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RoboCop 4K UHD Review

“RoboCop” remains an 80’s sci-fi classic. 

Written by Ed Neumeier and Michael Miner, “RoboCop” is a sci-fi story set in a futuristic Detroit which has become overrun by crime. The OCP corporation (which also runs the Detroit Police) is coming up with new ways to stop violence with 2 new programs- RoboCop and ED-209. After an Officer (Alex Murphy) is killed on the job, his body is used as a subject for the RoboCop program. Murphy returns to life as a sort of cyborg cop that proves to initially be effective, but his past human life begins to interfere. While all of this is going on, RoboCop must stop a crime boss (Clarence) and a corrupt OCP official.

Directed by the always fascinating Dutch filmmaker Paul Verhoeven, “RoboCop” is so much more than the thrilling sci-fi action cop movie that it’s known as. Yes, the often explosive action set pieces will have you on the edge of your seat, but at its core, it’s a clever satire and commentary on law, corporations, violence, television, and technology. This is a movie with a lot on its mind and Verhoeven manages to juggle it all with ease alongside Neumeier and Miner’s inventive script. It does’t play like your average Hollywood movie which is partially why it has stood the rest of time. It goes against the grain and was a creative original film.

With a different cast, the movie could have fallen flat, but thankfully everyone seems to gel with the type of movie this is. Peter Weller is never better than he was in the title role. Everything from his cadence to his actions makes the character come to life on the big screen. The underrated Nancy Allen also shines as Murphy’s partner Ann. The real scene stealer here though is Kurtwood Smith as the violent scumbag Clarence Boddicker. 

Note: This set includes 2 4K discs with the Director’s Cut and Theatrical versions of “RoboCop.”

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.85:1 2160p. How does it look? Taken from a 4K restoration from the original camera negative (much like the previous Arrow Blu-ray release), this transfer maintains that 80’s style while also providing a crisp new transfer. The difference between this transfer and the Blu-ray transfer isn’t significant, but the 4K disc definitely has an edge with its slightly superior picture quality.

Audio Track: Dolby Atmos, 5.1 DTS-HD MA, 4.0 DTS-HD MA, and 2.0 DTS HD-MA for both versions. How do they sound? The big draw here is a new Atmos tracks which really packs a punch. The score and the action especially put the speakers to work. The 5.1 and 4.0 tracks are both quality. Some folks might want to go with the original lossless track which also delivers.

Extras:
* A double-sided poster
* Six postcards and a sticker
* A booklet with photos, credits, production notes, cast and filmmaker info, essays by Omar Ahmed, Christopher Griffiths, and Henry Blyth, transfer notes, and an interview with RoboCop designer/creator Rob Bottin.
* 3 commentary tracks. One by Paul M. Sammon, one by Paul Verhoeven (the best of the lot), Jon Davison and Ed Neumeier and one by Christopher Griffiths, Gary Smart, and Eastwood Allen.
* “The Future Of Law Enforcement: Creating RoboCop”- An interview with co-writer Michael Miner.
* “RoboTalk”- A roundtable discussion with Ed Neumeier, David Birke, and Nicholas McCarthy.
* “Truth Of Character With Nancy Allen”- Interview with actress Nancy Allen.
* “Casting Old Detroit With Julie Selzer”- Interview with the casting director.
* An interview with the second unit director in “Connecting The Shots With Mark Goldblatt.”
* “Analog With Peter Kuran and Kevin Kutchaver”- Interviews with photographic effects team members of VCE Inc.
* “More Man Than Machine: Composing RoboCop”- A tribute to legendary composer Basil Poledouris.
* “RoboProps”- A look at Julien Durmont’s prop/merchandise collection.
* “2012 Q&A WIth The Filmmakers” featuring Paul Verhoeven, Nancy Allen, Peter Weller, Michael Miner, Phil Tippett, and Ed Neumeier.
* A featurette on the iconic suit in “RoboCop: Creating A Legend.”
* “Villains Of Old Detroit” covers the villains. Interviews included.
* “Special Effects: Then And Now” featurette.
* Paul Verhoeven easter egg
* 4 deleted scenes
* “The Boardroom: Storyboard With Phil Tippett Commentary.”
* “Director’s Cut Production Footage.”
* 2 theatrical trailers and 3 TV spots.
* Production stills, behind the scenes, and poster & video art image galleries.
* 2 isolated scores- composer’s original score and final theatrical mix.
* Edited-for-TV version of “RoboCop.”
* “Split Screen Comparisons” of the Director’s Cut and the Theatrical cut.
 

April 7, 2022 - Posted by | 4K UHD Review | , , , , , , , ,

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