Published by Melanie Jo Published on August 21, 2016

Warner Bros.’ DC Extended Universe (DCEU) got off to a shaky start this spring with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which was universally panned by critics (27% on Rotten Tomatoes), but still put up decent numbers at the box office ($872.6 million worldwide). While many fans, and the studio itself, had higher hopes for Suicide Squad, it’s in roughly the same boat as its predecessor, with an identical 27% rating on RT and a $465.3 million worldwide take after just two weeks in theaters. Today we have word that one of the film’s stars is speaking out against the negative reviews.

Vulture caught up with Joel Kinnaman, who plays Rick Flagg in Suicide Squad and stars in the new indie thriller Edge of Winter, which debuted in limited release this weekend. The actor was asked if he read any of the reviews, with the actor revealing that he can’t remember seeing a “bigger disparity” between the reviews and the fans’ reactions. The movie received a B+ on CinemaScore, slightly higher than Batman v Superman’s B score. Here’s what the actor had to say when asked if he read any of the reviews, but he thinks the critical drubbing might actually be good for the movie, since it lowers expectations.

“I read a couple, but I didn’t enjoy reading them, so I stopped. They were not kind. You always hope to get good reviews. It’s always nicer when people say nice things about you. But on a film like Suicide Squad, it really only has an ambition to entertain. There’s no big political aspirations about the film; it doesn’t take itself that seriously. The only way it takes itself seriously is portraying these characters in an honest way. I really think we did that, and I’m proud of my work and everyone else’s work in that film, too. So, on a film like this, that has those kinds of ambitions; it becomes even more important what the fans think. We made this film for the fans. I can’t remember ever seeing a bigger disparity between reviewers’ and fans’ response to a film. It really was night and day. We’ve just been showered with love and appreciation for this, so it’s been pretty phenomenal. Sure, the film is not perfect. But the kind of vitriol that it got? [Laughs.] It sure as hell didn’t deserve that. I think it actually might’ve been good for the film. Now people don’t have too-high expectations for it. It reset that a little bit, and people went into the theaters and just got entertained by what they saw. So I was really happy with how that whole thing turned out.”

The actor says was happy with how the fans responded after the movie critics chimed in. The film has currently earned $224.8 million domestically and $465.3 million worldwide from a massive $175 million budget. While the super villain ensemble did come out on top for the second weekend in a row, it dropped a massive 67.3%, just slightly better than the huge 69.1% drop suffered by Batman v Superman this spring.

Even before the movie was released, there was talk of Suicide Squad 2, which may even be R-rated. Warner Bros. has yet to confirm whether or not this sequel will happen, but there have been rumors that the studio wants director David Ayer to start shooting in early 2017. Given the critical response, we’re not if the studio is still willing to move forward on the sequel. We’ll be sure to keep you posted with more updates on Suicide Squad 2 and the box office performance of Suicide Squad in the weeks and months ahead.

Published by Melanie Jo Published on

A lot of time is spent wondering if Joel Kinnaman’s desperate dad will cross into The Shining territory as a father taking his young sons on a man-up winter hunting trip in the secluded north only to learn they are moving to another country with their mom (Rachelle Lefevre) and her new fellow.

Like us, teen son Bradley (Tom Holland, Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War) senses tension and realizes it’s best to keep dad calm, while younger Caleb (Percy Hynes White of Cast No Shadow, typically good here) is initially just glad to be with the troubled parent they rarely see.

Shiloh Fernandez and Rossif Sutherland play hunters who inadvertently become involved in the drama. Not much new here, but there are solid performances and you have to admire cast and crew for shooting amid some challenging surroundings in snowy Sudbury.

Published by Melanie Jo Published on April 18, 2015

IGN.COM – If nothing else, director Daniel Espinosa’s Child 44 has put together an impeccable cast made up of Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, Gary Oldman, Joel Kinnaman and Jason Clarke — and despite a hodgepodge of phlegmy Russian accents, each actor gives it his or her all in this Stalin-era crime-thriller. That said, as an adaptation of Rob Tom Smith’s 2008 novel, Child 44 doesn’t quite translate on screen, as drab storytelling and overstuffed plot take a lot of the steam out of its central mystery.

Set in 1953 Soviet Russia, the story follows Leo Demidov (Hardy), a prominent MGB agent who is disgraced when he refuses to denounce his wife Raisa (Rapace) as a traitor to their country. Exiled from Moscow to the muddy hinterlands, Leo and Raisa ally with General Mikhail Nesterov (Oldman) to track down a serial killer who preys on young boys. However, their quest for justice directly opposes a system-wide cover-up enforced by Leo’s sadistic rival, Vasili (Kinnaman), who insists the childrens’ murders — all 44 of them — were “accidents.” As members the MGB recite over and over again, “There is no murder in paradise.”

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Published by Melanie Jo Published on August 2, 2014

SPOILERS BELOW

mashable.com – The grisly murder of a wealthy family kicks off Season 4 of The Killing, a show that knows a thing or two about what it’s like to be killed but has, thankfully, found a home at Netflix for what’s likely to be its final season.

Normally, a new case would wipe the slate clean for Linden (Mireille Enos) and Holder (Joel Kinnaman), but they enter this particular crime scene barely able to mask the tension between them. Only hours before reporting to the giant glass house now full of bodies, Holder was disposing of Lt. Skinner’s (Elias Koteas) remains and Linden was washing blood out of her hair.

“No one’s gotta know what we did,” he tells her. But something tells us it’s not going to be that easy.

This is not good, mamacita
At work, no one is wise to the awkwardness between them, which is just sad because they work around fellow police officers. Holder does his best to keep up appearances, going to lunches, making wise cracks, and working words like mamacita into his conversations with Linden.

But Linden is more than frayed. She just killed her lover, she just put her partner in terrible danger of going to prison, and, her actions have pretty much guaranteed that the bodies of many dead girls will never be recovered. (They disposed of Skinner in the same place he dumped the girls’ bodies.)

Linden is also extremely troubled at the end of the episode when she’s paid a visit from Skinner’s daughter, who comes looking for her father.

That’s not to say that Holder is cool with everything. When Linden spots blood on his only coat — because of course Holder only has one coat — he jumps out of it like the blood is on fire. Linden cleans it up for him but was I the only one who had the feeling that this might come back to bite him later? He should have burned that thing.

Particularly, the fear that Holder will go down for a crime that’s essentially Linden’s alone is a great one because it’s clear that such an outcome is the last thing Linden would ever want. And it seems whatever Linden doesn’t want is exactly what happens on this show.

“You didn’t have to stay. You didn’t have to help me,” she tells him at one point. “I did,” he replies.

As if Holder doesn’t have enough to deal with, Caroline (Jewel Staite) tells him that she’s pregnant. At first, he’s stunned and kinda not happy. But later, he proposes.

Like that soon-to-be-retired cop character who dies in all the action movies, Holder’s plans for the future only make me more nervous something terrible is about to go down.

Hey, killer: What do you have against pianos?
The case of the season seems, at least for a bit, to be the least complicated thing Linden and Holder are dealing with. Then enters Joan Allen, who plays Col. Margaret Rayne, the head of the all-boys military academy.

It was one of her students whose family was killed, and at first, he’s the prime suspect, thought to have killed his family and then turned the gun on himself. The boy, named Kyle Stansbury (Tyler Ross), escapes with some major head trauma and memory loss, which Holder thinks he’s faking. But Linden has other ideas because it turns out that the gun he allegedly used to try to kill himself was a different gun than the one that was used on his family. Why use two separate guns, she wonders?

Another clue? The killer might hate pianos. Okay, that’s probably not where the writers were going with the shredded piano strings clue, but I’m not a detective.

With Kyle possibly out of the suspect No. 1 spot, a natural next step would be to look at Margaret, who may have had more than a business relationship with the boys’ father and is listed as Kyle’s guardian in the parents’ will. (She looks quite peeved upon learning that Kyle will have no access to his inheritance until he’s 21.) But then in one scene, despite being a cold-as-ice woman, she seems to soften upon seeing Kyle, who thought he was alone, break down in tears. This is one extremely fascinating character.

With only six episodes in this final season, we know conclusions are coming — for the case and for characters new and old. But after watching that stellar Season 4 premiere episode, I’ll admit, I’m a little less eager for the definitive end now awaiting consumption in my Netflix cue.

Published by Melanie Jo Published on July 20, 2014

EW.com – As resilient and plucky as the little engine that could (I think I can, I think I can…be a great show one day!), The Killing chugs back for an improbable fourth season, a six-episode Netflix bingeable. In the same way the fitfully riveting rain-soaked policier dug deep into the experience of grief during its first couple of seasons, the new installment wallows in guilt: Soul-mate Seattle detectives Linden (Mireille Enos) and Holder (Joel Kinnaman)—tweaking with shame after slaying a serial killer (Linden’s ex-partner and lover)—slowly unravel in familiar ways as they slowly investigate the murder of a troubled military cadet’s seemingly respectable, secretly skeevy family. Did I mention it’s slow? You get the sense that Linden and Holder could crack the mystery lickety-split if not for the contrived obstacles of amnesia and a hyperprotective military-academy headmistress played by Joan Allen, who does little more than tell the cops that they can’t interview their chief suspect. There’s enough intrigue to pull you through, and the Enos/Kinnaman chemistry is, as always, engrossing. Also: less rain! But the relentless commitment to making Linden and Holder miserable—a shallow approach to quality-drama heaviness—grows tedious. In a rare light moment, Holder says, ”The sun’s out. Got my smokes. There’s a murder case I’m working.” If only it were just that: The Killing shines brightest when its stars aren’t mired in gloom and their characters just do their jobs. B-

Published by Melanie Jo Published on July 4, 2014

The newest Robocop film retells an old story, and I’m not talking about the 1987 film of the same name.

In many ways police officer Alex Murphy’s (Joel Kinnaman) story parallels that of Pinocchio, the wooden puppet who wanted to be a real boy. Except that Murphy, whose mind and soul ends up locked up inside a robotic police suit following an almost fatal injury, was once a real police officer and he wishes he still was.

Stuff.co.zn – It’s 2028 and the streets of the world are under threat from terrorists, drug lords, and bent cops. Only Robocop and his robotic companions have what it takes to clean the streets up – Judge Dredd style.

Robocop also borrows from the tin man from The Wizard of Oz who longs for a heart and inspired Star Trek: The Next Generation’s android officer Data who has the same dream if, indeed, android dream of electric sheep.

Anakin Skywalker’s story, from Star Wars, also parallels Murphy’s narrative. Skywalker becomes the more machine than man Darth Vader and uses his cybernetic strength for evil, yet Murphy counterpoints this by using his robo body for good.

But the most obvious story that Robocop draws upon is Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. In it Dr Frankenstein creates a monster which runs rampant. Murphy, too, is a monster of sorts who is horrified to see all that is left of himself in the mirror after his creator removes all his serviceable robotic parts in a scene which echoes Borg scenes from Star Trek: First Contact.

Robocop, then, can hardly be called an original film and yet there is something compelling about its story. Perhaps it’s the film’s familiarity coupled with one man’s quest to find what it is to be human. The great job the film’s lead does alongside Robocop co-creators played by Gary Oldman and Michael Keaton helps.

Samuel L Jackson also makes an important appearance.

Published by Melanie Jo Published on June 15, 2014

Flix66.com – It seems like every movie that comes out nowadays is either a sequel (or pre-quel), a re-imagining or rebooting of something we’ve already seen, or something more loosely related (like all the Marvel movies) but still along the same vein from the other ideas. Is it time for something new and original? I never wished for this more than when I sat through the first three or four minutes of the new ROBOCOP, loosely based on the 1987 Paul Verhoeven flick that, itself, spawned two sequels and a television show and several lackluster video games. But is the rebooted ROBOCOP worth your time? Thankfully, though I may find myself in small company with other critics, it absolutely deserves a watch.

At its core, the basis of the new ROBOCOP the same as the old movie – what happens when you put a man inside a machine? This reboot approaches a question and a level of social consciousness the original never could. I say approaches because it never quite goes all the way with the questions it poses, settling instead for video-game violence and CGI effects that don’t quite impress. But the best science fiction, like this new ROBOCOP, at the very least pose the question and make us think, and ROBOCOP does succeed in this endeavor.

One of the reasons this popcorn/event movie is able to get away with posing such deeply seeded questions of conscience and consciousness is the casting. This time around our robotic hero is played by newcomer Joel Kinnaman (detective Stephen Holder in television’s THE KILLING) and he has some chops. Having started his career in his native Sweden, Kinnaman brings an approach more genuine than we usually get to experience in science fiction flicks. And Kinnaman isn’t the only strong link in the acting chain that is ROBOCOP. He’s surrounded by talented veterans Gary Oldman (THE DARK KNIGHT RISES), Michael Keaton, and Samuel L. Jackson (who I hesitate to include because I really hated his role in the film). Keaton feels a little bit stiff but has some very nice scenes, specifically with the amazing Oldman who continues to impress as his career moves forward.

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Published by Melanie Jo Published on

CraveOnline.com – I really did a complete 180 on Robocop. Of all the recent movie remakes, I thought for sure Robocop was going to be the one they’d mess up the worst. It turned out to be one remake that did a good job telling a different story about the same premise. It’s a Robocop movie I’d actually like to see continue in sequels. Let’s face it, if Robocop had been managed well in the ‘80s we’d be on Robocop 10 by now, but it wasn’t and here we are.

Robocop is still the story of Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman), a policeman with a wife and son who is killed by some criminals he’s investigating. OmniCorp, a military technology firm, convinces his wife (Abbie Cornish) to sign his body over to them so they can turn him into a cyborg police officer. There’s a lot of excitement surrounding Robocop, but the real question is will he remember he’s still Alex Murphy? OmniCorp may own the billion-dollar Robocop technology but they can’t own Alex Murphy.

I was worried the human family story would get lost in a modern day visual effects extravaganza, but the Murphy family is actually more integral in this version. My favorite scene in the 1987 Robocop is when he visits his own open house and remembers his wife and son. That’s really all you get until the sequel, but it was the entire movie to me. He remembers he’s Alex Murphy, so the humanity wins over the technology.

It’s not so easy for this Alex Murphy. His family is still in the picture but Omnicorp can program him to shut down his memories when he’s on the job. So can Clara Murphy and their son remind Alex Murphy who he is?

I was worried they would just action up the movie and have Robocop fight a bunch of bad guys and other robots. Now I’m impressed that screenwriter Joshua Zetumer and director Jose Padilha got away with so little action in a movie called Robocop. They really emphasized the politics and drama. When Robocop does spring into action, it’s fast and efficient. He gets the job done and the movie is left to deal with the consequences.

I was worried about a fast running Robocop, but they didn’t overdo that. It actually creates an interesting new dynamic for Robocop versus the bad guys. The issue is no longer whether or not Robocop can find a way to apprehend criminals despite his mobile limitations and vulnerabilities. He’s going to get the criminals, and quick. The question is, can law be enforced by a super-efficient computer, and can Alex Murphy the man survive as such a creation? The really interesting thing is when Alex solves his own murder, the culprits would make bad PR. That’s why OmniCorp has a moral problem, less so than the famous Directive 4 of the original.

Of course, the new Robocop is about our use of drone warfare. The whole premise is that in this world, the drones work. The ED-209s are effective, not a cautionary tale of malfunctioning technology. The U.S. won’t allow them to be used domestically, so OmniCorp builds the cyborg Robocop to put a human face on the drones. I do wish the drone scenes hadn’t been filmed in the usual shakycam style. What they are doing is interesting, you just can’t see them through the smoke and jittery camera. Fortunately, as I said, the action isn’t the important part of this Robocop so with a story this provocative, it works out in the end.

The Blu-ray looks great. The film is as sleek and shiny as Robocop himself. There is only a modest assortment of bonus features, including a limited four minutes of deleted scenes that explicitly explain things that I believe were summarized in ADR in the final cut. The OmniCorp ads look like things that were probably online to promote the movie but now I can’t find them anywhere. The behind the scenes feature covers the basics of the theme and creation of the suit. It’s cool how they combined soft, flexible material with rigid pieces tactically placed.

The new Robocop may never get a special edition like the original Robocop Criterion Collection laserdisc, but I think it’s worth owning as part of the Robocop legacy. Of course, I’m such a Robocop fan I also endorse the Canadian “Prime Directives” miniseries, but the latest Hollywood Robocop production is even better than the Canadian television show!

Published by Melanie Jo Published on June 6, 2014

TheSpectrum.com – OK, I’m publicly admitting it: I’ve never seen 1987’s “Robocop.”

So while I have nothing to compare 2014’s version of the film to, I was going in unscathed and without preconception. Without being armed with expectations, the reboot’s disappointment levels are at a minimum.

In other words, “Robocop” was kind of fun.

Detective Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) is fighting a war against corruption in 2028 Detroit. When he gets a little too close to finding out which of his fellow cops are actually bad guys, someone attempts to blow him up.

Luckily for Alex, a company called OmniCorp is searching for wounded officers and soldiers to use in a new project — essentially using robotics to replace and enhance what the officers have lost.

So, Alex’s wife Clara (Abbie Cornish) gives consent, and Robocop is born. Or, created.

I’m mad at myself for not seeing this in the theaters. Michael Keaton plays Raymond Sellars, the head of OmniCorp, and I just can’t get enough of this man. Why did we stop casting him in movies?

Perhaps it’s because I have fond memories of “Batman” and “Beetlejuice,” but I’d love to see Keaton in more films. He’s a great actor and a formidable presence.

He wasn’t the only actor with gravitas to appear in “Robocop,” though. Playing the political television pundit Pat Novak is none other than Samuel L. Jackson. While his scenes seem more like an afterthought, it’s still fun to see him in any film.

And then there’s Gary Oldman, who plays Dr. Dennett Norton, the man responsible for the science behind Robocop. Oldman ranks among my most favorite actors. He’s incredibly versatile, super likable and, darn it, how can he have only been nominated for an Oscar just once?

The only actor I was really unsure about was the lead. Kinnaman, bless his heart, was fine playing a robot, but all his human scenes were so below par that I could just see him trying his hardest to act. I guess it’s a good thing he spent the majority of the movie in his Robocop suit.

The special features on the Blu-ray were pretty engaging. The featurette “RoboCop: Engineered for the 21st Century” showed us how the filmmakers updated the look of the titular character from its 1987 predecessor and how they created the actual suit.

I was an actor in a nationally recognized haunted house in Salt Lake City for a few years, and I had to wear a full-body Pinhead suit. We’re talking pounds and pounds of draped leather on top of latex. The thing was incredibly hot.

Come to find out, there are these cooling suits that can be worn underneath these latex outfits, and Kinnaman got to wear one. Who knew? I looked on in envy as they showed how tubes filled with water would circulate underneath all the latex and plastic

Boy I wish I had access to one of those back in my haunted house days. Kinnaman got off easy.

I guess now it’s time for me to get the Blu-ray rerelease of the original “Robocop.” We’ll see if it holds up almost 30 years later.

Published by Melanie Jo Published on February 20, 2014

I can see it now. Detective Alex Murphy swaps the streets of Detroit for the streets of Derry and the PSNI all go on holiday.

Sadly, Detective Alex Murphy a.k.a. RoboCop is fictitious and even if he were real, there’s more chance of Derry City winning the Champions League than there is of the ironclad law enforcer leaving the Motor City for the Maiden City.

‘RoboCop’ first arrived on the big screen back in 1987 courtesy of Dutch director, Paul Verhoeven.

Verhoeven’s film, which was made for a modest $13m became an instant success and is widely regarded as one of the most intelligent and entertaining science fiction films of the 1980s.

It’s now 2014 and ‘RoboCop’ has a new master. Picking up from where Verhoeven left off is Brazilian director José Padilha.

‘RoboCop’ is Padilha’s first commercial blockbuster but his 2007 film, ‘Elite Squad’ is a superb film and definitely worth a watch.

Padilha had a much bigger budget than his predecessor; $130 million to be exact.

With greater financial fluidity and a dependency on special effects it’s remarkable that not once does it feel like Padilha has sacrificed substance for style.

In fact, it’s quite the opposite. So much work and effort went into creating an authentic plot that the film sometimes felt like it lacked the right measure of action and violence.

Be that as it may, everything that made Verhoeven’s film a success is present and correct in Padalha’s version.

RoboCop was always going to be a dark film. A man is left hanging on to life and the only way he can survive is if scientists put what’s left of him into a machine. What’s not dark about this?

I was apprehensive when I read Padalha’s film was to be given a 12A certificate because what made Verhoeven’s film so palatable was its 18 rating.

Padilha doesn’t drop the ball and it’ll be no surprise at all if both he and RoboCop were to have a second outing together in the next few years.

Peter Weller’s iconic portrayal of Detective Alex Murphy/RoboCop over 25 years ago was always going to be a tough act to follow. Taking up the mantle is Swedish born actor Joel Kinnaman (‘The Killing’ – American re-make version).

Kinnaman does exactly what is required of him and whilst he’s not quite as memorable as Weller he does command empathy and compassion.

The scene where Detective Murphy discovers what has become of him after the car bomb attack will divide audiences.

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to hearing a few sniggers in the cinema but I thought it worked brilliantly.

When RoboCop seeks out revenge on those who left him the way he is it feels a little unsatisfactory and Michael Keaton’s transition from cash hungry head of OmniCorp to murderous villain is awfully rushed.

Gary Oldman stars as Dr. Dennett Norton. Norton is the brains behind RoboCop but he’s also the only man who can protect and help him.

Oldman, as you’d expect, is great and if there is a sequel I would love to see him back again too.

‘RoboCop’ is currently showing at the Brunswick Moviebowl. For full cinema listings visit www.brunswickmoviebowl.com

VERDICT: 3/5 – Does it surpass Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 classic? Not at all. But does it entertain and offer something a little different? Yes.

José Padilha’s first box office film is a decent offering and Joel Kinnaman is an impressive successor to Peter Weller’s ironclad law enforcer.

It’s certainly not perfect. Whilst it’s clear a lot of time and effort went into the story it has come at the expense of a satisfactory amount of action. A sequel should follow.

– source: derryjournal.com

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