Saturday, February 7, 2009

Guilty Pleasure Cinema - Robot Jox

As far as cheap craptacular films go, ROBOT JOX is at the top of heap. In the future the world is divided into two massive nations, the Confederacy and the Market (The USSR and the USA). During this time all teritorial disputes are settled through combat between massive robots and their drivers the Robot Jox. The story is pretty stardard cold war drama with the bad Russian and the brave defiant American. What sets this movie apart from the usual direct to video dreck are the special effect of the robots fighting. They are like Transformers or Rock-em Sock-em robots with all kinds of special defences and attacks. The miniature models are excellent. CGI was not in mainstream use until after the film was made. Therefore, Robot Jox was made with more practical special-effects such as stop-motion animation, puppetry or marionettes, and an autonomously-operating remote-controlled model in the climactic battle. The film is notable for being one of the very few examples in live-action American cinema to feature giant humanoid robots that stand taller than 20 feet, and enclose a human pilot somewhere inside who operates it; as opposed to powered armor. Unlike the Japanese entertainment industry where giant robots frequently appear in both television and film across a wide range of subjects and target audiences, North American science-fiction films lean more towards wheeled or flying vehicles and ships. And remember, "Crash and Burn!"

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