RoboCop 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 261, May/June 2022

WSR Score4
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Arrow Video
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Not Rated / R
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-66)
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Paul Verhoeven
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(Disc Soundtrack):
Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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Peter Weller stars as the slain police officer turned into a cyborg, struggling to reclaim his memory and avenge his own death. This is a brutally violent story of sadistic crime in Old Detroit. Part man, part machine, all cop—that's the essence of "Robocop". (Gary Reber)

The release includes the Not Rated Director's Cut and the R-Rated theatrical cut. Split screen comparisons can be viewed between the Director's Cut and Theatrical Cut
and the Theatrical Cut and edited-for-TV version. There are two isolated score tracks––the composer's original score and the final theatrical mix. There is an edited-for-TV version of the film featuring alternate dubs, takes and edits of several scenes (SD only). A Director's Cut production footage and raw dailies from the filming of the unrated gore scenes are presented in 4K. Special features on the Director's Cut 4K Ultra HD include the featurettes: "The Future Of Law Enforcement: Creating RoboCop" (HD 16:51), "RoboTalk" (HD 32:08), "Truth Of Character" (HD 18:26), "Casting Old Detroit" (HD 08:20), "More Man Than Machine: Composing RoboCop (HD 12:04), RoboProps (12:50), "RoboCop: Creating A Legend," (HD 21:12), "Villains Of Old Detroit" (HD 17:01), Special Effects: Then And Now ((HD 18:23), "Boardroom Storyboards With Phil Tippell Commentary" (HD 06:04), "Director's Cut Production Footage" (SD 11:38) and "Connecting The Shots" (HD 11:06); special photographic effects including new interviews with Peter Kuran and Kevin Kutchaver (HD 13:10); 2012 Q&A with the filmmakers (SD 42L37); Easter Eggs (HD 0:38); four deleted scenes (SD 02:52); two theatrical trailers and three TV spots; and extensive image galleries.

Special features on the Theatrical Cut 4K Ultra HD include commentary by Director Paul Verhoevan, Executive Producer Jon Davison and Co-Writer Ed Neurmier, commentary by film historian Paul M. Sammon, commentary by fans Christopher Griffiths, Gary Smart and Eastwood Allen, the featurete "RoboCop: Edited For Television" (SD 95:16); original lossless stereo and four-channel mixes and a 44-page booklet.

The 1.85:1 1080p AVC 4K Ultra HD Dolby Vision/HDR10 picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, upconverted to 2160p with greater resolution and luminance, was photographed on Eastman film stock using the Arriflex 35 BL and sourced from a 4K master Digital Intermediate format. A fine layer of film grain permeates the imagery but is never objectionable. Except for the TV broadcasts and the view through the RoboCop's eyes the picture appearance is superb, no doubt due to the 4K restoration. The color palette is nicely saturated with natural vividness. The grey metallic suit of RoboCop and the police car he drives is perfectly realistic. Hue shadings are nuanced throughout. Flesh tones are accurately rendered. HDR contrast is excellent with natural black and white levels and revealing shadow delineation. Resolution is revealing of fine detail, especially during closeups, whether on facial features, clothing, RoboCop's metallic shinning uniform and object textures. This is a really good restoration that claims this release as the title's new reference. Fans will be thrilled. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel is repurposed from the original four-channel Dolby SR soundtrack with monaural surround. The improvements are in spatial dimensionality and soundfield envelopment. Dynamics sound still compressed but far less than previous releases. Sound effects such as loud, intense violent gunfire and artillery explosions are prominent. Atmospherics are generally realistic. Foley sound effects are well in sync. The orchestral score is lively with generally decent fidelity and a wide and deep soundstage. While dimensionality is improved the sound still is predominately frontal focused though surround energy is strong and enveloping using the original sound elements. Dialogue is intelligible but sounds slightly edgy though generally with decent spatial integration.

The Immersive Sound element is comprised of the extension of the orchestral score, sporadic sound effects such as gunfire from a robot, city sounds, autos screeching, Foley sound effects, atmospherics and din. Sans direct dialogue a lot of the ear-level sonics are elevated, though less in volume.

This is a far more effective soundtrack with the benefit of a good sense of holosonic® spherical surround surround dimensionality. (Gary Reber)