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Michael Keaton replaces Hugh Laurie as “RoboCop” villain

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Goodbye Dr. House, hello Batman.

Director Jose Padhilla didn’t waste time recasting the villain in his upcoming remake of “RoboCop.” Less than a week after news broke that Hugh Laurie had turned down the role of OmniCorp’s evil CEO, Variety‘s Justin Kroll is reporting that Michael Keaton has taken the part.

While we expected the actor who replaced Laurie to be of the same caliber, we’re a bit surprised Keaton took the role. We’re more used to him playing a protagonist instead of an antagonist, but think he will still do great as the villain. In fact, we might be more excited about him playing the character than we were about Laurie.

Keaton is just the latest actor to join “RoboCop’s” increasingly impressive cast. So far the remake stars Joel Kinnaman, Abbie Cornish, Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson, Jay Baruchel, Jennifer Ehle, Jackie Earle Haley and Michael Kenneth Williams. If there was any way to convince us that this new take on the classic cult film is worth making, it’s putting together a cast like this, and Padiha knows it.

“Michael is the final addition to the amazing cast we have assembled for this film and it is so great to have the last puzzle piece in place,” Padilha said in a statement to Deadline. “It is thrilling that everything has come together to bring this innovative new vision of RoboCop to life. We’ve got a great script, a great cast, some killer ED-209’s and I can’t wait to get Alex Murphy back on the streets.”

Here’s the official synopsis for “RoboCop”:

“In ‘RoboCop,’ the year is 2029 and multinational conglomerate OmniCorp is at the centre of robot technology. Their drones are winning American wars around the globe and now they want to bring this technology to the home front. Alex Murphy is a loving husband, father and good cop doing his best to stem the tide of crime and corruption in Detroit. After he is critically injured in the line of duty, OmniCorp utilises their remarkable science of robotics to save Alex’s life. He returns to the streets of his beloved city with amazing new abilities, but with issues a regular man has never had to face before.”

“RoboCop” is due in theaters on August 9, 2013.

Do you think Keaton will do a good job as “RoboCop’s” villain? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter!

Fred Armisen and Stephen Colbert Sample Foghat Wine

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Fred Armisen and Stephen Colbert Had a Rockin’ Wine Tasting

Catch Fred on the new season of Portlandia Thursdays at 10P on IFC.

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As per The Late Show’s themed gift recommendation this past December, we all spent the holidays delightfully unwrapping various Foghat albums and compilations. And while those cassettes remain in our tape decks, there’s still more ’70s boogie rock to enjoy in the form of fermented grapes. Yes, Foghat has its very own wine, straight from the cellars of drummer and Late Show fan Roger Earl, and Portlandia’s Fred Armisen joined host Stephen Colbert to sample the goods. And thanks to Earl’s watchful eye and drumstick swirl during fermentation, the pinot noir unfolds nicely on the tongue and has the perfect notes to swig directly from the bottle while shrieking, “HELLO, CLEVELAND!”

Watch Fred Armisen and Stephen Colbert don literal “fog hats” and take a slow ride through some tasty spirits below.

Top 10 bullet scenes in movies

Keanu Reeves in The Matrix

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With this week’s premiere of IFC’s crime-ridden, ultra-violent two-night event “Bullet in the Face” (kicking off Thursday 10/9c), let’s lock, load and take aim at some of the most memorable bullet scenes in cinema.


“The Matrix” (1999) – “Bullet time”

One simply cannot even fathom doing a bullet-themed feature without including the film that introduced the term “bullet-time” into the pop culture consciousness. While some of the visual effects in the Wachowskis’ game-changing science-fiction thriller may now look a little dated (hey, it’s been over 13 years, after all), the maestro flourish featuring Neo (Keanu Reeves) dodging the tiny particles being fired at him by the Agents (mostly by really, really leaning back) remains an exhilarating sight. What a great hero moment – and a great bullet moment, at that.


“Superman Returns” (2006) – “Bullet vs. Superman’s Eye”

And who do you think wins? Special effects technology has leaped tall buildings in a single bound since the time of the 1978 “Superman,” which means that by 2006 director Bryan Singer could really get big (or, in this case, small) in showing off the many powers of the Man of Steel. We love this scene mostly because this idiot truly seems to think that a silly machine gun is going to stop the guy in the red cape whom everyone knows can’t be hurt by bullets, even when there’s a lot of them all at once. That single bullet being crushed by coming into contact with one of Superman’s baby blues is one of the film’s most audience-pleasing moments.


“Fight Club” (1999) – “Exorcising Tyler Durden”

Sure, the Narrator’s (Edward Norton) last resort in ridding himself of his id-driven terrorist alter-ego (Brad Pitt) might not make much sense (we guess a bullet in the cheek is a quick cure for psychosis?), but it sure is viscerally satisfying … especially when Tyler himself gets one more quip in (“What’s that smell?”) before hitting the floor and floating back into the subconsious. One has to wonder if screenwriter Jim Uhls didn’t quite know how to wrap up the central conflict in “Fight Club” after considerably changing the ending of Chuck Palahniuk’s novel already, but hey, there’s something about it that works just fine. Unfortunately we don’t have the clip itself, but why not go behind-the-scenes of the movie magic that brought this slo-mo ker-blam to life?


“Pulp Fiction” (1994) – “Marvin Should’ve Had an Opinion”

“Oh man, I shot Marvin in the face…” John Travolta’s blithe line reading of hapless hitman Vincent Vega’s reaction to his unfortunate “accident” in Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” turns a shockingly violent set piece into one of the film’s funniest moments (Jules’ profane-ridden outrage at the sudden situation helps, too). We’ll never quite know how Vincent managed to squeeze on the trigger whilst insisting that his associate, Marvin, has to have an opinion on whether or not the fact that he and Jules (Samuel L. Jackson) survived a recent ambush was an “act of God” or not, but it’s probably most definitely not because driver Jules “hit a bump or something.” Anyway, time to get to Jimmy’s at Toluca Lake and call the Wolf to clean up the mess!


“Fargo” (1996) – “Ohhhhh geez…”

“I gave simple fu**ing instructions!” Oh, Carl, don’t you know this caper was doomed from the start when it couldn’t be agreed whether Shep said the meeting was 7:30 or 8:30? Things go from bad to almost supernaturally worse in “Fargo,” and Wade’s (Harve Presnell) alpha-male ego doesn’t help matters when he thinks he can strong-arm the men who kidnapped his daughter. “No Jean, no money!” gets Wade shot through his parka (we love that poof of cotton – oh, Coen Brothers!), though he manages to avenge himself somewhat by shooting Carl in the face (Steve Buscemi). “You should see the other guy,” Carl will later joke to his partner, Gaer Grimsrud (Peter Stormare), who will later top it all by showing you don’t need a gun when an axe and wood chipper will do just fine.

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Jay Baruchel’s potential “RoboCop” role revealed

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Jay Baruchel might not be confirmed as a member of the cast of Jose Padhila’s “RoboCop” just yet, but at least we know more about his potential character.

The Hollywood Reporter is saying that Baruchel is “nearing a deal” to join the “RoboCop” gang, and that he’ll be on the villainous end of the spectrum. According to the website, Baruchel will be playing the head of marketing for OmniCorp, the corporation at the heart of the movie.

He’ll be joining an already impressive list of actors that includes Joel Kinnaman (“The Killing”) as Alex Murphy, the police officer who will later become RoboCop; Abbie Cornish as his wife; Gary Oldman as the scientist who created RoboCop; Hugh Laurie as the CEO of Omnicorp (the company that created RoboCop); Samuel L. Jackson as a charismatic media mogul and Jackie Earle Haley as Maddox, the man who gives RoboCop his military training. Baruchel’s inclusion will just about round out the cast.

The film doesn’t have a US release date yet, but it’s due out in the UK on August 9, 2013. Here’s the official plot synopsis:

“In ‘RoboCop,’ the year is 2029 and multinational conglomerate OmniCorp is at the centre of robot technology. Their drones are winning American wars around the globe and now they want to bring this technology to the home front. Alex Murphy is a loving husband, father and good cop doing his best to stem the tide of crime and corruption in Detroit. After he is critically injured in the line of duty, OmniCorp utilises their remarkable science of robotics to save Alex’s life. He returns to the streets of his beloved city with amazing new abilities, but with issues a regular man has never had to face before.”

This premise sounds virtually the same as the 1987 Paul Verhoeven original, but the remake will likely end up being different in some ways. The casting announcements haven’t lined up so far, and the little we’ve heard about the movie from those involved tease that it might not be the same RoboCop we all adore so much.

Do you think Baruchel will be a good addition to this remake? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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