CAST: JOEL KINNAMAN, GARY OLDMAN, MICHAEL KEATON, ABBIE CORNISH
DIRECTOR: JOSE PADILHA
In ‘RoboCop’, the year is 2028 and multinational conglomerate OmniCorp is at the center of robot technology. Overseas, their drones have been used by the military for years, but have been forbidden for law enforcement in America. Now OmniCorp wants to bring their controversial technology to the home front, and they see a golden opportunity to do it. When Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) – a loving husband, father and a good cop doing his best to stem the tide of crime and corruption in Detroit – is critically injured, OmniCorp sees their chance to build a part-man, part-robot police officer. OmniCorp envisions a RoboCop in every city and even more billions for their shareholders, but they never counted on one thing: there is still a man inside the machine.
The film is a reimagining of the 1980s cult classic. “Back in the 1980s, the idea of a half-man, half-robot could only take place in the far future. But it’s actually happening now,” says director José Padilha.“From prosthetics to drones to self-driving cars, this idea is becoming part of everybody’s life. It’s raising a lot of legal and ethical issues that we’re all dealing with. And Alex Murphy embodies all of those questions – what happens when you put the man inside the machine?”
For OmniCorp, Murphy represents a tremendous opportunity. “He’s a product they want to sell,” Padilha explains. “He’s a prototype. He’s been developed, just like a soda company might develop a new bottle: they’re trying to find the ideal design for a robot to sell to police departments. It’s potentially billions of dollars for the company, so they’re willing to cut a few ethical corners to get there. But they forgot something – inside the product, there is a man; it’s not just a suit, it’s a human being. They set up this invention that they think they can control, but they pick the wrong guy. They pick somebody too good, a guy determined to use his new powers for justice.”
“OmniCorp’s idea is that they need a man inside the machine, a man who makes the decisions so the corporation won’t be held liable if something goes wrong,” says Kinnaman, star of the television series ‘The Killing’, who plays Murphy. “They leave his emotions intact in social situations, but when facing a threat or when a crime is committed, the computer takes over. When they realize his emotions make the system vulnerable, they completely shut them off. But when Alex comes in contact with his family, his emotions find a way back and override the computer system. He starts making his own decisions again.”
Kinnaman says he was attracted to play the role of Alex Murphy after meeting with Padilha. “José described his vision – his philosophical and political ideas that could fit inside the concept of ‘RoboCop’,” says Kinnaman. “You could use that concept to talk about a lot of other interesting things. He wanted to make a fun action movie that discusses philosophical dilemmas that we will face in the very near future. And I wanted to be a part of that.”
FILM: ROMEO & JULIET
CAST: Hailee Steinfeld, Douglas Booth, ED WESTWICK, CHRISTIAN COOKE, PAUL GIAMATTI, KODI SMIT-MCPHEE, LESLEY MANVILLE, TOMAS ARANA, LAURA MORANTE, DAMIAN LEWIS, NATASCHA McELHONE, TOM WISDOM, STELLAN SKARSGÅRD
DIRECTOR: CARLO CARLEI
The families of Montague and Capulet use any excuse to publicly fight in the streets of Verona, drawing a strict rebuke from the Prince (Stellan Skarsgård). But young Romeo (Douglas Booth) of the Montagues is not interested – he is far too in love with Rosaline, a cousin to the Capulets, a romance which his cousin Benvolio (Kodi Smit-McPhee) urges him not to pursue.
But that night, there is to be a masked celebration at the Capulet estate, and Romeo manages to secure an invitation. The Capulet household prepares for the event, where Lord and Lady Capulet (Damian Lewis, Natascha McElhone) hope that their daughter Juliet (Hailee Steinfeld) will accept the advances of young Count Paris (Tom Wisdom).
A free spirit little interested in romance, Juliet seems more interested in bantering with her nurse (Lesley Manville) than listening to her parents.
At the ball, Romeo instantly forgets his feelings for Rosaline when he spies Juliet; she is likewise struck dumb when she sees Romeo. They dance briefly, noted by Juliet’s cousin Tybalt (Ed Westwick), who is told by Lord Capulet to let them be and not start trouble. Later, Romeo and Juliet are dismayed to learn that their new loves are of the rival family; undaunted, Romeo spies Juliet on her balcony and boldly declares his love for her.
With the help of Friar Laurence (Paul Giamatti), Romeo tries to conspire a way to pursue Juliet without incurring the wrath of his family, while Juliet relies on her nurse to discreetly deliver messages to her love.
But the bad blood between the two families is too strong: in a street duel, an angry Tybalt slays Romeo’s beloved kinsman Mercutio (Christian Cooke). Romeo, his passions unchecked, then kills Tybalt. Hoping to put an end to the blood feud, the Prince banishes Romeo from Verona – but this is worse than death, because he will forever be separated from Juliet. As the lovers grow more desperate, Friar Laurence attempts to hatch a plan that will allow them to be together forever – but will their boldness and bravery in love result in eternal happiness or tragedy?
“For me, ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is an exploration of what it is to be in love for the first time. It is a timeless story, and it has never been equalled in any language,” says screenwriter Julian Fellowes, perhaps best known for his work on the popular TV series ‘Downton Abbey’.
“When a new telling of the story of the doomed lovers was suggested, I knew at once that I wanted to be involved in the next interpretation of this most iconic of plays. Of course it is a bold thing to attempt, to reinterpret Shakespeare, and there are no doubt many who disagree with us for even trying. I can’t say I blame them. It’s hard to think of another title, even among the works of the great bard, which triggers the response that, worldwide, greets the three words: ‘Romeo and Juliet’.
Producer Ileen Maisel and Fellowes wanted to give the modern audience a traditional, romantic version of the story, complete with medieval costumes, balconies, and duels, but they also wanted to make it immediate and accessible and new. “Right from the start, we wanted Carlo Carlei at the helm, because he’s as much a painter with film as a film director,” mentions Fellowes.
“He creates extraordinary and ravishing visual images, but he also pays close attention to the emotional narrative. As for the language, we were determined not to exclude that same young audience, those same young men and women whose discovery of love, a discovery which is new for every generation, is being examined here. This was our constant refrain as we prepared the screenplay.”