Tuesday, June 17, 2014

ROBOCOP (2014)


Directed By: Jose Padilha 
Written By: Joshua Zetumer 
Based On The Original 1987 Scrrenplay By: Edward Neumeier & Michael Miner Cinematography By: Lula Carvalho 
Editor: Peter McNulty & Daniel Rezende 

Cast: Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Michael K. Williams, Jay Baruchel, Jackie Earle Haley, Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Ehle, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Aimee Garcia

In RoboCop, the year is 2028 and multinational conglomerate OmniCorp is at the center of robot technology. Overseas, their drones have been used by the military for years - and it's meant billions for OmniCorp's bottom line. Now OmniCorp wants to bring their controversial technology to the home front, and they see a golden opportunity to do it. When Alex Murphy - a loving husband, father and good cop doing his best to stem the tide of crime and corruption in Detroit - is critically injured in the line of duty, OmniCorp sees their chance for a part-man, part-robot police officer. OmniCorp envisions a RoboCop in every city and even more billions for their shareholders, but they never counted on one thing: there is still a man inside the machine pursuing justice.

Though a sanitized version of the original. This film retains some of the original aspects of the film. While managing to care it's own identity that is somewhat noteworthy and is better at being a reboot then something like TOTAL RECALL which tried too hard to be a virtual remake with all the greatest hits they try to change it around.

The film tries to be a somewhat satirical with a lot less bite . It is strangely more on point and cynical though takes the time to explain as feels more Of the time where as the original always felt futuristic.

The film allows the director Jose Padilha (ELITE SQUAD) to keep his hand held style of filming and guerrilla, you are there filmmaking skills.

Darren Aronofsky was attached to direct at one point.

The original ROBOCOP was more memorable as it looked accomplished for a film with such a low budget. In this film you see the big budget onscreen. No one essentially embarasses themselves. The film just feels basic by the end. Nothing really to give it an identity or make it memorable. Especially when it already has so many naysayers against It just for being made as he film is still relevant and remembered. At least this film tries to be an honest reboot.

The changes really hammer home some points. The revealing scene of what is left of him is really a gripping scene aided by impressive special effects.

The film is more excessive in price and scope then the original which was more excessive In Behavior, violence and action --Now of course the studio wants the film to appeal to broader demographics. So it is softened torn a hard R to a pg-13 rating aim end more at a younger audience.

Director Jose Padilha and actor Joel Kinnaman fought hard for an R rating, but due to the ever expanding budget, which went from a modest $60 million budget and ballooned to a $120 million budget, studio executives were forced to deliver a PG-13 rating in hopes to recoup the budget they had spent on the film. Throughout the course of filming, studio executives kept a close eye on Padilha, making sure he was going to deliver a PG-13 rating. At least this film comes off as more questioning the ethics of the situation. Which is ether modern day or futures

This version of ROBOCOP feels more like a comic book version that would have been understandable for popularity amongst kids in the 80's. Where as the original first two films from the 80's were seen by a generation who were probably too young to see the film and despite it's rating still managed to become an iconic hero mostly to kids. While being so jetted I gross violence on screen. Featuring drugs and having a more graphic satirical cynical nature.

I love the original I was one of those who saw the film way too young and loved it. Though didn't understand it 100% not the ramifications of what I was exactly seeing. Nick Schenk and James Vanderbilt are among the few uncredited writers who have entirely rewritten Joshua Zetumer’s screenplay.

During production of the film, director Jose Padilha phoned friend and fellow Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles to confide in him his frustration in the lack of creative control he was allowed by the studio for the project. Padilha estimated that for every ten ideas he brought to the project, the studio refused nine, and went on to the describe the making of the film as "The worst experience of [his] life". When word of this conversation became public, in an effort to appease the studio Padilha released counter statements expressing satisfaction with the film.

The satire tries for reaching reactions but brigs up subject we already know to showcase. Though his is all comparative and goes against the film leaving it's own identity barren as it is always being compared to it's original or a similar film. Like MEMENTO and THE SALTON SEA have similar story lines though different points, direction and showcases it's own story and plot on different ways

The film feels more like a video game at times but is kept realistically vivid.

It's nice when a film manages to surprise you and is much better in quality then it was suspected and I can admit when I was wrong on first impression. Someone's the same can be said about people...even me.

Like MINORITY REPORT it I parts the idea that this new technology is good for keeping statistics down bit at what cost.

Watching ROBOCOP remade and marketed as a machine feels a bit like behind the scenes of how maybe the film was made itself very meta.

Edward Norton turned down the role of Norton.

Sean Penn Turned down the role Of Novak

Michael Fassbender, Matthias Schonaerts, and Russell Crowe were considered to play RoboCop.

I found it interesting how he is seen as club or in original design. Though once the new design comes into play the film moves up and a new identity takes off. That the film begins to suffer. The action scenes aren't anything special and feel basic. Losing he part of the personality a measurement the audience came specifically to see.

I can see why the well regarded cast choose to be in the film. Especially Michael Keaton who makes an interesting return to form.

Jackie Earl Haley hilarious in his role wish there was more of him in the film. Other then a small role and a return towards the end.

Gary Oldman have his own Doctor Frankenstein type role starts off the film innocent, but finds himself falling in line with his employers as they give him more then he can ever want and interested to see how his invention plays out and reacts. Which also informs the audience. Though it is nice to see the original film batman in scenes with the reboots Commissioner Jim Gordon

Samuel l. Jackson's role in this film feels like a more well spoke. J. Jonah Jameson from SPIDER-MAN for this franchise.

Hugh Laurie was in talks to play the role of Raymond Sellars, but contract negotiations broke down between him and the film's producers. Clive Owen was seriously considered as a replacement before Michael Keaton was cast.

Gael Garcia Bernal, Alexander Skarsgard, and Logan Marshall-Green were considered for the role that went to Michael K. Williams.

Rebecca Hall turned down the role of Clara Murphy, while Jessica Alba, Keri Russell, and Kate Mara auditioned.

Interesting angle as we watch Alex Murphy not only deal with his new life change, but also as he pieces together his own murder. Doesn't seem to be as grand a plan as more random.

There is a revenge plot that is dropped then bright up and then pass to the side as simple. For bigger machinations. Though leaves no closure as to the details.

Then there is a character change that you kind of know is coming. Though still feels strange once it happens, Once the villain is revealed. A villain more of morals I guess more then actual acts, but supervised to a degree and gave the go ahead. It get a little false and generalized not the individual bit more what he represents and his ideas.

It tries to impart thy everyone has a price, only those who are truly brave and honest don't

While they were successful in the making of the film and can understand why the project was greenlit. It would have been great if the film just wasn't ROBOCOP. And was just an action film under a new name and characters. Redesigning the suit to be more updated and flexible doesn't help. Though that point is handled well in the film as both an homage and representation. After having his time goes back to the original model. The same we in the audience have known.

I can admit I wondered I they made a sequel where would it head.

 GRADE: C+

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