Tag Archives: dystopia

Shoot Me Twice: Robocop

by Dan Fields

Shoot Me Twice by Fields Point Review dissects the 1987 and 2014 versions of Robocop

Part man. Part machine. All cop. There’s your tagline, and what better introduction to the original and remade versions of the iconic RoboCop?

RoboCop (1987)
directed by Paul Verhoeven

Peter Weller as Paul Verhoeven's RoboCop brings law to a city in chaos
Alex Murphy, a.k.a. RoboCop (Peter Weller) saves Detroit with tough, blood-soaked love.
© 1987 Orion Pictures

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Movie Review: The Purge

by Dan Fields

James DeMonaco satirizes American violence culture in his thriller The Purge
© 2013 Universal Pictures

Oh, Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood?

You will be pleased to know that by 2022, America has been fixed. Violent crime is nearly nonexistent, as is unemployment. The economy is back on a boom. A governing body called the New Founding Fathers – never fully described, but evidently a successful compromise between radical high church and totalitarian state – has issued a directive under which once a year, for a twelve-hour period, virtually no act is illegal. By allowing those so inclined to commit any theft, murder, torture or other atrocity upon fellow citizens during this period, “The Purge” dispenses with the stress, rage and violent tendencies of the entire nation in a single night.

As dystopian high concepts go, this is an especially promising one. It allows for a polarized society in which half the population spend the year preparing defenses, and the other half build deadly arsenals with the same eagerness as those who devote months to making the perfect Halloween costume. It operates on the chilling notion that you are never completely safe, even from those you think you know best. It sets the stage for a moral wrestling match between the common good and the indulgence of humanity’s darkest, sickest parts.

Variations on the key themes of The Purge have already worked for films as diverse as Soylent Green, They Live, Battle Royale, The Hunger Games, The Running Man, and Series 7: The Contenders. Failing to break new ground is not a sin to be counted against The Purge. However, its scope is so narrow, and its message so shrill and forced, that it cannot measure up to its potential as a landmark thriller. Continue reading

Blu-Ray Review: The Dark Knight Rises

by Dan Fields
First published December 10, 2012 by the California Literary Review
Batman faces Bane in the Dark Knight Rises

© 2012 Warner Brothers/DC Comics
Photo by Ron Phillips

This year, the latest chapter of an enduring legend bids us farewell. Christopher Nolan, whose unexpected helming of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight helped boost him as a filmmaking force, brought his vivid interpretation of the Caped Crusader to a stunning conclusion. Though occasionally problematic in many of the same ways at its predecessors, The Dark Knight Rises achieves new levels of excitement and emotional satisfaction as it brings its legend full circle. Continue reading