Jose Padilha

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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remakes

Seeing as we’re pretty deep into the golden age of remakes at this point, it should probably come as no surprise that we’ve got a handful of big movies that have already been big movies readying themselves for release in the near future. That Hollywood currently loves remakes is clear, but what’s also becoming clear is that the way we respond to them is a little bit complicated and a little bit hypocritical. Announce that a movie a lot of people love is getting remade and the response is almost always an outcry of outrage and disgust. Actually release the same movie in theaters and enough of those outraged, disgusted people still go to see it anyway, which keeps the remake train rolling. A couple of trailers for high profile remakes that got released today shine a light on the fact that our response to all of these remakes has been a little bit more nuanced and a little bit more complicated than an initial abhorrence and then an eventual acceptance though. A new trailer for director José Padilha’s RoboCop has been released, which shows it to be a legit attempt to update the material from Paul Verhoeven’s original, yet it has been met online with almost universal contempt. On the other side of the coin, a new trailer for Spike Lee’s Oldboy has also been released, and even though it seems to be a pretty straight and unnecessary retelling of Park Chan-wook’s 2003 film, movie fans have welcomed it […]

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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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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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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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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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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly column about movies and television and things that are said about movies and television. Sometimes it’s full of news. Sometimes it’s weird. It’s always worth reading. We begin tonight with a fact that should be well known to readers of this column. If not, you’re not paying attention, and you should feel shame. I enjoy reading the work of Pajiba’s Joanna Robinson more than I enjoy reading my own work. Which is a lot to say, as I find myself to be downright brilliant. That said, the supremely talented Ms. Robinson has written a list all about 5 Kickass Female Characters You Wouldn’t Want to Meet in a Dark Alley — including Thor‘s Sif, as played by Jaimie Alexander and seen above. The only problem is that I want to meet all of these women in a dark alley. But not in a combative manner. Unless they’re into that sort of thing. What can I say? I’m flexible.

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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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Ever since Brazilian director Jose Padilha was confirmed to direct MGM’s long-gestating Robocop reboot, there has been the lingering question as to what would happen to all of the work the original director, Darren Aronofsky, put into the project. Aronofsky was all set to take on Robocop, and had even written a script, but some looming bankruptcy problems with MGM and an otherwise full schedule for Aronofsky put the kibosh on all of that. Well, Crave recently sat down with Padilha to talk about his upcoming Elite Squad 2, and eventually steered the conversation toward the subject of Robocop. When asked about the Aronofsky script, Padilha said, “I haven’t read Aronofsky’s script. Aronofsky is a great director. I love his films. I am very proud because I saw Pi in the opening Sundance screening and I loved it. So Aronofsky’s great. I have my own take on Robocop. I know what his take was and it’s totally different. It’s a different thing, different kind of film, even different period in time so I haven’t read his previous work.” On one hand, that’s kind of disappointing, I would have loved to have seen what a major director like Aronofsky envisioned for this project. On the other hand, I’m much happier about a filmmaker who is enthusiastic about his own vision taking over Robocop rather than having a utility player come in, just pick up the pieces, and do whatever the studio wants.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s the roughest, toughest, meanest movie news column around. It also owns one of those silly shirts and smokes cigars. Of that, you can be sure. We begin our newsy journey tonight with a photo of three f*ckin’ guys you might have heard of on the set of The Expendables 2, proving once and for all that witty banter, big scarfs and an awful flowered shirt will be part of the highly anticipated testostisequel. All I can think is… someone needs to get to dat choppa!

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Based on having not seen its predecessor, I walked into Jose Padilha’s Elite Squad: The Enemy Within with the expectation that I’d be completely lost and the hope that I’d be completely entertained. One of those two came to fruition. Needless to say, the film stands apart from 2008’s Elite Squad, carrying over (based on what I’m told) only themes and energy. Having experienced round two, I can only expect to find the original to be an entertaining ride. That is, if it’s anything like The Enemy Within, it’s probably one hell of a movie.

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