Dungeon Classics #25: RoboCop 2

FilmDungeon’s Chief Editor JK sorts through the Dungeon’s DVD-collection to look for old cult favorites….

RoboCop 2 (1990, USA)

Director: Irvin Kershner
Cast: Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Belinda Bauer, Tom Noonan
Running Time: 117 mins.

Irvin Kershner is a director who is good in dark sequels that feature tormented cyborgs, he proved with The Empire Strikes Back (1980). RoboCop 2 doesn’t quite approach that extremely high level, but it also didn’t deserve the harsh criticism it received. Peter Weller is excellent once again as the human-machine cop who’s dealing with remnants of his former life. The events take place shortly after the first film and crime in Detroit has gotten even worse. RoboCop has to single handedly end a drug epidemic as the cops go on strike for being squeezed out by evil corporation OCP. The script of this movie was written by Frank Miller (Sin City), so that adds to the darkness. It is too sadistic at times, but seeing RoboCop in action with his tough-as-nails human partner Lewis (Nancy Allen) is as thrilling as it was three years earlier. And although the special effects are pretty outdated (check out the Apple-interface on cyborg Caine!) the movie, with all its apocalyptic Detroit factory settings, still looks good.

Dungeon Classics #24: RoboCop

FilmDungeon’s Chief Editor JK sorts through the Dungeon’s DVD-collection to look for old cult favorites….

RoboCop (1987, USA)

Director: Paul Verhoeven
Cast: Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Kurtwood Smith, Ronny Cox
Running Time: 102 mins.

Paul Verhoeven’s hyper violent RoboCop is a near perfect classic. In the crime ridden futuristic Detroit, police officer Alex Murphy is brutally executed by a gang of maniacal criminals (a tough scene to watch still). He is then resurrected by the corporation that owns the police (OCP) and turned into the cyborg law enforcer RoboCop. At first, he functions mostly as a hyper effective machine, but then his memory starts coming back to him with a venguence and he goes after the criminals that murdered him as well as the corrupt boss of OCP that is in league with them. Besides pure entertainment and lots of humor, Verhoeven’s Hollywood debut offers a dark, cynical view on the future and smart social commentary on consumerism (‘how about the 6000 SUX!!’), capitalism and the human as flesh machine. Ultimately, the movie is about identity as RoboCop remembers he is not just a product but “Murphy”.

A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies

(1995, USA)

Director: Martin Scorsese, Michael Henry Wilson
Written by: Martin Scorsese, Michael Henry Wilson
Features: Martin Scorsese (host), Frank Capra, Francis Ford Coppola, Brian De Palma, ao.

Running Time: 225 mins.

When Scorsese starts to talk there is no ending. For nearly four hours, he talks about American films. From the silent era to the sixties when he started making movies himself. Luckily for the viewer, Scorsese is a very interesting storyteller and film lovers will be glued to the screen.

His ode to American cinema is a mix of personal anecdotes, film fragments, interviews and razor-sharp observations. Scorsese starts with Hollywood pioneers like King Vidor, D.W. Griffith and Cecil B. DeMille. He then takes a closer look at the genres that made Hollywood great; the westerns, the musicals and the gangster films.

Many cinema hallmarks pass by. From the transition from silent to sound films and how technical effects evolved over the years. Scorsese also explains how his own cinematic mind was formed by observing characters like the infamous Ethan Edwards in The Searchers. He explains how the change in genres reflect on the times in which they were made. Like how post WW2 big businesses advanced in gangster films and the musicals got gloomier.

Scorsese provides great insight in the Hollywood system. How producers like David O. Selznick called the shots in the early days and how iconoclasts like Erich von Stroheim and Orson Welles attacked the system and sometimes paid the ultimate price for it. He calls Hollywood films censored art and shows many of the old masters at work. The rarely seen interviews with legendary directors such as Billy Wilder and John Ford alone are worth the four hour investment of watching this documentary.

No less than 60 films are discussed. From most of them a fragment is shown while Scorsese discusses their significance in a voice-over. For the complete list of films discussed click here. Scorsese and his team have created an incredibly rich and insightful documentary. Even the most hardened film buff will find some unseen cinema treasures here.

The Ten Commandments

R.I.P. Max

We hebben gisteren afscheid moeten nemen van onze goede vriendin Max, die sinds 2006 onderdeel uitmaakte van onze familie. Ooit gevonden op 2dehands.be, en door Loesje opgehaald in België, wist de charmante poes zich al snel populair te maken bij iedereen die haar leerde kennen.

Max: XX-XX-2006 – 13-10-2022

Max was de laatste van de vier katten die Loesje en ik in 2007 mee namen op onze drie maanden durende huwelijksreis in Kreta die nog in leven was. Eerder namen we afscheid van Woeffie, Sluup en Kluts.

Ze was gek op water. Ze wilde altijd uit de kraan drinken en toen ze de zee zag vanuit de auto op Kreta puilden haar ogen bijna uit hun kassen. Helaas is water haar uiteindelijk ook fataal geworden.

Jaren geleden op een mooie zomerdag, toen ik in de tuin aan het werken was, hoorde ik opeens een plons. Ik rende naar de waterkant en vond daar Max hulpeloos drijvend in de sloot achter ons huis. Ik pakte haar bij haar nekvel en trok haar op de kade. ‘Wat een geluk dat ik net in de tuin was’, dacht ik toen. ‘Als ik het niet gehoord had, was dat het einde geweest voor Max’.

En zo is het uiteindelijk ook gegaan. Op een doodnormale donderdagavond, terwijl Loesje en ik allebei een serie aan het kijken waren en Rosa al sliep, is Max naar buiten gegaan voor een kleine avondwandeling in de tuin. Ze is toen in het water gevallen en is blijkbaar niet meer in staat geweest eruit te klimmen. Drie dagen later is ze gevonden door een buurvrouw verderop in de straat. Max was zestien jaar oud; we hadden haar graag nog wat jaren bij ons gehad, want het was een fantastisch dier.

Rust zacht, Max.

(Max was altijd een onhandig poesje, zo is ze een keer een teen kwijtgeraakt nadat ze een verwonding had opgelopen).