Red Dwarf (1988-)
OK, we know Red Dwarf is a TV series and despite decade-long promises from its co-creator, Doug Naylor, to do so, has yet to be turned into a feature-length film. Still, the ship's computer, Holly, is too good to not include here.
This "intelligent" - 'it's only the IQ of 6000 PE teachers...' - machine communicates through the image of a disembodied hologrammatic head and has the strange accolade of being the first computer - to my knowledge, at least - to undergo a sex change... and back again. Let's be fair, you'd probably be pretty confused too if you were given a distinctly feminine name at birth.
While Holly doesn't feature in the latest comeback series after being replaced by another computer, Pree, his past appearances were comedy gold. From his decimalised music, Hol Rock, to alternate personality Queeg, this senile sentient computer takes some beating when it comes to hilarity, at least.
HAL Rating Get the smeg outta here
More info IMDB
Master Control Program
So Jeff Bridges gets pulled from the real world into a digital universe where he faces the Master Control Program, a software intelligence that controls his ex-company's mainframe. While the computer itself isn't a character per se, the MCP is a perfect example of roaming AI software that inhabits a machine.
The MCP infects the virtual world exerting its appetite for authority and forcing other programs to battle each other. Moral: hippie-founded start-ups are good, corporations are bad, and capitalism beats free, open source stuff any day. Remember, smile when when you're told to pay for a new version.
HAL Rating 50%
More info IMDB
Next page: Proteus IV
Not a computer per se but the computer-controlled bomb in Dark Star is worth a mention, surely? Nice to see Holly in there though.
Perhaps the "Talky Toster" from Red Dwarf should get a mention, it's toasted bread products obsession was something to behold. I always thought of it as a Microsoft Product.
This list is broken, no mention of Orac or the ships computer from Star Trek.
Avon: "Slave. Why have the lights gone blue and the screen blanked out?"
Slave: "I most humbly regret to inform the masters that a program exception error has occurred in location 0x00fe09cda2, and that as a result the ships operations have been closed down to prevent possible damage. An error log is being generated, and upon the system rebooting the fault will be reported. Sir. Once again, I am most dreadfully sorry that this has happened."
Re: re 2001
No, you're mangling 2001 and 2010 (when they put in the kill device, and then Doc Chandra quietly took it out again when nobody was noticing).
I always felt rather sorry for HAL --- he wasn't evil, he was driven insane by bad management and unfollowable orders. Even so trying to kill everyone on board is a little extreme; all he really needed was a little primal scream therapy.