Tag Archives: Heath Ledger

In Defense Of The New ‘RoboCop’ Suit.

We’re passionate about RoboCop here at GB. We’ve covered his news, a lot. Probably about 7 or 8 times since we first heard serious word of it. We’ve actually had multiple discussions on the film, and when those first pictures leaked of the new RoboCop suit, the majority of us were… unhappy. However, being ever the contrarian I am, I expressed my caustic disappointment VERY specifically, because I knew the more I thought about it, the more I could understand it. In that article I said, and I quote:

“I’m…. Just really gonna keep hope that it’ll work in the movie.”

And I still stand by that statement. At first It was meant in a way to express dread, but the more I looked at this new RoboCop I kept trying to understand why it was so drastically different from what we’d all expect, and so seemingly cookie cutter and generic looking, when it suddenly hit, and everything made perfect sense. You see, when you’re a passionate nerd about something, seeing it changed to something else in a “new” form is a bit shocking, and tends to illicit knee-jerk reactions of imminent hatred or dismissal. I think that’s the natural state of all nerds. We see something that maybe takes an old favorite, and turns it on end, or tries something completely different with it, and usually we hate it. At first anyway. I remember the old internet reaction to Heath Ledger’s Joker, when the first pics of him leaked. People were VERY critical and dismissive. I would know, because I was one of those people. Of course we all know how that story turns out, because The Dark Knight is one of the best films of all time, and a huge part of it is due to the game changing performance by Heath Ledger.

I took a vow that day to never immediately judge something as a failure based on preview pictures alone. That potentially, it could all work out in the finished product, and a good movie could come from it. I even held this view for The Amazing Spider-Man, right up until it proved to be an unwatchable mess. So what was it that clicked for me? What changed my initially reserved but dreadfully optimistic view on this RoboCop remake? Well before I get to that, let’s take a second look at the new suit, so you’ll have a fresh idea in mind of what I’m talking about.

via [JoeBlo]

Again, the first things that come to mind are how UN-original it looks. How it seems reminiscent of countless other generic cyborg/soldier characters from all types of media right? I believe this is ENTIRELY intentional. If you’re going to remake RoboCop, one of the greatest missteps you could take would be to not carry over the brilliant social satire it had throughout the film. In the same way that the original RoboCop’s look represented the pinnacle of faux-futuristic 80’s excess, so does this modern RoboCop’s look reflect the polished, materialistic, and factory formed look of almost all modern technology. The sleek embossed sheen to his hood is indicative of most modern cell phones, right down to the bright red visor.

The style, layout, and font choice are all intentionally similar.

If you’ve ever seen a Droid commercial you’ll have no trouble making the visual connection. What they’ve done is rather than rehash the old story(and suit) note for note, they’ve gone and taken the initiative. It makes sense that in a modern world where everyone has the same looking cell phone, same looking cars, and same looking computers, we should have a similarly themed RoboCop. Of course he looks generic, because a massive, money-making corporation churned him out like yesterdays cheap cell phone update. It’s a theme that’s very welcome for a RoboCop remake because the whole thing was about criticizing the faceless corporations that would literally put a brand name on justice if it made them an extra dollar at the end of the day. Steamlined robotic officers? Mass produced cybernetic equipment? Bargain basement justice? I’d buy that for a dollar!

So yes, the new RoboCop suit looks incredibly generic and uninspired, but that is precisely the point, and ultimately what ends up making it ironically, very inspired and unique. It’s a pretty effective way to establish a visual motif of social commentary, that even our CYBERNETICALLY ENHANCED ROBOT COPS get the shiny, red laser LED lined look to them. That’s exactly what any modern technology company would do. The proof is all around your living room, or even in your pocket. Sure the movie may end up sucking something fierce still, (I don’t think it will, but I have been wrong), but at the very least the intention to establish and bring back that sense of social commentary, updated now for relevant social context, is laudable and worthy of note. That’s not even to say what the whole suit will look like after filming effects are completed, because I have a strong feeling it’ll get a much more visually striking look once it’s complemented with added CG lights and whatnot. Furthermore, between the strength of its cast, director, and what we’ve seen so far, I’d say everyone has good reason to get their hopes up. This is the RoboCop for our generation, and it most certainly is reflecting that, as it should. So sit back and relax RoboCop fans. We may have a good remake yet.

Disney’s Lone Ranger and Depp’s Tonto Revealed!

After a few delays and moaning and groaning about an overinflated budget, Disney’s Lone Ranger movie is finally making headway. Sure, we knew that filming was underway but now we have our first glimpse into the movie by way of a photo of the Lone Ranger himself and his faithful companion Tonto. Tonto as you probably heard about a million times is being played by Johnny Depp, who has a penchant for the ridiculous ever since bringing the world Jack Sparrow, possibly one of the best on-screen characters in recent memory behind Heath Ledger’s Joker in the Dark Knight. So, without further adieu, here is the picture:

And yup, Johnny Depp is there in all of his ridiculous glory. Though I must say that this version of Tonto is way better than what could have been if they had stuck with the old TV show version of the sidekick. I’m actually hoping they change it up a little bit in the movie and make Tonto not so much a sidekick, but perhaps the Lone Ranger’s mentor or something more useful. Of course there is only this picture and no details on anything else, so everything including what I just typed is all speculation at this point. This official film synopsis is all we have to go on thus far:

“The Lone Ranger” is a thrilling adventure infused with action and humor, in which the famed masked hero is brought to life through new eyes. Native American spirit warrior Tonto (Johnny Depp) recounts the untold tales that transformed John Reid (Armie Hammer), a man of the law, into a legend of justice—taking the audience on a runaway train of epic surprises and humorous friction as the two unlikely heroes must learn to work together and fight against greed and corruption.

I have to say I was never really thrilled with the Lone Ranger, it’s definitely a franchise that needs updating to make it more intriguing to modern audiences including myself, but look at what they’ve done with a literary classic like John Carter. The movie isn’t out yet but all of the clips shown thus far promise us at least an entertaining movie going experience. I’m also faithful that Pirates director Gore Verbinski will be helming the movie because aside from the story of the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie being utterly convoluted he still has a knack for giving us a very aesthetically pleasing movie. It was almost a given he could only give us two out of three good Pirates movies. Let’s hope the cycle doesn’t repeat with the Lone Ranger being a certified hit that spawns mediocre sequels.

Now comes the wait for the first trailer and more than likely a slew of production and set photos before that. I’m not overly excited for the Lone Ranger movie, but I am cautiously optimistic. Most of that is to see exactly what Depp has done with the Tonto character and to see if he outshines the main character as Depp normally tends to do when he’s not the leading man.

Hero Express: Dark Knight Station – Rumors, Easter Eggs and Tickets Already On Sale

Welcome to Dark Knight Station, the Hero Express‘s main stop for all the news on The Dark Knight Rises.We’ll keep you up to date on all the biggest bat-news coming straight from Gotham City.

Mind the gap and avoid the shadows; This stop is the Dark Knight Station for January 11th, 2012.

Rumors of a Clearer Bane Voice are False – (FilmDrunk)

In the wake of the DKR prologue, reports sprouted up claiming that Christopher Nolan was already working to clean up Bane’s muffled voice, and theaters would soon be getting the new, clearer audio versions to play for audiences. However, Collider recently went to Warner Bros. and IMAX for confirmation, and both have officially stated that no altered versions of the prologue have been sent.

In the trailer that quickly followed the 8-minute preview Bane was a lot easier to understand, with the majority of viewers issuing a pretty vocal sigh of relief. Personally, I’m still not entirely clear on what Bane is saying in the trailer but I’m not desperately worried. As I’ve mentioned earlier, this isn’t something the entire production team would have missed – dozens of people worked on Bane’s character, not to mention the time and energy spent on audio and editing. It would be impossible for this to be an oversight.

Fan Poster by DeviantArtist ~Jo7a

It’s difficult to do with a film as wildly anticipated as The Dark Knight Rises but we all have to sit back and resist judgment for now. We’re picking apart a minor piece of the puzzle that will likely be inconsequential by the time everything comes together. Have a little faith.

Unreleased Footage from The Dark Knight – (/Film)

Here’s a little change of pace: Kevin Smith, of all people, recently sent out a tweet featuring several minutes of unused and alternate footage from everyone’s favorite Batman movie. It includes some clips of Heath Ledger‘s Joker that you might not have seen before.

The few seconds of Ledger that debut here are just as striking as the footage that made it into the final film. It’s a brief reminder of how memorable the character is, and how talented an actor Ledger was. It’s the long shot of The Joker exiting the hospital that does it for me, rekindling the chilling sensation I had when I first saw The Dark Knight‘s Clown Prince of Crime.

Continue reading Hero Express: Dark Knight Station – Rumors, Easter Eggs and Tickets Already On Sale

Hero Express: Dark Knight Station – My Own Reaction to the ‘Rises’ Prologue

Welcome to Dark Knight Station, the Hero Express‘s main stop for all the news on The Dark Knight Rises.We’ll keep you up to date on all the biggest bat-news coming straight from Gotham City.

Mind the gap and avoid the shadows; This stop is the Dark Knight Station for December 16th, 2011.

This edition of Dark Knight Station is going to be a little different than the others. Last night I went to the midnight show of Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. Like most of the audience in the theatre, I was really there for the 6-minute prologue of The Dark Knight Rises. I’ll drop some info on the latest news below, but first I want to talk about the 6 minutes of Rises I got to experience. I’ll try to spoil as little as possible about what actually happens in the clip. I’m going to get right into it, here is my spoiler-free reaction to my first glimpse of The Dark Knight Rises.

Like the bank heist that introduced us to The Joker in the preview for The Dark Knight, the prologue is a high-tension scene that introduces us to the main villain, Bane. We’re dropped in almost mid-conversation and immediately start asking questions. If you followed the movie’s viral marking campaign, you’ll have a little more to go on, but suffice it to say that things escalate very quickly before taking an unexpected turn. Then it all goes haywire. The focus of the clip is to give us a sense of Bane’s capabilities and methods – again, it’s very much like The Dark Knight‘s prologue in that sense – but while The Dark Knight showed us The Joker was calculating in his ruthlessness, Bane makes it very clear that he has no love for subtlety or theatrics.

“Oh shit…”

That’s not to say that there’s no room for mind-bending action; the climax of the  preview is a sequence that is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. It’s guttural and physical, and the IMAX camera makes it look gorgeous. Think of the sequence in The Dark Knight when Batman flipped the semi, then go much bigger.

Continue reading Hero Express: Dark Knight Station – My Own Reaction to the ‘Rises’ Prologue

The Concept Art for ‘The Crow’ Remake Looks Lame

The Crow is a movie that, like its protagonist, managed to find a second life for itself long after its release in 1994. It continues to hold a cult status today for its dark theme and pioneering of the gritty superhero story arc, but of course it bears even more recognition as the film which resulted in the tragic death of its lead, Brandon Lee.

Much like the recent passing of Heath Ledger and The Dark Knight (Nobody saw ‘Imaginarium‘ so it doesn’t count, before you jump down my throat), The Crow stands as the final showcase of Lee’s promising talent, so it carries an almost memorial-like status for fans. It’s a delicate thing to steamroll over, but that’s just what Relativity Media are trying to do.


In April, Relativity was interested in Bradley Cooper to star, but he had to drop out for ‘scheduling reasons’ and while the studio looked at replacing him with Channing Tatum or Mark Wahlberg, the project inevitably was put on hold (hopefully to beat the casting director with a chair), as quoted here by Hollywood Reporter:

Bradley Cooper was to have played the title character but sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that he has now exited due to scheduling conflicts. Cooper has David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook shooting this fall and then dives straight into Legendary’s Paradise Lost, which shoots first quarter next year…the exact time Relativity plans on making the high-priority Crow […] But akin to the project’s rock musician who is killed and resurrected, two new names have surfaced as possible replacements: Channing Tatum and Mark Wahlberg.

 

With Cooper out and director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo following suit, the production seems to be dead in the water, but we are now able to check out a slew of just-released concept art by Diego Latorre, courtesy Shock Till You Drop, which gives us a look at the general tone and direction the remake would have followed:


From Latorre himself: “‘The Crow’ images published are very early production sketches and are based in my own visual interpretation of the character and not necessarily in Apaches Entertainment and director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s vision.

For all the concept art, click here. To reminisce on the days before they tried to give The Crow cornrows, click here.