Back to the Future in Twenty-First Century Detroit

November 17, 2014 4:01 PM

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It was July 1987 and I found myself in a cool, dark, completely packed movie theater, perched on the edge of my seat. The crowd was raucous, the mood electric. That night, I didn't care about popcorn or soda or candy. I was still in grammar school. I had never seen an R-rated movie in the flesh. And this was the R-rated movie to beat all R-rated movies -- ultra-violent, unbridled expletives, even fleeting partial nudity. It narrowly avoided an X rating by the Motion Picture Association of America, for god's sake!

I had been desperate to see RoboCop since Orion Pictures began a relentless ad campaign weeks before it opened. Part man. Part machine. All cop! Only because the stars magically aligned was I not relegated to waiting the usual year to watch it through the squiggly lines, scrolling screens, and snowy...

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