February 14, 2014, - 4:05 pm
There are literally THREE remakes of bad ’80s movies at the box office this weekend. Three–”Robocop,” “Endless Love,” and “About Last Night.” Why? Because lame Hollywood can’t come up with anything new or anything decent. So, they remake crap. I did not see “About Last Night,” which was a cheesy, crappy movie then, and is silly to remake now. It was about a guy and girl who sleep together after meeting at a bar and then have the awkwardness of whether they can have a relationship after that. Today, everyone is sleeping with each other at the drop of a hat, so the very light morality (and I use that word very loosely) of the 1986 original would be laughed at today.
* “Robocop“: I never liked the vastly overrated original 1987 anti-”Big Business” original version of this movie, starring Peter Weller. This remake is slightly (but only slightly) better insofar as the CEO is just a dishonest lout, whereas the one in the original was a coke-snorting, extremely sleazy, murderous, criminal lout. And the graphics and technology are better (and more unnecessarily graphic) than the original. I did not like the anti-drones (and pro-Muslim and Edward-Snowden-esque anti-NSA) theme and so on that was present in this version, but I did like the exploration of the disturbing “brave new world” territory we’ve entered in which robot and human are merged and where bad and unethical things can come of that. I could have done without the scenes in which “innocent” Iranian Muslims are harassed and “wrongly” killed by robots and so on. But the Black Bill O’Reilly played by Samuel L. Jackson is spot on. Jackson’s “Pat Novak” and “Novak Elements” show is actually too kind to bloviating Bill Falafel/Loofah O’Reilly.
If you’ve seen the original, you know the story: it’s the future (2028), Detroit is still crime-ridden, and a Detroit cop (Joel Kinnaman) is nearly murdered and left for dead by crooks. But what is left of him–primarily his brain–is brought back to life as a robot and a cop a/k/a “Robocop” by a company that builds robots and wants a contract to police Detroit and bring down crime. When Robocop starts patrolling the streets and taking justice into his own hands, crime goes down, and the people of the city are ecstatic. But soon Robocop is too effective, and the crooks and their partners in the corrupt police department want him stopped and put out of commission. The CEO of the robot company (a somewhat zaftig and aged Michael Keaton) is sleazy and lies about Robocop to his family, plus he interferes with Robocop’s brain and software. Gary Oldman plays a doctor who works with and develops Robocop. He’s always an excellent actor (one of my absolute faves) and definitely too good for this movie.
Like I said, it’s the same movie with better graphics and a few updates, but still a mostly liberal tone.
HALF A REAGAN
Watch the trailer . . .
* “Endless Love“: More like, “Endless Movie,” as it went on and on and on. Or seemed to. I never saw the original 1981 version of this (starring Brooke Shields) from beginning to end, so I can’t compare, but what I did see was just stupid. And the same can be said for this. The movie is silly. And it has the typical stock evil White rich people characters in it. They are snobs in a way that doesn’t exist anywhere but in the movies anymore. The two lead actors in this movie are Brits playing Americans, but only one of them (Gabriella Wilde, a descendant of the British Royals, whose real name is Gabriella Zanna Vanessa Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe) doesn’t let the English accent peek out.
The story: Alex Pettyfer plays a working class kid who’s had a longtime crush on his high school classmate, Jade Butterfield (Wilde), a waifish girl from a rich family. He finagles his way into her life and they fall in love. But he’s “from the wrong side of the tracks” and Jade’s father doesn’t like him because he’s poor and doesn’t plan to go to college. The father (Bruce Greenwood) has ambitions for her to take a medical internship, attend Brown University, and become a doctor. So the father meddles and attempts to push them apart. Aside from being cheesy and predictable, the movie is dated in a number of ways because, today, fewer and fewer men are attending college and grad school, and the majority of students are women. It’s become fashionable for men to be slackers with no ambition and for women to marry down to them. That’s feminism.
As I noted, Alex Pettyfer’s British accent repeatedly sneaks out. He’s not a bad actor, but the movie isn’t great. The only good thing about it (other than that it ends) is that it does not feature the annoying Lionel Richie/Diana Ross song of the same name that went with the 1981 original. Thank Heaven for small favors.
Watch the trailer . . .
* “Winter’s Tale“: A horribly pretentious, boring, New Age attempt at a love story thriller. It fails miserably, despite using time travel, a magic, flying time-traveling horse, amnesia, the devil and angels, and other assorted devices thrown in to make a messy muddle. The confusing, disjointed story features a thief (Colin Farrell) who is an abandoned baby that came ashore in a toy boat in New York in the 1920s or 30s or something. His parents were deported and lowered him into the water in the toy boat. He was adopted and raised by a gangster boss (Russell Crowe), who also happens to be a demon (who answers to the devil Will Smith). Farrell crosses Crowe and escapes on a flying horse. Then, when robbing a house, he meets a very sick redheaded woman who has a strange illness that makes her very hot and makes the snow melt under her feet. They fall in love, but she dies. Then, suddenly he is in the future and has amnesia and discovers his role in life is to save a redheaded little girl who has cancer. Huh? Yup, that’s this movie.
And, believe me, I’m making it sound far better than it is. Also, throughout the movie, loud orchestral music constantly plays and some woman in an English accent says silly, pretentious things, like, “What if we were all 100 stars in the sky but we were meant to be 100 jellybeans?” Okay, she didn’t say exactly that, but pretty close. Huh? times a thousand.
Watch the trailer . . .
* “Run & Jump: A long, boring, pointless, pretentious waste of time about a medical researcher (Will Forte) who moves to the home of an Irish stroke victim, his wife, and family. The researcher is studying the behavior of the stroke victim, who goes a little nuts and becomes childlike. He cannot fulfill his duties as a father and husband and instead obsesses with talking to animals and carving wooden balls (he used to make furniture out of wood). The wife and kids fall for the researcher and try to make him part of their lives, but he resists at first. This movie was weird in addition to being a snoozer. Yuck.
Watch the trailer . . .
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