Monday 30 May 2011

Movie & Event: Short Circuit 2 & Happy 25th, 'Short Circuit!'

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Well, talking about what I planned to post much much earlier, was the 25th birthday of Johnny 5, the robot which came to live on the 9th May 1986 giving kids hopes and dreams. 
Number 5 from Short Circuit

I'm really glad to see that there is still a website for him, called, some photos of him and some behind-the-scene photos of his movie, a forum for his fans to exchange thoughts and their own version of toy Johnny 5, and a Photobucket collection of his photos, and a museum called Robothut which keeps a reproduced version of Johnny 5 in it. I hope that some day soon we will see Johnny 5 again in the cinema, with 3D IMAX would be nice!!

Today, I would like to recommend the sequel of Short Circuit, if you still haven't seen the first one, I think you can consider getting DVD or Blu-ray now.
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At the beginning of this movie, it seems like it simply talks about Johnny Five visiting New York and is attracted by many new things around him, as the movie proceeds, he went the wrong direction and made some indecent friends, learnt some indecent street tricks because he wants to mix with the people, but still found himself different and lonely. The first movie (Short Circuit) addresses the problems faced by a baby boy who first came to this world as a gift from God and the second movie (Short Circuit 2) actually goes to address the deeper meanings of the problems faced by a little boy or a teenager, and how Johnny Five eventually learns the difference between good and bad.

If you are parents, you are highly recommended to show these two excellent movies to your children!!

The inventor of Number 5, Ben Jahrvi, now trying to earn a living making toy robots, has Number 5 as his one-man assembly line. Number 5, however, has a hard time resisting the temptation to have "more input" out on the street.
Johnny 5 from Short Circuit 2
Color me surprised. Given its age and, well, genre—live action 1980s kid flicks don't always get the best high definition treatments—Short Circuit 2 looks fantastic on Blu-ray, miles better than it ever looked on DVD. 

Working off a nearly pristine print—there are only a few scattered white specks, and no major scratches or debris—Image Entertainment has assembled a 1080p/AVC-encoded transfer that's consistently sharp and colorful. It doesn't appear that Image has tampered at all with the source material; grain is natural, DNR and edge enhancement are absent, and the image hasn't been boosted or altered in any significant way. 

No tampering is necessary. A few soft shots aside, the picture is surprisingly crisp. The back streets of Toronto— standing in for New York—are revealed in all their grimy, graffiti-covered glory, and the actors' faces and clothing all display discernable textures. 

Better yet is Johnny 5 himself, whose mechanical workings are rendered with satisfyingly fine detail. The film goes for a realistic, unstylized palette, with balanced skin tones, sufficiently deep black levels, and frequent splashes of vivid spray paint color. Finally, although the film sits on a single-layer Blu-ray disc, I didn't discern any apparent compression issues. 

This is definitely the best the film has ever, and perhaps will ever look. 

Toy Johnny 5 from Short Circuit 2
While it's unfortunate that the film couldn't have been given a full 5.1 presentation—there are, after all, sequences in Short Circuit 2 that practically call out for city street ambience and swooshing cross-channel effects—I have no real qualms with this disc's uncompressed LPCM 2.0 stereo track. 

Sure, some of the effects lack punch and there's little separation between the left and right channels, but there's really nothing wrong with this capable, if understated mix. 

The most prevalent element is probably David Shire's bouncy, stereotypically 1980s score—complete with popping slap bass straight out of the Seinfeld theme—and the music sounds as clear and dynamic as can be expected. 

Likewise, the front-anchored mix does what it can with the film's action scenes, and while there's little low-end presence, I can at least say the mix doesn't sound tinny, mid-heavy, muffled, or clipped

Throughout the film, dialogue is always well-balanced and easy to understand. The disc comes with optional English SDH and Spanish subtitles, but the white-lettered subs are somewhat unnecessarily contained in black text boxes. 

There are just too many important things, people or characters that make up my life, and Johnny Five is definitely one of them. Watching its movie once in a while is like seeing an long-missed childhood friend healthy and energetic, makes me feel warm and comfortable. Johnny Five always touches my heart as being a robot that everyone wants to be friends with. Johnny Five is also voted as the 10th of the Top 10 Greatest Robots in Movies, but I actually think he should be the number 1, because no other robots has the facial expressions and emotions that Johnny Five has.
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Long live Johnny Five! I miss you!!!


pristine -- (adj)  formal approving new or almost new, and in very good condition
scattered -- (adj) covering a wide area
speck -- (n)[C] a very small mark, piece or amount
scratch -- (n) [C] a mark made by scratching
debris -- (n)[U] broken or torn pieces of something larger
tamper (with sth) -- phrasal verb to touch or make changes to something which you should not, usually without enough knowledge of how it works or when you are trying to damage it
crisp -- (adj0 mainly approving describes sound or an image that is very clear
grimy -- (adj) dirty
graffiti -- (n)[U] plural noun words or drawings, especially humorous, rude or political, on walls, doors, etc. in public places
discernable -- (adj)  formal able to be seen or understood
render -- (vb)[T] formal to cause someone or something to be in a particular state
unstylized -- (adj) If something is stylized, it is represented with an emphasis on a particular style, especially a style in which there are only a few simple details.
palette -- (n)[C] [C usually singular] specialized the range of colours that an artist usually paints with
swoosh -- (vb)  [I] informal to make the sound of air or water that is moving quickly
qualm -- (n)  [C usually pluralan uncomfortable feeling of doubt about whether you are doing the right thing
punch -- (n) [U] [U] the power to be interesting and have a strong effect on people
prevalent -- (adj) existing very commonly or happening often
bouncy -- (adj) happy and energetic
tinny -- (adj) describes a sound which is of low quality or like metal being hit
muffled -- (adj) describes a sound that is quiet or not clear
clipped -- (adj) with words pronounced quickly and sharply, sometimes with parts missing, or in a very short and unfriendly way



milwaukeemachineman's album @ Photobucket

This Week in Movies: Cute Robots, Drunken Bridesmaids and Rampant Vampires @ Moviefone

Movie: Short Circuit @ Locky's English Playground

Short Circuit 2 Trailer @ YouTube

Short Circuit 2 Blu-ray @ 


Top 10 Greatest Robots in Movies @ Listverse