Tag Archives: Paul Verhoeven

Robocop Remake – Trailer Released and It’s Better Than You Think

When news that a remake to Robocop was coming out, the internet almost imploded with the sheer volume of venom and bile that was unleashed. The original Robocop has always had a warm place in the hearts of  fans. The clever mix of ultra violence, angst and social commentary meshed well to give us a truly stunning piece of ’80s cinema. So it’s understandable that there may be a certain amount of tension when a new version is released. Even this reviewer was slightly nonplussed by the news, and when shots of the new suit came out face palms were felt all around the world. It looked pretty dire and people could hardly believe they were thinking of using this version over the classic silver suit Peter Weller wore. It did not really exude confidence in the new film. Well now it is time to put up or shut up because the new trailer is out. See what you think below.

So there you go. Now I do not know how this trailer went down with everyone else, but personally, I liked it. The tone still seems to be dark, but not as gritty as the original. The darkness is still there hidden under all the shiny metal and techno heavy visuals. Hopefully it will not suffer the same fate as the Total Recall remake, where the futuristic look over shadowed the fact that the film somehow managed to take all the fun out of the movie and made it a dreadful bore. This trailer is anything but that, with the action coming at you thick and fast and for once you can actually see the events as they take place, rather than say the Transformers franchise where the gleaming metal battles all gel into a CGI mess.

Let’s not forget about the cast, and boy what a cast. Samuel Jackson, Michael Keaton, and Gary Oldman are just a few of the names involved, and they certainly seem to be enjoying themselves. Unlike the OCP from the original where most of the people working for the company were dicks (and we loved them for it, who can forget Dick Jones, Bob Morton and Clarence J.Boddicker), here it seems Oldman is to be the scientist with a heart, while Keaton is chewing up the scenery in a more corporate way than his predecessors.

Giving Alex Murphy and his family more screen time seems to be a good call as it adds a nice dynamic to the tale. How do decide if your husband should be given a new lease on life but lose some of his humanity? These clips with the family should make for some touching scenes in the movie if the trailer is to go by.

robocop remake trailer samuel

robocop remake trailer oldman

The new designs look great. ED 209 has been slightly revamped, and as much as I love the old clunky model I am interested to see how this new, more streamlined version will fare on-screen. The new suit after all the moaning does look good in action. The visor sliding up and down adds a nice element, and again helps to keep the human side of Robocop visible more. The scene with numerous Robocop models taking on the Alex Murphy Robocop certainly interested me and the voice is spot on. The main downside to this is there is no police presence in the trailer that I could see. So the dynamic that Murphy and Anne Lewis had in the original seems to have been removed to focus more on Alex Murphy’s family issues. I can see the point, but it does not mean that I a tinge of remorse we are going to lose that side of the movie. But that’s what happens with change.

robocop remake trailer family

Let’s just get one thing clear in our minds. This is never going to be Paul Verhoeven Robocop. That movie is irreparable. But much liked other remakes that have worked (Dawn of the Dead, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Star Trek) it has taken the core idea and given it a different spin. Do we forget about the original Texas Chainsaw movies now that the remake has been made? Of cause not. Both live together in cinematic harmony and both have their own fan bases. Could we have room for two Robocop’s? I believe so, but only if the film is good. The last thing we need is another shitty remake. Fingers crossed this will be the former rather than the later, and if it lives up to the promise of the trailer we could be in for a treat. No matter what, Peter Weller’s iconic turn in the role of Robocop will never be forgotten, but maybe we can find a space for Joel Kinnaman portrayal too? I would like to think so, we’ll just have to look past that PG-13 rating first…

Advertisements

Grizzly Review: Total Recall

I find it ironic that Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell) is so bored with mundane life in Total Recall that he seeks the key to the secrets in his dreams; a longing for a better, more spectacular life with more substance. Better and more spectacular – this remake had the potential to be that, to build on the Philip K. Dick story that was originally immortalized in the Arnold Schwarzenegger 1990 flick. However, it seems to run into the same issues Quaid does in his (fake) life. Everything from the plot, to the characters, to even the visuals are redundant and generic during Len Wiseman’s reboot. It is at least – for the most part – a fun, if forgettable escape before we step out of the theater into our own reality.

Farrell plays Quaid as he is haunted by the same dream of escaping capture with a mysterious woman (Jessica Biel) that gives him a longing of a higher purpose. He works on an assembly line, in a factory with his friend Harry (Bokeem Woodbine) building synthetics, robot soldiers in the vein of the Clones in the Star Wars prequels or the NS-5’s in I, Robot. He lives a nondescript life with a beautiful wife (Kate Beckinsale) and while going through the motions, he is driven to find the answer to the emptiness he feels.

Quaid and his wife live in the Colony, a dark, industrial-like slum, and they commute via The Fall, a transport that goes through the core of the Earth in order to reach Great Britain, the only other habitable place on the planet, where the rich get richer. The world is comprised of these two regions as the rest is uninhabitable due to the plaent’s earlier chemical warfare. The Resistance has been fighting with the elite over equality ,while the controlling government class declares them as terrorists trying to disrupt the system that works for all involved. Quaid feels connected to these stories and needs answers to filling the void and lack of purpose in his life that his dreams allude to.

Enter ‘Rekall’, the escapism that the bored need in order to live the fantasy and drown out the routine reality. You can become a movie star, sports figure, or even a secret agent. It is obvious that Quaid goes for the secret agent gig, but before he can get fully immersed, things go bad. Fast. His loving wife, quite suddenly is an evil undercover agent trying to kill him. That girl in the dream? Oh, she’s real and fights for the Resistance. Speaking of the Resistance, yep, he is definitely connected to their organization. And the government led by Chancellor Cohaagen (Bryan Cranston)? Yeah, Quaid is so important to them, that he needs to be hunted down for what he knows. Still following me? Honestly, it doesn’t matter. He is basically Jason Bourne in the future trying to figure out his purpose. That seemed easier than writing those last two paragraphs. Take from that as you will.

It should be known that while there are few Easter Eggs for those that have seen the 1990 version (Three-boobed lady!!), this bears extremely little resemblance to that movie. The Paul Verhoeven film had Mars, Sharon Stone, the idea of reality versus perception. Plus bug eyed people in search of oxygen (note, that ALWAYS freaked me out when I was a little kid, I couldn’t watch that sequence for years). Len Wiseman goes in a direction that only skims the idea of living up to your past versus establishing your own destiny and identity. He has always been a great visual and action director and really takes advantage of the futuristic setting and beautiful actors to establish eye candy and fast pacing for the audience to cover up the lack of depth in the screenplay.

Farrell does a serviceable job as Quaid as he runs around trying to figure out who the hell he is and who he needs to be. I do wish that there was a bit more depth or explanation to the character that delves into Quaid’s past, because his path to the truth seems to run so fast, and the character embraces his rogue fugitive present all too easily. While great for pacing into the action set pieces, which Farrell handles very well, the investment into the character is just on the ‘good guy must beat bad guy level’ as opposed to the ‘I hope he gets closer on who he truly is destined to be’ type of guy.

Beckinsale has fun with largely expanded role of his wife that goes from ‘loving spouse’ to ‘femme fatale-like kiler’ too quickly in her quest to take down her confused ‘husband’. However the increased visibility of the character distracted me as it seems to be more a showcase for her, as opposed to keeping the story on Quaid and developing his journey story arc to find the truth. Granted, I can definitely get over myself and just appreciate Beckinsale owning the screen. Jessica Biel does a good job as well, even if the character is very one note, and merely a directional arrow in order to get Quaid from point A to point B. Cranston should have been in this movie for longer, but during his time on the screen, he owns it and makes sure you know he is the big man in charge, and that he has no problem making sure his agenda is carried out.

Visually, the Colony looks like the world in Blade Runner, mixed in with Toronto’s Chinatown. Apparently Australia, where the Colony is located, is where all the Asian people went during the chemical warfare that engulfed planet Earth. The filmmakers really put the doom and gloom into the movie and capture the oppressed nature of the citizens of the Colony. While visually impressive with the set decoration and CGI, it feels repetitive to stare at the same dull interiors that every bar/apartment/government building this world has. Who knew the future was so listless and unimaginative? However, the action sequences are great and the futuristic car chase scene is fun to watch. I was a big fan of an elevator sequence too because holy crap Beckinsale kicks ass in this movie. I swear they took the sequences straight from Minority Report [Ed. Note – Early Drafts of the Minority Report script were written for Total Recall 2, which obviously never happened], but they still are visually appealing nonetheless. And Kate Beckinsale, again, is a total badass in this movie.

Overall, this is a fun diversionary movie and nothing more. I felt it could have gone deeper into the idea of innate personality versus the expectation/perception of who you were, but I will take a straight up sci-fi action flick that will stimulate the senses for 2 hours. The movie goes fast and it is a ride, but just like Quaid, do not ask me to recall any details about it later, for it will be a distant memory until the next action flick shows up on the silver screen.

‘RoboCop’ New Viral Campaign – The ED-209 is back!

‘OMNICORP, we’ve got the future under control’. That doesn’t sound suspicious at all.

This viral campaign which is one of many I am sure to be coming out during this Comic-Con has given us the OMNICORP mission statement and the OMNICORP advert to protect your city, which is a great bit of Robocop style TV. Here is the Ad below:

What did you think of the OMNICORP viral Ad? Well I think it is great because we get to see… well anything really keeps me happy, but it has something I was hoping they would have robotic ED-209. So now let’s talk about the ad, it has the smooth big defence company voice narration, the tech is looking very sharp and they give us a little sneaky in the shadows tease of RoboCop.

In true RoboCop style we have totally overkill military tech to protect us from criminals. Feel safer already.

Now we also have the OMNICORP mission statement, which came out with the Viral Ad.

For a half-century, these words have set the framework upon which OmniCorp has aimed to build a brighter world. We don’t do passive technology. At OmniCorp, our solutions generate a beacon of safety that we shine upon on the dangers of the day. No matter the obstacle – political, cultural, philosophical – we pursue our convictions around the globe to secure peace of mind at home. And when this requires bold new direction, we never allow doubt to shrink our duty. When your quality of life is in the balance, our leadership team will tip the scales.

Our products have elevated your lives. Our people have inspired your future. Our passion will always be at your side.

Don’t they sound like the good guys?

So finally what your thoughts? Do you think it’s looking great? Can you not wait until Comic-Con releases more viral goodies? Please comment below.

RoboCop Remake – Hugh Laurie Set to Play Villain

Well first we got the news of a fairly new star becoming RoboCop (Joel Kinnaman), and from that the opinion was that this was going to be a bit of a new cast for this remake. But since then we have had big star after big star being announced for the main roles, first we got Gary Oldman as the scientist, then Samuel L. Jackson as the TV mogul and now it’s looking like we will have Hugh Laurie playing the ‘Dick Jones’-type villain role in this remake.

So for a recap on what we know about the film so far and who is playing what, then please check our previous articles, links below:

Sam Jackson Joins Cast and Peter Weller Speaks!

New ‘Robocop’ Lead Offered to Star of ‘The Killing’

Robocop: Coming Back from the 80s in a Strong Way

Hugh Laurie

Hugh Laurie to play the main villain in the new version of Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 sci-fi action classic, According to The Hollywood Reporter, Laurie will play “the evil and ultra-rich CEO of Omnicorp, the company that makes Robocop.

Well it’s about bloody time! With the finale of House it looks as though the many talented English star Hugh Laurie is finally going onto more serious film roles, and the roles don’t get more serious than the evil and ultra-rich CEO of Omnicorp (well not for nerds anyway).

Thanks to House we know that Hugh Laurie can be the bad guy, but the real question is can he be as evil as Ronny Cox’s character of the same role in the original film? Of course he can and we will be saving the date for release when we get one. 9 August 2013 is the current date, but we imagine this will change.

Now since there is no more news on the film we have the original trailer for RoboCop (1987) to tide you over until we have more news for you. They don’t make them like this anymore…

Robocop: Coming Back from the 80s in a Strong Way

In 1987 Paul Verhoeven released one of the most awesomely violent movies ever made, so violent in fact that it initially received and ‘X Rating’ for it’s graphic nature. It told the story of Detroit cop Alex Murphy being brutally murdered by Red Foreman, before OCP (the company that owned the police) stole his body and using state of the art 80s technology, brought Murphy back to life. Kinda. Robocop was born, more machine than man, at least early on. The movie was incredibly dark as some of Murphy’s memories surfaced and Robocop was forced to deal with the fact that he was once a man with a family and he struggled with his own existence. He did not however let this struggle interfere too much with the downpour of justice he rained onto New Detroit.

In the years to follow Robocop inspired 2 horrible sequels and a slew of crappy TV episodes. In addition though, he did also star in some pretty legit comics and video games. Then a couple of years back rumors surfaced that Darren Aronofsky, who has a penchant for making some pretty dark shit, was tapped to helm a series reboot and bring the iconic 80s hero back to the spotlight. Well delay after delay, including the production of Black Swan, for which he would receive an Oscar nomination, eventually took him out of the running and it was believed that the project was dead.

So while in ‘New Movie Limbo’, the old tin can cop went and got himself nominated to into statue-hood. What started as a joke on Twitter, directed at Detroit Mayor (and NBA Hall of Famer) Dave Bing was a suggestion to build a statue of Robocop downtown to bring in some tourism. Mayor Bing quickly shot this down, and by simply acknowledging it, the interwebs took it and ran. Internet geeks everywhere started pledging money towards the erection of the statue, but it was one geek in particular, Pete Hottelet, threw in $25,000. Who is Pete Hottelet you might ask. Well he is the owner of OCP, his company, named after the corrupt company that ran New Detroit in the movies, makes movie related memorabilia. His donation, combined with the rest of the internet patrons resulted in $67,436 being raised through Kickstarter. That statue is currently in the production stages.While we’re waiting to see the monument built, interest in the movie spiked back up. This time with Brazilian director José Padilha (Elite Squad) helming the project, and our favorite fictional Cyborg cop is set to be played by The Killing star Joel Kinnaman (below).

Well that had been the extent of what we’d heard for a while. Until just the other day when it was announced that Gary Oldman would also be joining the cast…

Oldman will be playing a new character named Norton, “the scientist who creates RoboCop and finds himself torn between the ideals of the machine trying to rediscover its humanity and the callous needs of a corporation.”

 Gary Oldman is fricking awesome. I’m pretty excited for this movie, which is believed to start shooting something this fall, possibly in Toronto. I was really hoping they’d shoot it here in Detroit. I have to say if this time around, it’s set somewhere other than Detroit, I’ll be upset. Anyway, Oldman makes everything better, so that good.

Ok, that’s all I got.