FILM: ROBOT AND FRANK
Set in the near future, ‘Robot and Frank’ is a story about memory and identity, family and friendship. Frank Weld, an aging dad and a retired jewel thief, is losing his memory. His only friend, Jennifer, the town librarian, enjoys his company while sadly indulging his memory slips. His grown-up children, Hunter and Madison are having trouble taking care of their dad, so Hunter does what any caring son does in the near future: installs a caretaker robot in his home.
Unfortunately, Frank is none too pleased by his new helper, finding his presence unnerving and alien. In his old age, Frank is uncomfortable with most technology; the robot’s presence is, at first, annoying, and surreal. And yet, the robot quickly proves himself to be more than a machine or appliance. His programming is sophisticated; his demeanour is kind. He is, for all intents and purposes, a rational, caring friend. His advice and requirements that Frank eat healthier and exercise more, gradually succeed at improving Frank’s health and well-being.
But as Frank’s health improves, so do his ambitions. And above all else, the caretaker Robot is programmed to find an activity to keep its elderly charges active and engaged in their lives. Of course, the only activity that Frank has ever been truly engaged in is stealing things. He soon learns that the Robot will allow such pursuits as long as the risk/reward ratio is kept in balance. And so a new heist duo is born.
CAST: FRANK LANGELLA, JAMES MARSDEN, SUSAN SARANDON, LIV TYLER
DIRECTOR: JAKE SCHREIER
FILM: ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH
This 3D animated family comedy catapults movie goers to planet Baab where admired astronaut Scorch Supernova (Brendan Fraser) is a national hero to the blue alien population. A master of daring rescues, Scorch pulls off astonishing feats with the quiet aid of his nerdy, by-the-rules brother, Gary (Rob Corddry), head of mission control at BASA. When BASA’s no-nonsense chief Lena (Jessica Alba) informs the brothers of an SOS from a notoriously dangerous planet, Scorch rejects Gary’s warnings and bounds off for yet another exciting mission.
But when Scorch finds himself caught in a fiendish trap set by the evil Shanker (James Gandolfini), it’s up to scrawny, risk-adverse Gary to do the real rescuing. As the interplanetary stakes rise to new heights, Gary is left to save his brother, his planet, his beloved wife Kira (Sarah Jessica Parker) and their adventure hungry son Kip.
CAST: BRENDAN FRASER, ROB CORDDRY, JESSICA ALBA, JAMES GANDOLFINI, SARAH JESSICA PARKER
DIRECTOR: CAL BRUNKER