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3.9 out of 5 stars
Robot & Frank [DVD]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 February 2014
Highly enjoyable film that is well acted and shot and moves along at a steady pace.

Not going to spoil it but basically a retired jewel thief in his twilight years is given a robot to help with his domestic chores but they team up for one more heist. Fantastic. One of those little gems of a story (and film) that come along every now and then.

Would highly recommend this film and I found it engrossing and highly enjoyable, it being a bit different from the rest.

Now if only I could work out how to make the hoover raid the ATM machines.............
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on 27 May 2015
In a near future a lonely, retired cat burglar, Frank Weld has been given a robot carer by his busy son with the ulterior motive of saving journeys to see his increasingly fragile and forgetful Dad. Frank is at first hostile to this invasion of his privacy, with the robot cooking, cleaning and programmed to assist Frank live a healthier lifestyle. Frank begrudgingly begins to accept the help and starts questioning the robot about its programming. He discovers after a minor shoplifting incident that it has no legal compass, and hatches a plot to use the robot to help him spice up his dull life , using it as a tool to assist his lapsed skill set and rekindle interest in a dull existence. The robot goes along with this because promoting an interest, any interest improves cognitive function.

This unlikely tale is an acting masterclass from the film's star Frank Langella. As well as being an offbeat buddy movie it's also a parable about the relationship between an aging parent and grown up children with their own lives to lead. Langella makes the role believable, aided by an excellent script from first-time scriptwriter Christopher D.Ford. Relationships between characters are well developed, particularly so between Frank and Jennifer, a librarian played beautifully by Susan Sarandon, who is revealed to be a little more than Frank realises late on thanks to his by now apparent Alzheimer's Disease.

A thoughtful film, well played, well written, well directed, well worth seeing for any fan of independent art cinema; or simply those who appreciate a film with a good, thoughtful storyline and a tale to tell.
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on 27 November 2013
As a science fiction fan one of my biggest bugbears is when someone dismisses this enormous genre because, "they don't like spaceships." Any sci fi fan will tell you that, although Space Operas are available, there is plenty other types out there. In fact, my favourite type of science fiction is one that takes a world similar to ours and gives it a little tweak. For example, what would happen in our near future should robots become viable companions for the elderly? I need wonder no more as `Frank & Robot' does a fantastic job of investigating this for me.

The fact that Robot is in the title of this film will turn off some viewers immediately, but this is not a film about the silicon chip, but a far more powerful computer; the human brain. In the case of Frank, his inboard computer is starting to fail as Alzheimer's means that his absentee children think he needs assistance. This comes in the form of a robot whose job is to keep Frank active and healthy. Programming would suggest gentle walks or gardening, but Frank has other ideas, he used to be a cat burglar after all.

`Robot & Frank' is a wonderful and beautiful film. Frank Langella is outstanding as the curmudgeonly Frank, playing him as a strong older man, who is losing his sense of self. The rest of the cast are also good with the likes of James Marsden and Susan Sarandon supporting Langella. The plot is gentle and paints a future that feels realistic. The use of a redundant library is poignant as it reflects on Frank's own demise. There appears to be a touching companionship that builds between Frank and Robot, one that makes the final parts of the film very heartfelt. A great film for lovers of cinema, not just science fiction.

Director Jake Schreier shoots the film wonderfully with great use of light during the wood scenes; therefore the BluRay is worth having. The extras are also interesting if you enjoyed the film, the makers discuss the concepts behind the film and after seeing the film you will be interested in their thought processes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 25 March 2014
Anyone who has an elderly parent should see this film and ask themselves just how much they are the son and daughter - so busy with their own lives - and how much they would love to pass the buck for caring onto a robot.
It hits home in some unexpected moments - the shaving scene was rightly rated by the critics as 'moving' but for me the absolute gem was Robot in his burglar disguise.
Sadly, the final moments of the film were sentimental tosh in comparison with the rest - it could have been nicely set up for a sequel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
We'd seen the trailer of this on another DVD we'd watched and thought it looked really funny and sweet. So we were a bit disappointed! It was ok, but not as good as we'd been expecting from the trailer. Also there seemed to be some bits which weren't very clear, almost as if too much had gone into the cutting room floor! I don't think it will be joining our large collection of favourite much loved films but will watch it again In a few months, and then it could well be going to the charity shop!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 27 August 2014
I liked this film! “Robot and Frank” made for one good viewing. There is no killer punch, but it is such a heart-warming, humane, poignant tale of unlikely companionship between man and machine. If you want a simple but entertaining story, an antidote to crashing and loud dystopian tales of near-future, give this short film a go. It’s enjoyable, well-written and very-well acted (at least by the two main characters!).
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I have to say that the film's premise of an `old guy and a robot' didn't really grab me. I preferred the all-out action of `I Robot.' However, now I've watched it, I found I actually liked it.

In the near future, our aging hero `Frank' is given a robot to look after him by his family. Frank is naturally grumpy and the two don't really get along. If it was left as that, it probably would have been pretty dull. But, what brings the story to life is the fact that Frank is a habitual thief, so, with his newfound `toy,' he decides to train it to help him pull of some jobs.

There is some very dry humour in all this, plus you actually will care about the characters, even the robot, who comes across as `more alive' than most daytime TV stars.

It's certainly not an `all-out action' epic. It's far more subtle, rolling along at a deliberately slow pace. So, you probably have to be in the mood for something a little more gentle to fully appreciate this.

I now want my own robot. All I have is a `Speak and Spell' from the eighties that doesn't work any more.
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Frank is a retired catburglar living alone while his successful son, Hunter, tries to care for him from afar.

Hunter gets him a robot caretaker, but Frank soon learns that it is as useful as a burglary aide.

As Frank tries to restart his old profession, the uncomfortable realities of a changing world and his worsening dementia threaten to take beyond what any reboot can do for him...

This is one of those films that really doesn't add much, or do much, but while its on, it's one pleasant experience, with some great performances from the four leads, and even Jeremy Sisto.

Its as if someone has taken parts of A.I, Oceans Eleven, and mixed it up with a whole load of Feng Shui, Yoga, and Tai Chi.

The most this film does is relax you, everything about the film is relaxing. From Saarsgards soothing voice, to Langellas peaceful walks, it really soothes the soul.

All in all, it's not going to be seen by many people, but those who do, will be touched by the minimalist effort people have put in to produce such a pleasant experience.
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on 4 August 2014
A quiet and quirky film, but chock full of ideas.
It explores one of my favourite areas of science fiction: how humans interact with technology, how it becomes ubiquitous, how it changes us and how we change it.
Robots becoming conscious and independent, taking over - like the basic human fear of our children growing up and overtaking us - that's a trope that has been examined over and over. This film looks at it from the other end: what happens when the human is the variable, the one that disrupts what the machine is supposed to do. Not all of us are sane, moral, intact. What happens then?
It's a lovely film, not just restricted to the relationship between Frank and the robot, but also how his fading memory affects his relationship to his family, his past, the world. And how other technologies - phones, instant global communication, e-readers - how all of it affects families, people, libraries.
It both was funny and poignant, the acting was good, and I loved the way the film used a 'faceless' robot. It made me think, always a good thing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 31 January 2014
Good film, lots if poignant moments. Frank Langella is a joy to watch. The unlikely friendship between and an elderly gentleman with early signs of dementia and a Robot, bought by his son, who tries to help him with daily life. Very funny and insightful. Wish it was a bit longer but it's a wonderful film. Item was delivered promptly and would use seller again.
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