(US - 2014)
Directed by Jose Padilha. Written by Joshua Zetumer, Edward Neumeier, and Michael Miner. Cast: Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson, Abbie Cornish, Jackie Earle Haley, Michael K. Williams, Jennifer Ehle, Jay Baruchel, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Patrick Garrow, John Paul Ruttan, Aimee Garcia, Zach Grenier, K.C. Collins, Daniel Kash, Douglas Urbanski. (PG-13, 117 mins)
With its perfect mix of action, over-the-top violence and sly, subversive wit, Paul Verhoeven's 1987 classic ROBOCOP still stands as one of the most inspired and original commercial sci-fi films of its decade. The only surprise with the 2014 remake is that it took this long to happen. Like the original film, ROBOCOP '14 has an acclaimed foreign filmmaker trying to make his mark in mainstream Hollywood. In this case, it's Brazilian director Jose Padilha, whose intense, nail-biting, politically-charged thrillers ELITE SQUAD (2007) and ELITE SQUAD: THE ENEMY WITHIN (2011) have earned him significant accolades worldwide. Padilha is an interesting choice to helm a ROBOCOP remake with the obvious idea of spawning a new franchise, but ultimately, starting with its PG-13 rating, ROBOCOP '14 is only as good as it has as to be, and even with Padilha's usual concerns of politics and corruption, it stands as yet another cautionary tale of a promising foreign director seduced by Hollywood and likely forced to compromise and acquiesce until the resulting film effectively eliminates all traces of the innovation, vision, and personality that got him the job in the first place.
CARRIE 2013" pointless.
SNAKES ON A PLANE took a 60% drop in its second weekend. As far as villains go, Keaton's Sellars is no Ronny Cox-as-Dick Jones, and Garrow's Vallon isn't given much of a chance to match Kurtwood Smith's Clarence Boddiker, though Sellars hatchet man Mattox (Jackie Earle Haley) arguably shares that function. Padilha and Zetumer spend so much time on Murphy's Robo-angst that they have to rush through the action part of the story, which frequently and predictably resembles a video game with Murphy leaping around and inevitably landing in the three-point, bent-knee hero stance, and the heavily CGI'd scenes of Murphy out of the Robo-suit--essentially reduced to a head, a set of lungs, and a right arm, are unconvincing and a little silly in a BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE way. Nothing about ROBOCOP '14 is terrible, but there's nothing in it to get excited about, either. Verhoeven's film is now 27 years old and people are still talking about it. Will people even be talking about Padilha's version 27 days from now?