Short Circuit, originally released in 1986, has finally made its way to DVD. The movie stars Ally Sheedy (Stephanie), Steve Guttenberg (Newton Crosby), G.W. Bailey (Skroeder), Fisher Stevens (Ben), Austin Pendleton (Howard), and of course, Number 5 (voiced by Tim Blaney).
The film opens with Nova Robotics hosting a field test of their newest $11 million dollar robotic weapons, which they hope will eventually replace ground troops in armed combat. The five of them easily dispatch covered transports and tanks, much to the delight of the spectators. Soon after it starts to rain, the audience is moved inside, and the robots are sent to be disarmed. However, a bolt of lighting strikes a generator near Number 5 and shorts out some of his programming, allowing him to learn and process information. Instead of going to disarming, he wanders onto a trash truck and is driven out of the gates, much to the dismay of Newton, his programmer, Ben, Newton's assistant, Howard, the head honcho, and Skroeder, the chief security officer. They waste no time in sending men after him, which Number 5 manages to elude by parachuting off a bridge and onto the back of a snack wagon driven by Stephanie. Stephanie discovers him upon arriving at her house, mistakes him for an alien visitor, and invites him inside her house. Since some of his circuits have shorted out, Number 5 has an insatiable appetite for 'input,' which Stephanie is only happy to fulfill with numerous books and encyclopedias. The next morning, she discovers that he's actually a robot, and immediately calls to inform Nova Robotics of his whereabouts. Number 5, who learns of this, hijacks her truck with her in tow, and tries, unsuccessfully, to escape. Newton and Ben get to them first, and see that Number 5 just might be 'alive.' Before they can run any tests or come to a conclusion, Skroeder captures Number 5. However, Number 5 manages to escape, but is determined to convince Newton and Stephanie that he really is alive, but to do that, he has to elude being destroyed by Skroeder and his men.
No matter what anyone says, I love Short Circuit. I haven't seen it in quite a few years, but I remember watching it over and over again as a kid. It is just a fantastic movie, for any age group really. Sure, some parts of it, especially those involving the Three Stooges, are incredibly cheesy, but they are funny as well. I'm surprised the number of jokes and references in the movie that only an older person would understand. The acting is pretty good too, and I found the story line to be quite fascinating, especially as a kid. The real gem of the movie is watching Number 5, who is quite the robot, do all sorts of stuff.