Green Room

Robocop star: Obama is “Bush on steroids”

posted at 11:16 am on February 7, 2014 by

I was planning on avoiding the Robocop reboot, but I may end up changing my mind. I didn’t realize that Gary Oldman and Michael Keaton would be in supporting roles, both with serious Batman cred, although in two different incarnations. Keaton plays the head of OCP, while Oldman has a more critical role as the scientist behind the suit, who’s conflicted about his selling out to OCP, it seems.

Oldman talked with Ryan Lambe of Den of Geek about the film, and about its applicability to current events:

Do you feel the themes in the script chime with your own world view? Because it has quite a dystopian view of the present in the way it relates to current events.

Yeah. It’s as if we’ve… with the original, it was a kind of fantasy about a future, that as you watch it as a viewer, it’s sci-fi. This one, I think you watch it and it’s science fact – you watch it and it looks recognisable. I think the debate of security and safety versus liberty, and how, in the name of security, liberty has been encroached upon… drones is a big argument at the moment, and how they’re saying troops on the ground will be robotic troops at some point.

Freedom of choice. The cynicism of the media. He’s sort of touched on all of this. And in many ways, there’s also the question of the soul versus machine – is it morally and ethically right? Just because you can do it, should you do it? All those questions are important. It’s a political film wrapped up in a [sci-fi story].

I mean, if this was a political movie, but Paul Greengrass was doing it, it would hold up, wouldn’t it? So it’s got a lot going for it.

Do you think it holds up against the first one?

I think it dares to be its own thing. It does similar things to the original, because that looked at how the media represented real-world events, and the role of the police, corporations – as a corporate satire, it was really brilliant. The remake explores those themes in a different, modern way.

Yeah. I like the touch of the inside marketing. “Let’s make him look like a Transformer – the kids want him to look like a Transformer. What do you think? Shall we go for the silver suit or the black suit?” Even the candidates!

It’s a PR campaign, essentially, isn’t it? He’s a puppet.

Yeah, yeah. That idea of, “No, I’m going to give them a man inside a machine. That’s what the public wants.” And the more you find out, the more… I live in America at the moment, in California. But you look at American politics at the moment, and it’s one mess after another, one scandal after another. I mean, it’s falling around him. The empire is crumbling.

You mean it’s crumbling around Barack Obama?

Right, yeah. And you’ve got footage of him speaking in 2008 and 2009 talking about Bush, and how against the Executive Order he is, and how everything was going to be transparent, and now he’s doing the same thing but on steroids. It’s Bush on steroids.

I saw the movie – I’ve only seen this version of RoboCop once – but I thought, “My God, this is the world we’re living in.” I could turn on the regular TV and see this.

I may just make room on my scorecard for this, after all.

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Here’s a Robocop statue update for those keeping score at home.

Flange on February 7, 2014 at 11:23 AM

Anyone else smell an audit coming?

The Oven on February 7, 2014 at 11:26 AM

Oldman may grasp that Obama has done everything he accused Bush of doing to a greater extreme, but apparently the people who wrote and directed the remake want audiences to think it’s still 2008, and Bush and his minions at Fox News are running everything.

jon1979 on February 7, 2014 at 11:27 AM

A movie I went to a few weeks ago had the trailer for Robocop in the previews. After it ended, the mostly full theater erupted in laughter.

Possibly a Redbox rental…nothing more.

Left Coast Right Mind on February 7, 2014 at 11:30 AM

True Dat!!!!

Brock Robamney on February 7, 2014 at 11:36 AM

Dispite the PG-13 rating, this looks better than the Total Recall reboot.

BigGator5 on February 7, 2014 at 11:40 AM

I always thought he was an outstanding actor. Haven’t really seen him in a poor performance. It’s nice to know he’s got a tad of libertarian in him, given where he comes from. Here’s hoping that grows.

BKeyser on February 7, 2014 at 11:54 AM

It’s a PG-13 Dystopian Detroit. How dos that work? It doesn’t.

Gary Oldman is a conservative actor, he’s one of the few, but why he and Keaton did this movie is beyond me. The script may joke about inside marketing and focus groups, but that is exactly what made this remake possible.

I already suffered through Elysium’s heave handed preaching, I don’t need to see another futuristic “political movie” which forsakes good storytelling for a political message. Especially not a watered down remake.

Daemonocracy on February 7, 2014 at 11:54 AM

Movie looks pretty crazy to me, and the makers seem to think Bush is still in office and wanna have metaphors about that so I will pass. Good to know Old man isn’t a brain dead lib, though.

Jack_Burton on February 7, 2014 at 11:58 AM

Oldman, a Republican, is fuming about editing cuts made to The Contender, which he alleges were made due to the studio’s Democratic leanings. In the new issue of Premiere magazine, Oldman and his manager, Douglas Urbanski, accuse DreamWorks honchos Steven Spielberg, David Geffen, and Jeffrey Katzenberg — all Democrats — of turning the political drama upside down to make it mesh with their pro-Al Gore agendas.

http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/story?id=114658

crowhop on February 7, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Good for Gary Oldman, calling the hypocrisy of so many in Hollywood who spent 2001-2009 warning of Bush’s Fourth Reich, but have no problem with Obama’s own “flexible” use of executive power

Dr.B on February 7, 2014 at 12:29 PM

Oldman is a rightward leaning guy. There is an old story about his role in the movie “The Contender” where he was quoted as saying when he read the part he thought of his character as the hero of the story. Thre rightious one. He was miffed when he actually saw the pictures because it was edited to make him into the villan.

Critic2029 on February 7, 2014 at 12:47 PM

I’d buy that for a dollar

gwelf on February 7, 2014 at 1:35 PM

I also found it hilarious that Benedict Cumberbatch talked about how Star Trek: Into Darkness was a criticism of Bush but if you’ve actually seen the movie is a much sharper criticism of Obama’s policies and actions.

gwelf on February 7, 2014 at 1:37 PM

I just wish that Hollywood Liberals would just stfu about their damn mouths about their political agenda & just make movies & t.v. shows without having to inject their radical liberal agenda. I remember back in the late 70′s / 80′s and 90′s where none of this ever happened that is until George W. Bush got elected & then all the far left libs came out the woodwork. Just found that one of my favorite celebs (Stephen Amell from “Arrow”) is now a big supporter of “gay rights” (aka – the radical gay agenda).Now I’m not sure if I want to meet him next month at the Emerald City Comi-Con. Why do Hollywood celebrities have to inject their beliefs on those of us who oppose them? Don’t they realize that their offending their fans who are conservative like me & don’t they realize that most of the country is Conservative?

RightWingConservative on February 7, 2014 at 1:41 PM

RightWingConservative on February 7, 2014 at 1:41 PM

Dude, when you work in the industry, you are only 1-2 degrees separated from LGB people all day.

So it may not be your co-star, but it’s your manager. Or the head writer. Or the exec producer. Or half of them.

So don’t blame Amell for being a twit. If he said otherwise, his career is ovah the minute Arrow drops in ratings.

budfox on February 7, 2014 at 2:03 PM

As for Oldman, he’s preaching what the director, and IIRC, the guy playing Robocop said previously and have gotten hammered for it.

I remember the director going after Barry on a number of issues, especially drones. He had to walk it back since they were only in pre-production. If he didn’t, it was an unspoken fact that they would go into delay and fire him a few months later. This was around the time Rand filibustered, I think.

budfox on February 7, 2014 at 2:07 PM

I also found it hilarious that Benedict Cumberbatch talked about how Star Trek: Into Darkness was a criticism of Bush but if you’ve actually seen the movie is a much sharper criticism of Obama’s policies and actions.

gwelf on February 7, 2014 at 1:37 PM

One of the screenwriters(I think that hack Roberto Orci)is a 9/11 truther. Star Trek Into Darkness does have some blatant 9/11 imagery and it winds up being a member of Starfleet who’s behind the whole thing in the end. So maybe that’s what Sherlock/Khan was referring to.

As for Oldman, he reportedly is a conservative guy. I was shocked when I heard that back in 2000 since he was essentially playing the bad guy in The Contender and his character was a right-wing Republican. But considering Oldman’s business partner/manager is Doug Urbanski who’s a conservative and frequent Rush guest host, it looks like that’s the case.

I’ve got free movie cash for RoboCop that came with the Blu-ray 4K remaster of the original(which looks fantastic, BTW), so I’ll give it a look. Plus it does have a good cast. Oldman, Keaton, Sam Jackson, Jackie Earle Haley, and Joel Kinnaman(by far the best thing about the US version of The Killing).

Doughboy on February 7, 2014 at 2:57 PM

One of the screenwriters(I think that hack Roberto Orci)is a 9/11 truther. Star Trek Into Darkness does have some blatant 9/11 imagery and it winds up being a member of Starfleet who’s behind the whole thing in the end. So maybe that’s what Sherlock/Khan was referring to.

As for Oldman, he reportedly is a conservative guy. I was shocked when I heard that back in 2000 since he was essentially playing the bad guy in The Contender and his character was a right-wing Republican. But considering Oldman’s business partner/manager is Doug Urbanski who’s a conservative and frequent Rush guest host, it looks like that’s the case.

I’ve got free movie cash for RoboCop that came with the Blu-ray 4K remaster of the original(which looks fantastic, BTW), so I’ll give it a look. Plus it does have a good cast. Oldman, Keaton, Sam Jackson, Jackie Earle Haley, and Joel Kinnaman(by far the best thing about the US version of The Killing).

Doughboy on February 7, 2014 at 2:57 PM

Good point about the “enemy from within”.
But I found it interesting that the bad guy could in many ways make a better analog for Obama than Bush – particularly Obama’s drone warfare and some of the major plot points (sending the Enterprise to nuke Khan from afar and killing Khan’s people at the same time).

And the big moral dilemma that Spock brings up to Kirk – you can’t just kill Khan without a trial etc. Exactly analogous to Obama drone strikes in Yemen and other parts of the world.

gwelf on February 7, 2014 at 3:09 PM

Robert Orci is a 9/11 truther? Seriously?

RightWingConservative on February 7, 2014 at 3:46 PM

@budfox –

‘Arrow’ Star Stephen Amell Speaks Out For Marriage Equality
Posted: 03/27/2013 12:48 pm EDT

The actor posted a message to more than 85,000 fans on his official Facebook page in support of gay rights and urged the Supreme Court to rule in favor of marriage equality.

The message:
Take it from someone who was married on a beach, by his buddy — who got ordained online!! — in a legally binding ceremony: Marriage — and all the benefits that come with it — should be available to everybody. Some of the most loving, powerful relationships I’ve witnessed have been same-sex couples. And god knows their houses are always spectacularly decorated and terrific smelling. (Seriously. I get jealous.)
Here’s hoping the Supreme Court does the right thing. Equal rights for all.

Even TV superheroes are for marriage equality.

Amell stars as the vigilante hero in The CW’s “Arrow,” which is based on DC Comics’ character Green Arrow. It’s one of the few hits to come out of the 2012-2013 season and will return for Season 2 in the fall of 2013. New episodes air Wednesdays, 8 p.m. ET on The CW.

RightWingConservative on February 7, 2014 at 3:56 PM

also this was well –

Arrow’s Stephen Amell Feels Winter Olympics ‘Marred by Homophobia’

Russia must have been hoping the Sochi Olympics would be as much a celebration of their country as the London Olympics were for the UK. However it’s become an increasingly controversial event, marred the country’s increasingly homophobic laws, the government seemingly turning a blind eye to neo-Nazi groups attacking LGBT people and mixed messages over whether gay people would even be safe attending the games.
The homophobic atmosphere has caused many to speak out, including Arrow star Stephen Amell (who spent much of his early career playing gay roles). He took to Facebook to answer questions about his shows scheduling, saying Arrow is on a ‘mini hiatus so people can grit their teeth and suffer through an Olympic games marred by homophobia and mediocre levels of public interest.’
He later continued ‘Follow up point — Good luck to all the athletes who have worked so hard for so many years and essentially geared their entire life around this opportunity. Hopefully, a lot of them will use their success and a public platform to remind everybody this isn’t the stone age.’
It’s not the first time the hunky star has used Facebook to speak up for gay rights, such as during the US Supreme Court case over The Defence Of Marriage Act, when he said, “[m]arriage should be available to everybody. Some of the most loving, powerful relationships I’ve witnessed have been same-sex couples…Equal rights for all.”

RightWingConservative on February 7, 2014 at 3:58 PM

To be fair, Joel Kinneman is the star of the new Robocop.
(He is amazing in the series: The Killing).

Don’t care what any actor has to say about politics.

SmallGovtGuy on February 7, 2014 at 4:03 PM

Bush is a Communist?

Mimzey on February 7, 2014 at 4:24 PM

Bush really ramped up the role of the unitary executive. And Bush philosophically speaking is very close to Obama with a few exceptions.

Pitchforker on February 7, 2014 at 4:43 PM

I always thought he was an outstanding actor. Haven’t really seen him in a poor performance. It’s nice to know he’s got a tad of libertarian in him, given where he comes from. Here’s hoping that grows.

BKeyser on February 7, 2014 at 11:54 AM

Oldman just plain delivers in film after film.

roy_batty on February 7, 2014 at 4:55 PM

Just found that one of my favorite celebs (Stephen Amell from “Arrow”) is now a big supporter of “gay rights”…Why do Hollywood celebrities have to inject their beliefs on those of us who oppose them?

He may not be innately a supporter of redefining marriage. But from his actions, and from the actions of many other people like him, he fears the far left than he does people like you.

For all those who say conservatives are too pure in their politics, understand that the very pure and the very few on the left are driving most of this agenda. Most people wouldn’t give a crap about enfranchising same sex marriage.

FrankT on February 8, 2014 at 1:03 AM