Bicentennial Man [VHS]
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Product Description

Bicentennial Man was stung at the 1999 box office, due no doubt in part to poor timing during a backlash against Robin Williams and his treacly performances in two other, then-recent releases, Jakob the Liar and Patch Adams. But this near-approximation of a science fiction epic, based on works by Isaac Asimov and directed, with uncharacteristic seriousness of purpose, by Chris Columbus (Mrs. Doubtfire), is much better than one would have known from the knee-jerk negativity and box-office indifference.

Williams plays Andrew, a robot programmed for domestic chores and sold to an upper-middle-class family, the Martins, in the year 2005. The family patriarch (Sam Neill) recognizes and encourages Andrew's uncommon characteristics, particularly his artistic streak, sensitivity to beauty, humor, and independence of spirit. In so doing, he sets Williams's tin man on a two-century journey to become more human than most human beings.

As adapted by screenwriter Nicholas Kazan, the movie's scale is novelistic, though Columbus isn't the man to embrace with Spielbergian confidence its sweeping possibilities. Instead, the Home Alone director shakes off his familiar tendencies to pander and matures, finally, as a captivating storyteller. But what really makes this film matter is its undercurrent of deep yearning, the passion of Andrew as a convert to the human race and his willingness to sacrifice all to give and take love. Williams rises to an atypical challenge here as a futuristic Everyman, relying, perhaps for the first time, on his considerable iconic value to make the point that becoming human means becoming more like Robin Williams. Nothing wrong with that. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews:

  • Emotionally Charged
    Like it says in the title! Listen, if you have a shred of humanity in you, you would sob like a little girl (I can say that without malice, because I am a big girl!) a the ending scene!

    Get it, see it, share it with the ones you love!...more info
  • Excellant Family Movie
    We all love this movie including my 3 yr old!!
    You'll laugh, cry and really think about life in a different way.
    LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT!! And love Robin Williams too!...more info
  • great novie
    This was a movie I hadn't seen for a long time. I was realy excited to see it again. Excellent acting and story line....more info
  • Great flick...
    I love watching movies about robots and AI. After viewing the trailer, I thought it would be more on the "funny" side. Yes, Robin Williams signature humor popped through from time to time, but it was not a comedy. I found myself "rooting" for Andrew by mid movie and was touched by the ending. A nice addition to my robo-collection....more info
  • Very pleased
    I ordered online the movie Bicentennial Man, I was surprised the first package with was still in shrink rap and never opened did not have a DVD inside of it. I was worried that since it was a new product my situation would not be understood by the seller. I returned the product that I had shipped and I was sent a second DVD right away. I was so very pleased with the quick transaction. I have watched the movie many times with my grand daughter, it is her favorite as well as mine.

    Thank You Amazone for you kindness and understanding in this matter.
    Steve Craig...more info
  • Bicentennial Man
    the DvD was new or like new . played without any problems. Thank you for the hassel free transaction...more info

  • Would'nt keep the attention span of 3-year-old!!!!
    Just one word describes this film: AWFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I expected a LOT more from Robin Williams! What complete idiot
    would think this is a comedy!??!

    If you consider listening to those other buffoons who liked
    this film, DON'T! this is a dirty film!...more info
  • Excellent
    Another excellent movie with Robin Williams about what it is to be human. This movie stretches your mind and makes you think about what it really means to be human. [...]...more info
  • Wonderful Movie!
    It's hard to fathom why this movie did so poorly at the box office - it's one of my all-time favorite movies! Thought provoking, intelligent, funny, sweet, romantic, creative, engaging, sad - it has some of everything. One of the things I've always enjoyed about really good science fiction is the fact that it isn't bound by reality, yet feeds your imagination with real possibilities. This is really good science fiction!...more info
  • Android Andrew
    There's a lot I like about "Bicentennial Man", like the computer animation of the futuristic cities and the change in Robin Williams' robot character. There's a bit that annoys me about it though, a couple of the concepts related to the ending and the ending itself. Bit frustrating, I thought....more info
  • Awesome Movie
    This is one of my all time favorite movies. Robin Williams at his very best. His comedy is dead on and his dramatic acting only gets better and better. This move will make you think, laugh, and cry. Not just a "chick flick". This has something for everyone. ...more info
  • BiCentennial Man
    Amazingly well done a Robin Williams BEST!!!
    If you don't shed a tear @ the end you must be inhuman...more info
  • Bicentennial Man
    Great movie, Robin Williams at his best. Great price on the DVD and fast delivery.....more info
  • Thought provoking
    This is a thought provoking, albeit somewhat predictable presentation of our difficult questions on what constitutes a sentient being. The appropriately calm pace of action supports reflection on the topic while adding to the enjoyment of this finely made movie. Robin Williams performance is stellar! Sam Neill as his "owner" is sensitive. Highly recommend!...more info
  • An Android's Search for the meaning of Life
    Williams plays Andrew, a household robot of the future, who, through a melted circuit, developes his own personality, and questions his reason for being. While the movie was touted as a comedy (there are very funny bits with Oliver Platt acting as his adopted mentor and `parts improver'), it is more poignant than this.

    This film is a very well done study in humanity. Using a supposed inhuman character as the lead character, we are slapped in the face with a reality that has becaome all too common place in our society - the living in fear with not only the unknown, but living in fear because our government tells us we must. In the future, discrimination between races and beliefs is replaced with humans using androids as their focus of hate and rascism.

    Andrew the Android (Williams), having become self-aware, learns to hide his uniqueness, in a simple attempt to survive destruction. Not only does he learn to mask his abilities to the public, he is forced to hide his developed emotions, provided through one of Platt's programs. While this makes for a great story, it is a comment on how humans interact in the real world.

    As he searches for legitamacy, he demands Platt replace his robotic parts with more humanistic features in a desire to be nothing more than to be accepted by humans.

    Centuries pass in this sad tale. Political stances in our so called modern mores are questioned. And in the end (GOD I HATE to give it away...) Andrew discovers love, how painful it can be, and learns that death is the ultimate definition of life.

    I recommend this film for those who can stand introspection. If you are looking for a comedy, stop halfway through. The second half will jerk your heart, and hopefully open your eyes to the search that we all live for...the search for what makes us human.

    I gave this 4 stars due to the trailers making this a comedy. I love Robim Williams in his serious roles. He has a gift of drawing us into the characters he plays. One of my favorites is `The Fisher King'.

    Rent the movie, and be prepared to come to grips with your own feelings about stereotypes....more info
  • Robin Williams at his best
    This movie displays Robin Williams'virtuosity as an actor. Probably the best movie he has made. Funny to sad. Get your hankies out at the end. Beautifully photographed; fine special effects; wonderful costuming; fine actors. ...more info
  • Of course the book was better
    I've always liked Robin Williams, and I grew up reading Isaac Asimov. That's the problem. I'm sure that if you never read the novella, you really enjoy the movie. But like most people who read the story first, I can't get past the fact that the storyline was butchered for the sake of making the movie. Asimov rarely included romance in his writing, and what little he did wasn't included in Bicentennial Man. Maybe if they just called it something else, or said "loosely based on ideas and characters created by Isaac Asimov."

    For those of you who have never read Isaac Asimov's original, enjoy this movie. It has special effects and a storyline you don't already know, and one of Robin Williams's better performances. But if you've read the book, don't disappoint yourself....more info
  • This is for older children on up
    I thoroughly enjoyed this film when it first came to theaters a long time ago. Robin Williams almost always provides us with fun and laughter, but this story touches on serious philisophical and ethical questions. It seems to me that I saw this movie ages ago; however, it been only 9 years since its release. While I enjoyed Bicentennial Man, I never realized that the story was published in hardcover in 1976 as I had always thought that the book, The Positronic Man, had been the model for "Data" in the Star Trek Next Generation series. All of these are wonderful stories, but I do believe that if you haven't read The Positronic Man by Asimov and Silverberg that you would enjoy it. It definitely changed many of my views on life, death, and the phrase "sentient being". It is more adult book, but suitable for teenagers on up. As I will soon be 70, maybe I ought to read that book again!...more info
  • excellent and prompt service
    dvd was in perfect condition and even got here before i was expecting it! i will definitely be making more purchases from book maven! thanks...more info
  • Stupid, dumb , idiotic and vulgar!
    This is the all-time WORST movie I've ever seen! I can't
    believe how stupid it was! How some people think this is great
    film is WAAAAAAAAAAAAAY beyond me! It's a total snore-fest!

    Plus it had way too much sexual humor!

    Don't waste your time on this awful movie!!...more info
  • A deeply emotional family movie, situated in a futuristic scenery
    Synopsis: Generations of people are born and die. One robot is the unchangable, immortal witness of their lives. Then he also decides to become mortal and die along with them. You get to see how the hospital of the future will look (it's quite beautiful). And there is some nice jazz muzic in the middle of the movie. The song is originally performed by Nat King Cole, and has memorable, romantic lyrics:

    "The very thought of you,
    and I forget to do,
    the little ordinary things
    that everyone ought do..."

    The movie starts in an innocently playful way, with some family buying a robot, and the kids treating it like a broken toy, in a rude and unfriendly manner. Then gradually, the robot becomes more intelligent, capable of emotions and making money with his skills. Then he gets the desire to become human. Centuries pass by, and he is not granted acknoledgement, that he is human, because of his robotic brain. It kind of reminds me of an immigrant who wants to become an american, but can't fully complete the transformation, because he was born elsewhere.
    Finally, the robot becomes mortal and dies, just a moment before he is granted the acknowledgement that he is human.

    Because the story happens in the future, it's hard to imagine something that has lasted 200 years. I was thinking that the US Dollar has existed for about 200 years, so you could say that George Washington, the dead president on the dollar bill, is a bicentennial man. And I'm sure that after about 180 years, they will talk about the immortal, bicentennial Personal Computer (PC).

    I remove one star from the rating, because the ending is sad, the hero dies. The movie's producers could have allowed the robot to live eternally, as I am sure this will happen with real robots. Their bodies will wear out, but their souls will be immortal... like records on a DVD.
    For any viewer concerned about aging and death, this movie may be thought-provoking....more info
  • Fun for family
    My family and I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. It's a good movie for all ages. My Grandchildren and I have watched it time and time again. Spectacular performance by Robin Williams and cast. Lots of laughts....more info
  • Glad to have it!
    Haven't had opportunity to actually view this DVD yet (still working on the others I bought at the same time!), but this one came still wrapped, and the disc was virgin-new when I opened the box. Was delivered quickly, and I am loking forward to enjoying this most excellent movie soon!...more info
  • I laughed, I cried, but did it make an android out of me?
    a beautiful story, beautifully told.
    not for "young" viewers though (as readily evinced by the many other reviews here) owing to the film's mature and thoughtfully treated themes of slavery, prejudice, love, death, and the very nature of what it means to be human.
    'well worth your time if you enjoy something more than a "mrs. doubtfire"-esque level of entertainment....more info