The best thing I can say about director Jose Padilha‘s RoboCop remake is that, for better or worse, it tries to do its own thing. It makes an honest attempt at updating the scathing social critique of the original to fit within our immediate corporate and political landscape and I respect it for that. The most condemning thing I can say about the film is that I found it painfully boring. Aside from the original music playing over the opening title card and watching Samuel L. Jackson‘s spot-on depiction of the pure theater that cable television sells as honest political discourse, I rarely mustered so much as a grin throughout the film’s 108 minutes. To be fair, I don’t envy anyone who is tasked with making a PG-13 reimagining of Paul Verhoeven‘s subversive classic. It’s like Verhoeven was allowed to work with a sledgehammer and Padilha was asked to make due with a Q-tip. It was never a fair fight to begin with.
Opening thoughts aside, we’ll talk more about the RoboCop remake in this week’s Top 5 including an official review and interviews for the film. We’ll also cover the new trailer for Wally Pfister‘s directorial debut Transcendence, Paramount’s decision to release Darren Aronofsky‘s cut of Noah to theaters, the first trailer for Melissa McCarthy‘s Tammy, and a trailer for the excellent looking doc Jodorowsky’s Dune. As is so often the case, a brief recap and link to each of the above can be found after the jump.
1. ROBOCOP Remake Interviews and Review
Something that I didn’t touch on in the opening paragraph that I actually think the RoboCop remake improves upon from the original is Robo’s suit. Joel Kinnaman looks positively badass in the ultra-sleek black armor and the few moments that his visor actually comes down and the red beam you see in the pic above kicks on are some of the film’s most exciting. But enough of my own musings, for another take on the film check out Matt’s review. You can also learn more about the pic by watching Steve’s video interviews with Abbie Cornish, Joel Kinnaman, and the great Gary Oldman. If reading’s more your thing then we also have text interviews with Jose Padilha and Michael Keaton, Joel Kinnaman, and Gary Oldman.
2. New Trailer and First Poster for Wally Pfister’s TRANSCENDENCE
A new trailer and the first poster for Oscar-winning cinematographer Wally Pfister’s (Inception) directorial debut, Transcendence, landed online this past week. The combination of Pfister, the stellar cast, and the sci-fi underpinnings make this a must-see for me when it hits theaters this April. In the meantime, and in line with this week’s theme, the films not only share a “rebirth through technology” theme but also the new trailer features a shot at around the 0:28 mark that is cut short but similar to the opening shot of the original RoboCop trailer.
3. Paramount Releasing Darren Aronofsky’s Cut of NOAH to Theaters
To the delight of many, and perhaps to the dismay of some, it looks as if Paramount will release Darren Aronofsky’s cut of Noah to theaters next month. You’ll remember a few months back when Aronofsky’s cut came into question after the studio received some “troubling” test screening results. I can understand the idea of not wanting to risk your investment by releasing something that’s going to potentially upset a demographic of considerable size and vocality. That said, if you’re Paramount, I’m not sure what else you expect when you hire an auteur like Aronofsky to tell a Bible story.
4. First Trailer for Melissa McCarthy’s TAMMY
The first trailer for Melissa McCarthy’s comedy Tammy debuted this week and confirmed what myself and many others were probably already convinced of: plain and simple, McCarthy is a comedic powerhouse. Directed by husband Ben Falcone from a script the two co-wrote together, this July release is currently one of my most anticipated of the summer.
5. Trailer for Documentary JODOROWSKY’S DUNE
As “after school special” as it sounds, genuine passion and excitement for your own art is the most basic and yet the most important thing about creating in the first place. If you don’t care about it, then why the hell are you doing it in the first place and why should anyone else care either? Alejandro Jodorowsky subscribes to this idea wholeheartedly and it’s the primary reason why director Frank Pavich’s Jodorowsky’s Dune, which covers Jodorowsky’s unmade adaptation of the Frank Herbert sci-fi novel, is one of my most anticipated documentaries of 2014. Click here for the first trailer from the film which releases next month and try not to feel the enthusiasm that still exists today for a movie that was never to be.