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BICENTENNIAL MAN: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
Andrew (Robin Williams), android to the Martin family, cooks, cleans and repairs things with chronic intelligence. And, to everyone's surprise, a touch of creativity. This proximity to the humans develops a desire for it to be more a he, aided - inadvertently - by Sir's (Sam Neill) gentle and generous lectures about the human condition. Andrew begins to search for the awesome human capacity for emotion. When he realises the importance of freedom to humans, he begs for it, setting off on a road that leads him through the exquisite joys of love to confront the big no-no of mankind: immortality.

"If you love the film, you'll be twice as disappointed with the contents of this DVD as one who thinks the film so-so, but is interested in its technical and general 'making of' aspects. There is a trailer and there's a behind the scenes featurette - which is basically the trailer, extended with short (and underwhelming) interview grabs with cast and director. Other than that and an isolated soundtrack, the DVD is void of extras.

There is no detail about the robotic body suit, which is a technical highlight of the production, there are no outtakes with Robin Williams, and there is no running commentary offered. There is no serious attempt at significant extra features - either the studio lost faith in it as a DVD release, or it was considered unnecessary to go to the trouble. But at least there is a range of languages in the subtitles, from Greek and Polish to Norwegian and Arabic.

The 200 year long story of a robot that develops from a 'that' to a 'who' with that special spark of humanity is told in schmaltzy and slick style, but lacks the emotional grip that would have made it a great film. Look at it as a Williams vehicle, which shows he can act his way out of a robotic suit. Of course, if you love the movie, the DVD is terrific with its audio-visual excellence."
Andrew L. Urban

"If you're fortunate enough to have surround sound, you'll hear James Horner's superb uplifting score as it was intended to be heard in Bicentennial Man, a good-hearted DVD for all the family. It's poignant, and chances are you'll shed a tear or two as you watch Robin Williams in this story about love, friendship, dignity and compassion. Williams gives a wonderfully restrained performance, and although the film's a little long, it's a satisfying journey. The navigation is straight forward and with a simple click you can jump to any one of 28 chapters easily. Presented in the widescreen format (16:9 enhanced), the picture is sharp and clean, preserving the original 1.85:1 theatrical aspect ratio. The ageing effects are superb – you might like to pause and take a closer look… Bicentennial Man is good escapism and on DVD, you can see it and hear it as it was intended."
Louise Keller

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BICENTENNIAL MAN (PG )
(US)

CAST: Robin Williams, Sam Neill, Embeth Davidtz, Wendy Crewson

DIRECTOR: Chris Columbus

RUNNING TIME: 126 minutes

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Columbia TriStar

DVD RELEASE: June 6, 2000

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