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RoboCop Blu-ray Review

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“RoboCop” is one of Paul Verhoeven’s best films.

Set in a crime ridden Detroit in the not too distant future, “RoboCop” focuses on the world of the Detroit Police force which is now run by the OCP corporation. The OCP is working on duel crime management programs called ED-209 and RoboCop. After a severe mishap with ED-209, the RoboCop program is pushed forward and the first subject to be used is a police officer (Alex Murphy) who was killed on the job. Through the program, he is revived as a cyborg to be the perfect cop. Things initially go well, but Murphy begins to remember his past and also has to deal with the corrupt OCP employee Dick Jones and a criminal enterprise run by crime boss Clarence Boddicker.

Director Paul Verhoeven and writers Ed Neumeier and Michael Miner’s “RoboCop” is the type of movie that works on different levels. As a sci-fi/action/cop movie, it’s a splendid piece of hyper violent entertainment filled with shootouts, bad guys, futuristic tech, endlessly quotable, explosions, and unique characters. If you dig deeper under the surface, you’ll discover the movie has a tremendous amount to say (in a sometimes satirical fashion) about corporations, media, heroes, crime, humanity, America’s societal structure, among other deep subjects. Subtle it may not be, but the sequels, TV shows, comics, and remake haven’t been able to replicate the movie’s success because the original “RoboCop” is the type of movie that Verhoeven knows how to make his own. He knows how to make a Hollywood movie that is both entertaining and intellectually engaging.

You can’t ask for a better cast here. Peter Weller was never better than as Alex Murphy/RoboCop. It’s a tough task for any actor to make a character in a suit come to life, but he does it with ease. Nancy Allen (who plays Murphy’s partner Ann Lewis) is underrated and has such great chemistry with Weller. The late great Miguel Ferrer steals every scene he is in as the jackass Bob Morton. Finally, there’s Kurtwood Smith who plays arguably one of the best villains of the 80s as the slimy, murderous Clarence Boddicker.

Note: This Blu-ray set contains the director’s cut, theatrical cut, and the edited for TV version.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look? This 4K restoration isn’t the most glamorous Blu-ray transfer, but it’s still a nice upgrade that maintains the grit and grain of the print.

Audio Track: 2.0, 4.0 and 5.1 DTS-HD MA on both cuts. How do they sound? Purists may opt for the original stereo track but the 5.1 track has plenty of depth.

Extras:
* A double-sided poster
* A thick booklet containing credits, photos, essays by film scholar Omar Ahmed, Henry Blyth and filmmaker Christopher Griffiths, production notes, cast and director bios, and an interview with Robocop designer Rob Bottin.
* 6 postcards and a sticker
* 2 isolated score tracks
* Split screen comparison of scenes from the director’s cut and the theatrical cut.
* Production stills, behind the scenes, and poster and video art image galleries.
* 3 TV spots and 2 theatrical trailers.
* Storyboards for a Boardroom sequence with Phil Tippett commentary
* Raw footage of director’s cut scenes
* 4 deleted scenes
* Paul Verhoeven discussing his cameo
* “Special Effects: Then and Now”- A featurette on the effects in the film
* “Villains of Old Detroit”- A profile on the villains of the film complete with interviews
* “RoboCop: Creating A Legend”- A featurette on the iconic RoboCop suit.
* A 2012 Q&A at UCLA with Paul Verhoeven, Nancy Allen, Peter Weller, Michael Miner, Ed Neumeier, and Phil Tippett.
* “RoboProps”- A tour of fan Julien Dumont’s collection of props and merchandise.

* Individual interviews with second unit director Mark Goldblatt, casting director Julie Selzer, actress Nancy Allen, and co-writer Michael Miner.
* A tribute to film composer Basil Poledouris
* Interviews with Peter Kuran and Kevin Kutchaver about the special photographic effects.
* A 32 minute roundtable discussion between “RoboCop” writer Ed Neumeier, writer David Birke and director Nicholas McCarthy
* 3 commentaries on the director’s cut version. One by Paul Verhoeven, Jon Davison and Ed Neumeier, one by Paul M. Sammon and the other by Christopher Griffiths, Gary Smart and Eastwood Allen. The Verhoeven track is the most entertaining and informative.
* 1 commentary on the theatrical cut by Paul Verhoeven, Jon Davison and Ed Neumeier.

November 26, 2019 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , ,

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