Review: Robocop 4K UHD Limited Edition
4K UHD Blu-ray: Robocop (1987)
Much like in my review of Arrow’s 4K UHD release of An American Werewolf in London, do I really need to give a synopsis of Robocop? A movie classic from the 1980’s that has aged wonderfully and is still just as entertaining as it was upon its release.
For the people that haven’t watched it yet (why!?) you’ve got one hell of a ride in front of you, following officer Murphy as he becomes the titular Robocop after a brutal scene with the movies bad guys leaves him as good as dead, before he is brought back to life more machine than human.
This 4K UHD release showcases future Detroit with amazing detail, revealing Robocop not as the silver cyborg I always saw him as in my many VHS viewings over the years, but encased within a translucent sheen that reflects hues of blue and green as he walks under the fluorescent lights of the police station.
The theatrical cut that I grew up with is also accompanied here by the directors cut that I didn’t get to watch until many years after it’s release. The extra footage of the shootout between Murphy and Boddicker’s gang still making me wince, especially as every shot into Murphy is that much more visceral with the extra detail on show…and don’t even get me started on when ED-209 goes bonkers in the office!
The humour, action, pathos and none too subtle nods to a society heavily under the influence of its media, still all work just as well watching it 35 years after its release.
The stop motion effects of ED-209 might put off some viewers who have grown up with predominantly CGI in their movies, but as someone who grew up loving everything that Ray Harryhausen was involved with, Phil Tippett’s work in this movie never fails to put a big smile on my face, and in my opinion makes ED-209 even more intimidating.
Sound mix options of original lossless stereo and four-channel mixes plus DTS-HD MA 5.1 and Dolby Atmos surround sound, means that Robocop sounds as equally impressive as it looks.
A plethora of special features kept me entertained and informed long after the end credits had rolled…and before I ultimately will go back for yet another rewatch.
A HIGHLY recommend purchase whether you’ve seen Robocop before or not.
- 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 4K (2160p) UHD Blu-ray™ discs with Dolby Vision (HDR10 compatible)
- Original lossless stereo and four-channel mixes plus DTS-HD MA 5.1 and Dolby Atmos surround sound options on both cuts
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing on both cuts
- Six collector’s postcards (Limited Edition exclusive)
- Double-sided fold-out poster (Limited Edition exclusive)
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly-commissioned artwork (Limited Edition exclusive)
- 80-page Limited Edition collector’s 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
- 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)
- Commentary by film historian Paul M. Sammon
- Commentary by fans Christopher Griffiths, Gary Smart and Eastwood Allen
- The Future of Law Enforcement: Creating RoboCop, an interview with co-writer Michael Miner
- RoboTalk, a conversation between co-writer Ed Neumeier and filmmakers David Birke (writer of Elle) and Nicholas McCarthy (director of Orion Pictures’ The Prodigy)
- Truth of Character, an interview with star Nancy Allen on her role as Lewis
- Casting Old Detroit, an interview with casting director Julie Selzer on how the film’s ensemble cast was assembled
- Connecting the Shots, an interview with second unit director and frequent Verhoeven collaborator Mark Goldblatt
- Analog, a featurette focusing on the special photographic effects, including new interviews with Peter Kuran and Kevin Kutchaver
- More Man Than Machine: Composing RoboCop, a tribute to composer Basil Poledouris featuring film music experts Jeff Bond, Lukas Kendall, Daniel Schweiger and Robert Townson
- RoboProps, a tour of super-fan Julien Dumont’s collection of original props and memorabilia
- 2012 Q&A with the Filmmakers, a panel discussion featuring Verhoeven, Davison, Neumeier, Miner, Allen, star Peter Weller and animator Phil Tippett
- RoboCop: Creating A Legend, Villains of Old Detroit, Special Effects: Then & Now, three archive featurettes from 2007 featuring interviews with cast and crew
- Paul Verhoeven Easter Egg
- Four deleted scenes
- The Boardroom: Storyboard with Commentary by Phil Tippett
- Director’s Cut Production Footage, raw dailies from the filming of the unrated gore scenes, presented in 4K (SDR)
- Two theatrical trailers and three TV spots
- Extensive image galleries
Disc Two – Theatrical Cut
- 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 (Composer’s Original Score and Final Theatrical Mix)
- 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 Director’s Cut and Theatrical Cut, and the Theatrical Cut and edited-for-TV version
- RoboCop: Edited for Television, a compilation of alternate scenes from two edited-for-television versions, including outtakes newly transferred in HD from recently unearthed 35mm elements
Review by Dave from discs kindly supplied by Arrow Films via Fetch Publicity.