It's Valentine's Day, the perfect time to stay home and watch movies with the love of your life (or this week) while everyone else fights for dinner reservations. Romantic movies are often formulaic garbage but there are a few good ones out there — Groundhog Day rules because everyone loves Bill Murray and it's also one of the most original flicks made in the last 30 years. Say Anything is another classic from the 80s and features John Cusack at his finest. Even older, back when love meant something, 1967's Bonnie and Clyde is the perfect road trip, bank-robbing romance and as far as contemporary films, 500 Days of Summer is a powerhouse.
Not much really happening in the theatres this week but FOX News accused The LEGO Movie of being "anti-capitalist," claiming the film is "pushing an anti-business message to our kids."
Which it totally does... kinda. Yes, the bad guy is called "Lord Business" and everything from over-priced coffee to academic think tanks are lampooned as the LEGO proletariat protagonist navigates his way towards a social and spiritual revolution. The problem with FOX's logic though, is that the entire film is really just a commercial for LEGO (albeit mixed with a great message of how to play with it creatively) and for an anti-capitalist statement it's sure making shitloads of money for a company worth billions.
It's not capitalists and businessmen The LEGO Movie is taking shots at, it's the kind of people so paranoid of losing any semblance of control that they feel threatened by things like creativity and adventure. The LEGO Movie is against anyone who lives by the rulebook and refuses to play outside the lines. It's a movie full of blocks but it's really anti-square.
Speaking of sticking it to the man, the Robocop remake is also playing this week. The original R-rated 1987 film was directed by Paul Verhoeven (Total Recall, Basic Instinct) and depicted a bleak near-future saddled with corrupt authoritarian leaders using a privatized mechanical military to push some kind of dark corporate agenda.
And now here we are! Even the Canadian government spies on its own citizens these days and down south your cell phone's "metadata" might be all that stands between you and an surprise aerial drone strike. Set against a reality that was satire only 27 years ago, this new Robocop is a loose adaptation of the original but aims to paint a larger picture of western civilization on the brink.
Step one in the wrong direction however is a PG rating. Nudity is replaced with ultraviolence — sending the message that bare breasts are terrible for children's development but watching dozens of people get shot is totally fine.
Brazillian director José Padilha (Bus 174) foregoes any of the humour of the original film and ups the stakes with an even more corrupt military-industrial complex intent on using unmanned drones to police home soil. On one level this Robocop, like the last one, is a warning about the dangers of letting others handle your personal safety. On the other, it's a giant bang-crash shoot-em-up that never quite gets there. There's some romance though, Robocop has a very loving wife.
If you want the corny romance flick, Endless Love opens Thursday. Lots of people love these movies the same way I love stuff like Zombeavers. Whatever floats your boat right? Happy Valentine's Day.