Last night, I happened to bump into the 1987 Robocop on cable, and was once again amazed at how good a movie it actually is.  Peter Weller delivers a powerful, understated performance, the choreography is joyfully over-the-top, and the visual effects (admittedly showing their age) are still effective.  I also another chance to compare it to the newest version of the film, and recognized where I feel the 2014 version went astray.  The original Robocop is a character derived more from Frankenstein than from Batman.  Alex Murphy’s cyborg form is bulky and weirdly angled, and the “powers” that he exhibits are brutal and full of body horror, as opposed to his sleek superhero-styled 2014 namesake.  The sight of Murphy’s face painfully stretched across the circuitry of his robot head is tinged with horror, making us wonder if there *is* any of Alex left, leaving us with a moment designed to shock and repulse.  (It’s one of the few “unmasking” scenes in a quasi-superhero movie that I actually agree needed to be there.)  ‘Course, this isn’t the only time producers missed the mark on reworking an existing property, which leads us into today’s query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) still can’t watch the “helmet screws” sequence with cringing, even 25 years down the line, asking: What remake, reboot or relaunch most proves that they just didn’t get it?

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

3 Comments

  1. Pretty much every video game or anime made into Hollywood live action movie. But from somewhat recent ones, 47 Ronin might be the one that’s the farthest way from the mark. Oh boy, how they didn’t get or even want to get what they were doing. I guess their thought process was “Oh, we had Tom Cruise to LARP as
    a samurai once and that made money, why not Keanu? Le’ts find out what famous stories there are to use.”

  2. Lemmy Caution (@_Lemmy_Caution) on

    Dark Shadows. The tone was slapshot. And it started promisingly with Knights in White Satin and a rainy train ride. Then it just… had no place to go. So why not try everyewhere!

    Helena Bonham Carter was aces as Hoffman, however. She nailed it.

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