Is A Robocop Remake Justified?

I am a huge fan of Robocop. My dad took me to see it in the theater as a boy and I was in love. Even before I could grasp the subtlety of the film I loved the aggressive, over the top violence and reckless abandon of the film.

I have always been a fan of movies. For as long as I can remember I have loved everything about them. But Robocop was a wholly new experience for me. It was as though I was worshiping at the alter of exploitative cinema.

Cut to present day. After crying myself to sleep at night due to the lackluster sequels, cartoon, television mini-series, cereal, and video games I had given up any more decent Robocop coming my way. Then I heard Darren Aaronofski was going to make a rebootquel. My crying changed to tears of joy. Then he dropped out. Tears of sadness again. When I heard Jose Padilla was involved I immediately said, “who?” Then I looked him up and thought he might do something fun with it. Eventually he was joined by a very talented cast like Joel Kinneman and Michael Keaton. Things were looking good.

They released a teaser trailer for the remake as a commercial for Omni Consumer Products. The teaser was good. It seemed to have a subtle sense of humor about while not trying to mimic the commercials in the original film. Plus, there was the ED-209 in all its glory. It seemed for one brief moment all was right in the world and there may be some hope that the new version of Robocop could work.

Shortly after the teaser hit rumors started about Jose Padilla fighting with the studio about his vision for the film. MGM wants so desperately to have a hit film that isn’t James Bond again they will interfere to a point where something visionary will become a disaster. It happens all the time with studio projects. They want money so they hold focus groups. The focus group says they like Robocop but he needs to seem more human. They say they like the story but they don’t understand why Robocop can’t spend more time rescuing kittens. They say they love the gritty realism but they think Robocop should fly. When these things happen you end up with Robocop 3.

Here’s my feeling on the subject – Robocop’s suit was amazing in the original movie. It was big and bulky and could stand to be streamlined but don’t make it look like a black spandex suit. He doesn’t look like a robot. He looks like a ninja. Don’t lose the humor. That’s part of what made the first movie so great. And let the director make a movie with the studio interfering. Movies by committee rarely work.


More Doctor Who To Review

I have been slacking lately when it comes to posting stuff on here. I could blame it on being busy with other stuff but I would be lying to you and myself. I found time before no matter what was going on. Anyway, I have two more episodes of Doctor Who to review before tonight’s all new episode. There may be spoilers so consider yourself warned.

First up – Dinosaurs On A Spaceship. I liked the idea of this episode. It was a great deal of fun watching the Doctor have an entire team of people running around with him, including by accident Rory’s dad played by Mr. Weasely from the Harry Potter films. The episode did two things – it gave us some wonderful insight into Rory by seeing his relationship with how dad, and it also gave a slight glimpse into things to come in relation to the Doctor’s new angrier outlook.

I’m actually glad I didn’t review this episode after it aired as I would have been more negative about it. I was rather annoyed by the ending but trying desperately to reserve judgement. The Doctor didn’t show mercy on a man who did far less wrong than those he has let live in the past. I was very surprised by his lack of mercy with the villain of the piece.

All in all the episode was great fun. Watching the Doctor, Rory, and Rory’s dad riding a triceratop was a lot of fun and made the episode worth it.

Episode 3 – A Town Called Mercy. This episode was a great deal of fun for me. First off, I love that they cast Ben Browder from Farscape as the Marshall of Mercy. He was awesome, as always. Someone please get this man more work. He’s a fan favorite after Farscape and Stargate. And nerds always want more of their favorite genre actors.

The story centers around a town where a mysterious gunslinger cyborg has cut off Mercy from the outside world while he searches for an alien called The Doctor whom he has sworn to kill. Just then the Doctor, Amy, and Rory arrive in the town.

What was great about this episode was the payoff of where the Doctor left off from the previous episode. His darkness is explored. The themes of mercy and redemption play a big part here. And it was great to see Matt Smith really sink his teeth into the dark side of the Doctor. In the time Smith has played him we have seen smart, goofy, cold, egotistical, funny, and slightly cranky. This is the first time we see Smith play the Doctor angry and I really liked it. One of the things I loved about David Tennant was his ability to turn on a dime. You love his Doctor but you’re scared of him too. He was not someone to mess with. And now I see Smith can do that too. The three Doctors the show has had since its return have all been good in their own ways but it’s a bit like James Bond. Everyone will always be compared to Sean Connery. With the new incarnation of Doctor Who Christopher Eccleston didn’t stick around long enough to make a lasting impression so everyone will compare Smith and his successors to Tennant, and deservedly so. Smith just moved up a peg or two after A Town Called Mercy though.