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Robo-irony 
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Post Robo-irony
It’s hugely ironic that Robocop is among the gluttony of new remakes spewed out by Hollywood. The original Robocop was filmed in 1987 in an almost post-apocalyptic Detroit, populated by mad-max type villainy and corrupted officialdom.

Detroit has worked extremely hard in the past 25 years to allow this vision come to fruition. Crime, poverty, illiteracy and despair are rampant. Yet such is the movie industry’s calculated cynicism, these themes (considered too complex and/or painful for modern audiences) will be glossed over, and instead a dumb action-trope indulgence will be foisted on them yet again.

How ironic that Hollywood won’t even allow the masses to view their own decline and stupidity for fear of upsetting their delicate souls. An honest remake of Robocop would be 100 minutes of a huge static sign with the words “we told you this would happen” emblazoned across it.

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Fri Sep 06, 2013 7:12 am
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Post Re: Robo-irony
Even leaving that aside, I wonder if the remake will completely ignore the cleverness that made the original more than just another 80s actioner

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Fri Sep 06, 2013 12:36 pm
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Post Re: Robo-irony
NotHughGrant wrote:
It’s hugely ironic that Robocop is among the gluttony of new remakes spewed out by Hollywood. The original Robocop was filmed in 1987 in an almost post-apocalyptic Detroit, populated by mad-max type villainy and corrupted officialdom.

Detroit has worked extremely hard in the past 25 years to allow this vision come to fruition. Crime, poverty, illiteracy and despair are rampant. Yet such is the movie industry’s calculated cynicism, these themes (considered too complex and/or painful for modern audiences) will be glossed over, and instead a dumb action-trope indulgence will be foisted on them yet again.

How ironic that Hollywood won’t even allow the masses to view their own decline and stupidity for fear of upsetting their delicate souls. An honest remake of Robocop would be 100 minutes of a huge static sign with the words “we told you this would happen” emblazoned across it.

How do you know the film won't touch on this? I have absolutely no clue what you're trying to say here with the "decline" and whatnot :?


Fri Sep 06, 2013 12:37 pm
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Post Re: Robo-irony
Hm... not really.

Like most dystopian futuristic satires, Robocop was neither a particularly good forecast of future events nor did it aspire to be one. Most stories of that genre--Robocop included--are about the time in which they were written. There is no problem depicted in Robocop that did not exist, at least in the filmmakers' observations, in the mid-1980s. They exaggerate it for the satirical effect and move it forward in time to give it some objective distance from its audience, but it was all there already. Same goes for 1984 (it's about the 1940s), A Clockwork Orange (so very obviously the 1960s), etc.

If today's socioeconomic climate bears an uncomfortable resemblance to our satires and parodies, perhaps it's because our best satirists are better at noticing this stuff than everybody else.

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Fri Sep 06, 2013 12:45 pm
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Post Re: Robo-irony
Vexer wrote:
NotHughGrant wrote:
It’s hugely ironic that Robocop is among the gluttony of new remakes spewed out by Hollywood. The original Robocop was filmed in 1987 in an almost post-apocalyptic Detroit, populated by mad-max type villainy and corrupted officialdom.

Detroit has worked extremely hard in the past 25 years to allow this vision come to fruition. Crime, poverty, illiteracy and despair are rampant. Yet such is the movie industry’s calculated cynicism, these themes (considered too complex and/or painful for modern audiences) will be glossed over, and instead a dumb action-trope indulgence will be foisted on them yet again.

How ironic that Hollywood won’t even allow the masses to view their own decline and stupidity for fear of upsetting their delicate souls. An honest remake of Robocop would be 100 minutes of a huge static sign with the words “we told you this would happen” emblazoned across it.

How do you know the film won't touch on this? I have absolutely no clue what you're trying to say here with the "decline" and whatnot :?


No, Vex. I don't imagine you do!

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Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:11 pm
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Post Re: Robo-irony
Ken wrote:
Hm... not really.

Like most dystopian futuristic satires, Robocop was neither a particularly good forecast of future events nor did it aspire to be one. Most stories of that genre--Robocop included--are about the time in which they were written. There is no problem depicted in Robocop that did not exist, at least in the filmmakers' observations, in the mid-1980s. They exaggerate it for the satirical effect and move it forward in time to give it some objective distance from its audience, but it was all there already. Same goes for 1984 (it's about the 1940s), A Clockwork Orange (so very obviously the 1960s), etc.

If today's socioeconomic climate bears an uncomfortable resemblance to our satires and parodies, perhaps it's because our best satirists are better at noticing this stuff than everybody else.


Come on, Ken. You're closer to all this than most. You must see the woods for the trees

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Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:55 pm
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Post Re: Robo-irony
Closer to what? The once-great and now-largely-abandoned Detroit? Yes, geographically, I'm closer to it than most of the people here. Alternatively, if you're saying I'm metaphorically closer to the stuffy, monocled, pipe-smoking world of lit crit, then from an educational standpoint I guess I'm kind of close to that.

If I weren't right enough already, I will suggest further that as far as Robocop is concerned, Detroit doesn't even really matter. The "Detroit" of the film (not even filmed there or made by people with any particular interest in it, mind you) is a stand-in for post-industrial urban America in general--in the 1980s, again, not in the 2010s.

I realize it's tempting to point to the recent high-profile bankruptcy of Detroit as a signpost that the dystopia has come true, but I always thought it was a bit facile when people talk about dystopian fiction as if it were some kind of warning or prediction. Orwell, Atwood, Huxley, et al had enough on their plate with the problems of their present day, and I think that's the literary tradition that Robocop fits into--not the legitimate, evidence-based futurism of Asimov and Clarke.

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Fri Sep 06, 2013 3:38 pm
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Post Re: Robo-irony
Orwell and Huxley weren't taking the piss though. They indulged in hyperbole, but the themes were real enough. Ditto Robocop.

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Fri Sep 06, 2013 5:34 pm
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Post Re: Robo-irony
NotHughGrant wrote:
Orwell and Huxley weren't taking the piss though. They indulged in hyperbole, but the themes were real enough. Ditto Robocop.


Perhaps, but Ken's point holds. Orwell isn't actually writing about an imagined Britain in 1984, he's writing about the Britain he saw in 1948.

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Fri Sep 06, 2013 6:43 pm
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Post Re: Robo-irony
Actually both 1984 and Animal Farm were based on his experiences and insights in Spain in the late 30s. As you well know Animal Farm is about the Soviet Union, and 1984 inspired significantly by the .. well ... Soviet Union.

Orwell's books are about a theme, and the logical consequence of that theme developing. Animal Farm is not about Britain. If it were, then the Farmer would be untroubled to this very day.

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Sat Sep 07, 2013 3:40 am
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Post Re: Robo-irony
NotHughGrant wrote:
Actually both 1984 and Animal Farm were based on his experiences and insights in Spain in the late 30s. As you well know Animal Farm is about the Soviet Union, and 1984 inspired significantly by the .. well ... Soviet Union.

Orwell's books are about a theme, and the logical consequence of that theme developing. Animal Farm is not about Britain. If it were, then the Farmer would be untroubled to this very day.


Animal Farm is for sure not about Britain -- it's an allegorical story about the rise of Stalinism in the Soviet Union -- but if you don't see the social commentary on Britain in 1984, you need to reread it.

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Sat Sep 07, 2013 9:41 am
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Post Re: Robo-irony
I've read it 10 times. Point to specifics if you want to debate.

For instance, the geography of the story is based on Orwell's fear that FDR, Stalin and Churchill were carving up the post-war world in their WW2 conferences

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Sat Sep 07, 2013 9:43 am
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Post Re: Robo-irony
NotHughGrant wrote:
I've read it 10 times. Point to specifics if you want to debate.

For instance, the geography of the story is based on Orwell's fear that FDR, Stalin and Churchill were carving up the post-war world in their WW2 conferences


Indeed. And those are both contemporary fears, hence my point that the book is about 1948. The Spanish Civil War absolutely influenced him (he's on record as saying that essentially everything he wrote after it was in some way against totalitarianism) but living in England during World War II also had a profound impact on him. As I'm sure you know, England had it far rougher post-WWII than many of the other victors, with rationing and austerity measures continuing unabated despite the war's end. He's directly commenting on this in 1984, how if the government keeps the populace in a perpetual state of war, they can keep the people content despite shortages and suffering.

He takes on a lot of things in the novel, actually. No question Stalinism is reflected somewhat in Big Brother and the disappearance of people from photographs, but also there's a pretty significant attack on Christianity too. Quite a book

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Sat Sep 07, 2013 9:56 am
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Post Re: Robo-irony
The Robocop remake is going to suck. After reading a bit on what they're doing with it, I'm convinced.

I'm willing to bet that the new Robocop will be another big dumb bland actioner, with none of the satire, social commentary or dark humor that made the original so good.

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Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:00 pm
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Post Re: Robo-irony
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Yet such is the movie industry’s calculated cynicism, these themes (considered too complex and/or painful for modern audiences)


I'm definitely interested in going into this topic more in depth.


Sun Sep 08, 2013 7:33 pm
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Post Re: Robo-irony
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
The Robocop remake is going to suck. After reading a bit on what they're doing with it, I'm convinced.

I'm willing to bet that the new Robocop will be another big dumb bland actioner, with none of the satire, social commentary or dark humor that made the original so good.

I strongly disagree, I think it will really surprise people.


Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:42 pm
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Post Re: Robo-irony
Vexer wrote:
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
The Robocop remake is going to suck. After reading a bit on what they're doing with it, I'm convinced.

I'm willing to bet that the new Robocop will be another big dumb bland actioner, with none of the satire, social commentary or dark humor that made the original so good.

I strongly disagree, I think it will really surprise people.



People were "surprised" by Dredd and Total Recall as well...



wait for it..... :roll:

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Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:39 am
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Post Re: Robo-irony
Awf Hand wrote:
Vexer wrote:
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
The Robocop remake is going to suck. After reading a bit on what they're doing with it, I'm convinced.

I'm willing to bet that the new Robocop will be another big dumb bland actioner, with none of the satire, social commentary or dark humor that made the original so good.

I strongly disagree, I think it will really surprise people.



People were "surprised" by Dredd and Total Recall as well...



wait for it..... :roll:

Mpst people enjoyed Dredd though, so not really the best comparison, and I meant surprised in a good way.


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Post Re: Robo-irony
Vexer wrote:
Awf Hand wrote:
Vexer wrote:
I strongly disagree, I think it will really surprise people.



People were "surprised" by Dredd and Total Recall as well...



wait for it..... :roll:

Mpst people enjoyed Dredd though, so not really the best comparison, and I meant surprised in a good way.


People generally didn't bash Dredd because it wasn't as horrid as the Stallone film. To be fair to Dredd, it was a passable effort. But it wasn't anything memorable. I predict the same for Robocop.

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Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:53 pm
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Post Re: Robo-irony
Awf Hand wrote:
People were "surprised" by Dredd and Total Recall as well...

wait for it..... :roll:

Total Recall I can get, but not Dredd. It wasn't exactly like Dredd had a "great" predecessor to live up to since the Judge Dredd film of 1993 was an unmitigated piece of shit.

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