Directed By: Paul Verhoeven

Starring: Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Daniel O’Herlihy, Ronny Cox, Kurtwood Smith

Audio: English

Subtitles: English

Age Rating: 18 (BBFC)

Number of Discs: 2

Format: Blu-Ray

Distributed By: Arrow Video

 

Robocop, the classic 80s’ film that captured the minds of many adults and teens with the world it created has just gotten its own Limited Edition release. Set in a distant future, where Detroit is on the brink of an economic crash and crime has overrun the city. The police force suffers daily casualties from the brutal organised gangs that run the streets. Whilst on one of his first patrols in a new precinct, Alex Murphy is violently attacked and left for dead. As he is written off as deceased, his body and life are left in the hands of mega-corporation Omni Consumer Products (OCP). This company begins their Robocop programme, which uses Murphys body as a base for a new brand of cop, programmed with commands and protocols to serve the city. Murphy’s consciousness and memories start to seep back, allowing him to use his new body to carry out his revenge on his murderers. Along the way we see how corrupt OCP is and the impact Robocop has had on the community.

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It has been 32 years since Robocop was first released, from way back in 1987. It was a fantastic year for cinema, which had such great and memorable films released that today I still enjoy watching. We had Good Morning Vietnam, Lethal Weapon, Predator and Eddie Murphy Raw just to name a few. Yet still Robocop is the only one that I can recall that dealt with a non perfect future, where crime was an all time high and the economy was in rapid decline. With the reality of a non perfect future for Detroit, the science fiction element was a very welcome addition, as the idea of Robocop was deemed the saviour. With a nearly indestructible body, increased strength and precision with all firearms, he was a perfect addition to the police force. This certainly captured the attention of its’ audience, from a time of bad CGI in today’s standards, it is still very much watchable. I personally adore watching this film, as I used to watch it with my Dad when I was a kid every time it came on the telly. So rewatching it now after well over 10 years had been a great trip down memory lane.

In most films you would suspect a great big love story that wins over all, well not here. Although it is hinted at with the relationship between Murphy and Officer Anne Lewis, after she uncovers Robocops’ true identity. Nothing more happens, other than her risking both her career and life to help Murphy bring down those in power that are working with the criminals. Also Robocop is not the only robotic creation that features in this film. We also have the ED-209 unit, a complete robotic armed arsenal that packs some serious firepower! Even with its’ first introduction, it is far from perfect and ready to use in public. A slight mishap, leads to it being uncontrollable and the misfortunate death of a board member. However, I actually prefer the ED-209 unit far more than Robocop. Just the design alone has me, its simplistic but wow that fire power is unreal!! It does have its flaws though, it simply can’t handle stairs lol.

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Bonus Features:

  • 4K restoration of the film from the original camera negative by MGM, transferred in 2013 and approved by director Paul Verhoeven
  • Newly commissioned artwork by Paul Shipper
  • Director’s Cut and Theatrical Cut of the film on two High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray discs
  • Original lossless stereo and four-channel mixes plus DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround sound option on both cuts
  • Six collectors postcards (Limited Edition exclusive)
  • Double-sided, fold-out poster (Limited Edition exclusive)
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork
  • Limited edition collectors booklet featuring new writing on the film by Omar Ahmed, Christopher Griffiths and Henry Blyth, a 1987 Fangoria interview with Rob Bottin, and
    archive publicity materials (some contents exclusive to Limited Edition)

Disc One: Director’s Cut

  • Archive commentary by director Paul Verhoeven, executive producer Jon Davison and co-writer Ed Neumeier (originally recorded for the Theatrical Cut and re-edited in 2014 for the Director’s Cut)
  • New commentary by film historian Paul M. Sammon
  • New commentary by fans Christopher Griffiths, Gary Smart and Eastwood Allen
  • The Future of Law Enforcement: Creating RoboCop
  • RoboTalk
  • Truth of Character
  • Casting Old Detroit
  • Connecting the Shots
  • Analog, a new featurette
  • Composing RoboCop
  • RoboProps
  • 2012 Q&A with the Filmmakers
  • RoboCop: Creating a Legend, Villains of Old Detroit and Special Effects
  • Paul Verhoeven Easter Egg
  • Four deleted scenes
  • The Boardroom: Storyboard with Commentary by Phil Tippett
  • Two theatrical trailers and three TV spots
  • Extensive image galleries

Disc Two: Theatrical Cut

  • Archive commentary by director Paul Verhoeven, executive producer Jon Davison and co-writer Ed Neumeier (originally recorded for Theatrical version of the film)
  • Two Isolated Score tracks (Composers Original Mix and Final Theatrical Mix) in lossless stereo
  • Edited-for-television version of the film, featuring alternate dubs, takes and edits of several scenes (95 mins, SD only)
    Split screen comparisons between the Directors Cut and Theatrical Cut, and the Theatrical Cut and edited-for-TV version
  • RoboCop: Edited For Television

Robocop, like I mentioned before, first released back in 1987. A great year for cinema all round. The first Robocop created such a big franchise, that includes merchandise, two sequels, a television series, a remake, two animated TV series, a television mini-series, video games, and a number of comic book adaptations/crossovers. It was also directed by the great Paul Verhoeven, who also later directed Total Recall, Basic Instinct, Starship Troopers and Hollow Man! Robocop was also what made Peter Weller into a household name, as he was the face of the Robocop franchise. In fact as luck may have it, Weller will be coming over to Dublin next March for the 2020 Dublin Comic Con! So make sure and click on the link here to get your tickets now, as he will also be attending the screening of the first Robocop film at DCC on the Saturday evening (https://www.dublincomiccon.com/).

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This is the first time in my knowledge, that we have gotten a remaster and Blu-Ray edition of the original Robocop. It is jam packed with hours upon hours of extras across two discs. The Limited Edition release comes housed in a striking set with new artwork, a double sided poster, a reversible sleeve, booklet and art cards. All of which are exclusive to this set. I hope more people will be able to rediscover this film through this release, as it needs recognition. If it wasn’t for my Dad introducing it to me back in the 90s’, I don’t think I would have given it a chance on my own. It’s well worth the buy and is a steal at about £25.98 on Amazon. A perfect price to buy it now and get it signed at DCC next year! A huge thanks to Fetch Publicity for allowing me to review this release.

Overall: 9/10

 

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