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72. RoboCop – This Just In/Easter Sunday/April Fool’s Day 2018 (#∞)

Hosted by Andrew Quinn and Darren Mooney, The 250 is a (mostly) weekly trip through some of the best (and worst) movies ever made, as voted for by Internet Movie Database Users. New episodes are released every Saturday at 6pm GMT, with the occasional bonus episode thrown in.

This time, an Easter treat and a new entry: Paul Verhoeven’s RoboCop.

In an apocalyptic Detroit, a giant corporation announces its plans to privatise local law enforcement. In order to further this end, the company announces plans for a cybernetic law enforcement official. All that they need is a volunteer.

At time of recording, it was ranked the ∞th best movie of all time on the Internet Movie Database.

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Non-Review Review: RoboCop (2014)

José Padilha’s RoboCop reboot is much better than the lame duck attempt to adapt Total Recall a few years back. It’s a functional action film, structured well enough to stand on its own two feet as a science-fiction thriller. There are the obligatory explosions and CGI, but there’s also a clear enough story populated by reasonably well-drawn characters with just the faintest hint of social commentary at the core. It is solid and functional on its own terms, even if it suffers in comparison to its source material.

Robocop 2.0...

Robocop 2.0…

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Animated Dark Knight Returns Trailer

This seems an appropriate note on which to close out a month of Batman coverage to celebrate The Dark Knight Rises.

Warner Brothers’ superb animated department are doing an animated adaptation of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, one of the truly iconic Batman stories. Really, it’s great. And they’ve assembled a pretty neat cast, including Peter Weller (Robocop) as the Dark Knight himself. They are, unfortunately, splitting the movie into two seventy-minute chunks (rather than one one-hundred-and-twenty-minute film), but it looks like they’ve done a good job capturing the look and feel.

The Batman themed adaptations have (generally) been the strongest entries in the series, so I’m cautiously optimistic.

Not Quite Total Recall: Taking the Paul Verhoeven out of Paul Verhoeven Films…

I’m actually a pretty forgiving guy when it comes to Hollywood rebooting and remaking older films. After all, these newer films don’t diminish the original. It’s fantastic if a writer and director can boldly reimagine an established property like Christopher Nolan did with Batman Begins, but there’s no big loss if the film fails. We’ll just collectively forget about, return to our cherished DVD copy of the original and there’s no real problem. So I actually don’t mind Hollywood returning to familiar themes, plots, characters, settings and ideas. However, with Hollywood producing a spate of blockbuster remakes of cult Paul Verhoeven films, I can’t help but wonder if they are completely missing the point.

Head wrecking…

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Non-Review Review: Robo-Cop

I think Robocop might be on the shortlist of most influential B-movies ever made. Certainly, coming out of the eighties, I think that Robocop defined what an audience expected from an incorporated future – the notion that big business would eventually replace local government in the lives of citizens. It’s not a novel theme, it’s one that science-fiction has been throwing out for decades, but I think that Robocop almost redefined that argument. It’s hard not to detect the influence of the film in a lot of movies that followed, so effortless and all-consuming was the “not too distant future” presented by Verhoeven.

I wonder if that's a manual or an automatic...

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