Original Version: Going in Style

Posted on April 2, 2017 at 3:18 pm

This week Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin, and Michael Caine star in the remake of the 1979 comedy heist film, “Going in Style,” starring George Burns, Art Carney, and legendary acting teacher Lee Strasberg (Hyman Roth in “The Godfather 2.”)

In the original film, three men in their 70’s decide to rob a bank mostly because they are bored. This new version, with a script by “St. Vincent” and “Hidden Figures” writer/director Theodore Melfi, is a bit more of a reflect of the times, giving the trio a reason to feel that the money they steal is rightfully theirs. The original version is worth a look, with three of the all-time pros clearly having a great time. Probably the biggest surprise today was how little they stole: just $35,000.

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Trailers, Previews, and Clips

Original Version: Robocop

Posted on February 13, 2014 at 8:00 am

The original version of RoboCop in 1987 and its two sequels are set in the near future.  Decades later, the idea of cyborg law enforcement still feels pretty far off.  So, why not have another go at it?

Original co-screenwriter Edward Neumeier got the idea when a friend told him that “Blade Runner” was about a cop hunting robots.  He thought, “What about a robot cop?”

The movie and its sequels are not just action — they include some pointed commentary on moral and physical decay.  A “futuristic” portrayal of sun damage as a consequence of climate change no longer seems like fiction. Philosopher and cultural critic Slavoj Žižek said:

RoboCop, a futuristic story about a policeman shot to death and then revived after all parts of his body have been replaced by artificial substitutes, introduces a more tragic note: the hero who finds himself literally “between two deaths” – clinically dead and at the same time provided with a new, mechanical body—starts to remember fragments of his previous, “human” life and thus undergoes a process of resubjectivication, changing gradually back from pure incarnated drive to a being of desire. (…) f there is a phenomenon that fully deserves to be called the “fundamental fantasy of contemporary mass culture,” it is this fantasy of the return of the living dead: the fantasy of a person who does not want to stay dead but returns again and again to pose a threat to the living.

Here’s the original trailer.

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Original Version

Original Version: Endless Love

Posted on February 11, 2014 at 8:00 am

Scott Spencer’s book Endless Love is, as its title suggests, a deeply romantic story about a teenager utterly swept away by a love that consumes him, and ultimately everyone around him.  When the girl’s father says he cannot see her, he becomes completely obsessed, with tragic results.  The 1981 movie starred Brooke Shields, but it is not as well remembered as its Diana Ross/Lionel Richie theme song.

Here’s the original trailer.

And here is a clip from the remake, opening this week.

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