Tag Archives: Michael Keaton

Spotlight Movie Review & Film Summary

At a time when newspapers are closing, and print readerships are down, Spotlight couldn’t have arrived at a more pivotal time. The new film from director Thomas McCarthy is truly a love-letter to the art of journalism. It doesn’t glamorize the job or what these journalists did; it just illustrates how they did their jobs—to investigate and to report. It shows all of the lengthy footwork that is among the process of an investigative reporter’s job. Most importantly the film, which is based on a true story, shows just how important journalism is.

Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Brian d'Arcy James, Michael Keaton, and John Slattery in Spotlight

Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Brian d’Arcy James, Michael Keaton, and John Slattery in Spotlight

Spotlight follows the oldest continuously operating newspaper investigative unit in America, The Boston Globe’s “Spotlight” team. The team consisted of Walter “Robby” Robinson (Michael Keaton), Michael Rezendes (Mark Ruffalo), Sacha Pfeiffer (Rachel McAdams), Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber), Ben Bradlee Jr. (John Slattery), and Matt Carroll (Brian d’Arcy James). The focus of the movie is on the team’s coverage of the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic archdiocese of Boston, Massachusetts. The “Spotlight” team brought the filthy secret of sexually abused minors by the church to the national limelight. The coverage earned The Globe the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

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RoboCop (2014)

In 1987, Hollywood introduced an action icon. An icon that is still, to this day, loved and referenced. This icon was part man, part machine, but all cop­­­­­­­­­–Robocop. RoboCop (1987) shook the world spawning multiple sequels, a television series, video games, and even comic books. This action icon has become a face for the action genre of the eighties, and an icon from the eighties altogether. Now, nearly 27 years after the initial film’s release, director José Padilha brings Robocop back to the big screen for a remake.

Joel Kinnaman in RoboCop (2014)

Joel Kinnaman in RoboCop (2014)

After Officer Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) is nearly killed by a car explosion, a company named OmniCorp decides Alex is the perfect candidate for their new experiment. OmniCorp’s CEO Raymond Sellars (Michael Keaton), with the help of his scientist Dr. Norton (Gary Oldman), turn Alex into part man and part machine making the ideal robot-cop. Now, Alex must come to terms with the fact his body is now part machine and finally catch the man who did this to him.

RoboCop will most likely fail the fans from the original film, but unfortunately it will probably disappoint new fans alike. This sci-fi, action film already carries a heavy burden of trying to compete with the 1987 classic, but it feels the 2014 remake didn’t think it need much more than the title to make a successful movie. They were wrong.

RoboCop biggest flaw is the film’s engagement with the audience. As the near two hours passed by, not once did I feel engaged in the movie.  I had no connection to the events or characters on screen whatsoever. . I could care less about Alex Murphy or his family; I wasn’t emotionally invested one bit.   First, Kinnamnan’s performance wasn’t very impressive and the story didn’t help make him interesting. What RoboCop did do successfully was make an action icon boring. Padilha’s latest film made one of the most fun, entertaining, and respected action heroes a drag. Even while RoboCop had shoot outs with other bots or murderers, I found myself checking my watch. I think a major problem with this 2014 film was that the original pushed the envelope and was pretty intense with its violence and action. This movie, however, didn’t really push anything at all…except my patience.  Opposite of this eighties remake, Dredd (2012) comes mind. Dredd (2012) was an enjoyable experience that brought a touch of the eighties into a modern picture. Its characters weren’t very deep, but I at least was interested in the title character. RoboCop, on the other hand, takes a character of gold and does absolutely nothing with him…except change his color.

The one redeeming factor this film did offer was actually a performance. Surprisingly, it wasn’t the special effects. Actually at times, the effects were campy and cheap but that was the least of this film’s problems.  The only real saving grace of RoboCop was the performance by Gary Oldman who portrays Dr. Norton.  He was the only thing I cared about in the entirety of this picture. Oldman’s performance isn’t extraordinary, but compared to everything else on screen it seemed spectacular. Oldman brings emotions as he tries to be a moral compass for the film. There are moments when Oldman‘s character tries to level with Alex or explain to him a situation and his words have actual meaning, unlike the rest of the dialogue in the picture. If it wasn’t for Oldman the plug on this robot should have been pulled a long time ago.

RoboCop is just like a robot itself. It’s cold, hollow, and emotionless. For this remake, “I wouldn’t buy that for a dollar.”

1 out 4 stars

-By Jacob R. Tiranno

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