Sunday, December 23, 2012

Oh, Hello Cruel World: 2012 In Review.

"In such ugly times, the only true protest is beauty."
-Phil Ochs

     The quote above is one I've been going back to a lot lately. Wayne Kramer has some variation of it, too. Lately, life has just seemingly gotten grim enough to warrant repeat visits to this up-lifting, inspirational quote. This one is on a homemade poster in my mind, scribbled in Sharpie over a cat hanging from a branch by his last, singular claw. Like I said, grim.

     So when a couple of wackadoos* decide to arm themselves with high-caliber firearms and take out their scramble-brained frustrations on moviegoers, mall shoppers and school children, it's enough to make you want to throw up your hands and give up on humanity completely. This is the dismal and violent world some people seems to want for our country, I suppose. Maybe a butterfly will land on a shell casing or someone will draw wings on a chalk outline at the next hideous mass gun death event (it's coming--sorry, but this is yet another sad, soul obliterating "new normal" to get used to). Some kind of beautiful protest among the aftermath, maybe. I don't know.

     Given the recent mass murders which took place recently in Connecticut, you can possibly forgive me for not giving much a shit to devoting 110% to my end-of-the-year list (and by "you" I mean "me", since I'm beginning to get the feeling that I'm the only one who actually reads this blog anyway--woe is me...)

     So here's a list of a bunch of stuff I liked in 2012. Not that it really matters in light of current events. It is what it is. And sorry if this post is a downer. If you're looking for lighter, sunny, happy reading fare, may I suggest one of those blogs dedicated to a talentless reality show assholes/assholettes. Those are usually blissfully oblivious distractions, right?

    Anyway, here's the Rocket Science Alliance Year End List of my favorite stuff which occupied my time when not watching Rome burn at home. And remember: these are lists of my personal favorites, not "best of" lists (all best-of anything lists being arbitrary and highly disagreeable bullshit, anyway, in my not-so-humble opinion). Enjoy regardless, I guess...


 Top 10 Favorite Records of 2012


1. Grizzly Bear Shields (Warp) - To paraphrase Edward G. Robinson in the great film noir, Double Indemnity: Every element on Grizzly Bear's Shields-from the songwriting, production, track listing, and even the album artwork-fits together like a watch.  "Yet Again" and "Sleeping Ute" may be the stand-out tracks here, but they are framed so perfectly between the other eight songs on this album as to remind you exactly why the long player format is still vital in this digitally-dim single-song age. Shields is an album so absolutely flawless, I'm hard-pressed to even think of a single thing that's wrong with it.


2. Anna Calvi Anna Calvi (Domino) - On her debut, self-titled album, Anna Calvi cooks-up desert noir as if she eats it regularly for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Calvi's breathy vocals float like cigarette smoke trails while her song craft leans towards the moody, atmospheric and heavily reverb-drenched; she strangles her guitar as if it owes her money, rending only the most blissfully tortured and contorted notes from it. This is the underrated album of the year that you should be bragging/boring to your friends and colleagues about.


3.Ty Segall Band Slaughterhouse (In the Red) - Trying Guided By Voices for the most amount of album released this year, Ty Segall unleashed a seemingly relentless barrage of skull-rattling bare-bones garage rawk, thrice fold. Of those three albums, Slaughterhouse hammers the hardest, delivering 11 rollicking, rambunctious ditties, each better than the last. "Fuck yeah!"


4. Lotus Plaza Spooky Action At A Distance (Kranky) - Infusing shoegaze with 80's jangly new wave guitar chimes (al a' New Order, Echo and the Bunnymen, Psychedelic Furs, etc.) and droning vocals a Gregorian monk would envy, Lotus Plaza manage the neat trick of making those ingredients not sound trite or tired. On the contrary; Spooky Action At A Distance is probably one of the most hypnotic, blissed-out and rewarding repeating listening experiences of the year.


5. Violens True (Slumberland) - There's this drink called the "buttery nipple." It's thick, creamy, butterscotch-tasting, and absolutely fuckin' delicious (if not embarrassing to order: "One buttery nipple, please!" "Your finest butter nipple, toot sweet!") Violens' debut album, True, sounds like this drink tastes: a golden, gooey, gauze-y masterwork that slides down slowly and agreeably. Also, that dude on the cover is totally doorbell-ing this chick's nipple, so there's your loosely-based buttery nipple allusion right there, I guess.


6. Lilys/Big Troubles split 7" (Speakertree) - Lilys are my favorite band of all time. One song is good enough. A new album would have been better, but honestly, I'll take what I can get. (See my earlier review here.)


7. Guided By Voices Class Clown Spots A UFO (GBV Inc.) - Of the three (!) albums released by these original, reunited Dayton, Ohio vets (on the group's own label, no less), Class Clown Spots A UFO gets the gold (Let's Go Eat the Factory and Bears for Lunch tie for silver). With songs such as "Keep It In Motion," "Billy Wire" and "No Transmission," Class Clown... finds Bob Pollard and co. successfully diving back into the lo-fi garage pop that made Bee Thousand and Alien Lanes such seminal albums. The Tobin Sprout-fronted "Starfire" is quite simply beautiful. Beer me, Bob!


8. Mac DeMarco 2 (Captured Tracks) - On 2 (his second album of the year, natch!), Mac DeMarco sounds like a Canadian who just lets his freak flag fly unfettered. And good on him, since this maple-leafed weirdo really knows how to write superbly off-kilter and highly infectious pop music (as evidenced by "Freaking Out the Neighborhood" and "Sherill"). "My Kind of Woman" and "Ode to Viceroy," however, display soulful slink beyond any odd-novelty perception. This is just a songwriter making great music on his own terms. Thank gawd for that!


9. Cat Power Sun (Matador) - Oh, Chan Marshall! You insanely whip-smart and batshit crazy baroness; you're catnip to man-children like me. Your new album, Sun, is brutally fuckin' brilliant. But of course you must know that by now (hell, you probably thought so when you were making the damned thing, right?) "Cherokee" "Ruin," and "Manhattan" are freeze-ray fractured slices of fried gold, and this record of yours has become an repeat-play turntable addiction, pretty much.


10. King Tuff King Tuff (Sub Pop) - Unlike most over-celebrated albums released this year (Grimes, Sleigh Bells and Flying Lotus come to mind), only the most truly hard-headed contrarian asshat could claim that they dislike King Tuff's hyper-kinetic slab-o-wax. Shit, what's not to like about this record? It rocks? It sounds like fun in a bottle? It's the best soundtrack to a game of beer pong, like, ever? Yeah, everyone loves this album. Know why? It's really fuckin' good. That's why!


Top 5 Favorite Album Covers


1. Chromatics Kill For Love (Italians Do It Better) - Warm hues depicting a hollow body guitar being strummed rockingly askew. Follows the first rule of graphic design simply and perfectly by giving you an album cover you want to look at over and over again.


2. Bat For Lashes The Haunted Man (The Echo Label, Ltd.) - An album cover as confident, fearless and bad-ass as the singer-songwriter gracing it. Thus proves that Natasha Khan has chutzpah to spare.


3. Parquet Courts Light Up Gold (Dull Tools) - Off-the-cuff, cut-n-paste album art as messy and brilliant as the music it houses. I only wish I made mixtape collage covers this effective and effortlessly.


4. OFF! OFF! (Vice Music) - Any time Raymond Pettibon puts his artwork on an album cover is cause for celebration.


5. Howler America Give Up (Rough Trade) - It looks like a pack of cigarettes you could only get in craft culture cities. You can never go wrong with the Portland color palette.


Favorite Song of 2012

Blur "Under the Westway" (EMI)

     Have you noticed how blah things seem lately? That feeling of utter misery lurking just below the paper-thin veneer of our collective consciousnesses? Well, it's not just you. Ever since the turn of the century, things have just seemed, well, glum. Terrorism, gun violence, political strife, online trolls, economic uncertainty, Adam Sandler movies; life in the 21 Century seems to have a glut of never ending travails. No song summed-up this feeling of bleakness better than Blur's title track from the single of the same name: "Under the Westway." Hidden within this dour piano ballad, Damon Albarn sings of his grey-skied city sinking at a greater pace, familiar "old school" conventions being lost to time and obsolescence, jet fuel falling from the heavens as sirens wail away in the distance. It's a dismal affair, until Albarn injects a dash of humanity into the drudgery, proclaiming his love for (and projecting his hope into) someone who manages to pull his heart from modern life's rubbish. "Paradise not lost/It's in you" he pleads at the song's swell. Times may be dreary now, but the human spirit still preservers, and better things are on the horizon. They have to be.




Favorite Music Video of 2012

The Intelligence "(They Found Me In) The Back of the Galaxy"  (from Everybody's Got It Easy But Me, In The Red)

     In keeping with The Intelligence's devil-may-give-a-fuck ethos, the video for "(They Found Me In The Back Of) The Galaxy" (filmed at Seatlle's famed The Pony) is just as lo-fi, clang-y and brilliant as the song; a perfect chocolate-n-peanut butter collision of sight n' sound. Also, the grrrl in the green eyeshadow is very homina, homina, homina. So there's that.




Favorite Live Show of 2012

The Helio Sequence, The Townhouse, Sacramento, CA

     Admittedly, I didn't get out to very many shows this year. Like, at all, really. Simply too broke or busy with other things, I suppose. This show however took place down the street from where I lived, so I had no excuse not to go. And I'm glad I did, since these fella's put on a fairly solid and welcome mid-week show.  I've been a fan of this Beaverton, Oregon duo's music since they debuted back in the early Aughts, drawn to their densely layered mix of shoegaze and proto-pop. In keeping with most shows that take place in Sacramento, the crowd was subdued, bobbing their heads in time with the music and politely clapping after the band finished each of their songs (which mostly consisted of tracks from their new album, Negotiations, augmented with selected sonic "classics" such as "Keep Your Eyes Ahead," and "Hallelujah"). I'm glad I got to finally see this band play live, if for no other reason than to have at least one live show to write about.




Top 5 Favorite Films of 2012

"According to this map, Bumbershoot should be going on right around here."
1. Moonlight Kingdom - It makes sense that director Wes Andersen's first period piece would harken back to the late 1960's. It's as if all of the well-placed tchotchkes in his previous six films led-up to this. Moonrise Kingdom serves to remind you of a more innocent period in time when young love was simple, sweet and screwy, running away from home was the apex of rebellion, and wandering alone in the woods wouldn't land you in a clandestine marijuana grow site or a shallow grave. As per usual in Andersen's films, it's those adults in impeccably twee uniforms who have mucked-up their interpersonal skills, and, by film's end, get their shit together enough to realize they really need to get their shit together. The heart of this film, of course, belongs to the young, emotionally charged star-crossed lovers at its center. Their story is timeless, serving to wistfully remind even the most emotionally jaded, jilted, scarred, and weather-beaten heart what those first youthful pangs of uncomplicated love truly felt like. Moonrise Kingdom is Wes Anderson's most masterful film to date.

2. Skyfall - The ONLY film in the world that has earned the right to murder a classic Aston-Martin DB8 (hear that original The Italian Job?!?) Oh yeah, this film is everything you want in a Bond film: action, sex, gadgets, sex gadgets, a horribly disfigured baddie played by Javier Bardem, etc, etc.

3. Take This Waltz -  Writer and Director Sarah Polley's slow burn examination of a young woman (played by the brilliantly transcendent Michelle Williams) who, unfulfilled by her listless yet love-filled marriage, finds herself slowly tempted into pursuing an extramarital romance with an attractive and attentive neighbor.

4. Looper - Starring Joseph Gordon Levitt and Bruce Willis, and written and directed Rian Johnson (Brick), Looper brilliantly twists time travel tropes with a caustic cocktail mix of loose morals, questionable ethics, double crosses, and the follies of a generation reared in single parent households. Shit's deep.

5. The Dark Knight Rises - "Batman! Thank god you're back in town! Where were you for the entire middle of this story? Oh, painting a giant bat symbol on a bridge with gasoline, huh? Okay... Well we need you to go and defeat the super villian with a respirator who basically handed your ass to you earlier, alright? Great!"


Favorite Book of 2012

The Enlightened Cyclist by BikeSnobNYC (aka Eben Weiss) - Chronicle Books.

     Known primarily for his scathingly hilarious bike-oriented blog, bikesnobnyc, said Snob (Eben Weiss) follows-up his witty and biting debut novelette, Bike Snob, with The Enlightened Cyclist; a book full of not-so-surprising depth and reverence for the bicycling culture near and dear to his heart. I say "not surprisingly" because Weiss is not only a witty and intelligent writer, but a thoughtful and impassioned one, as well. For all of Weiss's snide (and perfectly adroit) observations on the ridiculousness of certain aspects of bicycling culture, he still holds-fast to a level of reverence that sees the act of simply getting in the saddle and letting the bicycle transform you (in mood, health, philosophy, et al.) as Manna from Bicycle Heaven for the rider's soul. When Weiss talks about bicycle culture butting heads with car culture, he introduces constructive avenues of thought rather than pandering to confrontation warriors who favor hard-headed obstanance by participate in Critical Mass-type protests rides. Sure, "One Less Care" is a great fender sticker, but, as Weiss recommends, why do battle with a form of vehicular commuting that isn't disappearing anytime soon when you can convey to these drivers that your bicycle riding is "One Less Car" in traffic or "One Less Car" in line at the gas station? In doing so, perhaps they'll be more careful when driving around us as we ride. Insights such as this make The Enlightened Cyclist a must-read not only for those of us who enjoy riding our bikes, but for those who have yet to understand why we do. Who knows? Perhaps this informative, idea-inducing and highly entertaining book may (hopefully) help bridge the gap.





Favorite "Thing" of 2012

The North Face "Vince" Trench Coat (www.thenorthface.com)

    As I was going to "print" with this blog I wasn't really sure what doodad to put in this section. I just purchased a vintage Raleigh "Sports" 3-speed bicycle that I'm planning on using as my daily commuter to Portland State, but somehow that didn't seem flashy enough to warrant mentioning here for some reason. As I was heading out the door on a particularly rainy evening to retrieve some take-out, I grabbed my recently purchased "Vince" rainproof trench coat from The North Face. The kinda douche-y name aside, this rain-deflecting coat is pretty badass, featuring a two-way zipper front with augmented button snaps (perfect for when you're, say, riding a bike), a removable hood, hidden pockets galore, and a length that's more "car coat" than actual trench which covers your bum and junk from getting doused by the rain. The one element about this coat that I really like (unlike other products from this company which feature their large garish logos in white) are the subtle front and back shoulder North Face logos in black silk thread which matches the coat's black color. The only drawbacks of this rainproof coat that I can detect so far is that the hood does not feature pull strings to cinch it around your face when the wind blows. Oh, and the price is pretty spendy at $180.00. But then again this is a jacket by The North Face, so what do you expect?


And finally...


All 23 James Bond Films Rated Worst To Best

"Where the bloody hell do you chaps suppose David Niven is with those damned martini's?"
Since everyone and their grandmother has seemingly made a list rating all 23 of the James Bond films from best-to-worst upon Skyfall's release last fall, I thought I'd finish out my Year In Review list with my own rating of the most successful film franchise in cinema history. As an avid and devoted fan of 007, here is how I rate Her Majesty's most loyal MI6 agent.

23. Die Another Day (2002)
An invisible Aston-Martin, horrid CGI, Haley Berry's all-one-liner dialogue, the kitchen sink plot (space lasers again?!?), a monotone Madonna in a "cameo", etc, etc. C'mon!

22. Moonraker (1979)
In space, no one can hear you groan ...or recycle the plot of The Spy Who Loved Me.

21. Quantum of Solace (2008)
The world already has a Jason Bourne, Mr. Bond, and he's loosely based off of you!

20. A View To A Kill (1985)
You know you're a spy in trouble when the best thing about your film is a title song by an 80's new wave band.

19. License To Kill (1989)
As Gene Siskel noted in his At the Movies review upon this film's release, License To Kill just looks and feels drab.

18. Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
Even with its muddled plot, it sure was good to see Sean Connery back in the tuxedo again.

17. Live and Let Die (1973)
Roger Moore's first outing finds Bond smack dab in the middle of the 1970's blacksploitation genre and voodoo witch doctors. Um, yeah...

16. On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)
An intriguing entry that suffers from giving the world a brand new Bond when it didn't want one, marrying him off and then killing his wife (in what also has to be the most downer ending of any Bond film in the canon).

15. The World Is Not Enough (1999)
With a plot that features a pretty nifty twist as to who the movie's actual arch villain really is, even the most die-hard Bond fan couldn't accept Denise Richards as a nuclear scientist.

14. The Man With the Golden Gun (1974)
A serviceable plot involving Bond being lured into confronting master assassin Francisco Scaramanga at his psychedelic fun house/shooting range. "The plane! "The plane!"

13. The Living Daylights (1987)
Timothy Dalton tried, but the world just wasn't yet ready for a self-serious super spy willing to perform the most breathtaking and harrowing stunts in the franchise's history.

12. Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
Gets the merit badge alone for featuring a gleefully vainglorious baddie that's an absurd hybrid of Rupert Murdoch, Bill Gates and The Emperor from Star Wars. Also, the chase scene involving a remote control BMW sedan was an inspired touch.

11. Octopussy (1983)
Action, intrigue, gadgets and a spectacular airial acrobatic opening sequence involving a mini jet and a heatseeking missle aside, this film is called Octopussy! Say it out loud: "That's my little Octopussy."

10. For Your Eyes Only (1981)
A leaner, more stripped-down adventure finds Bonds trying to retrieve a MacGuffin while romancing an emerald-eyed bow huntress out for revenge, and kicking a non-verbal killer off a cliff (Mercedes sedan and all).

9. From Russia With Love (1963)
You have to know, as an globetrotting spy with a Scottish accent, just how irresistible to women you when one sneaks into your bedroom wearing nothing but a velvet choker. Aye, "Old Boy?"

8. Dr. No (1962)
The film that started it all, made memorable when a bikini-clad Ursala Andress emerged from the sea to banter with our hero.

7. The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
Dated disco music aside, tell me you didn't feel a ping of pride when Bond, pursued by Russian agents, skis off a snow-covered cliff face and floats out into the great unknown for and agonizing 10 seconds before his parachute opens to reveal a giant Union Jack as the Bond theme thunders-in.

6. You Only Live Twice (1967)
Assassinated and brought back into the living as a ninja, Bond (with the aid of a heavily-armed mini-copter) sets out to put the kibosh on SPECTRE by destroying their Japanese base of operations: a massive, hollowed-out volcano spaceport.

5. Goldeneye (1995)
After the rather glum six-year hiatus that followed the Dalton years, Pierce Brosnan finally bungee jumped-in to claim the singular role he seemed destined to play. Right out of the gate, when he says "Bond. James Bond," you instantly know this is the line Brosnan was meant to proclaim. And that tank chase scene is pretty nifty.

4. Skyfall (2012)
When you really think about it, this is M's story, with Bond playing the dutiful protector and surrogate son. This may be the first Bond film where the action and adventure serves to heighten its emotional core, and that is a very good thing indeed. Let's just hope the next Bond film doesn't feel the need to keep "slyly" referencing Bond films of yore (as all three of the Craig-era outings have so far).

3. Thunderball (1965)
Even the name of this fourth Bond film reeks of action and adventure. From the opening jet pack getaway, to the underwater fight scenes, to SPECTRE villian Emilio Largo's yacht (with detachable hydrofoil, no less) are pitch perfect Bondian moments in a pitch-perfect Bond film (so much so, it was recycled in the 80's for a non-EON-Bond Connery comeback titled Never Say Never Again).

2. Casino Royale (2006)
As eager as James Bond was to prove himself worthy of his new rank in this reboot of the franchise, so too was Daniel Craig to prove himself to the world that he belonged in 007's bespoke tuxedo. Craig not only silenced his detractors, but went on to win-over die hard fans, brand new fans and industry accolades alike. Craig's Bond is brooding, brutal and deadly; the perfect "blunt instrument" for these ever-shifting and uncertain times. But it's his loyalty to Queen, country and M that are Bond's best attributes, and Craig makes it easy to root for the good guy, even when he stumbles to find his footing.

1. Goldfinger (1964)
This is the Bond film; the movie that established the template for all Bond movies to follow. Goldfinger gave the movie-watching world the megalomaniac Auric Goldfinger, whose love of gold superseded only that of elevating crime to the wondrous and spectacular heights of molecular science and space travel. It also introduced his henchmen: Odd Job, a mute tank-of-a-man whose blade-imbedded bowler hat could slice the head off a cement statue, and Pussy Galore, a tough-as-nails acrobatic pilot whose name would go on to inspire eye-roll-inducing appellations for Bond girls to come (Holly Goodhead, Christmas Jones, Strawberry Fields, etc.) Goldfinger even established indelible hallmarks for the franchise, from the spectacular pre-credits opening sequence, to Bond's gadget-filled Aston-Martin DB5, to the image of Bond's dead lover, Jill Masterson, asphyxiated and covered, head-to-toe, in gold paint. But it's Connery's Bond that steals the show here. Confident, cocky and resourceful, Bond breezes through one dangerous situation after the next, be it dispatching an assassin with nothing more than a bathtub and a plugged-in fan, or making witty bon mots while facing down a laser intended to slice him in two up the middle. Goldfinger is simply a fun, action packed film, made effortlessly so by that MI6 agent with a slick Scottish inflection, a way with the women and a license to thrill.





*My apologies to any Wackadoos I may have offended.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hallelujah! There's New Lilys Music In The Air!

Lilys/Big Troubles split 7", 2012 Speakertree Records.


"Here. This sounds like something you might like."

These were the words spoken to me in English by my friend Mark's roommate, Leif, as he handed me a CD titled Eccsame the Photon Band with an album cover depicting blurred swirls of red, yellow and purple against a baby blue background. In the lower left-hand side was a small box featuring a blurry image of what appeared to be the band members, with the name of this crew superimposed over them with the "S" slowly creeping out: Lilys.

Lilys Eccsame the Photon Band
Leif was right. This CD was something I would indeed like. At the time (1994, or somewhere thereabouts), I was ear-deep into the cross-pollination discovery of both shoegaze and slowcore (My Bloody Valentine, Codeine, Bedhead, Slowdive, Low, Ride, The Telescopes, etc.) and Eccsame The Photon Band was like manna from Heaven. Multiple listens to this record were like breathing fresh air after being holed-up in a city too long, successfully ollieing up a curb for the first time, or your first real good lay after losing your virginity.

This record was a revelation; something I wanted, yet didn't know I was waiting for it. Eccsame opens all slow and measured, taking it's time weaving around your brain, while breaking occasional to let loose a barrage of distortion and electricity. The vocals were hushed and haunting, but not in the cheesy I just described five words ago in this very sentence. This record even featured these little melodies lasting only a couple of seconds every other song, stretching an nine song album out into 14. "Like" this band? Hell, I was in love.

So, you could imagine my consternation when I hoofed-it down to Tower Records to purchase another Lilys recording (the A Brief History Of Amazing Letdowns EP) only to get home and hear Dinosaur Jr-esque porch rock winding out of my stereo speakers (not a disappointment, mind you, but rather an eventually pleasant surprise). Then, to compound things further, a later purchase at Amoeba Records in Berkeley of both In the Presence Of Nothing (shoegaze-y) and Better Can't Make Your Life Better (British Invasion-ish) only added to my perplexity. Don't get me wrong; these were (and still very much are) great albums, but what the hell was going on here?

Photo: www.flickr.com/photos/jaguarbytes
What the hell was going on here, it turned out, was the gliding force behind this hazy bouquet of a band:  one Mr. Kurt Heasley, a nomadic mad scientist roaming the east coast while making merry with the genre shifting of his band. Wrangling members of indie-rock luminaries (that would include members, over time, also attached to the likes of Velocity Girl, Beachwwod Sparks, Ape School, etc.), Heasley's musical output ran the spectrum of whatever sound seemingly mastered his attention. It also helped that his considerable songwriting talent and penchant for rendering near-flawless melodies and harmonies kept the entire affair far away from the territories of kitsch and novelty. Heasley was/is handy with the guitar, sings with a static lullaby coo and, at 8 feet tall, makes for one tall drink of showman where live appearances are concerned.

So, yeah, naturally, I had to collect every album, EP, single, and rarity track these Lilys ever put out. I once shelled-out $50 bucks for the band's "Tone Bender" 7" on eBay. I squealed like a little girl upon discovering the Which Studies The Past 7" EP in a bin a Tonevendor Records in Sacramento. I even begged (no, really: begged!) a fellow fan with a now-defunct Mediafire webpage dedicated to Lilys for a CD-R of his entire collection of non-album rarity tracks. 

To say I love this band is an understatement. Lilys are to me what your favorite (yet vastly inferior) band are to you. My Bloody Valentine, Love, Pavement, John Coltrane, Nina Simone, Big Star, Frank Sinatra, The Smiths, Guided By Voices, etc., etc., etc...: Lilys are at the top of the heap in my appreciation of music (your heap may differ. and bully for you!) 

So, you can imagine my unmitigated glee-gasam upon discovering that Lilys have released a new song after six years of hibernation. It's called "Well Traveled Is Protest," and in my completely biased opinion, this three-minute ditty is pretty fuckin' great. It features catchy melodies that dodge left when you think they're going right, acoustic strumming cresting over lo-fi chamber-pop orchestration, cryptic lyrics ("I Change For Change/I Don't Know Why"), Heasley's mischievously breathy vocal delivery, and so on and so forth. This song is the A-Side on a split 7" with Brooklyn-based Slumberland Records' artists Big Troubles. You can Tumblr more about this release here and pre-order it at the Speakertree Records blog-site here. And you can listen to this new song below:

  


Glad you're back, Wally!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Mixtape Making In The 21st Century

A couple of months ago, whilst answering a friend's dire call for suggestions for new music on the FaceBook, I wrote to tell her that I could have a mix CD sent out to her, toot'sweet. Her reply?

"A mix CD? How old school. Thanks."

Old school, indeed. I've been making audio compilations of music since I was a teenager, and handcrafting collage covers for my audio creations for just as long. I still fondly remember that Christmas day in 1986 when my sister surprised me with a Memorex dual-deck cassette player and recorder. Aw shitness! That was a red letter holiday for me. When home CD burning technology came along in the late 1990's, my mix-making went into overdrive. Oh, and the effects ones superior mix CD-making prowess has on the opposite sex. Color one, possibly two, women impressed, I tell you.

But this is a new century, and as my friend in Brooklyn (oh yeah, I know people in Brooklyn. Impressed?) so indelicately educated me, and physical compilation of recorded music are about as technologically savvy as a Nintendo Gameboy connected to a dot matrix printer. Enter the music sharing site 8tracks.com. Here, I can make and share my compilation creations without involving the blank compact disc-manufacturing, paper printing, stuff-sending-through-post-offices industrial complex. The charm of receiving a mixtape now beams from the cold, sterile screen of a computation device. 

The ritual of recording music tailor-made to the individual, now rendered via chips and blips and 1's and 0's. I'm Robocop with a iTunes playlist, now. Welcome to the new tradition.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

"Huzzah!" The 10 Things I'd Like To See In The New Arrested Development Season and Movie

Bluths then...

     After years of speculation, false starts and seemingly near-empty promises, on-set photos via Twitter confirm that the fourth season of Arrested Development (and a follow-up movie) is actually a reality. Slated for release in 2013 exclusively on Netflix, each episode will reportedly focus on each of the show's major characters, culminating in the motion picture.

...and now!

     As one of many fans of the exploits of the horrid and hilarious Bluth clan, there are about a kajillion in-jokes and recurring themes I'd love to see re-incorporated and/or slyly inserted back into both the new season and the film (ex. "I've made a huge mistake," "Her...?," "C'mon!", etc.) Below are the top 10:

1. The Bluth Company Stair Car: A character unto itself, the Bluth Company Stair Car deserves to go out in a blaze of glory, like the starship Enterprise every time they blow it up in the motion pictures. Oh, and watch out for hop ons! You will get some hop ons.

Tied with...

1. Bleeps: One of the absolute best things about Arrested Development is the creative manner in which the show got its hilariously profane humor past the censors. When actual profanity was called for, however, a character would hide their mouths behind an object while the objectionable word(s) were bleeped out. Never has the bleep been more masterfully deployed than it was in the episode where Buster gives as good as he gets. One more thing: have you ever seen a feature film in which the bleep has ever been used as recurring gag? Think about it.

2. Ice: You can put you problems on Ice, but you can't have a party without him. Just remember, you're not his friend, you're his client.

3. Potential New Chicken Dances: We have yet to see Maeby, George Micheal or Tobias's interpretation of the chicken dance. Just close your eyes and let your imagination go wild! "Cluck-a, cluck-a, cluck-a, ahhhhhhhhh...!"

4. Franklin Delano Bluth: You're his bro, not his brother. And I can still see your lips moving.

5. Kitty Sanchez: She of the the surgically crooked breasts, as played by the funny, talented and easy-on-the-eyes Judy Greer. "Spring Break! Woo!!!"

6. The Hot Cops: They clean up the town. They shovel coal. They pose as friends at bachelor parties and company meetings announcing new CEOs. Heck, they even deliver pot. Hot. Cops. Hot!

7. Steve Holt: GOB's son, and the other cousin Maeby had pop-pop for, Steve Holt is possibly the most considerate character (after Michael, of course) on the show. He found God during his 4th senior year of high school, helped his Uncle Mike train for the father-son triathlon and he always announces his presence wherever he goes. "STEVE HOLT!"

8. More Original Music: "Big Yellow Joint." "Balls In the Air." "Yellow Boat." "Discipline Daddy." These are songs that define(d) a generation. Here's hoping the movie soundtrack features these timeless ditties and many more new ones.

9. More Of Tobias's Fruedian Slip-Ups: "I'm afraid I just blue myself." "Tobias. You blow hard!" "Hot sea..." "It's pronounced 'analrapist.'" You get the idea.

10. Carl Weathers: No supporting character on Arrested Development will ever equal the heights of hilariousness Carl Weathers managed playing the jovial tightwad with a reassuring smile. Whether it's knowing the loopholes in airline seat-bumping, the best cars to buy at police auction or how to make a stew without touching your per diem, Weather's Hollywood survival tips are inspired; his portrayal of himself as down-n-out actor surviving by thrifting and mooching his way into the Bluth's sorted and pathetic lives is simply genius. (I wish Carl Weathers was my dad.)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Dreamin' & Schemin': My "RoboCop" Sequel Reboot Script Outline

Is it just me, or is the current trend in Hollywood to remake or "reboot" films that were great (or even adequate) to begin with getting tiresome? In the last couple of years we've seen "updated" revisions of films that were fine as is (Footloose, for instance). Hell, Hollywood is set to soon release The Amazing Spider-Man, the first in a retooled franchise that isn't even a decade old (though, admittedly, Spider-Man 3 did completely suck. Boy, did that movie ever suck!)

Why so blue, Robo?
When news started brewing a couple of years ago about a RoboCop remake, I was instantly weary. RoboCop, made all the way back in 1987, still remains one of my all time favorite movies. It's mix of action, comedy and pathos (directed masterfully by Dutch filmmaker Paul Verhoeven in his American debut), was a brutally honest and violently gory satirical send-up of everything that made political landscape that was Reaganomics seem ridiculously quaint and gleefully insane. RoboCop, in my opinion, still holds up today. How could anyone think they could gloss enough modern CGI over this landmark film to improve all of the insanely magical elements that went into it?

RoboCop 2 (aka, RoboCain)
I have long contended that instead of remaking wonderful films that are perfectly fine without a modern make-over, Hollywood should take stock of those film that sucked the first time around and retool them. Case in point: while RoboCop is a spectacular film, its later iterations (the two sequels, the TV show, the two cartoon series, the abysmal Canadian-made mini-series, etc.) are exercises in diminish returns; each seemingly worse than the last. Instead of remaking a great film like RoboCop, why not remake the sequel, RoboCop 2, fixing and changing everything that didn't make the scraps that were Frank Miller's deeply flawed original script work?

Below is a 30-page (!) script outline I recently revamped from the original which I think would make for a much better Robocop 2 sequel. I've updated it slightly for these uncertain times we're living in and renamed "RoboCop Mk.2." In my dream scenario, I'd love to see Joss Wheadon or Ronald D. Moore at the helm of this film.

Give my retread a read-over and let me know what you think.

 
ROBOCOP MK.2 TITLE SEQUENCE

OMNI NEWS NETWORK (ONN) MEDIABREAK

A humorous commercial, followed by…

As Omni Consumer Products’ 24/7 media outlet, ONN is favorable to OCP’s politics, economic interests and social values. (“We’re Always ONN!”)

Two talking heads (a rugged and handsome man and a beautiful, blonde woman) bring us up to speed on a Detroit in utter chaos. With a police force on strike, whole sections of the city are in a constant state of chaos and anarchy, without sanitation or public transportation. Crime runs rampant.

Exacerbating an already bad situation is the NUKE epidemic. NUKE, a new designer drug addictive from the first hit, has brought dependency to nearly 30 percent of the city’s population. Designed and marketed by a mysterious figure known on the streets only as Cain, Nuke threatens to undo the basic fabric of society.

Cain, with delusions of Christ-like grandeur, sends a taped manifesto to ONN. His face is shrouded in shadows, and his voice is calming, almost serene. Newsfeed images of a drug rehabilitation clinic set aflame follow.

Next Up: In a roundtable discussion with like-minded hyperbolic pundants, ‘Cross Hairs’’ host, Dutch Rove, explains how the NUKE epidemic plaguing Detroit and threatening to go national is the complete and total fault of the Mayor Marvin Kuzak’s feckless administration.

IN THE CITY

Rove and his cohorts appear on various television screens in a store display. Suddenly, looters shatter the store’s display window, and the pundant’s images are zapped from the screen as the televisions are unplugged and carted away.

The streets of Old Detroit are dismal, lined with homeless people—some of which have turned to NUKE to ease their misery, some there because of their addiction. There is violence and desperation on display—the scene is utter bedlam.

Four thieves sit in a station wagon. Three of them NUKE-up, peer pressuring the fourth hesitant thief to do likewise. As they do this, an explosion rocks a gun store across the street. They quickly drive up to the gun shop and begin ransacking the place, as planned.

As the thieves load up their munitions, a squad car approaches. The thieves blast it with anti tank weapons and automatic weapons fire. The squad car lights up in a huge catapulting fireball and lands limply on the street below. Satisfied with their work, the thieves continue loading their station wagon.

The driver’s side door to the squad car opens, and from it emerges a slightly charred RoboCop (aka, Murphy), dispatching all but one of the thieves.

In a quick interrogation, RoboCop learns the location of a nearby NUKE distribution center, and that Cain himself is overseeing the operation. Grabbing the thief by the scruff of his neck, RoboCop parades him down the street as the whimpering thug shows him the way. People on the street pelt Robo and the thief with garabage, calling out “pig,” narc” and “snitch” as they pass.

Gaining access to the Nuke distribution center, RoboCop sees that it is basically a sweatshop. In a Dickensian setting, women and children labor in a basement while Cain, his lieutenants and cadre of armed muscle oversee their work.

RoboCop makes his presence known, and gunfire breaks out. The workers dive for cover, as RoboCop takes-out one thug after the next. During the melee, Cain and his crew manage to escape, but not before RoboCop spots a 17 year-old boy in Cain’s ranks. RoboCop freezes and saves the images of this kid in memory banks. Replaying this image repeatedly, RoboCop soon realizes who this kid is.

Meanwhile, Lewis has arrived on the scene joining RoboCop in the basement and quickly dispatches three gangsters. Rattled back into the action by a crying infant, RoboCop sees Lewis with her gun trained on a final thug attempting to use the infant as a human shield. Using his targeting and vectoring program, RoboCop ricochets a bullet off a cooler door and into the thug’s head. Lewis catches the infant and returns it to its mother, who is promptly taken into custody by incoming police officers.

Lewis explains to RoboCop that she is concerned for him, since he’s been in duty now for 60 straight hours. RoboCop tells Lewis he’s seen something that has shaken him to his core: the teenager in Cain’s gang is RoboCop’s/Murphy’s son, James.

STATION HOUSE

RoboCop and Lewis cross a picket line to enter Metro West’s underground parking lot. Inside, the Station House is complete chaos caused by the OCP-induced economic turmoil and the Nuke epidemic. RoboCop and Lewis push through to RoboCop’s on-site maintenance bay, where techies soon look him over and clean him up.

(RoboCop’s got some years on him, and it shows. His armor isn’t as shiny as it used to be; scuffs and scratches give Robo an almost classic, muscle car look.)

Elsewhere, Lieutenant Hedgecock struts past the holding pen, sneering and swearing at the prisoners inside. Once past the holding pen—and out of view of his fellow officers—Hedgecock takes a veil of Nuke out of his vest pocket and injects it into his neck. “Re-energized,” he resumes his day.

Meanwhile, RoboCop has patched into the OCP criminal justice mainframe, searching for his son. RoboCop finds James Murphy’s mug shot and rap sheet and sees that he’s been tried for a series of petty crimes. One of James aliases is “Hob.” It’s obvious from the company Hob now keeps that he is in way over his head.

RoboCop indicates to the computer terminal “seek last known address.”

OCP HEADQUARTERS

An irritated Mayor Kuzak arrives, greeted by OCP’s Vice-President, Donald Johnson. The Mayor and his Chief of Staff, Saul Poulos, have been called into a meeting by The Young Man (heir apparent to The Old Man, who passed away several years ago). The Young Man, unlike his Father, is a spoiled and short-sighted blue-blooded brat, eager to realize his Father’s dream of building Delta City on the ruins of Old Detroit at any cost (daddy issues).

The Young Man and his Chief Lawyer, Holzgang, outline that they are foreclosing on the outstanding, adjustable rate mortgage OCP lent to the city of Detroit; the city has one week to pay it back in full.

Infuriated, Kuzak blasts The Young Man for overspending when acquiring a rival corporation: Tetratech. Now Detroit has to pay for The Young Man’s na├»ve business miscalculation? The Mayor points out that municipalities-such as the cops, for example-have not been paid in months; people are dying in the streets. Where are the jobs OCP promised the City in exchange for those generous tax breaks?

When Kuzak asks The Young Man how he expects the city to pay back their debt in one week, The Young Man responds with a pithy, “That’s your problem.” With that, the Mayor storms out of the office in a flurry of expletives.

Meanwhile, Dr. Juliet Faxx, Security Concepts’ latest Marketing Director, presents a range of her division’s products to an audience of high-powered Pentagon representatives and international corporate and paramilitary representatives. On display are a host of revamped ED-209 units, outfitted for urban, jungle, desert, and even intergalactic environments. In the audience is Cain and his young girlfriend, Angie. The Young Man and Johnson walk in and oversee the event from the back row.

After her presentation, Johnson demands to see the progress Dr. Faxx and her chief robotics engineer (Dr. McNamara) are making in the Robocop Mk.2 project, which she has recently been attached to oversee. Reexamining prior video presentations, the results of this project have proved to be dismal.

Faxx explains that building cyborgs from dead police officers may not be the best idea; despite having their “memories wiped,” as soon as these candidates realize that they’ve been stripped of their humanity, the cyborgs commit suicide. She explains that Murphy head wound somehow altered the functioning of his limbic system (a process she assures Johnson and The Young Man her team is close to cracking) coupled with Murphy’s strong sense of duty is possibly what kept him going.

In a last ditch effort to rally the resources already spent on this project Faxx suggests Murphy’s case is not an anomaly, and that cyborg conversion may appeal to vain individuals seeking immortality. Besides, there are far better ways to control cyborgs now.

Intrigued (and beguiled by Faxx’s feminine charms), The Young Man grants her one more chance to make her project a success, despite Johnson’s reservations.


SUBURBAN STREET – ELLEN MURPHY’S HOME

RoboCop and Lewis pull up to a house in an outlying Detroit suburb. It’s the home listed as the last known address for James ‘Hob’ Murphy. Every other home on the block is empty and has a real estate sign in front of it.

Lewis and RoboCop approach the door and ring the bell. Ellen Murphy answers and is taken aback. Lewis explains to Ellen that her partner has something to tell her. RoboCop asks Lewis to wait in the car.

Lewis watches through the living room window as RoboCop reveals his true identity to Ellen, who bursts out crying and clings to RoboCop desperately. RoboCop hugs her gently. Lewis lets out a sigh.

OCP HEADQUARTERS

Faxx enters her office to see Cain lounging on a couch as Angie sifts through Faxx’s liquor cabinet. It soon becomes apparent that Cain is Faxx’s older brother. He tells Faxx that he enjoyed her presentation and requires some heavy-duty hardware to rid himself of his “Robocop problem.” He also makes it clear that if he doesn’t get what he wants from her, he’ll let it leak that he is Faxx’s blood relative, thus costing Faxx her job and reputation. With no other choice, Faxx gives Cain the access code to a warehouse where a recently acquired heavy duty Tetratech military device is being stored.

As Cain and Angie leave, it becomes clear to Faxx that her brother’s extortion will not end here, and she will have to put an end to it soon, somehow.

ELLEN MURPHY’S HOME

RoboCop and Ellen get reacquainted. He asks about James, and Ellen tells him that when Murphy died, she went into a deep depression. Unable to cope with the anger over his Father’s loss and his Mother’s despondence, James turned to a life of crime (gang as family). After seeking counseling, Ellen attempted to reconnect with James, but it was too late. The last place she saw him was at an old abandoned video game arcade downtown, where she believes James now lives.

RoboCop promises Ellen that he will find James and get him the help he needs.

THE OLD ARCADE

Lewis and RoboCop talk about Robo's reconnection with Ellen Murphy while on a stake out. They watch as Cain’s Second In Command, Catzo, and Hob pull up in Catzo’s cherry 1965 Coup de Ville. Catzo’s taken Hob under his wing, grooming the teenager as an up-and-coming player in Cain’s gang.

Lewis uses sound-enhancement gear to listen to the duo once inside, while Robo uses thermal imaging to track their movements, spotting two other armed thugs monitoring the arcade’s entrance. Catzo and Hob journey to the arcade’s second level were they are joined by another man. This man is Lt. Hedgecock.

Hedgecock hands Catzo some top secret police schematics. Catzo looks them over and then motions to Hob to give the Lt. a thick roll of hundred dollar bills. Hob also produces a small supply of Nuke, but Hedgecock declines. After some convincing by Catzo (and his own nagging addiction), Hedgecock begrudgingly accepts the “gift.”

RoboCop storms the front doors of the arcade and a firefight ensues. Catzo and Hob scramble to escape, while Hedgecock panics and runs out the back—uncertain where he’s going. RoboCop takes out the two guards and enters the arcade floor, where Catzo and Hob hide behind game machines with their guns drawn.

Walking down a dark hallway, Hedgecock feels around the wall and discovers a circuit breaker box. He opens it and flips the switches. This lights the hallway revealing Lewis with her gun drawn. This action also powers-on the video games in the arcade and a blaring sound system.

Startled, Hob emerges from hiding, firing wildly. With RoboCop’s attention on Hob, Catzo makes a break for it through a side door. RoboCop slaps Hobs rifle away and pins him to a game machine, trying to reason with him by telling Hob that his Mother is very concerned about him.

Meanwhile, Lewis tells Hedgecock to get on the ground and put his hands behind his head. Headgecock says he was following a lead. Realizing his ploy isn’t going to work, he lunges at Lewis, disarming her when she gets close—her gun goes flying. The two wrestle, punching and kicking each other.

Back in the Arcade, Hob has calmed down. RoboCop lets Hob go, giving him room to stop and listen—a sign of good faith on RoboCop’s part. Hob is obviously volatile, and none of what RoboCop is saying to him is getting through.

Outside the huge picture window directly behind Hob, he hears Catzo get in his car, start it up and rev the engine. Hob grabs a chair and smashes-out the window, jumping through pane and down onto a heap of trash bags next to Catzo’s car. Hob gets in and looks back at RoboCop in defiance.

As Lewis and Hedgecock fight in the hallway, Hedgecock sucker punches her, gaining the upper hand. He retrieves Lewis’ sidearm and levels it at her, intent on firing. Suddenly RoboCop appears behind him. Hedgecock turns around to see a Robo-sandwich coming his way. The punch knocks Hedgecock down and out.

STATION HOUSE

Hedgecock’s handcuffed to a table in an interrogation room of Metro West, head in a medical brace. RoboCop and Lewis press him for information, while Sergeant Reed and a group of angry cops watch through the one-way mirror. Hedgecock—muttering lame something about alimony payments and a fishing boat—is tight-lipped about Cain until RoboCop threatens to kabob the turncoat cop on his fist-mounted terminal spike. Hedgecock spills the beans on Cain’s real hideout—Ground Zero, the laboratory where Nuke is developed and produced.

Cain is holed-up in a very dangerous part of town. Reed and Lewis have a heated exchange. Lewis feels they need to strike while Cain isn’t expecting it. Reed won’t authorize a strike team due to the force’s diminished numbers. Overhearing this argument, RoboCop goes after Cain by himself.

CAIN’S LAIR

Ground Zero is an old, abandoned automobile production plant. The chassis of half-built cars linger on the line, coated in dust and spider webs.

RoboCop’s cruiser pulls up to the locked chain link fence entrance. He gets out, rips the padlock off the gate and proceeds to drive inside.

Halfway into the factory yard, an improvised explosive device detonates, ripping the cruiser into thousands of pieces.

Catzo walks out towards the smoldering remains and inspects it. He looks back towards the factory and signals to the dozen or so heavily armed men with an index finger slash across his throat. Hob looks slightly conflicted by RoboCop’s demise.

RoboCop hides behind the shed next to the entrance, waiting for the gang to withdraw before making his way inside.

The coast clear, RoboCop proceeds. Monitored by Cain, RoboCop is allowed access to his lair, even allowing the cyborg to view his production facility.

Angie lures RoboCop to an arena-like clearing where Cain stands waiting for him in front of a large red velvet curtain. Surrounded by gun-toting goons lingering on nearby catwalks, Cain gives a messianic speech. RoboCop lets Cain know that dead or alive, he is coming with him.

Cain pulls the gold rope on the curtain revealing a two-legged Tetretech mech-tank piloted by Catzo and another thug, Kinto. The hulking mech is outfitted with all kinds of weaponry, such as two earth-shattering side-mounted cannons.

Firing away at RoboCop, the firepower from the mech-tank lays waste to the factory walls as it misses. A deafening machine-on-machine battle ensues. RoboCop manages to evade the mech, which has done considerable damage to RoboCop’s armor.

Cain’s minions fan out, guns drawn, searching the factory for RoboCop, who is hiding in the chassis of a half-built car. Hob approaches along side the car, and RoboCop pulls him inside. RoboCop tries again to connect to the kid, and this time it seems like what he’s saying is getting through. Hob reveals that he feels hopeless and trapped in this life.

Just then, the mech finds RoboCop and Hob in the chassis and blasts the hell out of it. RoboCop manages to throw Hob clear.

Eventually, RoboCop incapacitates the mech and kills Kinto, but not before it gets one good shot off, blasting RoboCop through the air and out into the Michigan River.

Cain is enraged, ordering his troops to scour the river until they find RoboCop’s carcass. Catzo sees to Hob.

STATION HOUSE

As cops walk the picket line, a heavily damaged and waterlogged RoboCop stumbles up to them. He’s missing an arm, half of his helmet is shattered away and there is a huge gaping hole in his chest plate. Exhausted and stuttering, he falls at the feet of his fellow officers.

The officers drop their picket signs and carry Robo into the Station House. The throngs of people inside go quite as Robo is carried through towards the OCP maintenance bay, lake water and thick oil slowly draining from him.

ACT 2

ONN MEDIABREAK

As ‘Not My Problem: The Next Generation’ goes to commercial, a promo for ‘Cross Hairs’ follows, with Dutch Rove asking “Could this be the end for Robocop?” over footage of the cyborg collapsing in front of Metro West and picketing police officers.

CAIN’S LAIR

Cain and his minions watch the ONN report with glee. “I’ll buy that for a dollar!” exclaims Catzo, gleefully. The bandits party, hard. Hob retreats to privacy to make a heartfelt phone call his Mom.

In a video link to Faxx, Cain thanks her for giving him the mech. True to his nature, Cain demands more technological goodies. If he doesn’t get what he wants, he’ll make good on his promise to expose her.

Faxx appears to abide Cain's demands, but once she hangs up, she starts to hatch a plan to rid herself of Cain.

STATION HOUSE

As RoboCop hangs on by a thread, word comes down that OCP won’t accept him for repair. Making an appearance in the maintenance bay, Holzgang informs the techies and anxious cops that RoboCop is “off warranty” and leaves him to die out.

Lewis asks a tech what it will take to repair RoboCop, and the costs are astronomical. Murphy’s in obvious traumatic shock, but his vitals are stabilized with neuro-shocks to the brain.

Lewis stews, then realizes she must tell Ellen what’s happened to Murphy.

ABANDONED HOSPITAL

A limo carrying Hob, Catzo and Hedgecock pulls into the loading zone of an abandoned hospital. Thy get out and walk up to the entrance.

Hedgecock has got a mean drunk on. Still he’s grateful that Cain paid his bail and is eager to please his new employer. Catzo knocks him out cold with a blackjack.

When he wakes up, Hedgecock finds that he’s bound to a gurney. He’s wheeled into an operating room and confronted by Cain. Cain doesn’t speak, but Angie lets Hedgecock know how disappointed Cain is in him—how his snitching almost got Cain killed.

Hedgecock is confused. Wasn’t luring Robocop to his lair part of Cain’s back-up plan?

The gurney is shifted vertically and Hedgecock now rests as if on a cross. Catzo, outfitted in a rubber smock, gloves and splatter mask wheels in a small metal table with its contents under a white sheet. He rips the sheet from the table revealing a shiny new surgical chainsaw.

The entire time, Hedgecock is blathering, dismissively saying that this is just a test—Cain’s not going to really kill him. Catzo picks up the chainsaw, and Cain tells him to hand it to Hob. Perplexed, Catzo does as directed and storms out of the room in anger.

Hob looks confused and scared, but Cain tells him that it’s time to prove himself to the cause.

Hob hesitates, and Cain gets behind him, turning on the saw. He grabs Hob’s by the wrists, guiding the saw into Hedgecock’s stomach. Hedgecock lets out a stream of expletives before screaming bloody murder. Angie, aghast, runs out of the room into the hallway and throws up.

The saw is still going as Cain steps out to lord over Angie. She thought Cain was just going to scare Hedgecock. “Didn’t he look scared?” Cain responds.

The chainsaw stops and a blood-splattered Hob ambles out like a drunk, disoriented. Cain clutches him into his arms and tells Hob how proud he is of him. Watching this from down the hall, Catzo seethes. He knows Cain is either grooming Hob for his position or taking Hob away from him.

STATION HOUSE

Lewis sneaks Ellen in to see Murphy. Ellen starts sobbing. Lewis comforts her and tells Ellen the Department is doing everything it can to get Murphy back together again.

Ellen asks what OCP is doing to help Murphy. Lewis is at a loss.

OCP HEADQUARTERS

Johnson presents a dilemma to The Young Man. Public sympathy runs high for Robocop, and OCP’s reluctance to repair him is a public relations nightmare. There is even an outcry from OCP stockholders.

Holzgang suggests keeping Robo offline to hurry the collapse of Old Detroit. The Young Man concurs.

Dr. Faxx, however, claims to have a solution that will workout favorably and cover all of OCP’s bases. She suggests rebuilding Robocop to ease public tension, then “retire” the unit when Robocop Mk.2 comes online.

Assuring The Young Man, Johnson and Holzgang that her prototype will be ready by week’s end, Faxx is able to convince them to let Dr. McNamara's team rebuild Robocop and get him back out onto the streets. RoboCop Mk.2 will only look better by comparison.

Later, Johnson tells Faxx that he has his doubts about her project, and about scraping RoboCop entirely. Faxx dismisses him, subtly implying that after her project is unveiled, Johnson might want to look for a new job.

As Johnson steams, The Young Man walks up, greets them both and extends an arm to Faxx. She takes The Young Man’s arm and gives him a kiss on the cheek. Johnson now realizes why Faxx wields so much power and confidence.

PREMONITION—DREAM SEQUENCE

RoboCop is in a graveyard at night. Walking through, he sees a gravestone with “Alex Murphy” etched into it. Suddenly, the real Alex Murphy stands beside him.

“What a shame, huh?” as he motions to the grave stone, now etched with the name “Robocop.” The ground beneath the gravestone gives way, forming a fresh grave. Wires shoot out from the hole in the ground, wrapping around RoboCop’s legs, torso and head, pulling him in.

As RoboCop struggles, he sees Ellen and James join Alex. They smile and wave goodbye to him. RoboCop screams out in agony.

STATION HOUSE

The monitors gauging Robo’s stats go haywire. Ellen, sitting by Murphy’s side, calls out frantically for help.

Moments later, Holzgang and a team of OCP techs are wheeling Robo’s carcass out of the Station House. Reed tells Holzgang he wants his officer returned to him in one piece. Just to be a dick, Holzgang gives him a “maybe we will, maybe we won’t” response.

As the OCP team wheels RoboCop out, Ellen and Lewis emerge from a side office, and watch Murphy roll away from them. Ellen struggles to follow, but Lewis, The Chief and two more cop hold her back, knowing that if Holzgang realizes RoboCop and Ellen are in contact with one another, RoboCop may never return again.

CAIN’S NEW LAIR

Cain addresses his troops, glorifying the destruction of Robocop and his rapidly expanding Nuke empire. With talk of breaking the “blue collar barrier,” he announces a newer, more pure brand of Nuke for the burgeoning upper class.

Cain believes that he is on a mission from God, delivering Nuke upon the world to ease its pain. He promises his troops that high tech “weapons of persuasion” are on their way. It’s only a matter of time before Cain and his army controls the streets of Detroit.

Breaking away from the rally, Catzo ducks into a private office and phones the police telling them where to find Cain’s new lair.

OCP HEADQUARTERS

Dr. Faxx drops in on Dr. McNamara as he and his team put the finishing touches on a now-rebuilt Robocop who is sitting in a diagnostic chair similar to the one at the Station House. Dr. McNamara notes that Robo’s onboard computer systems are up and running perfectly, though Murphy’s dominant personality overrides any chance of reprogramming the humanity out of him; those nodes are damaged beyond repair.

Taking that bit of information into consideration, Faxx asks everyone to clear the room so that she can have some one-on-one time with the cyborg.

Now alone, Faxx makes her pitch to Murphy, who is alert and cogent. She wants Cain off the streets as much as RoboCop does. She explains that she is the reason he is being reconstructed and outfitted with spare parts and new amenities (ex. a right leg holster that hold up to ten 20-round magazines for his gun).

A lie of sorts, Faxx works Murphy’s sympathies with a sob story about how Cain took the life of her brother. She wants revenge. Murphy tells her he’ll bring Cain to justice, but in order to take him down, he’s going to need major help beyond the meager resources of the police department.

Faxx says that she doesn’t have the clearance (yet) to rescind the hold on police pay and pensions, but she does have an idea that will help Robocop out.

RoboCop get up from his chair and tells Faxx there is something he must do something before pursuing Cain.

GRAVEYARD – MURPHY’S GRAVE STONE

As in his dream, RoboCop stands in front of his gravestone. Ellen walks up and stands next to him, admitting that she hasn’t been here since Murphy’s funeral (and now wondering who or what exactly it was they buried).

After facing a near second death, Robo’s determined now more than ever to get their son back. They talk about old times. Ellen tells Murphy that she still loves him. He tells her the same and they kiss.

STATION HOUSE

RoboCop returns to the Station House to rally whatever help he can get. It’s a meager batch (10-15 officers), but he assures them that they will have significant backup and artillery in order to smoke Cain’s gang out.

Reed saves RoboCop and Lewis the trouble of hunting and pecking Detroit for Cain and his crew by relaying the info Catzo anonymously called in. Reed suits-up and helps lead RoboCop’s strike force.

RAID ON CAIN

A smattering of police cars, SWAT vans and OCP fleet trucks race down the streets of Detroit en route to Cain’s new lair.

Cain’s new sprawling headquarters is the ornate industrial complex. Cain and his closest henchmen inspect the new strains of Nuke being developed in state-of-the-art laboratories by white-coated scientists—Cain’s operation looks very legitimate and professional (“We’re going to make ‘Made In America’ mean something again.”)

After disabling the security system, the cops and vans pull in through a back access gate (to avoid detection) and dismount. Lewis asks RoboCop about the back up they were promised. RoboCop motions to Dr. McNamara, who flicks a switch on a remote.

The back of the fleet vans open and 10 ED-209 units trundle out. McNamara gives each cop a transponder so that the ED-209’s can differentiate friends from foes. Techies hand out Cobra Assault Cannons to a lucky few.

RoboCop requests his fellow officers to "...spare the boy.". Cain, though, is fair game.

Not having expected the return of a new and improved RoboCop and a heavily armed police force, Cain’s forces panic. Firefights break out, alerting Cain and his minions.

The cops and ED-209’s chip away successfully at Cain’s gang. The ED-209’s performances range from deadly accurate to comically inane.

In the loading bay just outside the lab, Angie holds off the encroaching police force with tear gas and automatic weapons fire. Catzo, under orders from Cain, is busy loading up one of the two Pattison armored bomb disposal trucks with as much cash, gold, Nuke, and Nuke formula notebooks as he can. He violently grabs the now aloof Hob, orders him to wait in the truck’s cab, and heads into the lab.

Cain has executed all of the Nuke techs and is setting charges in the lab. Catzo walks in and confronts Cain, telling him that he’s taking over Cain’s Nuke empire. Catzo shoots Cain in the stomach, leaving him to bleed out as the timers on the bombs count down.

Catzo orders Angie into the truck, telling her that it’s an order from Cain, who will follow close behind in the second truck. Angie takes the wheel, and the truck breaks out of the loading bay doors, busting through the police line, and escaping through the back entrance.

Bloody and weak, Cain manages to crawl out of the lab and up into the second truck. The timers on the detonators are counting down to zero as Cain starts the truck and guns it out of the bay. As he reaches the door, the bombs in the lab go off, propelling Cain’s truck violently out.

Clutching at his wound, Cain attempts to drive out of the compound. With his way blocked by an ED-209, Cain smashes right through it, shattering the window. The debris slashes the truck’s tires, slowing it down. Through the smoke, RoboCop emerges; he is too tempting a target for Cain to let go.

RoboCop shoots at Cain, causing Cain to duck to one side. As the truck approaches, RoboCop jumps onto the front of it, smashing a hole in the shattered glass. As the truck reaches the heavy front gates of the compound, Cain increases speed, intending to flatten RoboCop. RoboCop reaches in, grabs the steering wheel and turns it violently, causing the truck to jerk right, plow its nose into the ground and flip several times, end-over-end. RoboCop is thrown clear.

The tumbling truck crashes through the front gates and into traffic where it struck by a passing semi. When it finally comes to rest, Cain’s truck’s back door is wrenched open, cash and gold bars splayed out on the ground.

RoboCop walks over to the truck’s cab to see, miraculously, Cain clinging to life. Robo begins to read Cain his rights.

ACT 3

ONN MEDIABREAK

Rove celebrates OCP’s victory over Cain and his impending death. There is elation for RoboCop, as reporters clamor around him. Rove relishes in reporting that the State's Attorney General won’t let The Mayor’s office touch the nearly $500 million dollars in seized Nuke assets from Cain’s truck.

OCP HEADQUARTERS

Faxx storms into Dr. McNamara’s lab, RoboCop Mk.2 schematics in hand. She’s irate; she wants the unit to be bigger, more menacing. (“I want it to give YOU nightmares, doctor.”)

Inquiring about the brain that they’re going to use for the unit, Faxx assures Dr. McNamara that she’ll be retrieving it shortly.

ON THE STREET

Angie brings the truck to a violent stop. She’s frenzied and crying over the news of Cain. She wants to break him out of the hospital, but Catzo dismisses her, saying the news reports made it seem that Cain was dead already.

Catzo berates Angie and Hob, laying down the law and asserting himself as the gang’s new leader. Reluctantly, Angie capitulates, but not before warning Catzo and Hob that if Cain lives, he’ll kill all of them.

HOSPITAL

Faxx enters Cain’s hospital room and looks over his mangled body—his eyes relay his misery. The tables have turned in their relationship. Faxx seems almost chipper as she admonishes Cain for trying to extort her.

She phones in an order for an organ harvest team, as she claims that Cain has just expired. With sadistic glee, she shuts down the medical equipment keeping Cain alive, looking into his eyes and smiling as he fades away.

Brain surgeons extract Cain’s brain and place it in a suspension pod. Cut to…

OCP HEADQUARTERS

Where Cain’s brain pod is now connected to a bank of computer terminals. Lines of code read out his brain waves, which are now being fused with complex algorithms. Cain’s brain is trying to fight the memory wiped and new forced data, but Dr. McNamara assures Faxx that Cain’s brain will be successfully wiped and reformatted in a matter of hours. The code should graft with Cain’s base immortality instinct and messianic nature. Tapping into Cain’s limbic system should not be difficult.

In one last bit of delicious irony, Faxx orders McNamara to include a stimulant port into Cain’s brain pod. In order to wield more control over Robocop Mk2, his brain will be stimulated with short controlled doses of Nuke—in effect, addicted Cain to the very narcotic he used to peddle. McNamara resists, but capitulates when Faxx, who is romantically linked to the Young Man, reminds him who’s in charge.

MAYOR’S TELETHON

Kuzak, in a last-ditch effort to raise funds, has resorted to a telethon featuring a gaggle of performing freaks and phone operators looking around bored. The tote board reads a meager $4,213.21.

A call comes in requesting to speak to the Mayor directly. It’s Angie, seductively telling Mayor Kuzak that the money to bail out the city—and more—is available. The Mayor is dubious, but desperate. He agrees to meet with her.

STATION HOUSE

A motorcade of paneled vans and town cars pull to Metro West, barging through the picket line. From this motorcade, OCP executives, directors and lab techs pile out. Headed by Faxx and Dr. McNamara, they storm the station, clearing the riff-raff out of their way. Sergeant Reed is indignant, but Faxx assured him that help has arrived. Robo, Lewis and the rest of the cops on duty look perplexed.

Clomping, thunderous footsteps approach, getting louder as they near. Everyone falls silent. Outside the dual paned frosted glass front doors appears a giant mechanical behemoth. OCP techs open the door revealing Robocop Mk.2.

The cyborg crouches down and walks through the entryway as Faxx introduces him. Everyone crowds around the new prototype cyborg, marveling at its size and ferocious appearance.

Faxx announces that the Robocop Mk.2 prototype is here for an on-the-streets field test, but it’s obvious she’s basking it her creation’s glory. Lewis wonders sarcastically to Murphy if this prototype is RoboCop’s replacement. Now he can retire.

Reed offers the cyborg a car, but Faxx assures him that Robocop Mk.2 won’t require one. She presses a button on a remote and orders Robocop Mk.2 to “go to work.” A view inside RoboCop Mk.2 reveals a Nuke-drip feeding into Cain's brain accelerating. He powers up, turns and walks out the door and into the night.

RoboCop takes note of Faxx's remote, and notices the "intake feed" dial. Intake of what? RoboCop approaches Faxx, but she is cold to him now, subtly intimating that RoboCop Mk.2 will soon replace him.

ON THE STREET-MONTAGE

RoboCop Mk.2 cleans up the street, but in a more brutal, violent and sadistic manner than his predecessor (crime fighting montage).

ONN MEDIA BREAK

There’s a new sheriff in town, and his name is Robocop Mk.2. Faxx is being interviewed by Rove, who is towing the company line about the virtues of OCP’s wonderful new cyborg. 

On-the-street interviewees paint a slightly less than rosy picture of the new crime fighter, however; citizens are glad to see the streets of Detroit being patrolled by a powerful new cop, but have concerns over the menacing and violent shadow he casts. These interviews are sloppily edited to skew positive, but aren’t very convincing.

OCP HEADQUARTERS

The Young Man, Johnson, Holzgang and Faxx are in a meeting with Mayor Kuzak’s Chief Of Staff, Poulos, who is alerting the executives about the Mayor’s impending bailout. As he leaves, Poulos asks The Young Man to remember this favor once OCP has taken over. The Young Man tells Poulos he will be “taken care of.”

If The Mayor can secure this bailout, OCP will be a laughing stock. Furthermore, as Holzgang points out, OCP will be financially vulnerable to a hostile takeover, as it has shifted almost all of it’s remaining liquid assets to the Delta City project.

Faxx chimes in that OCP certainly has the means to follow the Mayor with surveillance, but stopping the transaction is a different matter entirely. They can’t be sure who the Mayor’s new benefactor could be.

For all they know, it could be former Tetratech board members using their buy-out capital to hostilely take over a crippled OCP—a turnabout that seems plausible to Johnson.

It’s all a matter of how far they’re willing to go, posits Faxx on how to handle this situation. The Young Man tells her in a vague tone that there must be no witnesses.

MAYOR MEETS GANGSTERS

The Mayor brings Poulos and an attorney, Robert Steiner, to the meeting with the gangsters in an old abandoned mill. They are greeted by Catzo, Angie, Hob, and an assortment of hired muscle, all decked out in business suits (save for Angie, who wears a form-fitting catsuit).

Catzo outlines his terms. In exchange for the bailout, he wants abandoned riverfront property to construct a hotel and casino playland—a Delta City for the Sin City set. While Nuke money will refinance the city and his new resort, Catzo wants to be recognized as a legitimate businessman—not a Nuke Lord. If he can get the city to look the other way while his resort is under construction, Catzo will eventually hand-off his Nuke empire to some poor schmuck who the Mayor’s Office and Detroit Police can easily take down. Kuzak will be “The Mayor That Saved Detroit!” It’s win-win all around.

Steiner has reservations about doing business with criminals, and Mayor Kuzak and Poulos quickly shoot him down.

The deal seems set. But, right as Catzo and Kuzak shake hands, Robocop Mk.2 bursts in, using all of its weapons systems to slaughter nearly everyone.

Poulos escapes out a side door, but is quickly cut-down in a hail of bullets and thermal imaging. Hob climbs into the back of the armored truck and locks the doors. Catzo, outside, starts beating on the doors, demanding Hob to open them.

Robocop Mk.2 seizes on Catzo, using his minigun-arm hand to nail him to the truck’s door by the neck. Catzo is face-to-minigun with Robocop Mk.2 as the cyborg’s helmet splits open revealing a plasma screen. Code flashes onto the screen until Cain’s digitized face finally appears.     

Catzo is in shock. “RoboCain” studies Catzo’s face, instantly engaging/overriding RoboCain’s onboard memory function. Angie appears out of the shadows, elated to see Cain again. RoboCain’s memories of her come back in a rush. As his computer-generated face smiles in relief, he extends his robotic right hand to her. Hob watches all of this from the shutters of the truck’s doors.

Angie caresses the robotic hand, telling RoboCain it will take some getting used to. His face goes from pleasure to confusion. RoboCain raises his right hand to his face and snaps it open and closed a few times, then rubbing his "fingers" against each other; he can’t feel anything.

Enraged, RoboCain’s face screen recedes back into his helmet. He grabs Angie by the head and snaps her neck, tossing her limp body away. RoboCain then turns his attention to Catzo, obliterating his head with the minigun. Bullets ricochet throughout the inside of the armored truck, slicing through Hob. RoboCain releases Catzo headless corpse, and it slides limply down the truck and onto the ground.

Leaving in anger, RoboCain spots Mayor Kuzak lifting a sewer grate. As Cain fires, the Mayor falls down the drain unscathed, and into the sewers below.

Noticing some cylinders of Nuke on a nearby table, RoboCain picks them up, studies them and inserts one into his front-loading "supplement" intake port. As the Nuke takes effect, RoboCain’s chassis shutters, then calms. He "spits-out" the spent cylinder, loads another and grabs a few more on his way out.  

AFTERMATH

RoboCop and Lewis arrive on the scene of the massacre sometime later. RoboCop discovers Hob’s near-lifeless body in the armored truck. Robo takes Hob’s hand. He tells Robo that it was Cain who attacked them. He asks Robo for forgiveness, which Robo grants, addressing him as “James.” Hob succumbs to his wounds.

RoboCop is in a rage—Cain killed his son. And OCP made it happen. Lewis eventually calms him down, and they both notice the spent Nuke canisters on the floor. Realizing that Cain’s Nuke-addicted brain is now inside the body of an armored and heavily-armed machine, RoboCop and Lewis race to…

DELTA TOWER—ONN MEDIABREAK

Donald Rove and a beautiful co-anchor are reporting live from a festive scene. They play tape of the Nuke money massacre and of Mayor Kuzak making lame excuses for why the bodies of two of his key staffers where found there. Making flippant remarks about The Mayor, they turn their attention back to the festivities.

OCP HEADQUARTERS

The Young Man and Faxx exit OCP Headquarters and get into a limousine, discussing spinning the story of Robocop Mk2’s Nuke massacre as a police raid, should The Mayor divulge his part in the entire affair. The limo drives directly next door OCP’s brand new Delta Tower, where The Young Man and Faxx get out and walk the red carpet.

Delta Tower is draped in long red tapestries with the white-dot OCP insignias in the middle. OCP guards are decked out in black patent leather field marshal gear, complete with commandant-esc hats with OCP logo affixed to the front.

Reporters clamor to get The Young Man’s attention as he enters Delta Tower, but he only answers Rove’s question pertaining to why he’s not going to the mayors office: Delta Tower represents a fresh start.

PRESS BRIEFING

As The Young Man starts his speech, Faxx harangues McNamara about RoboCop Mk.2 twitchiness. As Faxx glances over at the unit, she gets a strange sense that it’s intently looking directly at her.

Addressing RoboCop Mk.2 directly, she presents a canister of Nuke, which the cyborg’s intake unit desires (grabby claw mechanism). RoboCain advances slightly towards Faxx, and she presents him with the remote. On the remote, she dials back his Nuke feed, causing him a great deal of pain—or so she thinks (an internal view of RoboCain's Nuke feed tubes appear to be gone, as if RoboCain somehow ripped them out himself). RoboCain plays possum, behaving for now.

She tells McNamara to get his act together. If this presentation goes badly, Faxx promises the doctor that he’ll be out on his ass. She leaves to join the press briefing.

The Young Man, in mid-speech, presses a button on his podium, presenting a scale model representation of Delta City, which rises up from the floor.

Meanwhile, the Mayor and a staffer walk into the auditorium. The Young Man (cocky) welcomes the “out going administration.” The two debate the merits of private enterprise versus civil liberties and The Young Man’s obvious shell game—Delta City was The Young Man’s plan all along. Eventually, The Mayor is bullied by The Young Man into taking his seat.

Continuing his speech, The Young Man recalls that several years ago his Father gave the city of Detroit Robocop. Times have gotten tougher; it’s time to take it up a notch.

Pressing another button on his podium, the Delta City model splits down the middle and RoboCop Mk2 rises up onto stage. Upon the sight of it, Mayor Kuzak gets anxious, barely holding it together. Faxx relishes watching The Mayor squirm in his seat.

The Young Man removes a canister of Nuke from below the podium, promising RoboCop Mk.2 will seek and destroy every last drop. RoboCain cannot resist the lure of the Nuke and grabs at it, as the press core laughs. The Young Man tosses the cylinder off stage. Faxx, nervous at the idea of getting caught using narcotics to control her cyborg, rushes onstage, trying to control RoboCain with the remote.

RoboCop arrives, Cobra Assault Rifle in hand. He calls Cain by name, taunting him to step outside. This causes the reporters to look at one another (“Does he mean the Nuke dealer and murderer Cain?!?”)

Faxx yells at RoboCop, telling him he’s obsolete. RoboCain tries firing at RoboCop, but his weapons systems aren’t active. Mayor Kuzak jumps up, accusing RoboCop Mk.2 of being a killer, having witnessed the Nuke massacre firsthand. Faxx, pointing at her remote, screams that RoboCop Mk.2 isn’t even armed. RoboCain snatches the remote, arms himself and starts firing away at RoboCop.

RoboCop fires the Cobra Assault Rifle at RoboCain, knocking him into the Delta City model. RoboCain springs up from the wreckage and fires two shots from his high-caliber shoulder-mounted shotgun at RoboCop. The first shot shatters Robo’s rifle in half. The second shot knocks RoboCop on his ass.

The Young Man has had enough, and demands that the two cyborgs behave themselves. RoboCain turns to The Young Man, and sees Faxx standing behind him. Slapping The Young Man out of the way, RoboCain lurches toward his sister, minigun ramping up. Before firing at her, however, RoboCop fires off a couple of rounds from his sidearm, hitting RoboCain’s head.

RoboCain is torn. Who does he want to kill first: his sister or RoboCop? Opting for the more annoying (and armed) of the two, he turns toward RoboCop.

As he advances on RoboCop, RoboCain again uses his shoulder-mounted gun. RoboCop evades the shots and manages to use his targeting system to shoot the gun right off of its mounting. By this time, however, RoboCain has ascended the stairs to RoboCop, and uses his arm-mounted battering ram to knock Robocop clear through the wall and into the Plaza’s main atrium. RoboCain pursues RoboCop’s falling body where more violence and mayhem ensues.

OUTSIDE DELTA PLAZA

By this point, Lewis and a small force of cops descend on Delta Plaza. Lewis orders bystanders and reporters to get back. Only Rove gives her grief, behaving like the petulant pre-Madonna that he is. RoboCop’s body comes flying through a plate glass window, landing in the street.
  
RoboCain walks out after him, only to be greeted by armed Cops and OCP guards. Despite being ordered not to by Lewis, the untrained, unseasoned OCP guards start firing upon RoboCain. Their gunfire does nothing but anger the cyborg, who returns fire. People get mowed down. In the cross fire, Rove is riddled with bullets.

The Young Man, groggy but awake, tells Johnson to scramble the best spin team he can.

RoboCain is now on the hunt for RoboCop, plowing his way through cops, guards and civilians. By this time, Faxx has stepped outside to watch in horror as her creation goes berserk.

BACK INSIDE

RoboCop has gone back into the auditorium to retrieve the Nuke canister. There he is met by Dr. McNamara, who tells RoboCop that there is "...gallons of that stuff..." in his office at OCP Tower, if that's any help.

BACK OUTSIDE

Spotting an OCP armored military vehicle, Lewis gets in and pilots the heavily armored rig right at RoboCain, nailing him against a wall. This reprieve allows everyone to take a breather, assess the damage and take in the carnage.

RoboCop rejoins Lewis.

The armored truck begins to rock back and forth. Cops begin to scramble, taking up defensive postures and readying their aim. RoboCop tells Lewis to get the car—they have to get Cain away from these people. Lewis asks where they’re going. “I’ll tell you on the way.”

RoboCain shoves the truck over and emerges only slight scathed. Surveying the scene, he spots RoboCop and draws a target lock on him. RoboCop holds up the Nuke canister for RoboCain to see. RoboCop slowly advances toward RoboCain, as RoboCain softens his posture, reaching out for the cylinder. Suddenly, Lewis pulls up in a cruiser and RoboCop dives in the back seat. RoboCain gives chase.

RoboCop tells Lewis to head to the express freight elevator in the OCP Headquarters building—he has a plan. As they drive, RoboCain chases them, clawing and shooting at the cruiser wildly.

OCP HEADQUARTERS

They enter the building’s parking garage, as RoboCain weaves in and out of the garage’s columns in hot pursuit. Lewis and RoboCop drive into the freight elevator, and close the doors behind them. RoboCain beats on the doors. When he finally breaks through, he sees the freight elevator has already begun its quick ascent and follows by climbing up the shaft.

RoboCop and Lewis make it to the floor housing McNamara’s lab and drive backwards down the hall until they get to it. RoboCain shoots through the freight elevator’ floorboards, splintering them into pieces as he busts through. He walks down the hall, following the tire marks on the gleaming white floor.

Once RoboCain reaches the cruiser, he finds it busted through the front door/wall to McNamara's off, empty. As he looks around, Robocop sucker punches him. RoboCain reacts, throwing RoboCop across the room, dropping the Nuke cylinder. RoboCain reaches down, picks up the cylinder and opens his access port.

RoboCop jumps up, and jams a hose connected to the giant vat of Nuke into RoboCain’s open access port. With the dial set to “maximum,” RoboCop yeals "Now, Lewis!" and she flips a switch on the vat's control terminal, filling RoboCain up with an overdose of Nuke.

Disoriented, RoboCain scrambles to rip the hose out of his access port, but it’s too late. He’s literally leaking Nuke (in some places, violently, like projectile vomit), stumbling like a drunk. Cain’s helmet opens to reveal his digital face in anguish and pain.

RoboCop gets up and starts hammering away at the beast with every ounce of anger over the loss of his son his fists can muster. RoboCop manages to make several dents in RoboCain’s once impervious armor (which is now bursting at the seems with Nuke juice). RoboCain tries to fight back, but overcome with Nuke sickness, he’s helpless. He drops to his "hands" and "knees."

RoboCop hauls back, slams RoboCain square through his plasma screen, and unwittingly grabbing the brain pod behind it. As RoboCop pulls the brain pod out, he shoves RoboCain back, hard, sending him reeling out a window. As the giant cycborg falls 110 stories, RoboCop riddles RoboCain’s brain pod with bullets. RoboCain’s cracked-glass video image screams in agony as it surges with static, dying out like a cathode ray television mili-seconds before his body slams to the ground below in a twisted mass of metal, power surges and Nuke spray.

RoboCop and Lewis look down from the smashed-out window and watch as a pool of Nuke forms under RoboCain’s lifeless, mangled body.

DELTA TOWER.

Dead bodies are scattered everywhere. The wounded are being carried out on stretchers. The cops regroup and take stock, while Mayor Kuzak is being grilled by the media.

The Young Man, Johnson and Holzgang mull their options as medics attend to The Young Man’s injuries. There will be class action lawsuits and prison time. Johnson proposes that all of this mayhem, death and destruction could be the work of one individual—someone who wasn’t a team player; the one who picked the brain for RoboCop Mk.2. Holzgang assures The Young Man that the evidence of Faxx’s deceit is there for the finding, if it exists or not. The Young Man seems reluctant.

As they discuss this, Faxx approaches and embraces The Young Man, crocodile tears in her eyes. She claims to have worried about The Young Man’s safety. Cain’s brain in RoboCop Mk.2 and the use of Nuke to control him? It was all McNamara’s idea. The Young Man assures her everything will be okay.

As The Young Man turns to leave, he tells Johnson and Holzgang to get going on what they were just discussing, immediately. Faxx shoots Johnson a shit-eating grin, completely unaware of what awaits her.

As The Young Man and Faxx fend-off reporters to get to their limo, RoboCop asks Lewis to take him "home."

ELLEN MURPHY’S HOUSE

RoboCop and Ellen sit on the porch. Ellen is silent, taking in the news of her son’s death. RoboCop offers an apology, but it’s of little comfort. With a single tear running down her cheek, Ellen numbly tells him that she can’t do this. As much as she was relieved to find out that her husband is still alive, the events that surround Murphy’s life as it is now—topped with losing her only son-are too much for her to bear. As much as it pains her to do so, Ellen must say goodbye to Murphy/RoboCop.

This time they get to say goodbye to one another, face-to-face. They embrace and RoboCop walks away from the woman he loves.

IN THE CRUISER

Lewis is at the wheel, thinking of something to say to comfort Murphy. Before she can get anything out, a call comes over the radio: an armed disturbance downtown.

Murphy asks Lewis if she’s ready to get back to work. It’s a shared moment. The cruiser, now on the freeway, races back with sirens ablaze to a Detroit that needs them.

           THE END