The Remembering James Horner Blogathon – Bicentennial Man (1999)

This is the second of 3 reviews that are part of the Remembering James Horner Blogathon hosted by Bex over at Film Music Central and being .  Tnx for letting me participate!

bicentennial man“I try to make sense of things. Which is why, I guess, I believe in destiny. There must be a reason that I am as I am. There must be.” – Andrew Martin

Number of Times Seen – at least 5 times (Video in 2000, 14 Apr 2002, DVD and 22 Jun 2016)

Brief Synopsis – An android somehow gains awareness of his own being and strives to become a real person.

My Take on it – When I heard about Bex’s Blogathon, I was quite excited to participate because James Horner has scored some of my favorite movie music.  I debated for a while which film(s) to watch and review because there are so many great ones; Titanic (1997), Apollo 13 (1995), Deep Impact (1998), Braveheart (1995) and Sneakers (1992) are among my favorites.

In the end, I chose to go with 3 that I have yet to review and although I recalled his scores from these films (and in two cases, his credits song), I can’t say that I knew them so well.

I chose this movie next because it is one of my favorite Robin Williams dramas and also has a great message along with excellent music from Horner.

This is a great way of retelling the story of Pinocchio for our modern age. Wood has become fiber-optics and we get the always amazing Robin Williams to play an android who for some unknown reason becomes self-aware.

Williams is able to get the character right in so many ways and he was truly the perfect choice to play this character especially with how he changes over the course of the story.

This is actually based on an Isaac Asimov story and with the way technology has been advancing over time, I wouldn’t be surprised if much of the ideas here can one day be realized.

Besides Williams, the cast is great with Sam Niell, Embeth Davidtz, Wendy Crewson, Hallie Eisenberg, Oliver Platt, and Bradley Whitford helping us to form emotional bond with the characters and story.

The journey that director Chris Columbus takes us on is so enriching and I only wish that this movie would have been even longer because there were many themes that could have been expanded on easily had there been time.

The philosophical and moral questions posed here are so great because they ring sio true and it’s quite easy for people nowadays to relate to the analogous use of a android because it’s so easy to relate to even more than when this movie was made back in 1999.

The musical score by Horner is quite emotional for me and I love listening to it over and over. The credits song “When You Look at Me” is quite emotional and the song itself nearly brings me to tears whenever I hear it.

Check out both the score and the sing here:

I bet Asimov never would have dreamed of the world we now live in…

I once again want to thank Bex for running this Blogathon and look forward to reading all the other entries!

Bottom Line – Love the way that this is a modern version of Pinocchio based on an Asimov story. Excellent cast led by Williams makes this so much fun and emotional to watch. The journey of discovery is great and I wish that they would have made this longer because there was so much they could expand on if they would have had the time.  The questions about self-awareness and freedom ring true for many different kinds of situations and they found a great analogous one to use that people can relate to even more today then when this came out back in 1999. Score by Horner is superb and I love the credits song sung by Celine Dion “When You Look at Me”.  Asimov never expected something like this… Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – When Andrew regales the family with jokes, the jokes themselves were unscripted. Robin Williams ad-libbed all of the jokes. The other actors’ reactions to the jokes and their laughter are real.  (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10)


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20 thoughts on “The Remembering James Horner Blogathon – Bicentennial Man (1999)

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  3. Excellent review! I did like this the one time I’ve seen it, but I felt unsure if it was genuinely emotional or just sappy and trying to be more. Williams was great, though, and the ending did get to me.


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