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.
Studio and Year:
The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
> 20th Century Fox - 2014
Feature running time:
English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1
English SDH, Spanish
Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Abbie Cornish, Samuel L. Jackson, Jackie Earle Haley, Michael K. Williams, Jay Baruchel, Jennifer Ehle
Joshua Zetymer, Edward Neumeier, Michael Miner
Blu-ray Disc release Date:
June 3, 2014
"Crime has a new enemy"
, 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.
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.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency effects:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
- Low frequency extension * (non-rated element):
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.
- Black Level/Shadow Detail:
- Color Reproduction:
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.
- (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):
- The illusion of free will – A new vision
- To serve and protect: Robocop’s weapons
- Robocop Suit: Form and function
- (HD) Theatrical trailer
- Bonus DVD
- Ultraviolet Digital Copy
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.
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews
Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS4910 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8801 11.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103D Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (With Darbee video processing)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package