And so, shouldering our backpacks and steeling ourselves against the urge to look back, we leave the doldrums of the start-of-2014 release schedule. Farewell, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE MARKED ONES! Farewell, I, FRANKENSTEIN! Farewell, (ugh) VAMPIRE ACADEMY! May our paths never cross again. (A fruitless wish in the case of PARANORMAL ACTIVITY — the next installment is due in the summer.)
ROBOCOP — the remake of Paul Verhoeven’s politically acerbic, wildly satiric, and operatically violent science fiction action film — is much better. How much better, though, is open for debate. While celebrating Brazilian director José Padilha’s success in updating the tale of a noble cop killed in the line of duty who’s transformed into an indomitable crime-fighting cyborg and literal corporate tool, the Cinefantastique team of Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons differ on how well this new version addresses its social issues and political commentary. Bottom line: The guys are happier debating the degree of goodness of a truly good film than hashing over how much a misfire sucks rubber donkey lungs.
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Been ruminating on this item: According to Deadline, MGM has hired Brazilian director Jose Padilha (ELITE SQUAD), and signed writer Josh Zetumer to work on the script with him.
Josh Zetuner is apparently a hot un-produced screenwriter, penning the abandoned Paramount DUNE movie, and a cancelled Jason Bourne sequel from Universal. Reportedly, he also did un-credited work on MGM’s last James Bond film, QUANTUM OF SOLACE.
So we have a director whose work is largely unseen in the U.S., and a writer whose scripts are supposed to be good, but never actually make it onscreen. The results could be great, or not. Actually, it’s encouraging to see Hollywood roll the dice like this. We’ll have to wait and see if the gamble pays off.
I haven’t seen any official confirmation of this information, just to be clear.
According to Deadline, the back-from-near death MGM is in talks with Brazilian director Jose Padilha (ELITE SQUAD 1 & 2) to revive ROBOCOP as a franchise with a remake/reboot.
Starting with the 1987 original directed by Paul Verhoven, the series went on to 2 sequels and a 1994 TV show. Robocop/Alex Murphy was played in films by Peter Weller and Robert John Burke, with Richard Eden suited up in the television version.
Originally made by Orion Pictures, the property passed to MGM. Before its recent troubles, MGM had lined up Darren Aronofsky (BLACK SWAN) for the reboot. Now he’s committed to 20th Century Fox’s THE WOLVERINE, with Hugh Jackman as the Marvel comics character.
The article stated that a new script writer will pair with Jose Padilha, or one assumes, whoever winds up helming the feature.
Not much new and exciting in terms of fantasy, horror, and science-fiction films on home video this week, so fans must content themselves with some classics being released in new and improved form.
ROBOCOP (1987) was one of the best science-fiction films to emerge during the ’80s – a combination of a great concept with great production values, blending comic book-style action with genuine pathos for the titular character (a cop killed and resurrected as a cyborg). The film has been released on home video in various formats, including an unrated edition on laserdisc that briefly resurfaced on stand-alone DVD before being replaced by a box set containing the two sequels. If you have avoided the set containing the disappointing ROBOCOP II and ROBOCOP III, now is your chance to obtain the original in the 20th Anniversary Collector’s Edition. The two-disc set contains the theatrical cut on Disc 1 and the 103-minute extended cut on Disc 2. Bonus features include audio commentary, deleted scenes, theatrical trailers, and featurettes.
Continue reading “Laserblast: Robocop returns”