The Distant Future

Boy, we’re just cranking out bonus episodes of Someone Else’s Movie this summer, aren’t we? And today’s is short but especially sweet, with actor, musician, writer, director and producer Jemaine Clement zooming in from New Zealand to discuss the lasting personal impact of Paul Verhoeven’s RoboCop.

We didn’t have much time, so this is less of a deep dive than a sprint — although somehow Jemaine also manages to get the Indiana Jones movies in there — but as with Paul Scheer’s episode on Bowfinger, when a guest is passionate enough about a movie you can cover a lot of ground pretty quickly.

Go listen! Subscribe on Apple PodcastsGoogle Play and Stitcher and get it immediately, or download the episode directly from the web.

And then feel free to catch up on my NOW reviews of HBO’s Lovecraft Country (terrific), Netflix’ Project Power (decent) and the new Russell Crowe thriller Unhinged (meh). And of course there’s our weekly review digest and VOD calendar.

Oh, and don’t miss the new episode of NOW What, in which I explore the world of competitive gaming with Marissa Roberto from TSN and John Lucas from I don’t think I disgraced myself, anyway.

2 thoughts on “The Distant Future”

  1. “There will be critics who try very hard to find rich undercurrents of commentary about white male rage and entitlement in Unhinged…”

    Your review left me pondering whether which role is cast with the biggest name is meant to impact which character the audience is supposed to sympathize with, or at least try to understand. If the lead in this movie was Sandra Bullock or Halle Berry, for example, would critics then be looking thematically for female empowerment and survival. Many, many years ago, I remember watching Siskel and Ebert (*sniff*) discussing the then new trend of slasher movies having shots from the killer’s POV, thus encouraging the audience’s identification with the killer rather than the victims, so the framing of shots having that sort of impact. Is Unhinged’s casting meant to impact who the audience roots for or at least excuse or explain his actions? Coincidentally, I just Netflix’d Doom last night (don’t judge…needed something mindless) and the fact that Dwayne Johnson ended up being a follow-even-immoral-orders kind of bad guy was set up as kind of a surprise, with his character even saying, “I wasn’t supposed to die…”, leaving Karl Urban to be the hero.

    I realize this is all pretty basic stuff for a critic or film student, but I’m a layperson who just watches stuff and sometimes ponders the choices made in making movies.

    And I’m definitely old enough to remember Duel from its original TV showing. Definitive movie of this type. Completely pared-down to the essentials. Never been topped, IMO.

    1. Yeah, I thought about this: UNHINGED wants us to empathize with Caren Pistorius’ character … but the movie also knows Crowe is the more volatile and interesting presence, and really leans into it by giving The Man additional screen time; once we get to the second act, he’s practically a co-lead.

      Having Dwayne Johnson turn out to be the villain of DOOM was definitely supposed to be a surprise twist, since he’s set up as an antagonistic comrade to Urban’s protagonist. (I kinda liked that at the time, to be honest.)

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