My thoughts on the Robocop 2014 Trailer


#1

The short version: At first I had a knee jerk dislike of the whole thing. Then I rewatched it again and again to pick each little moment and cut apart. There is win potential here but the trailer itself does not do a good job of selling the movie to me. On the one hand it has a nice look to it, a good updated aesthetic so it doesn't feel like complete retread of old 80's looks. On the other if you pay attention to how the cuts are placed it's only telling you fragments that are spliced together instead of actual lengthy exposition chunks.

I've been ignoring this one since it's been in development hell for a few years. Murphy gets injured/maimed in a car bombing instead of over-the top gunfire. At first I wasn't sure on this because the whole point of him getting gunned down was just to be so gratuitously over the top that it turns into dark comedy. Then I got to thinking what've we been conditioned about again and again and again for the past decade and change? Congratulations we have social/class issues mixed with terrorism being the key motivators here instead of the crimewave from hell that was the big fear of the 80's.

Next up is the trailer presenting Murphy apparently waking up and self-aware right from the get-go. This could be a case where we see a thing and then an important bit is cut right after. Example being it could be right after his little episode his memory gets wiped or suppressed. On the same matter it shows Murphy in-suit interacting with his wife and son which can be a callback of sorts to a part of Robocop 2 where Murphy is directed by OCP to directly tell his wife that he is not her husband.

Last on my to-poke-at list is the fact Murphy has a non-artificial right hand. From what I can tell the big thing is that Robocop is a huge PR thing more so than anything else. I could see it playing out, since it's shown in trailer that there are humanoid fully autonomous units, that Alex will serve as the template all the rest learn from As people get used to and supportive of Robocop a Phase 2 would be them slowly rolling out these human drones 'modeled after and have learned from real human beings.' It could be this is where the 'he thinks he's in control' part comes in. It being sold that Murphy has control of these drones to act as oversight and then the second half of the movie shows that was just publicity and mirrors and worse they have a cut-out on his hardware.

There is potential here for lots of satire and social commentary along with the big kabooms. I'm not completely sold on the concept, but keep in mind the trailer was spliced, and cut, and poked to send a very 'man vs machine' message. As much as it's made to look like a bland bit of hollywood sterile packaging I want to believe the director, cast, and crew were all fans of the original who want to make it both pay respect to where it came from, and also do enough original to make it so I won't feel, as a customer, I could've just gotten a bargain bin dvd or watch it on netflix instead of go to the theatre.

Look at Tron Legacy. No really look at it. Sure it's not a remake but it's another 80's film that got changed around to fit a more modern look. It did everything right from having a director that was also an architect (meaning all the set pieces even in the digital bits had a 'this could exist and have purpose' feel,) to a cast and crew that very much bought into how the original had influenced a generation of film-makers. You can do an update to something twenty or thirty years old and not lose what made it good.

Trailers spoil. Trailers lie. Trailers can be cut to make a film awesome or horrible or any number of things. There's a whole cottage industry of youtube fan trailers that make films out to be things they aren't; ranging from Matrix turned love story to The Shining as a family film. We simply do not have enough information to go on and there's a vocal segment of fans that would rather see nothing new made than hollywood try and fumble. Sure I'd like to see more original pieces, but the producers, studios, and other money holders are more likely to go with material that is a known sell rather than an unknown potential money sink.


#2

I hadn't seen it. Perhaps include a link so we can see?

I definitely laughed at "make him more tactical.." but it does feel like there are a lot of ways this can go wrong.

The original Robocop movie was pretty great, so it'll be tough to one up a classic.


#3

Nice. Speaking of robo-trailers, I saw a video not too long ago which was a concept teaser about criminal robot gangs plaguing a near-future very neon Los Angeles. The scene was of an LAPD cruiser conducting a traffic stop, and being attacked by a huge bot. I cant seem to find it again, even though I've searched have you seen this?


#5

I watched it, looks rubbish. I can't see the point of this remake. Looks like a straight action film. Just re-release the original in the cinema.

I really need to get around to watching Dredd. I hear that was good.


#6

Keep in mind we have next to no context.

IE the 'car bomb' thing it shows alex with his keys. Then it shows a random car exploding apparently killing someone. We take it ot mean that's murphy, but it might not be. Then again considering our shift from EXTREME CRIME to 'terror everywhere!' ieds/carbombs would be appropriate.

And the whole man v machine angel. Yea i dislike it.

What worries me more is a supposed early leaked script that includes scenes written effectivly to sit and directly insult the original fanbase. I sincerely hope that's not true because i don't like backhanded references 'well that looks stupid i'd never get scared by that.'

I want ot give it a chance rather than immediately go 'oooh hollywood sucks' wank wank wank wank

Yes crude but the bleating of 'hollywood is crap' seems to be more to prop up a person's own ego than to make any sort of point. Yes a lot of what hollywood does is crap, but then again a lot of what EVERYBODY does is crap.


#7

One of the scenes that best encapsulates the original Robocop is the POV shot where the doctors proudly state that they were able to save one of Murphy's arms… and the corporate stooge orders them to amputate it anyway so they can go full prosthesis.


#8

Agreed. 'He's technically dead. We can do whatever we like' Is the best single line that gives us the heart of OCP's thought processes and motive.

Also the second movie was pretty good... sure the CEO gets less subtle about being 'all goal no soul' but in the first he was also pretty 'meh' about people dying (he was mrore worried about how much it'd cost them that the ed209 'glitch' was going to cost in delays and interest payments.)

I see Omnicorp (which was what it was going to be in one of the original robocop scripts) is OCP just with better PR teams making sure they have a slicker image and are less obviously uncaring.


#9

I really like the dark gritty original Robocop. I think this has potential - but we will see. I like the two tone look better than the all tactical black - but by making something more tactical OCP could easily raise the price by 30%.

I think the car bomb is a modern up date. In general, IEDs will mess you up a whole lot more than bullets. Unfortunately we have a lot of guys who came back looking like Murphy in the trailer.

I don't get the human hand. Ok - they saved an arm. Why not have it in at least a glove. It just looks out of place.


#10

Agreed! The "amputation" of such a subtly clever minor plot point doesn't bode well for this remake does it?


#11

I'll speak for Tron: Legacy.
It's a bad sequel/remake, even from design standpoint.
In the original game movie, they have shown the computer world being different from ours: even the bikes were turning strictly right angles. It was cutting edge computer graphics, meaning it was a rough, low-poly look. But there was this unearthly shining showing us that the programs are alive with this strange kind of life.
In the sequel, they simply have glowing stripes glued to their suits. They don't look like "program blood" shining through their skin. The patterns on the clothes don't look like circuit boards anymore. The magic is gone. The otherworldliness is gone.
Logically, as old Tron have shown best in computer graphics in its days, new Tron should have shown best computer graphics of its time. But best computer graphics of nowadays doesn't look like Tron at all. It looks like Avatar. So, yeah, probably Avatar is a better Tron sequel than Legacy.

Disclaimer: I haven't seen Tron: Legacy or Avatar, but I've seen enough of those movies to draw those conclusions.

As for Robocop, yeah, I was pleasured to correctly guess what "tactical" would mean.
Now I call my new IKEA sofa cover "tactical", to ease the psychological pressure of buying a black one only because it was the cheapest.
==
EDIT: Forgot to mention that the game Tron 2.0 was a better sequel, as it nicely expanded upon Tron's idea of giving tangible representation of different computer-related terms in the computer world.


#12

The best thing about Tron:Legacy is that Jeff Bridges played it as The Big Lebowski 2.


#13

Sooo you're complaining about movies you, by your own admission, haven't even seen. Disregarding comment as flamebait. As for Jeff Bridges; Sure he played it kind of like 'The Dude' but he admitted that The Dude is essentially based off of Flynn so it kinda goes full circle there. Plus what else are you going to do when holed up in digital limbo? I'd get baked out of my mind and read up on zen philosophy too.

As for the Right hand thing. There has to be a reason they show it as human because you'd think they'd just keep it in a glove or something while out and about (having it ungloved/exposed in the wakeup scene is understandable, but showing it ungloved on the motercycle apparently while working... not so much.)

I'm going to give this movie a chance. It has potential


#14

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