So, Which One's Frank, Again?

One of my favourite things to see, in science-fiction, is older people.  It's a little personal quirk, I admit, and one that's rarely satisfied.  It's far more common, of course, to see younger characters, whether on the big screen, the small screen or the page, and I admit there are perfectly good reasons for that in many cases.  Younger characters are less secure, and therefore they can more easily be thrown out of their normal lives and into a more unsettled state, which of course is a great starting point for any genre story.  For visual media they're more photogenic in the eyes of the viewers who matter to the money-people, and even for print, it's often preferable from the publisher's perspective to be able to put a square-jawed or wasp-waisted twenty-something on the cover.  And they're considered more adaptable to new technologies and systems, so given that many science-fiction stories focus on characters exploiting, resisting or introducing a new system, one that the older elites will often have less facility with and therefore be more easily misled by, there's decent enough reason to have younger characters take the lead.

But darn it, I grew up with Captain Picard as my role model, and it's nice to see a grey-haired older fellow or a woman outside the usual Hollywood starlet age range take centre stage.  Which is why I'm so pleased by this trailer.

Honestly, the movie just looks delightful.  James Marsden is always reliable, if often miscast, Susan Sarandon and Frank Langella are extremely solid actors, and I really think Kevin Spacey missed his calling; between this and Moon, it really does seem like the man should've been a voice actor.  He can just do so much, with such a small change in inflection!  And of course, it's always nice to see a story in which there is an AI who is neither evil, nor defending a human against an evil AI.  The near-future world of Frank and Robot looks pleasantly believable, our present with just a few little glass-panel bits bolted on in honestly realistic ways, another little pleasure of mine.  For all that I enjoy Star Trek and the Culture and Honor Harrington, it's really nice to see a believable little near-future, not a utopia or a dystopia, not a pollution-ravaged hellhole or a corporate mono-culture or a hippe neo-Eden. 

But really, I'd go see this just to watch Frank Langella teach robot Kevin Spacey to be a hilariously awkward burglar, alone.

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