RoboCop

The 1987 RoboCop has some endearing parts that have made it so memorable. The movie actually holds up pretty well after 27 years. It takes place in an ambiguous near future where artificial hearts are advertised on TV and there’s violence in Mexico. Some of the social commentary like the predictions on Detroit aren’t so funny any more. The commercial interludes are so good and convincing that I found myself reaching for the remote control to fast forward through them. I especially liked the 6000 SUX commercial featuring a Harryhausen inspired stop-motion dinosaur marching around downtown L.A.
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This movie came out just a few years before Phil Tippett worked on Jurassic Park. I’m glad they upgraded to digital actors by 1993.
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The tag line “I’d buy that for a dollar” was also memorable. I also found it funny when I recognized the TV reporter played by Leeza Gibbons.
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I remember anticipating this movie’s original release after a friend of mine told me that it was filmed in Dallas at his apartment complex, just around the corner from my alma mater. Many of the scenes were filmed downtown. For the chase scene with the van you can see Reunion Tower repeatedly both in the foreground and background as they drove back and forth on a road next to US-67. It’s sad to think they needed to find a place that looked like a future desolate version of Detroit and Dallas was able to stand in. For the sequel things have gotten worse so it was filmed in Houston.

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Here you can see that in the future cops will all drive ford Taurus.
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Dallas’s City Hall served as the headquarters for OCP with a little movie magic to make it a 97-story building.
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Of course the best parts of the movie involve our favorite robot ED-209.
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Just don’t ask him to climb stairs.
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I really hope the 2014 remake keeps the dark humor of the original. I noticed that it is rated PG-13 while the original had to be cut down to make it rated R.

I recommend watching the original again. It is available for rent (but not purchase) on iTunes.

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