RoboCop, rap music, and futuristic discs.

I’m a big fan of the original RoboCop (1987; my comments), so I must say I get a kick out of this plot synopsis set to rap music — or, rather, to a rap-ified version of Basil Poledouris‘s original score (warning: the violence and profanity remain R-rated):

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Two quick comments, if I may:

First, the silent-movie bit at the end is just goofy, and completely unexpected. I love it.

Second, I marvel at how casually the rapper says the villain, Clarence Boddicker, is popping a “DVD” into the player, around the 5:00 mark. DVDs did not exist when this film came out; indeed, they would not be put on the market for another decade. What’s more, CDs were still something of a rarity at this time; I lived in a small college dorm with about 50 other guys when this movie came out, and only one of us — maybe two, I’m not quite sure — had a CD player. It was, in fact, because of my exposure to this guy’s CD player that I made a point of buying one for myself after the term was over and I had come home. (It cost about $350, as I recall — about the price of a Blu-Ray player today.) So when this film came out, the mere fact of playing something on a disc rather than a tape was still right there on the cutting edge — and the thought of playing a video off of one of these small compact discs was pure science fiction. And, well, look where we are now.

Now I just need to figure out how to get data from a computer by stabbing it with one of those spikes. Then again, USB plugs are smaller and less likely to poke out an eye. Never mind.

About Peter T. Chattaway

Peter T. Chattaway was the regular film critic for BC Christian News from 1992 to 2011. In addition to his film column, which won multiple awards from the Evangelical Press Association, the Canadian Church Press and the Fellowship of Christian Newspapers, his news and opinion pieces have appeared in such publications as Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Bible Review and the Vancouver Sun. He also contributed essays to the books Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson’s Film and Its Critics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) and Scandalizing Jesus?: Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years on (Continuum, 2005).

  • The Voice of Objective Truth

    Ah, but USB sticks are harder to use for self defense. I say bring on the spikes!

  • Anonymous

    It’s not really so farsighted that DVDs were foreseen back when CDs were new. Philips invented CD by redeveloping video recording technology they had already perfected and were marketing under the name LaserVision. This held an hour of high-quality TV on a shiny 12-inch disc. It was easily foreseeable that LaserVision could be combined with the digital technology already developed for CDs to come up with a digital video disc, which would be smaller than LaserVision discs and likely the same size as CDs.

    BTW the size of CDs was a early battle between Philips, the inventor of CDs, who wanted them small enough that the player could fit in the car radio hole of a European car, and Sony, their development partner, whose boss insisted that CDs must hold his favourite 73-minute Beethoven symphony. Sony won.

    The original Star Trek series had an episode where huge amounts of data about the past of a dying planet were stored in a libary of shiny discs under 5 inches un diameter. At the time, CDs were many years away.


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