Monday, September 9, 2013

Move Review: Robocop Trilogy on Blu-Ray

Just in time, too! Nothing like an up-to-the minute movie review, and this is nothing like an up-to-the minute movie review. I probably owe you, my beloved followers, an apology for abandoning this blog for so long...

Then again, being Robocop means never having to say you're sorry!

This weekend when my sweet wife was away overnight I dug into my newest Blu-Ray acquisitions and re-watched the 1987 Paul Verhoeven-directed, Ed Neumeier-penned original film of corporate greed, urban decay, and a horrifying war machine that can't negotiate stairs.

Robocop is still my 22nd favourite movie, and hero in crisis Peter Weller is really great at this biz called show! A trio of baddies from Miguel Ferrer, Ronny Cox, and Kurtwood Smith are, by turns, smarmy, corporate cutthroat, and literally cutthroat. Upright cop Alex Murphy is shot into chunks by gangsters in what is either 1992 or 2044 Detroit. Soulless corporate giant Omni Consumer Products resurrects Murphy as a gunmetal cyborg with a heart. A Nissan heart! When a man is reduced to a few pounds of internal organs and most of a face to suck baby food through, what is left to make him a man? Find out with plenty of bullets, car chases, and fiery explosions!
The next day I re-watched Robocop 2, written by Frank 'Sin City' Miller and directed by Irvin 'Empire Strikes Back' Kershner. Which isn't quite as good but which DOES have John 'Daniel Clamp' Glover hawking a car security system that murders thieves but doesn't drain your battery! Both sequels rely a little too heavily on child actors, which especially in R-rated Robocop 2 is a head-scratcher. But I must grudgingly admit that Robo's SFX battles with the drug-addled messianic/maniac cyborg Cain are technically superior to the first film's ED 209 FX.  But when it comes to ED, you never forget your first murderously malfunctioning enforcement drone.

Finally I re-watched Robocop 3, which has Steven 'Macho Business Donkey Wrestler' Root and CCH 'Amanda Waller' Pounder (I think she pronounces it "ccch"?) as freedom fighters, a little girl hacker moppet, and Josh 'Bradley Whitford' Lyman pre-West Wing. In which that pesky partner Anne 'Nancy Allen from Carrie' Lewis dies a contractually-obligated death in a Frank Miller-obligated church. Also it has ninja androids and a jet pack. (For some- a deal breaker. For me- the whole point.)

Since the returns do diminish sharply, I'd prefer to think of this purchase as $15 for the first movie, $7 for the second, and... Robocop 3... "Well, I'll buy THAT for a Dollar!" Although 3's director Fred Dekker DID bring me Night of The Creeps and some Star Trek Enterprise, so he's o.k. in my book.

I'll probably look up the cheesy TV series and cheesier cartoon, all in preparation for a 2014 re-boot that will almost certainly fail to please and will very probably be the re-make equivalent of a two-hour kicking of my ball sack. (That new black suit really stinks.)

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