[UK] RoboCop (2014) Blu-ray Review

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The year is 2028 and multinational conglomerate OmniCorp is at the centre of robot technology. With robotic drones winning American wars around the globe, they feel ready to translate this technology to the home front. When loving husband, father and skilled cop Alex Murphy is critically injured in the line of duty, OmniCorp – headed by CEO Raymond Sellars, utilises its remarkable science of robotics to save his life. Returning to the streets of Detroit equipped with amazing new abilities, Murphy must deal with issues a regular man has never had to face before.

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Presented in 2.40:1 with a 1080p AVC encode it is fair to say the new take on ‘Robocop’ looks superb!

As you would come to expect from such a new film, it ticks all the right boxes and doesn’t falter at all. The image is clean and crisp, with razor sharp detail from the off. Facial features and lines, building details and clothing lines again all comes across extremely lifelike. Colours are also sublime, from the solid black of RoboCop’s suit to the brighter more lighter scenes such as RoboCop’s introduction to the public. Colours pop off the screen which can be seen more-so prominent of the brightness of the panels and instruments from Dr Norton’s laboratory. Similarly, black levels are also top notch here with no detail being lost, no crushing or digital noise being produced adding great depth to the picture. Skin tones appear natural and the colours have been given a good balance with practically no saturation.

A fine image here on this Blu-ray that is pretty much reference quality!

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The main track on the disc is a fantastic English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 track.

With being a movie filled with gunfire and explosions, it’s safe to say that the DTS HD Master Audio track here is a thunderous one at that, which has a fantastic surround mix which really immerses you right into the movie. Gun fire happens all around you with bullets flying from the rears making great use of the surround mix, metal screeches, ED-209’s crash to the ground all making for a great work out for your sub also! LFE is used to the max here. A fantastic example of just how good the track is can be heard in the ‘Grudge match’ scene in which Mattox sets up to try and beat Robocop. As the camera zooms through you hear the sound of the robots loading their guns, as well as them clanking around into position.

Dialogue is delivered with great clarity and never lost within the mix and the movie’s score matches the film perfectly with its energy. Also keep a listen out for a brief use of the original RoboCop theme tune which is sure to make the fans out there smile, it certainly did for me.

Overall a fantastic audio track which compliments the video superbly.

English subtitles are also included.

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The RoboCop remake arrives on Blu-ray with the following extra material.

* Deleted Scenes (HD, 4 mins) – ‘Pentagon’, ‘Right Hand’, ‘Helicopter’, ‘Lewis and Dean’ and ‘Norton Confesses to Dreyfus’
* Omnicorp Product Announcement (HD, 4 mins) – ‘Exo-Skeleton’, ‘EM-208’, ‘ED-29’, ‘XT-908’, ‘Cruiser 1’, ‘TSR-6’, ‘M2 Battle Rifle’, RC-2000 V1’, ‘RC-2000 V3’ and ‘Next Generation RoboCop
* RocoCop: Engineered for the 21st Century (HD) – ‘The Illusion of Free Will: A New Vision’ (8 mins), this featurette focuses on the differences between the original RoboCop and the new RoboCop, ‘To Serve and Protect: RoboCop’s New Weapons’ (6 mins), a brief featurette taking a closer look at the weapons used by RoboCop, ‘The RoboCop Suit: Form and Function’ (15 mins), this final featurette looks at the design of the new suit.
* Theatrical Trailer 1
* Theatrical Trailer 2

Whilst it’s not light on the extras, the featurettes are of a particular interest as it does delve into the making of the RoboCop remake but I still feel it was lacking. As usual, my moans are that there are no audio commentaries, no in-depth interviews with the cast and crew and no real making-of documentary. The original RoboCop had and still does have such a lasting impact on cinema and which the RoboCop remake being quite controversial in my opinion and the high acclaim that director Padilha gave the movie from the offset, I would’ve liked to have known more about what went into making the film and the decisions that he made.

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Off the bat, ever since the rumours were floating around that “RoboCop” was going to be remade, I immediately made my distaste known to all of my movie friends. The original “RoboCop” movie is an easy 5/5 movie for me and sits proudly in my top 10 movies of all time. When I saw the initial rumblings that this was going to be remade I wasn’t at all pleased. How could they remake a movie that didn’t need to be remade, why not make a sequel? I always remember reading in (I believe it was) ‘Total Film’ magazine round about 2002-2003, where there was a joint interview with both Paul Verehoeven and Peter Weller where they both discussed and at the time had plans to make an official sequel to the first movie, but this of course sadly never happened.

My initial fears for this was that it was going to be full of CGI and more importantly be rated 12A in the UK aiming it more to the younger teens and in a way I feel that my fears came true. Whilst that I can acknowledge that it did take the film in a slightly different direction, and tried to do something a little different than the original (for example letting Murphy retain his memory whereas in the original Murphy was wiped or delving more into the family life of Murphy both as a human and as RoboCop), but for me it missed out on having the main villain, it cashed in on using the original them tune (which to be honest I did kinda like), the shoe-horning in of some of the original one liners that really felt out of place, there was tonnes of CGI which unfortunately is to be expected these days and I felt it was considerably toned down to appeal more to the younger audience, losing the over gratuitous violence and blood that the original had which in my opinion gave it some of the charm that it still has today. I would’ve liked to have seen what would’ve happened should this have been rated a 15 or even an 18 in the cinema to bring back some of the violence and blood just to see how different it could have been.

However, I must admit that my expectations were extremely low for “RoboCop” the remake and when I left the cinema I ended up admitting that the film wasn’t bad. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not great but it’s not a flat out failure either. I liked the little additions they added, specifically the extra side thrown in with the Murphy family, seeing how this whole ordeal had affected them. I did feel a little let down by the ending however, as what can be seen in the trailers there’s a huge fight between Robocop/Murphy and the new up-to-date ED-209 robots, that whilst CGI filled was actually quite good leading into the final act which unfortunately gave little to no pay-off in the end, with very little impact. In my opinion the original is by far the better movie in every aspect and I would urge everyone to go and buy the newly released remastered Blu-ray of the original, as well as this remake.

Overall the picture and sound are superb and is what you would come to expect from such a newly released film, the only lacking department is the extras. For a remake of a film that was quite controversial to begin with in its makings it would have been interesting to see the directors take on why he decided to take the route he did with the movie and the choices he made. Fans of the movie will however be pleased with this release.

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About the author

SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER | Matt is a huge movie fan with a big passion for all the 80s cheesy Action movies. Anything Arnold Schwarzenegger related is an instant hit too! Also a UK Blu-ray reviewer for Hi-Def Ninja and UK Editorial Manager.