Lorenzo Semple Jr. was a screenwriter and playwright who is probably best known for his contributions to the 1960’s campy television show “Batman” starring Adam West as the caped crusader and Burt Ward as his trusty sidekick. Semple helped to develop and write for the series, including penning the feature film version based on it.
There are various rumors that tend to pop up from time to time about potential a “Doctor Who” movie in the works. Back in the early 90’s, Johnny Byrne wrote a film draft for one of these potential films. The story revolved around the Doctor, his companions, bad guys, powerful crystals, the Tardis traveling through space and time, and the prevention of a nefarious plot. In other words, the usual Doctor Who episode times two, with the budget of a feature film.
Edward Davis Wood, Jr. – A good filmmaker? No. An interesting filmmaker? Yes. Wood was a writer, producer, director, editor and last but not least – an actor! I’m not going to dig into all of his idiosyncrasies but I will tell you this… he was one interesting son of a bitch! If he was alive today, that is an individual I would love to spend the day with. The stories he could tell.
Here is my Screenwriting lesson for the day.
So I have a young couple (early to mid-twenties) that lives next door to me. They’ve been yelling and arguing for weeks. Here is the argument tonight as she tried to get away from him.
Harold Ramis… the man and his talent will be missed.
November 21, 1944 – February 24, 2014
YEAR ONE, also starring Michael Cera.
National Lampoon’s Vacation
Back to School
And the list goes on.
As any true Star Wars fan knows by now, George Lucas’s first draft of “Star Wars” was radically different than what we eventually saw on screen. And I mean radically different! I think it’s the perfect example of why you don’t shoot your first draft and serves as a lesson to all writers that the real writing begins with the rewrite.
Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy
- Stars: Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Keaton,
- Abbie Cornish, Jay Baruchel, Jackie Earle Haley
- Written by: David Self
- Directed by: José Padilha
- In the year 2028, after a tragic accident, a cop by the name of Alex Murphy is transformed into a cyborg by the evil corporation OmniCorp to protect the streets of Detroit.
- OmniCorp’s plan is to use RoboCop as a way to convince the public that machines would make better cops than people. But they just really want to make a lot of money and don’t really care about the people. In other words, they’re a corporation. And that’s RoboCop!
- It occurred to me after seeing RoboCop 2014 that it was like a bad dream I had after watching the 1987 version. In my dream, I’m watching ‘RoboCop 1987’ but my mind is warping and changing things in a nonsensical way. Some of the characters have the same names but yet are different people and although it’s the same story – it’s not. This isn’t a fun dream. It’s a scary dream and I’m struggling to wake up so I can watch the original movie that I enjoyed so much. And I might have wet my bed while I was sleeping. But we’ll save that discussion for another time.
- Joel Kinnaman plays RoboCop cyborg, Alex Murphy. He’s a capable actor, but looked greatly out of place here. Peter Weller owned the character in the original. Kinnaman does not. Weller wore a mask throughout most of the film and still he surged with emotions you could feel. Kinnaman’s face was shown throughout most of this film and his performance just came off as bland.
- Samuel (don’t confuse me with Laurence Fishburne) L. Jackson and Jay Baruchel had thankless roles and really had nothing to do. Michael Keaton was fine, but I keep wishing there is a better movie out there for him to star in. I miss Michael Keaton. And Gary Oldman … well, I hope they paid him well because he delivered, as always. He’s too good an actor for this remake.
- Abbie Cornish played Murphy’s wife, but I found myself not really caring about their relationship. Cornish did a fine job but because they showed so little of their relationship prior to the accident, I just didn’t find myself engaged. Wisely, they kept most of this to a minimum in the original – just enough to show us the anguish of losing his family without bogging down the plot.
- And for some reason, they reversed neutered the roll of Lewis, Murphy’s partner. She’s a man now. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) But it would have been nice to once again see a strong female in this role and view her interaction with Murphy. But like much of this film, Lewis was just another throwaway.
- So they took a very fun, memorable film from the 80’s and stripped it clean and sanitized it. RoboCop 2014 was not fun. A note to the filmmakers… A movie called ‘RoboCop’ is supposed to be fun! Oh, and speaking of fun, who the hell was the damn villain? Unlike the original, there was no disguisable bad guy. It just sort of alternated throughout. The dad from “That 70’s Show” – now that was a good memorable RoboCop villain.
- To sum up, toss in a small dab of 80’s, a spoon full of saltpeter, and a quart of black tar, crank the oven to 350 and two hours later you have RoboCop 2014. It’s kind of icky tasting. I don’t recommend it. So if you really want to see a RoboCop movie, I suggest that you subtract 27 from 2014 and see that film instead. You’ll have a better time.