Hurrying Out The Hornet's Nest

by Tippi Blevins June 24, 2008 11:09 am
Hurrying Out The Hornet's Nest A lot can happen in two years. By summer 2010, the U.S. will be about eighteen months into a new presidential term. Sixty generations of overcrowded laboratory fruit flies will have come and gone. An elephant who gets knocked up today will be taking her baby on its first migration. Two years is a long time, in other words, but Sony Pictures is planning way ahead by revealing its Green Hornet website, complete with a brand new, shiny green logo. (Hilariously, the new website reminds us that "This film is not yet rated." No! Really? "This film is not yet in existence," is more like it.) Why now? Why so early? Maybe Sony doesn't realize it could shoot itself in the foot with two solid years of pre-release hype. Maybe Sony is trying to get the movie-going public used to the idea of its unconventional action movie star. Or maybe an intern just had some free time on his hands and wanted to play around with Photoshop.

RoboCop: Fun’s Over, Boys

by Ethan Alter February 12, 2014 6:00 am
<i>RoboCop</i>: Fun’s Over, Boys

Looking back, Paul Verhoeven's RoboCop ranks as one of the most unlikely franchise-starters in Hollywood history. Operating without much studio oversight, the Dutch filmmaker produced a scabrous satire of the corporatization of Reagan-era America wrapped inside of an ultraviolent, hard-R rated action film. It's the sort of stunt that's really only designed to work once, but -- thanks to Peter Weller's square-jawed performance and that gleaming, instantly iconic Rob Bottin-designed metal suit -- RoboCop the character quickly became bigger than the film that birthed him. A pair of big-screen sequels followed, as well as four different TV shows (two live action and two animated), comic books, video games (including one where he battles the Terminator for some reason) and even a theme park ride. And once a character created to spoof big business became big business, you could kiss any lingering satiric impulses goodbye. The latter-day RoboCop vehicles mostly eschewed humor for mindless action and a forced solemnity that, frankly, was often plenty funny (unintentionally so) in its own right.

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