directed by Paul Verhoeven
USA 1987

Called by Ken Russell “the greatest science-fiction film since Metropolis,” controversial director Paul Verhoeven’s RoboCop is a special effects-laden cult phenomenon. The film features a resurrected and roboticized hero (Peter Weller) in a new, supercharged cyborg body, struggling to reclaim his memory and avenge his own death. Writtern by Edward Neumeier and Michael Miner, this film is a grown-up superhero fantasy come to vivid, bloody life.

***

In a near future, the Motor City known as Detroit slowly becomes the spawn-ground for Crime as a gang of Cop Killers goes on the rise. Private organism, Omni Consomer Products (OCP) eventually seizes control of local law enforcement to ensure a secure an Urban pacification program. Just assigned to the Metro West Precint, Officer Alex Murphy is massacred to death by this gang, as his partner Anne Lewis is barely able to do nothing. At the same time, a young visionary executive, Bob Morton, seizes the chance when the ED-209 law enforcement Droid shows lack of perfection by killing a fellow executive to create the Perfect Cop. The near death Murphy is used as the subject. With his memories erased, he is resurrected as Robocop, the future of law enforcement. As he sweeps away with crime, case by case, he eventually becomes involved with the Cop Killing Gang, and Anne Lewis herself. All of this, triggering his dormant memories of his past life as he searches for who he really is, and uncover a conspiracy going deep in OCP with the Senior Vice President himself.

Posters

Theatrical Release: 17 July 1987 - USA

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison:

MGM (20th Anniversary Theatrical + Extended) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. MGM (Lenticular Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. MGM (Trilogy) - Region 1- NTSC vs. Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC vs. MGM - Region 2,4 - PAL

Big thanks to Ole Kofoed  and Enrico for all the Screen Caps!

(MGM (20th Anniversary + Extended) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP LEFT vs. MGM (Lenticular Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP MIDDLE  vs. MGM - region 1- NTSC TOP RIGHT vs. Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM LEFT vs. MGM - Region 2,4 - PAL - BOTTOM RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

Distribution MGM (20th Anniversary + Extended)
Region 1 - NTSC
MGM (Lenticular)
Region 1 - NTSC
MGM
Region 1 - NTSC

Criterion Collection - Spine #23

Region 0 - NTSC

MGM
Region 2,4 - PAL
Distribution MGM (20th Anniversary + Extended)
Region 1 - NTSC
MGM (Lenticular)
Region 1 - NTSC
MGM
Region 1 - NTSC

Criterion Collection - Spine #23

Region 0 - NTSC

MGM
Region 2,4 - PAL
Runtime 1:43:08 + 1:42:40 1:42:40 1:43:00 1:43:33 1:38:57 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.85:1 Theatrical Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.27 + 7.13 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.78:1 Theatrical Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.67 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.78:1 Theatrical Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.96 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.66:1 Directors Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.59 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.85:1 Theatrical Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.77 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

20th Anniversary (extended)

 

Bitrate:

20th Anniversary (theatrical)

 

Bitrate:

Lenticular

 

Bitrate:

MGM

 

Bitrate:

Criterion

 

Bitrate:

 

MGM

 

Audio English Dolby Digital 4.0, English Dolby Digital 5.1, English DTS, DUB: French Dolby 2.0 English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround, DUB: French Dolby 5.1, DUB: Spanish Dolby 5.1 English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround, DUB: French Dolby 2.0, DUB: Spanish Dolby 2.0 English Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround

English Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles English, Spanish, None English, Spanish, French, None English, Spanish, French, None None English, English for the hearing impaired, Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Swedish, Turkish, Czech, Danish or None.
Features Release Information:
Studio: MGM/UA Video 

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Audio commentary by director Paul Verhoeven, producer Jon Davison, and screenwriter Edward Neumeier

• Featurette: Flesh and Steel

• Shooting RoboCop (7:59).
• Making RoboCop (8:01).

• Deleted scenes
• Featurette: Villains of Old Detroit
• Featurette: Special Effects Then and Now
• Featurette: RoboCop: Creating a Legend

• Film-to storyboard comparison.
• Photo gallery (Behind the scenes, design, cast, director ect.)

 

DVD Release Date: August 21st, 2007
Metal Keep Case with rounded corners

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: MGM/UA Video 

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical trailer

DVD Release Date: June 5th, 2007
Keep Case

Chapters 16

 

Release Information:
Studio: MGM/UA Video 

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Audio commentary by director Paul Verhoeven, producer Jon Davison, and screenwriter Edward Neumeier
• Flesh and Steel, The Making of RoboCop (36:54)
• Shooting RoboCop (8:00)
• Making RoboCop (8:02)
storyboard and final scene comparison (6:02)
• 4 deleted scenes (2:54)
theatrical trailer (1:38)
• 2 TV Spot (each 0:32)
• 2 sneak peeks for MGM titles
• Robocop 2 and 3 trailers on their own DVDs

DVD Release Date: June 8th, 2004
Keep Case

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.66:1

Edition Details:
• Commentary by Verhoeven, co-writer Neumeier, Executive producer Davison and Paul Sammon.
• Film-to storyboard comparison.
• Storyboards.
• Illustrated essay on the making of RoboCop.
• Theatrical and teaser trailers.
• Out of print.

DVD Release Date: September 29, 1998
Keep Case

Chapters 27

Release Information:
Studio: MGM

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Includes theatrical and director's cut.
• Commentary by Verhoeven, co-writer Neumeier, Executive producer Davison.
• Flesh & Steel - The Making of RoboCop (36:55).
• Shooting RoboCop (7:59).
• Making RoboCop (8:01).
• Deleted scenes.
• Trailers for RoboCop 1-3 and TV commercial.
• Film-to storyboard comparison.
• Photo gallery (Behind the scenes, design, cast, director ect.).


DVD Release Date: May 13, 2002
Keep Case

Chapters 32

 

Comments:

ADDITION: 20th Anniversary - (September 07'): Surprisingly the transfer differs from the 'Lenticular Edition' that came out a couple of months previously. Although still in the theatrical 1.85:1 - it is most similar to the Criterion in terms of color balance and contrast. At times it is does not appear as sharp but that could be because of the black boosting on the alternate releases.

Technically - there are 2 discs housed inside a steel keep case (with rounded corners). One disc has the 'theatrical version' and the other has the 'Extended version'. Both are in the NTSC standard, coded for region 1, progressive and 1.85:1 anamorphically enhanced. Both theatrical and extended look to have the same transfer (one comparison example below).

Audio has a 4.0 track option (touted as original) which none of the other releases sport. Along with that are 5.1 and DTS choices. English and Spanish subtitles support the audio.

The package is rife with supplements - an audio commentary (not new) by director Paul Verhoeven, producer Jon Davison, and screenwriter Edward Neumeier for the theatrical. Featurettes: Flesh and Steel, Shooting RoboCop (7:59), Making RoboCop (8:01), Villains of Old Detroit, Special Effects Then and Now, RoboCop: Creating a Legend, plus storyboard visuals, deleted scenes and more.

I guess I'll never understand the film's popularity although a niche following does seem to make sense with its fantasy elements and purposeful kitschy aura. I hope this is the last release till it goes Hi-def (and it will) but for SD this appears to be the package for fans to own.   

***

ADDITION (June 07') - Lenticular Edition: Well, I think I figured out what they were inferring by the term 'Lenticular' - it means 'bare bones'. The image is a virtual duplicate of the older MGM 'Trilogy' release BUT it does show a fraction more information on all four edges. The VOB files are surprisingly from 2001! At least the menus are relatively new. Although only a trailer as a supplement - if you are only interested in the 'intend ratio' of the film and nothing more then for $11 this is the way to go.

***

NEW ADDITION (June 2004): (Trilogy Version) - MGM's new anamorphic DVD is very strong and a candidate for the best version (aspect ratio and overly red skins tones and saturation aside - see below). Excellent sharpness (although Criterion is slightly sharper) and contrast (deep blacks), 5.1 audio, NO PAL speedup, and bountiful Extra features. Shame that it took so long to come to Region 1 and NTSC since the Criterion is Out-of-Print... and also a shame that it can only be purchased in the Trilogy Boxset. Still, for fans, it is the one to buy if you adhere to the theatrical preferred aspect ratio (not directors)! Colors are really different than the Criterion which should still be considered the definitive version.

The Criterion captures are native resolution and the MGM is scaled down from 1016. Not that it matters too much... the MGM, even if anamorphic,  has too much saturation for my tastes - this adjusts the colors quite drastically. Notice on capture 3 that the "digital cleaning" have removed not only grain but also some wires and other small items on the MGM!  The Criterion has some Edge Enhancement, but it is very minor. Regarding the aspect ratio:

IMdb states the original aspect ratio as:

1.66 : 1 (negative ratio)
1.85 : 1 (intended ratio)

From a post on Home Theatre Forum
HERE:
"Well, if I understand correctly, RoboCop was shown theatrically in 1.85:1. 1.66:1 is (director) Paul Verhoeven's preferred Aspect ratio"
So we have included "Original Aspect ratio" for both. I suppose its a matter of taste
.

 - Gary Tooze


 

DVD Menus

Anniversary - theatrical

 

 

Extended Cut Disc menus

 

 

MGM (Lenticular Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC

 



(MGM - region 1- NTSC LEFT vs. Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. MGM - Region 2,4 - PAL - RIGHT)


 
 

   

 


 

Screen Captures

(MGM (Extended) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. MGM (Anniversary - Theatrical) - Region 1 - NTSC 2nd vs. MGM (Lenticular Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC 3rd vs. MGM - Region 1 - NTSC 4th vs. Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC - 5th vs. MGM - Region 2,4 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(MGM (Anniversary - Theatrical) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. MGM (Lenticular Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC 2nd vs. MGM - Region 1 - NTSC 3rd vs. Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC - 4th vs. MGM - Region 2,4 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


 

(MGM (Anniversary - Theatrical) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. MGM (Lenticular Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC 2nd vs. MGM - Region 1 - NTSC 3rd vs. Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC - 4th vs. MGM - Region 2,4 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 

 


(MGM (Anniversary - Theatrical) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. MGM (Lenticular Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC 2nd vs. MGM - Region 1 - NTSC 3rd vs. Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC - 4th vs. MGM - Region 2,4 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


 

(MGM (Anniversary - Theatrical) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. MGM (Lenticular Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC 2nd vs. MGM - Region 1 - NTSC 3rd vs. Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC - 4th vs. MGM - Region 2,4 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 

 


(MGM (Anniversary - Theatrical) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. MGM (Lenticular Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC 2nd vs. MGM - Region 1 - NTSC 3rd vs. Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC - 4th vs. MGM - Region 2,4 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


 Hit Counter


DVD Box Covers

Distribution MGM (20th Anniversary + Extended)
Region 1 - NTSC
MGM (Lenticular)
Region 1 - NTSC
MGM
Region 1 - NTSC

Criterion Collection - Spine #23

Region 0 - NTSC

MGM
Region 2,4 - PAL


 

 

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