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HUNDU THE BEAST GOD
Sep 14, 2007

everything is yours


I just like that it was posted the day after this film came out, speaking to the exact premise of the film. He even cites Jackie Earle Haley's android handler. I do buy the more likely idea that it's just funding an engineer's pet project about quadruped stability and locomotion, and that DOD knows how to waste money like nobody's business. At the same time, though, the anthropomorphism is the point. There's no real reason to make a war robot resemble a living thing except to make it "friendlier".

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DeimosRising
Oct 17, 2005

íHola SEA!


HUNDU THE BEAST GOD posted:

I just like that it was posted the day after this film came out, speaking to the exact premise of the film. He even cites Jackie Earle Haley's android handler. I do buy the more likely idea that it's just funding an engineer's pet project about quadruped stability and locomotion, and that DOD knows how to waste money like nobody's business. At the same time, though, the anthropomorphism is the point. There's no real reason to make a war robot resemble a living thing except to make it "friendlier".

I think Dolan recognizes, and kind of says, that it's mostly a case of the DoD wasting money, but that's boring. Of course they waste money. What's interesting is what they're wasting it on; they know it probably won't go anywhere, but if it does, great. It's less "the US military is building anthropomorphic (or...caninomorphic, whatever) robots to colonize the Earth" than "if the US military could build anthropomorphic robots to colonize the Earth they totally would and they're not even ashamed of it."

Elite
Oct 30, 2010


vseslav.botkin posted:

I think the film is making a different argument: drones aren't bad because they're inefficient or flawed; drones are bad because they provide the opportunity for powerful actors to project force -- and suppress and abuse populations -- without consequence, or even awareness.

That's a good criticism of drones but I don't think the film ever makes that point. We don't see abuses of power and the only time we see unaccountable force projection is in Tehran which doesn't seem that much different from soldiers and tanks doing the same job. Outside Tehran the only machine we really see in action is Robocop who is subject to constant monitoring and can be shut down at a moment's notice. Robocop does become a loose cannon but he's still accountable for his actions and he still faces their consequences.

An evil and independent Robocop might be able to suppress and abuse populations with impunity, but the film doesn't really explore that idea. Replacing the police with a private army of armed drones could cause all kinds of corruption and injustice, but the film doesn't get far enough to examine that either. Omnicorp doesn't even use Robocop's policework to advance their own corporate interests and presumably they could have done that just by prioritizing which crimes he should investigate.

The film carries an anti-drone message but the drones it shows never make mistakes and never abuse power... all whilst being more capable, more reliable and more upstanding than the actual police. Compare drones with the 5 police officers we see in detail - 3 are corrupt (including the police chief), 1 gets critically wounded on two separate occassions and the last one dies to be reborn as Robocop. Another point is that whilst drones are undoubtedly mindless slaves the same could also be said of most of Omnicorp's security guards in the way they unquestioningly follow even the most terrible orders.

vseslav.botkin posted:

It's also important to remember who is ultimately calling the shots: Dennet comes up with the idea, but Sellars is the one who decides virtual enslavement is the best way forward. Removing yourself from responsibility by pushing unethical decisions onto employees and subordinates is one of the greatest luxuries of power, and can be seen as another manifestation of the ideology underlying drone warfare.

To me it didn't seem like Sellars was demanding evil things then pushing the responsibility onto Dennet, it seemed like Sellars was asking impossible things and the only solution Dennet could find was an evil one (which Sellars was quite happy to accept). Dennet has a much stronger sense of morals than Sellars but still I think the man who designs and implements virtual enslavement is more at fault than the man who agrees it was a good idea post-completion.

Also that whole plotline seemed a little forced. Robocop isn't as efficient as the machines, but who cares? He isn't in competition with the machines, in the public's eyes he's in competition with regular police officers and even a 25% efficiency Robocop has a big advantage over normal humans. Sellars doesn't need a 99% efficiency Robocop and arguably causes himself more problems by creating one.

HUNDU THE BEAST GOD posted:

His creation is not accidental at all, Dennett is the one who wants him to retain some semblance of humanity/personality, but Sellars wants to accomplish that as minimally as possible. He wants zero independence, literally, a drone with a human face. Dennett's "rescuing" of Murphy is a tragedy, because he knows Sellars has gotten exactly what he wanted - despite retaining something of a personality, he can never not be Robocop. To spend time with him, his wife and son have to visit him in a lab under heavy guard. How long do you think that would last? He can't go home and be a father and husband, doesn't need to sleep or eat, etc. Unlike most movies of this type, the so-called superhero is explicitly promoted as a tool of perfect control, something only implied by other superhero flicks. Public acceptance of him can allow the "good" corporation under Dennett to have a monopoly of violence and effectively replace government.

But Sellars isn't selling Robocop, he's selling drones and he's just using the Robocop loophole to sway public opinion in his favor. Strictly speaking Robocop doesn't even need to work, he just has to look good - that's the truth of marketing. Sellars doesn't demand Robocop be devoid of any humanity/personality, he demands efficiency and is willing to sacrifice Murphy's humanity to get it. And I really don't see why Sellars needed that level of efficiency as the creation of a cybernetic superhero seems to cause more problems than it solves (and Sellars certainly didn't expect him to be as effective as he was).

You're right that Murphy loses his human life when he becomes Robocop, but I think he already lost that anyway when his body was destroyed. What life can he have with his family when he's permanently confined to a hospital bed? At least as Robocop he's able to achieve some independence and a sense of self-worth. I guess you can debate how much of his body doctors might have been able to save, but my feeling Murphy was functionally dead if he didn't become a cyborg. Murphy's tragedy isn't that he was reborn as Robocop, it's that he died in the first place.

api call girl posted:

Oh yes, it's examined more than enough. The movie draws a line from one to the other all the while showing how the humanity behind the trigger is successively and successfully neutralized just like it is in real life with real soldiers/cops.

It's really deft what Sellars sells--the human in the machine is the trojan horse, then he takes the human away: putting the shining knight in silver in tactical black, getting Robocop reprogrammed to run combat from the computer and just pretend to the brain that it's in control (as an aside: read Blindsight), then when having a human in the machine, even that becomes inconvenient, take away all emotions and family contact entirely and just leave a full robot in its place.

The only time the film shows a difference between a human pulling the trigger and a drone pulling the trigger is during the hostage situation in the Robocop and EM-208 side-by-side VR simulation. Throughout the rest of the movie Robocop fights under machine autopilot and doesn't encounter a single problem or dilemma - they put a military killing machine out on the streets and it operates perfectly. No innocents killed, no bystanders caught in the crossfire, no targets misidentified, no collateral damage.

The question "What would a drone FEEL if it killed an innocent?" is never answered because the machines in this movie are perfect. They never harm an innocent, even when innocents jump into the middle of a gun battle to protect their 'guilty' friends.

And most of the human soldiers Robocop encounters act like drones themselves (no hesitation, blindly following orders) which I feel undermines the whole distinction. Why is the human element so vital to the ethical application of lethal force if the humans who dispense lethal force have already abandoned their humanity?

VAGENDA OF MANOCIDE
Aug 1, 2004

whoa, what just happened here?





College Slice

Elite posted:

The only time the film shows a difference between a human pulling the trigger and a drone pulling the trigger is during the hostage situation in the Robocop and EM-208 side-by-side VR simulation. Throughout the rest of the movie Robocop fights under machine autopilot and doesn't encounter a single problem or dilemma - they put a military killing machine out on the streets and it operates perfectly. No innocents killed, no bystanders caught in the crossfire, no targets misidentified, no collateral damage.

The question "What would a drone FEEL if it killed an innocent?" is never answered because the machines in this movie are perfect. They never harm an innocent, even when innocents jump into the middle of a gun battle to protect their 'guilty' friends.

And most of the human soldiers Robocop encounters act like drones themselves (no hesitation, blindly following orders) which I feel undermines the whole distinction. Why is the human element so vital to the ethical application of lethal force if the humans who dispense lethal force have already abandoned their humanity?

The question is irrelevant. That's the joke Robocop 2014 plays: the "good" outcome is that we marry the surveillance state to regular law enforcement and then run it through the US military. Which is supposedly what we have abroad, except we make it more efficient and bring it home.

The closing images are picked for a reason: we see Robocop reassembled at the head of a column of ED209s, while stamped with the Detroit PD badge, behind numerous thick plate gates guarded by armed soldiers.

We don't need a Robocop 2014 sequel, because we can expect that the outside streets are an exact duplicate (just moved northwards) of what we saw at the beginning of the film.

VAGENDA OF MANOCIDE fucked around with this message at Aug 5, 2014 around 02:54

VAGENDA OF MANOCIDE
Aug 1, 2004

whoa, what just happened here?





College Slice

May peace be upon you.

gonna repost a couple things I said way the hell upthread:

api call girl posted:

I watched the new Robocop again and I think I picked out one of the main reasons why I like it so much--like Watchmen, it plays heavily with viewer cognitive dissonance. Multiple conflicting ideas are depicted simultaneously, each presented on the surface--as given and accepted as good, then you had to figure out which side you (or the movie) actually stood on.

As a kind of result of that, the original movie was more obvious in its satire, but the new one is no less savage or biting. The old one does it and asks you to join in on the laughter, the new one does it and asks you to participate.

api call girl posted:

The biggest joke in the remake is that OCP really are the good guys. They and their fellow corporate robber barons already did 99% of the work in making Detroit a safe and vibrant city again by simply relocating to it. Evidence includes you can't sustain the kind of infrastructure the Omni Foundation and its network of medical and computer and rehabilitation research and other facilities without Detroit being literally Silicon Valley 3.0.

So when RoboCop kills Sellers and they hold hearings and OCP stock crashes... THEY are the bad guys.

Cognitive dissonance much?


VAGENDA OF MANOCIDE fucked around with this message at Aug 5, 2014 around 03:00

DeimosRising
Oct 17, 2005

íHola SEA!


Elite posted:

The question "What would a drone FEEL if it killed an innocent?" is never answered because the machines in this movie are perfect. They never harm an innocent, even when innocents jump into the middle of a gun battle to protect their 'guilty' friends.

They just don't shoot/beat up/kill them, which makes it politically and socially easier to dominate them in all sorts of other ways, which is harmful.

HUNDU THE BEAST GOD
Sep 14, 2007

everything is yours


Elite posted:

But Sellars isn't selling Robocop, he's selling drones and he's just using the Robocop loophole to sway public opinion in his favor. Strictly speaking Robocop doesn't even need to work, he just has to look good - that's the truth of marketing. Sellars doesn't demand Robocop be devoid of any humanity/personality, he demands efficiency and is willing to sacrifice Murphy's humanity to get it. And I really don't see why Sellars needed that level of efficiency as the creation of a cybernetic superhero seems to cause more problems than it solves (and Sellars certainly didn't expect him to be as effective as he was).

You're right that Murphy loses his human life when he becomes Robocop, but I think he already lost that anyway when his body was destroyed. What life can he have with his family when he's permanently confined to a hospital bed? At least as Robocop he's able to achieve some independence and a sense of self-worth. I guess you can debate how much of his body doctors might have been able to save, but my feeling Murphy was functionally dead if he didn't become a cyborg. Murphy's tragedy isn't that he was reborn as Robocop, it's that he died in the first place.

Google isn't selling YouTube, it's selling ads. It just so happens that Youtube is a ubiquitous good with no alternative. The extreme concentration of power solely for profit with no serious oversight is the endgame of capitalist incorporation. The tragedy is that Murphy has no worth at all, no place in this vision of the future except as a stolen name to soften the blow.

Dead Snoopy
Mar 23, 2005


Just saw this finally and was shocked by how much I enjoyed it.

One thing that really stood out in my mind - being a fan of all of the movies - is for the 1st time just how perfectly the director uses the Samuel L. Jackson character. Frank Miller himself has been using the 'talking head of the fascist media' as a narrative trick since The Dark Knight Returns and used it in the Robocop works he penned but its never translated so effectively to the screen before in the Robocop context.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Dead Snoopy posted:

Just saw this finally and was shocked by how much I enjoyed it.

One thing that really stood out in my mind - being a fan of all of the movies - is for the 1st time just how perfectly the director uses the Samuel L. Jackson character. Frank Miller himself has been using the 'talking head of the fascist media' as a narrative trick since The Dark Knight Returns and used it in the Robocop works he penned but its never translated so effectively to the screen before in the Robocop context.

It shouldn't be surprising that Frank Miller kinda sympathized with the Morton Downey media talking head in his Robocop works, given his recent political ramblings, so it's likely that's why they never really adapt them completely and why they never worked very well. I'm guessing that the reason Jackson's Billy Graham meets Bill O'Reilly worked is because Padilha has seen guys like that and never sympathized with them. There's a similar character in Tropa de Elite 2, Fortunato, who starts off as a sensationalistic and opportunistic newscaster and becomes a politician that supports the corrupt militias that drive the plot of the movie.

I wish I could find a translation of this short scene, since I doubt you know Portuguese, but Andre Mattos' mannerisms seem more like he should be surrounded by buxom tanned bikini models instead of ranting about politics (he's actually based off a known Brazilian personality named Wagner Montes).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Re9rBQCpnbI

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Donovan Trip
Jan 6, 2007

gotta love me

Frank Miller is right though

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