Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
Treading water at the very surface of RoboCop, there is an idea. A dense concept, ready and willing to provide no dearth of dissection for any eager student of philosophy, psychology, political science, physics — hell, any of the Ps. To simplify the idea on hand: What separates man from machine? It's a question that is not just teased by the basic premise of José Padilha's remake of the 1987 sci-fi staple, but asked outright by many of its main characters. And then never really worried about again.
We have principal parties on both sides of the ethical quandary that would place the security of our crime-ridden cities in the hands of automatons. Samuel L. Jackson plays a spitfire Bill O'Reilly who wonders why America hasn't lined its streets with high-efficiency officer droids. Zach Grenier, as a moralistic senator, gobbles his way through an opposition to the Pro-boCop movement. We hear lecture after lecture from pundits, politicians, business moguls (a money-hungry Michael Keaton heads the nefarious OmniCorp...) and scientists (...while his top doc Gary Oldman questions the nature of his assignments while poking at patients' brains and spouting diatribes about "free will"), all working their hardest to lay thematic groundwork. Each character insists that we're watching a movie about the distinction between human and artificial intelligence. That even with an active brain, no robot can understand what it means to have a heart. But when Prof. Oldman tempers his hysterical squawking and Samuel L. Hannity rolls his closing credits, we don't see these ideas taking life.
In earnest, the struggle of rehabilitated police officer Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) — nearly killed in the line of duty and turned thereafter into OmniCorp's prototype RoboCop — doesn't seem to enlist any of the questions that his aggravated peers have been asking. Murphy is transformed not just physically, but mentally — robbed of his decision-making ability and depleted of emotional brain chemicals — effectively losing himself in the process. But the journey we see take hold of Murphy is not one to reclaim his soul, although the movie touts it as such. It's really just one to become a better robot.
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
Meanwhile, RoboCop lays down its motives, and hard: Murphy's wife and son (Abbie Cornish and a puckish young John Paul Ruttan) lament the loss of Alex, condemning his dehumanization at the hands of Raymond Sellars' (Keaton) capitalistic experiments, and sobbing out some torrential pathos so you know just how deep this company is digging. Weaselly stooges (Jay Baruchel, Jennifer Ehle, and Jackie Earl Haley) line the OmniCorp roster with comical wickedness. Overseas, killer combat bots take down peaceful villages, unable to work empathetic judgment into their decision to destroy all deemed as "threats." And at the top, figures of power and money like Sellars and Pat Novak (Jackson) speak the loudest and harshest, literally justifying their agenda with a call for all naysayers to "stop whining." Clearly, RoboCop has something to say.
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And when it's devoted to its outrage, RoboCop is terrifically charming. The buzzing political world is just a tiny step closer to ridiculous than our own; the pitch meetings at OmniCorp are fun enough to provoke a ditching of all the material outside of the company walls. And one particular reference to The Wizard of Oz shows that the movie isn't above having fun with its admittedly silly premise. But it loses its magic when it steps away from goofy gimmicks and satirical monologues and heads back into the story. We don't see enough of Murphy grappling with the complicated balance between his conflicting organic and synthetic selves. In fact, we don't see enough "story" in Murphy at all. First, he's a dad and a cop. Then, he's a RoboCop. But can he also be a RoboDad? With all of its ranting and raving about the question, the film doesn't seem to concerned with actually figuring out the answer.
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Denzel Washington's son, John David Washington, has landed his first major acting role. The former American football player will star in Ballers, a TV series produced by Dwayne Johnson, according to Deadline.com.
The show chronicles the lives of several Miami, Florida-based athletes and will also feature Johnson and former American football player Donovan Carter.
Washington has one other screen credit to his name - he appeared in his father's 1992 movie Malcolm X.
Johnson knows a lot about Miami sports - he was a member of the University of Miami's national championship football team in 1991.
Rapper Lil Wayne was scared into quitting his penchant for sipping potentially fatal cough medicine drink 'syrup' after learning his recent seizures were likely linked to his withdrawal of the drug. The Lollipop hitmaker, real name Dwayne Carter, Jr., used to get high on the mix of codeine cough syrup and soda, but when he suffered a series of collapses earlier this year (13), he was forced to cut down on his drug of choice.
Doctors then diagnosed him with epilepsy after his latest hospitalisation on 30 April (13), but his physician quickly learned that the hip-hop star's body was also shutting down because he was suffering symptoms of withdrawal as he was no longer sipping on syrup.
In an interview on U.S. talk show Katie, which aired on Monday (09Sep13), he said, "I asked my doctor and I said, 'Doctor, I haven't been drinking like that (a lot), and I haven't been drinking nowhere near to where you would be catching seizures from it (sic)', and... he asked what else have you been doing? And I'd been taking pain pills (at the time) and we found out those pain pills consist of codeine as well, so the lack of drinking the codeine the way I did drink it (or taking the pills), it's kinda like a reaction like you're stopping a drug...
"I can't (drink syrup anymore)... I was doing too much and the doctor kinda told me, 'We can't tell you what to do, but I suggest that your mum tell you to stop.' She did (tell me to stop)."
Before discovering he suffered from epilepsy, Lil Wayne's medics had to delve into his family history and it quickly became clear that he wasn't the only one of his relatives to have the neurological disorder.
He explained, "What we had to do was go back in history, go back to my past... We found out that one of my close cousins suffers from seizures real bad (sic) and one of them actually died from them."
Rapper Lil Wayne has incurred the wrath of American patriots by stomping all over the U.S. flag while filming a music video in Louisiana over the weekend (14-16Jun13). The Lollipop hitmaker was shooting a promotional clip for his new track God Bless Amerika in New Orleans, when he was captured on camera intentionally dancing on the Star-Spangled Banner - America's symbol of independence.
Aside from upsetting his fellow countrymen, the rapper has also broken the law under the United States Flag Code.
According to the country legal's guidelines, the American flag should never touch the ground or be stepped on, but fortunately for the star, real name Dwayne Carter, Jr., the rules are not widely enforced by the government.
Video footage of the stunt, obtained by TMZ.com, has caused an uproar from fans over the hip-hop star's alleged lack of respect for the flag, though the song's lyrics are just as controversial - referencing America's violent slave history, he rhymes, "My country 'tis of thee/Sweet land of kill 'em all and let 'em die/God bless Amerika/This ole' godless Amerika (sic)."
Rapper Lil Wayne has confirmed ongoing rumours he's engaged to his longtime girlfriend after referring to her as his fiancee during an appearance on U.S. reality star Vinny Guadagnino's new TV show. The Lollipop hitmaker has been dating Dhea Sodano since late 2010, and over the past few months reports emerged suggesting the two had taken their relationship to the next level after the beauty was spotted wearing a giant diamond ring on her wedding finger.
Lil Wayne, real name Dwayne Carter, Jr., has yet to publicly acknowledge the speculation, but in a promotional clip for The Show With Vinny, which premieres on Thursday (02May13), the 30 year old is featured enjoying a meal with Guadagnino and gushing about his love of Italian food, saying, "My fiancee is Italian." The rap star has been engaged a total of 10 times, but he has only made it down the aisle once - he divorced his childhood sweetheart Antonia 'Toya' Johnson in 2006 after two years of marriage.
Rapper Lil Wayne spent Tuesday night (30Apr13) in hospital after suffering another seizure, according to a U.S. report. The Lollipop hitmaker, who recently revealed he suffers from epilepsy, was allegedly taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles by his bodyguards following a fit. According to TMZ.com, he was treated by doctors and was discharged early on Wednesday (01May13).
The hip-hop star, real name Dwayne Carter, Jr., has been in and out of hospital in recent months - he collapsed on the set of Nicki Minaj's video shoot for her single High School in March (13) and was admitted to the intensive care unit at Cedars-Sinai the next day after suffering three seizures back-to-back. It was only then, after being released from medical care, that Wayne, 30, opened up about his health troubles and told fans he has been struggling with epilepsy since he was a child.
Rapper Lil Wayne has issued an apology to Emmett Till's family after he rapped about the murdered African-American teenager in Future's track Karate Chop. In an unauthorized remix of the song, the hip-hop star makes reference to Till, who was brutally pistol-whipped and murdered in 1955 for flirting with a white girl in America's Deep South, rapping, "Beat the p**sy up like Emmett Till." The lyric infuriated Till's family, who claimed the tune was insensitive and disrespectful to the tragic 14 year old's memory, prompting activists to petition bosses at Mountain Dew to drop Lil Wayne as a spokesman due to his behaviour.
And now the Lollipop hitmaker, real name Dwayne Carter, Jr., has personally offered up an apology to Till's relatives after the song was pulled from the Internet by bosses at Epic Records. In an open letter addressed to the Till family, he writes, "As a recording artist, I have always been interested in word play. My lyrics often reference people, places and events in my music, as well as the music that I create for or alongside other artists. "It has come to my attention that lyrics from my contribution to a fellow artist's song has deeply offended your family. As a father myself, I cannot imagine the pain that your family has had to endure. I would like to take a moment to acknowledge your hurt, as well as the letter you sent to me via your attorneys. "Moving forward, I will not use or reference Emmett Till or the Till family in my music, especially in an inappropriate manner. I fully support Epic Record's decision to take down the unauthorized version of the song and to not include the reference in the version that went to retail. I will not be performing the lyrics that contain that reference live and have removed them from my catalogue."
The family of Emmett Till, the black 14 year old killed for flirting with a white girl in 1955, have been left unimpressed with Lil Wayne's response to their upset over his decision to rap about the tragic teen. The Lollipop hitmaker has apologised in an open letter for his insensitive rap on Future's track Karate Chop, but Till's relatives still feel it "falls short of an apology".
Lil Wayne made a crude reference to Till, who was brutally pistol-whipped and murdered by white supremacists in America's Deep South, on the Future tune, and he has now assured all those upset by his ill-advised rhyme he will not be repeating it.
In an open letter on Wednesday (01May13), Lil Wayne, real name Dwayne Carter, Jr., wrote, "I will not use or reference Emmett Till or the Till family in my music, especially in an inappropriate manner. I fully support Epic Record's decision to take down the unauthorized version of the song and to not include the reference in the version that went to retail. I will not be performing the lyrics that contain that reference live and have removed them from my catalogue."
The Till family has applauded the star for his decision not to reference the teenager again, but they are still far from happy with him.
Family representative Airickca Gordon-Taylor tells TMZ.com, "While it's commendable that he has vowed to respect the legacy of Emmett Till and his memory to 'not use or reference Emmett Till or the Till family in his music', this statement falls short of an apology, as none is mentioned."
While we've only just begun to traverse into the medical affairs of Dwayne Carter, Jr. — better known as Lil Wayne — the hip hop artist's recent struggle with episodes of epilepsy are apparently nothing new. Lil Wayne revealed during an interview with DJ Felli Fel on Power 106 (courtesy of E!) that he is indeed epileptic and "prone to seizures," a hardship with which he's lived for quite some time.
The rapper said, "This wasn't my first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh... I have had a bunch of seizures, you just never hear about them." However, Lil Wayne described this recent string of episodes to be a particularly troublesome instance: "My heart rate went down to 30 percent ... This time was real bad because I had three back to back and the third one was so bad." The recording artist suggests that this particular occurrence was brought on by "plain stress and no rest. That's just typical me."
RELATED: Lil Wayne Leaves Hospital After Suffering Seizures
Luckily for Carter, his staff is experienced in aiding in these types of incidents. "I have people around me who know how to handle it," he said. And fans will be pleased to know that the rapper is feeling, "100 percent now."
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[Photo Credit: WENN]
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UPDATE: Lil Wayne has tweeted that he "good" despite reports that he was on his last rites after suffering from seizures.
I'm good everybody. Thx for the prayers and love.
— Lil Wayne WEEZY F (@LilTunechi) March 16, 2013
Earlier tonight, TMZ reported that rapper Lil Wayne was in critical condition in the ICU after suffering from seizures. He was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Hospital in L.A. Tuesday night after suffering multiple seizures. He was released Wednesday but just hours later one of his bodyguards found him in his room, on the floor and unconscious and he was rushed back to the hospital. It was reported that he was "unstable" and placed in a medically-induced coma. The 30-year-old (real name Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr.) had his stomach pumped three times after "doctors found high amounts of codeine in his system."
However, Mack Maine, president of Young Money, tweeted that Lil Wayne is "alive and well" despite the reports that he is on his last rites:
Wayne is alive and well! We watching the Syracuse game...thanks for the prayers and concern..he will update you all soon. #love
— Mack Maine (@mackmaine) March 16, 2013
We will be releasing an official statement shortly but dont believe the nonsense about comas and tubes to breathe...that's false!!
— Mack Maine (@mackmaine) March 16, 2013
Birdman, a part of Cash Money Records, also tweeted that Lil Wayne was doing better:
My son is in good spirit..feelin much betta...be home soon.YMCMB
— BIRDMAN (@BIRDMAN5STAR) March 16, 2013
Maine also called out TMZ for their report (Warning: graphic language):
@tmz it's certain shit you should not talk about or play with if u don't kno what u talking bout....don't deceive the fans or the people
— Mack Maine (@mackmaine) March 16, 2013
@tmz and definitely don't try to kill a man before his time....so from the bottom of my soul and on behalf of my fam......FUCK YOU
— Mack Maine (@mackmaine) March 16, 2013
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[Photo Credit: Peter Kramer/AP Photo]
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