Tag Archives: Paul Verhoeven

Your move, creep…

Everything old is new again.

Black-clad, ticked-off, just a little Swedish – meet your new Robocop. Image via the telephoto ninjas at ComingSoon.Net.

No sooner has Len Wiseman‘s apparently fairly anemic Total Recall come and gone from our cinemas than news reaches me of the next Paul Verhoeven film due for an unjustified kicking nifty remake and remodel.

“Robocop”, Jose Padilha’s spin on the dark future of law enforcement, has begun to lens in Canada and the first paparazzo pics have hit the net – we have the fine droogs at ComingSoon.Net to thank for the image shown above.

I’m not quite sure what to make of the new Robocop depicted above – I’m getting a distinct “G.I. Joe – The Rise of Cobra”/“Guyver”/every movie with a hero strapped into a body-conscious slab of matt black body armour vibe from what new Murphy, Joel Kinnaman is wearing in that long shot.

Black is the new…black?

Of course, it’s easy to be snarky when all that you’re seeing is a quickly snapped photograph, taken at a distance, of what adds up to first pass, location photography – we’ve not seen how/if the armour will be enhanced, the subtleties of Kinnaman’s physical performance and what direction Padilha’s production is directing.  It’s a little early to say ‘yay’ or ‘nay’ based on one photograph, but this is the internet, so I’m sure that some bunch of forumite taste makers has already called the future prospects of this new remake based on this lone pic.

That said?

“Can you fly, Bobby?”

Don’t mess with my Robo, losers – or I’ll send Clarence Boddicker, Detroit’s lethal legend, after your Gucci Loafer-sporting, corporate suited butts.  And he’s not a nice man (YouTube link contains NSFW awesomeness…)

 

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“Starship Troopers” reboot loses violence, adds B.S.

Oh, Hollywood – is there no end to your cowardly, money-grubbing idiocy?

“So, we just hug them to death, right?”

Empire magazine‘s new issue has an interview with Toby Jaffe, producer on the new and entirely unwanted reboot of “Starship Troopers“, which ageing geeks will remember as a pretty decent, absurdly gory sci-fi actioner (fans of the original Robert Heinlein novel will probably remember it less fondly, what with director Paul Verhoeven and screenwriter Edward Neumeier reinterpreting the book as a giddy joyride through a fascistic future).  And it doesn’t make for good reading.

If this version of the book does make it before cameras, we can look forward to a less violent (what now?), less satirical, straight-up bug hunt with all hints of complexity safely jettisoned and gee-whiz cgi effects replacing anything potentially disquieting (i.e., less likely to make the box office tills ring).

So, Selena Gomez and Taylor Lautner in a PG-13 shoot-em-up with a song by her boyfriend on the soundtrack and nothing likely to tax the brain of anybody with a driving license, then?  Where do I sign up for that?

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Meet Robocop’s new Big Bad…

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If we must have remakes of every 1980s film possible – and this is a belief which Hollywood execs cling to as though it were a life jacket in the midst of a shipping disaster – I suppose it doesn’t hurt to have such retreads at least possessed of half-decent casts.

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To which end, the creatively bankrupt souls proposing to lay siege to the glorious, bullet-riddled corpse of Paul Verhoeven‘s peerless “Robocop” appear to be seeking the services of Hugh Laurie as their villain.  Pretty inspired casting, if truth be told, as I’m sure that Laurie could bring more than enough low-key, well-spoken menace to the equivalent role that Ronny Cox played in the original, 1987 flick.

If Laurie signs on, he’ll join Gary Oldman, Samuel L Jackson, the in-negotiations Abbie Cornish and Joel Kinnaman as the titular ironsides law man.

The director is Jose Padilha, who previously brought you bleak-as-heck Brazilian cop flick “Elite Squad”, which at least indicates that the producers haven’t sought out a director who’ll toe the line and turn in a PG-13 bowdlerised version of the story.

Would it be too much to hope for that wiser heads on the production team enlist the great Kurtwood Smith for a cameo?

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Reboots I don’t want part 2,347 – “Starship Troopers”

Look - sweaty men with tennis balls on sticks! Kill 'em all!

I seem to remember writing something about this not too long ago, but it seems that cooler egos have not prevailed and we must yet again suffer the ideas of fools with more cash than smarts – “Starship Troopers” is being rebooted.

Producer Neil Moritz – he of the hilariously ill-named production shingle ‘Original Film‘ – proposes a new version of Robert Heinlein’s classic slice of reactionary military SF, this time written by the fellows who brought you “Thor” and one of the drafts of “X-Men: First Class”.

My snark aside, there is a reason to do this – and it is, of course, financial.

Director Paul Verhoeven’s gloriously icky, gruesome sci-fi bug hunt cost a lot of money to make in 1997 and made a pittance back in return.  In the ever-predictable world of Hollywood, the brand recognition of a high-concept (can you get any higher concept than the title “Starship Troopers”?) means that much of the hardest work is done and it’s time to go back to code and see if a second swing at the book can treat it more seriously and get rid of all that pesky European satire and  nudity and NPH as a psychic Nazi (NSFW arachnid bug-busting at the link).  The good stuff, in short.

This, to me, is one of those remakes that really doesn’t need to be pursued.  The original movie has its flaws and may have slightly dated effects work but its core satire is still undeniably effective, the cast of blank-faced young things spouting fascist justifications for their genocidal actions can’t be improved upon (terrible actors, yes, but terrible actors expertly directed to give a human face to some fairly repugnant ideas) and the tone of the film would probably be summarily jettisoned to make a crappy, ideas-free shoot-em-up for the Taylor Lautner generation.

No NPH? No sale.

 

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