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Rob’s Mini Review: Robocop

Robocop on Cinedraft.com
Letter Grade:

The Good:

Action sequences are slick and very well-paced.
Social commentary of the original is taken seriously and updated to fit the times.
ED-209 doesn't try to navigate a stairwell.

The Bad:

Still not a fan of the black armor, but even that can be explained away as social commentary.

Cast & Crew:

Director: José Padilha
Writer: Joshua Zetumer
Stars: Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Abbie Cornish, Jackie Earle Haley, Michael K. Williams, Samuel L. Jackson

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action including frenetic gun violence throughout, brief strong language, sensuality and some drug material

I… wasn’t expecting that out of the reboot of Robocop… I expected a dumbed down version ofRobocop, caring more about the action than the satire and social commentary of the original, but I think this new version might actually be the better version. Where the original tended toward campy satire and over-the-top gore, this version takes both the action and the social commentary a little more seriously.

Implications and motivations seem much better thought out this time around, and are much more thoroughly explored. We spend a lot more time now seeing Robocop’s development, and we see that to the extent that Omnicorp is “evil”, it’s not about some megalomaniac desire to take over the world or to just be evil for evil’ sake. It’s about the banality of deadlines and performance targets and marketing research and stock prices. Each step in the wrong direction leads then further down the rabbit hole.

I seriously entered the theater expecting to, at best, not hate this new version and it wound up wildly exceeding my expectations at every step. The action sequences are slickly produced and the entire film was very well paced. Robocop is really worth seeing.

*Photo courtesy Sony Pictures Entertainment

Summer Movie Preview: August

OK, not too much witty stuff here today, there’s just too many movies coming out in August.  Enjoy the trailers and maybe some of our ramblings on some of the movies being released over the next few weeks.

The Smurfs 2

Release Date: August 2nd (well, really it was released today)

Synopsis: The Smurfs team up with their human friends to rescue Smurfette, who has been kidnapped by Gargamel since she knows a secret spell that can turn the evil sorcerer’s newest creation – creatures called the Naughties – into real Smurfs. The film is being directed again by Raja Gosnell, with all the main cast returning (Neil Patrick Harris, Hank Azaria, Jayma Mays, etc). New cast includes Christina Ricci and J. B. Smoove as members of the Naughties, and Brendan Gleeson as Patrick Winslow’s stepfather.

Our Thoughts:

Dave: I didn’t let the first Smurfs movie ruin my cherished childhood Smurf-related memories I am sure as hell not going to start now by seeing this one. (Strange, my spell check doesn’t recognize “Smurf-related” as a word…maybe it’s not supposed to be hyphenated.)

Jennie: OK, I love Neil Patrick Harris but, this movie isn’t for me. Not that I think it looks (too) terrible, but it is geared towards a much younger audience. Some family movies are fun for adults too, but I don’t think this one fits into that category.

Rob: I’m sure this will bring some joy to some children, but not nearly as much joy as that felt by those actors’ agents. Yay, 10%!

Felix: Raja Gosnell took a great Scooby Doo script in which they had a bunch of adult themed jokes into the incomprehensible piece of garbage we saw. He did the same for the Smurfs. Just saying, this is going to suck.

Dave: Wait…you know the writer of Scooby Doo??

Felix: Read the original screenplay.

Jennie: Wait, you read the original screenplay for the Scooby Doo Movie???

Felix: Yes

Nicole: We saw the first one and I wouldn’t say it was awful, it did have some funny parts but it was slow and not great overall. I’m not really looking forward to this one even though I love NPH. My daughter however has been counting the days until it comes out. I haven’t been gutsy enough yet to tell her that we will not be seeing it on opening weekend


Trailer: Paranoia

Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, and Liam Hemsworth are involved in some corporate espionage as Oldman hires Hemsworth to steal trade secrets from Ford. Hemsworth soon finds himself in over his head though, and just wants to get out.

Paranoia is directed by  (21, Legally Blonde) and stars , and .

*Photo and trailer courtesy Relativity Media