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Old September 28 2009, 08:27 PM   #1
Stone_Cold_Sisko
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The Surrogates (Bruce Willis)

Haven't seen a thread about this movie yet.

I saw it this weekend and thought it was pretty good.

PROS
-Cool concept. Instead of just your typical AI, it's essentially a lifelike machine puppet that people control from homes. It's pretty interesting how everyone has a "young fresh pretty" surrogate, while at home, they are wrinkling, pimple-faced, and anything but. The movie didn't really address the effects of never going outside on people's health though.

-Pretty decent effects, nothing extraordinary. The "look" of the surrogates was actaully way cool. It was ALMOST lifelike, but not quite, and a little jerky. Remember how slightly off the "younger" Xavier/Magneto looked in XMen 3? Surrogates are like a slightly more robotic version of that, except it works because they are not humans.

-Focusing on the effect that this technology has on human lives, that's what sci-fi is all about.

-The "anti-Surrogate" movement and world politics, that stuff was more interesting than the overall plot

-The way the main character switches from "Surrogate Bruce Willis" to "Actual Bruce Willis" is cool, because as a viewer you kind of feel the sudden "whoa, this is different and weird that this human is mingling with surrogates" vibe that the characters do as well.

CONS

-The plot, while watchable, was kind of a contrived formulaic plot, particularly when you find out who the villains are.

-Unrealistic. I don't buy that the world would be transformed that quickly in the course of 12 years. Hell, these days, there are still people without computers!!!


Overall I give it a 7/10. A solid sci-fi flick that actually tackles a cool sci-fi concept. Formulaic plot holds it back, but the "world building" is very solid but could have used more detailed explanation, lots of things were just glossed over. Actually this movie reminds me a lot of Will Smith's "I, Robot".
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Old September 28 2009, 08:30 PM   #2
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Re: The Surrogates (Bruce Willis)

I felt it had the same problem Terminator: Salvation had. Too short, it needed more fleshing out. It was ok but its more of a wait for the rental type movie.
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Old September 28 2009, 08:38 PM   #3
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Re: The Surrogates (Bruce Willis)

I'm pretty much in agreement. It's decent without being great. There's the plastic-y look and slightly off movements to the Surrogates that make it work visually, but there's points that don't make sense even within the world of the movie.
Like when they're just taking over other people's surrogates, didn't the shop owner say you needed to be tuned in to the surrogate?
And at the end when he buffers every surrogate, earlier in the film didn't buffering stop them dead? So why was everyone still going about their business till the virus hit?
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Old September 28 2009, 08:54 PM   #4
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Re: The Surrogates (Bruce Willis)

I enjoyed the movie for the most part. I liked that when the entered the victims apartments there were a series of geisha dolls in glass cases. Felt like an homage to Innocence. I agree there were quite a few holes like what the effects of spending most of your day lying still while jacked in, and doing that for years, or what the consequences of the final act. But overall, it was a welcome sci-fi film that killed a couple of hours. I guess there was enough plot to sustain a half hour Twilight Zone, and enough action movie to fill it out to feature length.

I have to say this about the cg youth effects. I thought they looked silly in X3 and XO:W, however, in this movie, it gave all of the surrogates a creepy Realdoll look that is oddly appropriate.
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Old September 28 2009, 09:01 PM   #5
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Re: The Surrogates (Bruce Willis)

I thought it was pretty good. I like how the theme parallels modern society in terms of the Internet. On-line, we can be whoever or whatever we want to (pretend to) be. For instance, a 300-pound man could pass for a high-school cheerleader a la Claire Bennet. Things got confusing towards the end, everything made sense to me eventually.
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Old September 28 2009, 09:34 PM   #6
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Re: The Surrogates (Bruce Willis)

^ The person I saw it with remarked that it was basically 'Second Life', except, real.
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Old September 28 2009, 09:35 PM   #7
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Re: The Surrogates (Bruce Willis)

I keep seeing adverts for this on Sky and with each subsequent advert I want to see it more.

Marketing works!
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Old September 28 2009, 09:45 PM   #8
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Re: The Surrogates (Bruce Willis)

Stone_Cold_Sisko wrote: View Post
-Unrealistic. I don't buy that the world would be transformed that quickly in the course of 12 years. Hell, these days, there are still people without computers!!!
I think it was actually 14, but yes, this is the point that bothered me most about the movie. I would expect between the discovery of such a technology, mass production and adoption etc. there would be at least two decades worth of development time for it to be so widespread. Unlike PC's (which were adopted fairly quickly after costs went down) this is something you plug your brain into, you'd think that would have a lot more potential medical/social implications that would come up before mass implementation.

I did enjoy the movie however, the above nit was the biggest issue I had. The other issue I had (though smaller) was that the movie lacked focus at times. I think had it focused a bit more on the "Dreads(sp?)" or the social/health implications of the technology it may have been stronger. A lot was touched on including the ailing health of those plugged in, WYSIWYG not necessarily applying to Surrogates etc. However nothing was delved into particularly deeply.

I do credit this flick with giving us what Bruce Willis would look like if he were a Terminator chasing someone though.
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Old September 28 2009, 10:35 PM   #9
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Re: The Surrogates (Bruce Willis)

I liked the movie. I found it a little hard to believe that almost everyone would buy into the system when I saw the trailers, but having the Dreads in the film took some of that criticism away.

I thought the plot was a bit more straight forward than I expected. I was expecting some type of twist or something at the end, but there were few surprises. Not to say there weren't any.

The movie put me in the mind of I, Robot, but I liked Surrogates better.
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Old September 28 2009, 10:47 PM   #10
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Re: The Surrogates (Bruce Willis)

Stone_Cold_Sisko wrote: View Post
^ The person I saw it with remarked that it was basically 'Second Life', except, real.

In a sense it was. I'd also say it sort of like The Matrix, except the idealized avatars of people were living in the real world. They were all younger, cooler versions of themselves dressed in designer clothes performing impossible physical feats because they were now robots.

I think some satirical potential was missed because they never delved into how much money someone would have to pour into their surrogate lifestyle. Imagine the surrogate version of a torn up old car with $5000 rims. They should have touched on people who couldn't afford to live through robots. Or maybe a guy having a midlife crisis getting a newer flashier body.
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Old September 28 2009, 11:26 PM   #11
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Re: The Surrogates (Bruce Willis)

melancholymecha wrote: View Post
I felt it had the same problem Terminator: Salvation had. Too short, it needed more fleshing out. It was ok but its more of a wait for the rental type movie.
My thoughts exactly. It needed a bit more character development, a bit more background. This felt like it was merely jumping to the major plot points and then finishing. It felt very rushed and some interesting points and characters were merely glossed over.

It was an OK film--nothing special.
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Old September 29 2009, 01:12 AM   #12
Stiletto
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Re: The Surrogates (Bruce Willis)

I had a hard time getting around their claim that violence and crime went down so much and so quickly.

Still, I had a good time watching this movie. It has tons of SciFi "stuff" to think about. It has social commentary. I liked it.

It gave me chills to think that they were just now coming out with "children's" models.
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Old September 29 2009, 02:15 AM   #13
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Re: The Surrogates (Bruce Willis)

So .. the Westworld trilogy is now complete. Only this movie is what would have happened if the baddies in Futureworld had outsmarted Peter Fonda and Blythe Danner.

All they had to do was change the name of the company to Delos and you'd have it! I was suspecting that perhaps this was originally intended to be a follow-up, didn't sell, and names and some elements were changed.

I was PRAYING for a brief cameo of Yul Brynner gunslinger footage inserted somewhere in the film.

Last twenty minutes, not too bad. Overall, I'm glad I saw it free.

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Old September 29 2009, 02:19 AM   #14
melancholymecha
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Re: The Surrogates (Bruce Willis)

I had a hard time getting around their claim that violence and crime went down so much and so quickly.
I didnt buy that at all! As Ghost in the Shell showed us, it would just create new types of crime.


I think some satirical potential was missed because they never delved into how much money someone would have to pour into their surrogate lifestyle. Imagine the surrogate version of a torn up old car with $5000 rims. They should have touched on people who couldn't afford to live through robots. Or maybe a guy having a midlife crisis getting a newer flashier body.
I liked the little scene where we see the lady with the unfinished "in between" body. My sis asked "what's wrong with her?" I replied "must be a cheapy hand me down model"... then she makes the comment about being stuck in a crappy temp body & we LOLed!
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Old September 29 2009, 03:25 AM   #15
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Re: The Surrogates (Bruce Willis)

I saw it on Sunday and I thought it was very meh. Nothing bad about it, but nothing really stood out about it either. No amazing action scenes, or dialogue, or plot twists... it was just there. I liked "Gamer" a lot more.
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