The 25 Best Movie Robots of All Time

Best Movie Robots of All Time

This weekend, director Neill Blomkamp adds a new member to an exclusive club: movies with really cool robots. It’s a cross-section of movies big and small that drive the story forward with characters made of metal and wire. Sometimes they’re menacing, sometimes they’re hilarious, but the best movie robots are always unforgettable.

In honor of Blomkamp’s movie, Chappie, I’ve ranked my 25 favorite movie robots of all time. It wasn’t an easy task. There are so many subtle differences you have to consider. Is a cyborg a robot? Is an alien a robot? For example, Darth Vader is “more machine than man,” just like RoboCop. Are they both robots? In the end I went with my gut. If the character felt like a robot, or its robotic nature added something to the movie, it made the list. Also, this is (once again) a personal list. I didn’t grow up on Westworld or The Day the Earth Stood Still. I never really felt like Blade Runner‘s replicants were robots. So it’s a little weird and surprising but hopefully that’s why you want to check it out. Hit the jump to find out the 25 Best Movie Robots of All Time.

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Matrix 700

No matter how old you are, you remember the moment you were introduced to The Wachowskis. For me, it was February 1999. I was sitting in a screening of what I figured was some dumb new Keanu Reeves movie with about 1,000 of my fellow college students. A girl in black leather started to get into a fight and as she jumped in the air she froze. The camera spun around her, and she delivered a bone-shattering blow. Every single person in the room cheered wildly at the iconic visual moment at the beginning of The Matrix and, for the next two hours, we continued to be amazed at what was unfolding on screen.

The Matrix went on to gross almost $500 million worldwide and spawn two hugely anticipated sequels. More importantly, it supercharged the careers of Lana (then Larry) and Andy Wachowski. The filmmaking siblings have since gone on to make several films that are technical marvels and intellectual thrill rides. This past weekend, their latest film, Jupiter Ascending, finally hit theaters, so we saw a perfect opportunity to rank the films of The Wachowskis. Read More »

French Connection Matrix

The phrase “When it rains, it pours” applies to Mondo posters Wednesday. After a cavalcade of great work by Ken Taylor for their Austin-based gallery, Mondo revealed two out-of-left-field posters that’ll go on sale Thursday May 29. There’s the Oscar-winning thriller The French Connection by Adam Simpson and the sci-fi masterpiece The Matrix made by Kevin Tong. Check out both posters below. Read More »

The Matrix Fan Film Trickster

A couple weeks ago a rumor circulated the movie blogosphere that the Wachowskis siblings were already deep into developing a new trilogy of films as part of The Matrix franchise. We don’t know if there is any truth to those early reports, but you won’t have to wait a couple years to see another Matrix adventure: Technical 3D artist  Felix Joleanes has released the fun little Matrix fan film Trickster online for you to enjoy. Hit the jump to watch the short film and find out more information about how the film was created.
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New Matrix Trilogy?

Will there be a new Matrix trilogy? A report says claims that Warner Bros. wants one, and that Andy and Lana Wachowski have already started work on stories, “with early treatments and outlines already turned into the studio.” Read More »

The Wolverine

On November 1st 2012, I visited the set of The Wolverine in Sydney, Australia. To give you an idea of the timeline of my visit, Hurricane Sandy had just wreaked havoc in New York, and I woke up early one morning from the constant noises coming from my computer because I was getting so many notices of the breaking news that Disney had purchased LucasFilm and was making more Star Wars movies.

It is five in the morning and I’m standing in a street lined with Japanese houses covered with snow. The elaborate set was  built in a huge parking lot that was built for the 2000 Olympic games. Flakes of snow fall as ninjas run and ride motorcycles along the rooftops. Hugh Jackman is hanging off the top of a snow plow as it barrels down the street, away from a crowd of masked ninjas. Jackman, employing safety harnesses, flips to his feet on top of the snowplow and “activates” his claws. The second unit director calls “cut”, and Hugh notices our little grouping of press off in the corner and yells out “So you guys a pulling an all nighter? Why don’t you put some ninja suits on and get in the action?”

After the jump you will find a compilation of interesting facts I learned while visiting the set.

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Watch: ‘The Matrix’ in 60 Seconds

We’ve been watching with interest as the Wachowskis move forward on their next film, Jupiter Ascending, but it’ll be some time yet before we find out how their efforts actually pan out. The project hasn’t begun shooting, and likely won’t hit theaters until 2014 or later. In the meantime, then, we can look back at the film that started it all — The Matrix.

While the sci-fi actioner wasn’t the Wachowskis’ first directorial effort, it was the one that made the siblings a household name. At over two hours long, though, it’s not the easiest film to revisit on a hectic weekday evening. Fortunately, this new speedrun by 1A4 Studio provides a handy refresher in just 60 seconds. Hit the jump to watch.

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As fantastic a film as Cloud Atlas is, one of the best things about this new film is that fans are finally getting to hear from two of its directors, Andy and Lana Wachowski. Formerly the Wachowski Brothers, the siblings exploded onto the scene in 1999 with the seminal sci-fi action film The Matrix, which was then followed by two sequels, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. All three were massive commercial successes, but the sequels were far from revered by fans. Unfortunately, since the Wachowskis chose to maintain their privacy during this time, few got to discuss those films with them.

So now there’s Cloud Atlas and the Wachowskis are being incredibly generous with their time to discuss the film. I had 25 minutes to talk to them and while I had a few Matrix themed questions prepped, we delved so deep into Cloud Atlas we never got around to the subject of their other films. (That interview will be up soon.) One journalist did talk about The Matrix, though, and was fortunate enough to do it on camera. In the video, Lana Wachowkski talks about their intentions with the films, focusing on how the trilogy evolved into more than just a straight action vehicle. Watch it below. Read More »

One of my all-time favorite Comic-Con memories was walking the floor, glimpsing over to a small booth in the 4000s and seeing Larry and Andy Wachowski. The writers and directors of Bound and The Matrix were just sitting there. No line, no nothing. That’s what happens when you make one of the most influential and revered films of a generation but refuse to do interviews about it. You gain a certainly level of anonymity and mystique. The kind that allows you walk around unnoticed Comic-Con, which is exactly how the Wachowskis wanted it.

Since my Comic-Con encounter, where the brothers couldn’t have been nicer, Larry has become Lana and the pair have teamed up with Tom Tykwer to make Cloud Atlas, Warner Bros.’ 2012 Oscar hopeful starring Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and others, scheduled for release October 26. The film had a long, difficult road to the big screen and is a huge risk, both personally and professionally, for the siblings. To combat that, they’ve finally begun to shed some of their press armor and open up about not only this film, but everything else as well.

We saw a brief video introduction to the film, another clip discussing technique and now The New Yorker has published a stunning profile on Andy and Lana. In it, we learn all about how they became filmmakers, their influences, background, Lana’s gender transformation, the difficulties of financing and adapting Cloud Atlas, the success of The Matrix and even some revealing details on film they partially shot called Cobalt Neural 9. It’s a must read for all film fans. Get the link after the jump. Read More »