Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Keaton compares ‘RoboCop’ to ‘Batman’

MOVIE BATMANMichael Keaton plays a billionaire businessman behind the robotics in the updated version of “RoboCop” that opens Feb. 12. He says the role was based partly on Steve Jobs.

OK. That officially gets the “RoboCop” part of the interview out of the way. Being a comic book geek. I had to take the opportunity to ask Keaton about playing Batman. In a small way, it’s a logical topic as both Keaton and Joel Kinnaman — who plays the new RoboCop — have had to act with something covering three-quarters of their face.

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‘Red Dawn’ finally rises in theaters

The remake of the 1984 film “Red Dawn” hits theaters next week. I can’t tell you at this time whether or not I like the movie but I can tell you that the story of how the film got made and finally found its way into theaters would make a very interesting documentary.

While not giving away my reaction to the movie, it should be pointed out the long delay for the release of “Red Dawn” was not based on the quality of the production. It was mainly caused by financial problems with MGM.

When the new “Red Dawn” was shot three years ago, no one had seen star Chris Hemsworth in either “Thor” or “The Avengers.” Josh Hutcherson hadn’t even started work on “The Hunger Games.” Isabel Lucas hadn’t been seen in “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” And, there hadn’t been all of the talk about Adrianne Palicki as TV’s new “Wonder Woman.”

“Red Dawn” producer Tripp Vinson points out that the original “Red Dawn” is remembered for helping launch the careers of actors like Charlie Sheen, Lea Thompson and Jennifer Grey. This update version would have had the same bragging rights had there not been such a long release delay.

One major change was made to the movie during the delay. In the original remake version, it was an invading Chinese army that forces a group of teens to become rebels. When you see the film, that army — through computer wizadry — is now from North Korea. It makes more sense that a country as large as China would consider attacking the United States. But, with the way the economy has been going in recent years, such a move by the Chinese wouldn’t make good financial sense.

Why I’ll see the new ‘Clash of the Titans’

I made fun of all the movie remakes planned this year. But, I have to say, the trailers for the new “Clash of the Titans” have really won me over. I can’t get Liam Neeson’s roaring “Relase the Kraken!” out of my head.

The original “Clash” was one of my favorite movies growing up. I don’t know if it was my childhood love affair with unicorns and flying horses, the mythology, the great campy fun or that the movie was on cable all the time, but I must have watched it more than a dozen times. I loved the Medusa part, in particular. And it’s the new Medusa, who looks WICKED!, that’s piqued my interest.

Though its getting panned by some critics, our own film critic Rick Bentley appreciates the new movie’s fun, escapist tone (and he really digs the original):

I’m still not sure about all these remakes, especially “Karate Kid” and “Red Dawn.” I mean, really, do we need to mess with these 80s jems? But I will at least keep an open mind (even if it means going against Mike Oz).