Yes, yes, and yes: it's Tuesday. It's also early. So allow me to be the first to ask: "How's your week going thus far?"
From the SciFiHistory.Net News Desk, I -- for one -- am hoping that it's progressing swimmingly. Mine is doing just fine.
Well, well, well ... what to report for this morning? I can tell you that I spent the better part of yesterday doing a lot of general addition and clean-up to the site. The way I've plotted out my work week in this space is that I try to front-load a great deal of graphic work to Mondays; that way, I'm using my time strategically to attack a good deal of heavy time requirements for upcoming posts, the Daily Citation Pages, etc.. I also try to do a measure of clean-up to the upcoming pages, setting things up for the blog, etc. It's a process, and over the years I've been able to refine it to the point wherein I pretty much have a solid idea of what's in store for the week. Granted, there's so much to do that I'll never get a handle on all of it, but it definitely helps to put as much busywork in on Mondays, leaving me a bit freer the rest of the week to view and write reviews for the library of content on a consistent basis.
But ... what do I have for you, you ask?
Let's get to it ...
Now, don't get me wrong: I'm probably not as fond of them -- generally speaking, I really don't think all that many consumers are -- but I try to avoid harping on them. The entertainment industry is a big business, and its movers and shakers do try to keep a lot of balls in motion. So many ideas are made based on the possibility of profitting from them that I think it's easy for them to short-change a reboot creatively ... and -- sigh -- that happens all too often to my liking.
Seriously, producers: if you're gonna reboot an intellectual property -- especially one as groundbreaking as was the original RoboCop (1987 -- at least have a solid reason to do so. If you don't, then audiences will see through your efforts probably more quickly than you'd expect. They see a 'cash grab' for what it is; and they're less inclined to embrace this new iteration no matter how hard you try to draw it back to the source material.
I look at a motion picture like 2014's RoboCop, and I ask, "Why? Why was this film made? What does it say differently than did the first flick? Why did anyone feel a new version of this story was necessary? What did we gain culturally in the process? And -- more importantly -- what did we lose?" When it's hard to answer any of those simple queries, then it becomes pretty clear that no authentic inspiration was behind it; and the more cynical of us tune out the possibility of any element of it being worthwhile. It becomes a story without relevance. No measure of special effects can distract viewers from this RoboCop's lack of soul, and it failed to inspire.
Sure, it had some modest popcorn appeal. Folks who saw this one -- which premiered on this day back in 2014 -- might've even enjoyed an action sequence or a few laughs here and there. They may even have appreciated a performance or two. But was it necessary? Did it truly add anything of substance to the greater RoboCop mythology? I didn't think so -- not in the slightest -- and I think audiences agreed as this was one overhaul that was a bit sub-par.
Folks, on one level, my disinterest in him in this role truly has little to do with him. As I've mentioned many, many, many times in this space, I grew up reading Batman in the books; so it's a character that's always been near-and-dear to me in ways I probably can't articulate as well as one would think. Whereas other kids my age grew up with a favorite blanket or a favorite toy or some other cherished bauble, I had my time spent in the pages of that immortal comic book. Those adventures transported me elsewhere in days that I really needed to be somewhere else, so seeing any actor step into those shoes and leave a mark on me is really daunting. Frankly, no one will likely ever be up to the challenge, so I don't mean any disrespect to Bale and Christopher Nolan and the other movers and shakers who made some good films but didn't mean anything to me.
I did, however, enjoy Bale's work as John Connor from the Terminator Salvation movie. Yes, yes, and yes: I realize I'm probably one of the only people on Earth who actually enjoyed that film; and what I respected about it is that the story tried to take the central character in a slightly different direction than what audiences expected and, ultimately, wanted. Doing something different isn't always met with acclaim -- especially in a property like The Terminator saga -- but Bale still showed us a man obsessed with trying to change the future even at the risk of his own soul. We're all flawed, and I think a flawed Connor just wasn't something audiences wanted in that time and place.
Regardless, Happy Birthday, Mr. Bale, and here's to many more!
Of course, there's more. In fact, there's a lot more. Hell, I've even found more just this morning that I have to add. I'll never get to adding everything I've collected -- ah, life is short, folks, so make sure you enjoy it along the way -- but that won't stop me from trying.
As always, thanks for reading ... thanks for sharing ... thanks for being a fan ... and live long and prosper!