[When movies get remade...] Robocop

Posted by gingaio 
Sanjeev (Admin)
The black suit looks fucking horrible...I'm still a little shocked they went that route...

But anyway, I guess I have a hard time imagining a movie with Sam Jackson, Gary Oldman, and Michael Keaton being epically bad...hence, a glimmer of hope? I'll need to squash that before the movie comes out!
One thing right off the bat is that this new actor in the suit doesn't seem to have the creepy, unsettling vibe of Peter Weller in the suit...the Frankensteinian part of the character doesn't seem to be coming through, at least from the few clips that are here. Part of that is Super Ninja Kickass Cyborg doesn't really match Slow-Walking Tin Can. Who knows. Maybe the character will be handled well in the acutal flick...Love the cast, though, except for Stone Cold Motherfucker.
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/06/2013 02:40PM by gingaio.
Reminds me quite a bit of a movie I saw 20 years ago (20...yikes!) called R O B O C O P...I really don't get Hollywood...did all the writers of new story ideas go extinct in 1999?
Sanjeev (Admin)
Well, look at the nostalgia market right now. Pacific Rim didn't do shit...but a crappy Iron Man movie did *three times* better. Hell, even Man of Steel--a movie NOBODY LIKED--is crushing Pacific Rim worldwide.

Humans are stupid creatures.
Not Showy or Toy-ey, just gamy.



[www.bigbadtoystore.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/24/2013 02:12PM by gingaio.
Yeah... what's with this recent trend of creating action figures based off horrible NES 8-bit video games from LJN's movie licenses? That pink Jason from "Friday the 13" takes the cake...
Sanjeev (Admin)
Gotta squeeze every penny outta those molds...
I love every miscolored centimeter of it. Not enough to buy one, but just enough to find joy in the fact that it exists.
Just saw the latest trailer. What made the originally Robocop so great and tragic was that he was a man who lost all his humanity and had to fight back to regain even a tiny fraction of what he had before. Even at the end he only regained a fraction of his memory, had lost his family and was still a man trapped inside a machine. Nothing showed this more beautifully then the great makeup of the original helmetless Robocop. With the new Robocop I just do not see this tragedy. He still has a human hand, an important connection to humanity. He still remembers his family and has contact with them. He is able to easily remove his helmet and looks more like a man in a suit then a man merged with a machine when it is off. Heck he even sits in an office and makes fun with his other police colleagues. For me this makes the new Robocop a great deal less interesting since there seems to be no struggle being a cyborg. It also makes him more man-in-suit then man-machine so he comes of as an Iron Man clone. At least that is the impression I get from the trailer.

----------------------------------------------------
Wanna see whales in giant mechsuits protect mankind against evil aliens?
Check out: [mechawhales.com]

Collectible figures available from: [www.deepfriedfigures.com]

My 3D printed action figures: [www.hauke-scheer.de]
Sanjeev (Admin)
^^I tend to agree with what you're saying. The original Robocop--especially when he first removes his helmet near the end of the first movie--is really *barely* human. And he was massive! The slow, clunky way he moved gave it all a very Frankensteinian vibe.

But that having been said, I'm very curious about how the new movie treats him. Like, obviously, they've fundamentally changed the nature of his character...but it may not be a bad thing. While the original film was clearly a satire of corporate America that was appropriate for the time, this one seems to be of the same ilk...just appropriate for *this* time.

Or maybe I'm just letting my love of the character blind me to how bad this movie will likely be! :P
Lets hope the movie will turn out good. It may not be the Robocop I grew up with but maybe this new version will grow on me. If the movie sucks we will still have the original. :-)

----------------------------------------------------
Wanna see whales in giant mechsuits protect mankind against evil aliens?
Check out: [mechawhales.com]

Collectible figures available from: [www.deepfriedfigures.com]

My 3D printed action figures: [www.hauke-scheer.de]
Sanjeev (Admin)
Wow. So I got bored for a minute last week and downloaded the new Robocop. And I watched it. And it was as awful as you think it is. What's interesting to note, however, is that I feel my distaste is less directly about the movie sucking, in and of itself...and more about my complete and utter disappointment that so many stars were in it. I mean...are Samuel L Jackson, Michael Keaton, and Gary Oldman really THAT hard up for work???

I'd put this movie roughly on the same level as one of those made-for-tv movies they play on the Scifi Channel on Saturday afternoons. The only remotely interesting part was when Murphy demands that the doctor "show him" what's left of him. His entire cybernetic body is stripped in a very slow and disturbing manner until all that's left is Murphy's face, exposed (and quite damaged) brain, lungs, and disembodied right hand. It's one of the best reveals I've seen in a long time. But it doesn't make up for the rest of the crapfest.

Even the ending was completely moronic. Despite having demonstrated throughout the movie a number of times that Robocop is thoroughly slave to his software (they can do anything from strip him of all his emotions to simply shutting him down with a keystroke), he *somehow* fights past the classic fourth directive (cannot arrest an OCP employee) and shoots Michael Keaton. With no explanation. Yeah: it's THAT fucking stupid...and that's essentially how the movie ends.

There's absolutely nothing clever or cathartic or satirical about this movie except Sam Jackson's ultra-conservative, jingoistic rants...that are absurdly heavy-handed and, thus, utterly uninteresting.

How do movies like these even get made?
They get made for the same reason so many dull remakes happen: Hollywood is massively risk-averse and will do anything to use an already famous title.

-Ginrai
Golden Gate Riot on dead trees at: [www.destroyallcomics.com]
Sanjeev (Admin)
Haha...no doubt! But I meant more specifically here: like, wouldn't a Sam Jackson or a Michael Keaton or a Gary Oldman actually read the fucking script before agreeing to the role?

Or forget that shit....what about corporate sponsors??? Do sponsors get to read the script or screenplay before funding crap like this? It's really mind-boggling to me sometimes...
Hollywood does not give a shit about scripts because they do not give a shit about writers or stories. Big name actors get paid too much to care and it doesn't make a fucking difference to corporate sponsors if the dollars roll in. Witness: Michael Bay's entire career.

-Ginrai
Golden Gate Riot on dead trees at: [www.destroyallcomics.com]
Sanjeev (Admin)
I know what you're saying is accurate...but it's still just so counterintuitive to me. I mean, in the US, the new Robocop *barely* did better than the original...with 10 times the budget! My mind keeps telling me that producing a better product will rake in more revenue, so it's just so strange to see these studios simply not giving a fuck...
Dude, the people bankrolling this shit are looking at a movie exactly like the stock market. X dollars go in, X dollars must come out. It's better to make a moderate profit on 10 movies than a huge profit on one movie because there's way less risk. That one movie being a huge profit might misfire and be negative profit. I don't agree with it. I think it's creatively bankrupt and also craven as hell, but I see what they are doing. It disgusts me but I went to film school; I am not remotely surprised.

-Ginrai
Golden Gate Riot on dead trees at: [www.destroyallcomics.com]
Sanjeev (Admin)
*sigh*

Yeah...makes total sense.

I mean, from a purely capitalist perspective. Not at all from a human perspective.
Well they ain't in the movies to make art, they in the movies to make money. They don't care about humans, they care about their yacht.

-Ginrai
Golden Gate Riot on dead trees at: [www.destroyallcomics.com]
Sanjeev (Admin)
Real talk.

Man...I guess I've just had my nose so deep in toy-making that I'm starting to lose my edge. Damn escapism! :P
I just finished RobertCop: The Reboot. If the name of the film had been Drone, it would have been well-received - at least as much so as any other competent Hollywood sci-fi film. All the right elements were there and it raised some interesting implications that were glossed over in the original. Just slapping a name-brand reboot title on it unfairly damned it.

If they had explained that, despite the re-programming, RobertCop still had control over his organic hand it would have cleanly dispensed with the, "How did he shoot Batman?" problem in the story. Eh, still not that bad.
Sanjeev (Admin)
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Gcrush
If they had explained that, despite the re-programming, RobertCop still had control over his organic hand it would have cleanly dispensed with the, "How did he shoot Batman?" problem in the story. Eh, still not that bad.

^^Now you're just giving the movie WAY too much credit.

No way.

They flipped a switch and he INSTANTLY collapsed into a pile...*completely* unconscious. But somehow, he overcomes that level of control to peel Bats' cap back?? Fuck no. That's some lazy bullshit right there...especially given the clever ending of the original movie...

But I do agree that this movie probably would have done better if it hadn't been branded "Robocop". In this case, doing so set some rather unfair expectations. But what can ya do? Risk aversion.

But in other news, it looks like Hot Toys' diecast RobertoCop is coming out this month!! I gotta get me a barbie and some thuggish 1/6 figures to reenact the attempted-rape-turned-dick-shooting scene. You know you wanna get in on that shit, G!
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Sanjeev
^^Now you're just giving the movie WAY too much credit. No way.

I gotta get me a barbie and some thuggish 1/6 figures to reenact the attempted-rape-turned-dick-shooting scene. You know you wanna get in on that shit, G!

I really think they could have smoothed that scene out without any hiccup. When they shut him down before it simply turned off everything but his life support. If Batman shut down RobertCop while the gun was pointed right at him, RobertCop could still have pulled his index finger and capped his ass despite being paralyzed. No need to invoke souls or ghosts in the machine. Smooth. Creamy. Easy.

I really do think the film was pretty good without invoking comparisons to the original. It's eerily prescient in a way, too, since the UN has recently been debating the international legality of autonomous drones in state sanctioned killings. Hell, it even touched on the right-to-die in addition to the illusion of free will, neither of which came up in the original.

And Sam Blackson's character didn't annoy me as much as I thought it would since the part was basically written for him to sleepwalk through.

Anyway, my dear Revr'nd, I think you'll appreciate this short, three-minute video even though it is ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY NOT SAFE FOR WORK AND GUARENTEED TO GET ANYONE FIRED JUST FOR THINKING ABOUT IT. It is pure fucking genius.
Sanjeev (Admin)
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Gcrush
When they shut him down before it simply turned off everything but his life support. If Batman shut down RobertCop while the gun was pointed right at him, RobertCop could still have pulled his index finger and capped his ass despite being paralyzed.

Eh...perhaps...

But what you propose would still be a cop-out ending (no pun intended). Even without comparing to the excellent ending in the first movie, this is the classically moronic trope where the villain has the hero dead bang...then starts yapping...and ultimately gets killed for no particularly good reason. If it had been the Koch brothers on that helipad--or really *any* real-world CEO--they woulda burned Robert's ass before he got to the roof.

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Gcrush
It's eerily prescient in a way, too, since the UN has recently been debating the international legality of autonomous drones in state sanctioned killings.

Glad I wasn't the only one following that in the news. But, again, it's not like they *really* went into the ethics of robots used in warfare in any interesting sort of way. Like Blackson's character, just blunt force trauma...not the more subtle, nuanced way the original movie wove its satirical themes into the actual characterization and dialogue.
How is it prescient if that debate was already going on before this movie was released? It's more like up to date, not looking into the future.

-Ginrai
Golden Gate Riot on dead trees at: [www.destroyallcomics.com]
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Ginrai
How is it prescient if that debate was already going on before this movie was released? It's more like up to date, not looking into the future.

Okay, filming on RobertCop started in late 2012, with the script having been kicked around for at least two years before that. The International Committee for Robotic Arms Control (ICRAC) was "founded" in 2009, but didn't produce any working papers until 2013. The United Nations didn't even start talking about autonomous drones until May of this year (though they did schedule that talk in 2013). They currently don't have any specific policy position on LAWS (lethal autonomous weapons systems) and only have agreed that they "need to talk about it some more". Moreover, we don't have anything approaching fully autonomous drones yet - we do have large ballistic systems with autonomous capabilities, though they still have to be manned. Our lethal drones are still, at the moment, semi-autonomous at best.

The script for RobertCop was developed at least a couple of years before anyone started really considering what lethal autonomous drones mean for humanity. It was written in a time when no public conversations on the topic existed. And yet they produced a fully realized film in which not only were such drones feasible, but they were integrated so fully into international military activity that it had sparked laws about limiting their use domestically - and then it explored how that world would play out when presented with a drone that appears to be manned, but is fully autonomous when it comes to killing. In other words, the film suggested that all it would take to make everyone - the public, the government, and even the operator - cool with autonomous drone killings is the illusion that such killings are not actually autonomous. They even suggested that autonomous drone killings would be openly celebrated under the illusion. Considering that their imagined scenario seems plausable and perhaps will be realized in the future makes me think that it's pretty damn prescient.

Actually, I think that's part of the appeal for RobertCop - it's pretty fucking horrifying the way they manipulate both the perception of free will and the populace by trapping a human consciousness in a prosthetic life support system in which it can't control who it kills. It's not about RobertCop being able to override the constraints of his system but being enslaved by it to the point where he begs for death while everyone around him does a victory dance for creating such a perversion. The original never, ever touched on that. OG RobertCop was all about life at any cost and very, very straightforward as a hero character. Nuevo RobertCop expands on the character nicely in this way.

Did anyone watch that video I linked to above? My gawd it's amazing.
Sanjeev (Admin)
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Gcrush
Moreover, we don't have anything approaching fully autonomous drones yet - we do have large ballistic systems with autonomous capabilities, though they still have to be manned. Our lethal drones are still, at the moment, semi-autonomous at best.

^^Well, yes...but they *could* be fully-autonomous. The X-47B is Northrop's latest robot ("autonomous drone"). You program it with mission parameters...and it goes out and executes them. Period. The ONLY point at which there's *any* human interaction at all is when it locates its target(s) and asks permission to fire. The way it's designed, it's simply incapable of pulling the trigger on its own. It needs direct human approval to kill whatever's in its sights. I have a feeling that this is how all future robots will be designed...

Back to the film, yeah, I guess it's sorta neat how they suggest how illusory free will is and all that. But it's like the *exact* opposite of the original Oshii Ghost in the Shell. Instead of a plodding, introverted, pseudo-metaphysical mess, we get a two-hour episode of GI Joe with hints of intelligence here and there. But it's still a two-hour episode of GI Joe.

But to be honest with you, I'd be far more interested in a more futurism-themed movie. Like, not so much about drones/robots/whatever...but more about transhumanism/posthumanism, in general. Extropian principles and such...

Oh, I'd seen that fan-made Robocop vid before. Fucking amazing. Unfortunately, the other clips that go with it aren't nearly as genius!
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