Joel Kinnaman

iron man original

You don’t have to see the RoboCop remake. Normally I’d say that if you don’t see the big new release that you can’t read the new Movies to Watch column, because you’ll get spoiled. But I don’t think there’s much in the way of spoilers here, even if you haven’t seen the 1987 original. There’s a cop, he becomes part robot and then he’s a RoboCop. Without knowing much more than that, you can gather that some obvious precursors include Frankenstein, Blade Runner and anything where Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a police officer of any kind. Yet none of those are in this week’s batch of a dozen recommendations inspired by the new RoboCop. Some of my picks are more obvious with relation to the remake than the Paul Verhoeven version. Speaking of which, that too is another obvious selection I feel is a given if you see the new one and haven’t before seen the old. Go ahead and see the divisive RoboCop 2, also, and while you’re at it go on to RoboCop 3 in order to see something much, much worse than the reboot. Because it was difficult to be reminded of much else besides those predecessors, more than a few of the titles below are merely better earlier works by the talent involved. In spite of what I said above, here’s your reminder that the following list may spoil parts of this week’s movie, so if you haven’t seen the RoboCop remake and plan to, you might not want to read ahead […]

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review robocop

Everyone has their own idea on what constitutes the best remake, but most people can agree that the goal should be to improve upon the original in some meaningful way or to at least make the new film salient for a modern audience. The best remakes (John Carpenter’s The Thing, Martin Scorsese’s The Departed, the Coen brothers’ True Grit) take the core plot elements of the originals but find their own identity in relevant stories, fascinating characters, and casts that fully engage the material and the audience. RoboCop (2014) has chosen a different path all together, and while it avoids the degree of pointlessness reached by far too many Hollywood retreads, it still fails to justify its existence. It’s a cleaner package, but the contents are far less filling. You know the story. The multinational OmniCorp corporation has made a fortune developing robots to secure the streets, but while the rest of the world has signed on the United States refuses to accept armed drones walking its soil. Detective Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) meanwhile is brought to the brink of death after an attack by a purportedly vicious criminal, and his only hope is an experimental procedure designed to meld man and machine into the ultimate, drably-colored law enforcement officer. It’s a match made in heaven, but Murphy’s new gig as RoboCop lands him in a personal hell. At least he’ll be bringing some “friends” down with him.

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trailer robocop 2014

Blah blah blah remakes. No one wants them, but they just keep coming. All we can do is take them one at a time with the understanding that each new reboot has zero effect on the original film we probably love, like, or don’t honestly remember. And with that in mind our first real look at director José Padilha‘s remake of the gleefully violent, morbid and twisted Robocop has finally arrived. The story remains the same as a corporation takes over the business of policing a city with unintended results. A cop (Joel Kinnaman), wounded under suspicious circumstances, is used as the meat in a half man, half machine, all cyborg sandwich representing the company’s latest weapon in the war on crime. But what happens when he’s no longer interested in being a tool for the Man? I’ll tell you what happens. PG-13 violence happens. Check out the mildly competent yet wholly generic-looking trailer for Robocop below.

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RoboCop

RoboCop isn’t the first Paul Verhoeven remake Sony Pictures has showcased at Comic-Con. At the last two Cons they promoted Total Recall, a decent movie — and a pretty good Director’s Cut — that flat out bombed at the box-office alongside underwhelming critics and fans. Obviously, they’re hoping director Jose Padilha‘s remake of Verhoeven’s best film isn’t met with the same fate. With a cast this good – Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Kenneth Williams, Jennifer Ehle, Abbie Cornish, and Jackie Earle Haley – if all else fails, at least they’ll have some mighty fine talent on display. We already know that it’ll be, no surprise, PG-13. The original RoboCop hasn’t aged a day as a nasty piece of violent cinema, and despite Samuel L. Jackson believing otherwise, it would remain an R-rated movie by today’s loose standards. But none of that matters at the end of the day. What matters is if Padilha and his cast make do something new with the character, and from what the cast and Padihla had to say at Comic-Con, that’s what they set out to do.

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Horrible Bosses

What is Casting Couch? It’s here to help you keep abreast of which projects are appearing on your favorite actors’ upcoming calendars. Today we have news about who the latest talent to play Liam Neeson’s kid in a movie where Liam Neeson kills people is going to be. Hint: he’s part man, part machine, all cop. Despite the fact that the 2011 comedy Horrible Bosses took a talented ensemble of actors and generally failed to do anything funny with them, it’s looking like enough people paid to watch it that it’s going to be getting a sequel. THR is reporting that all three of its stars, Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jason Sudeikis, have signed on to appear in a second go around. And, in addition to that, Jamie Foxx is said to be likely to return as the trio’s murder consultant—and there even might be room for Jennifer Aniston and Kevin Spacey’s characters to return in cameo roles. Horrible Bosses writers John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein have returned to pen the sequel, and Seth Gordon will return to direct. This would all sound like an incredible amount of fan-service, if I had ever met anyone who was a fan of Horrible Bosses. Oh well, maybe this one will be better?

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Elite Squad director José Padilha‘s RoboCop just began principal photography, but for the past few weeks things have not been looking up for this mostly unwanted PG-13 remake. There was word over Padilha being pushed around behind-the-scenes, that the script is a disaster, and the fantastic prospect of Hugh Laurie terrorizing the futuristic cop was killed. So, after a string of disappointing news, this first-look at Joel Kinnaman rocking the new RoboCop gear isn’t helping matters. Check out Kinnaman looking more like a superhero than a man whose shot up body bits are being reused as a symbol of facism, and while you’re at it, read why that’s a bad thing:

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Michael Keaton

Were you thinking that you weren’t going to check out Jose Padilha‘s remake of Paul Verhoeven’s RoboCop because a) remakes turn you off or b) this year’s Total Recall remake was so bad or c) you don’t like that Joel Kinnaman character (tangentially, you might also not like The Killing or even Snabba Cash)? Well, guess what, your reasons for derision no longer have any basis, because the film has now hired a new villain (post-Hugh Laurie shove-off) that’s so deliciously wonderful that, when we say that somebody must have asked for it, we mean that somebody brilliant must have asked for it. The new CEO of the evil OmniCorp, Raymond Sellars? Michael Keaton. Boom. Buy your ticket now.

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Hugh Laurie

Earlier this summer, word hit the wire that Hugh Laurie was in talks to play the villain in the upcoming remake of RoboCop, and there’s a reason why that news was never confirmed – because it’s not going to happen. Variety‘s Jeff Sneider tweeted the news last night, while also confirming that Laurie was never officially set for the role to begin with, writing “While he was never officially confirmed, sources telling Variety that HUGH LAURIE has ended talks to play villain in ROBOCOP. HUGH LAURIE definitely out of ROBOCOP reboot, not that he was ever ‘in.’” Laurie would have played the evil CEO of Omni Corp, the suitably shady corporation that helps turn Detroit cop Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) into RoboCop. Deadline Hollywood now reports that MGM is talking to other actors to fill the role, including Clive Owen. The José Padilha-directed film still has a great cast, including Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson, Abbie Cornish, Jennifer Ehle, Jackie Earle Haley, Jay Baruchel, Michael K. Williams, and Marianne Jean-Baptiste. The film is targeting a release date of August 9, 2013. [via /Film]

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Joel Kimmaman

A few weeks ago, a filming notice plastered to the side of my apartment building revealed that Terrence Malick‘s Knight of Cups was filming within feet of my front door. Apparently, I should have stuck around to watch that all play out, because perhaps Malick would have tossed me into a frame or two, as the auteur now seems bent on getting anyone and everyone into his latest film. You’ll remember that Knight of Cups is just one of Malick’s currently-in-production features that stars Christian Bale, Natalie Portman, and Wes Bentley. This is the one that appears to be set in Los Angeles (the production has been spotted on the beach in Venice and Santa Monica, and my neighborhood is adjacent to both) not the one once known as Lawless that is set in Austin) and this is the one that centers on Bale as “a depressed writer” who, if on-set pictures are to be believed, seems to ease himself with a string of beautiful women. Now Swedish outlet SvD reveals that Joel Kinnaman (Snabba Cash, the next RoboCop) has also joined the film as “a rich playboy,” which seems like the type of dude who would hang out with Bale’s character. Additionally, The Film Stage and The Playlist pass on word that an extra named extra Brett Anderson says he shot some scenes with Antonio Banderas, who was rumored to have a part in the film. The Playlist also checked in on the film’s IMDB page, which reveals that […]

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When you take all of the distaste for remakes and reboots that’s out there and add it with the love that people have for Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 film RoboCop, it adds up to a situation where not very many people are looking forward to José Padilha’s upcoming re-do of the material. And yet, with every casting announcement that this new RoboCop makes, it’s becoming harder and harder to not be at least a little excited about its possibilities. First off, Padilha cast an on-the-rise young actor who’s done nothing but impress so far named Joel Kinnaman in the title role. Then he systematically surrounded his star with supporting names that everyone loves, like Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson, Hugh Laurie, Abbie Cornish, Jay Baruchel, and Jackie Earle Haley. It would be hard to sneeze at that cast no matter what they were being assembled for, but get them all together for a post-apocalyptic tale of robot cops versus violent street gangs and evil corporations, and it’s not too difficult to start forgetting how much you dislike all of the remakes going on in Hollywood. I don’t know how they get ya, but that’s how they get ya.

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In Paul Verhoeven‘s 1987 film, RoboCop, the sci-fi action takes place in a future Detroit, one that is overridden by crime and violence. Mega-corp Omni Consumer Products has been contracted by the city to run their police force and to clean up the city and its many criminals. Part of their initiative involves a cyborg cop program called, you guessed it, RoboCop. When veteran police officer Alex Murphy (Peter Weller) is killed in the line of duty, OCP takes his body and uses it for their very first RoboCop. While successful in his job, the now-eponymous RoboCop is still haunted by memories of his old life as Alex Murphy that he must battle as he also battles crime. Jose Padilha is now remaking RoboCop, set to star Joel Kinnaman and, as is the case with all reboots and remakes and rehashes, this new film begs the question – just how similar will this new film be to the original? Turns out, in the case of RoboCop, pretty damn similar! Over at ComingSoon, they’ve posted the newest synopsis for the RoboCop reboot (a Robocop-sis?), and it sounds like some very well-tread territory:

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Editor’s Note: On July 11, 2012, Easy Money opened its limited release in the United States. In honor of that release, we’re republishing Allison Loring’s review from the 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival. She was quite fond of it, which leads us to believe that you should read the review and perhaps even see the movie… Based on the novel “Snabba Cash” (also the film’s original title) by Swedish author Jens Lapidus, Easy Money tells the twisted tale of what it really means to make “easy money” and the ramifications of those supposed shortcuts. The film opens with Jorge (Matias Varela) staging a daring prison break (despite only having a year left on his sentence), and subsequently falling right back into the world of drugs and violence that clearly got him locked up in the first place. But a move like that never comes without consequences, as we meet Mrado (Dragomir Mrsic) who has suddenly found himself a full-time father while still trying to run his (at times) brutal business practices. Far from the world of drugs and criminals is enterprising business student Johan “JW” Westlund (Joel Kinnaman) who is liked by all, but (despite how it may seem) struggles to keep up with the lavish lifestyle of his wealthy friends and classmates. At first glance, it doesn’t seem obvious that these three characters have anything in common, but we soon realize that the thread that connects them all is the desire for quick cash, the hope for a better life because […]

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OmniCorp Logo

OmniCorp, the cuddliest weapons manufacturer, wants to know what you’ll buy for a dollar. They’ve just released this glossy sales video to celebrate their full system lines, including drones that can keep a watchful eye over your neighborhood, a massive tank-busting defense vehicle, and they’re even teasing a new program where human resources meet robotics. Personally, I’m glad we’ve got them in our corner to keep us safe. Check out the video for yourself:

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Hugh Laurie

Hugh Laurie came to America from the UK after a successful career in comedy and quickly found himself playing lead in a critical and commercial hit on the Fox network. His film work over here has been relegated to small, supporting roles, but it looks like he may get a chance to flex his dark side on the big screen in a big way. Per Variety, Laurie is in talks to join MGM’s upcoming Robocop remake for director Jose Padilha as the film’s main villain. He has large, partially bald shoes to fill if he hopes to be half as entertaining as the original’s main baddies played by Kurtwood Smith and Ronny Cox. Clarence Boddicker is a memorably brutal (and brutally funny) psycho, and Dick Jones is the epitome of a dickish CEO, but while it’s rumored Laurie would be playing a brand new version of the latter he’d kill in either villainous flavor. The film is also set to star Joel Kinnaman in the title role, Gary Oldman as a the scientist behind the technology, Abbie Cornish as Mrs. Robocop and Samuel Jackson.

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Chances are, you haven’t seen Jane Campion’s gorgeously crafted Bright Star because, well, not many people did. And that’s just a damn shame because the film is not only a sumptuous love story about poet John Keats, but because it also features a luminous performance by Abbie Cornish. While Cornish has often been lumped into those newly-popular “short lists” of potential stars for big films (including both Prometheus and The Great Gatsby), she hasn’t yet been given a role that can truly put her talents in front of a large audience (no, we don’t talk about Sucker Punch in this house). With roles in Seven Psychopaths and An Ordinary Man coming up, that could change, but you know what would really change that? A starring role in a much-anticipated remake. Like, oh, maybe Jose Padilha‘s RoboCop? Good news then, as Deadline Irving reports that Cornish has been offered what they’re describing as “the female lead” in the upcoming film, though it’s not the one fans of Paul Verhoeven’s original might be expecting. The role would be as Alex Murphy/RoboCop’s (Joel Kinnaman) wife, not his partner Anne Lewis.

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Casting for Jose Padilha’s upcoming reboot of the RoboCop franchise seems to be coming along swimmingly. First he landed up-and-coming The Killing actor Joel Kinnaman to come on board as the main character, Alex Murphy, who starts off as a normal police office and then gets blown away by a bunch of bad guys, resulting in his transformation into a robotic cop. Then he really swung for the fences and got Gary Oldman to agree to come on board as a morally conflicted scientist, the only person in the film who foresees the eventual complications that might come from resurrecting dead people and turning them into robots. The latest bit of casting news might be the biggest of all, however, given the recent world-beating success of The Avengers. Heat Vision is reporting that Jedi Knight, head of SHIELD, and longtime badass Samuel L. Jackson has joined the cast as well. He’ll be playing a character named Pat Novak, who’s said to be a charismatic television mogul. There’s not yet much information out there about how closely Padilha’s remake will resemble Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 version of RoboCop, but seeing as this is a property that naturally lends itself to social criticism, one can assume that Jackson’s character will be used to skewer the greed and irresponsibility of modern media.

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Gary Oldman Fifth Element

If you think about it, the Robocop remake actually has a lot going for it. Other than the baggage of being a remake. Director Jose Padilha has a successful action franchise in Elite Squad under his belt; co-writer James Vanderbilt wrote The Rundown, Zodiac and The Losers. co-writer Nick Schenk wrote Gran Torino; star Joel Kinnaman was fantastic in Snabba Cash/Easy Money and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. It’s got some great names involved. Rising talent. But, you know, who needs a remake of Robocop? According to The Hollywood Reporter, an actor just made it even more interesting. Gary Oldman is joining the movie as the scientist who wrestles with his own sense of ethics when he finds himself in the middle of a big corporation’s needs and a former human’s humanity. There’s no denying the gravitas and intensity that Oldman brings to the project. It was already interesting, but it just got interesting.

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Once upon a time Warner Bros. was pretty gung-ho about putting together a new version of the King Arthur story. They tried to develop an Excalibur remake with director Bryan Singer, they paired Guy Ritchie up with Trainspotting writer John Hodge for another take, and they bought David Dobkin’s script Arthur & Lancelot for a cool $2m. Dobkin’s version came pretty close to getting made, and had Game of Thrones’ Kit Harington all ready to play Arthur and The Killings’ Joel Kinnaman set to be Lancelot, but ultimately things fell apart. In trying economic times, the film’s proposed $130m budget was deemed just too much to risk, especially with a couple of actors who hadn’t been proven on the big screen stuck in the lead roles. After the deal with Warner fell apart, Dobkin was free to once again shop his script around town, but nothing much came of his efforts. That’s reportedly changed, however. According to Deadline Malahide, Colin Farrell is now interested in the film, which gives it considerably more star power than it ever had before, and which has rekindled interest on the part of  Warner Bros. If the project gets back on track Farrell would be playing Lancelot, which is considered to likely be the breakout role of the film. There’s no word on who they would be looking at to play Arthur (get Brendan Gleeson!), but Deadline does claim to have knowledge that Gary Oldman will be re-approached to play Merlin, a role he initially […]

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Joel Kimmaman

They TOLDJA us! After several days of rumors swirling around that actor Joel Kinnaman was close to signing a deal to become the new Robocop in Brazilian director José Padilha’s reboot of the franchise, Deadline Windsor has now confirmed that the deal is done. This means it should only be a matter of time before he goes in to be fitted for his metallic visor and hidden leg gun. For those not yet in the know, Padilha is a director known best for his Elite Squad movies, which were action packed looks at Brazilian street crime, as well as the corruption that runs rampant in their politics and police forces. They’re a little heavy-handed where the politics are concerned, but that generally gets made up for by how brutal and fun their action sequences are, and it’s probably safe to expect that this new take on Detroit’s number one cop will be in the same vein. He’ll be directing from a script co-written by Gran Torino scribe Nick Schenk and newcomer Joshua Zetumer, so there’s some more indication that this new Robocop will probably be the sort of movie that gives you some socio-political commentary alongside its bloodletting.

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Do you guys even like hearing rumors straight out of Deadline Daytona Beach? Be honest. Is there value in them for you as movie fans? Do you feel like reporting chatter is just like being back in Film Blogging High School (where all of Rejects attended, and were subsequently kicked out). Tell me. In any case, it’s a slow pre-Oscars Friday, and it looks like all we have to report are rampant rumors. So here they are. Deadline Detroit reports that MGM “is making an offer” to rising star Joel Kinnaman for the titular role in the new Robocop. That’s right, the news isn’t that MGM has made an offer, it’s that they will. I’m getting to old for this game. But while rumors and gossip and chatter are, by and large, not very exciting, this news is – mainly because the possibility of a fresh face in an old property is actually interesting.

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published: 04.16.2014
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published: 04.16.2014
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published: 04.14.2014
B
published: 04.14.2014
A-

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