Elle (2016)

Elle
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Writer: David Birke
Based on: Philippe Djian‘s novel Oh…
Cast: Isabelle HuppertLaurent LafitteAnne ConsignyCharles BerlingVirginie EfiraJudith MagreChristian Berkel
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 27.10.2016

[CW: Rape]

Plot:
Michèle (Isabelle Huppert) is the head of a video game company. Successful, rich, happily divorced with two grown children, Michèle has a great life. But that is disrupted when an intruder brutally assaults and rapes her in her home. Afterwards Michèle struggles to get her life back under control, by alternatively pretending that nothing happened and buying various weapons. And it may very well be that this encounter with the rapist won’t be her last.

In the hands of another writer and director, Elle might have been a film that was smart about the difficult topic it approaches and that I would have actually liked. But I absolutely hated the film we got. SO MUCH HATE.

[SPOILERS]

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RoboCop (1987)

RoboCop
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Writer: Edward Neumeier, Michael Miner
Cast: Peter WellerNancy AllenDan O’HerlihyRonny CoxKurtwood SmithMiguel FerrerRobert DoQuiRay WiseFelton PerryPaul McCrane

Plot:
Alex Murphy (Peter Weller) just started in Detroit’s police force – an extremely dangerous job, considering the state Detroit is in. But he gets along well with his partner Anne Lewis (Nancy Allen) and they are quickly right in the middle of things. But as they confront a street gang though, everything goes wrong and Murphy is shot dead. Which makes him the perfect subject for a new project by OmniCorp, a huge robotics corporation. They take Murphy’s body and rebuild it with robotic parts, creating the RoboCop who takes on crime in Detroit, firmly under OmniCorp’s thumb.

RoboCop is probably one of those 80s action flicks you have to grow up with to appreciate them fully (like Die Hard or Terminator). I didn’t and watching RoboCop now certainly didn’t make me see its greatness.

robocop

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Re-Watch: Total Recall (1990)

Total Recall
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Writer: Ronald Shusett, Dan O’Bannon, Gary Goldman, Jon Povill
Based on: Philip K. Dick’s short story We Can Remember It for You Wholesale
Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rachel Ticotin, Sharon Stone, Ronny Cox, Michael Ironside, Marshall Bell

Plot:
Douglas Quail (Arnold Schwarzenegger) would be happily married to Lori (Sharon Stone), if it wasn’t for a recurring dream where he’s on Mars with a mysterious woman. He decides to confront this dream by going to Rekall Inc., a company that provides real-seeming memories of vacations in the most exotic places – like Mars. But the Rekall treatment triggers actual memories and suddenly Doug finds himself in the middle of the revolution on Mars as a spy.

I had completely forgotten how absolutely campy and gory this movie is. That completely makes up for the rather lackluster performances. It’s amazingly fun to watch. Plus, they actually improved the original story.

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