Posts Tagged ‘film’

RoboCop

March 28, 2012

With a big budget remake due to hit the big screens in a big way next year, now is the perfect time to take an ill-informed retrospective squint at Paul Verhoeven’s original.

PC Jim Murphy is a maverick (non-robo) cop on the edge, who plays by his own rules and lives by his own law. He plays hard and drinks fast – and he loves even harder and/or faster. He walks the line between right and wrong but he always gets his man and he lives by his own code – and it’s a very special type of justice indeed. He doesn’t always go by the book but he gets the job done, whether the bosses like it or not, and if they don’t like it… well, that’s their problem. He’s also getting too old for this shit.

After being brutally twatted by drug dealers, Murphy is rebooted by (non-robo) scientists as part of a bleeding-edge information technology project, led by a collaborative group of inter-disciplinary innovators. Essentially, they turn him off and on again. This is great news for Murphy, as his files had become corrupted.

Resurrected as the mechanoid death-dispensing bullet-shitter, RoboCop, Murphy proceeds to scour the sins from the futuristic streets of a bleak, neo-Gothic Detroit.

“ERROR X1R44, PUNK!!”, he bleeps, throttling a pimp. “DO YOU WANT TO SEND ERROR REPORT?!”

Murphy’s (non-robo) bosses aren’t happy. Doors are slammed, paper cups of coffee are thrown at walls, and brows are furrowed. An investigation is launched.

Robo-Murphy meets with his (non-robo) union rep.

“It doesn’t look good, Murphy,” says the bespectacled humanoid union man. “Three counts of cyber-violence and it’s only Tuesday. And you need to oil your knees – they’re too squeaky. No-one can concentrate on their work when you’re walking down the corridor.”

Murphy jerks up from his seat, upturning the desk in the process.

“RAM DUMP!! DEFRAG MAIN DRIVE?!”

He exits and journeys to the land of Oz in search of a heart, but finds only corruption, corporate greed and  bureaucracy.

RoboCop

Rage (Again) The Machine - Murphy struggles with the paradox of having human emotions and a brain made of spreadsheets.

The film ends with a point of view shot of Murphy suffering the dreaded ‘blue screen of death’, kicking spasmodically and gurgling a pastey, milkish gloop from his face-holes.

“It’s probably for the best. The world just wasn’t ready for him,” says a passing (non-robo) janitor, sweeping away the shattered dreams of a broken society.

An interesting film, but one marred by typically Verhoeven-esque scenes of rancid copulation between the machine-like Murphy and the soft, squishy (non-robo) lollipop lady, Rita.

I give this film 5 megs out of 10. BZZZZTTT!!

A review of a film

March 21, 2010

It’s me, Mr B Fett. I saw a film. This is what I have to say about it.

Some friends of mine drove us there. There were four of us: String-o, Luggy, Zandwich and me. We were in a car, initially. Then, later, we were in the foyer of the cinema. Actually, before that we were in the car park. This detail is probably important for continuity, otherwise, dear reader, you might assume we ram-raided the cinema, or that we were at a drive-in. But the cinema foyer was exciting. There were lots of people there, milling about and paying for drinks and coloured ice slushes and popped corn. Man, I was so excited. Except the film was full so we had to wait until they showed it again.

Luckily it was on again in an hour.

I bought a drink. It was medium but it was stretching the definition of medium as it was more like massive. We had some food in our bags, a trick we learned from our elders. But we still bought some drinks because we didn’t want to look like we’d strayed too far from the herd.

Eventually we went into the screen-room (number eight) with all the other people, and seated ourselves appropriately. The gradient of the seating and stairs seemed excessively steep, almost like a cliff, but with rows of seating. Luggy immediately suffered from a sudden wave of Vertigo (the capital ‘V’ is a film reference not a typo) as a result of the steep gradient. I didn’t like the idea of sitting on the edge of a cliff to watch a film but I held onto my seat and leaned as far back as possible so I wouldn’t fall over the seats in front of me and tumble onto the families below.

We chatted about our plans for toilet breaks and how we would find our seats after going to the toilet. In the end we agreed to do a Mexican wave when the toilet-visiter returned. Then the adverts started.

I can’t really remember the adverts, but there was one about Doctor Who. Strange really because Doctor Who’s by the BBC so that means my TV license money went towards a cinema advert. After a while a message on the screen told us to put our 3D glasses on. Then they had some more adverts but in 3D and I can’t remember what they were for but there was quite a lot of them and one of them wasn’t in 3D. Zandwich felt a bit sick as well. I thought it might have been the steep gradient but it might not have been.

The film started. It had the usual BBFC classification screen first and it had been classified a PG. The woman behind me got angry about that because her husband had told her it was a 15. I didn’t hear his excuse though.

The film was in 3D as well. It wasn’t really like proper 3D, like how life is in 3D. It was a bit like a pop-up book except not as good, like as if the pop-up bits weren’t popping up properly. And now and then one of the characters would throw something at the screen and you might try and duck and then you’d remember it’s a film in a cinema and the object’s not real so you don’t need to duck.

For some reason the film didn’t stick to what happened in the book. It made some other stuff up and just included a few things that happened in the book. It’s not a pop-up book so maybe that’s why, I don’t know.

In summary I give it six out of ten.

Unnecessary sequels, part 1

June 6, 2009

Howdy, Banjo Fett here, filling in for Monsieur Le Baptiste, who is currently taking a short vacation in the Swiss Alps with Uri Geller and J. K. Rowling to see if they can sort out this global recession. What manner of inane alchemy is this, I hear you cry, inbetween mouthfuls of curried goat flavour muffins washed down with border-county poitin. Well I’m sworn to secrecy for the most part, but I can tell you it involves a cloning facility, a hot-air balloon and a modded trouser-press. At least, that’s the official line. There’s also a rumour going round that John Le Baptiste has in fact fled to Finland to join a group of guerilla fighters Hell-bent on bringing down the Swedish folk music scene by heckling scenesters from within the security of large reindeer herds. We’ll see.

Anyhow, rather than try to imitate JLB’s inimitable style, which is by definition beyond imitation, I thought I’d try something slightly different: the unnecessary sequel. Instead of writing about films I’ve not seen, I’ll be writing storyboards for films which don’t exist and are not likely to ever exist. It’s a concept I’ve been toying with for ages – two whole days, in fact – and I’ve discovered it’s a lot harder than it sounds. Mainly because most unnecessary sequels have already been made into actual films.

And so here’s my first unnecessary sequel: a follow-up to the now classic German submarine-based war movie, Das Boot, which starred Jurgen Prochnow as the Captain, and a load of other bearded guys called Heinz, Klaus and Jan and whatnot. I’m tempted to call it Das Boot 2: Entschuldigung, Herr Hitler, or maybe it could be re-branded Submarine Squad for the American market. Anyway, here’s the premise…

A grey, beardless, tanned Captain sits in a wicker chair on a porch, gazing at the sun rising over a nearby glade. He is wearing a white dressing gown and is smoking a pipe. A copy of ‘Das Beano’ lies on a small nest of tables at his side. He stands, taking the pipe from his mouth and exhaling in despair. We see a brief flash of a submarine proudly plowing through the ocean like a huge metal cock of the Gods. Cut back to the Captain: his closed eyes open with previously unforeseen clarity. ZOOM IN. RIGHT IN TO HIS EYEBALL. Then cut to a medium shot: the Captain does an ultimate power-grab, slowly clenching one fist and pulling it down at the same time as raising the opposite knee. Think Meatloaf. The Captain starts to roar: “DAS BOOOOOOOT!!!” and looks angrily at the sky. FADE.

The opening titles kick in. I think the music should probably be Chris Rea’s Fool (If You Think It’s Over) but it’s a directorial choice at the end of the day. The titles should really be water-based, or at least have a maritime feel, but not pirates. The mention of pirates at this point would completely ruin the final act. Once the opening is out of the way we rejoin the Captain, who now straddles a classic BSA motorbike. He’s racing down a dusty, iconic, deserted road. He’s wearing sunglasses and looks really cool. Bon Jovi’s Livin’ On a Prayer plays on the soundtrack. FAST CUT. REALLY QUICK.

It’s dusk. The Captain pulls up outside a bar with neon signs in the window. The bar is called ‘Das Bar’. The Captain takes his sunglasses off in a really cool way and squints at the bar. Not like in an old person ‘what does that say?’ way, but in a dead cool way. He gets off his motorbike and struts into the bar. As he walks in that thing happens that you see in ace films: everyone stops talking and looks round. And the music stops. But it doesn’t matter because it was music bad guys listen to so the audience don’t care. A biker junkie pimp stands up and says: “You can’t come in here, you don’t have a beard”. Then the Captain smiles, looks the utter shit up and down and says: “Son, I had the best beard of them all. And more than that, I had a boat that goes underwater.” The biker guy frowns, then he turns to some other baddies and laughs. All the baddies join in laughing, and their baddie girlfriends laugh a bit too, although they’re too attracted to the Captain to really laugh at him. They’re more like ‘oh I’d better laugh at this hot hero too, otherwise my pimp boyfriend will get angry with me and disrespect me in public’.

Anyway, the main baddie biker pimp goes to flying kick the Captain when ALL OF A SUDDEN the soundtrack kicks in with Higher Ground by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Come to think of it Chuck Norris could play the Captain. I did originally picture Steven Seagal in this role, but he’s shit at beards. Either way, the Captain wipes the floor with these pimp-junky scumbags and does like a spinning kick signature move a couple of times.

It’s at this point that a SHOTGUN BLAST GOES OFF and the music stops, just before that crap talking bit in Higher Ground, near the end of the song. HANDICAM – CAPTAIN’S POV. We focus on the bar, where a big fat guy is cocking a pump-action shotgun. It makes that ace click-clack sound. Then he says: “Everyone out, except the Captain! Go on, out! Good riddance to bad rubbish.” All the scumbags leave. Some of the scumbag women look at the Captain and smile as they brush past him. But they’re still scared of him too. All the men scumbags are bruised and bleeding and hurry past him just in case he does that instant-kill punch you used to hear about at school.

Then there’s a bit of chatty stuff, really snappy dialogue like in Tarantino, where the Captain and the fat bloke have this reunion thing. Turns out the fat bloke used to be the Captain’s navigator on the Boot. He’s called Scottie. No, he’s not actually, he’s called Big Fat Jim. So Big Fat Jim and the Captain have a bit of shoulder-slapping, and the Captain really rips the piss out of Big Fat Jim for being even fatter than in the original film, but Big Fat Jim doesn’t care because he loves the Captain so much. In a cool, manly way.

Then the Captain says something like: “Big Fat Jim, I’m getting the Boot back.” In fact he says exactly that. That’s like a pinnacle moment. Or pivotal. At that point the audience will probably stand up and cheer because they know it’s on. Then Big Fat Jim says: “But Captain, the Boot… she cannae take it. I mean she’s dead, Captain. Knackered to bits. The British saw to that.” Then the Captain smiles and downs a massive whisky without even making a face. “Big Fat Jim,” he says, “The British didn’t count on me.” CUT.

Then there’s a montage of the Captain getting all the old Boot crew back together, except for the dead ones. But he goes to the dead ones’ graves during the montage and makes the sign of the cross and that. There’s a bit where he has to break one of the submarine squad out of prison too. It’s an ace bit, that. Then they do a spy film bit, where they plan to break-in to the docks and steal back the Boot, which is being held by the evil British. It’s one of those spy film bits where they have like an engineer welding something, then a shot of a computer guy hacking into a database by repeatedly guessing a password until he gets it right. Even though most websites only let you have three goes before they lock the account and send you an email. And then there’s a bit with the Captain looking at blueprints and pointing at key locations with his pipe, while the rest of the crew nod. Then there’s a shot of the Captain firing a special ninja gun that NEVER MISSES. And there’s a sexy lady whose skill is being sexy. She’s got a thing for the Captain, but he’s not interested.

After that, they infiltrate the British docks, disguised as workers in blue overalls. This is the first time we really see the Boot: clanking and shackled, the Boot lies semi-dismantled, humiliated and dismal. There’s bits missing and everything. British militarists frolic on her abused, dormant sausage-like metallic hull, photographing themselves giving the thumbs-up sign.

The Boot crew try not to let this annoy them, even though it’s really annoying, and they get on with the Captain’s awesome plan. They basically pretend to be further destroying the Boot, pulling more bits off it and hitting it with hammers, but really they’re fitting it with chainsaw-rockets and laser-turrets. But the British are too busy guffawing and dunking biscuits in their tea to notice. As the submarine squad soup-up the Boot, the A-Team music plays. BUT JUST THEN a British leader in a white admiral uniform stops twiddling his moustache and shouts: “CRIKEY! What’s the bally meaning of this, by jove?! Those scoundrels aren’t walloping the Boot after all, they’re attempting to restore it to its former glory, confound it!” ZOOM IN TO THE CAPTAIN.

“To the BootMobile,” the Captain shouts, and the old Batman TV theme music comes in, but instead of ‘Batman’ it goes ‘dinner-ninner-ninner-ninner BOOTMAN!’ – at this point all the submarine squad jump into the Boot while the Captain fends off the British with his spinning kick move. CUT. Inside the Boot, Big Fat Jim is furiously trying to start the ignition, but the old Boot is fighting the urge to roar into life. CUT. Outside, the Captain is getting overwhelmed with Britishers, BUT JUST THEN the sexy woman shouts “CAPTAIN!” and he looks up and she throws him his special ninja gun that NEVER MISSES and he cocks it with that cool click-clack sound and turns round with a smile on his face and says, “Dunk this biscuit in your Earl Grey, you Limey pricks!” then POWPOWPOWPOWPOW!! And all the Britishers are dead, like in slow motion with mental blood-spurts like the Wild Bunch, but with better graphics.

The Captain sees an ultra-baddie across the dock: it’s a robot Britisher with a metal moustache (this is a reference to the Bond villain Jaws) so he has a right good fight with him and nearly dies but he kicks the robot into the water with his signature spinning kick. The robot explodes because of the water getting into his battery compartment. The Captain walks into the camera as this happens, so there’s a really cool explosion behind him. Then he gets into the Boot. WIPE.

As the Captain enters the new uber-Boot his crew stand and applaud. “All in a day’s work for the Captain,” says the Captain. Then Big Fat Jim wipes a tear from his eye and all the crew see him do it and point and laugh at him. Then the sexy woman runs up to the Captain and throws her arms round him. Their eyes meet and then they kiss. CUT.

The Boot sails into the sunset as Do You Remember by Phil Collins plays. THE END. Possibly this caption could be followed by OR IS IT? But that’s a directorial decision. They should probably get attacked by pirates at some point too and they could fight them off with these chainsaw-rockets I invented. I mean the Captain invented.