Written by / 2/20/2013 / 1 Comment / , , , , , ,

SHORT CIRCUIT 2 WITH DIRECTOR INTERVIEW

year: 1988 cast: Fisher Stevens, Michael McKean, Jack Weston, Cynthia Gibb rating: ***1/2
SHORT CIRCUIT 2 REVIEW: It's rare a sequel exceeds the original, especially with a comedy film, but this does in leaps and bounds: The lovable robot, sought after by the typically typecast evil military in the first film, is shipped to Indian scientist Fisher Stevens in New York, taking to the streets of The Big Apple and wanting desparaetly to be human like everyone else. But Number Five, now Johnny Five, has other problems: including bank robbers and helping his creator romantically connect with a lovely, ambitious climber (Cynthia Gibb) set to buy toy versions of himself... or rather, itself... from Stevens and seedy partner Michael McKean, still a nice guy despite his falling to the dark side of Capitalism c/o main baddie Jack Weston. Leading to an action-packed "aerial" climax with fantastic stunt work the likes of a serious action flick.
Fisher Stevens returns with a joining on board Michael McKean
Sans the technical backstory and preachy undertone of the original, there's more of the robot this time around, having a fun time lost in the big city thanks to director Kenneth Johnson, who successfully adapted THE INCREDIBLE HULK to television, doing for Johnny Five what he did for The Hulk... Adding, through interesting low-angle shots and character-driven perspective, depth and humanity to what had been, in both the Robot and Hulk's origins, merely child's play.
A BRIEF INTERVIEW WITH SHORT CIRCUT 2 DIRECTOR KENNETH JOHNSON
In SHORT CIRCUIT 2, how did you humanize the robot, Johnny Five? I always knew that the visuals and the sight gags would play very well, but I worked very hard with the talented writers to mine all of the human emotion that was central to Johnny's character. Then when the amazing puppeteers Rob, Gord and Trish came on board they really brought Johnny to life in a way that was so realistic and enchanting that everyone fell in love with him. People would visit the set and have complete conversations with Johnny, totally unmindful of the puppeteers, who were only a few yards away: After the movie was over I experienced a very strange period of mourning... because I could still talk to each of the people I had worked with.. But Johnny... who was a combination of their talents... was gone... It was a bit like a dear friend had died. I still feel a sadness to this day.
MORE WITH WRITER/PRODUCER/DIRECTOR KENNETH JOHNSON
On the way of the house, oh yeah!
What were some of your favorite sci-fi books or authors and sci-fi movies growing up? Heinlein, H.G. Welles, Philip Wylie, Jules Verne, Orwell... Forbidden Planet, War of the Worlds...

When you wrote the first draft of “V” – did you outline it before you began to write or did the story sort of come together as you were writing it? There is a very thorough 60-odd page story outline that completely details everything.

How much of “V: The Final Battle” did you write? And did you see the weekly television series? Though I supervised the writing of the 6-hour sequel, I left Warners over creative differences before it was produced. To this day I have never seen it, except for one minute by accident, in which I saw them make every wrong choice possible, so I knew I'd never survive watching the entire thing...  And I never saw any of the series at all, but my friends who were in it said it was pretty awful and certainly missed the essence of what I had been attempting to create.
Thanks Kenneth Johnson for the memories of working on this underrated sequel... Good job fella!
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1 comment:

  1. Totally agree. This is a great sequel and I enjoyed it immensely.

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