Monday, July 27, 2015

Earth to Echo (2014)

 

Number Rolled: 43
Movie Name/Year: Earth to Echo (2014)
Genre: Sci-fi
Length: 91 minutes
Rating: PG
Production Companies: Panay Films, Walt Disney Studios
Executive Producer: Jason Beckman, Robbie Brenner, Jason Colodne, Mark Benton Johnson, Jack Kavanaugh, David Miller, Tucker Tooley
Director: Dave Green
Writer: Henry Gayden, Andrew Panay
Actors: Teo Halm, Astro, Reese Hartwig, Ella Wahlestedt, Jason Gray-Stanford, Cassius Willis, Algee Smith, Sonya Leslie, Kerry O’Malley, Virginia Louise Smith, Peter Mackenzie, Valerie Wildman

When construction forces people out of their home town, a small group of kids bands together to try to have one last night of adventure.

Selina’s Point of View:
When last year’s “Top Ten to Look Out For In July” came out on Trust-the-Dice, this movie was number four. The trailer gave it a Goonies (1985)/Wall-E (2008)/ET (1982) flavor. I didn’t see much of Wall-E in it, but it was definitely an interesting take on an ET-like plot.

I have to note that I had a raging headache before I watched Earth to Echo. That means that the shaky cam was almost unbearable for me. It was a little like staring into the sun with photosensitivity. Never-the-less, I powered through. I’m glad I did.

For the most part, the actors were fine. No one really made me want to throw anything or fall asleep, but one young man stood out among them.

Teo Halm (Nova, Memoria, Bukowski), who played Alex in the film, doesn’t have much under his belt yet. Still, he showed a LOT of skill in this film. I believed every emotion, every heartbreak, and every single action. It was as if he really understood his character; better than most 16-year-old actors would.

It’s come to my attention that he was a part of the Girl Meets World (2014-) pilot as Cory and Topenga’s son; before the show was cut, altered and aired. I’ve been watching the nostalgic show, and I love it, but I’m not sure cutting Halm was the best idea. James Franco (Child of God, As I Lay Dying, The Broken Tower) gets it. He saw something in the kid and scooped him up for at least two movies so far. I expect he’s going to have an amazing career ahead of him.

In the end, the movie was really good. Even with the headache that the shaky cam turned up the volume on.

Cat’s Point of View:
I have been wanting to watch this film for a while now. I mean, who could resist finding out the story behind the adorable little light-up alien from the trailers and all the promotional graphics, right?

I went in to this movie with an expectation to be quite entertained by the story of these kids finding an alien and the adventure that would ensue. What I didn’t expect, and what the film delivered in spades, was that there was some real depth and heart behind this story.

These boys have been friends forever – and they’re not “the cool kids” so all they have is each other. Circumstances are causing them to split up by moving away, and it’s something no one can do anything about.

I think that this film brilliantly encapsulates the depth of their friendship and the emotions surrounding their impending separation.

When I was little, we moved a few times. While I was in the same city, it was easy to keep up with my friends. I moved out of state for a year, but was able to come back to visit occasionally. When I returned to Louisiana, however, we’d moved to a different city – and the loss of contact with the friends I’d grown up with was devastating. These boys’ plight really resonates with me.

This little alien, Echo, gives them hope and takes them on an epic adventure. I love the anticipation of ‘what’s going to happen next?!’ that this film is steeped in. What mayhem is around the next corner?

My daughter and I loved watching this movie together, and I would highly recommend giving this film a chance so you can find out.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 48%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 47%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 4.7/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score4/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 4.5/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score4.5/5

P.S. There is an extra scene after the credits.

Movie Trailer: 





Thursday, July 23, 2015

Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! (2015)


Number Rolled: N/A
Movie Name/Year: Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! (2015)
Genre: Sci-Fi
Length: 88 min
Rating: TV-14
Production Companies: The Asylum
Supervising Producer: Dylan Vox
Director: Anthony C. Ferrante
Writer: Thunder Levin

Actors: Ian Ziering, Tara Reid, Cassie Scerbo, Frankie Muniz, Ryan Newman, David Hasselhoff, Mark Cuban, Bo Derek, Blair Fowler, Michael Winslow, Jack Griffo, Ne-Yo, Chris Jericho, Ann Coulter, Melvin Gregg, Grant Imahara, Bill Engvall, Jackie Collins, Cindy Margolis, Keltie Knight, Robert Klein, Anthony Weiner, Tim Russ, Michael Bolten, Rick Fox, Ray J, Penn & Teller, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Kendra Wilkinson, Holly Madison, Harvey Levin, Derek Caldwell, Gerald ‘Slink’ Johnson, Chris Kirkpatrick, Chad Johnson, George R. R. Martin, Matt Lauer, Al Roker, Natalie Morales, Savannah Guthrie, Kathie Lee Gifford, Hoda Kotb, Elvis Duran, Alexis Ohanian, Jared Fogle, Anthony Pace, George H. Diller, Bill David, Frank Kramer, Heidi Decker, Juliana Ferrante, Anthony C. Ferrante, Petunia, Michele Backmann, and many others

Fin is in D.C. to receive an award for all the work he’s done to protect America from the vicious sharknados. While there, another one hits and he does his best to protect the president.

Selina’s Point of View:
Before I get started, let me just remind you that no one is saying that the Sharknado series is a masterpiece in the cinematic world. We know it’s not Oscar worthy and that the actors are, for the most part, just having fun. We’re not even watching it for the feels. It’s all about how entertaining it is.

And Sharknado 3 was super entertaining.

My view point, however, might be skewed. I had a viewing party with a group of friends. I made shark-themed food and we watched the whole series in order on the Syfy channel. We all joked around and debated the logic of the sharknadoverse while stuffing our faces and live-tweeting. Because of that, I may have had more fun than I should have.



Of course, Captain Obvious here, I can only review things from my point of view.

I enjoyed the third installment of this series. A lot.

Oh, there was about as little plot as you would expect from an Asylum creature feature, but it was still amusing as hell.

The cameos added a LOT to the film. When Chris Jericho (WWE, WCW, Halloween Havoc) popped on screen, the chant of “Jericho” flowed up from my guests. George R.R. Martin’s (Game of Thrones, Beauty and the Beast, The Twilight Zone) appearance caused at least three people to exclaim, in shock, “is that….?” In fact, there were so many uncredited cameo’s that IMDB is still stumbling to catch up. It might take them days to get everyone listed.

I’m both amused and infuriated by what they did with the ending. All I can tell you without blowing stuff up, is that rumor has it they intend to do something like that at the end of any Sharknados that may follow. (And yes, Sharknado 4 has been confirmed.)

I would love to tell you that I know why Sharknado 3 worked. I can’t. Just like its predecessors, it falls squarely into the “so bad, it’s good” category.

It’s not cinematic genius… but oh hell yes, it is fun.

Cat’s Point of View:
I am a huge fan of the first 2 films in this series. I’d watched the first one because I’d heard Ian Ziering (Domino, Stripped Down, Lava Storm) in an interview about it. It was the nostalgia factor from the 90210 (1990-2000) years that drew me in.

I didn’t regret a moment of it or the sequel.  Hilarity ensued.

Now with this third installment, the experience was something on an entirely different level. I participated in my very first live-tweeting during the film, and it was lots of fun! #Sharknado3 was at the top of the Trending list, and had over 300,000 tweets by the time the second showing on SYFY was half over.

This movie was packed with action from start to finish, and there was a cameo at every turn. I laughed so hard it hurt. I counted at LEAST 22 cameos – some aren’t even listed in IMDb.

The Author of the book series that inspired Game of Thrones (2011-), George R. R. Martin, is in a scene paying tribute to a famous wedding scene. Also, the man who did all the noise impersonations in the Police Academy (1984-1997) movies and TV series, Michael Winslow (Redirecting Eddie, Robodoc, Gingerclown).

There’s one cameo in particular that I found very interesting. (Click below for spoilers.)



Another thing I found really cool was all the Peter Benchley references in the movie. He was, of course, the author of the book that spawned the Jaws (1975) movie franchise. He was referenced by name, as well as another couple Easter Eggs revolving around Universal Studios Orlando Theme park.

That particular fun destination is the home of the Jaws ride, where a mechanical shark breaches the water to chomp in the direction of the riders.  Professional wrestler and Fozzy lead singer, Chris Jericho (Invasion, Nothing to Report, MacGruber), plays Bruce the Ride Attendant for the Rockit Rollercoaster.

Bruce just also happens to be the name of the massive mechanical shark in the famous ride– named after the shark used in the movie. 

Another bit of Benchley trivia is that he also wrote The Beast which was made into a TV Movie in 1996 – in this film, that was the nickname for the armored RV that Nova and Lucas traveled in while battling sharknados.

Then there’s the classic beauty, Bo Derek (Highland Park, Crusader, Malibu's Most Wanted) playing April’s mom, May. She is no stranger to killer sea-life. She was in the movie Orca in 1977 about a rogue killer whale.

I love the ride that these movies have taken me on. I’d watch them again and again, and in fact I have already with SYFY Channel re-runs.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 42%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 86%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – N/A
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score5/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – N/A
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score5/5

The Random Rating: R

Movie Trailer:



Monday, July 20, 2015

Inescapable (2012)


Number Rolled: 42
Movie Name/Year: Inescapable (2012)
Genre: Action & Adventure
Length: 93 minutes
Rating: R
Production Companies: IFC Films, Myriad Pictures, Alliance Films, Foundry Films, Out of Africa Entertainment, Telefilm Canada, The Harold Greenberg Fund, Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC), Department of Trade and Industry of South Africa, Killer Films
Executive Producer: Kirk D’Amico, Mark Slone, Christine Vachon
Director: Ruba Nadda
Writer: Ruba Nadda
Actors: Alexander Siddig, Joshua Jackson, Marisa Tomei, Oded Fehr, Saad Siddiqui, Fadia Nadda, Bonnie Lee Bouman, Jay Anstey, Sean Redpath

Adib must find a way into Damascus when his daughter disappears. She’d traveled to the area without telling him in order to research the past he refuses to discuss.

Selina’s Point of View:
What do you have if you edit Taken (2008) and take out all the thrilling chases and action? Inescapable.

This film was unbearably boring. I’ve never had to work so hard to stay awake in my life. Not even in college during accounting.

The acting was fine… but the story, the script, the soundtrack, and even the camera angles were all gratingly annoying and painful to watch.

I’ve got nothing else to say. I hated this movie.

Cat’s Point of View:
Political conflict dramas aren’t generally my cup of tea. I can, however, get sucked into a good mystery. It appeals to my curiosity like a siren song.

When I saw the cast involved with this film, I had a feeling I would probably enjoy it, even if I didn’t like the story.

I am a huge fan of Game of Thrones (2011-) and also quite enjoy DaVinci's Demons (2013-). It was nice to see Alexander Siddig (Reign of Fire, Syriana, Clash of the Titans) in the lead role here.

He brought quite the intensity to his character on the hunt for his kidnapped daughter. He was believable as a clever former intelligence officer trying to stay a couple steps ahead of the past his child had run afoul of.

Oded Fehr (Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, Super Hybrid, Resident Evil: Extinction) is an actor I’d probably watch in most anything. He has portrayed a ‘good guy’ in most films that I have seen him in. It was a nice change of pace to see him in a role with questionable intent.

Just an interesting note of trivia for fans of Dawson's Creek (1998-2003) – there’s a bit of a ‘six degrees’ type bridge between Joshua Jackson (Americano, Shutter, Cursed) and his fellow Dawson’s alum, James Van Der Beek (Labor Day, The Rules of Attraction, CSI: Cyber). Oded Fehr was amongst the supporting cast for Texas Rangers (2001).

Of course, I haven’t left out Marisa Tomei (Wild Hogs, The Wrestler, Trainwreck). She is generally impressive in whatever role she takes on. She didn’t disappoint here in transforming into the love left behind when Adib fled Damascus 20 years ago.

Overall, the movie felt a little slow to me, but it wasn’t bad. I was invested enough to want to know what had happened to the girl, that I was willing to see where the story took me.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 19%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 28%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 2.5/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score.5/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 2.7/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score2.5/5

Movie Trailer:


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Abandoned Mine (2013)


Number Rolled: 29
Movie Name/Year: Abandoned Mine (2013) [ IMDB page is under “The Mine” ]
Genre: Horror
Length: 95 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Production Companies: Mountainbridge Films
Executive Producer: Mark Victor, Scott Woldman, Steve Zacharias
Director: Jeff Chamberlain
Writer: Jeff Chaimberlain, Scott Woldman
Actors: Reiley McClendon, Adam Hendershott, Valerie C. Walker, Jordan Chamberlain, Cody Walker, Alexa PenaVega, Saige Thompson, Charan Prabhakar, Jeff Chamberlain, Joseph Batzel, Sierra Taylor

It’s Halloween and Brad wants to bring his friends somewhere special to acknowledge the frightful night. They all get dressed up and head out to a haunted mine.

Selina’s Point of View:
Some movies make you sigh halfway through. Others start out that way. This is one of those others.

About five minutes into the film I knew exactly where the story was going. In fact, there’s an 80’s movie that Abandoned Mine was practically modeled after. That 80’s movie is one of my favorite films, but I can’t say the name of it without revealing the entire plot of this film. Although I wouldn’t exactly recommend this movie to anyone, I still don’t want to give spoilers.

Abandoned Mine didn’t only remind me of that 80’s film I mentioned, it also vaguely reminded me of House of the Dead (2003). Not the video game (which is awesome), but the terrible movie directed by Uwe Boll (Assault on Wall Street, Blubberella, Bloodrayne).

The reason I made that mental connection is because of these flashes of unnecessary footage that blinked into the story line and kept me from getting connected to absolutely anyone. There are times when a flashback, or flash-forward, can really help a movie. I feel like this one suffered for it.

That said, I’ve got nothing good to say about this film. I love Alexa PenaVega (Nashville, The Tomorrow People, Repo! The Genetic Opera), but even she wasn’t at her best.

Cat’s Point of View:
One thing I love about these random movies is that it brings me to films that I might not have otherwise seen. I hadn’t even heard of this one before.

As I was watching, I knew that I recognized the actress that played Sharon from somewhere before. Then it hit me – I’d seen Alexa Vega (Machete Kills, The Clockwork Girl, The Devil's Carnival) in lots of things before, usually in Danny Trejo (Machete Kills, Bad Ass, Muppets Most Wanted) movies. She’s come a long way from Spy Kids (2001).

The beginning of the movie was interesting, with the cut scenes of what might be ‘found footage.’ It sets you up rather well to know that something wonky is going to happen to these teens going into the ‘old haunted mine.’

It piqued my curiosity enough to wonder if the recordings were found at a later time or if someone actually survived to replay them later. Other than that, it’s pretty predictable that something was going to go horribly wrong with this Halloween excursion.

The ending left me with the feeling of ‘oh man, that’s messed up.’ Overall, in the grand scheme of horror movies, it was okay. It’s not one I’d be running to watch again, however.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 20%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 1.9/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score1/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 2/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score 2.5/5

P.S. There’s an extra scene just after the start of the credits.

Movie Trailer:



Monday, July 13, 2015

Beneath the Darkness (2012)


Number Rolled: 93
Movie Name/Year: Beneath the Darkness (2012)
Genre: Thriller
Length: 96 minutes
Rating: R
Production Companies: Raincreek Productions, Sunset Pictures, BTDARK
Executive Producer: Scott Mednick, Bruce Wilkenson, Janie Wilkinson, Jenny Wilkinson
Director: Martin Guigui
Writer: Bruce Wilkinson
Actors: Dennis Quaid, Aimee Teegarden, Tony Oller, Stephen Lunsford, Devon Werkheiser, Brett Cullen, Dahlia Waingort, Conrad Gonzales, Wilbur Penn, Amber Bartlett, David Christopher

Travis is a peculiar high school student. He’s had it rough, though. His sister died when he was younger, and things never quite went back to being normal. When his friends decide to check out the strange town mortician, he goes along for the ride.

Selina’s Point of View:
This was not an example of one of Dennis Quaid’s (Vegas, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, The Day After Tomorrow) best acting performances. He got sufficiently creepy at times, but there was no real connection shown between him and his character. In fact, there seemed to be a disconnect between all the actors and their roles. Nothing was believable.

The beginning of the movie took away the majority of the thrills for the rest of the film. The script was predictable and interchangeable for any TV movie thriller out there. Those Bad Lip Reading guys on YouTube could make this movie more interesting easily.

There was only one reason this film got more than a score of 1 for me.

As strange as it sounds, it was comforting. Not good, no, but the feel of Beneath the Darkness was that of an old 80’s horror/thriller. It had less jump scares, subtle horrors, strange observations… in fact, this movie could have been an instant classic if the writer and director had gone in a different direction. If they had played with the mystery more, engaged the viewer.

Instead, they put together the movie version of a grandparent with dementia. At times comforting, but more often heartbreaking.

Cat’s Point of View:
I’ve been a fan of Dennis Quaid (Movie 43, Legion, Footloose) since seeing him in Enemy Mine (1985) when I was little. I was excited to see what he’d do with the role of Ely, the murderous mortician. The film didn’t keep you waiting for the train to crazyville. Right out of the gate, there’s a glimpse into his malignant broken psyche.

I liked that he was set up as damaged and malicious from the beginning. It added to the sense of dread when he was interacting with others, as the film progressed. When was he going to unhinge again? What was this thing that poor guy at the beginning did to him?

Every town has their ghost stories and creepy citizens. For the small town in this film, it made sense that the two would converge with the mortician that just hasn’t been the same since his wife died. Toss in a liberal dash of ‘meddling kids’ and blend well.

Some of the dialogue between the teen friends felt a little off, but the film did a decent job setting up their dynamic with each other and their individual identities.

I was also happy to see Aimee Teegarden (Prom, Scream 4, Call of the Wild) in this movie. I really enjoyed her in the Starcrossed (2014) TV series, which was cancelled before its time.  She had some really good chemistry with Tony Oller (The Purge, I Flunked Sunday School, Field of Vision).

Quaid’s character was frightening, and there were several scenes that had me on the proverbial edge of my seat. Overall, I enjoyed this movie. I’d watch it again, if I caught it on TV.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 5%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 15%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 2.6/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score1.5/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 3/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score3.5/5

Movie Trailer: (If you intend to watch the movie, don't watch the trailer. It's got all the pay-offs and spoilers in it.)




Thursday, July 9, 2015

Meltdown: Days of Destruction (2006)


Number Rolled: 59
Movie Name/Year: Meltdown: Days of Destruction (2006)
Genre: Sci Fi & Fantasy
Length: 94 minutes
Rating: R
Production Companies: Front Street Pictures, PorchLight Entertainment
Executive Producer: Harvey Kahn
Director: J.P. Howell
Writer: Rick Drew
Actors: Casper Van Dien, Vincent Gale, Stefanie von Pfetten, Venus Terzo, Amanda Crew, Ryan McDonell, Greg Anderson, Bill Dow, Philip Granger, Dee Jay Jackson, Floyd Faircrest

Tom is a cop and a good one at that. When an asteroid knocks Earth off its axis, though, he is faced with more looting and crime than he can manage. The only thing he can do is try and get his family to safety.

Selina’s Point of View:
The Sci-Fi Channel is listed as a distributor for this film, but it’s worth noting that The Asylum is NOT credited in Meltdown: Days of Destruction.

That being said, I only had some issues with this film.

The production value wasn’t bad at all for this kind of film. It’ll never be considered a blockbuster, but for a B-movie the graphics and sets weren’t too bad. The problem was the actual video. It broke in spots. For you people out there who are old like me, you’d recognize it as a VHS tape that’s been overplayed.

Aside from that, the script was a little lackluster and there was less real action than you’d expect in an apocalyptic film.

Story-wise, it was ok. It reminded me of a similar setting to what you see in the second book of The Maze Runner series. There were crazies that reminded me of the cranks, too. It’s a basic trope of this kind of story.

Casper Van Dien (Fire Twister, Sleeping Beauty, Mortal Kombat TV Series) is underrated. He’s definitely my favorite B-movie actor, and the whole reason this film wound up on the list to begin with. Truth is, none of the actors were terrible in Meltdown: Days of Destruction. Sure, the enemies reminded me of acting in 80s action flicks, but I’m a child of the 80s. I totally get it.

This is not a movie I would have watched without this blog in play, but I’m not upset I had to.

Cat’s Point of View:
You never know what to expect when watching one of these Sci-Fi B-movies that tend to run on the SYFY network. I don’t remember seeing this one before, but then I might have just changed the channel.

I just couldn’t seem to suspend disbelief with this one. Not even a little bit.

An asteroid chunk skipping off of the earth’s atmosphere as a result of a botched experiment shoves the earth out of orbit and closer to the sun. Okay, so far that wasn’t horrible – sketchy, maybe. Temperatures across the globe start rising and civilization devolves into chaos in less than a day. Really?

Add to that some teen angst, a love triangle, and ‘your ex con boyfriend isn’t good enough because reasons.’ This movie really tried to take itself seriously, and I just couldn’t.

No one on the ‘good guy team’ got sunburn, while the rest of the population seemed to be blistering. Everyone was wearing heavy long-sleeved clothing, and only showing a modicum of sweat. Even their hair stayed nice.

Cars are exploding but planes at the airport with more volatile fuel were going to be ok? By the end of the movie, I was both glad it was over and wondered what in the world I’d just watched.

I get that this was supposed to be an action thriller, but it both lacked good action or thrills for me. Not even Casper Van Dien (Starship Troopers, Noobz, 500 MPH Storm) could save this one.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 23%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 1.7/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score2/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 1.5/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score1/5

P.S. There are scenes during the credits.

P.P.S. When looking at Casper Van Dien’s IMDB page, The Random Review came across the information that he’s going to be in 16 movies/TV shows in 2015. One of those movies is called Sharktopus vs. Whalewolf. We just felt like sharing that.

Movie Trailer:




Monday, July 6, 2015

RoboCop (2014)

[ We're sorry for the glitch that initially omitted Cat's point of view from this review. It has been rectified ]

Number Rolled: 47
Movie Name/Year: RoboCop (2014)
Genre: Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Length: 117 min
Rating: PG-13
Production Companies: MGM, Columbia Pictures, Strike Entertainment
Executive Producer: Roger Birnbaum, Bill Carraro
Director: Jose Padilha
Writer: Joshua Zetumer, Edward Neumeier, Michael Miner
Actors: Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Abbie Cornish, Jackie Earle Haley, Michael Kenneth Williams, Jennifer Ehle, Jay Baruchel, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Samuel L. Jackson, Aimee Garcia, Douglas Urbanski, John Paul Ruttan, Patrick Garrow, K.C. Collins, Zach Grenier

Alex Murphy is a dedicated cop and family man. After going rogue and trying to bring down a crime boss, he becomes the target of a hit that leaves him broken. When he comes up on the radar of a company designing robots to protect citizens, they find a way to make him whole again.

Selina’s Point of View:
I had some issues with the RoboCop remake.

First, it’s important to note that the original film wasn’t exactly my favorite movie. I understand why it’s popular and I enjoyed parts of it, but I wouldn’t really gasp if someone told me they hadn’t seen it.

Still, I found that the first film was bette, for the most part.

This remake concentrated a lot on the emotions that Murphy and his family go through as he’s turned into RoboCop. It was interesting to see, but there were times when I really missed the constant action of the first film.

I also much preferred the story line in the 1987 version. The villains were eviler, they had more depth and back story. The twist at the end really brought things together. In the 2014 version, the antagonists are more about politics than street crime and don’t get me started on the ending. It’s like the writers tried to force the outcome to be the same without keeping the original story and it wound up feeling rushed and awkward.

The RoboCop remake only came out ahead in graphics and acting.

Graphics was to be expected, there’s a big difference between technology in 1987 and technology in 2014. If the graphics weren’t better there would have been a bigger issue than already mentioned.

Where acting is concerned, it’s difficult to not prefer a film starring Gary Oldman (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Paranoia, The Dark Knight Rises), Michael Keaton (Birdman: Or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance, Noah, The Other Guys), and Samuel L. Jackson (Avengers: Age of Ultron, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Oldboy). I’d watch the three of them bark for an hour as long as they did it together. I’m also a huge fan of Jay Baruchel (Man Seeking Woman, How to Train Your Dragon 2, This is the End). I think he’s underestimated in a lot of ways.

In the end, the RoboCop remake was a clearer, more refined film… but the original had more heart.

Cat’s Point of View:
I tend to have mixed feelings when a movie gets remade. Especially when it’s an iconic movie like RoboCop (1987). However, my curiosity always wins out.

Special effects technology has made leaps of light years, it seems, since the release of the original. I wanted to see how they’d take advantage of those advancements. I wasn’t disappointed.

There was a sense that there was more man in the machine in this version. Once his armor was stripped away, and you got a peek, he felt a bit more vulnerable inside that suit than before.  In the original, you only saw his face as a reminder of the human element within.

I appreciated the handful of tidbits giving a direct nod to the 1987 film. I didn’t feel like much was omitted, thematically speaking; even while giving a new twist to the story to make it more relevant to today’s issues.

It was smart to flip things around a little with a male partner and keeping Murphy’s family in the picture.  They represented a more strong connection to Murphy’s humanity. It was more compelling, and easier to buy into as a result.

The swap up of the political talk show host played by Samuel L. Jackson (Oldboy, Meeting Evil, Big Game) instead of the news anchors was also a nice modernizing touch.

I was surprised that this was a PG-13 movie. They probably could have done a lot more if they had stuck to the R rating.

When it comes down to the test of time, I’m not sure that this one will be remembered as well as the original; but it sure made an enjoyable and valiant effort.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 49%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 50%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 4.1/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score2.5/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 3.7/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score3.5/5

Movie Trailer: