ROBOCOP remake finds its director and star

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Dream, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. Ethros

    Ethros Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I didn't get why every single other country in the world apparently had these robot police but America didn't? There are nearly 200 countries in the world, and every one of them was ok except the USA? I know they like to bang on about how they invented freedom, but other countries do have it to.

    This combined with that awful ending ("America is the greatest country in the world!!"), was a bit offensive tbh. Even if it was meant to be their attempt at satire, the target audienceto which this movie is based- X-Box playing American teenagers who've never even heard of the original- won't have got that. I could just imagine them in their theaters all whooping and cheering at that ending.
     
  2. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think that the Sam Jackson character (Novak) was just exaggerating when he was talking about the robot police forces everywhere else in the world. Let's not forget the main example he used was a military occupation zone.
     
  3. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    You could also argue it was a play on America being "behind the curve" in many areas because of "freedom" and such. There's plenty of areas today where we're behind other countries on. In some ways it's good, in some ways it's bad.
     
  4. Timby

    Timby LIKE LIGHTNIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING Administrator

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    I don't understand why people are saying that RoboCop (2014) has no subtext or satire. For God's sake, the end credits roll with "I Fought the Law (And the Law Won)."

    But let's drill down, a bit. There's a clear association between having a red eye and being a robot. When Murphy has the silver suit with black visor, he maintains his free will. Once he gets the red eye visor, he loses his free will like every other red-eye robot in the movie. As he gains his free will back the visor cracks as a symbol, and when it finally breaks in half, it's the right eye, the human eye, that's visible again. The significance of the imagery isn't that there's a human underneath (the public already knows that there is). The important difference here is that the imagery is concerned with who is in control, the human or robot side.
     
  5. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    <<I didn't get why every single other country in the world apparently had these robot police but America didn't? There are nearly 200 countries in the world, and every one of them was ok except the USA? I know they like to bang on about how they invented freedom, but other countries do have it to.>>

    I could be wrong but I believe the movie said that America was using the robots everywhere in the world except on their own soil, not that other nations had them. I'm surprised they never mentioned Posse Comitatus in the flick.
     
  6. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That was the other annoying thing. How they would play the original theme at completely random moments (Murphy walking through the office, a speech from Jackson)... basically anywhere EXCEPT during an actual action scene.

    All that might have been interesting in theory, but it still drug on a lot longer than it needed to, I thought. And it didn't help matters that the whole thing played out in a very predictable and by the numbers way (Murphy wakes up in shock, wants to die, has to adjust to his new body, doesn't want his family to see him, etc etc...)

    It was saccharine as hell, while not being nearly as compelling as the approach the original took.
     
  7. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, the original movies also sort of blew it with his family too. In Robocop 2 we have a subplot where Murphy, now that he remembers his old life, was basically stalking his wife. Instead of a meaningful subplot all we get is a bit where he's a little depressed over this and telling his sobbing wife he's not Alex Murphy so she won't try to contact him.
     
  8. Aldo

    Aldo Admiral Admiral

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    A victim of one of the numerous rewrites that movie went through I'm sure.

    That movie's a mess anyways, how do you make a Robocop movie and not have Robocop as your lead? He only shows up when they need to move the plot forward. Still, for all it's faults it's never dull, which is more than I can say for the remake.
     
  9. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    True, but I wouldn't exactly hold the faults of the second movie over the head of the original.

    And frankly I thought we saw about as much of the family as we really needed to in the original movie. The brief flashback we got of them in their home was more powerful and heartbreaking than all the dull family stuff in the remake. Especially when you factor in the haunting score that played underneath it.
     
  10. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The whole family angle would have to be explored more in this version though, since Murphy retained his memories the whole way through and his family knew all along what happened to him.
     
  11. RAMA

    RAMA Vice Admiral Admiral

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    So I started off as one of the chorus saying Robocop didn't need to be remade, but I think that was mainly because I thought they would turn it into a superhero type show, where Robocop goes on various technological escapades and there wouldn't be much commentary. My opinion changed immediately after the first viral videos promoting the movie came out. Here I saw potential for speculation about AI as well as the current hot topics of drones over foreign countries as well as America..about privacy issues and so on. What we got was equally thoughtful but not quite what I was expecting:

    I could explore the movie on it's own merits, it's good enough to warrant that, but instead, I'll explain why I think it's as good if not better than the original. My immediate thought while in the theater was that the movie was not only BETTER than the 1987 Robocop, but that it had a lot more depth..however, I tempered that somewhat after thinking about it...the original had it's own axe to grind which it did fairly well for the time and the new one is simply better for it's time.

    1. The opening: After re-watching the original last week, it realized it immediately gets into the action, we have almost no time for Alex Murphy, no time for the science or implications..the new one sets up Alex Murphy, it's scientist, its protagonist and his wife much more thoroughly. Robocop simply becomes Robocop..no legal, ethical ramifications are really explored, in Verhoven's future, the capitalist infrastructure simply doesn't care. The scientists are puppets, have no emotions and basically are analogues to Dr Frankenstein. In the new movie, we have a well rounded scientist, with some great scenes of bionic/cybernetic limbs being used in a hospital to counterpoint the robots from the violent opening in Iran. The corporate types are well meaning, but ultimately succumb to craving for wealth.

    The new version makes the old one seem almost cartoon-like in it's violence..I found Murphy's death to be more believable instead of the product of the company's machinations.

    2. The themes from the original: Consumerism, Corporate takeovers, America's degradation, lack of competitiveness, violence, and of course man emerging triumphant over becoming a machine. Only one of these really remains intact in the new version. Firstly, while technological speculation is not the primary reason for a science fiction movie, it is a component. Robocop's 1987 turns out to not have been a great predictive movie, violence is down, America is competitive through info-tech despite not being as major a manufacturer of it's own products, consumerism is greater than it was, but you could say it is more customized and efficient. None of these really seem valid in a 2014 movie. What remains is Robocop himself: Murphy.

    3. Joel Kinnaman is no Peter Weller, but he does a good job in this movie. I like that they made him "normal" personality-wise until they had to let the software take over. Much like the original Robocop, Murphy gets his memories back. This movie explores the method of cyborgization, and how the brain interface and free will works in a credible, non-Hollywood manner. He isn't a tank, he's vulnerable.

    4. The new movie represents America as a pre-emptive, imperialist power. I would quibble with that, I think the government does the wrong thing for the right reasons in most cases. It's inarguable that many nations across the world do feel this way.

    In echoes of Asimov's Robot series, the US does not allow robots on it's soil for military/police purposes. Other countries, not so lucky. My position on this is where I think Raymond Sellars gets it right..it's not sensible for robots, who are more efficient than humans (demonstrably in the movie) to not be used in the US. I think aerial drones are important, and am for them patrolling our skies as long as there is transparency. Similarly, I feel they are a tremendous weapon to save lives, but also should only be used selectively, and where they are wanted, not indiscriminately. Robocop, as a cyborg will make him money, but also repeal an outdated law, and is a worthwhile means to an end..

    Then of course, Sellars tries to do too much...he becomes overly ambitious, and becomes the corporate bad guy, again somewhat like the original though his reasons were less personal, and more company oriented.

    I still think 1987's Robocop is a worthwhile movie, but I really enjoyed the new one, and it's updated take on things.

    8.5 out of 10

    RAMA
     
  12. RAMA

    RAMA Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Looks like they'll get another shot at a Robocop 2, as the remake has made $104 million in less than 2 weeks internationally on a budget of $100 million.

    RAMA
     
  13. Aldo

    Aldo Admiral Admiral

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    I doubt it. The movie is just barely breaking even, and that doesn't even take into account the marketing budget. No, this movie needed to make twice it's budget back for them to even start to think about a sequel.
     
  14. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    It's only been out two weeks, it could easily pull 200m global.
     
  15. RAMA

    RAMA Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Um.. It's been less than two weeks.. Box Office sites predict it will make $200 million, not counting dvd/bluray.
     
  16. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    The movie couldn't even open at number one. The foreign numbers are keeping it from being a total bomb, but I'd be surprised if a sequel was in the cards. It looks like the studio will break even and move on.
     
  17. Aldo

    Aldo Admiral Admiral

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    Domestically it's only at about 36 million. That's what some movies make on opening weekend. Like Harvey says, the foreign markets are keeping it afloat right now, but it's slowing down already.

    I mean it's taken a 66% drop off in the second week. The only way for this to turn around and possibly warrant a sequel would be if it's a megahit on bluray.
     
  18. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Studios do consider foreign markets more and more these days which is why movies are so widely marketable and somewhat saccharine anymore. If does well enough in foreign markets to pull ahead, as well as on home video, it should come out... okay.

    That said, I sort of doubt it'll set anything on fire.
     
  19. RAMA

    RAMA Vice Admiral Admiral

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    We're looking at $200-250 million with home disc sales and BO, expect a sequel.
     
  20. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    If you say so. The movie's chances look pretty slim to me.
     

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