Chappie

I watched CBS Sunday Morning, and my mother phoned me to talk about the Chinese New Year parade. I went out to Safeway and bought some more berries for my cereal. I went out to the bus stop to go out to the theatre. I stopped at Walgreens to buy some M&M’s. I bought a ticket for “Chappie.” It got some bad reviews, but it seemed that the audience was pleased with it. It’s a story of a robot that gains a human consciousness. It had some elements of “A Clockwork Orange,” “Blade Runner,” and “RoboCop.” There were two people in the cast I recognized. One was the ever-present Sigourney Weaver, the queen of the science fiction movie. She was running the company that was responsible for these police robots. Hugh Jackman was the maker of the robot that never quite succeeded. Professional envy pushes him to endanger the public. We see the genius programmer who creates the update for the robots as he was fueled with Red Bull. A group of low-life criminals gets hold of a junked robot to help them with their heist. This robot with the human qualities is named Chappie. He starts off like an infant. Part of the humor is seeing this innocent learn the stupidity of the current culture. He quickly absorbs the terrible language and ways of walking and behavior. The woman in the group quickly displays a maternal attitude towards the robot. Can you really love a robot? There’s a tug of war between the father, who wants Chappie to toughen up to deal with the real world, and the mother, who wants Chappie to be decent. Chappie also has a God figure, his maker who wrote the code that made him what he is. This robot is naïve and easily deceived. I expected to learn a lot once he discovered the Internet. It was funny that see him participate in car theft. I thought it was something like “District 9” combined with Quentin Tarentino. One thing you are reminded of is that a robot like Chappie doesn’t have facial expressions. One of the most interesting things that happens to Chappie is that he learns a survival instinct. He knows that his battery is running low, and he rationalizes his participation in crime because he thinks he’ll get a new body out of it. If his mind starts its development from exposure to mediocrity, it’s an example of the term Garbage In Garbage Out. Chappie is an experiment gone out of control, almost like Frankenstein. The one thing that Hugh Jackman’s character did right was developing that helmet that detects neural signals. A doubt that I had was that a person’s consciousness could be captured in one USB flash drive. I was assuming that a cloud was part of it. The difference between Chappie and RoboCop was that RoboCop started with a human and became part machine, whereas Chappie started as a robot and became like a human. We root for this foolish machine to survive and become something. He’s like a mischievous child doing the wrong things and reflecting the mistakes of his parents. In fact, this movie makes the case that the parents are totally responsible for the bad things the child does. I had to think about the issues of aging and dying as I watched this movie. Perhaps people like Walt Disney or Joe DiMaggio can come back to life if the concepts of this story could ever come true. The one thing we’ve learned about technology, though, is that it’s been disappointing outside of computers and phones. The clash between Jackman’s robot and Chappie is inevitable and predictable. I wished that Jackman could have had a better part because I like him. I almost wanted him to sing in this movie, in fact. Sigourney was more like she was in “Working Girl” than in “Aliens.” I thought of her presence here like a seal of approval or something like that. Chappie is in a modern family of four with a father, mother, and a maker, and you’d think this story would end with just Chappie a human in a metal body, but there is a twist on this plot that is like The Twilight Zone. It feels like we’re seeing the setup for “Chappie 2.” There was a lot of violence at the end, and what was done to Hugh looked painful. If technology could really reunite us, it would be a great thing. Some of the audience applauded after the movie ended. I felt that the movie exceeded my expectations. It was pretty amusing, and I felt that I got my money’s worth for two hours. I wouldn’t call it a great movie, but I would come back for a sequel because I’d want to see what the developments would be. It’s something like The Fugitive. Chappie is a misunderstood young individual. He did fantastic things with a computer at the end, though. It took me a while to catch the bus back home. I ate at Bongo Burger and then listened to Robert Hilburn’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Times program on KCSN. He played songs by Elvis Presley and Elvis Costello. Two of the songs I liked were “Suspicious Minds” and “Party Girl.” I watched the James Levine segment of 60 Minutes, and a bit of the Columbo episode “Publish or Perish” with Jack Cassidy, Mickey Spillane, and Mariette Hartley. I fell asleep and missed the ending. I caught an episode of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. that had a young Bonnie Franklin in it. I heard the news that “Chappie” was Number One at the box office, but with figures that were not so impressive. I watched some Celebrity Bowling. During the first half hour, Bob Newhart and Dick Martin played against Anthony Newley and Nipsey Russell. For the second half hour, it was George Foreman and Dick Martin playing against Anthony Newley and Don Adams. Some of the people who died on March 9 include Robert Mapplethorpe (1989), Max Zorn (1993), Charles Bukowski (1994), Fernando Rey (1994), and George Burns (1996). Today is a birthday for Juliette Binoche (51), Robin Trower (70), and Keely Smith (83). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for March 9, the last episode of the Jacksons’ variety television show on CBS aired, cancellation coming after 12 weeks. In 1984, “Splash,” the movie with Tom Hanks, Daryl Hannah, and John Candy, made its debut on theatre screens. In 1990, Tom Hanks’ first movie with Meg Ryan, “Joe Versus the Volcano,” was released.

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