HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: RoboCop 3 Collector's Edition
HTS Overall Score:72
Ah yes. The “Robocop” movie that no one wants to admit that they own/watch (or even exist in most civilized conversations). “Robocop” was a seminal 80s movie that revitalized the super cop genre, and while “Robocop 2” was no bastion of incredible filmmaking, it was a fun action movie that did justice to the original film’s legacy. However, “Robocop 3” was what tanked the franchise until it’s reboot in 2014. Frank Miller and Fred Dekker took what was left of the limited scope that was the “Robocop” and neutered it with a silly PG-13 rating (something the remake suffered from as well) and plastered in every silly scenario they could think of. Including, but not limited to, Robocop riding around in a pink “pimp mobile”, flying around on jet packs, attachable machine gun arms with flame throwers, and ninja Asian Robocops. Yes, you read that right. Asian Ninja Robocops. Simply put, if you try to think about “Robocop 3” you’re going to give yourself an aneurism.
Once again Robocop has to find and unscrupulous OCP corporation. This time they’re not trying to make a Robocop version three, but instead are trying to tear down Old Detroit (not a horrible thing if you know how bad real Detroit actually is) and replace it with a new shiny city that they’re going to build in its place. The only thing that stands between their way and paradise is the pesky fact that ordinary citizens don’t want to leave their homes, so OCP is coming in with paramilitary forces to “augment” police evictions. Otherwise known as sending in military forces to kick people out of their homes using whatever means necessary. This has created a resistance that works to keep their old homes in Detroit and they will also use whatever means necessary. Headed up by the bold speaking Bertha (CCH Pounder), the resistance fights their way to near extinction. That is until Robocop (now played by Robert John Burke instead of Peter Weller) is privy to one of these mercenary’s and their methods and realizes that his programming to protect the innocent means protecting the resistance fighters against the OCP merc forces.
The mercenaries, led by commander Paul McDaggett (John Castle) is more than willing to throw Robocop and her longtime partner officer Anne Lewis (Nancy Allen, one of only two people who has returned for all three films) under the bus. Or at least trying to kill them. With officer Lewis executed and Robocop himself severely wounded, the freedom fighters take the friendly robotic cop along with them and try to get him repaired before OCP comes back for round two.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=93474[/img]“Robocop 3” is really a silly film if you think about it. I do appreciate that they deviated from the drug dealing villains for the most part and focused in on something different, but the approach was completely wrong in this humble reviewer’s opinion. For one the neutering of the hyper violent first two to a PG-13 rating was an attempt to pull in more viewers for a failing franchise. Then there was the inclusion of the slapstick humor that didn’t fit in well with the dry and satirical humor of the first two films. Same thing goes for the political nature of the franchise as a whole. Despite having OCP be the big bad villain once more, there was no real political undertones besides that corporations are bad, people are good. It devolves into just a generic action film instead of standing ahead of the pack and being completely original.
Miller went just balls to the walls CRAZY throwing everything he could think of into the film and very little of it actually works. The interaction between Anne Lewis and Robocop is pretty good, and I have to love how well they made Burke look like Peter Weller with the mask off. The stop motion animatronics has always been the highlight of the series, but this time there is very little of it besides the obligatory ED-209 that shows up the armory. The rest was all superimposition (and really bad superimposition if you look at the jet pack scene). The acting is ok for a Robocop film, but the real fun comes from so many “name brand” faces that make their way into the cast. CCH Pounder, Rip Thorn, Mako, Jeff Garlin, Shane Black (director of “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”, “Iron Man 3”, and “The Nice Guys”) Stephen Root (Milton from “Office Space”, Daniel Von Bargen and several more. Past that novelty of seeing some great actors before they were REALLY famous (except for Daniel Von Bargen) the movie is just a what I would consider a film for hardcore Robocop fans.
Rated PG-13 for violence
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=93482[/img]Sadly, no 2K interpository scan for “Robocop 3”, but since the MGM disc already came with a solid enough encode, it’s not a HUGE loss (although I would have liked to have seen what a new scan could have done. Upon REALLY close scrutiny of screen captures it would look like the Scream Factory encode is slightly inferior to the MGM disc, but upon viewing it in motion the MGM and the Scream Factory encode look virtually identical. Colors and detail levels look incredibly similar and while the new encode has a high bitrate, I couldn’t really tell any difference on a 120-inch screen. Detail is pleasing to the eye, and colors fairly warm (with teal highlights here and there). It’s a fairly grungy looking film with most of the action sequences taking place in the Detroit ghetto, but blacks levels are impressive enough and don’t show off too much crush or other artifacting.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=93490[/img]Scream Factory has appeared to have used the same audio encode from the MGM Blu-ray (which seems to be par for the course with their MGM acquisitions unless something is obviously wrong with the MGM track), as well as another 2.0 track in DTS-HD MA as well (no idea if it’s a true stereo track or a downmix from the 5.1 track). Vocals are clean and clear (despite Burke’s goofy sounding voice for Robocop), and the surrounds get a decent workout with the machine gun fire and the titular Robocop score. LFE is intermittent but fairly reserved, never being too obtrusive or overly bombastic. In fact, I would have liked to have heard a little bit MORE bass from the gunfire and explosions that were going on. A solid mix, and technically sound for the most part.
• NEW Audio Commentary with director Fred Dekker
• NEW Audio Commentary with the makers of "RoboDoc: The Creation of RoboCop" documentary – Gary Smart, Chris Griffiths and Eastwood Allen
• NEW Delta City Shuffle: The Making of ROBOCOP 3 featuring director Fred Dekker, actors Nancy Allen, Bruce Locke, producer Patrick Crowley, cinematographer Gary Kibbe and production designer Hilda Stark (38 minutes)
• NEW Robo-Vision: The FX of ROBOCOP 3 featuring Peter Kuran, Phil Tippett, Craig Hayes, Kevin Kutchaver and Paul Gentry (12 minutes)
• NEW The Corporate Ladder – an interview with actor Felton Perry (11 minutes)
• NEW Training Otomo – an interview with actor Bruce Locke and martial arts trainer Bill Ryusaki (8 minutes)
• NEW War Machine – an interview with RoboCop gun fabricator James Belohovek (9 minutes)
• Theatrical Trailer
• Still Gallery
While the first two films were a hoot (with the first being a bonafide classic), “Robocop 3” is a watered-down version of the series with silly visuals, poor acting by the lead characters, and a plot that makes even the fans of nonsense levels martial arts movies furrow their brown in confusion. The film has very little appeal to anyone who isn’t a hardcore Robocop fan and wants to complete their collection. I WAS a little bit disappointed that there was no 2K remastering like the 2nd film got, but it already had a pretty solid encode from MGM, so it’s not a wild deal. Like “Robocop 2”, there is a substantial amount of brand new extras on this collector’s edition from Scream Factory, making it the very best version of the movie out there by a long shot. Still, recommended for the fans.
Starring: Robert John Burke, Remy Ryan, Nancy Allen
Directed by: Fred Dekker
Written by: Frank Miller, Fred Dekker
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, English DTS-HD MA 2.0
Studio: Scream Factory
Runtime: 104 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: March 21st, 2017
Buy RoboCop 3 Collector's Edition On Blu-ray at Amazon
Recommendation: For the Fans
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