Saturday, February 15, 2014

Discuss: Robocop







8 comments:

Matt Celis said...

Never seen it.

mr. oyola said...

This is one of those movies I have been meaning to watch again.

I loved it when I first saw it in the theater at age 16, but when I saw it again on video a couple of years later I did not like it nearly as much.

I know I saw it at least one more time in my mid to late twenties, and my reaction along the lines of what I describe below, though perhaps not articulated as well.

It is one of those movies that has become "classic" to a certain segment of the (mostly male 30 to 45) population - but while I appreciate its sense of anti-corporate satire, it is still predicated on a stereotype of decontextualized urban criminality that I find worrying as a placeholder for certain reactionary Nixonian and Reagan-era perspectives that deny the humanity of people living in those terrible conditions in the city - in fact, they are mostly erased from the context of Detroit altogether in the film, which is as bad as if they had had the white robot cop doing nothing but killing black dude criminals because the rhetoric become a kind of code.

But this is all based on what I remember of it now, fifteen or 20 years later - I would need to watch it again to see if my reading of it holds up or if there is way to read it in a resistant way.

The remake looks REALLY bad - and not in a sociology of representation way like above (I can still enjoy a well-done but nonetheless problematic movie), but in a worthless pieces of crap way.

Edo Bosnar said...

First time I watched it was on VHS some time in the late '80s, and the last was about 4-5 years ago, on TV (although about 15-20 minutes in). I have mixed feelings about it - mainly it's a pretty typical '80s (or Reagan-era to use Osvaldo's terminology) violence fest. However, I do recall finding it interesting that some rather subversive elements were worked into the story, i.e., the anti-corporate satire that Osvaldo mentions, and just the overall critical look at the privatization of public services. Also, depicting Detroit as bankrupt seems rather prescient.

As for the remake - I have zero interest.

Graham said...

I saw the first one years ago. I wasn't crazy about it, but I enjoyed it. I probably would have liked it more if it had been released when I was a few years younger. I watched one of the sequels (whichever one Frank Miller was involved with) and didn't finish watching.

Anonymous said...

It wasn't a bad flick. (we're talking about the original, right?) It was tongue-in-cheek, violent satire.
I think that Frank Miller, or who ever came up with the idea of a robot cop knew it was absurd on its face and not to be taken seriously, only as a running joke.
The fact that it's now promoted as a serious idea for a film shows how bankrupt for ideas the studios are.

Rip Jagger said...

The Encore channels have been running these lately and I've seen them all again after many years.

The first one holds up quite well I think, as someone pointed out, it's a raucous satire of the mean-spirited approach some have to crime in the inner cities. Those ludicrous notions are no less so these days. The characters are extreme and cartoonish, but highly memorable.

The Frank Miller sequel is decent, with some of the better stop-motion to be seen in a later-era movie. (With computers now a lost art.) The satire here is about drug enforcement and finally it seems the country is waking up to the absurdity of the "war on drugs" which has done at least as much harm as good over the decades.

The third one showcases the poor and is less successful, with ironically enough a smaller budget. But I find things to like about it. Part of me likes that he can fly if fitted with the right equipment. It points up the "robo" part of the character neatly.

The new stuff looks pretty slick, but I wonder if they can keep up the right tongue-in-cheek tone with the violence being part of send up.

Rip Off

Teresa said...

Robocop made some predictions that were close enough to reality. Nothing surprising, but interesting to me.
The SUX 6000 was a fast luxury car that got horrible gas mileage.
Reminds me of a SUV or Hummer mindset.

Detroit going bankrupt.

The privatization of public services. I remember thinking how weird it would be that a corporation would run the police.

Haliburton type companies. The blending of civilian and military are much like the movie.

Worse television shows. "I'd buy that for a dollar"

I know there were misses on the predictions, but that's pretty good. Meaning bad.
It was at the time a gruesome and violent movie to me.


Anonymous said...

Teresa makes some pretty good points, none of which had occurred to me at all.
Robocop was good science fiction, in that it uncannily predicted the future of technology and society.
I'm thinking of James Kirk with his hand-held communicator.

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