REVIEW: Elle [2016]

“It was necessary” Director Paul Verhoeven has made a career of pushing the envelope whether through violence, sex, politics, or all three wrapped together. It’s hardly surprising then that his buzzword of choice on the promotional trail for his latest Elle has been “controversial.” The word choice is appropriate considering David Birke‘s script (adapted from Philippe Djian‘s novel Oh…) plays with taboos in ways that subvert public consciousness, but there’s an even more appropriate adjective: dangerous. Controversy is needed to shake us out of our doldrums, but it can also…

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REVIEW: Chappie [2015]

“I want to go home” I understand the general public not wanting to go as far into sci-fi as Neill Blomkamp goes with Chappie—although they loved the similar lengths of District 9—but it’s hard to believe the critical sphere has taken such a hard stance against it. Actually, maybe it’s not too difficult to believe after they’ve railed against it for months, anticipating a bomb due to the writer/director’s admittedly failed sophomore effort Elysium. In direct contrast to their relish at taking it down, I found it to be very…

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REVIEW: RoboCop [1987]

“The future has a silver lining” It started with a passing thought by screenwriter Edward Neumeier as he walked by a poster for Blade Runner—a movie his friend explained was about a “cop hunting robots”. What if he combined those two nouns to make a robot cop? A machine with the computational power to judge right from wrong tinted gray due to a latent morality combined with the extra strength and invincibility being constructed out of metal could provide? Yes, please. Partnered with Michael Miner, however, their dystopian script was…

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REVIEW: Total Recall [1990]

“A man is defined by his actions, not his memory” By the time Total Recall began filming—about a decade after its Hollywood genesis—quite the team of science fiction luminaries had been assembled. With inspiration from Blade Runner‘s Philip K. Dick; a script by the creators of Alien, Ronald Shusett and Dan O’Bannon; the directorial expertise of RoboCop‘s Paul Verhoeven; and The Terminator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, out front, this colossal undertaking was put atop the shoulders of dreamers. Spring-boarding off the question of whether reality can be proven alongside an authentically…

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