(2014/MGM/Sony Blu-ray w/DVD)
B+/B- Sound: B+/B- Extras: C Film: B-
being dormant for nearly 20 years, Robocop
from the dead in an attempt to become a relevant movie franchise once
again. Taking years of negotiating, a host of scripts and revisions,
and a doubtful fan base; Robocop
came to fruition in 2014 with filmmaker Jose Padilha at the helm.
previously mentioned, fans of Robocop
lack of better words) wanted nothing to do with this film. It was
borderline blasphemous to even touch the 1980's classic that so
perfectly blended copious amounts of gore with dark humor and
unending action. Verhoeven's original 1987 film (reviewed elsewhere
on this site) is used as the groundwork for this 2014 remake that
does incorporate the key elements, but fails to execute them as
smoothly and intelligently as the original.
film follows the same basic premise of the original as in not-so
distant dystopian future individuals and corporations are striving
for Utopia. The perseveration on perfection allows the placement of
robots and cyborgs to keep society in check; giving the illusion of
freedom, while in reality it being far from. The film (like the
original) uses this dystopian future filled with drones and outspoken
news agencies to drive home a socio-political commentary; while
concurrently delivering an action packed, violent film meant to
entertain. Sadly whereas the film is beautifully made, it fails to
capture the subtle undertones of the original's dark humor mixed with
outlandish violence. Verhoeven's original film was discrete in
message and blatant in violence; but this (PG-13) 2014 Robocop
to be the exact opposite. This film spends much of the film locked
in dialogue, throwing its intended social commentary in the viewers'
face and toning down the violence.
are no longer given the opportunity to digest the deeper meaning for
ourselves as it is all (annoyingly) spelled out. The cast is solid
with Samuel L. Jackson and Gary Oldman good as always; and Joel
Kinnaman (as Robocop) doing a solid job, though a tad (overly)
robotic at times.
film was fun, but overall fails to do the original justice.
technical features on this new Blu-ray are quite good, though not
perfect. The picture is presented in a 2.40 X 1, 1080p AVC-encoded
MPEG-4 all-HD shoot that is a much brighter/colorful film than the
original with a wide ranging palette. The whites are bright and the
blacks are inky, while concurrently displaying splashes of primary
reds, blues, and more; overall, demonstrating a brilliant array of
color and contrast. The image is crisp, clean and clear; though does
have its softer moments that make the film not as crisp. In the end,
the detail is superb. The sound is a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
lossless mix that ends up being a mixed bag as some moments are top
notch, demo quality and others no so much. In certain gun battles
the bass is booming and the viewer is thrown into the heart of the
action; but a third of the film slides by as merely adequate.
DVD and Digital copies included are clear downgrades from the nicely
displayed Blu-ray presentation; though good on the go or for those
who have yet to upgrade.
Michael P. Dougherty II