Robocop Trilogy


Since my recent viewing of the TERMINATOR trilogy was a smashing success I decided to look for some other ’80s-’90s sci-fi/action robot trilogy to watch, and I came up with ROBOCOP. I’d seen the first one a million (1,000,000) times and never seen the sequels, but I had a pretty good idea it was not gonna be pretty. And it wasn’t.

To me the real trilogy is not ROBOCOP 1-3, it’s ROBOCOP, TOTAL RECALL and then STARSHIP TROOPERS, Paul Verhoeven’s three ultraviolent, FX heavy studio sci-fi action satires. ROBOCOP started off that trilogy with a bang, and even including those other Verhoeven classics there’s really nothing quite like this one. Its unique approach is established at the very beginning when it opens with a TV newsbreak (co-anchored by Leeza Gibbons) that’s a weird hybrid of news from the ’80s and from today. We learn alot from the TVs in this movie: the world is in chaos, with wars and rebel attacks a regular part of life, deadly fires caused by a laser misfire of “The Star Wars Global Peace Platform” in space, but there’s a nuclear war themed game you can buy and a really good artificial heart (is a surgery ad really that different from the prescription drug ads we already have?) and a popular comedy where a dude always says “I’ll buy that for a dollar!” and everybody laughs. They really capture the feel of the ’80s and the 2000s, that it’s a crazy fuckin nightmare but everybody’s used to it and doesn’t care. This movie predicted everything but Paris Hilton. They weren’t too far off predicting what police cars would look like (those things looked futuristic in 1987, now they just look the wrong color) and there’s even a DVD in this movie when the villain, Clarence Boddicker, storms into a penthouse, pulls out what at that time appeared to be a CD, and plays a video from it.

RoboCopIn fact I think it’s mainly the details of this world that make the movie work so well. The movie seems more dated than some of the other classics of the era, some of it is a little cheesy and although I still like the stop motion animation of the ED-209 that was so cool at the time I’m sure kids now would laugh at it. But as much as the ideas of the future come out of the ’80s they still seem believable. I mean, I bet these corporate executives really do have stock tickers above their urinals. And the guy making a speech in front of a bank of monitors showing animated corporate logos and footage of war planes doesn’t seem that exaggerated anymore.

Into this futuristic world they put a very classic sort of Frankenstein story. Peter Weller is Murphy, a cop new to Detroit who gets killed on duty (in fact completely fuckin massacred) and they use what’s left of him to control this new cyborg police officer that Omni Consumer Products is developing. Of course he never realized he volunteered for this sort of thing, but it’s standard in the police officer’s contract. We see alot of the building of Robocop from his perspective, like we’re half awake during surgery. So we know they managed to recover one of his arms but OCP had them get rid of it because to them robotic would be better. And we know he knows this. His builders are oblivious to his humanity, they don’t even notice when his bad dreams start showing up on their TV monitors, and they are completely surprised when he gets up and walks away.

The action and comedy of the movie are pretty simple, it’s basically your usual cop story but exaggerated. Robo remembers the gang who killed him and goes after them. The violence from both sides is heightened so the criminals get ahold of a powerful new gun that can blow up a car with one shot, and they walk around the streets laughing and shooting cars for fun. A rapist is shot in the balls, a gas station blows up around Robo, a guy gets melted by toxic waste, a woman tries to hug Robocop and it’s awkward. Robo goes after a guy in a dance club and when he knocks the gun out of his hand somebody else catches it and just dances with it.

The heart of the movie is Nancy Allen as his partner Lewis, the only person who recognizes Murphy inside there and tries to get him to remember who he is. And of course his flashbacks to his old life. The poor bastard. Throughout the movie he slowly reclaims that little chunk of human flesh at the top of his robotic body. He takes off his visor, revealing his face, and the very last scene is him saying his name is Murphy and then it cuts to the title, the credits and the glorious theme by the late great Basil Pouledaris.

Wow, I just realized ROBOCOP turned twenty last month. It’s old enough to sneak into clubs and to get a cheesy back tattoo. I’m not gonna say it’s perfect like I recently said about ALIENS, but as a fun and well told action movie I think it holds up about 90%. Verhoeven’s direction is so clever and dramatic the way he stages the creation of Robocop with all the POV shots and not showing what he looks like at first and showing the shocked reactions of the other cops. And there is this whole world, not just the corporate culture I mentioned before but also the rough life of the police officers, with the looming threat of a strike. And Verhoeven threw in the co-ed shower concept he also used ten years later in STARSHIP TROOPERS.

(Speaking of the cops in this movie, the character Johnson played by Felton Perry is the one actor besides Nancy Allen who returns in all three movies. I thought he looked real familiar and when I looked him up sure enough he was Dirty Harry’s partner Early in MAGNUM FORCE as well as Buford Pusser’s partner Obra in WALKING TALL. So this guy has a great record of movie police work. He should get a medal. I apologize for not remembering who he was.)

After he becomes Robocop and you get used to him the story and characters seem pretty simple, especially after you’ve seen it as many times as I have. And some of the settings look pretty cheap. But there are a bunch of memorable sequences like Robo’s fight with ED-209 (foiled because he can’t walk down stairs) and getting shot up by the other cops and having to flee, and finally the showdown in the board room, the perfect place to end this shit.

Some of the story gets a little stale after watching it over and over but the details of the world, the dark sense of humor and that pure Verhoeven tone make it hard not to love. It’s a genuine classic.


It’s easy to see why they thought you could make good ROBOCOP sequels. It was such an interesting world and concept, and done fairly cheap, why not expand on it? Unfortunately the sequels are missing two major things that made the original great – 1: a focus on the character of Murphy and how he becomes Robocop and 2: the crazy fuckin madman Paul Verhoeven.

RoboCop 2ROBOCOP 2 is worth watching because it’s full of great ideas. There’s a funny opening scene where you hear that the police went through with their strike and then it pans across a series of intersecting crimes. Later Robo is in a faceoff with an armed little boy who says “Can’t shoot a kid, can you, fucker?” and shoots him. This turns out to be the leader of the drug gang. There’s also an entire little league team, in uniform, led by their coach, who rob a store. (a one-up of the Baseball Furies.) The new model of cyborg is made from a cult leader/drug gang leader so it turns out to be a junkie robot and, like the movie itself, it’s called Robocop 2. When they’re building it there’s a great scene where the dead guy’s brain and eyeballs are in a jar and you see through their POV watching doctors have a conversation while casually holding his hollowed out head. Also, Detroit owes OCP so much money there’s a hostile takeover and the city becomes corporate owned.

The original script was by Frank Miller, the comic book guy who did SIN CITY and supposedly influenced the original ROBOCOP. So he has all kinds of these great over-the-top ideas but either he didn’t know how to sculpt them into a movie or the guy who rewrote it fucked it up or maybe the director blew it. It’s Irvin Kershner (director of STAR WARS 2, cameo in ON DEADLY GROUND) but his direction here gets cheesier and broader than Verhoeven’s. There are characters that just don’t work, like the mayor who seems too young to be mayor, too much of an over-actor to be in this movie, not funny enough for how funny he seems to think he is, and then he makes matters worse by making outraged speeches about what’s going on. Verhoeven trusted the audience to understand what an ugly world this was, this movie has to have speeches to explain it to you in case you’re an idiot.

If you ask me the very best thing about ROBOCOP 2 is a great scene where you find out that because of his memories of his family before he died Murphy has been sort of stalking his wife and kid. He has been driving by the house and spying on them. We learn this when some pricks from the company sit him down and lecture him about scaring her and try to get him to say that he is a machine. For most of the scene the camera is close on Peter Weller’s face, without its visor, disgustingly attached to a robot head. It’s hard to really make out his emotions there, he definitely looks sad and a little like he got caught with his hand in the cookie jar, and sort of like he doesn’t want them to know his emotions. Whatever it is it’s tragic.

But then they barely follow up on this great idea other than a few token appearances by the saintly wife not aware of what he’s going through and convinced that the machine is not Murphy. And the movie spends so much time on the junkie criminal becoming Robocop 2 and the corporate bitch who arranges the whole thing and various other subplots that Robo never gets enough focus. It’s like so many failed genre movies of the time, it seems more like a list of ideas they had than an actual story unfolding. There are good bits here and there but you don’t feel like you’re going anywhere and you’re just happy when it ends.

ROBOCOP 3 should probaly be called HELLO, WE DIDN’T GET THE FIRST ROBOCOP AT ALL, THAT’S WHY WE MADE THIS UNWATCHABLE PILE OF HORSE SHIT. Pretty much from beginning to end it is clear that everything I liked about ROBOCOP, anyway, went soaring over these people’s heads.

RoboCop 3First of all, this is a PG-13 movie. ROBOCOP was a movie that deliberately went too far with its violence. Verhoeven wanted to take the glorified violence of American action movies to its logical conclusion. By part 3 the violence is not trying to shock you, it’s trying to be appropriate for children. It’s a bad comic book. Kids liked the first one, even though it was for adults, so now they just figure they should make the kind of crap they imagine kids probaly like. Maybe they should do that with KILL BILL next. Or FRIDAY THE 13th. When parents allowed their kids to see these movies it was understood as an agreement that for the sequels they just want to stay home and let their kids go by themselves.

In fact, this movie starts out with a little girl who you know loves Robocop because she has a doll of him. The real Robocop doesn’t even show up until 15 minutes in. Actually, it’s not even the real Robocop because they couldn’t get Peter Weller to come back. They couldn’t even get the animatronic Peter Weller head from part 2 to come back, it wanted script approval. Hell, they couldn’t even get Leeza Gibbons to come back. Even Leeza must’ve said what the fuck are you clowns doing? This crap is supposed to be fuckin Robocop!?

In ROBOCOP Murphy was basically Frankenstein’s monster. But in part 3 here, he utterly fails to throw the little girl in the water and drown her. She lasts throughout the movie. Verhoeven’s Robocop was a guy who went too far, the idea was that a robotic cop is a bad idea, it’s supposed to make you uncomfortable. But sort of in part 2 and definitely in part 3 you are just supposed to think that’s cool, a robot who shoots everybody! And now he can fly. Instead of being one of the few people with a heart left in a cruel world he is part of a literally underground team of earnest multi-cultural rebels.

One thing that’s kind of weird, they have quite a cast of future TV all stars. Rip Torn (Larry Sanders Show) is the CEO of OCP. Bradley Whitford (the West Wing) is one of his top guys. Stephen Root (NewsRadio, King of the Hill) is one of the rebels, so are CCH Pounder (The Shield) and Jill Hennessy (Crossing Jordan). And Jeff Garlin (Curb Your Enthusiasm) is the guy working at the donut shop where all the cops hang out. There might be some other people I didn’t recognize. It’s good that these people were in here because it creates a curiosity factor, you can play a spot the up and coming TV actors game to occupy your time until the damn thing ends.

Everything about these movies devolves over the three, from the skill of storytelling to the depth of character to the quality of the production design to the level of violence. The one and only thing that grows throughout the trilogy is Lewis’s hair. It gets longer in part 2 and longest in part 3. That is the extent of the journey that this series will take you on.

I didn’t think part 2 worked, but I can list plenty of things I liked about it. Unfortunately that’s not the case with this one. It’s not only the guy playing Robocop who’s been replaced, it’s also the whole spirit and attitude of the original movie. Instead of extrapolating a future to say something about what’s going on in the world today they just look for “fun” comic book concepts of silly things that could happen in a phony kid’s comic book future. Instead of exaggerating the violence to make a point about our attitudes about violence in movies they intentionally tone down the violence to be appropriate for kids. Robocop is now no different from TJ LAZER, the show his kid watched on TV in the first movie.

I mean go back to part 1 and look at that classic board room scene where a demonstration of ED-209 goes awry. A volunteer is chosen to hold a gun and the robot tells him to put it down. He does, but the robot keeps counting down: “YOU HAVE TEN SECONDS TO COMPLY…” The thing doesn’t work, it thinks he still has the gun, so it fills him with literally hundreds of bullets. The body falls on the table and it just keeps firing its machine guns into him, it’s a fuckin mess. Even twenty years later that scene is hilariously brutal and eerily believable. I mean if they really had these robots, I believe this would happen.

In that scene the OCP boss is pissed. Not because one of his guys is dead. Not because he is liable for this accidental death. He’s mad because this is gonna cause delays that will cost the company millions of dollars. That’s the Verhoeven way. He paints a portrait of this ugly world and what makes it true is that everyone goes along with it. Life really is ugly and people really are okay with it.

But if the ED-209 incident was in ROBOCOP 3 there would be someone there with a conscience who would point out how bad it is. “Are you crazy? How can you be talking about money? A man just died!” ROBOCOP 3, you just don’t get it, man.

You know what, I’m gonna cap this all off by getting poetical on your ass. ROBOCOP is just like Robocop himself: a slick, deadly machine with a small piece of human struggling to keep it under control and to be noticed from inside. ROBOCOP 2 is like Robocop 2: a junkie robot. Maybe you met him at a bus station or something. He kept rambling and you have to admit he came up with some pretty interesting things to say here and there but it was all jumbled and ultimately lost you. And then ROBOCOP 3 is like that guy who is not Peter Weller playing Robocop. He’s wearing the suit but nobody’s gonna confuse him for Robocop. He hangs out on Hollywood Boulevard and he lets you take your picture with him and then he tries to guilt you into giving him money. Just tell him to have a nice day and then take off. He’ll keep talking but do not engage, just pretend you don’t hear him.

Actually, I got one last thing. At this time I would like to request that any soul-less movie studio executives please stop reading. Go check the stock reports or something. The following material is not for your eyes. I am going to have to go with the honor system but please stop reading. If you keep reading and then this gives you the idea to do a certain thing I am discussing here but you fuck it up then that constitutes a contract wherein you agree to give me 50% of all profits from said mistake. So you better stop reading. thanks fellas I appreciate it. Last chance.

Okay, here goes nothing. I know this is asking for it, but I think ROBOCOP is a perfect candidate for a remake. The only problem is that I can’t think of anybody I’d want to do it besides Verhoeven himself. If they did it they’d probaly get some chump who didn’t get what Verhoeven was doing and would just try to make a robot movie with digital age effects. But if Verhoeven went back to this idea from a modern perspective it could be a god damn masterpiece.

I mean think about it: when ROBOCOP came out Rodney King and the LA riots had not even happened. Let alone OJ Simpson, Amadou Diallo, the various police brutality incidents that inspired DO THE RIGHT THING, the ATF siege at Waco, the “Free Speech Zones” that started with the WTO riots and flourished through the Bush era. The militarization of the police force shown in Robocop doesn’t seem futuristic anymore, they really do wear armor now and carry more weapons and occasionally they drive tanks through city streets. I want to see a Robocop movie for the modern age, one that addresses the racial issues of modern policing, the PATRIOT Act, the drug war and the police being turned against citizens at protests. I want to see a ROBOCOP for the Halliburton era, with Mediabreaks for the post 9-11 landscape.

Somebody told me a few years ago that Verhoeven wanted to do another ROBOCOP, but only if he could call it ROBOCOP 2. Doesn’t sound very official to me but shit, give him a greenlight. It could be magic.


This entry was posted on Friday, August 3rd, 2007 at 8:48 pm and is filed under Action, Crime, Reviews, Science Fiction and Space Shit, Thriller. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

216 Responses to “Robocop Trilogy”

  1. Hey folks, did you see that fucking cool Robocop 3 teaser poster? I seriously want one, even if it would be better for all of us to forget that there ever was a part 3.




  3. I’m watching Robocop and what’s striking me about this movie that I hadn’t really noticed is how good Weller is. He’s actually really affecting in the first chunk of the movie when he’s Murphy, and when he becomes Robocop, he does a good job playing the Universal monster-y icon that Robocop is. And as the movie goes on, he does a great great job playing the subtle alterations from machine to machine struggling with its humanity, to reborn man. Watching his jerky, mechanical movements when Robocop first starts out, its actually pretty creepy and disturbing, like when they show footage of him with school kids.

  4. Peter Weller is the heart and soul of ROBOCOP. I can’t imagine the film without him. And I don’t have to because that’s what ROBOCOP 3 is for.

    I mean, I like Robert John Burke and all… but goddamn.

  5. I always thought Peter Weller was the Roy Scheider of our times. Solid, consistent actor who ended up in some classic films, but didn’t take big flashy oscar roles and consequently never got the respect he deserved.

  6. Weller has one thing over Brodie.

    He’s got a Ph.D.

  7. And better lips. Playing Robocop is all about the lips.

  8. I can’t speak for the authenticity of this report, but according to lots of different sources Miller’s first draft for Robocop had enough plot and detail to be two movies. They hacked it to shit, then convinced him they would treat him better on the next movie, so he signed on, and then they did it again, even worse. His original script was made into a comic book that I haven’t read, but it’s gotten good notices.

  9. The Robocop remake is a green light. It is supposedly being directed by
    Darren Aronosky. I shit you not.

  10. Shit me you can mate.

    Pass or fail, that remake should be fucking fascinating.

  11. Robocop 3: Vern underestimates the importance of Samurai Robots. I can forgive a film a lot of its flaws for Samurai Robots.

    (In all fairness, I think I disliked #2 even more than #3. #1 was great though.)

    A remake of Robocop? I’m hoping it fails dismally, that way it’s barely possible that some good original films will get the funding they deserve. Barely…

  12. Paul – No offense mate, but “good original” movies don’t have funding affected or not by the presence of a remake property.

    Hollywood would simply go to another abused or soon to be ravished property.

  13. Yeah but if the remakes stop making money… etc, etc, etc…

    Ah, who am I kidding? One might as well hypothesize “if I get a double-date with Kristin Bell and Mila Kunis”.

  14. I thought Aaronofsky’s Robocop remake has already been cancelled again. He was in talks of doing it for one or two years, but a few months ago it fell apart. At least that’s what I’ve heard.

  15. The most amazing thing about this classic film is how bad a time everyone had making this movie. Nobody liked each other, shit kept going wrong and Weller really suffered for his art in that suit. I disagree about a remake but then I was proved wrong with Dawn of the Dead when I pissed and moaned about that. Still,i t will be wierd to remake such a “recent” film.

  16. Robocop is a perfect example of why a genre movie doesn’t have to suck and can be smart as well


  17. and what is with Verhoeven and co ed showers? not that I’m complaining

  18. I think ROBOCOP is the greatest hardcore sic-fi action film of all-time. It blew you through the back of the theater like DIE HARD did.

  19. Please let me know if you’re looking for a article author for your blog. You have some really good articles and I feel I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d love to write some content for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please send me an e-mail if interested. Many thanks!

  20. I have to admit I have never completely embraced the first one as a classic, or personal favorite. Some stuff still leaves me squeamish, or rolling my eyes. But I’m willing to admit now however that the rest of it makes for a great story, equal parts FRANKENSTEIN, BLADE RUNNER and DIRTY HARRY. Topped off by not making the city of Detroit, both old and new, look too futuristic. That is what, for me, helps even the scales of crime and sci-fi.

    My interest in the remake is similar to what Vern pointed out. Aside from what he already mentioned in the review it could be a comment on the crossover between advancing technology, and how corporate greed can use it for frightening means. How what could bridge us to a better future can, in the wrong hands, bring us closer to destruction. That’s my hope, at least.

    Speaking of Weller, look up his interview on Kevin Pollak’s internet show. Should be on YouTube. Talks about his friendships and working relationships with Woody Allen, Miles Davis, Mike Nichols and a host of other really interesting subjects. It all leads up to his experience and interpretation of playing the character for the first film.

  21. Finally watched the trilogy back-to-back for the first time and the first still holds up as just fucking incredible. Verhoeven’s sci-fi threesome of this, STARSHIP TROOPERS and TOTAL RECALL is just cinema gold.

    But the ROBOCOP sequels are hamstrung by the first being pretty much sequel-proofed: kinda like HIGHLANDER.

    Still, I remember seeing ROBOCOP 2 when it first came out and geeking out over it in anticipation – here was a sequel to a movie I loved written by a (then) comic book god, Frank Miller, and it was – and remains – such a let down. All the ingredients and there but somehow, it winds up tasting mostly like shit.

    Part 3 I’ve never seen til today and yeah, it’s a stinker.

    No idea if Miller’s original, mammoth script for part 2 was just chopped up and recycled for 3 but it feels that way; made up of off-cuts, diluted to sell toys and cartoons to kids. At one point there’s even a TV ad for such things in the movie. The film doesn’t even realise it’s mocking itself.

    An ignominious end to the film franchise and sadly an inevitable one in many ways. No wonder Weller got out. Even poor Nancy allen (who, to me, never quite looked comfortable in the films) checks out with hardly any fanfare.

  22. I read Miller saying that working on the third film was a much more pleasant experience for him than the second one, and that he and Dekker swapped drafts etc., so it sounds like he was involved in it fairly directly

  23. The Canadian Robocop series they did was actually pretty good. Best sequel we’ve gotten so far. It’s available as four 90 minute movies now. On Netflix.

  24. Pretty disapointing. It looks like something from a cheap DTV knock off of ROBOCOP.

  25. Well, with this new FAUXBOCOP ™ costume, at least we finally have a catalyst for a long overdue discussion on this websight about Batman.

  26. I’m dying of laughter over here.

  27. Didn’t the Avengers just kill like a thousand of those things?

  28. I expected him to be… shinier.

    Well, look, I really dig that they’re doing their own thing, and I actually kinda like that helmet. I just hope the whole movie doesn’t resemble that bit in the G.I. Joe movie where those guys in the robo-suits run around diving through buses and shit.

  29. Thats from the new Asylum flick RobotCop

    (we wish)

  30. I get the criticism, but I wouldn’t be so quick to judge until we look at the trailer, blah blah blah…okay it looks bad. Not bad, but generic, which I suppose is worse. But if the quality of the story rises above what is really just a more crucial piece of costume design, I see no right to complain.

  31. I hope they’re planning to CGI a chainsaw or some nunchucks onto his right hand there. I can’t imagine anything that would make Nobocop look less badass than having his pink widdle fingies hanging out.

  32. I reckon I’m close to being a Jose Padhila completist, since I’ve seen the 3 movies of his that I can feasibly get my hands on, so of course I’ll see the new ROBOCOP, or ROBEAUCOP ® as my ladyfriend with a crush on Joel Kinnaman calls it.

    I wasn’t feeling ELITE SQUAD for the first 40 minutes or so. Then the relentlessness of the filmatism, the pitch perfect underhanded motor pool parts-swapping sequence that I can relate to from Fort Bragg experiences, and the badass BOPE training sequences hit me, and I don’t think I took another full breath for the rest of the movie.

    ELITE SQUAD 2 was also really solid, really well acted, and I’ll probably be watching the series and showing it to uninitiated friends once every few years for the rest of my life.

    BUS 174, including the dvd’s Padhila interview special feature, is a superb documentary.

    So I’m optimistic… ish. I just wish they’d rename the motherfucker. Like, TOTAL REBOOT (2012) was a pretty entertaining movie; I liked it. But why the fuck couldn’t they just call it something else? Like the Parker-Porter thing.

    Why do I have to be compelled to specify, in my mind and in conversation with friends for the rest of my life, “real TOTAL RECALL” versus “the PG-13 bullshit TOTAL RECALL that’s not that bad a movie in its own right but probably shouldn’t exist”?

    And now I’m pissed off b/c I sound like the guy Louis CK ridicules about complaining about hitting an English/Espanol button on the ATM. Goddamnation, screw this I’m going to watch o.g. INDIANA JONES at the movie theatre.

  33. hahahahaha, holy shit, that new outfit looks lame

    why in the hell did they make it BLACK!?

  34. I never once thought about how RoboCop would look in the remake. Now I know and I am deeply depressed. He looks like the most generic cyborg ever. I just wanna go back to bed right now…

  35. It looks more like one of those nano suits from CRYSIS.

  36. WEll, we don’t know if it’s really THE new Robocop. According to McWeeny’s short Twitter script remarks, there is a scene where several designs are tested out, so maybe this is oen of them.

  37. I actually don’t think it looks terrible or anything, I just think it should look like Robocop. Didn’t they learn the lesson from Godzilla? You wouldn’t make a movie about Zorro where he doesn’t look like Zorro, or Mickey Mouse where he doesn’t look like Mickey Mouse. But yeah, maybe this is not THE Robocop? I don’t know.

  38. I’m with you on the title thing, Mouth. It’s shit having to specify which version of The Thing you’re talking about.

    I get just as annoyed with all the Director’s Cuts and Extended Cuts and Final Cuts out there. You don’t get that shit in literature. You don’t have to explain to people which version of The Old Man And The Sea you’re talking about. There is only one The Old Man And The Sea and that’s it.

    A Director’s cut makes sense to me when a filmmaker has been fucked over, like Scott was with Blade Runner, but it has since been turned into a marketing and money-making scheme and I fucking hate it.

    Just give me a single coherent whole, not a dozen different versions. Sadly, the days of directors having Final Cut are in danger, I think.

    Also, Robocop 2.0 better still have a massive handgun popping out of his thigh, man.

  39. Shoot, it reminded me of CRYSIS as well.

  40. Clarence Boddicker is one of my favorite movie bad guys. Him and his gang were part of what made Robocop such a great movie. Them and everything else. A near perfect movie in my eyes. I hope they do it justice in a remake.

  41. Ace – yeah, Boddicker is an AMAZING villain. I loved/hated him as a kid and only recently understood the genius of the character and the casting – he looks middle-aged, he has glasses, he’s not really built or muscular, but he’s funny and quotable and scary as shit and you kinda believe he can beat Robocop (and he nearly does). The makers of Robocop were smart enough and ballsy enough to have someone human and weaselly like Boddicker be the main villain and keep ED209 as the secondary villain. It’s almost a miracle looking back on it that the film didn’t end with Boddicker turning into a bigger, badder cyborg (like the sequel).

    One thing that gives me hope about the reboot is that there doesn’t seem to be a Boddicker (or Dick Jones, or even an Ann Lewis!) I honestly hope it’s an original story that just uses the premise of the original Robocop and nothing else.

  42. Keeping my fingers crossed that we’ll all be dead by then.

  43. I watched ROBOCOP 2 last night and I think it’s really underrated. Yes, it’s not as good as ROBOCOP, but neither is every other movie on the planet. Yes, it’s too broad and cartoony but Verhoeven is a goddamn genius of deadpan satire. Yes, it’s scatterbrained and kind of incoherent, but there is enough great stuff in there for three ROBOCOP movies. ROBOCOP 2 has nothing to be ashamed of. The movie, not the robot. He should definitely be ashamed of himself. Did anyone else notice how blue Robocop’s armour is in ROBOCOP 2? Maybe it’s because he’s depressed (his wife, etc). I’ve read the comic that is supposedly more faithful to Miller’s original script and I don’t think it’s much better. Actually I think it’s worse in a lot of ways.

    ROBOCOP 3 is still total bullshit. It’s interesting how the landscape has changed for R-rated blockbusters. ROBOCOP, ALIENS, THE TERMINATOR… kids loved those movies! They had comic books, Saturday morning cartoons and action figures! I can’t imagine that happening for DREDD or PUNISHER WAR ZONE (yes, there are Punisher comics, but they are made for fat, angry, ponytailed 25 year olds and me).

  44. Thank you! I have always loved ROBOCOP 2. It’s a gross, mean, nasty, hilarious big-budget Troma movie. It’s only crime is not being as good as ROBOCOP. But neither is CASABLANCA and you don’t see anybody giving that one shit for it.

  45. Saw Robocop 2 last night. I forgot how fucking brutal the thing was. The part when they cut open Officer Duffy while he’s still alive is by far the most unpleasant thing I’ve seen in a movie this year.

  46. Let me just say that I still, to this day, have never actually watched Robocop 3. I may have caught glimpses of it on Showtime a long time ago, but that was pretty much it. I have read that it was terrible and friends of mine have told me that I have done myself a favor in not watching it.

    With all the flack that Robocop 2 gets, I still think it was actually decent. Sure, it didn’t live up to the first film because the guy Cain is not as a good of a villain as Clarence Boddicker was, but it was still not bad. Plus, I still found the scenes with Robocop telling Lewis that she is pretty and firing his gun at a smoker to be hilarious, same with his “bad language makes for bad feelings” line.

    The first one will always be a classic. I still love all those random commercials. They were funny. Also, you can’t help but think that the violence factor was quite brutal for that era.

    One other thing about Robocop 2, because you mentioned Frank Miller originally wrote the script, I have read the comic version of that script brought to life and while it can be enjoyable in some areas, the book did not make sense much. If you want to check it out, do so, but it’s a lot different than one would think. Plus, the main villain looks like a skank and she is supposed to be a gifted scientist (I guess SOME scientists out there look like Hustler models who are well-endowed and wear miniskirts). Not to mention sexualizing the Ann Lewis character. You could probably read a review somewhere about it or just find a way to read it for free. In hindsight, it isn’t all that great but you kind of need to see to know what I mean.

    As for the reboot, I am probably going to skip that.

  47. “Let me just say that I still, to this day, have never actually watched Robocop 3. I may have caught glimpses of it on Showtime a long time ago, but that was pretty much it. I have read that it was terrible and friends of mine have told me that I have done myself a favor in not watching it.”

    You have good friends.

    And I still laugh thinking of how IRON MAN 2’s 3rd act more or less was a remake of ROBOCOP 2’s 3rd act.

  48. The Original... Paul

    February 17th, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    Just seen this thread for the first time since commenting on it back in November, including the suit. Honestly, I don’t think you can judge a “Robocop” suit without first seeing how it moves. Does it glitter in the light, does it have a metallic sheen to it, do the joints in the legs look mechanical, etc. The whole suit thing bothers me rather less than IT’S A FUCKING REMAKE OF FUCKING “ROBOCOP”. Childhood-killing motherfuckers, etc, etc.

    The only thing I liked about Robocop 2 – and I really disliked that movie, I thought and still do think that pretty much every character in it is mediocre, annoying, or (in Cain’s or that bloody kid’s case) both – was the suicidal/homicidal insane prototype that gets about seven seconds of screen time. Seriously, the entire movie is almost worth suffering through for the sake of watching that one scene. Why couldn’t the rest of the movie be about him?

  49. According to wiki, Joe Walsh appears in the first film. Is this true?

  50. “Jesus…had days like this.”
    I have soft spot for 2. Hey, i was 15. Strange fucking movie. Brutal, yet tongue in cheek – typical Frank Miller. For me, his sensibility still came through, but in a film its jarring; it works better in a comic book. Strange that Irv Kirshner directed it. You guys have to admit that a movie like this wouldn’t exist today.

  51. Hell yeah, World Eater. I still love ROBOCOP 2. It’s a weird, violent, crazy, wrong-headed movie that totally delivers. It’s the rare sequel that fails for an overabundance of ideas rather than a paucity.

  52. My son bought the ROBOCOP box a couple of weeks ago and I re-watched all three for the first time in years. And must say that now I think the second one is just as good (read: entertaining) as the first one. I have a question though: We watched the director’s cut of the first one, and can anyone tell me what’s different about it?

  53. Longer shots of that poor guy in the office being hit by 10000 bullets from ED-209 and perhaps also the Murphy killing is slightly extended. I am not 100% sure about this,though

  54. Thanks. Yeah, I suspected that it was more violence.

  55. I watched the first episode of ROBOCOP:PRIME DIRECTIVES on NetFlix recently. Not bad at all,certainly better than ROBOCOP 3

  56. Here is a more detailed listing of the differences. (This site is NSFW, mostly because of the ads they have on it.) http://www.movie-censorship.com/report.php?ID=3609994

  57. Shoot, now that ROBOCOP is Swedish I guess you’re out main man when it comes to ROB related stuff.

    Thanks for the tip, CJ.

  58. He seems to be just like the swedish police force at least. PG-13,which basically means,harmless,inoffensive with unnecessary violence against creeps strictly forbidden

  59. Oh, I don’t know about that. Or maybe they just shoot decent people?

  60. Well it could be, considering one shooting being discussed or debated in the media right now.

  61. the whole ROBOCOP phenomena of such a violent movie becoming popular with kids is a strange one, people just did not give a shit about what kids watched pre-Columbine, did they? though they did eventually wise up and water down ROBOCOP to much ill effect

    I watched a documentary on Youtube once called CONSUMING KIDS which was about modern consumerist influence on kids and it wagged it’s finger at some legitimately unsettling things like advertising creeping into schools and websites aimed at kids that are nothing but constant ads

    but then the movie overreached by claiming modern movies aimed at kids are too violent and played clips from SPIDER MAN and I was thinking “really? SPIDER MAN is too violent?”, clearly someone was not paying attention back in the day

    but I didn’t actually see ROBOCOP until I was a teenager and to be honest, I’m not sure kids should have been watching it, sure when I was a kid I saw for example TERMINATOR 1 & 2, PREDATOR and TRUE LIES (heck, I was so young when I saw that one that Jamie Lee Curtis’ striptease probably cemented my heterosexuality), but those are mild compared to ROBOCOP

    so once again, it’s weird that such a gruesomely violent movie became a hit with kids, how times have changed huh?

  62. ROBOCOP was the first R-rated movie I saw in the movie theater. I was 9. I loved every second of it, especially the really violent and scary parts. It felt like I was seeing something real, something the adults had been hiding from me thus far.

    The memories we keep from our childhoods are the times when we were challenged, when we were scared, when we had to wrestle with something dark and bug and strange. The times that get lost in the fog are the times we were pandered to and coddled.

  63. well shit, I just remembered that I did see STARSHIP TROOPERS when I was like, 8 I think? not only was that pretty gory but had the additional infamous coed shower scene, probably one of the first times I ever saw boobies

    maybe I’m just talking out of my ass, but point is, something like ROBOCOP becoming popular with kids only could have happened in the heady days of the 80’s and 90’s

  64. Isn’t it strange? I was able to see Aliens in 1986. I was 11. My friend’s mom called the cinema – a local neighborhood one – and they let us in. What the heck? This same friend and I snuck into Robocop – his dad dropped us off, bought us tickets to Innerspace, and encouraged us to sneak in! Somehow we also got into Die Hard – his dad may have gone with us.
    Now that I have a kid, I’m kind of amazed at these memories.

  65. When I was about 10, my uncle gave me a big box of dubbed Betamax video tapes of ultra-violent action films. ROBOCOP, THE TERMINATOR, INVASION USA, COBRA, CONAN THE BARBARIAN as well as a bunch of shitty Conan knock-offs (THE BARBARIANS, ATOR, DEATHSTALKER etc). I pored over that shit like the dead sea scrolls and never looked back.

  66. Dubbed to what, CrustaceanHate?

  67. I’m imagining he means “dubbed” in the outdated sense of “taped off cable,” not “dubbed” as in “rerecorded in another language.”

  68. That trailer was pretty surreal. Not at all in a good way. They might as well have called it RoboCop 4. It looks like RoboCop 3 took a dump and this movie was the result of it if that’s the best trailer they could edit out of the thing.

  69. Holy crap, the new Robocop trailer? I hate to say it but it reminds me of the new Total Recall trailer – shiny and pretty CGI-y and Apple-store-y. And most probably PG-13.

    Anyone also get the vibe they’re setting OCP up to be the villain of the story? I like how in the first one they were greedy and amoral but they weren’t the actual villain (besides Dick Jones). Having the big corporation be the villain instead of a small-time scummy drug dealer actually seems tired and old hat at this point.

  70. fuck ROBOCOP, when are we gonna get a ROBERTCOP movie?

    in all serious though, I didn’t think that looked that bad I guess, but maybe it’s just because my expectations were so low

  71. I don’t wanna be too harsh on it, because it looks like a perfectly fine and enjoyable summer blockbuster flick…which is the problem, as that’s not Robocop. They’re trying way too hard to make him “relatable” with his wife and son having an expanded role and him still seemingly being Alex Murphy from the start, rather than a machine haunted by his past life and gradually remembering who he used to be. Also being airdropped into these situations doesn’t help with the Iron Man comparisons. I’m surprised he wasn’t doing three point landings.

  72. Well I think it looks good. I appreciate that it seems to be serious and not trying to fake Verhoeven’s satirical tone, which I think would make it pointless because nobody’s gonna do that as well as he did. It’s a great cast (Michael Keaton!) and it looks like they get to act. Not sure about the guy playing Murphy yet, but we’ll see. That they got the director of ELITE SQUAD to do this is still amazing and the trailer does seem like it could be his vision and not just a work-for-hire. Flying drones and ED-209s in the streets are definitely something a modern ROBOCOP movie needs to address. I’m not saying it’s a sure thing, but I’m encouraged.

  73. Speaking as a major fan/completist of Mr. Jose Padhila, I say we take off and nuke the entire FAUXBOCOP site from orbit; it’s the only way to be sure.

    I hate everything about this.

    I want this remake to die and to die retroactively in a sense that we never had any conception of its fucking stupid fucking offensive existence.

    I want Paul Verhoeven to briefly attend & laugh at a ROBOCOP 26/27 year anniversary symposium organized solely by film-lovers, corporatists, and ironic Occupy Wall Street corporatists, the kind of guys who would jollily skip over a dead body just before the end credits.

    Seeing the trailer for the new fake “robocop 2014 bullshit” a couple hours ago
    (Sam Jackson, whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy????!!!!!!!!!!!!?????????)
    left me feeling despondent about, well, about not only the human race, but about the Hollywood race and all its acolytes. A lot of somebodies deserve better, and evidently a lot of somebodies deserve to have their Hollywood credentials reversed, hopefully in a way that results in them getting sliced corneas & broken jaws.

    If this movie comes to existence as I’ve perceived it, somebody deserves to die.

  74. well, I side with Vern, I’m encouraged as well, I had totally written it off but now I put it in the “very mildly optimistic” category

    the DAWN OF THE DEAD remake proves that remakes don’t HAVE to suck so long as you simply take the basic premise (people hiding in a mall from zombies/dead guy becomes robot”) and do your own thing with it instead of a halfhearted rehash (ala the FRIDAY THE 13TH and NIGHTMARE ON ELMSTREET remakes)

    obviously only time will tell if the ROBOCOP is just a rehash or not, but at least “dead guy becomes robot” is a premise malleable enough that you could do something new with it

  75. Joel Kinneman is an awesome actor. he just has not get to show it yet outside of Sweden is my opinion. The trailer make it look like Crysis-the movie, but we will have to see. It may be good.

  76. Griff: you mean nearly dead, right? The trailer clearly shows he’s still alive when he’s blown up. That immediately shows to me they’re taking a more realistic approach. The original never explained how Murphy’s skin wasn’t rotting off, for example.

    I side with Vern, too. My opinion of the original is stated above, and before I could take or leave how well this new version of the story would fare. The minute I heard Jackson, Keaton and Oldman were cast my interest went up. Not so much individually but that three actors of their calibers (Jackie Earle Haley and Michael K. Williams to a lesser extent) would sign up for this immediately spruced my interest. Michael Keaton was on Marc Maron’s podcast and talked a little about the character he was playing and said he used people like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates more as inspiration, and put his slant on it because he’s said that for a villain he has a valid point of view (I recommend listening to the interview for more on this, but just in general because it’s quite good).

    But for now, we’ll just wait and see.

  77. Oh yeah, it doesn’t look to bad. A little bit DTV-ish, but I love its lack of re-enactments of iconic moments from the original and that they obvious try to tell a story from a slightly different angle.

  78. Looks like an action-packed blockbuster with, hopefully, some interesting themes. Pretty much what I expected. Yep, I’m in.

    Robocop is one of my all-time favourites. You’ll find it on my Top 10 any day of the week. We knew a remake was inevitable. I’m just glad they’re doing their own thing and not trying to polish and ape Verhoeven’s version.

    And hey, so far everyone involved has me excited. Padilha is real good, based on the two Elite Squad movies. Joel Kinnaman is excellent (great in The Killing). And just look at the rest of that cast!

    Also, I guess I’m alone in this, but I like the armour.

  79. The armour was surprisingly not horrible. I wish they wouldn’t insist on making it black (though if that turns out just to be a “stealth mode” that could work). Griff is right, if it’s comparable to how the DAWN OF THE DEAD remake worked, it could be acceptable. Kinda like your dad’s new stepwife. She’s obviously nice and all, but she can’t replace your dead mother.

  80. Nope. I’m not watching that trailer. I’m taking a Mulligan on this one. It didn’t happen. ROBOCOP is sacred, I did not like ELITE SQUAD at all, and the last thing anyone needs is a replay of the EVIL DEAD: NOT THE REAL ONE episode where I see it out of morbid curiosity and end up ranting like a lunatic for two weeks. So I’m doing the mature thing here and putting my fingers in my ears and going “NANANANANANANANANANANA” until this alleged movie goes away. I don’t care if it turns out to be the best movie ever. It’s a thing that should not be and to speak of it only gives it power. So this comment never happened either.

  81. What comment?

  82. We all know he will watch it anyway.

  83. I took the same approach to the American remake of Let The Right One In, and I’ve stuck with it. Not because I’m a strong-willed and stubborn son of a bitch, but really just because I couldn’t give a shit. Never once had any urge to watch it.

    When it comes to stuff with a more serial-based and more pulpy quality to them, I don’t mind really. Stuff like Robocop, Terminator, Alien, Predator, etc… You always know there’s gonna be endless franchising, sequels, spin-offs, cartoons, remakes. So I just compartmentalize that aspect of it. There’s one true Robocop movie, and everything else is just fan-fiction, in my opinion. I’ll watch it, because I like the characters and their world, but I never really take it seriously or even see it as canon.

    Works for me.

  84. Dammit, CJ, can’t you just believe in my strong moral stand for one lousy day?

    I was never here.

  85. I’m imagining Mr. M saying “NANANANANANANANANANANA” like Chevy Chase in CADDYSHACK.

  86. Wait a sec. Holder from THE KILLING is the new Robocop?! He’s incredible in THE KILLING & what keeps me coming back to that show despite its dark ability to make me doubt there is any joy in life whatsoever. Huh. I’m still not sure about the movie, but my interest is now piqued.

  87. Majestyk, when did ya become a pussy?

    This doesn’t look bad, just bland.

  88. I just said I didn’t watch the trailer. I don’t want to have an open mind. I don’t want to judge the project on its own merits. I don’t want it to exist at all, so I’m ignoring it entirely. I got a zero tolerance policy on this one. I don’t negotiate with terrorists.

  89. Majestyk and Mouth – I’m with YOU, good sirs. I don’t give a crap how good this one is, if they’re slapping the “Robocop” name on it then I’m not interested. There’s enough good, original stuff out there for me to NOT want to spend my hard-earned cash on this. I just saw two very good films that are also original IP. Let’s have more of those please. (Says the guy whose favorite films this year so far are a second-sequel of an eighteen-year-old franchise, and a Shakespeare adaptation.)

    Talking of reboots, has anybody else seen the “Carrie” trailer? It looks genuinely appalling, to the point where I’m baffled that they’d think anybody would actually go see this movie on the basis of it. It’s “Prometheus”-bad. It’s “Dredd”-bad. It was supposed to be showcasing the best of this upcoming film but it managed to give away the entire plot of the first “Carrie” movie without managing to include a single memorable scene or quotable piece of dialogue. A lot of trailers make movies look generic, because the mass-market likes generic. But normally they at least have a hook of some sort. This trailer has no hook. All I get from it is that every character in the film is probably going to be utterly unlikeable. Great recommendation there.

    I mean… I would be astonished if the “Carrie” reboot turned out to be any good anyway, just because of what it is… but you’d at least think that they’d try and show off some of the film’s merits or something.

  90. I’m a little more forgiving of the CARRIE remake, just because I like Chloe Moretz (in a big brotherly way, perverts) and I want to see the town-leveling carnage from the source novel that was left out of the De Palma film for reasons of budget/technology. I agree that the trailer looks entirely generic and is just a mixtape of all the iconic moments from the original. I’m surprised it didn’t end with Carrie’s hand popping out of the grave.

    There better be a sped-up tux-trying-on montage, though. That’s all I’m saying.

  91. A couple weeks ago the MST3K dickheads rifftrax’d STARSHIP TROOPERS.
    Last year TOTAL RECALL 2012 became a thing that exists.

    How is this even possible? How is it tolerated by us as a society?

    And now fucking ROBOCOP. Maybe I’m guilty of some level of hypocrisy, b/c I support some remakes & re-adaptations, but this has got to stop. What did Verhoeven do to deserve this? What did ROBOCOP do to deserve this?

    We don’t slap a pair of sunglasses on the chick in The Mona Lisa, ship her to galleries across the US, and expect people to line up & pay $10 a pop to check her out. It would be a horrible, nonsensical business model, except that it already happens in gaudy, horrifying gift shops. If you wanna see The Mona Lisa, you go to the Louvre or you settle for seeing one of the excellent reproductions. If you want to see ROBOCOP, you buy or rent the disc, or you organize a real film screening, or you stream it, or you record it off Cinemax.

    What you don’t do is make a new, completely separate movie that steals ROBOCOP’s ideas & bastardizes ROBOCOP’s central character and call your movie “Robocop.”

    Call it something else.

    ROBOCOP is an Asylum Mockbuster, 27 years late to the party.

    Samuel Jackson, Gary Oldman, Abbie Cornish, Jose Padilha, etc. are now in the Mockbuster business. They have skipped the part of their career trajectory where they’re supposed to team up with 50 Cent and Christian Slater for [half-]shitty dtv-ers that only Vern reviews with more than 3 serious sentences and they’ve gone straight to the bottom of the fucking barrel with the worst widely released movies made today.

    This is LADY TERMINATOR without the cheap, bizarre charm.
    This is that shot-for-shot kiddie remake of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, except this time it’s being done purely for money & intellectual property rights.

    This is a Weinsteinization of ROBOCOP, an awesome beautiful perfection from a different place (1987), but now being imported with “tweaks” and “updates” and “dubbing” and “a new horrible soundtrack” and “different editing to make it ‘palatable’ for a different, presumably much stupider audience.”

    Some things just shouldn’t be.

    Not only should that title not be on top of the real movie’s title, the top title shouldn’t exist.
    Later I’m gonna make a new Mona Lisa by scrawling ketchup around my plate with a stiff french fry, but I don’t expect my Mona Lisa to supplant the real Mona Lisa in google search results, and I don’t expect to separate rubes from their money with my piece of shit ripoff.

  92. Well, there was pretty much nothing in that trailer that made me want to go see the film. I really don’t see the point of turning this character into a machine and still let him have normal human interactions with his family. What I love about the original is that it’s the story of a man who becomes a machine who becomes a man. Whereas this guy seems to be a guy who got all fucked up in an explosion and is now mostly a robot but can still say things like “What did you do to me?” and shit. And then he puts his helmet on and gets on his bike and shoots people. Fuck this guy. Watching Peter Weller slowly rediscover his humanity, while at the same time never really being able to get it back because he is a dead guy who got turned into a robot is incredibly moving and interesting character shit. I don’t see anything that smart happening here.

  93. Now I’m gonna be a hypocrite because I kind of liked TOTAL REMAKE. Yes, it was the same basic story minus all of the interesting parts (Mars, mutants, ambiguity) except for the ones that are homaged badly (Triple-breasted hooker, fat lady mask, no Johnny Cab, surprisingly) but goddamn, Mr. Beckinsale knows his way around an action scene. There’s real ingenuity and craft in all the running/jumping/shooting/kicking scenes (of which there are a ton) and their sense of rhythm and dynamicism makes the movie worth the time, simply as an action showcase. Plus, while I have been quoted numerous times as hating Kate Beckinsale, I have to say she turned me around on this one. It was the remake’s one genius move to combine Michael Ironside and Sharon Stone, and it’s like Beckinsale was let out of acting jail after years of being boring leading ladies and love interests. She’s absolutely GREAT as a gleefully evil bitch who’s seemingly invincible out of pure meanness. As a heroine, she’s a wash, but I think she’s got a real future in villainy.

  94. My hypocrisy knows few bounds, as I’ve also been on the record as liking most of TOTAL RECALL, for all the reasons my fellow hypocrite Verhoeven fan mentioned above, with the exception that the tri-mammaried chica part was excellent, especially in a, sigh, PG-13 film.

    If it had had a different title and if I could remember anything about what happened in the unfortunate final 20 minutes of TOTAL RECALL, it’d be a pretty good movie.

    For some reason I’m able to compartmentalize some remakes & titles separate from their mothermovies. Maybe in this case b/c it was just a new take on an old book, which was the mother of the first TOTAL RECALL.

  95. I watched “The Thing” (2011) and enjoyed it. Yes, I thought it was competent. Mostly.

    So I, too, am guilty of hypocrisy on occasions. I will pretty much see ANY new bodyshock horror movie, no matter what the reviews say, and I will almost always enjoy them to some degree. (This explains why I liked “The World’s End”, while the friend I went with, who’s a fan of both “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz”, hated it.) So that’s what it takes to make me betray my own principles and go into a cinema for a “reboot”, prequel, or re-imagining.

  96. But, although I haven’t seen TOTAL REBOOT, and never will, ever – I do agree with Mouth about this modern trend of giving “reboots” the same name as the original movie. Couldn’t they just have called it “Robocop: Regeneration” or “Robocop: the beginning” or something?

  97. What kind of joyless fuck could hate THE WORLD’S END? (Asks the guy who hated PACIFIC RIM—twice.)

    Am I the first one to call the alleged motion picture that started this discussion REBOOTCOP?

  98. You kinda lost me with “It’s Dredd-bad”, Paul.

    But yes, you’re right about that Carrie remake looking dull as shit. They should have cast Saoirse Ronan. She’s got those alien-like blue eyes, just like Sissy Spacek (the scariest thing about the original film was, after all, her freaky appearance and eerie performance).

    Also, Chloe’s cool, but Saoirse is a much better actress. She could be the new Cate Blanchett.

  99. I wish Hollywood would get over this remake trend and start getting into high quality knock-offs. I’ll take a good knock-off over a reboot any day.

    It’ll be so much fun. We could have a Batman knock-off character, a Conan clone, a Terminator rip-off. You can explore and expand on all the ideas and themes developed by the original films/characters, but without threatening their legacy or credibility.

    It’s worked with all those Die Hard rip-offs.

  100. Knox – don’t get me wrong, I kinda loved “Dredd”. It was the marketing I couldn’t stand. I almost didn’t see it because of 1) the fact that it was only shown in 3D, and 2) the fact that the trailer made the film look really terrible, when in fact it was very good.

    And although I didn’t particularly enjoy “Prometheus”, I was specifically referring to the marketing of that one as well.

    And I definitely prefer your idea of knock-off culture. Without Die Hard knockoffs, we wouldn’t have “Gridlock” starring David Hasselhoff. And then where would we be? (More seriously, we probably wouldn’t have “Under Siege 2” either. But let’s give the Hoff his due.)

  101. Majestyk, in answer to your question – pretty much everybody who’s seen “The World’s End” bar me and you, apparently. I don’t know a single person in real life who liked that film, and the Internet generally doesn’t seem too fond of it either. I’ve seen opinions ranging from “Meh, it’s not as good as Hot Fuzz / Shaun of the Dead” to “It was flat-out terrible”. A lot of people really, really hated Pegg’s character as well (my friend was one of those). That’s the trouble when you have a character who’s specifically designed to be annoying to the other characters. You have to make sure they’re not also annoying to the audience. Although for the life of me I don’t see how he’s any worse than pretty much ANY of the main characters in “Shaun of the Dead”, in particular Nick Frost.

    Speaking of him, though, I do appreciate that Frost has gone from being a schlubby loser in “Shain of the Dead”, to wannabe-badass in “Hot Fuzz”, to actual badass in “The World’s End”. That first scene where he gets to do an overhead backbreaker on a robot teenager had me grinning from ear to ear.

  102. Count me in for liking THE WORLD’S END. It’s not my favorite of the three, but it was still good. I liked the role reversal of Pegg playing the screw up & Frost the long suffering friend. I don’t know how you could not smile at his back breaking a robot teenager.

  103. “I do agree with Mouth about this modern trend of giving “reboots” the same name as the original movie. Couldn’t they just have called it “Robocop: Regeneration” or “Robocop: the beginning” or something?”

    Wait. Since when give they reBOOTS the same names as the originals? They only do this with reMAKES.* Remember: A Reboot is a sequel or prequel, that totally screws with the continuity of the series, while obviously still taking place in the same one. (Casino Royale, X-Men Babies…).

    A reMAKE on the other hand IS a previous story told again, although maybe completely different. But it tries to be a stand alone movie. So why should they give TOTAL RECALL, CARRIE or ROBOCOP different names, if they don’T want to be part of the previous series? Can you imagine every stage director had to rename ROMEO & JULIA, whenever he decides to put it on stage?

    *In fact: THE THING and SHAFT might be the only cases where they made a prequel or sequel and gave it the same name as part one. And because of that, people still think that these two are remakes.

  104. I like the trailers to both Dredd and Prometheus. In Dredd’s case, the film turned out to be even better than the trailer. With Prometheus, though… ouch. That trailer had me hook, line and sinker, which probably made the meh-ness of the film even more disappointing. Anyway…

    You know what I think Pegg’s problem is? Somewhere along the line he’s forgotten that he’s actually the straight man.

  105. Why would you wanna rename Romeo & Julia?

  106. (I meant ROMEO & JULIET btw. JULIA is how she is named in Germany.)

    Because basically every new stage show of R&J is a remake and according to Paul, remakes need subtiles like ROMEO & JULIET: DEATH OF TRUE LOVE or ROMEO & JULIET: RISE OF THE CARPULETS or ROMEO & JULIET: PORT OF CALL NEW ORLEANS.

  107. I think it’s a good idea to change the title a bit. Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans is my idea of what a remake should be. You take the basic premise, maybe some of the details, but you do your own thing with it (including, contributing to the title).

    I hate it when people ask me “Have you seen The Thing?”, and I have to ask which one.

  108. CJ – oops. I meant remakes, of course. Although if you want to go into specifics, “Casino Royale” is BOTH a remake and a reboot.

    And I would lose my shit for “ROMEO & JULIET: RISE OF THE CRAPULETS.”

  109. Honestly, I thought remakes and reboots were the same damn thing. Didn’t Tim Burton call his Planet of the Apes a reboot? Isn’t that where this reboot shit started?

  110. Remake tends to refer to taking ONE film, and redoing it, and there’s often a closer resemblance to the original. Reboot on the other hand seems to generally be used for franchises, and can stray a bit more.

  111. I thought a reboot was a relaunching of a series, or a character, that was putting its own spin on it without repeating the same story. Like BATMAN BEGINS was a reboot of the Batman franchise, but not a remake of the Tim Burton BATMAN. A remake would be like the upcoming CARRIE.

  112. I think this remake has the same problem that hurt DREDD, which is that its set in a cultural zeitgeist of a generation ago. I mean in the 1980s, there was this pretty popular idea about crime being out of control and we need “strong” action against this out of control scum. But now (in America at least) with crime rates dropping over the last decade and the NRA only in the news when they ask for more guns whenever a school shooting happens…how can people relate to this story on a gut punch level?

    I have this question: Will this remake actually have things to say about our modern world and times, or will it be just an adventure?

  113. Good points RRA. But if you read the recent LA Times interview with Padilha it’s pretty clear that the movie is dealing with different and more contemporary issues than the original. Warning: he says a little more about what the movie is about than I wanted to know. But it sounds interesting and he’s clearly a smart guy.


  114. Knox: Actually Burton called it a “Re-imagination”. I think the whole Reboot crap didn’t start until CASINO ROYALE.

  115. Once I’m King of Hollywood, I’m gonna make a “Re-Dream” of Short Circuit, in which Johnny Five gets one of those sex helmets from Demolition Man and uses it on Ally Sheedy, now played by a younger motion-captured version of the older Ally Sheedy. It’ll be all about the sexual tension between man and machine, but ironical (as the kids would say), since the human is represented by a dead-eyed, computer generated sex doll lookalike. That Indian kid from The Big Bang Theory will play that Indian guy with the beard. It’s gonna be a trilogy.

  116. Definitely agree on the title business. If they changed the name at least I would know that I’m on the same page as other people when I’m talking to them, instead of “Man, that Assault on precinct 13 theme has been playing on a loop in my head for three days straight.”, “Don’t remember it, but Ethan Hawke was pretty good in that film.”, “WHAT?!”

    Robocop 2.0 looks like the usual plain, vanilla, generic, business as usual. More action, less effect. I am guessing there will be lots of explosions that make little impact. No “heeeeeeellllp meeeeee, blaaarrrrgggghh” toxic waste fun, etc. I’m guessing, since Sam Jackson is rocking an odd combover he’ll be the Dick Jones replacement, as his characters’ villain status tend to be supplemented by an interesting hair choice.

    I don’t mind the black armour. It makes more sense than the shiny, hey-look-at-me, easily to-aim-at chrome. Disappointed by Keaton doing Creator duties. I was looking forward to him being a Clarence Boddicker-type bad guy.

  117. Knox – Yeah, I absolutely hate directors always trying to say their remake is not a remake. (I feel they’re contractually obliged to say that stuff, see also: “This time we’re sticking closer to the source material”) Probably the worst case is Richard Linklater’s “remix” (his words) of The Bad News Bears – hardly anything was changed, and what was changed was made worse. The whole thing wasn’t bad, just incredibly forgettable – I had actually forgotten this movie existed until your “re-dream” joke.

    I was going to say a movie probably counts as a reboot if there’s a sequel involved. For instance, Rob Zombie’s Halloween was a reboot because it spawned his own Halloween II. But the Jackie Earle Haley Nightmare on Elm Street only counts as a remake because it didn’t spawn shit. Then again, I just realized I consider Sum of All Fears the first modern reboot because it set the Casino Royale template of going back to a character’s early days while still being set in present day. And that didn’t spawn any sequels, so I guess the definition is still flexible.

    By the way, I like how Ben Affleck rebooted both Jack Ryan as a younger man than the last guy, and will now reboot Batman as an older man than the last guy. That’s got to be a first.

  118. I wonder what the next Verheoeven remake is going to be. BASIC INSTINCT with Amber Heard in the Sharon Stone role and Robert Downey, Jr. as the new Michael Douglas? STARSHIP TROOPERS with a special appearance by Ian McKellen as the Brain Bug? SHOWGIRLS starring Channing Tatum as a transgendered stripper to greatly appeal to the LGBT community? or was that already MAGIC MIKE?

  119. Broddie:

    “STARSHIP TROOPERS with a special appearance by Ian McKellen as the Brain Bug?”

    No. No, it won’t be. Much like “Rise of the Crapulets”, an actual remake-slash-reboot will never come close to that level of insanity. Unfortunately.

    I now wish that CJ and Broddie were, in fact, the king and queen (don’t ask me which is which) of Hollywood.

  120. Paul – Only if I get to wield a trident and you become our court jester.

  121. RRA – I don’t know anything about the Robocop remake, but you think it was cultural irrelevancy that hurt “Dredd”? I think there are a few less esoteric explanations as to why Dredd didn’t do so well:

    1) In a lot of places (at least, anywhere in Wales, and I’ve heard similar things from other Europeans) it was only available in 3D. Clearly this isn’t a film aimed at families with young kids who want to try something new, which is really the only market I can see 3D succeeding in right now. It was aimed at a more mature audience, much like many of the people who read Vern’s site and maybe post their comments on it; and speaking for myself and what I’d imagine is a pretty high percentage of that audience, we don’t WANT to pay extra for a 3D experience which many of us perceive as worse than 2D anyway!

    2) The trailer – with all deference to Knox here – was terrible. It told me almost nothing about the movie itself, picked every line that was cliche’d, gave away far too much of the plot, and made the lead female (actually very good in the film itself) look like the most annoying character ever. Basically it did a fantastic job of putting me off, even making me doubt the numerous recommendations it had had from Vern and various commentators on this site. And again – the trailer might have sold Knox on the film, but clearly (from the sales figures) it didn’t do the job for many other people.

    And if it’s really a question of cultural irrelevancy then I could name a few films that should’ve absolutely bombed, but in reality did very well. What about the “War of the Worlds” remake? The original explicitly tied itself to fears about Russian nuclear strikes. I would imagine that that fear is probably no longer prevalent in the American mass cinemagoing audience. And how was “Brokeback Mountain” so popular with a lot of people who were neither gay nor cowboys / shepherds? (Seriously, my mother – a suburb-dweller from a large town in Wales – loves that film.) Why did those films succeed when “Dredd” failed?

    Good marketing can overcome “cultural irrelevancy”. Look at “Thor”, which had the double-whammy of the whole “Avengers” tie-in (mostly kept to more specialised marketing directed at the hardcore comic book geeks) and the more mainstream promise of small-town America getting invaded by alien Vikings (directed at pretty much anybody else). I would say that probably a lot more people had heard of Judge Dredd than Thor, at least before their respective films came out (although given the previous “Judge Dredd”, that might actually have worked against “Dredd” in the marketing stakes.) They could’ve made the world look interesting, they could’ve made the characters look interesting, they could have put the focus more on the interesting story that they had to tell… but they FAILED to do this. And that’s why the film bombed.

  122. Paul – Those are good points, not to mention that (1) Americans don’t know the Judge Dredd comic book character, (2) If they did, its from the Stallone movie, and (3) most folks fucking hated that Stallone movie.

    And then look back at 1987 when ROBOCOP came out. No stars, an original property, yet it was a hit that spawned sequels. Sure it was a great fucking movie, but DREDD (if not as good) was still pretty good too yet it tanked. ROBOCOP was a story made for its time back in the day when the market was flooded with maverick/super cops out to right the wrongs and shoot criminals. Dirty Harry, Above the Law/Out for Justice, Lethal Weapon, etc. Thats’ what people wanted to see, and ROBOCOP’s genius was among other things to bring in liberals with its commentary/anti-corporate politics and of course the sci-fi element.

    Now do people automatically see that same premise and say “I gotta see it!”? Or put my “cultural irrelevancy” argument to another recent example, RED DAWN. The original came out during the Cold War, when people truely believed that WW3 could very well happen between the global superpowers. Not to mention this happened during Soviets’ invasion of Afghanistan, John Milius took the premise of that happening in America. A (then) topical pitch.

    Then for the “contemporary” remake, well its not like we’re scared to fucking death of North Korea invading America. Nobody takes them seriously as a threat. Hell as much as I despise Putin’s Russia personally, why would they invade America in the remake? Nobody bought it. (It also bombed because nobody liked it.)

    Also trying to argue for relevancy with THOR is pointless because its part of the current superhero/comic book movie trend that’s dominated Hollywood for well over a decade now. Give him a cape, a superpower, and smashing shit, you have a potential mainstream audience for you right there. The Marvel/Avengers/plot you bring up also did work in its favor.

  123. it would be hilarious to see Hollywood try to make BASIC INSTINCT without any nudity (just like they’re going to try to make FIFTY SHADES OF GREY PG-13, just wait and see)

  124. Why is everyone saying this is PG-13? It hasn’t offically been rated yet and there have been several articles from the producers saying they are going for an R rating.

  125. RRA – I kinda half agree with you. “Thor”, obviously, I agree on. And “Robocop” was a product of its time, which explains its popularity back then (although it’s just as popular now, which I guess is why so many people are worked up about this whole reboot business). “Red Dawn” I haven’t seen, and to be honest I barely even noticed it existed. I wasn’t a fan of the first movie (much like “Dredd” in fact) and I never really had any expectations about the second one, so… cultural irrelevancy leading to consumer apathy, or just that nobody expected it to be any good? Not sure on that one. Clearly the people marketing the film couldn’t find an audience for it, so I’m inclined to agree with you there.

    “Dredd”, though, was a very good film that had a chance to cash in on being part of that self-same superhero/comic-book movie trend that “Thor” was. I feel as though it had almost the same advantages as “Thor” did and that there was a huge audience just waiting to see it. And the marketing (plus the 3D dependency, although I have no idea how universal that was) just put that audience off. Plainly it was a much grittier, more realistic take than the whole “Vikings invade small-town America” angle, and it also had to contend with the Stallone movie’s legacy. Even given those factors though, I think it could’ve been far, far more successful than it actually was, if it had been marketed correctly. Don’t suppose we’ll ever know if I’m right about that one. It’s just depressing that a film as good as “Dredd” got stuck with the legacy of “dud”.

  126. Come on Paul, surely you didn’t miss that the WAR OF THE WORLDS remake is specifically about the post-9/11 fear of terrorist attacks. If anything it’s a great example of taking an outdated premise and updating it to reflect modern culture.

    As for REBOOTCOP, don’t freak out yet people. It’s a trailer for a big-budget action movie; these things come off an assembly line, all edited and paced exactly the same way, with anything new or different tamped down so that audiences won’t get scared off. They’re commercials trying to cast as wide a net as possible. Contents may vary.

    I threw spoiler-warnings to the wind and read that interview with Padhila. I’m glad I did because it was quite heartening, although I’m convinced that you just can’t effectively address the kinds of things he wants to address in a PG-13 context. It sanitises it. It makes it “fun”. You need to kick people in the balls.

    Does anyone else get the feeling that the family stuff with the more “human” take on RoboCop is going to end up pretty boring? I thought the sympathetic Frankenstein’s monster of the original was way more interesting. I’ll always remember the scene in ROBOCOP when he takes off his helmet for the first time and you see that gross skin stretched over his face. You realise that there’s barely anything left of the poor guy. Or that sad scene in ROBOCOP 2 where they force him to admit to his wife that he’s a machine “They made this to honour him. I don’t know you!”

  127. CH – I haven’t seen the “War of the Worlds” remake, so I don’t know if terrorism is explicitly mentioned or blamed for the alien invasion. If so, ignore my point here as it relates to that specific movie.

    My point is that people said exactly the same thing about movies as diverse as “Cloverfield” and “Spiderman 2”, and honestly in both cases I thought it was pretty ridiculous. People have been making disaster movies with similar themes decades before that, and I suspect they’ll be doing the same thing decades afterwards.

    I mean, compare these recent movies that are supposedly “about” 9-11 and compare them to some of the horror movies of, say, the fifties and sixties. Many, many of them dealt with the fear of nuclear apocalypse or the after-effects of a nuclear strike. Some dealt directly with the idea of a Russian invasion. Nowadays, if anything, horror movies have grown LESS likely to use stereotypical Arab terrorists as villains (and don’t get me wrong, I like “True Lies”, but it was hardly the most racially-sensitive film out there). There’s far, far more of a likelihood of a single Arab character who’s the red-herring suspect (which might be even more racist than having them as the full-on villains, given the frequency with which this has happened in film recently; but that’s a subject for another debate.)

    Anyway, during the Cold War era, movies that dealt with the topic often had the fears people had of nuclear apocalypse shown front and centre. But when you’re talking about alien movies, you have to guess at metaphors. Again, I don’t know if terrorism is explicitly mentioned in WotW, but when it comes to some of the other movies that are supposed to be “about 9-11”, I’m reminded of the journalist who interviewed J R R Tolkien and made the point that he thought the “one ring” was a metaphor for the atom bomb, before Tolkien reminded him that the atom bomb hadn’t even been invented when “Lord of the Rings” was released.

  128. I went to see RIDDICK today. When the first frame of what I correctly assumed was the REBOOTCOP trailer came on, I closed my eyes and blasted my iPod for the duration. I remain pure.

    I’m gonna beat this thing. I just need to stay strong.

  129. Paul: Yeah, it is specifically mentioned (didn’t you read either of Vern’s reviews?), but even if it wasn’t it’s clear that the imagery and POV is specifically chosen to evoke 9/11. Spielberg himself has said so. Same deal with CLOVERFIELD. Whether the movie has something to say about that tragedy or whether it’s just exploiting the imagery to provoke an emotional response, I guess that’s a different question, but it’s preying on the fears and emotions of the public the same way 50s/60s drive-in movies did with giant irradiated ants.

    I don’t agree with you about Cold War sci-fi, a lot of it was very metaphorical. INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, for instance, or THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL. Yes, those movies can and have been updated to reflect the tension of the times. That’s what’s awesome about horror and sci-fi. As for the reluctance of filmmakers to use Arab terrorists, that should be obvious. We’ve come along way over the last 50 years and audiences are less willing to tolerate films that prey on those sorts of harmful stereotypes.

    Majestyk: Stay strong, brother. And thanks for “REBOOTCOP”.

  130. CH:

    “Yeah, it is specifically mentioned (didn’t you read either of Vern’s reviews?)”

    I apologise to Vern about this one. I completely missed that.

    “Same deal with CLOVERFIELD”.

    Ok, the only thing the event from “Cloverfield” has in common with 9-11 is that they both seemingly came out of nowhere and shocked the people caught up in them. If the makers of “Cloverfield” actually made that particular comparison then to be honest it kinda makes me like the movie a little less in retrospect.

  131. So…Mr Majestyk is sitting in the movie theatre with his iPod plugged in?

  132. He’s discovered half the key to tolerating the existence of ROBOCOP, which is to pretend that it is nothing but a more violent than usual half-Daft Punk music video to which one must bring his/her own musical score.

  133. Finally got around to seeing the new Robocop trailer and I actually kinda liked it this time. There seems to be a ton of big-budget action, what they show of it seems well done, and again, after the trailers for the Carrie remake confirmed they were not doing a single thing different, it’s actually nice to see a remake that doesn’t seem to carry over a single scene or character or even any injoke/homages from the original. Sure, i’d rather see this thing not exist, but if you have to remake it, this seems to be the best possible way to do it. (again, if this was simply called Robocop 2.0 or Reloaded and Kinnaman was playing some guy who was not Alex Murphy I’d be down with this a lot more)

    Also, IMDB says Miguel Ferrer is in this (not as Bob Morton though), which makes me happy. Rewatching the real one last night, I dug how awesome the character of Bob Morton is. He’s a sleazy ass but he’s likable and you root for him and from what I read he was supposed to be played as a prick until Ferrer suggested they make him more likable. The King Lear-esque stuff with him and Jones and The Old Man is never boring and as many times as I’ve seen this classic I never want to fast forward through those corporate scenes, which is amazing in itself.

    And while everyone now is trying to be cute with Marvel-esque Easter Egg cross-universe wink-nudges or fucking SLUSHO or whatever, I like that Robocop doesn’t need that shit and has it’s own damn easter eggs. Like where the city hall hostage-taker demands that same car we see on the commercial (which the gang later steals and Boddicker blows up), or where the rich and poor characters alike watch the same lowbrow shit on TV and smug yuppies blurt out “I’d buy that for a dollar!” like a proto “I’m Rick James, bitch!”. The world-building in this movie is awesome.

  134. Miguel’s pretty fantastic, in a lot of what I’ve seen him in. I’m surprised he hasn’t popped up on shows like BREAKING BAD or JUSTIFIED yet. He’s great in TRAFFIC, and an episode of ER where he plays a man learning he’s dying with Clooney (his real life cousin) telling him the news. Hell, I even thought he was good in BLANK CHECK.

    Vern took it a bit easy on the ROBOCOP 2. I watched it a few weeks ago and it’s as terrible as I’d always remembered it to be.


    Oddly enough I found this review which I’m more sympathetic with on my Twitter feed the next morning.

  135. The beauty of Miguel Ferrer’s acting style is that he walks the line between slimey and elegant VERY well.

    Christopher Walken’s also done it on more than a few occasions, but still… not quite the same.

  136. “Miguel’s pretty fantastic, in a lot of what I’ve seen him in. I’m surprised he hasn’t popped up on shows like BREAKING BAD or JUSTIFIED yet.”

    I don’t discriminate the average network show for not being as award worthy as many of those (premium) cable shows, but I recently wondered too why he is so busy with showing up in shows like NCIS LA, but never in one of the ones that would give him more acclaim, like the ones you mentioned. Shit, he would even fit into GAME OF THRONES!

  137. You get what you can get, I understand that much. And I’ll cop to discriminating, especially when it comes to network crime dramas but at least he’s getting proper exposure since CBS is on top right now. Isn’t he also doing voice-overs for Ford or someone?

  138. He’s doing voice-overs? God, I hope not. He always sounds like he’s draping one arm over your shoulder like he’s your new best friend, yet the hand of the other arm is holding a switchblade, and he’s about to stab you in the throat.

    That’s his gift, and his curse. No gettin’ around it.

  139. Vern should update his amazon links and y’all should update your dvd/blu-ray collections:


    Only $8 right now, not too bad, “I’d buy that for eight dollars!” and so on etc..

  140. Will be seeing ROBOCOP tomorrow. I refuse to be a dumbnut naysayer until I have actually seen it. I really love the cast and just the opportunity to see something like this is just to dumb to pass on. My hopes are high.

    I probably not have any high hopes as I have a record of being Negavtivity-Tron (Total Recall 2011) so I will leave judgment until watching it. The idea of refusing or rebuting the movie without seeing it is a childish and immature move on my part. A pure cinephile would actually give this movie the benefit of a doubt. Can´t wait to see it though.

  141. Just disregard the oxymoron of my previous statement it made no sense. I do have high hopes.

  142. Also, ROBOCOP is swedish. THAT is fucking awesome!

  143. Shoot – “DIN FLYTTA KRYPNING”

  144. Darren- I do not understand that at all. Seems like swedish gibberish. Sorry.

  145. Damn translator!

  146. “Din drag kryp”? – it doesn’t matter, I fuckin killed it anyaway…

  147. Darren- don´t trust Google translate. It fucks all kind of shit up.

  148. Save my ignorant arse and translate ‘ Your move creep” for me

  149. NOW I get it!. Now it makes sense. Hahaha!

  150. To be honest, it was my ass being slow and ignorant. I shoukd have got it earlier.But,hell that is how shit goes.

  151. In swedish it would have gone something like :” Din tur, din jävel”, or something like it. Very hard to translate precisley

  152. Well that sounds pretty cool. The Aussie version would be “COME ON COCKSUCKER!”, or ” HAVE A GO, MATE”. Yeah. Right. Somehow the badassness gets lost in translation.

  153. Dubbed to Norwegian he would probably say; Kom igjen, svenskejævel!

  154. No he wouldn´t.

  155. I’m sorry Shoot, I just wanted to see the google translate Version. It was a lot worse.

  156. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nbehua5MhO8

    Mark Kermode possibly allays our fears and hatreds.

  157. Robocop: The Remake has opened here in South Africa today and I can’t go see it! Goddamn work. Hopefully Sunday.

    By the way, Avengers 2 will be shooting up in Joburg for a couple of weeks this month. Wish I was there.

    Oh, and “Your move, creep” in Afrikaans would be “Boeta, vir jou bliksem ek dat jy blink.” I took some creative license.

  158. I´m not sure I´ll trust Kermode. He has said things before that I just can´t agree with on any level.

  159. In a few hours time I will know how much of a timewaster this thing is.

  160. Good luck to all of you that are actually going to watch the remake. Hope you get to make the best of it.

  161. I wouldn´t recommend anyone seeing ROBOCOP 2014 in theatres as its inoffensive blandness is almost offensive. There sure are bits and pieces I liked about it, but the overall impression was generic pointless remake I am said to say. Joel Kinneman is very good as Murphy and the supporting cast is as reliable as one would expect. And its also not entirely humourless, there are a couple of funny moments with Sam Jackson as an increibly biased news anchor. bUt I thought it was unengaging and in places a bit overwritten compared to the sleak narrative of the original. It is not an entirely worthless movie and it is fun it is quite different from the original in several ways, but for the most part not very fun.

  162. I won’t go see the new Robocop remake. But I am about 20 minutes into this and it is largely entertaining:


    There’s one part, later on, that I saw yesterday that was one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a long while.

  163. Casey- Watching that now, thanks. Pretty good so far, and hey, the guy playing Dick Jones in the ED 209 introduction scene was in last the season of JUSTIFIED.

  164. Anyone ever see the Canadian Robocop TV series? It’s not bad. It’s on DVD and may still be on Netflix.

  165. Casey I KNOW you are referring to the endless parade of exploding dicks. I won’t ask you where you were pointed to that scene, it’ll be our little secret.

    Sucks that Padilha didn’t get to do the Robocop remake he wanted. Could’ve been something special.

  166. I have seen the first episode of the PRIME DIRECTIVE miniseries and that was surprisingly good despite its cheap look.

  167. PRIME DIRECTIVES seemed short-lived, only 4 episodes I think? The DVD’s selling for peanuts at my local retailer, I might pick it up. Does anyone know if it’s closer to Verhoeven’s aesthetic’s or the blander more sanitized sequels?

    Haven’t seen the reboot but I’m not hearing anything that’s gonna make me queue up for a ticket.

  168. It seems there was a 1988 spin-off series of ROBOCOP also.

  169. Verhoeven’s original ROBOCOP is awesome by the way. I miss the Mad Dutchman. He’s like the prophet/evangelist who comes down from the mountain after being in another dimension, and then proceeds to shake things up. Hollywood’s real boring without him.

  170. I might add something I just remembered: Robo has two different suits in the remake, one that resemble the original design (with a terrible looking visor though) and the black suit that everyone has seen from stills and trailers and then it changes back. Feels a bit weird and indecisive from the filmmakers part; on the one hand acknowledging the originals iconic design and catering to fans of the original while also trying to do something else. The whole film suffers from what other remakes suffers from. An inability to to something original and trying to live up to expectations set from a previous source material. And that is why I think it falls between two chairs.

  171. Never saw PRIME DIRECTIVES but I did see the first few episodes of that live action ROBOCOP TV series back when it first aired and they were even worse than ROBOCOP 3.

  172. Darren, he made a new film last year. This particular critic (who I believe is a fan of Robocop, Total Recall, Starship Troopers, etc) didn’t care for it though.


  173. Not a glowing review, but like he said, Verhoeven’s films are usually re-appraised and more valued decades down the track, so who knows? I’ll see it if I can. In the mean-time I’ll just have to watch SHOWGIRLS for the 12th time. And that’s not a complaint.

  174. I’ve only seen like the last 20 minutes of the final PRIME DIRECTIVES episode, and it’s pretty terrible. Cliches all over the place, terrible acting, and it looks like what would have happened if Ed Wood directed BLADE RUNNER.

  175. “…if Ed Wood directed BLADE RUNNER.”

    Hmm…now I’m interested.

  176. That might even be an insult to Ed, actually. What I saw of it was bland as hell, custom-made for the Sci-Fi Channel.

    Anyway, if anyone wants to see a good movie this weekend, I fully recommend THE MONUMENTS MEN. Not sure why I understand the lukewarm reviews, but critics can be a fickle bunch (Vern excluded).

  177. The PRIME DIRECTIVE is cheaplooking made for tv with lousy 90´s television VFX and is pretty awkward. But the episodes I have seen are still solid entertainment and some of the commercials and newsreporting are pretty funny. Just don´t expect topnotch quality.

  178. Ed is above insult.

  179. Just got back from watching Robocop 2.0.

    I liked it. It’s pretty standard blockbuster fare, but they went out of their way to not neglect any of the political statements, satire and man vs machine themes. I think quite a bit of thought went into it, and if Padilha got his way it would probably have been even more fleshed out. Kinnaman is good, Keaton’s good, Oldman’s good, Jackson’s good.

    Yeah, there’s nothing horrible about this movie at all, and I sure don’t mind its existence. Robocop has always been franchise material. We’ve had Robocop sequels, Robocop cartoons, Robocop video games, Robocop comics, Robocop the TV show. So I really don’t mind this remake. And the classic original is still here, and still one of my all time favourite films.

    So, in other words: Calm down, internet movie geeks. It’s not like they’re making a sequel to Blade Runner or something.

  180. “There is nothing horrible about this movie at all”.

    Yeah, that sums it up, but it is also surprising how little of the movie I actually remember. It does not bring any new iconic imagery or moments to the franchise and suffers from a distinct personality. A problem with many remakes is (for some reason) the need for inter textual components. The poorly reused original score and lame tacked on lines from the original that only resulted in moaning from my part. I felt this movie lacked the confidence in trying to be more different than it actually was and I feel that the least memorable remakes suffers from the same thing..

    ROBOCOP 2014 is not a terrible movie at all.It had one or two funny moments with Sam Jackson. But it was mostly just…dull. But I guess it´s fine. It certainly did not rape my childhood or anything. I hope somebody likes it.Someone who can appreciate or at least tolerate mediocrity more than me.

  181. I like ROBOCOP much more than BLADE RUNNER. But I would never watch a remake of either.

  182. Do either of you think that it actually being R-Rated would genuinely improve it? And how on the nose does the satire seem? Because I know the film deals with US foreign wars and drones by…showing US foreign wars and drones and going “that’s” bad, whereas the original seemed to skewer its targets by cartoonishly glorifying them to a degree that you got how ridiculous it was.

  183. I don´t see how it would improve the version we have. I didn´t find the movie as satirical as the original. It´s much more straight faced when it comes to its political statements and the overall tone as well. At least that´s what I recall (not total, since I barely remember much of it).

  184. Stu, a big reason for my love of the original is its brilliant gore, which itself becomes an aspect of the satire and cartoony nature of the film. The remake doesn’t really have that quality to it, and I seriously doubt that making it R-rated would have contributed anything to this version. There was never really a moment where I thought “If only this wasn’t PG-13”.

    Almost all of the satire comes from the Sam Jackson bits, and it’s more focused on corporate hypocrisy.

    It’s a much different approach. Look, you’re pretty much gonna get what you saw in the trailers, with a few pleasant surprises here and there. It’s not even a contender to the original, but we all knew that from the start. The new one’s biggest weakness is that it has a pretty dull ending, which is kinda disappointing when you consider that the original has one of the best last acts in a film ever.

  185. Shoot – if the Total Recall pun in your last sentence was intentional, then its pretty funny. If it wasn’t intentional, it’s fuckin hilarious!

    I will know for sure if your next post says something like the storyline in Robocop was basic, but with a good instinct for character development.

  186. Darren- Some might say the plot,is hollow,man. And that it didn´t have enough of the flesh and blood of the original

  187. I think this attraction to puns will prove a fatal mistake.

  188. I take great delight in these puns without being turkish.

  189. Adrian Lynne directed FATAL ATTRACTION, Stu. It was indecent of you to propose that it was a Verhoeven film.

  190. Those kinds of instincts are fatal, but i can see the basic attraction.

  191. Yeah, that is like the book that I read, that was all black.

    I suck. *leaves room and cries LIKE A MAN*

  192. It’s ok CJ, you were tricked into this and youre the fourth man to have a crack at it. Just get in earlier next time so you don’t cough and spetter to the finish line. Otherwise you can just show all the girls what you wrote.

  193. Majestyk- I simply wasn’t confining myself to Verhoeven films, but okay, I’ll try to right the ship and be more of a star, like the rest of you troopers.

  194. Well guys,it´s been pun. But business is business and like a good soldier it´s time to move on. No more oranges to pick here.

  195. I actually googled Fatal Mistake and wish Paul Verhoeven had actually made that movie.

  196. I just saw the remake and what do you know? It turns out it’s a pretty good flick. The action was good (especially the shootout in the dark), the cast was great, and the satire of our media, foreign policy and political climate was on the nose. The script was surprisingly good (which is unusual for a big-budget Hollywood blockbuster) believably updating the premise for modern times. Alex Murphy’s character is much more humanized since he doesn’t have his memory wiped like in the original and he actually has to come to terms with what he has become and try to return to some sort of “normal” family life. I was worried the storyline with his family would be too silly when I saw the trailers, but it turns out it’s just the right amount of silly, and it serves as the film’s emotional core. It’s really glorious to see Michael Keaton back on the big screen Keatoning it up, but damn he looks old. His face looks like it’s falling off his skull. I don’t normally recommend plastic surgery, but in this case, I don’t think a small face-lift would be a bad idea. Gary Oldman is probably the best part of the movie, playing a scientist/doctor building prosthetic limbs for amputees who is recruited to build Alex Murphy’s new body. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him give less than 100% to any part he plays, and this is no exception. Also great is Jackie Earl Haley as a mercenary badass loyal to Michael Keaton’s OCP president Raymond Sellers. He’s great at playing intimidating without having to go over the top with it. He sort of takes the place of Clarence Boddicker from the original (but of course nobody can replace him, as Boddicker is one of the all-time great bad guys).

    Now, this movie isn’t a classic like the original (obviously) and of course everyone is going to compare it to that, so let’s get this out of the way: the gore is toned down; the humor is not as witty; the title character is not as iconic; none of the supporting characters are nearly as memorable as Clarence Boddicker, Dick Jones, Emil, Bob Morton or Officer Anne Lewis; the action scenes are not quite as engaging (although on a technical level, they are better constructed); Alex Murphy’s character arc is not as subtle; the world of the future isn’t as fleshed out or as detailed; and the music SUUUUUUUCCCCKKKKSSS.

    Let’s focus on those last two. One thing I love about Verhoeven’s RoboCop (and something essential to all films set in a future dystopia) is all the little details of this crazy world. The news reports, the commercials, the ever-present crime and violence that everyone just seems used to, the privatization of public institutions (like OCP owning the Detroit police department); all of these things add up to a world that feels like it could exist in some insane version of the future. In Jose Padhila’s RoboCop, you see a little of the media (Sam Jackson hosting a cable news show similar to Bill O’Reilly), a few mentions of political corruption and that’s about it. I guess the filmmakers wanted to make the tone of this movie feel a bit closer to reality, like this could be happening any day now, and I think they succeed in that. But it means that the world feels more grounded and less like a crazy funhouse mirror version of our world. But either approach is valid, really.

    Now the music. Ugh, I don’t understand some of the musical choices in this movie. There’s some shitty rock song that I recognize but don’t remember the name of that plays over one of RoboCop’s training exercises. And then for some reason they play “I Fought The Law” by the Clash over the end credits. What the hell? Such a strange tonal shift. And there are 2 or 3 times where the original RoboCop theme shows up, but then it goes away quickly. What’s the point? Just use the original theme! It’s badass! I honestly can’t remember any of the musical score. There were no themes that I picked up on. It was just sort of generic action movie music. Disappointing.

    One thing the remake does much better than the original is that it focuses on how horrifying it is to have your entire body ripped away and replaced with a machine. This is barely touched on in Verhoeven’s movie, and when it is, it’s used more to satirize the cold, heartless nature of 80s business culture. Like when the doctors say that they can save his arm, but Bob Morton just says to lose it. In Padhila’s version, you really get to experience Alex Murphy’s horror and torment as he comes to terms with what he has become. Probably the best scene in the movie is when he watches himself in a mirror as his robotic parts are stripped away and it’s revealed what is really left of his former self. That scene is classic, even if the rest of the movie isn’t.

    I think I’m ready to see this again! I’m actually surprised by how much I like this movie. If you compare it to the original, it’s going to pale in comparison, but on its own merits it stands up. I’d even say it rises above most modern blockbusters simply for being about something relevant to our lives instead of just being silly entertainment fluff. So go see this one.

    Random observation: why do we only see the gun pop out of his leg once when they tell him about it and then it never appears again? That’s like Chekov’s thigh gun, it has to pay off later on. And it doesn’t. Weird.

  197. So he finally cashed out…

  198. Today of all days I wake up to this. Shit.

    Welcome to 2017 aka 2016: THE RETURN.

  199. He was one of the greatest on-screen assholes in movie and TV history (without having done a full research, I would say definitely top 3!) but he also had a huge, mostly untapped comedic talent.

  200. I don´t think his comic talent was untapped. The roles I remember him from were funny. The straightfaced asshole that was hilarious. Especially in TWIN PEAKS.

  201. No disagreement here. He got lots of laughs over the years from simply saying something shitty on screen, but when he had the rare chance to be more goofy, he nailed it too! (See the clip from my last post.)

  202. You guys are right – he was hilarious when he got the chance to be, and boy, was he superb in TWIN PEAKS (which we’ll get to see him in again this May).

    He was also, lest we forget, a straight up uber geek; into comics (I think he even wrote some), cartoons and whatnot since back in the day.

    He really was one of us.

  203. IMO “RoboCop 2” was good. Scary at the time, though more fun on re-viewings, like the abovementioned scenes with Cain’s disembodied brain and eyes watching the doctors holding his empty head; Cain punishing Duffy; and the failed prototypes. Also the scene with RoboCop 2’s attack on the warehouse where the mayor is meeting the gang. The way RoboCop 2 comes rapidly clawing up the elevator shaft was scary, even just in the commercials. Two of RoboCop’s hundreds of reprogrammed directives stood out for me: “DIRECTIVE 242: AVOID PREMATURE VALUE JUDGEMENTS” (nicely echoes Dr. Faxx telling Dr. Schenk “You’re given to premature value judgements”) and “DIRECTIVE 262: AVOID ORION MEETINGS.” Memorable corporate asshole characters: Holzgang, saying that he can find evidence against Dr. Faxx—whether it exists or not.

    “RoboCop 3” is admittedly a step down in quality and is the unloved runt of the litter, but has its good aspects too, and I’ve found it more and more watchable as modern popular culture speaks less and less to me. The return of ED-209, the robot ninjas, an enjoyable snide villain in the form of Commander McDaggett, some more in-universe ads, Rip Torn being Rip Torn, and CCH Pounder. Memorable corporate asshole characters: Fleck, who already has his suicide planned if he gets fired. (It was the early ’90s, and there was a lot of job insecurity. Downsizing and outsourcing were only just starting to become a way of life. In 1993, the year it came out, you couldn’t even get a job flipping burgers—it was either telemarketing, door-to-door sales, or welfare. It didn’t seem that much of an extrapolation that people would kill themselves the moment they were laid off.)

    I didn’t appreciate the live-action mid-1990s Canadian series at the time, but gave it another chance a few years ago and it had been long enough since the 1990s for it to be nostalgic. The stories were interesting enough and the production values were adequate so, with expectations suitably lowered, it was a lot of fun. In the intervening years I’d also become more of a fan of Canadian-famous actors and spotting them in this science-fiction/satire context was enjoyable for its own sake.

    For decades the only episode of the 1988 animated series I’d seen was “The Man in the Iron Suit,” which seems to be the only one that was released on VHS and made its way into video stores, where I rented it a few times. It too was something that needed to lie fallow long enough for me to appreciate all the qualities it has that have become lost to us now: classical non-computer animation, medium-serious writing with no cheap attempts to be flippant or ironic or meta, a realistic/non-cartoony art style. That solidly-competent animation—from AKOM, who were not always so reliable on that front—was pleasing to look at. It had the advantages of being overseas-animated but without the disadvantages of being anime-influenced; i.e. the people who designed the characters didn’t grow up watching anime and so didn’t give us a watered-down generation-loss copy of it. The show is also an interesting time capsule because it was the first-ever extension of the “RoboCop” universe, so it could only base itself on the first movie. There was no other reference material. The last time I was re-watching the series I even noticed that it arrived first at a few ideas that later appeared in better-known “RoboCop” media, though I can’t seem to remember or find what they are now. I’ll have to re-watch!

  204. PS: The 2014 remake turned out to be more enjoyable than I expected, probably because I went into with extremely low expectations and was prepared to abort after giving in “the fifteen-minute test” (if a movie hasn’t done anything you like within the first fifteen minutes, it’s never going to, and you can cut your losses now). As a result it was a pleasant enough two hours of distraction. It just isn’t “RoboCop.” It doesn’t count. It’s not canon.

    By contrast I found the 2012 remake of “Total Recall” to be a nearly complete waste of time. There was exactly one scene I liked: the hover-car chase. I edited that part of the movie out and saved it so I never have to see the rest of it again.

  205. I feel like at one point (more in my teens than my core childhood) I owned a UK VHS that had three episodes of the animated series on it, but I can’t find anything about it online, so maybe not. At any rate that’s an interesting angle on the show you’ve got there, I’ll have to give it a look, I did watch it when I was very young but can only remember the opening titles.

    I believe somewhere I still have some US comics that were released around the time of ROBOCOP 2, one of which has a letter from a kid who says he was turned away from the cinema and wanted to know why; “you did make this for kids, right?” Shows how effectively the series had been marketed to kids even before they started toning down the violence from the core films.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>