Bicentennial Man/C,A
Touchstone/1999/131/ANA 1.85

       The placid expression on my face seldom changed as I sat through Bicentennial Man . Sharp production design was mesmerizing and the enchanting quality of the DVD transfer hypnotic, but beyond that, not much seemed to happen. That's right, despite a 200 year  journey through the existence of one robot, nothing much does happen. 
    Okay, this is no ordinary robot. This advanced model aspires to human emotions. Robin Williams is the modern day tin man, a robot with a sense of humor, to be sure, but a far deeper desire to mine the tear ducts. Williams captures all the staccato mannerisms and wonder of a robot discovering himself, but for all the robot desire in the world can't make this Robin sing like a man.
    Chris Columbus is a director with a true sense of wonder, but I think Bicentennial Man needed more of an edge. Columbus's style was perfected mated with Mrs. Doubtfire, but this time it's Mrs. Misfire. The slow ponderous evolution of robot seeking humanity doesn't have enough humor and relationships are far more artificial than any robot story has a right to have.
    Emotions run the gamut from artificial to manipulated. There are a number of tugs at the heartstrings which are difficult to totally ignore, but the question is, were they earned by the material. I think not.

Duet for life. İTouchstone

       The best thing about Bicentennial Man is the transfer. Detail is sharp enough to penetrate robot skin. but there isn't going on behind the robotics. Colors are outstanding; rich saturation and excellent range. Each color maintains it's space immaculately. There's lots of pop to the visuals. Contrast is delivered with excellent dynamic range. Shadow detail is well balanced with the mostly upbeat images. The Dolby Digital 5:1 surround creates an open space around the characters with fine ambient directionality. The score is given a lush treatment on DVD with excellent dynamic range.




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