PDA

View Full Version : MrGrim reviews ROBOCOP S.E.


Grim
06-13-2004, 04:33 PM
ROBOCOP S.E. (As part of the trilogy set)

I’ve decided to review only the first film of this set, as the other two are pretty much the same as the single releases.

Alex J. Murphy has just been transferred to old Detroit. Old Detroit is gloomy, and crime-ridden and the police officers there are on the verge of striking. Murphy, being the good-hearted family man that he is, doesn’t think anything like that and immediately gets suited up and off to work. Later in the day a report comes in of a van containing stolen money and armed felons. Murphy, and his partner Lewis, follow this van to an old steel mill, where they find out it is the criminals’ hide-out. In the process of trying to apprehend one of the criminals, Murphy is ambushed and brutally (and I can’t stress brutally enough) murdered. But Murphy isn’t totally useless yet. O.C.P., a major corporation funding the police, has started their “RoboCop” program and they need a volunteer.

That’s all I want to reveal about the movie, because anymore would spoil it more than it needs to be. RoboCop is a science fiction masterpiece in my opinion. The film has so many layers. On the surface it is a violent sci-fi action flick, but when you look deeper than that you find that it is so much more. It is about a man finding out who he is, and learning to deal with it. You see him go from man to machine, then slowly back to man again. The film is also a biting satire on the 80’s, most notably, the yuppies. The entire O.C.P. corporation is more or less symbolic of big corporations, and the shark-like tactics the businessmen involved.

Now on to the DVD. The picture quality is an improvement over the Criterion DVD, much clearer and more vibrant, but the aspect ratio thing is a problem. The film was intended for 1.66:1 by Verhoeven, but MGM has put it in 1.85:1. This is something I can get over, though. One thing I noticed is that the re-inserted footage is a lot more noticeable with the clearer picture, which doesn’t really hinder the experience, but you can clearly see what was cut. The sound is something I had some problems with, I noticed many of the sound-effects that were very prominent in the Criterion were a lot lower here, which was sad, because they were usually at points where it heightened the impact, such as during Murphy’s demise, many of his moans and groans were lower than the Criterion, which lessened the brutality of it all. That was my one gripe about the sound, other than that, it was great, with the music being very full and loud, but not over-bearing.

The extras are where this new MGM disc really surpasses the Criterion, though. Four deleted scenes are provided, and while all interesting, I can clearly see why they were excluded and I’m glad they were. There are three futurities, the most interesting of the group being “Flesh and Steel,” which goes in depth about the whole process of getting the film made. There is an interesting new commentary with Verhoeven, one of the writers and the executive producer. I recommend it to everyone. Another neat feature is a storyboard, with commentary by the animator. Rounding out the extras is a neat little photo gallery, two trailers, and a TV Spot. The first trailer still cracks me up, with its blatant ripping off of The Terminator. They are both very interesting trailers in general, though, as they make the film seem like a mindless action flick.

Despite the ratio problem, and my minor gripe about the sound, this is an otherwise flawless release. I recommend it to all. With it being only $26 at Best Buy right now, and not to mention you get the two sequels with it as well, it is a great deal.

RyanPC
06-13-2004, 08:00 PM
This sounds like a great release... it will be the next DVD I pick up as I think Robocop is fantastic. Does anyone know if Wal-Mart is selling this? If so, for how much?

Dave
06-13-2004, 08:29 PM
I picked it up at Best Buy. I actually watched Part 3 last night because my 7 year old son was dying to watch one of them, and that was the only one I'd let him watch, since it is PG-13. I'm going to try and finish the original by myself today. I'm about 30 minutes into it. But yeah, I like the picture quality so far.

RyanPC
06-13-2004, 08:41 PM
I picked it up at Best Buy. I actually watched Part 3 last night because my 7 year old son was dying to watch one of them, and that was the only one I'd let him watch, since it is PG-13. I'm going to try and finish the original by myself today. I'm about 30 minutes into it. But yeah, I like the picture quality so far.

You should do an official review for the site... I'd like to hear your thoughts on the film and see some screenshots as well. :)

Of course, I'll be buying this soon (hopefully) so if I do, the screenshots won't matter, but I'd still love to see a review.

EDIT: Oh BTW, nice review MrGrim!

Grim
06-14-2004, 04:29 AM
Like I said, the picture quality is great, it is crystal clear, it's just that it makes some of the cut scenes more noticeable, like the boardroom scene and boddiker's death

puddytay
06-14-2004, 10:09 AM
Part 2 is the best. I don't care what anyone says its a masterpeice and is damn helerious.

Cujo108
06-14-2004, 10:30 AM
PC, I've heard some Wal-Marts are carrying it, but mine wasn't. Didn't really matter though, as I picked it up on release day for only $19.99 at Fry's. Talk about a killer price on a three film set! The original masterpiece and the very flawed but fun Part 2 are the only ones I wanted, but 3 shall make a good frisbee, and even the SE of the original alone would be a steal at that price. If you have a Fry's near you, I recommend getting it their. Price remains in effect till Tuesday.

Mark Relford
06-14-2004, 07:44 PM
Good review, Grim. I need to get this set. The first one's a bona fide classic. The sequels don't even come close. I expected more from Frank Miller.

Grim
06-14-2004, 10:39 PM
RoboCop 2 had a lot of good things going for it, but in the end RoboCop just came out like the thing I think they strived for him not to be in the original, an action super hero. I also heard Frank Miller's original screenplay was hacked to pieces and rewritten multiple times. That new score also hurt too.

bigdaddyhorse
06-15-2004, 03:39 PM
I have had the region 2 SE for a while now and while I'm pretty sure a new tranfer was used for the R1 (supposedily a Hi-Def trans.), I never noticed anything looking different picturewise anywhere. Other than the R1 having a (maybe) better transfer and the opition to watch cut or un-cut on R2, the discs sound the same. Both have the same extras and the same new 5.1 soundtrack. Since I didn't like the sequels, I'll just keep the disc I have.

Mark Relford
06-16-2004, 01:49 AM
I also heard Frank Miller's original screenplay was hacked to pieces and rewritten multiple times.

That would explain it, cause he's a fantastic writer for this type of movie. I never cared for Cain. It was a very undeveloped role for Noonan. Now, Kurtwood Smith's Clarence was a fuckin' riot! I was sad to see him go. :(

dwatts
06-16-2004, 01:54 AM
Well, after seeing a side by side comparison on another web site, I am not sold that this looks better than the Criterion. Color saturation seems off, and contrast is too high (apart from the OAR thing).

LINK TO COMPARISON (http://207.136.67.23/film/DVDCompare3/robocop.htm)

Still, great film.

Revoltor
06-16-2004, 08:04 AM
The criterion looks like shit in all of those.

dwatts
06-16-2004, 08:17 AM
Hm, how so? I look at them, and the Criterion looks great. Just goes to show how subjective this stuff is, I suppose.

In the first screen shot, look at the window. Both the R1 and the R2 have blown it out with too much contrast. Also, there is a loss of detail in Robocops arm.

Loss of detail due to too much darkness is evident in the R1 and R2 in the second shot (look at the knobs).

In the third shot, the sky in the R1 and R2 is white instead of blue. in removing grain, they removed all texture and color.

In the fourth shot, detail is far greater in the Criterion (look at the blurring on the letters in the sign that reads: Champale, Country club)

Colors are shot to hell in the non-criterions in picture Five.

In shot six, the faces of the R1 and R2 are orange.

In the final shot, they're too pink.

Just one mans view, of course :)

x666x
06-16-2004, 08:31 AM
I love the Criterion transfer. Should I really replace it?

Are the sequals any good? Growing up, I heard they sucked.

dwatts
06-16-2004, 08:34 AM
I don't see anything in those screenshots to make me upgrade. The Criterion is also the only one in the preferred aspect ratio.

The sequels get progressively more stupid, but I can't help liking them.

SilverStreet
06-19-2004, 10:40 PM
Are the sequals any good? Growing up, I heard they sucked.

I enjoyed RoboCop 2 a good bit. Though it shys in comparison to the original, its still a pretty good sequel with a hefty amount of violence and brutality, some decent satirical jokes, a coool villain, and a nasty nihilistic tone to it that I much appreciated as a Robo fan.

Robo 3, however, sucked. Hard. Avoid at all costs, its a classic case of good concept, piss poor execution.

Grim
06-19-2004, 11:20 PM
I think it's funny how OCP was a simple corporation in the original, yet by the third film they were a Nazi-esque extermination squad.

Nemesis
06-20-2004, 02:02 AM
Nice review Grim, confirmed my decision to add the trilogy to my DDD order :)

I Agree with dwatts about the picture quality (thanks for the link btw) except for the second last picture, i prefer the skin colouring on the MGM disc. But as you said, thats a matter of personal taste.

Not much anyone can do but buy the MGM disc anyway, the criterion disc is OOP leaving ebay as your only bet for it.

Nemesis
06-20-2004, 02:10 AM
The Criterion is also the only one in the preferred aspect ratio.


yeah, its disappointing that the MGM disc is missing so much.. thats the most prevalent thing in those picture comparisons