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April 1, 2012 5:57 PM   Subscribe

The newly released trailer for Total Recall (2012) shows a Quaid quite conspicously not getting his ass to Mars. It could all have been different, as many versions of Total Recall 2 have been in the works over the years. Meanwhile is the Robocop remake anything but total recall? And has the American action movie gone kablooey?
posted by Artw (236 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
What the hell? Total Recall isn't even that old. What's next on the Hollywood remake list, Back to the Future?
posted by indubitable at 6:04 PM on April 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


From the last link: " (If you can’t get behind “Die Hard” as a great American movie, then I’d argue that you hate greatness, movies and America.)"

So goddamn true.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:05 PM on April 1, 2012 [34 favorites]


What's next on the Hollywood remake list, Back to the Future?

You just made some s.o.b. a billion dollars.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 6:06 PM on April 1, 2012 [10 favorites]


They'll make it in 2015. McFly will travel back to 1985.
posted by Artw at 6:09 PM on April 1, 2012 [39 favorites]


While Hollywood's need to turn Philip K. Dick stories into action movies confuses me, I feel like "We Can Remember it for You Wholesale" was always an especially bad choice.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:09 PM on April 1, 2012 [7 favorites]


Robocop is an example of an almost perfect film - not a scene or line wasted and it effortlessly manages to be both an exemplar and a critique of 80s action films.
posted by AndrewStephens at 6:10 PM on April 1, 2012 [41 favorites]


If you are remaking a Verhoeven film, you are legitimately insane and belong in an asylum. Say what you like about him, he is not replicable.
posted by selfnoise at 6:12 PM on April 1, 2012 [8 favorites]


Fun Fact: David Cronenberg almost made Total Recall. You have him to thank for all the Kuatos and triboobs.
posted by Artw at 6:13 PM on April 1, 2012 [11 favorites]


What's next on the Hollywood remake list, Back to the Future?

Well, they're remaking Spiderman...
posted by smoke at 6:14 PM on April 1, 2012


Well, they're remaking Spiderman...

1) It's Spider-Man. He needs his web!
2) Spider-Man is a comic book character, not a conceived-for-the-screen property and thus is more flexible to this sort of thing because his origin has literally been retold, retooled and rewritten dozens of times.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 6:17 PM on April 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Still, some big and still warm shoes to fill there, considering how spot on and how successful the first Sam Raimi take was.
posted by Artw at 6:18 PM on April 1, 2012


Is there a copy on youtube? Not everyone has iTunes or quicktime installed.

Also, judging but this preview trailer it sounds like they're using yet another takeoff of the fucking inception sound. Gah. SERIOUSLY PEOPLE, WE'VE HEARD IT IN, LIKE, EVERY OTHER TRAILER FOR AN ACTION MOVIE.

(Except Christopher Nolan's new batman movie, ironically)
posted by delmoi at 6:19 PM on April 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


Is this one of those fancy computer movies?
posted by robbyrobs at 6:20 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hey, it's just up, you'll have to wait, ooh, I don't know, a couple of hours for the Youtube version.
posted by Artw at 6:20 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, Irony. Is there anything you cannot kill?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:29 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


In regard to the NYT article, Haywire and Drive were both excellent action movies released this year. It is easy to point at Michael Bay and shake your head because it lacks the sophistication of a Schwarzenegger explosion-fest. But quality action movies are being made. So there.
posted by munchingzombie at 6:30 PM on April 1, 2012 [6 favorites]


Spider-Man is a comic book character, not a conceived-for-the-screen property

Poor Phil.

Not having read the original, I will say that there is little point in a remake/reimagining that doesn't have Eccentrica Gallumbits in it again.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:32 PM on April 1, 2012


Yet another movie with quasi-balletic action sequences where a bunch of people gracefully jump up in the air in slow motion and fire weapons at each other. Zzz Zzz Zzz... it will be fun to see if they can top the body count of the original!
posted by ReeMonster at 6:32 PM on April 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Somebody really really liked Trinity's first seen in the Matrix.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 6:33 PM on April 1, 2012


Or scene possibly.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 6:33 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


AndrewStephens - you're absolutely right. Matthew Dessem's essay for his Criterion Contraption blog is a great analysis. (Yes, Robocop is in the Criterion Collection.)
posted by djb at 6:34 PM on April 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


Total Recall isn't even that old.

Only 22 years.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 6:35 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I suspect that when a movie's old enough to vote, it's old enough to get a fresh take. Especially when America's greatest living actor signs on for the villain.
posted by kafziel at 6:36 PM on April 1, 2012


Say what you like about him, he is not replicable.

Replicable or not, he is just not understood by American audiences, who mostly still don't get that Starship Troopers was a parody of violent American jingoism in media, a film made to be so completely over-the-top because Robocop was apparently too subtle.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:40 PM on April 1, 2012 [30 favorites]


"Robocop is going to be a lot more human," Kinnaman says. "The first movie is one of my favourite movies. I love it. Of course, Verhoeven has that very special tone, and it's not going to have that tone."

Um...

"It's not going to be jaw action. They're still working on the suit and how it's going to look, but the visor is going to be seethrough. You're going to see his eyes."

I'd rather watch two hours of this.
posted by anigbrowl at 6:47 PM on April 1, 2012 [11 favorites]


Starship Troopers is a parody?






















kidding
posted by mwhybark at 6:49 PM on April 1, 2012


Forget Robocop and Troopers, show me somebody who got Showgirls' parody of the way hollywood portrays sex / strippers / fallen girls.
posted by signal at 6:53 PM on April 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


Only because Cranston will be in it.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:54 PM on April 1, 2012


From the nyt link — The Raid: Redemption — action movie from Indonesia, WOW
posted by Tom-B at 6:55 PM on April 1, 2012 [10 favorites]


Total Recall is one of my favorite movies, as are Starship Troopers and (to a very slightly lesser extant) Robocop. I don't know what this says about me, other than I grew up in the late 80's/early 90's and like Paul Verhoeven.
posted by item at 6:56 PM on April 1, 2012


I had a meeting with ones of the production companies involved in remaking Total Recall, right around the time they'd just gotten a new draft in. When the executive told me that there was no Mars, it was very difficult keeping a straight face and nodding like, "sure, who needs Mars in Total Recall."

It was around that time that I heard about Battleship and how it was a navel battle against aliens. (The executive in that meeting gave me permission to laugh at that, thankfully). I also heard a pitch for Creature of the Black Lagoon, but, you know, this time set in a giant underwater kingdom.

It's sad days for feature-making in Hollywood these days.

On preview: Yeah, The Raid is pretty sweet.
posted by Bookhouse at 6:58 PM on April 1, 2012 [7 favorites]


very slightly? sounds like something Douglas Quaid would say...
posted by item at 6:58 PM on April 1, 2012


In regard to the NYT article, Haywire and Drive were both excellent action movies released this year.

Yes. I came in here specifically to root for Haywire.
posted by mykescipark at 6:58 PM on April 1, 2012


Red Dawn is being remade. But this time, North Korea is attacking.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:01 PM on April 1, 2012


Oh for fuck's sake, Hollywood. Please stop it before I turn into yet another one of those prematurely aged bitter film geezers that can't stop complaining about even the font in the new intro credits, or something even pettier.
posted by Iosephus at 7:01 PM on April 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


The Ghost Breaker (1914 film)
The Ghost Breaker (1922 film)

There's no time limit on remakes, nor a recent phenomenon.
posted by stbalbach at 7:04 PM on April 1, 2012 [9 favorites]


The Maltese Falcon (1931)
Satan Met a Lady (1936)
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
posted by shakespeherian at 7:06 PM on April 1, 2012 [6 favorites]


Red Dawn is being remade.

HONEYBADGERS!

But this time, North Korea is attacking.

Throw 'em, like, a case of Snickers bars or something. Job Done.
posted by Artw at 7:06 PM on April 1, 2012 [13 favorites]


I Enough is enough! I have had it with these motherfucking remakes in this motherfucking market!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:09 PM on April 1, 2012 [6 favorites]


Forget Robocop and Troopers, show me somebody who got Showgirls' parody of the way hollywood portrays sex / strippers / fallen girls.

One of my favorite Daily Show moments was John Stewart interviewing Kyle MacLachlan - and just as he was cutting to commercial he leans in and asks "weren't you in a movie with a swimming pool?"

I lolled.
posted by device55 at 7:09 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


What did you win?
posted by Artw at 7:10 PM on April 1, 2012


shows a Quaid quite conspicously not getting his ass to Mars.

Not to spoil the Philip K. Dick story, but he never got to Mars there either.
posted by bobo123 at 7:10 PM on April 1, 2012 [7 favorites]


(In a strange parallel, the plot of “First Blood” is basically the same as the later action film “Predator,” with Rambo as the Predator.)

Wait, what?
posted by Minus215Cee at 7:11 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


No one would dare to remove Batman, Darth Vader or Zorro's trademark masks

Ben Child is gonna be so pissed when he sees the Star Wars prequels.
posted by I've a Horse Outside at 7:12 PM on April 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Dashiell Hammett's novel Red Harvest has been remade so many times in film that I've lost count.

Meanwhile, remaking Verhoeven is like remaking Hitchcock. It'll be a hell of a cash-in and it might even make a decent movie, but any attempt to replicate exactly made the original great is a doomed.
posted by griphus at 7:13 PM on April 1, 2012


Here's a copy of the trailer for those of us without quicktime. Looks like bits and pieces of the original, Bladerunner, The Matrix, Fifth Element and Minority Report all mashed together.
posted by octothorpe at 7:16 PM on April 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


Ben Child is gonna be so pissed when he sees the Star Wars prequels.

This is true no matter what the context.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:17 PM on April 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


Please feel free to kill the American Action movie as a genre... CATCHPHRASE!

YouTube Total Recall trailer for those who can't use QuickTime.

I would really like a kind of hyper real version of Total Recall with strange lacunae in the plot line filled in later with distorted flashbacks. An emphasis in the visual style to reinforce the character's ignorance of the state of reality.
posted by BrotherCaine at 7:18 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Argh, preview!
posted by BrotherCaine at 7:19 PM on April 1, 2012


griphus, not even a cash-in, I think. Like that atrocity Van Sant did with Psycho. I spent the whole of it in the theater going from "why, for the love of Elvis, why?" to begging my neighbour to punch me unconscious, to stare helplessly at the screen like it was an oncoming train with shiny headlights.
posted by Iosephus at 7:21 PM on April 1, 2012


Still, the remake of The Birds is pretty good.
posted by Artw at 7:23 PM on April 1, 2012 [11 favorites]


That trailer...was even worse than expected.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:25 PM on April 1, 2012


If it turns out that we are, in fact, residing in the Matrix, and that Zion needs me to join their ranks and fight the machines, the easiest way to get me to take the red pill would just be to describe the specific set of circumstances that resulted in Van Sant's Psycho actually being funded, shot, and released to theaters nationwide.
posted by griphus at 7:27 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I suspect that when a movie's old enough to vote, it's old enough to get a fresh take.

Enough with the fresh takes already! At least come up with new characters and settings to fill in the MadLib blanks in the same old action movie crap. Are we going to remake superhero movies over and over again until the end of cinema? God I'm so sick of them.

From the last link: " (If you can’t get behind “Die Hard” as a great American movie, then I’d argue that you hate greatness, movies and America.)"
So goddamn true.


Phooey to you sir, and phooey to the source of the quote. I have nothing against Die Hard, but statements like that are almost enough to make me go out of my way to find fault with it.
posted by JHarris at 7:31 PM on April 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


You hate Christmas as well, then?
posted by Artw at 7:32 PM on April 1, 2012 [9 favorites]


One thing that bothers me the most is that most modern American action movies seem very humorless. Verhoven's stuff was hilarious and worked as pretty biting satire but this Recall just looks grim and self-serious and I can't imagine the Robocop being any different.
posted by octothorpe at 7:41 PM on April 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


I did have fun making up appropiate Running Man style quips for Hunger Games.

"Sucks to BEE you!", etc...
posted by Artw at 7:43 PM on April 1, 2012 [12 favorites]


Well, there's still plenty of Phillip Dick movies yet to be made. I'm sure a fair number of Metafilterians could name a specific book they're waiting for Hollywood to turn in a (respectful) interpretation of. Radio Free Albemuth? Three Stigmata...?
posted by newdaddy at 7:43 PM on April 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


So - is Hollywood gonna ever stop that teal/orange bullshit? Fuck.
posted by symbioid at 7:46 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I always thought the Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch would make for a pretty excellent movie. I envision it as being something like a hybrid between Michael Mann's Miami Vice and Star Trek the Motion Picture.
posted by feloniousmonk at 7:47 PM on April 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


I love Van Sant`s Psycho, very meta.
posted by Tom-B at 7:47 PM on April 1, 2012


They filmed Albemuth a few years ago, although it doesn't seem to have been released yet.
posted by octothorpe at 7:51 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


One thing that bothers me the most is that most modern American action movies seem very humorless.

I agree, but there were a few recent exceptions that I really enjoyed: Red and The Losers (both based on DC Comics properties, natch) were lively and funny with the former containing some very nice thematic concerns about aging in the intelligence community. There was also The A-Team, which I came to with a huge chip on my shoulder and by the end was hook, line and sinkered by.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 7:55 PM on April 1, 2012


also:

Shoot 'Em Up
Crank
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:56 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I found Hanna surprisingly good, although I'm not sure if that counts as a modern American action movie or not. It had a very striking visual style.
posted by feloniousmonk at 7:58 PM on April 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


Crank

Let's get this straight: Crank and its sequels are not "action movies." They are humanity's greatest artistic achievements.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 7:59 PM on April 1, 2012 [23 favorites]


Mr. Sulu is hot as a blonde.

And it has Cranston.

Bill Nighy is Kuato.

What more needs to be said people? Jesus.
posted by PapaLobo at 8:01 PM on April 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


> Red Dawn is being remade.

HONEYBADGERS!


This needs to go on the internet wall of fame.
posted by grog at 8:05 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Shoot 'Em Up really overreached in almost everything it attempted to do, but the amount of thought and work put into the action scenes, and the very obvious amount of fun Clive Owen and Paul Giamatti were having made up for it.
posted by griphus at 8:06 PM on April 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure if the Total Recall remake looks so bad it's good, or so bad it's bad.
posted by SansPoint at 8:09 PM on April 1, 2012


I'm more than happy for them to remake this with a vaguely serious tone and no Arnie. While they're at it remake The Running Man and do the same, ignore the Arnie movie and follow the book.
posted by markr at 8:18 PM on April 1, 2012


"One thing that bothers me the most is that most modern American action movies seem very humorless."

It's not as though they didn't try during the '80s...

(Hero fights villain!)
(Villain on the point of defeating hero!)
(Villain says something villainous, suggesting the hero's hopeless demise.)
(Hero does something that surprises the villain, killing him gruesomely and definitively.)
(Insert hero saying a bad pun!)


... and that's why they don't have much humor in American action movies anymore.
posted by markkraft at 8:18 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty on the fence about this specific remake, but all of the, "Can't hollywood come up with something original????" shit has got to go. Like OMG Jesus was just a remake of Horus man. So unoriginal. Nothing "original" has been done since historical times. Try to enjoy things. It's more fun.
posted by cmoj at 8:18 PM on April 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Try to enjoy things. It's more fun.

I *tried* to enjoy The Thing, honest. Didn't work.
posted by Artw at 8:20 PM on April 1, 2012


Maybe next time when Verhoeven has giant bugs shoot "ambient light" out of their butts, he can add an explosive starburst effect that makes a huge blinking word spell out SATIRE!
posted by P.o.B. at 8:21 PM on April 1, 2012


""Can't hollywood come up with something original????"

Yeah... like The Jazz Singer! Or the Jazz Singer! Or perhaps The Jazz Singer! Or maybe they should try The Jazz Singer!
posted by markkraft at 8:22 PM on April 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


You hate Christmas as well, then?

I just want everyone to know that watching Die Hard on Christmas is a Groundhog Week family tradition.
posted by Groundhog Week at 8:22 PM on April 1, 2012 [8 favorites]


"Die Hard": Great Christmas movie, or GREATEST Christmas movie?

Since I am the only one in my action-flick-fan circle who also loves "Live Free or Die Hard" unironically, I would like to just state for the evidence record that in LFoDH
- there is Lucy McClane
- John McClane kills a fighter jet by throwing an overpass at it
And so my tasteless friends' arguments are INVALID.

Apparently there's another "Die Hard" due in 2013, this time with the male McClane Junior, because cranky badassery is genetic. Midnight show opening night, I AM THERE. WITH MY CANS OF RED BULL.
posted by nicebookrack at 8:32 PM on April 1, 2012 [8 favorites]


From the last link: " (If you can’t get behind “Die Hard” as a great American movie, then I’d argue that you hate greatness, movies and America.)"
So goddamn true.


Is it okay to hate Bruce Willis and his third rate Steve McQueen schtick then?
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 8:33 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Replicable or not, he is just not understood by American audiences, who mostly still don't get that Starship Troopers was a parody of violent American jingoism in media,

I didn’t get it, but I was having trouble paying attention because I hated it so much. I’ve have never hated any movie more than I’ve hated everything Paul Verhoeven has ever done. I really don’t even get the idea that he’s making satire, that seems like saying the Saw movies are satire.
posted by bongo_x at 8:35 PM on April 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


Still, some big and still warm shoes to fill there, considering how spot on and how successful the first Sam Raimi take was.

And Spider-Man 3 was released a mere five years ago. I think it is way early to remake it. Although it does give them a chance to tell the Gwen Stacy story.
posted by grouse at 8:47 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wait wait wait wait wait they're considering Aaron Paul for John McClane's son? DO IT TO ME NOW, FOX STUDIOS
posted by shakespeherian at 8:47 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Saw movies aren't satire?
posted by parki at 8:51 PM on April 1, 2012


Nah, Saw is very far from satire. They took their full story arc so seriously that in some point they came up with the idea of a "midquel" and all. You can kick the Saw guys down for many good reasons, but their commitment to a solid and fully explained (by the final movie) saga should't in any fairness be one of them, IMHO and all that.
posted by Iosephus at 8:59 PM on April 1, 2012


I didn’t get it

Actually, it doesn't matter if you did get it or not. The argument that people keeping making, is that if you don't like a Verhoeven film = then you didn't get it. It's a really dismissive way to "win" an argument without making a point (except the most blatantly obvious one) at all.

FFS, it's not like he made them in morse code blips on a white screen. His films are plainly obvious, and some of them are just plain shit. It's just an opinion and people need to stop with the bullshit argument that anyone who doesn't like them is bllind idiot.

That said, I will admit I like the first Saw movie and I'll even defend it as a quality movie.
posted by P.o.B. at 8:59 PM on April 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


The only total recall I want to see is one for that Lou Reed and Metallica album.
posted by smithsmith at 9:01 PM on April 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


Wait wait wait wait wait they're considering Aaron Paul for John McClane's son?

They can even bring in Kevin Sorbo (of Hercules fame) to be John's wacky brother... Actually, since there were two Gruber brothers, it makes symmetrical sense that there would be two McClanes.
posted by Groundhog Week at 9:01 PM on April 1, 2012


They took their full story arc so seriously

Actually they were solely responsible for the first one, and then had a bit of a hand in some of the sequels. I can't say much for the sequels and wouldn't suggest them to anybody unless you're into that Human Centipede, which has far more torture in it than the first Saw, type garbage.
posted by P.o.B. at 9:04 PM on April 1, 2012


I am Hollywood's audience. I'm the one who goes to these films, more than once, and buys lots of concessions while I'm there.

I thought 2011 was pretty excellent, given it was the year of the Triumvirate of Awesome. To wit:
* "Cowboys vs. Aliens"
* "Aliens vs. Ninjas" (Actually came out in 2010, but I didn't find it until 2011, so it counts.)
* "Ninjas vs. Cowboys"

If they could get pirates into the mix, so much the better, as long as Johnny Depp stays the hell away from it. I'll have no whiff of quality wafting about my trashy movies, thanks.

This year, what with Spider-Man, The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, MiB3, Snow White/Huntress, Prometheus, Badass, Cabin in the Woods, The Raven, Safe (!), and omg, so many others, including this newly-minted Total Recall, I'm happier than a dog with two peckers.
posted by malthusan at 9:04 PM on April 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


I really don’t even get the idea that he’s making satire...

Psychic Nazi Doogie Howser feels up a sad, defeated bug and tells the Our Side that it's afraid, to roaring adulation.

Seriously, I'm not sure how much more satirical you can get than dressing the good guys up in the height of Third Reich fashion.
posted by griphus at 9:09 PM on April 1, 2012 [9 favorites]


I think what might be troubling some people in this thread and, when I thought about it, myself as well, is that Hollywood doesn't seem to be mining modern Fiction in the same way it used to. I'm not just talking about the best sellers that line Walmart check outs and airport book stores; I mean more fringe stuff that could be sculpted into beautiful cinema if it had the right visionaries behind it. If there already isn't, there should be some kind of group that roots these out and, in some way, lobbies them to Hollywood for all of our sakes. I know there is no shortage of new writing out there but someone is just going to have to put a little work into finding the good stuff.

"Die Hard": Great Christmas movie, or GREATEST Christmas movie?

I totally agree with this (but I also consider Gremlins and Eyes Wide Shut my two other favorite Christmas films).
posted by coolxcool=rad at 9:24 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


'Round these parts we call Eyes Wide Shut 'A Very Kubrick Christmas.'
posted by shakespeherian at 9:25 PM on April 1, 2012 [7 favorites]


Don't forget Dennis Leary's "The Ref" for your yuletide viewing list.
posted by radwolf76 at 9:41 PM on April 1, 2012 [6 favorites]


octothorpe: "Looks like bits and pieces of the original, Bladerunner, The Matrix, Fifth Element and Minority Report all mashed together."

Did anybody else see The Hunger Games as being a bizarre hybrid of Minority Report and The Fifth Element?
posted by schmod at 9:43 PM on April 1, 2012


"Drive" had action, but it was not an "action movie." And my favorite scene in the movie involved a slow drive down the Los Angeles River channel, the setting of many a chase scene ("Terminator 2," if I'm not mistaken.), which ended with an idyllic scene of ... becoming one with nature and experiencing love in an unspoken, existential way or something. I flipped out over that scene. "Drive" points the way to another kind of movie, while also being more of an homage to classic film noir, Michael Mann movies, and of course "Bullitt."

Anyway, I think the action movie genre reached its nadir with "Swordfish," which (fittingly, I suppose) was released in the summer of 2011 (and that movie's own nadir, the blow-job given to the protagonist while he is forced to hack at gunpoint, which of course still turns him on, even though he's being held at gunpoint).

Afterthought: The regular ol' action movie then made its way to TV, with "24," whose often-criticized interrogation/torture scenes were already familiar to action movie fans (and the neo-noir "L.A. Confidential" from '97). (Fans of old action films were also undoubtedly watching "The Sopranos," but "24" was an golden-era-action-movie presented in serialized TV form).
posted by raysmj at 9:50 PM on April 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm skeptical. To say that films like "Dirty Harry" are not action movies because they don't have enough pointless explosions seems to me to draw a very strange line. Sternbergh thinks that "First Blood" (1982) started the big action-movie craze (I guess ... it's hard to know exactly what he means). But I don't see how that can be right with films like "The French Connection" (1971), "Dirty Harry" (1971), "Death Wish" (1974), "Good Guys Wear Black" (1978), and even "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981) preceding it.
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 9:50 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yes, let's put Verhoeven on par with the directors of Saws I through XVII.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:52 PM on April 1, 2012


(Yes, Robocop is in the Criterion Collection.)

I don't disagree that Robocop is a near perfect film, but inclusion in the Criterion Collection isn't necessarily an indicator of quality.
posted by eyeballkid at 10:00 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


If "Raiders of the Lost Ark" isn't an action movie I don't wanna live on this action movie planet anymore.
posted by nicebookrack at 10:05 PM on April 1, 2012


Yes, let's call Showgirls a watchable film.
posted by P.o.B. at 10:07 PM on April 1, 2012


Instead of looping back around to remaking P. K. Dick novels, I'd really like to see Hollywood take a decent shot at filming an Alfred Bester or Eric Frank Russell novel or three.

Is there a copy on youtube? Not everyone has iTunes or quicktime installed.

The gstreamer plugins for AAC and h.264 handle embedded quicktime content pretty well in Linux/Firefox. And certainly preferable to using steenking Flash for video.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:07 PM on April 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


Yes, let's put Verhoeven on par with the directors of Saws I through XVII.

I’m not sure how you’re meaning that (better than, worse than?), but now I feel kind of stupid; I’ve never seen the Saw movies, not my kind of thing, I just assumed they were some sort of torture porn.

I have always thought Paul Verhoeven was the worst director ever, and until I read this thread and the article linked I assumed that was a pretty common opinion. I don’t remember totally hating Robocop though, but I saw it in the theater when it came out, so who knows?
posted by bongo_x at 10:10 PM on April 1, 2012


Yes, let's call Showgirls a watchable film.
so much more than watchable!
posted by Bwithh at 10:10 PM on April 1, 2012


No, Paul Verhoeven is a genius with a grotesque and sly sense of humor. It takes some work to get on his wavelength but it is worth it. He's no Uwe Boll. For me the entry point to loving Paul Verhoeven was hearing him talk on the "Starship Troopers" commentary about how "war makes fascists of us all."

His book on Jesus is amazing. Even though Showgirls is a camp movie, the look of it is amazing and the climax has a huge kick to it. Also, Rutger Hauer fans should appreciate the clips on YouTube of the Dutch TV show they did together, "Floris," where Hauer plays a knight.
posted by steinsaltz at 10:21 PM on April 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Psychic Nazi Doogie Howser feels up a sad, defeated bug and tells the Our Side that it's afraid, to roaring adulation.

Yeah I felt really bad for the Boss-Bug in that scene :-(
posted by tumid dahlia at 10:21 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Aren't video games almost good enough to make movies redundant. Right now I am on a hiatus from all games and movies, but its the games that I am missing the most.

I watch the trailers for Drive, Hunger Games and Total Recall but I don't get that interested but when I watch trailers or ingame footage from Deus Ex:HR, Mass Effect 3, Skyrimm and Dear Esther for example I start looking at what PC upgrades I would need to play.
posted by vicx at 10:22 PM on April 1, 2012


Paul Verhoeven makes porn that makes you think.
posted by vicx at 10:24 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


The gstreamer plugins for AAC and h.264 handle embedded quicktime content pretty well in Linux/Firefox...

Oh ok yeah lemme just...do I download that? And then right...right-mouse? On the folder? Will Solitaire still work?
posted by tumid dahlia at 10:25 PM on April 1, 2012 [11 favorites]


Paul Verhoeven makes porn that makes you think.

Normal everyday porn already makes me think. It makes me think "Boy, it sure would be neat to doin' that to those six chicks."
posted by tumid dahlia at 10:26 PM on April 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Instead of looping back around to remaking P. K. Dick novels, I'd really like to see Hollywood take a decent shot at filming an Alfred Bester or Eric Frank Russell novel or three.

Oh yes, Tiger Tiger and The Demolished Man would both make fantastic movies.
posted by smoke at 10:26 PM on April 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


It seems like Hollywood is remaking old movies every two... weeks.
posted by benzenedream at 10:32 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh yes, Tiger Tiger and The Demolished Man would both make fantastic movies.

Course, then you'd get your wish, it would turn out they had a few too many ideas and odd edges that need sanding down and in the end it'd turn out to be an abomination.

You know what I'd like to see? HBO take on a SF series with the same kind of seriousness of intent that it's taken on crime and George R. R. Martin.
posted by Artw at 10:34 PM on April 1, 2012 [6 favorites]


I just assumed they were some sort of torture porn.

As far as I can tell, the people who make this complaint usually hasn't seen them. Saying Saw is all about torture is like saying Rambo: First Blood is all about killing people and blowing shit up. The sequels for both of those films take great delight in living up to their aura, but the originals are far better and have much stronger themes that don't rely on the gimmicky BS the sequels do.
posted by P.o.B. at 10:35 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Entering the remake arena, from Japan, I present author Yōjirō Ishizaka's (石坂 洋次郎) 1949 novel Blue Mountain Range (Aoi sanmyaku, 青い山脈) and its seven screen adaptations:

青い山脈 Aoi sanmyaku (1949)
續 青い山脈 Zoku aoi sanmyaku (1949)
青い山脈 新子の巻 Aoi sanmyaku Shinko no maki (1957)
続青い山脈 雪子の巻 Zoku Aoi sanmyaku Yukiko no maki (1957)
青い山脈 Aoi sanmyaku (1963)
青い山脈 Aoi sanmyaku (1975)
青い山脈'88 Aoi sanmyaku '88 (1988)

Kind of a self-link - I wrote most of the linked Wikipedia entry and am friends with one of Ishizaka's children
posted by zippy at 10:38 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Game of Thrones isn't a science fiction series, huh?
posted by coolxcool=rad at 10:38 PM on April 1, 2012


What was Hollow Man satirizing, exactly?
posted by davidjmcgee at 10:39 PM on April 1, 2012


Imagine an awfully sincere teenager is telling you his AWESOME idea for a Serial Killer movie and it's just the most terrible pretentious garbage you can think of but HE THINKS IT'S A SERIOUS AND GOOD IDEA.

That's basically the philosophy and backstory of the Saw movies.
posted by Artw at 10:40 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]



Oh yes, Tiger Tiger and The Demolished Man would both make fantastic movies.

Yes, please. The funny thing is that you know that Golem^100 is the one that will be made first.
posted by Barry B. Palindromer at 10:40 PM on April 1, 2012


Game of Thrones isn't a science fiction series, huh?

Not really in the sense I'm going for, no.
posted by Artw at 10:40 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Imagine an awfully sincere teenager is telling you his AWESOME idea for a Serial Killer movie and it's just the most terrible pretentious garbage you can think of but HE THINKS IT'S A SERIOUS AND GOOD IDEA.

Hehe. For a second there, I thought you were describing Hollow Man.
posted by P.o.B. at 10:42 PM on April 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Me too. 'Cause he sort of was.
posted by davidjmcgee at 10:43 PM on April 1, 2012


Really though, with most slasher flicks you get what you paid for. At least Saw had a backstory.
posted by P.o.B. at 10:44 PM on April 1, 2012


Yes, let's call Showgirls a watchable film.

True, every great director has their Eyes Wide Shut moment.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:50 PM on April 1, 2012


You just compared... Kubrick to... *HEAD ASPLODES*
posted by P.o.B. at 10:54 PM on April 1, 2012


Sorry, I meant Barry Lydon. At least the director's cut of it.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:59 PM on April 1, 2012


OK, with all of this Paul Verhoeven bashing (I mean misunderstanding, [jk P.o.B.]) going on maybe it is time for a well thought out FPP about the man and his work. Although I'm a Verhoeven fan I am with P.o.B. in as far as Verhoeven shouldn't be argued for by saying that you don't "get" him if you don't like him. All manner of wines can be "get" or understood but that does not mean everyone HAS to appreciate them. I'd like an FPP showing how one might appreciate the finer points of Verhoeven.
posted by coolxcool=rad at 11:14 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


While they're at it remake The Running Man and do the same, ignore the Arnie movie and follow the book.

I think American audiences might have a problem with how the book version of Running man ends.
posted by Iax at 11:19 PM on April 1, 2012 [8 favorites]


smoke: "Instead of looping back around to remaking P. K. Dick novels, I'd really like to see Hollywood take a decent shot at filming an Alfred Bester or Eric Frank Russell novel or three.

Oh yes, Tiger Tiger and The Demolished Man would both make fantastic movies.
"

So quasi-orgasmically yessing The Demolished Man.

Planning a murder in a world with telepaths?

Just remember -

Tension, apprehension,
And dissension have begun.
posted by Samizdata at 11:30 PM on April 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Just stumbled on this article (love the beanplaty domain on it): Why Everyone Gets Robocop But Nobody Gets Starship Troopers. I think it says it pretty well.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:30 PM on April 1, 2012 [8 favorites]


You know what I'd like to see? HBO take on a SF series with the same kind of seriousness of intent that it's taken on crime and George R. R. Martin.

I want me some Iain M. Banks. Feersum Endjinn, Excession, either would work, and I would love to see it filmed by someone like David Fincher, Michael Mann or Kathryn Bigelow.
posted by migurski at 11:49 PM on April 1, 2012 [6 favorites]


That's a great piece, G_S:

But I think fascism is hard to satirize because fascism appeals to people on a primal level. And when someone of vision and energy, like Verhoeven, attempts to satirize fascism, we don’t always get the joke...

Starship Troopers is fascist propaganda – for a fascism that does not yet exist. The problem isn’t that Verhoeven got his fascist propaganda all over your action movie. The problem is that your action movie springs directly from fascist propaganda.

posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:51 PM on April 1, 2012


ON seeing the full trailer, it doesn't look that terrible. They only use an inception sound knockoff like two or three times, so they get partial credit in that regard.

Anyway, it looked like a kind of interesting setup. But it looked like it was going to devolve into a bunch of pointless action shots.

Also, I can't belive people didn't get starship troopers. I mean, I saw it when I was a teenager or something, and enjoyed the action, etc, but it was obvious to me that the director was mocking Heinlein.
posted by delmoi at 11:52 PM on April 1, 2012


They turned Total Recall into Bourne Identity in the Future. Fine with me, actually.
posted by cell divide at 12:00 AM on April 2, 2012


The real question is whether they'll explicitly reveal at the end that the whole thing was an adventure dream/memory, or merely make it extremely obvious without actually showing the protagonist wake up at the end.

(I do wish the 1990 Total Recall had a final scene of Schwarzenegger getting up from the machine, and walking--dazed, in the rain--home to Sharon Stone and his mundane life.)
posted by straight at 12:14 AM on April 2, 2012


Well, now I'm going to have "get your ass to Mars" stuck in my head all day.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 12:19 AM on April 2, 2012


On the other hand, "get thy arse to Mars" sounds like a Shakespearean character exhorting someone to go to war.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:23 AM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


The real question is whether they'll explicitly reveal at the end that the whole thing was an adventure dream/memory, or merely make it extremely obvious without actually showing the protagonist wake up at the end.

(I do wish the 1990 Total Recall had a final scene of Schwarzenegger getting up from the machine, and walking--dazed, in the rain--home to Sharon Stone and his mundane life.)
I don't think Philip K Dick would have liked it that way. The whole point is the ambiguity. Was it all just a memory? Or were they programming him to think it was a memory so that he would do what they wanted him to do? Or did the procedure somehow cause his 'real' memories to return? The whole point is, you don't know. PKDs work often explored the relationship between perception and reality.
posted by delmoi at 12:28 AM on April 2, 2012


Let me agree with the comments that remakes are as old as Hollywood, and even predate the move from silent to talkies. It's not the remaking that bothers me, and TR is certainly old enough (as much as it pains me to admit) for some updating. I do wonder if, like the color/b&w division, we're getting to a point where "the kids" just laugh at any model-based special effects, for one thing.

The comic book superhero movies being rebooted all the time does bug me. I don't care if you've got a spectacular new take on Spider-Man, I don't even care if you cast the fantastic Andrew Garfield -- I'm just sick of hearing the origin story over and over. Sheesh. I don't think the comic book versions would have survived if they did three issues and started over, every fucking time. On the other hand, it does avoid the strangulation of continuity.

Meanwhile, remaking Verhoeven is like remaking Hitchcock. It'll be a hell of a cash-in and it might even make a decent movie, but any attempt to replicate exactly made the original great is a doomed.

Hell, I don't even like Hitch's remake of his own movie. (For some reason, I often think he did this twice, but apparently that's wrong -- or right only in a thematic sense.) Anyway, while there is much to admire in the '56 The Man Who Knew Too Much, such as the presence of Jimmy Stewart and the welcome use of color, the original does a much better job of curdling my blood. And while we're talking Hitchcock, I'll just say that while his version of The 39 Steps edges the others that I've seen, none of them seems to have done the book itself full justice.

Is it okay to hate Bruce Willis and his third rate Steve McQueen schtick then?

I don't rank Willis with the never-uninteresting McQueen for obvious reasons, but when properly directed he's quite capable (e.g. Pulp Fiction, 12 Monkeys, etc.; looking forward to the new Wes Anderson). And Die Hard, as Siskel & Ebert pointed out some years ago, really marks a turning point in the American action film, creating a more vulnerable, introspective, and reluctant protagonist. Iconic moment: "Come out to the coast. We'll get together. Have a few laughs." The basic concept can and has been remade (even becoming the seminal elevator pitch -- Die Hard on a ______), and they make it especially easy to see how Willis's ability to evoke audience empathy (e.g. broken glass scene) is head and shoulders above the others. It works best when you have an actor with a comparable wheelbox, such as Harrison Ford in Air Force One.

And since I've come this far I may as well say that while Schwarzenegger tried to incorporate some of these same elements in his persona as his career progressed, it could easily be said that this remake is for people who can't stand him. One of the things I like about Arnie is that he fundamentally gets that he's a joke, a big cartoon character, and he has the guts as a performer to use that. Directors like Verhoeven who operate in a more satirical vein also got this about him and made it work for their films. But at the same time, if you're really serious about your high-concept sf, maybe you can't accept The Governator at the center of your story. Colin Farrell is definitely from the post-Willis school of vulnerability, so I expect he'll do fine, even if the story is a ibt less colorful.
posted by dhartung at 12:41 AM on April 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


I clicked on that trailer expecting more John Cho and I am sorely disappointed.

still can't believe that fly bastard is 39

And I'm not sure if the action movie has gone 'kablooey' or not, not being much of a film buff, but I present to you, without judgement: Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, billed as an American action comedy-horror film.
posted by zennish at 12:47 AM on April 2, 2012


I don't know if anyone has linked this yet, but if not ladies and gentlemen I present you with: Total Recall: The Musical
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 12:53 AM on April 2, 2012


Oh and no mars or aliens or mutants=BULLSHIT!!!!
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 12:54 AM on April 2, 2012


Oh great, a full article telling me how I didn't get it. How about: It's not the thematic content, it's the plotting. It's not a matter of the audience getting it, it's a matter of the film losing the audience.

Robocop, Total Recall, and even Basic Instinct have relatable characters that are trying to move through situations in a realistic way. Front to end the audience understands the whys, hows, and wherefores.

Starship Troopers, Showgirls, and Hollow Man have two dimensional characters working their way through situations in totally unrealistic ways. I don't need realism or fully fleshed characters, and I'm fine with content driving the story, but none of those films do that. Troopers comes close but fails by way of camp-oversaturation.

Are the latter 3 films entertaining? Sure, can't deny that. Do I understand the underlying thematic content? Yeah. Do I think they are examples of films par excellence? Hell no. It's not a matter of getting it. It's a matter of whether I think the film deserves my praise. Personally, those films don't fully appeal to me and therefore -
posted by P.o.B. at 12:57 AM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Being that his best films are nowhere fucking near other great director's films. let's NOT put Verhoeven in the same grade as Kubrick and Hitchcock.
posted by P.o.B. at 1:03 AM on April 2, 2012


Well, now I'm going to have "get your ass to Mars" stuck in my head all day.

this probably won't help you, then.
posted by Mikey-San at 1:14 AM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


(e.g. broken glass scene)

I know you're talking about Die Hard there, but that phrase in this thread reminded me, there was a lot of broken glass in the original of Total Recall.
posted by radwolf76 at 1:19 AM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Fun Fact: David Cronenberg almost made Total Recall.

But then he made eXistenZ instead? That makes sense. It's possible that this Total Recall could be more eXistenZ than Total Recall, actually.
posted by Grangousier at 1:21 AM on April 2, 2012


I don't like remakes.
posted by jonsy at 2:10 AM on April 2, 2012


Now I am home, I finally got the chance to see the trailer. Meh, looks OK. I am getting pretty sick of slomo camera spinning (guys, The Matrix was 12 years ago), but the rest of the trailer is pretty standard action fare - although very bloodless compared to the original.

Speaking of the original, Total Recall (1990) contains my favourite scene in any film - the one where the doctor from recall tries to talk Quaid into swallowing a pill that will knock him out of the dream(*).

The doctor is speaking to Quaid but addressing the audience, effectively saying "All sorts of crazy stuff has happened, but you wanted it this way because you are sitting here watching this. You can get up a leave now before it really goes insane, but don't complain if it doesn't comply with any reality you know".

Of course Quaid doesn't take the pill, and the audience stays right where they are. Both get exactly what they deserve - the walls of reality come crashing down and the SWAT team pours through the gaps.

* Incidentally, I eventually came to the conclusion that film works better if you accept that it was all just a dream and the film is a sly satire on giving audiences exactly the escapism that Quaid, the everyman, want even (or especially) if such fantasies quickly become ridiculous.
posted by AndrewStephens at 2:54 AM on April 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


delmoi> I don't think Philip K Dick would have liked it that way. The whole point is the ambiguity. Was it all just a memory? Or were they programming him to think it was a memory so that he would do what they wanted him to do? Or did the procedure somehow cause his 'real' memories to return? The whole point is, you don't know. PKDs work often explored the relationship between perception and reality.

I'm not so sure he would have liked it that way. I've always had the impression half of why he wrote all the realityfuck stuff was as a way to give voice to the parts of himself that were convinced it's all a sham of some kind.

I may be projecting, as I'm knee-deep in a realityfuck graphic novel that I'm making in part to externalize this inner debate.
posted by egypturnash at 3:15 AM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


It seems strange somehow to think of Schwarzenegger as having charm, but watching this trailer all I could think of was how utterly charmless every part of it looks in comparison to the previous Total Recall. And I think the lack of Arnie is a large part of that.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 4:17 AM on April 2, 2012


It looks like they've made a sequel to Minority Report where they forgot that Colin Farrell was dead.
posted by dng at 4:27 AM on April 2, 2012


sigh - a remake of robocop ? robocop is a remake of judge dredd, minus stallone and with the jokes kept in.
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:30 AM on April 2, 2012


a remake of robocop ?

They can rebuild him. They have the technology.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:42 AM on April 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


As far as I'm concerned, the action genre has all been downhill the 1974 Alan Arkin/James Caan buddy cop pic Freebie and the Bean.

Joking (or am I?)
posted by to sir with millipedes at 5:06 AM on April 2, 2012


sigh - a remake of robocop ? robocop is a remake of judge dredd, minus stallone and with the jokes kept in.

You got it the wrong way round - Judge Dredd was made after Robocop. Robocop is a rip-off of Dark Knight Returns.
posted by Grangousier at 5:20 AM on April 2, 2012


Nah. Robocop's a straight up Jesus allegory. Savior, risen from the dead, walks on water? Only this time, the spike's coming out of the wrist and not going in.
posted by radwolf76 at 5:36 AM on April 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Man, I love Die Hard... it captured everything that was silly and over the top about action movies in the late 80's, but did so fondly and without being an outright Zucker Brothers style parody. After watching it again recently I was surprised to find that Ebert panned it, but really dug Die Hard 2.

Total Recall 2012? Eh, I'll probably watch it at home eventually but boy am I tired of shaky-cam-jump-cut-slo-mo-pan-big-thing-flipping-over action sequences. At least the trailer didn't have any camera-follows-the-bullet-out-of-the-gun shots.
posted by usonian at 5:37 AM on April 2, 2012


Die Hard also had the first really great British-Shakespearean-actor-slumming-it-as-an-action-movie-villain. Apart from Basil Rathbone in The Adventures of Robin Hood, I suppose.
posted by Grangousier at 5:44 AM on April 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wow... jumping in on this thread late in the game. I'm reading "Development Hell" (quoted in the Io9.com link) and just read the chapter on Total Recall a few weeks ago. Pretty interesting book, I picked it up @ Ollies for .99 cents.

There are a lot of movies covered in that book that have the stink of Arnold Schwarzenegger attached to them. Too many projects twisted or thwarted by his attachment. So, it's not surprising that this "Total Recall" is a reboot.
posted by lotusstp at 5:49 AM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've developed a coping mechanism for all these remakes. I'm starting to imagine it's theatre - a remake is just a new production of something. So maybe the new Robocop is just Am-Drammers trying out a Verhoven play, it'll be shit but who cares? I mean unlike a play you can still watch the original.

Like that atrocity Van Sant did with Psycho.

I've always been curious about his psycho remake, why did GVS do this? Was it just a cash in or was it some kind of post modern experiment - it must be interesting as a director to have the budget to do an entirely shot for shot version of a classic. But then it was terribly executed and really badly cast. Perhaps it was just a massive ego trip.
posted by pmcp at 5:57 AM on April 2, 2012


I'm going to throw all of my credibility out of the window. I kind of liked the trailer, and I'm intrigued.

As for the Verhoeven thing, it's bizarre just how many of his films are films I truly, truly like, though I don't know how much credit he deserves as a fine filmmaker versus my enduring love of schlock, of which he is a master. Starship Troopers was, for me, so bad that after I watched it, I found another friend who hadn't seen it, then forced them to watch it again with me just to see how bad it was.

My friends and I have watched just about all of his films. With each succesive exploit, our pronunciation of his name changed. Sure, at first, he was just Vair-hoe-ven, then came the more artsy Vair-Ho-Ay-ven. Finally, after Starship Troopers (combined with the awesomeness that was Herr Doktor Doogie!) he became cemented in our heads as Paul Vair-Hwaffen.

Damn, I think I need to watch it again. I don't think Mrs. Ghidorah has seen it, and she likes Neal Patrick Harris...
posted by Ghidorah at 6:28 AM on April 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Look This comes out on Friday on Demand. I haven't anticipated a movie this much since the first Matrix Sequel.
posted by NiteMayr at 6:41 AM on April 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


On the plus side, it doesn't look like the new one features Mom, PI. Because every time I watch the original, I think, "Hey, that's Mom, PI!" And then I just want to cry for having that shit take up room in my brain.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:09 AM on April 2, 2012



You got it the wrong way round - Judge Dredd was made after Robocop.



ah, you mean the movie - i don't mean the movie i mean the comic, which the guardian pretty much confirms anyway. I would recommend checking out some early judge dredd comics to see the similarities and generally have an awesome reading experience.
posted by sgt.serenity at 7:20 AM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Red Dawn remade with North Koreans = FAIL

The invaders should OBVIOUSLY be arabic — suitcase nukes in all the major cities and an invasion on the morning the creation of the New Caliphate is announced, merging all arab states. The opening credits should be based on the Millenium Challenge 2002. Then, islamic sharia and mass executions in the streets of heartland America.

Now THAT would approach Cold War levels of paranoia.
posted by Tom-B at 7:25 AM on April 2, 2012


There's early models for the Robocop suit that have Dredd's helmet as a stand-in, so it was a pretty clear inspiration. And they did a much better job of capturing the spirit of the conic than the actual Dredd film did.
posted by Artw at 7:27 AM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have to watch it because one of my homies is on the VFX team but man, they might as well call it Bible 2012, where the Romans are fratboys from Stanford, the Jews are hippies from Antioch, the apostles are a plucky who come together to play lacrosse and teach those preppies a lesson about team-building and brotherly love, God is a gouty Danny DeVito as team captain and the Christ is a yellow lab with one green eye.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:32 AM on April 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Die Hard also had the first really great British-Shakespearean-actor-slumming-it-as-an-action-movie-villain.

No love for Stephen Berkoff in either Beverly Hills Cop or Rambo?

(Actually, not sure whether your "really great" applies to the actor, or to the villain. Or indeed the portrayal of the latter by the former.)
posted by phl at 7:40 AM on April 2, 2012


Die Hard also had the first really great British-Shakespearean-actor-slumming-it-as-an-action-movie-villain.

So true! And Alan Hans Rickman Gruber, so awesome! When you think about it, classically talented actors slumming in villainy usually proceed to do a delicious job of it while raking in the cash. That means they can afford to act in and mount experimental art films and sleek productions of Troilus and Cressida: The Musical without worrying about the budget. So action movies are not just entertaining, they are essential to ART.
posted by nicebookrack at 8:06 AM on April 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


keep your ass from mars
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:09 AM on April 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


If you're going to slam Verhoeven, you should at least see Black Book, the last movie he made. It's a well-made, gripping WWII story about the Dutch resistance. No sci-fi or satire or exploding heads at all.

He's a good, solid director who takes chances and then every once in a while sells out so he can take more chances. When Soderbergh does it, we get all gooey, so what's the big deal? It's okay if Verhoeven has a few bad movies.
posted by fungible at 8:30 AM on April 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


Like OMG Jesus was just a remake of Horus man.

It was a ... what?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:44 AM on April 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Man,, these look fucking terrible. Mercifully, the trailer for Total Recall stopped in mid playback so i was spared watching any more of that trite looking, future, generic, tribal tattoo, cliche shit....and Colin Farrell.

And the Robocop remake... sounds even worse.
posted by Liquidwolf at 8:53 AM on April 2, 2012


Well, Farrell can simply reprise his role in the inevitable remake of Minority Report.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:54 AM on April 2, 2012


Um, seanmpuckett, please say you have a kickstarter page for that.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:00 AM on April 2, 2012


From the trailer it looks like the plot is actually more faithful to the original short story than the Verhoeven version. I can't imagine that they kept the story's final twist though, because it's completly insane and there's no way it would work on screen (Spoilers in ROT-13: Jura gur punenpgre jnf 9 ur fvatyr-unaqrqyl fnirq gur jbeyq ol abg fgrccvat ba na nqinapr cnegl bs zbhfr-fvmrq nyvraf, jub gura gunax uvz sbe uvf xvaqarff ol abg vainqvat Rnegu.).
posted by elgilito at 9:05 AM on April 2, 2012


Die Hard also had the first really great British-Shakespearean-actor-slumming-it-as-an-action-movie-villain. Apart from Basil Rathbone in The Adventures of Robin Hood, I suppose.

Also Laurence Olivier in Marathon Man in 1976.
posted by rfs at 9:12 AM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm sure a fair number of Metafilterians could name a specific book they're waiting for Hollywood to turn in a (respectful) interpretation of. Radio Free Albemuth? Three Stigmata...?

I would love to see a movie made of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. The actual novel, that is -- rather than a few assorted plot elements therefrom combined with a title taken from a mediocre Alan E. Nourse novel about a medical black market in a eugenic dystopia. But then, arguing that any movie so far allegedly made from a Philip K. Dick novel or story has had much to do with the source material is pretty much shooting fish in a barrel.
posted by y2karl at 9:35 AM on April 2, 2012


I thought A Scanner Darkly was pretty decent.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:36 AM on April 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


> I thought A Scanner Darkly was pretty decent.

I actually preferred the rotoscoped movie to the book since the book was such a depressing dive into the waters of PKD's insanity.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:43 AM on April 2, 2012


Trailer for the new Robocop.
posted by orme at 9:46 AM on April 2, 2012


Talking of Robocop, this just got announced as a trade by some mates of mine: TERMINATOR/ROBOCOP: KILL HUMAN

Definitely recommended for people who like their old school SF action, and anyone who liked the back-in-the-day Dark Horse ROBOCOP VS TERMINATOR.
posted by Artw at 9:54 AM on April 2, 2012


Anyone know anything more about the Man In The High Castle TV adaptation that was announced two years ago?
posted by octothorpe at 9:58 AM on April 2, 2012


Die Hard also had the first really great British-Shakespearean-actor-slumming-it-as-an-action-movie-villain. Apart from Basil Rathbone in The Adventures of Robin Hood, I suppose

And the tradition will continue in the next Star Trek with Benedict Cumberbatch as the villian. Sell me my ticket NOW.
posted by Ber at 10:03 AM on April 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Apparently there's another "Die Hard" due in 2013, this time with the male McClane Junior, because cranky badassery is genetic.

What?
How can this not be a movie with Lucy McClane?
I mean, seriously, who even knew there _was_ a McClane Junior?

Think about the crucial scene, where she answers the phone "McClane residence, Lucy McClane speaking" and the evil (British actor playing a German) villain, the son of Hans, says "Hello, Lucy McClane".

It would be epic.
posted by madajb at 10:05 AM on April 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


For me, the thing about Alan Rickman in Die Hard was that he was in danger of taking over the movie - so the movie became a face-off between the actors as much as the characters. Bruce Willis was able to rise to the challenge (which is one of the reasons Die Hard is so great) and Kevin Costner really stood no chance, which is why Robin Hood Prince of Thieves is a great Alan Rickman vehicle.

I'd forgotten Marathon Man, but then I've never really thought of it as an action movie. Is running away, technically, action in that sense? I'd say only if the thing you're running away from explodes.
posted by Grangousier at 10:10 AM on April 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


I have yet to see A Scanner Darkly, so point taken.

I must confess that, on the whole, I do not care for Dick's post-exegesis works and Scanner was the last novel of Dick's that had merit to me. Solar Lottery, The Man In the High Castle, Martian Time Slip, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, Counter Clock World, Ubik and Galactic Pot Healer -- those I would like to see made into films, . Although, admittedly, picturing the consumption of pipes of sorghum in Counter Clock World would make for a difficult rating.
posted by y2karl at 10:14 AM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


A Star is Born (1937) Dorothy Parker worked on the screenplay
A Star is Born (1954) Judy Garland
A Star is Born (1976) Barbra Streisand
A Star is Born (2013) ???

Science shows that A Star is Born will be remade every 17-37 years.
posted by Zed at 10:18 AM on April 2, 2012


btw, that should have read has not had much to do with the source material in the last sentence of my first comment here.
posted by y2karl at 10:19 AM on April 2, 2012


A Star is Born (2013) ???

Beyoncé with Tom Cruse.
posted by octothorpe at 10:22 AM on April 2, 2012


Phooey to you sir...

posted by JHarris at 7:31 PM on April 1

Please, God, whatever else happens, let this be the catchphrase in the next action blockbuster.
posted by newmoistness at 10:31 AM on April 2, 2012


Evidence would seem to suggest that my problem is less with remakes than with remakes made after 1982. And in fact the closer a remake is to 1982 the happier I am with a remake, on either side of that date. Therefore science tells us that 1982 was the peak date of movie-making, and anything decent made since then is just a brief resurgence against an inevitable decline.
posted by Artw at 10:35 AM on April 2, 2012


Please, God, whatever else happens, let this be the catchphrase in the next action blockbuster.

Please, God, whatever else happens, don't let the next action blockbuster be a big budget Nero Wolfe film.
posted by Zed at 10:37 AM on April 2, 2012


Eastwood is going to film a musical? Huh. I really don't know how to feel about it, except weird.

And yes, watch Black Book, it's excellent. I begin to suspect that when you watch a (different) Verhoeven movie that looks like satire of some bizarre sort, it is you the filmgoer whom is being mocked gleefully by the guy.
posted by Iosephus at 10:55 AM on April 2, 2012


Well, there's still plenty of Phillip Dick movies yet to be made. I'm sure a fair number of Metafilterians could name a specific book they're waiting for Hollywood to turn in a (respectful) interpretation of. Radio Free Albemuth? Three Stigmata...?
Flow My Tears... is supposedly underway according to Wikipedia, who knows when it will be released. The Man in the High Castle is definitely in need of a feature-length treatment.
posted by e1c at 10:57 AM on April 2, 2012


Also Laurence Olivier in Marathon Man in 1976.

You know, my brain absolutely refuses to acknowledge that Marathon Man is not the same film as Running Man and I just thought that was a pretty good joke.

Meanwhile, Running Man takes place seven years from now. We have a lot of work to do, people.
posted by griphus at 10:59 AM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Man in the High Castle is definitely in need of a feature-length treatment.

Only if they keep the ending verbatim and let me hang around the theater and record people trying to explain it to one another.
posted by griphus at 11:01 AM on April 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


The fight on top of the airship with mecha-Hitler would be new.
posted by Artw at 11:02 AM on April 2, 2012


Also, a big Hollywood adaptation of Flow My Tears would be awesome, except the only way I can see filming the last two pages of the book is to just have the audio and video cut out Sopranos-style and then just loop this until everyone leaves the theater.
posted by griphus at 11:04 AM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Therefore science tells us that 1982 was the peak date of movie-making, and anything decent made since then is just a brief resurgence against an inevitable decline.

I'll be damned.
posted by COBRA! at 11:16 AM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


then just loop this until everyone leaves the theater

I'm afraid that if such a movie ever gets to that point in the production, they are just going to panic and do a long, boring, overexplained talk scene like in Matrix with the Architect. And marketing is going to (of course) demand the whole scene be part of the official trailer, too.
posted by Iosephus at 11:24 AM on April 2, 2012


You'd get handed a little explanation card as you enter the theatre, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy style.
posted by Artw at 11:30 AM on April 2, 2012


Just off of the top of my head, these movies all came out in 1982, within a few months of each other:

TRON
Blade Runner
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
E.T.
Poltergeist
The Thing
Conan The Barbarian

There are probably a few more, but I can't remember them right now.

1982 was a damn good year for movies.

BTW everything P.o.B. said about Paul Verhoven is wrong, for all values of being wrong.
posted by KHAAAN! at 11:32 AM on April 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


You'd get handed a little explanation card as you enter the theatre, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy style.

Wait, I have neither seen the film nor read the book. Is that a plot point or did it actually happen in the Real World?
posted by griphus at 11:37 AM on April 2, 2012


1982 was a damn good year for movies.

1999 was the the high water mark. It's been downhill since then.

My problem with movies based on PKD stories is that in my head, I always imagine the protagonist to look like John C. Reilly or Paul Giamatti.
posted by billyfleetwood at 11:37 AM on April 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


Sam Rockwell.
posted by griphus at 11:41 AM on April 2, 2012


Is that a plot point or did it actually happen in the Real World?

That is a think that happened in the real world.

I should point out that we only discovered the cards were a cheatsheet after finishing the movie, and that my wife said she'd only really followed about half of what was going on, and really I'd only followed about 80% and that's with a fair background in grim British 70s spy stuff. It's a brilliant movie, but could be accused of being a little *too* subtle in parts. I actually prefer that to the alternative.
posted by Artw at 11:44 AM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


According to Mephron Dune apparently came with a card like that too. I suspect that, like the awful extra prologues to the special edition, it probably made the situation worse.
posted by Artw at 11:45 AM on April 2, 2012


If there's no 3 breasted mutants we at least still have 'consider this a divorce!' and 'Screw you!' right? right?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:46 AM on April 2, 2012


"Screw you!*"

* technically a drill.
posted by Artw at 11:47 AM on April 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Robocop staring at a naked woman in the shower Man the 80s were a hell of a decade
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:48 AM on April 2, 2012


> Robocop staring at a naked woman in the shower Man the 80s were a hell of a decade

Which is odd, because later in Robocop 2 after the drug gang disassembles him we see that Robocop has nothing organic below the waist. I guess Robocop is proof that the brain really is the largest erogenous zone.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:57 AM on April 2, 2012


Well, they could have saved his right hand... I guess when that went...
posted by Artw at 12:00 PM on April 2, 2012


Have you all forgotten Tetsuo?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:10 PM on April 2, 2012


1982 was a damn good year for movies.

Fast Times at Ridgemont High, An Officer and a Gentleman, The Verdict, The World According to Garp, Diner, Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid, My Favorite Year, Young Doctors in Love, and 48 Hrs., too.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:07 PM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Fanny and Alexander & Fitzcarraldo.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:13 PM on April 2, 2012


& Ted & Alice
posted by griphus at 1:38 PM on April 2, 2012


& Ted & Alice is a pop-culture-bent side-project of Black Moth Super Rainbow.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:40 PM on April 2, 2012


Think about the crucial scene, where she answers the phone "McClane residence, Lucy McClane speaking" and the evil (British actor playing a German) villain, the son of Hans, says "Hello, Lucy McClane".

They would have to be young which means either Pattinson or Harry fucking Potter. So the opposite of epic (which IIRC my childhood verbal reasoning books is shite).
posted by biffa at 2:26 PM on April 2, 2012


Love how the link is to something that is a Total Recall, namely QuickTime. Jesus, that takes me back to the old days of the web. Is Apple not showing videos that work in all the modern browsers for nostalgia or something?
posted by juiceCake at 3:03 PM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


1982

It is good to live in Austin.
posted by mad bomber what bombs at midnight at 3:13 PM on April 2, 2012


I'm confused by people apparently thinking the original Total Recall was a good movie.
posted by Sebmojo at 3:58 PM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


How can this not be a movie with Lucy McClane?
I mean, seriously, who even knew there _was_ a McClane Junior?


To be fair, while I love Lucy(!), in the first "Die Hard" McClane definitely has two kids, Lucy
 and John Jr. AKA Jack. I'll have to rewatch to see who's youngest/oldest.

I am nonetheless going to throw a fit if Lucy isn't back for at least a cameo in "A Good Day to Die Hard," and/or co-starring with her brother in DH7.

One thing I really rather like about the "Die Hard" movies is that the hero isn't a mysterious secret agent appearing from the aether to save the day--they have a rough overarching continuity and sense of time passing for John McClane on a personal level. With the result that his personal life has gotten incrementally suckier: watch him progress from "Die Hard," where he's a sarcastic young cop incredulous at his bad luck, a husband just trying to save his strained marriage with the wife he loves, and the father of two little kids; to "Live Free or Die Hard," where he's a lonely, bitter, balding divorcé who is Too Old For This Shit and who stalks his college-student daughter because she won't talk to him.

His inability to turn off being a cop and let someone else carry the heavy crap for a minute has ruined his life and relationships, and he knows it. And he does it anyway, because he can't NOT put himself into peril to save the ungrateful world.
Knight in Sour Armor, thy name is John McClane.

where she answers the phone "McClane residence, Lucy McClane speaking" and the evil (British actor playing a German) villain, the son of Hans, says "Hello, Lucy McClane".

It would be epic.


SO EPIC.
posted by nicebookrack at 4:15 PM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Screw you!*"

* technically a drill.


Made me think of Mitchell and Webb's take on the Bond One-Liner.
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:24 PM on April 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


Seriously, I'm not sure how much more satirical you can get than dressing the good guys up in the height of Third Reich fashion.

You say satire, I say true to the actual book, which was unflinchingly telling it without preaching- menacing the Skinnies, who'd refused to side against the Bugs (suggesting the bugs were less harmful than the protagonist assuming), recent massive civil war which the Earth faction appears to have won... all the thinking was up to the reader.

They were fascists, in every sense of the term, in a society doomed to need wars to sustain its system of government and the potential annihilation of the species, if the aliens won wasn't too much of a cost to bear. I got the impression going over the top was because if they weren't it would come across as an endorsement.
posted by Phalene at 4:47 PM on April 2, 2012


You say satire, I say true to the actual book, which was unflinchingly telling it without preaching- menacing the Skinnies, who'd refused to side against the Bugs (suggesting the bugs were less harmful than the protagonist assuming), recent massive civil war which the Earth faction appears to have won... all the thinking was up to the reader.

They were fascists, in every sense of the term, in a society doomed to need wars to sustain its system of government and the potential annihilation of the species, if the aliens won wasn't too much of a cost to bear. I got the impression going over the top was because if they weren't it would come across as an endorsement.


Okay, but the book was holding that up as an ideal. Because the book was depicting Heinlein's ideal society. The movie is a satire of the book.
posted by kafziel at 6:02 PM on April 2, 2012


They would have to be young which means either Pattinson or Harry fucking Potter. So the opposite of epic (which IIRC my childhood verbal reasoning books is shite).

Yeah, maybe.
I'm thinking the kid that plays "Cook" in the early Skins UK series could play a suitably over the top villain, given the right material.
Surely there is some undiscovered actor waiting to earn a career. After all, even though he'd done a lot of TV, Die Hard was basically Rickman's first big movie.
posted by madajb at 6:59 PM on April 2, 2012


Couple of things I remember about Total Recall...

When it came out I went to a special late night preview when those sort of things were kinda new. It was sold out, so I had to go back the next night.

A friend of mine acting out one of the scenes in the pub 'and then arnie grabs the body and uses him as a human shield! And there's shooting...'
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:57 AM on April 3, 2012


Eastwood is going to film a musical? Huh. I really don't know how to feel about it, except weird.

The only thing weirder than Clint Eastwood having been in a musical is that his co-star was Lee Marvin.
posted by usonian at 7:44 AM on April 3, 2012


Because the book was depicting Heinlein's ideal society.

I really don't think so. I think you'd find that in his final books, Time Enough for Love, The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, To Sail Beyond the Sunset (which are internally related), and Friday (which isn't*) where the characters have leave to form their own society, and it's a family-centered commune.

Starship Troopers was one thought experiment among many in Heinlein's work. In person, he was a vocal opponent of the draft, and never advanced the military service as a requirement for vote thing. In fact, in writing about Starship Troopers, he once insisted that wasn't what it said, that it said some form of federal service, most of which was satisfied by means other than military. This isn't really supported by the text; whether it's what he had in mind all along and it just didn't make it onto the page or he just remembered it incorrectly, I don't know.

* Mostly -- via The Number of the Beast, most of Heinlein's work ended up nominally internally related.
posted by Zed at 8:08 AM on April 3, 2012


After all, even though he'd done a lot of TV, Die Hard was basically Rickman's first big movie.

If the glittery lure of Star Trek villainy seduces Benedict Cumberbatch permanently away from Sherlocking on my tiny screen, I will cry tears of blood. Fair warning, BTCC.
posted by nicebookrack at 9:09 AM on April 3, 2012


Fackin' 'ell, if you really want a total balls-up of a remark by some facking' slag I give you The Sweeny
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:46 AM on April 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is it okay to hate Bruce Willis and his third rate Steve McQueen schtick then?

I was always partial to Roy Rogers.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:34 PM on April 3, 2012


Trigger alert!
posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:29 PM on April 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Okay, but the book was holding that up as an ideal. Because the book was depicting Heinlein's ideal society.

I wish I could support this better, but it's been a long time since I read it, but when i read Starship Troopers as a teenager before I saw the movie it seemed obvious to me that it was not usually as much satire as a dystopian society. I never thought to question whether he meant it prescriptively.
posted by cmoj at 3:13 PM on April 3, 2012


Mikey-San: "Well, now I'm going to have "get your ass to Mars" stuck in my head all day.

this probably won't help you, then.
"

Nor would this, I suspect.
posted by Samizdata at 2:25 AM on April 4, 2012


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