 14%
Step Up Revolution 35 33 6%
Savages 47 45 4%
Wreck-It Ralph 172 165 4%
What to Expect When You’re Expecting 41 40 2%
Prometheus 126 130 -3%
The Five-Year Engagement 29 30 -3%
Silver Linings Playbook 20 21 -5%
Paranorman 56 60 -7%
The Dictator 60 65 -8%
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance 52 57 -9%
Snow White and the Huntsman 155 170 -9%
The Bourne Legacy 113 125 -10%
Frankenweenie 35 39 -10%
Underworld Awakening 62 70 -11%
Red Tails 50 58 -14%
The Expendables 2 85 100 -15%
This Means War 55 65 -15%
MIB 3 179 225 -20%
Mirror Mirror 65 85 -24%
Alex Cross 26 35 -26%
Red Dawn 43 65 -34%
One for the Money 26 40 -35%
Resident Evil: Retribution 42 65 -35%
Life of Pi 76 120 -37%
Premium Rush 20 35 -43%
The Pirates! Band of Misfits 31 55 -44%
Wrath of the Titans 84 150 -44%
Rise of the Guardians 80 145 -45%
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter 38 69 -45%
Dark Shadows 80 150 -47%
That’s My Boy 37 70 -47%
Rock of Ages 39 75 -48%
The Watch 35 68 -49%
Big Miracle 20 40 -50%
Total Recall 59 125 -53%
Battleship 65 209 -69%
John Carter 73 250 -71%

I was curious about how profit tended to trend against budget. The sweet spot seemed to be around $40m to $50m budget, and it was unlikely to make a profit (The Avengers excepted) on a budget over $100m.

2012 Budget versus Profit

I think this will be a tough year for geek titles to get much love in terms of awards. That’s always hard, but this year, I think the mainstream movies are so strong that it will be particularly difficult.  I wrote back on November 10th that I thought that 2012 is a strong contender for the best movie year since 1939 and its odds have only increased since then. Even for technical awards, the Academy would rather give them to a Les Miz than a movie like The Dark Knight Rises, but we’ll see what happens when we get the Oscar noms on January 10th and then the awards themselves on February 24th.

Before I list some trends/stories for the year, let me remind you that you can see more detail at

2012 Movie Box Office: 40, 80, 1, 2 , 3

and

2012 The Measured Circle’s Box Office MVPs

  • Directors mattered at the box office. It wasn’t just what they put on the screen. I think the audiences cared that Joss Whedon directed The Avengers, Sam Mendes directed Skyfall, Gary Ross directed The Hunger Games, and Tom Holland directed Les Miz. Look for directors to start getting more money
  • While I thought earlier this year that Baby Boomer nostalgia had faded, and I still think that to some extent, Skyfall, The Dark Knight Rises, and The Amazing Spider-Man arguably benefited from it
  • Interestingly, remakes of Total Recall (1990) and Dredd (1995) suggest that the 1990s may not be prime time for second servings yet. The 1980s? They were hot, with 21 Jump Street and Wreck-It Ralph
  • Books (not just comic books) were good sources for the movie box office. The Hunger Games, Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2, and The Hobbit will all have studio development teams looking at lit. However, One for the Money and Alex Cross may make them more cautious about adapting titles without a lot of young adult appeal

Those were a few things I noticed. Feel free to let me and my readers know what you think are the trends by commenting on this post. Later, I’ll look ahead to 2013.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle.

On the Robot Beat: the Year in Review 2012

December 11, 2012

On the Robot Beat: the Year in Review 2012

robot is something created by humans (directly or indirectly) that performs tasks (autonomously or not) done by humans (or, more broadly, by other animals…a robot dog, for example, would perform work done by living dogs, including providing companionship). 

The word may conjure up an image of a mechanical man, perhaps clunky and made of metal. The way we use the term at The Measured Circle, it would include software performing human tasks, and non-anthropomorphic devices like an answering machine or a calculator.

On the Robot Beat presents news about our creations that are, even in small ways, replacing us.

Note: this is a tongue-in-cheek post…while I do like to see robots being used more and more, I’m exaggerating that position here.

This has been a great year for robots!

While there have been a few negatives, overall, robots seem to be moving more into the mainstream of our lives.

In terms of robot rights, the most significant move has been in the area of driver’s licenses. Both Nevada and California have made steps towards giving robots the freedom to drive on our nation’s roads, making their own decisions.

While California still requires a human nanny or “humanny” (a licensed driver to sit behind the wheel who can take over), we are moving rapidly towards a faster and safer world with robot cars providing transportation for the disabled…and those who’d just rather do something else on the way to their destinations than operate the car.

On the other hand, Human Rights Watch wants to preemptively ban robots from deciding not to kill people in military situations:

HRW aricle

I think this proposed roadblock to rationality is simply reactionary…after all, the group is “Human Rights Watch”, not “Sentients Rights Watch”, which might suggest a certain bias. How is it possibly better for a robot bomb to be prohibited from having the ability to say, “This is an unarmed child, I’m not going to explode”? Oh, HRW treats it as preventing robots from deciding to kill people, but deciding to kill unavoidably means that there is an option to decide not to kill. It’s simple logic. Of course, many geeks will be reminded of Dark Star at this point…

Robots are, though, being given new and/or better ways to contribute to society. Baxter may finally, affordably, move robots into fuller employment. This adaptable, self-learning robot may become commonplace. Baxter, or a robot like it, might also be used in the Foxconn factories, where there have been concerns expressed about human working conditions.

Robots aren’t just able to help humans. This

BBC article

reported on the Knifefish robot being used to replace minesweeping dolphins.

Of course, astrobots have long been accepted. When there was a recent announcement that the Mars rover Discovery had, well, discovered something,   it was readily accepted that it might have been signs of life on the red planet. While it didn’t turn out that way

New York Times article

the fact that the mainstream media seemed prepared to accept the analysis of a robot astronaut’s report shows that there isn’t a respect gap here.

Another astobot, Voyager 1, got coverage as it was about to leave the solar system:

Denver Post article

This brave explorer launched in 1977…leaving the planet before James Franco arrived on it.

Speaking of Franco and the movies, portrayals of robots were largely negative this year. One can hardly consider The Avengers or Battleship as accurate representations of these hard-working members of our Earthly society.

On the other hand, Robot and Frank did see a sympathetic robot get top-billing.

Celebotties got a great shout out in this

GE commercial

uniting Robby, KITT, B-9 from Lost in Space, and Johnny Five.

Yes, while some people may react like the robot-shooting human in this video

Policeone article

we can look forward to a better future…one that involves robots and humans living together in harmony.

😉

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle.


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