The first thing you see in “Class of 1999” is a computer screen spelling out the dire state of American urban public schools in the not-too-distant future of 1999. The next thing you see is Stacy Keach’s snow-white mullet, which looks like someone bleached a Davy Crockett coonskin cap. All we needed to see to know the movie takes place in a bleak dystopian future was Keach’s hair, so that’s one storytelling misstep right off the bat. Continue reading
These days, the two most important words in Hollywood are “cinematic universe.” Inspired by the billions of dollars Marvel has made with its Avengers movies, studios have been frantic to jumpstart their own cinematic pyramid schemes with intellectual properties from the Justice League of America to the Universal Monsters to Nickelodeon cartoons. The idea, of course, is to maximize profit by giving audiences movies that spin off characters into their own movies or movies that collect characters from other franchises into massive team-up spectacles. It worked well back in the day when Frankenstein met the Wolf Man and most recently when Captain America fought Iron Man, but it remains to be seen whether or not audiences will sit through “Friar Tuck: Origins” before they see Robin Hood finally get the Merry Men together in the last five minutes of his movie.
With so many studios desperately pushing for the Big Bang that will launch the next sure-fire hit cinematic universe, it’s easy to forget that movies used to be stupid enough to just shove a bunch of characters into one movie without making audiences pony up for the installment plan. And so you have a movie like 1986’s “Eliminators,” which resembles a look into a cinematic universe based on the cheap, unlicensed action figures they used to sell in gas stations. Continue reading
The original “RoboCop” is one of my favorite movies of all time – let’s get that out of the way first. Still, when I saw the remake (Or is it a reboot? Reimagining? Regurgitation?) a little while ago, I was excited to see how the story had been changed for an audience living in the actual 21st century. People were saying positive things about director Jose Padilha, and apparently the project was strong enough to get Michael Keaton and Gary Oldman to join Sam Jackson, who is just as welcome but not picky. Even if it was terrible despite all the talent involved, it’s not like the original would disappear from history because the remake existed. Sometimes it feels like geeks are so used to comic book characters having their histories “retconned” that we’re afraid it can happen in real life, too.
I went into the theater ready to accept a new “RoboCop,” and when it was over that’s pretty much where I left it. The new “RoboCop” exists, and that’s fine. I’m sure the producers didn’t set out with the explicit goal of making the Second-Best Movie Called “RoboCop” Ever, but in truth that’s probably all it was ever going to be. And again, that’s fine. Continue reading
Hello! This is the first official post on my new blog. You can read all about why this blog exists on the Welcome to Cyborg City 3000! page, but the digest version is I’m a writer and pop culture junkie, and this is just a place for me to write about whatever I want.
The first post on a blog should be pretty important, shouldn’t it? It has to sort of set the tone for everything that comes later and be compelling enough in its own right to make the readers want to come back. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the best way to kick off this little shindig, and here we go:
That’s Richard Nixon meeting Robocop, which to me is much more culturally and historically significant than that similar photo of Nixon and Elvis. Or, if you’re more into John McTiernan than Paul Verhoeven, there’s this photo, which proves that world peace is possible in our lifetime:
So there you go, the first post is out of the way and you should all have a very good idea about what to expect from this blog as I go.
(I’ve made a huge mistake.)