23 Robocop

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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kaujot
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Re: 23 Robocop

#26 Post by kaujot » Fri Jul 03, 2009 12:13 am

If you like bad hip-hop and want to see RoboCop without seeing RoboCop, then robomayhem has you covered.

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Re: 23 Robocop

#27 Post by MyNameCriterionForum » Fri Jul 03, 2009 11:17 pm


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Re: 23 Robocop

#28 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:41 pm

Watched a bit of this on cable this past week. The FX look really clunky now, but otherwise I have a bit of a higher appreciation for what it accomplished. Even though Blade Runner is miles ahead of this, this was a more fluid combination of sci-fi and crime drama than what the former did. The ultraviolence of it was always a turn-off (I was glad to see much of Paul Crane's death was gone from the cable cut lol), but I have a better understanding of how it all fits in with the satire of the film.

And I can't help but think of recent films which maybe owe a bit of gratitude to this, especially Iron Man (which Favreau has said was an influence on him). There are some others I can't think of now, but it's definitely an influential work. It does make me wonder now what Aronofsky would have done with his re-boot of the franchise.

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Re: 23 Robocop

#29 Post by Venom » Mon Sep 27, 2010 10:14 pm

I wonder if Michael Ironside was supposed to be Clarence Boddicker but wasn't available, since he's worked with the director a few other times and Kurtwood Smith is a pretty close lookalike.

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Re: 23 Robocop

#30 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:18 pm

iMDB said he was actually in talks to play RoboCop himself (famously Arnold was too, but it was decided an actor with a smaller frame would be better cast since the suit was already built), and that Kurtwood was originally sought for Dick Jones. I have to say it was better he played Clarence because he's otherwise known for playing characters not unlike Dick Jones in other movies. I actually think he'd be great as Cheney in something, but that's another story. He did kick all kinds of ass in this role, though.
Last edited by flyonthewall2983 on Tue Sep 28, 2010 11:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 23 Robocop

#31 Post by Venom » Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:27 am

Interesting. I heard somewhere that Rutger Hauer was considered for Murphy as well, who worked with the the director previously. I really can't imagine anyone other than Ronny Cox as Dick Jones, other than maybe James Woods.

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Re: 23 Robocop

#32 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Fri Nov 29, 2013 2:51 pm

This was posted in the MGM Blu thread but figured it's best posted here, too.
eerik wrote:Amazon.com has pre-order up for the remastered Robocop.

Bonus Features:
  • Remastered Theatrical Feature Blu-ray
  • Q&A With the Filmmakers (2012)
  • Flesh and Steel: The Making of Robocop
  • 1987 Featurette: Shooting Robocop
  • 1987 Featurette: Making Robocop
  • The Boardroom: Storyboard with Commentary by Animator Phil Tippett
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Villains of Old Detroit
  • Special Effects: Then and Now
  • Robocop: Creating a Legend
  • Paul Verhoeven Easter Egg
  • Commentary with Director Paul Verhoeven, Writer Ed Neumeier and Executive Producer Jon Davison
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spot
Theatrical cut is listed under bonus features so I assume director's cut is the main feature.
I watched about 45 minutes of Robocop 2 for the first time in ages (probably since I first saw it at an age I probably shouldn't have been, as usual) and it's just as bad as I'd always remembered it. Lo and behold, I find this review waiting in my Twitter feed the next morning.
Last edited by flyonthewall2983 on Fri Apr 24, 2015 8:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: 23 Robocop

#33 Post by colinr0380 » Fri Nov 29, 2013 5:18 pm

That's a great review of Robocop 2 which really gets into some of its highlights as well as its flaws. While it was great to see the second film still try to keep the more cynical, tougher tone of the first (which doesn't seem to have been captured since) it was a shame to see it exchange dark satire for goofier comedy, get careless with characterisation of returning characters and lack many of those Verhoeven-style moments of almost naïve earnestness and emotion (even in a dehumanising world everyone is still human, even the bad guys and corporate types) underneath all the hyper-nasty surface, aspects that make the first film so special.
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Re: 23 Robocop

#34 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Fri Nov 29, 2013 8:05 pm

The one positive thing I can say about it is that it reinforced my mostly lukewarm feelings about the original. Especially the music, which I'd always liked. On the other hand, Leonard Rosenman's score for 2 is incredibly grating for someone who doesn't mind the Zimmer clones who are scoring action films now. An actual choir is singing "Robocop!" during the end credits.

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Re: 23 Robocop

#35 Post by LavaLamp » Fri Nov 29, 2013 8:07 pm

Robocop made a huge impression on me when I first saw it in the theatre back in August '87. The ultra-violence was not something I had seen in film before that point, and the story was both very compelling & moving: Essentially, it was about a man who, through no fault of his own, had his humanity taken from him & he had to, somehow, rediscover it for himself.

The ending sequence is probably one of my all-time favorite endings in film.....And, the ED-209 is one of the most memorable tech robots in sci-fi, period.

The 2nd & 3rd films were just alright - they could have been better, but even so it would have been fairly difficult (if not impossible) to have been as brilliant as the first film. Apparently Peter Weller couldn't be involved in Robocop 3 because he was working on Cronenberg's Naked Lunch (1991) - and, based on how average the Robocop 3 script was I don't think his involvement/inclusion in the film would have made any difference...

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Re: 23 Robocop

#36 Post by colinr0380 » Sat Nov 30, 2013 5:33 am

And Robert Burke as his replacement in Robocop 3 wasn't too bad, it was just the tone of the film that was getting lost as it span into the short-lived TV series. I guess these sequels and remakes are useful though as they highlight (as do the Starship Troopers sequels and Basic Instinct 2 - while I haven't seen it, I would guess even Showgirls 2!) that while Verhoeven's original films can sometimes be seen as making blunt entertainments, they are shown to be much subtler by the even blunter and less carefully constructed entertainments that follow!

(I have to admit that for a couple of years I actually preferred Robocop 2 as it was shown on television unedited while I only had the ludicrously TV-edited version of Robocop ("sometimes we called him *airhead*") to compare it to! Of course that swapped around as soon as I saw the unedited version of the first film!)

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Re: 23 Robocop

#37 Post by Cold Bishop » Sat Nov 30, 2013 6:02 am

I think Fred Dekker said he wanted to make a HK-style action (more wire-fantasy style stuff than heroic bloodshed) film for 3, but the budget/support wasn't there. I doubt it would have made a good film, but it would have at least gave the film something to grab onto.

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Re: 23 Robocop

#38 Post by Malickite » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:38 am

Sorry to bring up this old page, but just out of curiosity; Now that Criterion has Silence of the Lambs back, what are the chances that the other OOP Orion Pictures movie RoboCop will be returning as well? Looking at the backs of the most recent blu-rays, they both have the 20th Century Fox and the MGM logos. It makes sense they would have been reacquired together, no?

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Re: 23 Robocop

#39 Post by Drucker » Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:10 pm

The 4k release of Robocop was already released on blu-ray, so probably less likely.

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Re: 23 Robocop

#40 Post by dwk » Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:15 pm

Either early this year or last year, Mister Lime posted on the Blu-ray.com forums that there is a handful of titles that MGM will not license out and RoboCop was one of the titles (the Bond and Rocky films are also on the will not license list.)

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Re: 23 Robocop

#41 Post by Malickite » Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:35 pm

Okay, thanks, guys.

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Re: 23 Robocop

#42 Post by colinr0380 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:49 pm

Here's the late Barry Norman's take on RoboCop from the BBC's Film '88 programme when the film was first released in the UK. He likes the satire but not the violence, which rather misses the point that (like the later Starship Troopers and its recruitment ads) the ultraviolence is the satire and perhaps the ultimate end point that media desensitisation to carnage has not just on viewers but on those who run the society.

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Re: 23 Robocop

#43 Post by whaleallright » Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:53 pm

Maybe the ultraviolence is the satire, but it's also the ultraviolence. The commentary tracks on this film and Starship Troopers are instructive; for all of Neumeier's sharp satire, which Verhoeven obviously grasped and conveyed with a brutal precision, it's clear that Verhoeven also just really likes fucking shit up. This film wouldn't be half of what it is if the violence were simply intended to make an "ultimate end point"(??) about media desensitization or whatever. There's real conviction in its grotesquerie.

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Re: 23 Robocop

#44 Post by barryconvex » Tue Jun 26, 2018 12:46 am

I think it's totally normal to see a character get shot 700 times in the chest by a giant robot so Verhoeven's "point" about desensitization is clearly baloney...

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Re: 23 Robocop

#45 Post by colinr0380 » Tue Jun 26, 2018 1:23 am

Well yes, the violence is spectacular and never seen before (or really again in this kind of manner outside of a Verhoeven film. Though I did just remember Battle Royale!). But its not just any character getting shot to ribbons until ED-209 runs out of bullets in the working definition of 'overkill', its an aspiring corporate executive lackey getting casually used and disposed of with apparently no consequences being brought onto OCP or its management as a result of a 'work related mishap'! White collar jobs are suddenly becoming as dangerous as blue collar ones!

My favourite part of that famous scene is the reaction of Ronny Cox in the background as the guy is running about begging for help, separating himself off from the boardroom table and majority of people when the guy runs into them (which would have caused more collateral damage if they had not managed to push him back into the centre of the room at the last second), and then neatly sidestepping back the other way when he gets pushed away again! Whilst Dan O'Herlihy's chairman does not move at all from his position at the head of the table. Of course Cox's character will find himself being isolated off as the sacrificial figure (because the company culture and ethos as a whole cannot be bad, just get rid of the 'bad apples' and things will naturally get back to normal) in the final scene of the film.

And interestingly a similar kind of moment (just with the boardroom replaced with a plastic sheeted classroom) of a doomed character being bounced around as a timer runs down until their inevitable gory death turns up in an early scene of Battle Royale.

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