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post #1 of 57 Old 06-05-2014, 12:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Robocop (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review



In the year 2028, greedy conglomerate OmniCorp uses robotic technology to transform critically injured police officer Alex Murphy (Kinnaman) into the ultimate crime fighter. He's part man, part machine...he's RoboCop! Back on the streets, Murphy is hard-wired for law enforcement, but the mind and memories of the human inside long to take over...and the results could be catastrophic.



The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

95



Details:

Studio and Year: > 20th Century Fox - 2014
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 117 minutes
Genre: Action/Crime

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Abbie Cornish, Samuel L. Jackson, Jackie Earle Haley, Michael K. Williams, Jay Baruchel, Jennifer Ehle
Directed by: Jose Padilha
Music by: Pedro Bromfman
Written by: Joshua Zetymer, Edward Neumeier, Michael Miner
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: June 3, 2014


"Crime has a new enemy"


My Take:

In Robocop, the year is 2028 and OmniCorp – the world’s leader in robot technology – sees a golden opportunity to reap billions for their company. When Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) – a loving husband, father and good cop doing his best to stem the tide of crime and corruption in Detroit – is critically injured, OmniCorp grabs their chance to build a part-man, part-robot police officer. OmniCorp envisions a RoboCop in every city and will stop at nothing – no matter the cost to Alex – to make sure the program succeeds. But OmniCorp never counted on one thing: there is still a man fighting inside the machine.

I like the original Robocop and while this reboot/remake interested me I opted to wait for its arrival on Blu-ray to check it out. Conceptually speaking the premise here is innately similar to Paul Verhoeven’s ’87 classic which at the time had an original feel to it. Today it feels much less so and the script here incorporates elements of familial drama while attempting to invoke thought provoking questions about humanity and social commentary on over reliance on technological gadgetry. The development of those elements, specifically the connective tissue between Alex and the important people in his life (his family and partner at work) is lacking which negatively impacts the associative emotion the writers were shooting for. I also found that there were simply too many bad guys related to the primary plot which watered down the focus and made things less emphatic during payback time.

This combined with the narrative’s underdeveloped melodrama and poorly resolved relationships/characters which are integral to the storyline essentially leaves the action based aspects of the film to carry it. In this regard I felt that Robocop did just fine and delivered the type of popcorn flick entertainment that fans like to watch. The production elements are high and the thought/work that went into its design is obvious. The cast, beginning with Joel Kinnaman in the lead, are quite good and feature a number of quality actors (Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson and Jackie Earle Haley) who make the most of what they had to work with.

At the end of the day Robocop doesn’t resonate quite as well as the original bit still manages to make a splash thanks to well incorporated action, slick production elements, solid casting and a fair albeit uneven script.


Parental Guide:

The rating is for intense sequences of action violence including frenetic gun violence throughout, brief strong language, sensuality and some drug material.


AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**



Audio: 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialogue Reproduction:
  • Low frequency extension * (non-rated element):


Video: 96
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:


Robocop comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 26 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.8 Mbps.

This is a superb looking high quality Blu-ray offering from Fox. The video is razor sharp with a pristine quality that is visually engaging. Detail perception is nearly flawless with lucid visual acuity and fine rendering throughout. Colors are naturally rendered with pleasing primaries and vivid tonality that make them pleasing. Flesh tones are on the warm side with fair delineation among the varied cast. Boldly applied contrast and consistent black levels provide excellent balance during bright scenes containing mixed content. Shadow detail is good enough that I could make out plenty of discernible texture in the low lighting and dark backgrounds. The CGI based and green screen photography softens some shots but its effects are innate and fidelity remained unaffected. This is a great looking presentation that complimented the source material.

Like the video quality the DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack doesn’t disappoint. This is an entertaining mix that utilizes the entire system to create a theater like experience. Sound staging is excellent as both the front and rear channels are seamlessly integrated. Sound effects traverse the room during the large fight sequences. Dynamics are energy filled and impact felt with discerning articulation and resolute clarity. This is a fairly aggressive mix that makes regular use of the subwoofer to accentuate its already strong dynamics. The quality of the bass is first rate as it is fills the room with clean, hard hitting, and deep resonating low frequency energy. The sequence when Alex faces off against the drones in the test facility gives a good impression of what to expect from the sound mix. Dialogue has excellent presence with clear, defining vocal character and noteworthy room penetration. This is a reference quality audio/video presentation that offers demonstration worthy material for enthusiasts that like to show off their home theater systems.




Bonus Features:
  • (HD) 5 deleted scenes
  • (HD) Omnicorp Product Announcement – 10 brief (faux) product descriptions
  • (HD) Robocop: Engineered for the 21st Century (3 segments totaling 28 minutes):
    1. The illusion of free will – A new vision
    2. To serve and protect: Robocop’s weapons
    3. Robocop Suit: Form and function
  • (HD) Theatrical trailer
  • Bonus DVD
  • Ultraviolet Digital Copy





Final Thoughts:

Robocop probably won’t resonate quite a deeply with fans of the original Paul Verhoeven film however it musters enough action/velocity combined with high quality production values to qualify as a decent popcorn flick fix when the need arises. It comes to Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring top notch high definition audio/video mated with a serviceable supplemental package. While I liked Robocop and have decided to add it to my Blu-ray collection I would recommend a rental over a blind buy for those wanting to check it out.







Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews



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Last edited by Ralph Potts; 06-13-2014 at 06:42 AM.
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post #2 of 57 Old 06-05-2014, 12:16 PM
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I may watch this just for the visual experience, but it definitely did not interest me. As always a good review sir!
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post #3 of 57 Old 06-05-2014, 12:42 PM
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Last night I watched Lone Survivor and then followed it immediately with Robocop. I felt that the audio in Robocop was poor by comparison and as I was watching it I frequently thought that it wouldn't be deserving of a great score by Ralph. Many of the scenes with gunshots sounded muddy and non-directional and I wasn't immersed like I was with Lone Survivor. Although Robocop was a visual treat and a fun watch, I don't think it's deserving of a very high score on the audio side.

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post #4 of 57 Old 06-05-2014, 12:44 PM
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I actually liked that they didn't waste a lot of time 'dwelling' on the overdone concepts of 'what makes us human' and focused on the action instead.

I also thought they paid a good omage to the original while still presenting a new story, more or less.

the one thing I didn't like, and according to the special features was done on purpose to show 'advancements' in robotics, was that Robocop moved pretty normally. in the original Robocop just looked so heavy and powerful, and moved in a way I'd expect such a machine to move. in this one, it was SUPER unrealistic. regardless of advancements, no robot is going to be moving around are freely and quickly as Robocop was.

anyway, overall I thought it was a good watch, and I definitely enjoyed the action. while they could have focused more on the relationships I'm glad they didn't. you knew what was going on, and you could see the changes happening. any more would have been gratuitous in my opinion. I hate it when they try to turn an action film into a drama, so I'm glad they didn't.

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post #5 of 57 Old 06-05-2014, 12:47 PM
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I liked the Total Recall reboot better than I thought, so I decieded to give this one a shot. D-Box Codes will be out today or tomorrow, so will be watching it this weekend. Thanks for the review! smile.gif
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post #6 of 57 Old 06-05-2014, 01:26 PM
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We watched it and liked it very much. It is a different animal than the original, but still enjoyable. Very nice picture and sound.
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post #7 of 57 Old 06-05-2014, 01:48 PM
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Wow. A 96 certainly warrants at least a rental. Thank you for the review Ralph.

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post #8 of 57 Old 06-05-2014, 02:05 PM
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Fantastic movie, great story and beautiful effects. Much better then the original for me.

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post #9 of 57 Old 06-05-2014, 02:27 PM
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I was very excited to see this and completely let down when I finally was able to watch it. It was just a slap in the face to the original. The pick for the actor that played Robocop was a bad choice. A few cool special effects here and there, but I spent a lot of time looking at the clock, hoping it would end sooner than later. It won't get a repeat viewing from me anytime soon.

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post #10 of 57 Old 06-05-2014, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morbidcorpse View Post

I was very excited to see this and completely let down when I finally was able to watch it. It was just a slap in the face to the original. The pick for the actor that played Robocop was a bad choice. A few cool special effects here and there, but I spent a lot of time looking at the clock, hoping it would end sooner than later. It won't get a repeat viewing from me anytime soon.

agreed on all accounts, poor choice for the main actor. Michael Keaton imo wasn't a good choice for the bad guy. thankfully Gary Oldman carried the movie.

There were some great visuals and sound. Lot's of dark scenes, definitely a movie for the JVC projectors. The movie didn't have any of the appeal of the original movie.

buy it to show off your fresh gamma calibration or sound system but I can't imagine watching this a 2nd time.
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post #11 of 57 Old 06-05-2014, 04:09 PM
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I thought it was a good critique on Fox News types and Drone strikes, plus it had great action and effects.

James Reid:D
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post #12 of 57 Old 06-05-2014, 04:11 PM
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Looking forward to seeing this one. The first is fond in memory but also one that I think if I revisited it wouldn't stand up well today.
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post #13 of 57 Old 06-05-2014, 04:22 PM
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Despite the slow start, I loved this movie in the theatre when watching it with a few mates. Enjoyed the wicked action and the extra themes making it relevant to today's world (overseas conflict/terrorism, progression of technology, human vs computerised roles in society, political bias in the media etc.). Really looking forward to experiencing it with better sound at home.
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post #14 of 57 Old 06-05-2014, 05:16 PM
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Nice review Ralph.

I picked this up on a blind buy the other night. Ive been real busy the last few evenings but last night I was able to watch the first 20 minutes or so and so far the soundtrack sounded great. Good dynamics and active surounds along. PQ was also beautifull so far as you said. Im looking forward to watching it in its entirity. Good stuff.

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post #15 of 57 Old 06-05-2014, 05:58 PM
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I thought this was a fairly decent movie. Bit more character development that the original and also feels like you have more of a bond with ol Robo
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post #16 of 57 Old 06-05-2014, 06:51 PM
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I thought this Robocop was a little soft for my liking. Needed a little more badass to it. Also felt it drug its feet a little longer than it should. I like Robocop's stiffer voice in the originals too.

I will get it for home to take another look, but overall I can only give it 3/5 from movie theater viewing.

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post #17 of 57 Old 06-05-2014, 08:49 PM
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I waited for it on blu ray too and thought it was good. Very watchable and appreciated. I need to get Lone Surviver!

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post #18 of 57 Old 06-05-2014, 09:53 PM
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I think this movie is a sleeper. I felt it presented a balanced concept detailing the pros and cons of robots/drones and whatnot. There is a serious consideration for biomedical ethics in this movie. Life support, where it begins and ends. What defines us as human and where do our rights begin and end. Free will is an illusion. Cognitive augmentation and the pitfalls and whatnot for society.

Quite a mish-mash of a variety of philosophical issues I suppose. Fairly well thought out movie. You can definitely watch this one a couple of times. It lacks some replay value in my view since the tone of the movie is so serious and cynical while basically lacking in any real humor.
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post #19 of 57 Old 06-06-2014, 07:34 AM
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Watched it the other night Ralph your review was spot on. I for one enjoyed it and definitely will pick it up.

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post #20 of 57 Old 06-06-2014, 09:00 AM
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Hated this in theaters. No buy/rental for me.
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post #21 of 57 Old 06-06-2014, 09:44 AM
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I watched almost the entire movie on the flight over from the UK yesterday and I'll definitely rent the BluRay disc from Netflix not only to watch the ending, but also to see how the audio sounds in my home theater. I agree completely with Ralph and the others that this movie did not work as well for me as the original. I bought the BluRay of the original some months ago when it was deeply discounted at either BB or WalMart,. and the movie still held up for me after so many years. I'm not sure that this new version will do the same.

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post #22 of 57 Old 06-06-2014, 11:47 AM
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I think they will make a second one.

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post #23 of 57 Old 06-06-2014, 12:17 PM
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Thanks Ralph, I will be checking this out. I love the original and am anxious to see how this compares.

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post #24 of 57 Old 06-06-2014, 01:25 PM
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I saw in the theater and definitely enjoyed the visuals and updated story-line. I'd definitely like them to follow the Dark Horse Comics and do Terminator vs Robocop as a sequel!
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post #25 of 57 Old 06-06-2014, 06:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morbidcorpse View Post

I was very excited to see this and completely let down when I finally was able to watch it. It was just a slap in the face to the original. The pick for the actor that played Robocop was a bad choice. A few cool special effects here and there, but I spent a lot of time looking at the clock, hoping it would end sooner than later. It won't get a repeat viewing from me anytime soon.

according to the extra features, the too primary concerns for the actor were that he was tall and thin so that the suit looked normal on him, haha.

I think it's important to remember a reboot shouldn't be compared to the original. it can only let you down if you do. either it won't be 'faithful' of the original story, or it'll be a copy of it, and not at all interesting. in a lot of ways this is why I think it's better they don't reuse the names even when they reuse the story, but they are always too similar not to I guess.

I would put this one up with the total recall reboot. it was a good movie on its own. but would be a huge let down if you expected it to be like the original. very different story lines.
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post #26 of 57 Old 06-07-2014, 03:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyricalchaos View Post

I saw in the theater and definitely enjoyed the visuals and updated story-line. I'd definitely like them to follow the Dark Horse Comics and do Terminator vs Robocop as a sequel!
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post #27 of 57 Old 06-07-2014, 07:59 AM
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Would u recommended a vudu rental or bluray rental? Is there a noticeable difference
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post #28 of 57 Old 06-07-2014, 08:12 AM
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Its not a movie worth watching in a theater. Bluray rental is my vote. I bought it just to waste money.

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post #29 of 57 Old 06-07-2014, 08:13 AM
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Would u recommended a vudu rental or bluray rental? Is there a noticeable difference

Vudu is the closest you will get to blu ray. Nothing will beat the quality of a physical disk.
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post #30 of 57 Old 06-07-2014, 03:06 PM
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Its not a movie worth watching in a theater. Bluray rental is my vote. I bought it just to waste money.

What was the atmosphere like from people for this in the cinemas?
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