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Does Robocop STILL bleed?
September 6, 2013 11:14 AM   Subscribe

The trailer to the "Robocop" remake was released yesterday, and as expected there was a lot of grumbling from fans. There is one significant change that the film shares with another recent remake of a brutal action film ("Total Recall"): The switch from an "R" rating to a "PG-13". Next year will be the 30th anniversary of the "PG-13" rating, so it's worth considering (especially for those of us whose memories go back that far) what the rating has wrought in cinema (previously).
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI (199 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Bad news; in the sequel, he's packed in all the law enforcement work and become a librarian in Salem, MA.
posted by Wordshore at 11:20 AM on September 6, 2013 [13 favorites]


In the battle between stupid remakes and fans whining about how stuff isn't good enough, no one wins.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 11:20 AM on September 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm pretty sure its mathematically impossible to remake a Verhoven movie into something better.
Also, how do you satirize the cynical end of a near-dystopia without gratuitous violence (in a Paul Verhoven movie)?
posted by lkc at 11:21 AM on September 6, 2013 [17 favorites]


It looks...better than Total Recall looked.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 11:21 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Fuck PG-13.

And fuck the MPAA.

[Oops, this comment is now rated R.]
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:22 AM on September 6, 2013 [18 favorites]


I'm totally going to see this, and I fully expect to be disappointed and appalled at certain points in the movie. It's a desire beyond rational control.

I must say, however, I am not too enthused with the new ED-209s in the trailer. The almost cute, dog-like, but stupidly vicious mannerism of the original ED-209 was much more apropos for the device IMHO.
posted by Debaser626 at 11:24 AM on September 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


Every remake is a missed opportunity to make a genuinely good movie. What a waste of money for studios and moviegoers alike. And hey, who knows, maybe it's a waste of talent too.
posted by spiderskull at 11:24 AM on September 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


My friend on Facebook had it right - skip this and just watch the Manborg trailer instead.
posted by naju at 11:25 AM on September 6, 2013 [28 favorites]


I have to say, I almost retched when she said, "You NEED to SPEAK to your SON." Ugh.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 11:27 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


If the rating bothers you, just wait for the inevitable DVD/Bluray "Unrated Directors Cut" edition.

I think studios plan this- cast a wide net for the box office, and release the gory version at home. Plus, they can double dip on the people who saw it in the theater that way.
posted by Dr-Baa at 11:28 AM on September 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


This looks bad. But is it worse than Robocop 3? Because I had some fun shouting at the screen with that one.
posted by squinty at 11:29 AM on September 6, 2013


Oh yeah, wasn't it around Robocop 3 when they tried making a kids cartoon for Robocop?
posted by Dr-Baa at 11:30 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


The only way I would watch this is if they get Topher Grace to play the part of Clarence Boddicker.

Oh, who am I kidding, I'll torrent it whenever there's a decent CAM available.
posted by planetesimal at 11:30 AM on September 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


PG-13 is to movies what Maxim was to men's magazines. Playboy was not secretly a feminist samizdat, but it was much more mature on every level than Maxim ever was. However, since Maxim didn't have exposed boobs, it was weirdly seen as more socially acceptable. And so, younger men were fed a more adolescent, more airbrushed, and more shallow version of what Playboy did better, while also opening that same material to younger and younger readers.

Likewise, PG-13 movies are rarely any more truly tame than R-rated movies. They're just more socially acceptable vehicles to sell dumb, violent movies.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:30 AM on September 6, 2013 [48 favorites]


Also, I've heard from little birdies that this production was a pain in the butt.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:31 AM on September 6, 2013


The original Robocop was the truest and best version of "Judge Dredd" the screen will ever see. This one...probably not so much. Ah, well. We'll always have Peter Weller shooting Ronny Cox.
posted by Harvey Jerkwater at 11:33 AM on September 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


The only way to improve Robocop would be to go back to the original film and use CGI to give Nancy Allen a decent haircut.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:34 AM on September 6, 2013 [14 favorites]


The original movie was extraordinarily prescient science fiction disguised as a really good dumb action movie. It called the privatization of public services and bankruptcy of Detroit decades in advance.

The new movie looks like a mediocre dumb action movie and that's just sad.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:34 AM on September 6, 2013 [26 favorites]


Let's also not forget that the original Robocop was first given an NC-17 rating before they made some cuts to tone down the violence for an R rating.
posted by cazoo at 11:35 AM on September 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


The original Robocop was the truest and best version of "Judge Dredd" the screen will ever see.

Have you seen Dredd?
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:35 AM on September 6, 2013 [14 favorites]


The only way I would watch this is if they get Topher Grace to play the part of Clarence Boddicker.

From the trailer I don't think there's going to be a Clarence Boddicker.

I'd like to say I won't see this, but I am sure it will be a drunken Netflix regret at a friend's house at some point.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 11:36 AM on September 6, 2013


Ignore it. It will go away.
posted by Artw at 11:38 AM on September 6, 2013


It looks...better than Total Recall looked.

Case in point.
posted by Artw at 11:39 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


We'll never get a fair treatment of this subject matter as long as OmniCorp owns Columbia and MGM.
posted by not_on_display at 11:41 AM on September 6, 2013 [16 favorites]


If this was rated a hard R, I'd see it in the theater.

Since it's PG-13, I'll probably either torrent it or wait for it to hit Netflix.

I really wish the movie studios would understand that I'm not alone in this way of thinking.

(also, I really liked Dredd. Karl Urban kicking ass? Yes. Lena Headey being awesome? Yes. Never takes off the helmet? YES!)
posted by quin at 11:43 AM on September 6, 2013 [5 favorites]


sigh. I would not buy that for a dollar.
posted by Jpfed at 11:43 AM on September 6, 2013 [40 favorites]


Damn you jpfed, I came here to say that.
posted by MoonOrb at 11:50 AM on September 6, 2013


Actually, the conceit they seem to be hawking is the illusion of control/balance of power between man and machine. That could make for an interesting backdrop, perhaps.

At least the new ED 209 looks cool, given the brief screentime it got in the trailer.
posted by planetesimal at 11:52 AM on September 6, 2013


Bad news; in the sequel, he's packed in all the law enforcement work and become a librarian in Salem, MA.

DEAD OR ALIVE YOU ARE SHELVING WITH ME
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:52 AM on September 6, 2013 [46 favorites]


The original movie was extraordinarily prescient science fiction disguised as a really good dumb action movie. It called the privatization of public services and bankruptcy of Detroit decades in advance.

I caught the movie on TV recently, almost right at the start, and two things really surprised me (it's been a while since I saw it start to finish): It is extraordinarily violent, and, for all the BOOM CRASH BLAM, it's also much more subtle in its political/social message than I'd remembered. Already in the trailer for the remake they're like "let us explain the Important Message of the film!" which is just boring.
posted by rtha at 11:55 AM on September 6, 2013 [7 favorites]


The major flaw in the recent remakes of Total Recall and Judge Dredd is that they abandoned humor and went for straight-faced action. Those original films packed explosions but they also went for laughs. Nevermind whether they were good or bad quality; they aimed to be fun. The remakes didn't.

If the new RoboCop makes that same mistake, then it'll suck too.
posted by cribcage at 11:55 AM on September 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


It looks better than Robocop 2, I will say that.

HAVING SAID THAT, Robocop without the satire means it'll be just another lame sci-fi/action cavalcade of illogical horseshit.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:56 AM on September 6, 2013


Oh, yes - and that. I'd also forgotten how funny parts of the original RoboCop are!
posted by rtha at 11:56 AM on September 6, 2013


Robocop (the original) is one of the five or so best films of the 80s, one of the best sci-fi movies ever. So I have no interest in a remake, other than to hate the very idea of it.

But Robocop 2 -- there's a movie worth rethinking/remaking, because in spite of some genuinely cool concepts, it's a mess, the opposite of synergy.
posted by philip-random at 11:56 AM on September 6, 2013 [5 favorites]


From the trailer I don't think there's going to be a Clarence Boddicker.

Kurtwood Smith's performance in the original is so perfect that I don't even know how you'd approach it. Here's this balding, bespectacled, short, middle-aged man, and he's utterly terrifying.

But yeah, the original is a cyberpunk classic and a Verhoven classic- I'm extremely skeptical that the anti-fascist and cyberpunk themes are going to survive being remade for a quick buck.


But Robocop 2 -- there's a movie worth rethinking/remaking, because in spite of some genuinely cool concepts, it's a mess, the opposite of synergy.

Robocop 2 is one of those movies that takes some really good ideas and does as little as possible with them. A reworking of it by somebody who's not just out for a quick buck would be very interesting.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:59 AM on September 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


From one of the links:

The motivation behind the new rating was the outcry over three specific mass-audience entertainments, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Gremlins, and (to a lesser extent) Ghostbusters, which were considered far too violent and/or scary for the young audiences yet not technically harsh enough to merit an R rating.

The Indiana Jones mention has shaken loose a memory from around this time - when Temple of Doom came out, I was about eleven or twelve, and my little brother was only about eight or nine. And while we were at a visit to my grandparents, my parents were considering a movie outing, and were considering Temple of Doom....but they were going to leave my brother with my grandparents.

And my brother had a fit. "Why does EC get to go to the movies and not me?" And when my parents explained that Temple of Doom would be too scary for an eight-year-old but not for a twelve-year-old, he still went back to it not being fair that I got to go to the movies but not him.

So I said that it's okay, I'd stay home with my grandparents too and mom and dad could go by themselves. But my parents balked at that. "You don't have to do that," they insisted, "that's not fair to you to stay home, you can come with us."

"But it's not fair if EC gets to go!" my brother wailed again.

"But you can't go!" my parents said to him again.

"I'll stay at home with my brother," I said again.

"No, that's not fair to you now!" my parents told me again.

And round and round we went, for a good five minutes. I don't even remember if anyone went to see the damn movie.

The moral is: I suspect some parents who found themselves in similar situations in their own families may have supported the ruling so they could use it as a sword through that family gordian knot - "the reason your sister can come with us but you have to stay home is because it is a PG-13 movie and you are only nine. Shut up."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:59 AM on September 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


Those original films packed explosions but they also went for laughs. Nevermind whether they were good or bad quality; they aimed to be fun.

Super serious Back to the Future reboot, anyone? Finally starring Eric Stoltz?
posted by phaedon at 11:59 AM on September 6, 2013



I'd also forgotten how funny parts of the original RoboCop are!

I LIKE IT
posted by philip-random at 12:00 PM on September 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


also this
posted by philip-random at 12:02 PM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Does the rave beat ever kick in on that?
posted by middleclasstool at 12:03 PM on September 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


The major flaw in the recent remakes of Total Recall and Judge Dredd is that they abandoned humor and went for straight-faced action...Nevermind whether they were good or bad quality; they aimed to be fun.

Aiming to be funny and failing catastrophically is not better than straight up action. Dredd was fun, and it would not have been improved by adding Rob Schneider.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 12:04 PM on September 6, 2013 [7 favorites]


You think Rob Schneider is funny?!
posted by FJT at 12:05 PM on September 6, 2013 [9 favorites]


Also, hey, I'm probably wrong about this, but it might not suck. Who knows.

I remember awhile back hearing about an attempt to make a noir-style Robocop film. Which I would very much like to see.
posted by middleclasstool at 12:06 PM on September 6, 2013


Kurtwood Smith's performance in the original is so perfect that I don't even know how you'd approach it. Here's this balding, bespectacled, short, middle-aged man, and he's utterly terrifying.

Louis CK?
posted by phaedon at 12:06 PM on September 6, 2013 [9 favorites]


squinty: "This looks bad. But is it worse than Robocop 3? Because I had some fun shouting at the screen with that one."

Is such a thing possible?
posted by Samizdata at 12:06 PM on September 6, 2013


In five years the world will have a family friendly PG remake of Pink Flamingos starring a kid from One Direction and if we don't stop it now it will be turned into a broadway musical.
posted by munchingzombie at 12:06 PM on September 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


> Super serious Back to the Future reboot, anyone?

Since I'm not terribly fond of BTTF, I'd love to see a really monstrous remake that included a Time Lord chasing down Marty for being a threat to the space-time continuum. Maybe some plasma pistols and tits also.
posted by planetesimal at 12:07 PM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I can't read a Forbes article without picturing the author leaning back in his chair, putting his hands behind his head, and looking at me from across the bridge of his nose while carefully explaining why government regulation is what's wrong with everything.
posted by Curious Artificer at 12:07 PM on September 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


Let's also not forget that the original Robocop was first given an NC-17 rating before they made some cuts to tone down the violence for an R rating.

It was still X then. We had yet to witness the NC-17 debacle.
posted by Spatch at 12:07 PM on September 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow: "The original Robocop was the truest and best version of "Judge Dredd" the screen will ever see."

Have you seen Dredd?


I did. I stand by my statement. Because it is true.
posted by Harvey Jerkwater at 12:09 PM on September 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


Dr. Who chasing Marty McFly on a hoverboard, also being chased by Biff, exchanging laser gun fire. You know Hollywood would do it right.
posted by planetesimal at 12:09 PM on September 6, 2013


I knew the original was going to be hilarious as soon as someone in the background shouted "GET A DOCTOR!" after ED-209 pumped like 10,000 bullets into that unfortunate executive.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:10 PM on September 6, 2013 [17 favorites]


Might as well remake Citizen Kane with Jim Carey, where he learns an important lesson about honesty from a child in the end. And Rosebud was in his heart all along.
posted by Cookiebastard at 12:11 PM on September 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


quin: "If this was rated a hard R, I'd see it in the theater.

Since it's PG-13, I'll probably either torrent it or wait for it to hit Netflix.

I really wish the movie studios would understand that I'm not alone in this way of thinking.

(also, I really liked Dredd. Karl Urban kicking ass? Yes. Lena Headey being awesome? Yes. Never takes off the helmet? YES!)
"

And you forgot to mention scowly Karl Urban in tight leather pants.

(Seriously, I walked in to Dredd ready to hate. The first few minutes with the "reimagining" of the tech and MegaCity One fed that hate, until, just before it reached the fire of a thousand suns, I noticed it had the spirit of the thing right. It SO nailed the spirit, in my opinion, that I calmed down, kicked back, and bit the ends off a Twizzler so I could use it as a straw for my soda - a particular theatre-only perversion of mine. I have a similar hope for the new Robocop. Although the son bit bodes not well.)
posted by Samizdata at 12:11 PM on September 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


robocop is bleeding: "Bad news; in the sequel, he's packed in all the law enforcement work and become a librarian in Salem, MA.

DEAD OR ALIVE YOU ARE SHELVING WITH ME
"

Look, bugger off. Who asked for YOUR opinion, huhn? And you're leaving spots on the carpet.
posted by Samizdata at 12:12 PM on September 6, 2013


rtha: "Oh, yes - and that. I'd also forgotten how funny parts of the original RoboCop are!"

Part of it's awesomeness. Action, commentary AND biting satire. I LIKE IT!

(Also, I still use the "I'd buy that for a dollar!" quote IRL sometimes.)
posted by Samizdata at 12:15 PM on September 6, 2013


Fun fact:

Nancy Allen arrived on set while Paul Verhoeven was shooting scenes from "It's Not My Problem," the sitcom that's on televisons throughout the movie (it's the one with the catch phrase "I'd buy that for a dollar!"). If you haven't seen the movie, the sitcom is deliberately terrible and unfunny. As a result, Allen thought she'd made a terrible mistake in agreeing to appear in the movie; she didn't realize those scenes were supposed to be bad and badly directed.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:17 PM on September 6, 2013 [12 favorites]


Robocop is why I still compare most cars to the fictional 6000 SUX. "Does it go really fast and get really shitty gas mileage?"

I would not buy that for a dollar.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 12:20 PM on September 6, 2013


I think the most satirical part of the Robocop remake is filming it in Vancouver, The Most Expensive City In North America, rather than the recently bankrupted Detroit that would benefit more from the additional work.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 12:21 PM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


The trailer is kid of blah and looks like it could potentially suffer from "let's aim this marketing at general audiences" trailer syndrome - but the director of the remake, Jose Padilha, directed these Brazilian films called "Elite Squad" and "Elite Squad: The Enemy Within." I've only seen the 2nd one, but holy cow, it's basically The Wire as an uncompromising gritty South American action film.

SO, based on that, and the cast, I have very high hopes this will not be a shitshow, but something unexpected and maybe very cool. Based on the usual tendency of studio interference in remakes, and general distrust in audience aptitude (see: this trailer), my hopes are slightly dampened.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 12:21 PM on September 6, 2013 [7 favorites]


*drives as far away from this remake as possible, exhaust scraping the ramp on the way out*
posted by phaedon at 12:22 PM on September 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


Super serious Back to the Future reboot, anyone?

Don't reboot it! It's the rare case where going back to an 80s franchise is fully justified. Back to the Future 2 was set in 2015! Back to the Future 4 could legitimately continue the story. Possible plot: their kids travel back to 1985 to make sure Marty gets married.

Anybody else feel really depressed that (1985-1955) = (2015 - 1985)? We don't even have Mr. Fusion and hoverboards to console ourselves.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 12:22 PM on September 6, 2013 [5 favorites]


Ooh, is this the thread where I whine about never being able to watch That 70s Show with my high school friends, because my parents (who were not the most responsible people) took my brother and I to see Robocop in the theatre? I was 4 then, and I'm still viscerally terrified of Kurtwood Smith. I loved the movie when I re-watched it as an adult, thankfully.

Also, Paul Verhoeven was the only thing that made Starship Troopers semi-worth watching.
posted by timetoevolve at 12:22 PM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


they aimed to be fun. The remakes didn't.

I guess I'm a minority, but I don't think everything needs comic relief. There are not many people who can do explicit satire well, it's better not to have them try. A little less "fun", more art please.
posted by smidgen at 12:23 PM on September 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow: "The original Robocop was the truest and best version of "Judge Dredd" the screen will ever see."

Have you seen Dredd?

I did. I stand by my statement. Because it is true.


Jesus had days like this.
posted by Artw at 12:23 PM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's got Miguel Ferrer in it. It can't be all bad.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 12:29 PM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


The major flaw in the recent remakes of Total Recall and Judge Dredd is that they abandoned humor and went for straight-faced action.

In the Woody Allen comedy Sleeper, a man awakens from suspended animation in 2173. After experiencing a series of future-shock encounters with inexplicable devices and behaviors, a quick sight gag has him walking to his pod-car with a take-out food bag - the camera pulls back to reveal he has just left a 22cnd century McDonalds. In 1973, the very idea at the time that such a bland, relatively harmless yet quickly expanding fast food chain would still be around then was terribly funny - but when folks see the film now, they sit stone-faced - they don't get the joke, because we see that is a very real and somewhat depressing possibility.

The severe fracturing of socio-political discourse in the last 15 years, accompanied by the rise of religious warfare and leverage of miraculous 21st century technologies for evil just as much as for good, makes the satire of Robocop, etc, non longer amusing because it is becoming more real than we would care to acknowledge.
posted by CynicalKnight at 12:31 PM on September 6, 2013 [13 favorites]


Remember when the remake was announced, and everybody involved said, "We totally understand satire and we're totally keeping the satire!" They didn't and they didn't, and the amount of surprise I feel is too small to be measured, even by the most sensitive instruments that modern science can devise.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 12:32 PM on September 6, 2013 [5 favorites]


I thought the trailer looked surprisingly not-bad. That may be because my expectations are so low, though.
posted by immlass at 12:38 PM on September 6, 2013


Have you seen Dredd?

I did. I stand by my statement. Because it is true.

Jesus had days like this.


the problem with Dredd is it's got Stallone. It's rather the same problem with any band that has (or will ever have) David Lee Roth. Some problems man(and woman)kind just can't overcome.

This is why we need gods.
posted by philip-random at 12:38 PM on September 6, 2013


Fun fact:

Thanks for linking to that post. I enjoyed this tidbit: "Kurtwood Smith (the dad from 'That 70s Show') is in top form as Clarence Boddicker, the leader of a crime syndicate. He has these glasses that were put on at director Paul Verhoeven's insistance to suggest Heinrich Himmler (Verhoeven grew up in occupied Holland and has some issues with Nazis)."
posted by audi alteram partem at 12:38 PM on September 6, 2013


It's a free society. Except there ain't nothing free, because there's no guarantees, y'know? You're on your own. That's the law of the jungle! Ho ho ho!
posted by RobotHero at 12:40 PM on September 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


(Verhoeven grew up in occupied Holland and has some issues with Nazis)

'some'? I *know* that I have to be reading that out of whatever context wouldn't make my jaw drop in amazement...
posted by mikelieman at 12:43 PM on September 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


the problem with Dredd is it's got Stallone. It's rather the same problem with any band that has (or will ever have) David Lee Roth. Some problems man(and woman)kind just can't overcome.

Wrong Dredd movie. The right one
posted by RustyBrooks at 12:43 PM on September 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


the problem with Dredd is it's got Stallone.

Be clear you aren't confusing Judge Dredd and Dredd

I think the latter is better, and to tie in with the O.P. part of why it escapes terrible remake syndrome is that they didn't try to make it PG-13
posted by RobotHero at 12:43 PM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Pope Guilty: "Kurtwood Smith's performance in the original is so perfect that I don't even know how you'd approach it. Here's this balding, bespectacled, short, middle-aged man, and he's utterly terrifying. "

"Can you fly, Bobby?"

RobotHero: "I think the latter is better, and to tie in with the O.P. part of why it escapes terrible remake syndrome is that they didn't try to make it PG-13"

Dredd isn't a remake of the Stallone film. It's another adaptation of the comic.

Anyway, yeah. This trailer doesn't just look bad, it looks boring. So incredibly bland.
posted by brundlefly at 12:46 PM on September 6, 2013


Dredd is waaaay better than Judge Dredd. I really enjoyed it. And 2nding that Jose Padilha's Elite Squad: Enemy Within is a great movie. I never saw the first one and my wife was skeptical, but we both really enjoyed it.
posted by daHIFI at 12:49 PM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Clarence Boddicker

Ooh, guns, guns, guns!

Come on, Sal! The Tigers are playing... [slaps the table]

tonight!

I never miss a game.


Perfection.
posted by mikelieman at 12:50 PM on September 6, 2013 [5 favorites]


Well I'll hazard a wild guess that we won't still be talking about and quoting the remake in 25 years time
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:50 PM on September 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


It looks like another conflicted hero grunting about morality while poorly shot action scenes happen. You could take Robocop out, put like... Mighty Mouse in there and it'd be the same basic movie.

I'm hoping Verhoeven has another satirical SciFi masterpiece left in him before he dies...
posted by codacorolla at 12:52 PM on September 6, 2013


justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow: "Super serious Back to the Future reboot, anyone?

Don't reboot it! It's the rare case where going back to an 80s franchise is fully justified. Back to the Future 2 was set in 2015! Back to the Future 4 could legitimately continue the story. Possible plot: their kids travel back to 1985 to make sure Marty gets married.

Anybody else feel really depressed that (1985-1955) = (2015 - 1985)? We don't even have Mr. Fusion and hoverboards to console ourselves.
"

I can't stand up on a skateboard. I'd kill myself.

OTOH, where are my bumpin' kicks? I want those shoes.
posted by Samizdata at 12:53 PM on September 6, 2013


The Stallone movie that comes closest to adapting Judge Dredd is Demolition Man.
posted by Artw at 12:54 PM on September 6, 2013


Dredd isn't a remake of the Stallone film. It's another adaptation of the comic.

That's another part of the reason why.


I wonder if the new Robocop is chock-full of satire and ridiculousness but the marketing guys think that doesn't play well in the trailer so they strip it all out until it's as bland as possible.
posted by RobotHero at 12:54 PM on September 6, 2013


philip-random: "Have you seen Dredd?

I did. I stand by my statement. Because it is true.

Jesus had days like this.


the problem with Dredd is it's got Stallone. It's rather the same problem with any band that has (or will ever have) David Lee Roth. Some problems man(and woman)kind just can't overcome.

This is why we need gods.
"

JUDGE Dredd. Wrong movie, there, bucko.

Movie misidentification. 15 days in the iso-cubes.
posted by Samizdata at 12:54 PM on September 6, 2013 [9 favorites]


Well, it doesn't look terrible but I'll bet that it doesn't have Verhoeven's brutal sense of humor. Nice to see Keaton getting work though.
posted by octothorpe at 12:57 PM on September 6, 2013


Perfection.
Snorting the wine was genius.
posted by fullerine at 12:57 PM on September 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


Elite Squad 2 is great (I don't think the first one is as good), but I have zero confidence that Padilha's vision can survive the Hollywood Process.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 1:00 PM on September 6, 2013


Fun fact, the original Robocop was so violent it was rated X, which was almost unheard of unless the film contained sex.
posted by Muddler at 1:00 PM on September 6, 2013


Dredd actually had less plot than Judge Dredd, which I didn't think was possible. It's a guy stuck in a building, fighting his way out. I literally drew that story on theme paper in second grade instead of learning math. Dredd belongs to the fine family of experimental cinema alongside Phone Booth and that movie where the guy's inside the coffin the whole time, where directors and screenwriters pretend that a scene equals a film.

If you find yourself inclined to compare Dredd to RoboCop, it is possible you have accidentally ingested someone else's expired prescription medication. Dial 1-800-222-1222 immediately.
posted by cribcage at 1:03 PM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Artw : The Stallone movie that comes closest to adapting Judge Dredd presciently seeing into the future and has the one of the most fun villains in cinema history is Demolition Man.

Also, adapting Judge Dredd.
posted by quin at 1:03 PM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's pure capacitance gel!
posted by Artw at 1:05 PM on September 6, 2013


ED-209 pumped like 10,000 bullets into that unfortunate executive

Given what's happened with Wall St and banks and corporations since Robocop was made, I'd say there's a huge audience for movies that include a lot more of that.
posted by colie at 1:07 PM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Actually, on that subject, I really do think that Snipes' Simon Phoenix is fantastic because he knows he is the bad guy and is totally okay with it. No internal struggles to see the world from his perspective, just "Woo, I'm gonna burn it all down!".

In some ways, a lot of the same things I liked about Clarence Boddicker. Boddicker is much more nuanced, but ultimately, he's the bad guy and he has totally embraced it.

And that's awesome.

posted by quin at 1:09 PM on September 6, 2013


cribcage: "Dredd belongs to the fine family of experimental cinema alongside Phone Booth and that movie where the guy's inside the coffin the whole time, where directors and screenwriters pretend that a scene equals a film."

Are you sure you're not pretending that a location is a scene?

cribcage: "If you find yourself inclined to compare Dredd to RoboCop, it is possible you have accidentally ingested someone else's expired prescription medication. Dial 1-800-222-1222 immediately."

But has anyone really compared the two, beyond Harvey Jerkwater saying that RoboCop was the best Dredd film?

RoboCop is a masterpiece and one of my favorite movies. But Dredd is a damn fine, small scale action film with some great performances.
posted by brundlefly at 1:17 PM on September 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


I mean, if Dredd is a phone booth movie then so is Die Hard.
posted by brundlefly at 1:18 PM on September 6, 2013 [9 favorites]


My wife and I are squeamish but we still like good scares. PG-13 is the signal for us that a horror movie will be watchable, so there's that.
posted by charred husk at 1:33 PM on September 6, 2013


Dredd had plenty of humor, it just wasn't slapstick. The scene after Dredd got shot and was out of ammo and cornered by the corrupt Judge and he just says "WAIT!" and the corrupt judge starts yammering and then the awesome totally rad psychic rookie Judge sneaks up behind him and blows the corrupt Judge away, and Dredd just says "Wait for her to shoot you." That was fucking funny.

Also, if you will recall, one of the things the Dredd quizzes the rookie on were the crime statistics. Something about how in any given day, they were only able to respond to something like 6% of the crimes in Megacity One. That is bleak, man. And it also made the amount of crime and the amount of miserable existence much more understandable in some ways, because there really was no control of the population. The social contract had completely broken down and there was anarchy on every block. Food riots, gangs, enormous monolithic structures ruled by local warlords. Even the kids were carrying guns and joining gangs, because it was the only way to survive in those situations, but if you ran into a Judge, you were fucked. It is a horrible world and a horrible future, and the only people even trying to maintain order or seen as just another gang (the Judges are simply a gang with better funding and hardware). They aren't necessarily heroes, but they are the remenants of a civilization utterly destroyed by their own incapacity to provide for a population on a dead and dying planet. It's kind of hard to find humor in that landscape, but it was still there, however dark the humor is.

Also, the whole thing between the rookie Judge and the corrupt female Judge, where the corrupt one thinks she can put one over on a psychic. The rookie doesn't even hesitate when she mows down the corrupt Judge. That was classic, and pretty much a straight lift from one of the comics. Best adaptation I've ever seen in a movie.

But back to this reboot.
Why the fuck does he remember who he is?
Wasn't the whole idea behind Robocop was that they took someone who was dead, reanimated his corpse as an undead cyborg, and the problems they encountered were because he started to remember who he was, but he was never able to reconnect with his old life, because now he was a fucking cyborg super killing machine? I mean, that was part of why it was a sci-fi/horror movie to begin with. He was no longer a man, and he wasn't completely a machine. He was a walking nightmare of a broken body, who now had the sole purpose of enforcing the Law, with extreme violence.


Then this whole thing about him being able to override the system or some other bullshit. Yeah, yeah, even the best designed system can be overriden by some special snowflake because of their humanity or something. Did Lindehof write this dreck?
posted by daq at 1:33 PM on September 6, 2013 [17 favorites]


The trailer is kid of blah and looks like it could potentially suffer from "let's aim this marketing at general audiences" trailer syndrome - but the director of the remake, Jose Padilha, directed these Brazilian films called "Elite Squad" and "Elite Squad: The Enemy Within." I've only seen the 2nd one, but holy cow, it's basically The Wire as an uncompromising gritty South American action film.

I came here to post exactly the same thing. Elite Squad and Elite Squad 2 are both great movies and a huge success in Brazil. The first one was considered fascist by many people, which I think is a great misinterpretation (Paul Verhoeven was also called fascist by many critics).

Padilha's first movie, the documentary Bus 174 is a very insightful movie, showing how much he understands about the brazilian social situtation. But yeah, I don´t know how much of his vision could survive Hollywood's grindmachine.

This interview gives some idea.
posted by florzinha at 1:34 PM on September 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


Wasn't the whole idea behind Robocop was that they took someone who was dead, reanimated his corpse as an undead cyborg, and the problems they encountered were because he started to remember who he was, but he was never able to reconnect with his old life, because now he was a fucking cyborg super killing machine? I mean, that was part of why it was a sci-fi/horror movie to begin with. He was no longer a man, and he wasn't completely a machine. He was a walking nightmare of a broken body, who now had the sole purpose of enforcing the Law, with extreme violence.

A large part of the problem is that his memory hasn't entirely been wiped- he's still having waking nightmares of his murder and the life he left behind. Rewatch the scene where he has nightmares while sitting in his chair, then abruptly leaves and walks through his former home, not 100% able to distinguish between his memories and reality.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:37 PM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Then this whole thing about him being able to override the system or some other bullshit. Yeah, yeah, even the best designed system can be overriden by some special snowflake because of their humanity or something. Did Lindehof write this dreck?

He's obviously The One. Except instead of having the superpower of controlling the Matrix, he can control... himself!
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:42 PM on September 6, 2013


Great place to post the Alec Empire Robocop remix
posted by Tom-B at 1:43 PM on September 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


My main grief with Dredd was that dude looked like he was pouting the whole time. Not frowning or grimacing, but just full on pout like he didn't get to go for ice cream. That struck me in the first minutes of the film and I just couldn't shake it.
posted by utsutsu at 1:44 PM on September 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


I thought Dredd was a pretty good action movie, but isn't Dredd supposed to be, like, as bad as the bad guys? Isn't that supposed to be the satiric thrust of the character? The movie really doesn't depict him as anything but an anti-hero.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:48 PM on September 6, 2013


If Dredd and Die Hard have equivalent stories, then so do Vanilla Sky and Breakfast at Tiffany's just because both are romantic dramas, and at that point we may as well include NBC's Love in the Wild because what the heck. I will agree that the acting in Dredd was excellent, inasmuch as it consisted of people yelling and pulling triggers. Every trigger pull, a gun fired. Success!

Yes, the crime statistics were bleak. Dredd flawlessly channeled Sean Connery from Rising Sun as he explained them. Then he continued battling his way through that one level of the video ga—whoops I mean the movie went on through many interesting twists.
posted by cribcage at 1:49 PM on September 6, 2013


Thanks for the tip - the second Elite Squad movie is free via Amazon prime streaming. Know what I'm doing tonight!
posted by mrbill at 1:51 PM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


My main grief with Dredd was that dude looked like he was pouting the whole time. Not frowning or grimacing,

I actually thought Urban did a pretty good job with this, the character from the comic book is pretty much always scowling, and Urban seemed to get more or less the same Mr. Frownypants look.
posted by quin at 2:11 PM on September 6, 2013


ALIVE OR ALIVE, YOU'RE COMING WITH ME!
posted by blue_beetle at 2:24 PM on September 6, 2013


Michael Shannon as Nelson Van Alden in Boardwalk Empire is the bestest Dredd!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:29 PM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


cribcage: "If Dredd and Die Hard have equivalent stories, then so do Vanilla Sky and Breakfast at Tiffany's just because both are romantic dramas"

Die Hard and Dredd are both about a protagonist, trapped and outnumbered, fighting criminals in a single building. Yes, the two films are otherwise quite different, but they're definitely more similar than Vanilla Sky and Breakfast at Tiffany's. And they're closer to each other than Dredd is to Buried or Phone Booth, which is what you were originally saying. If you're making the case that those films are in the same sub-genre, then I don't know how you can exclude Die Hard. Would Assault on Precinct 13 qualify?

Lumping the film into a "family of experimental cinema" where the entire film is one scene doesn't make a lick of sense to me. Especially since, well... there's more than one scene.

cribcage: "I will agree that the acting in Dredd was excellent, inasmuch as it consisted of people yelling and pulling triggers. Every trigger pull, a gun fired. Success!"

Oof. Alright, I'm just going to bow out of this one. I don't think we're going to see eye to eye on this film.
posted by brundlefly at 2:29 PM on September 6, 2013


He was no longer a man, and he wasn't completely a machine. He was a walking nightmare of a broken body, who now had the sole purpose of enforcing the Law, with extreme violence.

I'll take "how would you describe your dad, as a 4-year-old, for the duration of the first year after your sibling was born?" for $500, Alex.
posted by ersatz at 2:41 PM on September 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


If Dredd and Die Hard have equivalent stories

THE RAID
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 2:45 PM on September 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


Especially since, well... there's more than one scene.

Right, well...see, that part was me using humorous hyperbole to kick dirt on the movie's shoes. (Attemptedly humorous, anyway.) Now I'm starting to get self-conscious that maybe I should clarify: I wasn't actually encouraging anyone to call poison control. Please do not abuse public-safety resources unless you have an actual emergency.

We probably aren't going to see eye-to-eye, but I was just jokin' around a bit because I think Dredd is a waste of perfectly good Hollywood money that could have been used to film a Weekend at Bernie's/Blade mash-up. You're a good fella and we're cool in my book, even if you are all bowed-out and such.
posted by cribcage at 2:49 PM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


cribcage: "You're a good fella and we're cool in my book, even if you are all bowed-out and such."

Oh, I didn't mean to imply I was peeved or anything! I just don't have the energy for a longer debate over the merits of Dredd.

(Which, to be totally clear, is fucking awesome.)
posted by brundlefly at 2:51 PM on September 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


florzinha, that interview you linked is great. Padilha's approach sounds really solid - and with room for subtle satire (focus grouping the suit, etc), and lots of existential drama. Hopefully the film delivers!
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 2:52 PM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


This looks bad. But is it worse than Robocop 3? Because I had some fun shouting at the screen with that one.

I read this as "shooting at the screen." In the case of Robocop 3, I don't think that would be an overreaction.
posted by MrBadExample at 3:08 PM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


My friend on Facebook had it right - skip this and just watch the Manborg trailer instead.

I didn't expect a movie version of Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon so soon.
posted by straight at 3:12 PM on September 6, 2013


Aside from the sheer lunacy of the decision to remake Robocop, this trailer pretty much lays out all our fears about taking that decision forward.

The fact that people online are commenting that it doesn't look bad reinforces my belief that Hollywood will keep churning out these badly xeroxed versions of classic films (Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes and Star Trek Into Darkness spring straight to mind) because here in the Bizarro Universe, there's actually a market for them.

I keenly predict that the last quarter of Robocop will be a retread of classic scenes and dialogue, except with none of the wit, tone or style of the original. Well done everyone.
posted by panboi at 3:22 PM on September 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Was the original Robocop the best movie version of Judge Dredd?

Naaah.

It was the best movie version of BATMAN!
posted by happyroach at 3:33 PM on September 6, 2013


I thought Dredd was a pretty good action movie, but isn't Dredd supposed to be, like, as bad as the bad guys? Isn't that supposed to be the satiric thrust of the character?

When you first see him you think he's intended as satire of the tough-guy enforcer figure, taking that trope to its logical extreme. I don't think that's ultimately correct.

The weird thing about Dredd is that he's essentially a paladin, a straight-arrow idealist selflessly advancing the values of a fascist institution. He claims the right to decide who lives and who dies in summary executions not out of megalomania but for what he sees as principled reasons. He is utterly merciless because he thinks he ought to be, and emotionless because emotion would get in the way of dispassionate interpretation of the criminal code. There's not a trace of cynicism or self-interest in what he does.

Idealists in dystopias are normally trying to overthrow the system. Dredd is an idealist who's trying to preserve a dystopia, qualifying as an antihero only because he's trying to preserve it from degenerating into something worse. The only similar character I can think of is the Operative from Serenity, except that Dredd doesn't think of himself as a monster. Dredd believes he's in the right.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 3:38 PM on September 6, 2013 [12 favorites]


Muddler: "Fun fact, the original Robocop was so violent it was rated X, which was almost unheard of unless the film contained sex."

The amazing part is that it still made it to theaters with Peter Weller's disintegrating hand. As I recall, the main change was just cutting out some of the middle of that sequence.
posted by wierdo at 3:46 PM on September 6, 2013


I saw the beginning of RoboCop when I was a kid and I couldn't make it past the board room scene. It absolutely terrified me and I had to stop watching. The only thing that made it at all palatable was that right after ED-209 shuts down somebody yells "Somebody call the paramedics!" which implied to me that Kinney might be okay.

Of course I re-watched it as a teenager and realized it was a joke.
posted by brundlefly at 4:02 PM on September 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yeah, the boardroom scene has always been the most horrifying part for me and remains so to this day.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 4:45 PM on September 6, 2013


PG-13 is the signal for us that a horror movie will be watchable

The case against: World War Z.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 4:50 PM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


The best thing about the terror of that scene is that it wasn't so much that the robot itself was huge and menacing, but that the situation was completely and utterly intractable for the poor suit. s far as scenes of full primal horror its ranks there for me right next to the scene in "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me" where Laura Palmer discovers there's no redemption for her.
posted by planetesimal at 4:50 PM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I read this as "shooting at the screen." In the case of Robocop 3, I don't think that would be an overreaction.

So bad that one of YouTube's more popular personalities uses the film's most ridiculous line as the name of his production company at the beginning of most every video.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 5:12 PM on September 6, 2013


I'm... cautiously optimistic about this movie. Not so much because of the trailer, but because of the interview florzinha linked to up above. It sounds like Padilha has put real thought into this, and isn't just trying to replicate the original movie.

In the original Robocop, Murphy is supposed to be a machine. The only reason they put him in the robot body is because OCP can't yet do full, mechanical AI. (As ED-209 so graphically demonstrates.) He's a machine that uses a brain to run software, a computer with some meaty parts. But Murphy's human personality begins to return and by the end of the movie he's far more man than machine.

In the new movie it sounds like he's supposed to be a human with added on robot parts right from the beginning, because it's illegal to use autonomous robots within the US. But this is a lie. OCP really wants to use robots because they're more controllable, so they made Robocop with some kind of operating system that subtly manipulates Murphy's thoughts.

So both movies have the same conflict, but it sounds like the new one will convey it in a different way. In the first movie OCP doesn't expect Robocop to be human, and they react with panic when he starts to express his own will. In this one they're manipulating his will from the beginning, and he has to fight to separate his own wants and needs from the ones they've programmed into him.
posted by Kevin Street at 5:15 PM on September 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


I am a gigantic fan of Robocop. The first tattoo I got was "ROBOCOP" on the inside of my bottom lip. I am excited to see this primarily because I am such a huge Robocop fan. I don't believe in the sequels, although I wish Robocop 2 were so much better.

A while ago I went over to my now-girlfriend's house to hang out with her, and her roommates were having a movie night. There was a group of people there, probably seven or eight, and they all wanted to watch a movie none of them had seen. Well, fate would have it, none of them in the whole group had seen Robocop. As soon as I found out I started laughing, because I knew they had heard of Robocop at least once in their lives, and I knew they probably had dismissed it as a cheesy, lame 80's action movie. As soon as that first scene with the ED-209 happened those peoples' lives were collectively changed. I told them they hadn't seen shit yet.

My favorite moment in the movie is the entire sequence of Alex Murphy dying and then being reborn as Robocop. The insane ruthlessness of Clarence Boddicker's gang making fun of Murphy and Lewis in that warehouse, especially as they gun down Murphy in complete brutality. They are the most hardcore, brutal, sadistic criminals of the 80's.

I absolutely, 100%, can never ever get over that moment they screw on his visor and the grid pops up and you see the scientists running around and the OS booting up in first person. That wins the movie for me, right there. When I was a child that was what I expected the future to be like. Sure, Terminator did the whole first person HUD first, but Robocop showed you that this was the creation of a machine from a human being. A cyborg.

All of Kurtwood Smith's lines. "Bitches leave." "I'm here to see DICK JONES." "Can you fly, Bobby?"

I find Alex Murphy/Robocop to be an incredibly depressing character. Throughout the movie, even in the beginning, he sort of has this strange sadness to him about his identity. Even though OCP manipulated the system to transfer him from his previous department to the new one, he has this reputation of being a good cop already. I am not sure if there is a line in the movie or what, but there's a reason why they move him of all people over to the hardest precinct in the city. He doesn't necessarily struggle with being a good husband or father to his son, but he wants to be a role model and a good cop whether it's to the public, his other officers, or his family. He takes a bit of offense to Lewis when she makes a slight remark about his twirling the gun in order to impress his son. Later in the movie, I believe after he stabs Kurtwood Smith with his hand-spike, Lewis is laying in the shitty water she tells him that she's a mess. He says "They'll fix you. They fix everything." The emotion in Peter Weller's voice when he says those lines is heartbreaking. This is a guy who was not fixed. His life was almost entirely erased and he's left with these memories of his past life that he is having trouble remembering or figuring out. I don't consider it to be much of a Christ allegory as much as it's about his identity as a human being in the face of such inhumane odds (his programming, the corruption in OCP, the ED-209s), and also the fact that his identity was forcefully stripped from him. There's another part where he is first going after Boddicker and Boddicker says something along the lines of "aren't you taking this a bit personally?" How can a cyborg take something personally, especially when he has been stripped of the identity and humanity he had? They killed Alex Murphy and he's not suppose to have a memory of Clarence Boddicker, so there's nothing for him to take personally.

I don't think this reboot will have the emotion that the original has. I'll watch it to see how they do it, as I know they are taking a different route. It'll be interesting.
posted by gucci mane at 6:12 PM on September 6, 2013 [11 favorites]


Also, I hate how they seem to have given him a submachine gun or small assault rifle, as opposed to the Auto 9 (a Beretta 93R). The 93R is so much cooler than that.
posted by gucci mane at 6:23 PM on September 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


It took me a long time to finally watch Robocop (and I had no excuse, especially as I was a huge Total Recall fangirl), but when I did, back in 2008, I think, I was blown away by the brutal, nail-biting violence juxtaposed next to the super dark and hilarious satire. And the SF was surprisingly thoughtful and interesting.

When I heard there was a remake I knew it was going to suck. I just watched the trailer, and my God it looks so by-the-numbers. Bad CGI. No sense of place. A shoehorned wuv story with a dewy-eyed skinny blond chick. And the suit is black with a retractable Cylon style visor. AND it's PG-13? Seriously, what's the fucking point?

I might have to watch Dredd now, though. It sounds pretty cool. This, not so much.
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 6:41 PM on September 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


"I'm here to see DICK JONES."

"I guess we're going to be friends after all. Richard."
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:43 PM on September 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Bad news; in the sequel, he's packed in all the law enforcement work and become a librarian in Salem, MA.

That would probably be better than what's being presented in the trailer. Between this and the Total Recall remake, I'm waiting for an upcoming remake of Starship Troopers to complete the trifecta of remakes-of-Paul-Verhoeven-SF-epics-that-totally-don't-get-what-made-them-great-in-the-first-place movies.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:30 PM on September 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Reminds me of my favorite bit from the terribly underrated 1981 slasher movie parody, Student Bodies.

In the middle of the film we suddenly cut away to an announcer seated behind a desk addressing the camera directly:

Ladies and gentlemen, in order to achieve an "R" rating today, a motion picture must contain full frontal nudity, graphic violence, or an explicit reference to the sex act. Since this film has none of those, and since research has proven that R-rated films are by far the most popular with the moviegoing public, the producers of this motion picture have asked me to take this opportunity to say "Fuck you."

The MPAA R-rating logo appears on the screen.
posted by Naberius at 7:36 PM on September 6, 2013 [8 favorites]


Peter Weller has starred in some amazing stuff in some of the coolest roles possible. He was Robocop. He was Bill Lee in Naked Lunch. He was Buckaroo Banzai.

He should have been Batman. He has the chin for it.
posted by Cookiebastard at 8:00 PM on September 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


But Robocop 2 -- there's a movie worth rethinking/remaking, because in spite of some genuinely cool concepts, it's a mess, the opposite of synergy.

You are kidding, right? R2 is a legendary scriptwriting disaster. The studios rejected Frank Miller's first draft, they hated it. I have a copy I got from Frank, I think it's brilliant. But he got saddled with a script doctor, and they fought over it until Frank hated it. What material they didn't use for R2, Frank rewrote as R3, also incorporating some events Frank heard about my life events when I lived across the street from him (no I'm not kidding). So I am rather attached to R3. Hell, I even liked the TV series.

problem with Dredd is it's got Stallone.

Be clear you aren't confusing Judge Dredd and Dredd


Halt, Citizen Stallone. Sentence: 10 years in the Iso-Cubes for Jimping.
posted by charlie don't surf at 8:14 PM on September 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


Peter Weller has starred in some amazing stuff in some of the coolest roles possible. He was Robocop. He was Bill Lee in Naked Lunch. He was Buckaroo Banzai.

And he's also a lecturer in history. RoboCop, PhD.
posted by audi alteram partem at 8:21 PM on September 6, 2013


OMG He's like the Brian May of Robocop!

You know what I mean.
posted by Cookiebastard at 8:35 PM on September 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


Bah. The new Robocop has too much overt human 'tude; there is none of the doubt or conflict that was in the original character. They also show too much of his (very emotive) face, so the whole cyborg thing doesn't seem like a big deal at all. He's basically Halo; eh kills criminals and doesn't afraid of anything.

I also don't like the new ED-209, which just looks like a sleek war machine. ED-209 was great because it was a slapdash Dick Jones project that combined incredible lethality with design flaws and bugs. That board room scene is the best tech demo satire of all time.
posted by ignignokt at 8:56 PM on September 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


I also don't like the new ED-209, which just looks like a sleek war machine. ED-209 was great because it was a slapdash Dick Jones project that combined incredible lethality with design flaws and bugs.

I saw R1 during premiere week, I think it was Universal Studios Cinema, or some such outlet near Studio City that was closely aligned with Universal. After I gave my ticket and walked down the hall in the multiplex, I turned the corner and ohgod what is that? It is a big robot labeled ED-209. It was one of the full scale props from the movie. Someone had already broken it, it was cheap vacuum formed plastic.

That board room scene is the best tech demo satire of all time.

It's classic, but the best tech demo in the series is in R3, when the little girl hacker plugs her laptop into ED209 to disarm it and says, "Watch this! He'll be loyal as a puppy!
posted by charlie don't surf at 9:08 PM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


That bit about how ED-209 is totally Detroit- overbuilt, bulky, ugly, and with several incredibly obvious design flaws- is so dead-on.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:32 PM on September 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Peter Weller has starred in some amazing stuff in some of the coolest roles possible. He was Robocop. He was Bill Lee in Naked Lunch. He was Buckaroo Banzai.

He should have been Batman. He has the chin for it.


And the guy they got to replace him for R3 had ... a chin? Some vague hype about martial arts background that would be totally pointless to an actor wearing a bulky suit?

As for R2, I'm kind of a big fan of it. Sure, it has flaws (more accurately, there are a couple of scenes that aren't painful), but, but:

"What's bugging you, Robocop?"

"KANE. KANE IS BUGGING ME."

Genius.

As for the new one, I'm cautiously hopeful. I mean, it won't be anywhere near the original, but it seems intriguing with the free will angle they seem to be aiming for. If they can do anything with free will vs. programming like they did with the human vs. machine of the original, I'll be thrilled. It could be a fun movie. I'd bet a lot of money, though, that it won't have the small moments that are still so haunting, both the "they'll fix you" line, and the best line, "they MADE this ... to HONOR him"

There are so many more movies that Peter Weller should have been cast in. If there was some kind of wins against replacement for acting, I think Weller would be near the top.
posted by Ghidorah at 10:18 PM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


He should have been Batman.

Buckaroo Banzai is cooler than Batman.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 10:38 PM on September 6, 2013 [11 favorites]


The hand, I've realized, is immensely annoying. It's just bad design! Sure, you can't just cut it off (because unevenly applied morality must have some arbitrary line), but you've given his head a helmet, and there he is, totally encased in super tough armor, except for his right hand? They couldn't even make some sort of glove?

It just seems so poorly thought out. If that hand doesn't get all blown to shit when some bad guy realizes, hey, it's exposed! I'll shoot *that* part!, I'm going to be sorely disappointed.
posted by Ghidorah at 10:40 PM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


"KANE. KANE IS BUGGING ME."

Jesus had days like this.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:46 PM on September 6, 2013


I'm waiting for an upcoming remake of Starship Troopers to complete the trifecta of remakes-of-Paul-Verhoeven-SF-epics-that-totally-don't-get-what-made-them-great-in-the-first-place movies.

Whew, so does that mean we're done with the debate over whether ST totally didn't get what made the book great in the first place?

If they can do anything with free will vs. programming like they did with the human vs. machine of the original, I'll be thrilled. It could be a fun movie. I'd bet a lot of money, though, that it won't have the small moments that are still so haunting

I agree. Given all the classics I watch it's really nothing new for Hollywood to remake itself. Sometimes there would be three versions of the same story (like a novel or play) in a decade. And all performance art is essentially free to be performed anew.

Really, there are plenty of us here who enjoy a good cover of a great song, and that's not that different. Many of Shakespeare's plays are reworkings of something that ran in London a few years earlier, and most of them have some sort of mythical or fabulous origin.

And after a quarter century (!) I do believe we can relax our guard a bit more. So much has changed, there is so much more widespread familiarity with technology and its effects on our lives, and I'm sure there are new things we can say about the topic. Do I trust that the movie will be great? Not necessarily. But there's room for a solid and entertaining remake of a story.

The main problem I had with the new Total Recall was the dearth of new ideas, and only a few really neat visual ideas. But then, that's a handicap you give a movie when you do a remake, being measured against the others.

Meanwhile, we have filmmakers like Cuaron doing stuff that is blindingly original. I know which I'd rather be.
posted by dhartung at 10:55 PM on September 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Whew, so does that mean we're done with the debate over whether ST totally didn't get what made the book great in the first place?

Verhoeven was quite plain that he didn't like the book and that the movie was in part a mockery of Heinlein's ideas, wasn't he?
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:57 PM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Verhoeven was quite plain that he didn't like the book

Speaking as someone who likes the book and would like to see a straight adaptation of it, mocking Heinlein is not what's wrong with the film for me. Highlighting and satirizing the disturbing features of the original was an interesting way to go. I think the film fails as a movie because I find don't care at all about any of the woodenly acted characters onscreen. I get that the acting is deliberately bad but it makes the film unenjoyable for me. I've seen satire that features interesting characters and I like that better.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:40 PM on September 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


R2 is weirdly paced and disjointed, And full of stuff that just didn't work. But the proto-type Robocops were great, and I love the Kane-Bot. It's not hard to imagine an edit that fixes a lot of the problems.

I think the thing I missed most was the music - the first Robocop had great music, Robocop 2 was just sort of overlaid generic movie sounding music with no purpose, get the old Robocop theme and it would all start to click together much better.
posted by Artw at 11:59 PM on September 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


suburbanbeatnik: "I might have to watch Dredd now, though. It sounds pretty cool. This, not so much."

Do so. I will be surprised if you regret it.
posted by Samizdata at 12:06 AM on September 7, 2013


Artw, I agree about the Kane-bot. I've always thought it was one of the better thought up mechs-type things in American movies. Not the best, of course, for a police bot, but just all around ass-kicking awesomeness. Other awesome bots that deserved better movies:

The giant robot from the Stallone version of Judge Dredd (the ABC bot or something?)
The power suits from the second and third Matrix movies (god, I loved those)
posted by Ghidorah at 12:08 AM on September 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Fun fact: The ABC Warrior was an early work of Chris Cunningham, famous now for his freaky Aphex Twin videos.
posted by Artw at 12:12 AM on September 7, 2013


Fun fact: The ABC Warrior was an early work of Chris Cunningham, famous now for his freaky Aphex Twin videos.

Sadly, also responsible for the 'Newborn' design in Alien Resurrection. The ABC Warrior was one of the best inclusions of the Stallone movie though.
posted by panboi at 12:19 AM on September 7, 2013


I don't think anybody could have made the newborn concept work. Sorry Joss.
posted by Artw at 12:24 AM on September 7, 2013


OMG He's like the Brian May of Robocop!

More the Greg Graffin of the Hong Kong Cavaliers.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:43 AM on September 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


florzinha: "I came here to post exactly the same thing. Elite Squad and Elite Squad 2 are both great movies and a huge success in Brazil. The first one was considered fascist by many people, which I think is a great misinterpretation (Paul Verhoeven was also called fascist by many critics). "

The first Elite Squad movie was fascist. There's no way to read it as anything else. Verhoeven satirizes fascism, Padilha systematically and methodically sets up an environment and a story where fascism is the only correct and reasonable ideology. And then he underscores it with the main character (in interminable voiceover) talking about weeding out the weak (cadets for the elite squad) and how the academics and intellectuals are too soft to understand how the world really works.

I haven't seen the second one, since the first one was so insufferable. But Padilha is nothing like Verhoeven, who's very precisely (and hilariously) satirized fascism (in both RoboCop and Starship Troopers) while still making very good, entertaining movies.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 12:49 AM on September 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


PG, I was mostly thinking of the powered suits and stuff, but it wasn't a debate I held much of a position on, either. As satire I think ST falls well short of Robocop's mark.

Anyway, my goal was to tease at the idea that somehow Verhoeven's adaptation of a novel (Heinlein's, or Dick's) is the "original" version of work at stake. Even Robocop was a sui generis project to which Verhoeven became attached. This is not to diminish his contributions as director, of course, but to underscore my point about originality.
posted by dhartung at 2:56 AM on September 7, 2013


I really liked the recent Dredd. Especially the way it eschewed the clichés of saving the world, and blowing up ever-bigger stuff. Instead, the plot tension was about whether the characters would get out of the building alive, and whether Dredd would approve the rookie Judge. It worked because it was well-paced, tense, and I cared about the characters, not because it blew up 20% more stuff than the last blockbuster.

So, it's possible to produce a good action remake today.

The trouble is that the original Robocop wasn't just a good action movie, it was a great movie. The scene where Robocop wanders around his bare old house, tormented by fragments of memory, is one of the most poignant in cinema. And it's surprisingly bleak: by the end, Robocop hasn't regained his family or his memory or willpowered through Directive 4, all he's got is his name.

From the trailer, it looks like the potential for that adult bleakness is gone. So maybe it will be a good movie in its own right, but I'm not that optimistic so far.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 3:36 AM on September 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


Buckaroo Banzai is cooler than Batman.

Agreed. Obviously Buckaroo Banzai is cooler Batman, Spider-Man, Superman, Wolverine, and Iron Man. But, this being an imperfect world, they are not just going to make Buckaroo Banzai into an endless series with new episodes coming out every year. Which is a dirty shame and an indictment of the Hollywood system and the tastes of the filmgoing public.

But Weller still would have made an excellent Batman. He can act with his whole face, or just his chin, depending on what's needed. That's important for Batman. He's as good as or better an actor than Michael Keaton, George Clooney, Val Kilmer, or Christian Bale. He would bring a world-weariness and angst to Bruce Wayne that most of those actors failed to. Paul Verhoven could direct. Or maybe David Cronenburg. For Catwoman, I see Kathrine Keener if Verhoven is directing, or Stoya if Cronenburg directs. I've got this whole thing mostly figured out.
posted by Cookiebastard at 7:40 AM on September 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


That Forbes article is terrible. It has about a paragraph of content, & just repeats itself for entire article. The first & second paragraphs contain near identical sentences.
posted by broken wheelchair at 9:56 AM on September 7, 2013


If you liked Buckaroo Banzai you probably want to check out John Dies at the End.

/likes it okay but is more of a Repo Man dude.
posted by Artw at 10:03 AM on September 7, 2013


When my wife and I went to see, I want to say Star Trek, there were three youths ahead of us in line, practically pissing themselves with excitement. When they reached the front, they promptly informed the cashier that they were here to see Conan for the third time. It was that fucking good. This is why RoboCop gets remade at such low standards. But I've learned long ago that it's not worth getting bent out of shape by bad reboots and remakes. The originals still exist (George Lucas doesn't count), and there are plenty of other interesting movies I haven't seen yet to keep me busy indefinitely.
posted by Brocktoon at 10:47 AM on September 7, 2013


If you liked Buckaroo Banzai you probably want to check out John Dies at the End.

/likes it okay but is more of a Repo Man dude.


I'm a big fan of all three. We need more smart/weird/whimsical stuff along these lines.

And holy shit, read the JDATE book while you're at it- the movie is one of the best adaptations I've seen in years because a) it captures the tone of the book perfectly (I would compare to Fight Club and The Princess Bride in terms of perfectly replicating the original work's tone) and b) it makes a bunch of changes, but none of them feel like they unnecessarily left something out (there's a bunch of stuff in the book that would've required a LOT of money to film, and wouldn't have been as cool on film) or disrespectfully changed something to dumb it down. I saw the movie and then read the book, and I'd be hard pressed to say I prefer one over the other. The film's exactly the movie you'd want to make out of the book, you know?
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:01 AM on September 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


...The Princess Bride in terms of perfectly replicating the original work's tone......

It has been a loooooooooooooong time since I read the book, so I may be misremembering, but as I recall the book was pointedly darker and less happily-ever-after than the movie. As in a sort of "kids, fantasy books lie to you, and part of being human is that we perpetually suffer and are disappointed" kind of thing.
posted by middleclasstool at 11:09 AM on September 7, 2013


Admittedly it's been a bit for me, too, but I remember the darker bits being mostly alluded to as things that the "translator" was leaving out.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:26 AM on September 7, 2013


Well, one good thing came out of them remaking Robocop: after reading this thread, I caught Dredd on Netflix and was very impressed. My thanks to everyone who encouraged that: it feels like a silver lining on a pretty nasty cloud.

(It also sort of illustrates how the remake could be used for good: rather than mucking around with brilliant movies like Robocop, taking something that didn't really work on the big screen the first time and making a version that does seems pretty cool. I realize Dredd was not a remake of the Stallone thing, but it's a similar case.)
posted by mordax at 1:07 PM on September 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


So I was just in the shower thinking about Dredd, and if only 6% of crimes get responded to, who would even bother reporting one? Do they have some other way of knowing a crime has occurred? It's been several months since I saw the movie, so I don't recall that exchange exactly.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 1:58 PM on September 7, 2013


So I was just in the shower thinking about Dredd, and if only 6% of crimes get responded to, who would even bother reporting one? Do they have some other way of knowing a crime has occurred? It's been several months since I saw the movie, so I don't recall that exchange exactly.

The medic called in the crime that they responded to in Dredd, so maybe most are called in by people who are obligated to call in. Who knows what the ratio of reported to unreported crime is.
posted by audi alteram partem at 2:08 PM on September 7, 2013


Nobody says grim future face-shooting based justice is perfect - but it's the best system they've got.
posted by Artw at 2:22 PM on September 7, 2013


Joakim Ziegler: I haven't seen the second one, since the first one was so insufferable. But Padilha is nothing like Verhoeven, who's very precisely (and hilariously) satirized fascism (in both RoboCop and Starship Troopers) while still making very good, entertaining movies.

I haven't seen the first one, but I've read and had other people tell me about the fascist elements in it. I think the second one may usurp those a bit more as Nascimento deals with the corruption of the police force and the societal problems that created such situations.
posted by gucci mane at 3:38 PM on September 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


and The Princess Bride in terms of perfectly replicating the original work's tone

We made the mistake of letting our daughters read the book before seeing The Princess Bride. They were underwhelmed and disappointed. They didn't think it got the book right. I was astonished and sad.
posted by straight at 3:43 PM on September 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


When I watched Buckaroo Banzi with my ex-girlfriend she made it about a third of the way through, said "Is this movie nothing but this guy getting cooler and COOLER?", and left.
posted by The Card Cheat at 5:03 PM on September 7, 2013


When I watched Buckaroo Banzi with my ex-girlfriend she made it about a third of the way through, said "Is this movie nothing but this guy getting cooler and COOLER?", and left.

So that's when you dumped her, right?
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:16 PM on September 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


"It also sort of illustrates how the remake could be used for good: rather than mucking around with brilliant movies like Robocop, taking something that didn't really work on the big screen the first time and making a version that does seems pretty cool. I realize Dredd was not a remake of the Stallone thing, but it's a similar case."

I agree with you. In a better world they'd mostly remake movies that didn't work that well the first time. There's lots of candidates out there. But unfortunately that's not what Hollywood is looking for. They want to remake the successful movies, in hopes that lightning will strike twice, or three or four times.
posted by Kevin Street at 6:14 PM on September 7, 2013


Hey since you guys want to see more antifacist themes, I still recommend the miniseries Robocop: Prime Directives (if you can find it). It was low budget but it still worked. OCP is a failed facist state going bankrupt. The board of OCP is taken over in a coup, and they send Black Robocop to kill Robocop since he is aligned with the earlier regime. The hot girl hackers show Black and White Robocops what OCP is doing, so they all join forces to bring down OCP. Hell, how many times do they have to destroy OCP? They got nuked in R3, and their stock went to zero. I guess you can't kill an idea, and facism is pretty damn hard to wipe out, even with cheesy special effects.
posted by charlie don't surf at 11:02 PM on September 7, 2013


Robocain FPP
posted by Artw at 11:05 PM on September 7, 2013


The giant robot from the Stallone version of Judge Dredd (the ABC bot or something?)
..
Fun fact: The ABC Warrior was an early work of Chris Cunningham, famous now for his freaky Aphex Twin videos.


Hammerstein. His name is Hammerstein.
And that is probably the only time he will get any screen action, because an ABC Warriors movie is too awesome for this Earth.

(Also, this Robocop doesn't appeal to me. An I only recently watched the original, and saw R2 and R3 for the first times. Man, that series went downhill quickly).
posted by Mezentian at 8:20 AM on September 8, 2013


It's debateable if he's Hammerstein - he hasn't hit a Hammer, for a start, but if there was a screen version of ABC Warriors that looked that good I'd be pretty happy.
posted by Artw at 8:25 AM on September 8, 2013


Also a great 2000AD screen robot: the Mark 13 from Hardware.
posted by Artw at 8:32 AM on September 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


He doesn't have a hammer?
Man, the years have dulled my memory. For some reason I haven't been able to rewatch it.
posted by Mezentian at 8:32 AM on September 8, 2013


Cunningham also did some art for the Judge Dredd Megazine under the name Chris Halls - very much part of the wave of Bisley clones that swamped 2000AD in the 90s.
posted by Artw at 8:56 AM on September 8, 2013


That is another reason why the movie with that sissy Stallone sucked. ABC Warriors aren't really in the Dredd universe, it was only a brief crossover. The Robot Wars is an important central mythos, so you really should do Walter the Wobot and Call-Me-Kenneth.
posted by charlie don't surf at 10:40 AM on September 8, 2013


The degree to which the Millsiverse is wired into the Dredd universe has fluctuated pretty wildly over time - Origins pretty much killed off the notion that the Great Atom War that created The Cursed Earth was the Volgan War, but back in the day you'd have Nemesis the Warlock's son picking up Satanus for a pet and feeding him Judges and so on...
posted by Artw at 11:03 AM on September 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have to confess, when anyone mentions the Theme from RoboCop, I tend to think of this. And from there to household appliances, obviously.
posted by Grangousier at 2:06 PM on September 8, 2013


Also, the sheer tightness of the last scene of Robocop. Final twist, action climax and catharsis in five lines? Amazing.

Robert Burke, who played Robocop in Robocop 3... not his fault. He's a strong actor who got big roles in some baaad movies early in his career. He was one of Hal Hartley's regular players back before Hartley forgot how to make films, and sadly after that too—his turn as an ages-old monster is easily the best thing (possibly the only good thing) in No Such Thing, and that's a movie with Helen Mirren, Julie Christie and Sarah Polley in it. He is not the reason that R3 sucked so badly.
posted by Hogshead at 3:47 PM on September 8, 2013


And if you want great songs inspired by Robocop, here's Rock Drill by Hoodlum Priest.
posted by Hogshead at 4:21 PM on September 8, 2013


Peter Weller has starred in some amazing stuff in some of the coolest roles possible. He was Robocop. He was Bill Lee in Naked Lunch. He was Buckaroo Banzai.

And he's also a lecturer in history. RoboCop, PhD.


Random Roles: Peter Weller on feminism, sequels, and more (spoilers for a bunch of movies including Star Trek into Darkness):
When I met Paul Verhoeven in a hotel room in New York, I knew that, because Paul was directing it, it was going to be great. I knew it was going to have something of a moral opera in it and that he was not going to miss the universal morality in this. He was not going to just make an action movie. And it’s a very funny movie and a brilliant sort of social commentary. When I met Verhoeven, I’d seen all his movies, and I just knew he’d be fantastic. And to be feeling the feelings I felt when I met him… I mean, he was intimidating, but I knew that, with his expertise, he’d be executing something non-ephemeral and awakening certain aspects of social morality that’ll last. That movie will be around forever, man.
[...]
RoboCop 2 didn’t have a third act. I told the producers and Irv Kirshner up front, and Frank Miller. I told them all. I said, “Where’s the third act here, man? So I beat up a big monster. In the third act, you have to have your Dan O’Herlihy. Somebody’s got to be the third act.” “No, no, the monster’s going to be enough.” “Look, it’s not enough!” When you have a movie like the first RoboCop, where the bad guys are never the bad guys and it’s always the morality of the thing. You know, like the idea that progress in the name of progress can steal a man’s identity. Look, the first RoboCop’s got deregulated trickle-down social economic politics in it, way before Bush and Romney and the debates with Obama and Senator Clinton. It’s got a morality to it. If you don’t have that, man, you’ve got no flick, and I said that so much. But, look, I don’t need to be right about RoboCop 2. I had a good time making Robocop 2. I was breaking up with a girlfriend at the time, so I can’t say I really had a great time, but I had a good time with Irv Kirshner, God bless him, and being in Houston, running around with Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, who’s an old friend. But the script did not have the code, the spine, or the soul of the first one.
Also has a good bit about how he reads some of Philip K. Dick's work as polemics about slavery. Dude knows his shit.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:27 AM on September 13, 2013 [8 favorites]


Since we are all here, talking about Dredd and stuff, Artw's DREDD sequel comes out now. I can't justify a FPP, but as long as you folks know.
posted by Mezentian at 6:56 AM on September 13, 2013


(regarding the Peter Weller article) You've gotta love an actor who plays the villain and then argues in interviews, "My character was right, damn it! The protagonist was wrong!"
posted by straight at 7:08 AM on September 13, 2013


Since we are all here, talking about Dredd and stuff, Artw's DREDD sequel comes out now. I can't justify a FPP, but as long as you folks know.

For those interested (or just wanting to hear me say "um" a lot) I talk about it at length here.
posted by Artw at 9:40 AM on September 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


So, anyone who watched the trailer thought Robocop kind of resembles the Cyborg Ninja from Metal Gear Solid? Almost to the point I wished this new Robocop would discard everything about the old one and just carry a badass katana and slice up bad guys. I know it's not true to the old one, but an off the wall remake that's a spectacular mess is more appealing than a timid halfway job.

Speaking of both, Deus Ex: Human Revolution draws both from Robocop and Metal Gear Solid, so there's that six degreeish-link between the two as well.
posted by FJT at 8:18 AM on September 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's PG so he'd have to use it like He-Man for deflecting laser bolts and slicing robots and shit.
posted by Artw at 9:58 AM on September 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


brundlefly: "cribcage: "If Dredd and Die Hard have equivalent stories, then so do Vanilla Sky and Breakfast at Tiffany's just because both are romantic dramas"

Die Hard and Dredd are both about a protagonist, trapped and outnumbered, fighting criminals in a single building. Yes, the two films are otherwise quite different, but they're definitely more similar than Vanilla Sky and Breakfast at Tiffany's. And they're closer to each other than Dredd is to Buried or Phone Booth, which is what you were originally saying. If you're making the case that those films are in the same sub-genre, then I don't know how you can exclude Die Hard. Would Assault on Precinct 13 qualify?

Lumping the film into a "family of experimental cinema" where the entire film is one scene doesn't make a lick of sense to me. Especially since, well... there's more than one scene.

cribcage: "I will agree that the acting in Dredd was excellent, inasmuch as it consisted of people yelling and pulling triggers. Every trigger pull, a gun fired. Success!"

Oof. Alright, I'm just going to bow out of this one. I don't think we're going to see eye to eye visor slit on this film.
"

FTFY.
posted by Samizdata at 3:56 PM on September 18, 2013


Speaking of Judge Dredd, I have some lovely candy to share. Anyone want a piece?
posted by Samizdata at 4:09 PM on September 18, 2013


I'm going to be cheeky: First few pages of my Dredd comic
posted by Artw at 1:15 PM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Well, I watched Dredd -- it's on both Netflix Instant and Amazon Prime right now -- and was pretty bored. I didn't like The Raid: Redemption much either, but at least it had some nifty martial arts gags. This was pretty much color-graded depression relieved occasionally by excess of blood or explosion.

If the point was satire, evoked by over-the-top violence, well, Poe's Law seems to apply here as well.
posted by dhartung at 2:12 PM on September 21, 2013


If the point was satire, evoked by over-the-top violence, well, Poe's Law seems to apply here as well.

Yes, you understand it correctly, Judge Dredd drives right down the edge of Poe's Law. That is probably the biggest problem with that Stallone film, it takes itself seriously, with a lead actor that can't be taken seriously in the role. There is no moral ambiguity, only moral inconsistency.
posted by charlie don't surf at 2:45 PM on September 21, 2013


Well, I watched Dredd -- it's on both Netflix Instant and Amazon Prime right now -- and was pretty bored.

I just don't understand.
I took a friend who has zero knowledge of Dredd beyond the Stallone film (but she has seen RobocCop) and she loved it as much as me.

But, on behalf of Dredd fans everywhere, thanks fore (I guess) watching it in the halo around the Dredd Day Of Action. We may get that sequel after all. (Yes, I stumped up for the DVD).

If the point was satire, evoked by over-the-top violence,

Dredd's satire doesn't translate as well to the film medium. Can you imagine Simp About The House, The Fatties, Otto Sump or the like on the big screen? I can't either, and I know who they are. But it would be awesome.
posted by Mezentian at 3:51 AM on September 22, 2013


Since we are all here, talking about Dredd and stuff, Artw's DREDD sequel comes out now. I can't justify a FPP, but as long as you folks know.

I couldn't grasp the point of this venture as the whole mission was putting Dredd on screen. We've got Dredd in print already (and a seriously on-form Dredd at that of late). But then again having ArtW/Henry Flint as the team responsible, eh you're tempting me sorely there....
posted by panboi at 9:01 AM on September 22, 2013


Yes, you understand it correctly, Judge Dredd drives right down the edge of Poe's Law.

This reminds me: what I wouldn't give for Dredd film with a Matthew Holness script, directed by William Friedkin, produced by Paul Verhoeven and Chris Morris. Just keep it at the constant edge of "are you fucking kidding me?"

Sidenote: I'm one of the few people on the internet who didn't care all that much for the Urban/Thirlby Dredd. Never quite as exciting or satirical as I kept hoping it would be.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:49 AM on September 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


(Or it could be written by Steve Aylett. Or Artw.)
(Or it could be directed by any number of other people. I'm just trying to think of who does straight-faced excess well. Someone who could make a Dredd movie where you definitely thought it was awesome, but you were never quite sure if it was a joke or not. Like, Brian De Palma could work, but every movie he makes becomes a Brian De Palma Movie™, if that makes any sense.)
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:55 AM on September 22, 2013


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