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Movies

DIRECTIVE 4: (CLASSIFIED)

Tonight I watched ROBOCOP for the first time in about 10 years…

Tonight I watched ROBOCOP for the first time in about 10 years.

I have three observations about the experience:

First, I didn’t think it was possible that I could have any lower of an opinion of Paul Verhoeven’s directorial abilities than I already had. I was wrong. When I first saw this movie those however many years ago, I didn’t realize how corny it was. (I was just a teenager who thought robots were friggin cool.) But watching it now, I spent most of the time laughing. They let this guy direct movies after this? Well, they got SHOWGIRLS and HOLLOW MAN out of it, so I guess they got what they deserved. (HOLLOW MAN is the worst movie of all time, IMHO.)

Second, it’s hard to take a villian seriously anymore when he’s played by Kurtwood Smith. I love the guy, and I think he’s a cool actor, but he’s now forever set in my mind as Red Forman on “That ’70s Show.” I just kept waiting for him to call Murphy a “dumbass.”

Third, I hadn’t noticed that it was filmed in Dallas. It’s set in Detroit, but apparently, their skyline wasn’t cool enough. I grew up in the DFW area, but just never noticed this before now. (When I was a kid I was too busy looking at the cool robots.) But this time around I noticed that there was a building in the background that looked remarkably similar to the Trammell Crow Center. I just shrugged it off to similar architecture until the final showdown in the OCP Headquarters (which looks remarkably like Dallas City Hall). Out the window of the board room you get a great view of Fountain Place, a building I worked in for nearly three years. (My view from the 22nd floor was pretty sweet.) So there’s your film history lesson for the day.