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Old 01-18-2018, 01:22 PM   #1
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Robocop (1987) Appreciation Thread

To prevent further derailing of the Last Jedi thread, here's a new, designated place to talk about RoboCop and all its spinoffs.



Weirdly enough, I've been seeing the remastered Blu-Ray at various different Dollar Tree locations over the past week, and posters at the blu-ray.com forums have noticed them as well. If you haven't seen the film or are looking to own it, you might try to seek it out there.

EDIT: Looks like newfan beat me to it; mods can feel free to delete this at their leisure.
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Old 01-18-2018, 01:26 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Spike Spiegel View Post
To prevent further derailing of the Last Jedi thread, here's a new, designated place to talk about RoboCop and all its spinoffs.

https://images1.houstonpress.com/ima...cop_header.jpg

Weirdly enough, I've been seeing the remastered Blu-Ray at various different Dollar Tree locations over the past week, and posters at the blu-ray.com forums have noticed them as well. If you haven't seen the film or are looking to own it, you might try to seek it out there.

EDIT: Looks like newfan beat me to it; mods can feel free to delete this at their leisure.
Nah, yours is better than mine, can you delete mine please mods?
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Old 01-18-2018, 01:37 PM   #3
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Discussion about RoboCop continued from here.

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Originally Posted by Andrew NDB View Post
Has nobody else seen "RoboCop: Prime Directives"? It's the best RoboCop I've ever seen outside of the original movie.
I have seen it more than 15 years ago and, IMO, it doesn't hold a candle to the first movie or even second.
The story was a slog and, from what I remember, RoboCop himself felt more like a secondary character, while new original characters were in the spotlight.
"Quality" is written all over it.
Of course, it's just a TV series.

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I thought it made sense, but there's no question that you're right. It was a bit complicated.
At least ending was fairly logical. I can give it that.

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It's beyond stupid. It still amazes me that they tried things like that back then. Stuff was thrown out for kids no matter what the source material. They made Robocop and Rambo cartoons. Unbelievable. There were Aliens toys at one point. Great movie - and I had a few of the toys, there were some really cool ones in those lines - but not one you'd expect kids to see, especially at the time when even the notion of kids seeing R-rated films made mom groups faint.
Yeah, the idea of cartoons out of Rambo or RoboCop is hilarious.
What is twice hilarious, that according to some people, first RoboCop cartoon was the closest to the original movie in terms of tone (minus the gore, obviously). Another thing that I've heard, is that this cartoon had kinda recreated Murphy's death scene from the first movie, which is rather crazy, if true.

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I actually haven't seen this one. Worth even bothering with, or just skip it?
Its interesting, because, it's approaching some of the ideas from the first 2 movies in a new ways.

Without going into heavy spoilers, original RoboCop was about "man trying to reclaim "himself" from the machine", so to speak, while remake attempted to do idea about "man trying to save "himself" from becoming machine".

Also, I like how they updated OCP in this movie - in the original it was bunch of ruthless businessmen who knew exactly what they were doing, in typical 80-s fashion.
In the remake, it's just bunch of middle age morally bankrupt managers, who are trying to create a product and don't give a damn about anything else. Their meetings really had a vibe of a company trying to make, not a super cyborg, but some kind of smartphone or something - just a thing to attract masses.

Sadly, producers basically shut down all the best ideas director had for the sake of making it PG. The problem not even with the absence of gore, but that the second half of the movie feels incredibly rushed and toothless.

Guess, RoboCop 3 wasn't a good lesson for those people.
In a way, greed of producers, which were involved in the remake, sort of continued theme of the original movie.
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Old 01-18-2018, 01:43 PM   #4
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I have seen it more than 15 years ago and, IMO, it doesn't hold a candle to the first movie or even second.
The story was a slog and, from what I remember, RoboCop himself felt more like a secondary character, while new original characters were in the spotlight.
"Quality" is written all over it.
Of course, it's just a TV series.
That's cruel. It's got some great stuff in it. I found Murphy's relationship with his adult son very touching.
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Old 01-18-2018, 01:45 PM   #5
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Replying to Sumac here because folks want to re-rail the Star Wars thread.

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Yeah, the idea of cartoons out of Rambo or RoboCop is hilarious.
What is twice hilarious, that according to some people, first RoboCop cartoon was the closest to the original movie in terms of tone. Another thing that I've heard, is that this cartoon had kinda recreated Murphy's death scene from the first movie, which is rather crazy, if true.
I've seen some shows and interviews about the stuff back then, and apparently, the going thought was that movies would make for a good market to sell toys, which kicked the whole thing off. There's a recent show on Netflix, "Toys That Made Us", that talks about the history of Star Wars toys and how that was the big breakthrough. Prior, movies couldn't really sustain toy lines, because they were one and done, but Star Wars bucked the trend and toy companies saw dollar signs. So a bunch of movie franchises - even ones that had no business getting them - got toy lines for kids. From there, some made deals to get cartoons out in certain cases to help sell the toys.

I very much suspect that's the main reason why properties like Robocop and Rambo got cartoons. Everybody was hoping for something even a fraction as popular as the Star Wars line. After all, that was the biggest toy series in the world for decades and blew everything else out of the water.

I've never seen the Robocop cartoon, but that's sort of amazing if they slipped the death scene in, censored or not. I always get a kick out of what cartoons, back in those days and now, manage to slip past censors. It's always fun to read or watch interviews with cast and crew who talk about it.

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Its interesting, because, it's approaching some of the ideas from the first 2 movies in a new ways.

Without going into heavy spoilers, original RoboCop was about "man trying to reclaim "himself" from the machine", so to speak, while remake attempted to do idea about "man trying to save "himself" from becoming machine".

Also, I like how they updated OCP in this movie - in the original it was bunch of ruthless businessmen who knew exactly what they were doing, in typical 80-s fashion.

In the remake, it's just bunch of middle age morally bankrupt managers, who are trying to create a product and don't give a damn about anything else. Their meetings really had a vibe of a company trying to make, not a super cyborg, but some kind of smartphone or something - just a thing to attract masses.

Sadly, producers basically shut down all the best ideas director had for the sake of making it PG. The problem not even with the absence of gore, but that the second half of the movie feels incredibly rushed and toothless.
You make this sound like it has more merit than I expected. I may have to check it out, now, if only to see for myself. I skipped it originally because all the pre-release stuff had me think it wasn't going to keep the satire or undertones of the original. The PG thing just seemed like the capper.

Examining the people behind Robocop on the corporate level in a more realistic bent actually sounds like a good idea and a good approach if you're going to do something like a remake. The original Robocop is a classic, but is absolutely satire, with everything taken to extremes to highlight absurdity. Which is great, but putting forward a study of how something like that could happen in a setting a bit less satirical could even make it hit home more.

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In a way, greed of producers, which were involved in the remake, sort of continued theme of the original movie.
Ain't that always the way?
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Old 01-18-2018, 01:56 PM   #6
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Oh man. I've never heard about Prime Directives before, now I got a new show to look for.
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Old 01-18-2018, 02:37 PM   #7
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It's way, way edgier than the TV show and somewhere between Robocop 2 and 3 in terms of teeth. Unfortunately yeah... it's about neck and neck with the TV show in terms of budget.
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Old 01-18-2018, 02:41 PM   #8
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Old 01-18-2018, 02:42 PM   #9
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Speaking of the actual RoboCop TV show (which is NOT to be confused with RoboCop: Prime Directives, that came later and is actually for adults)... did anyone watch it? It did have an official DVD release like 8 years ago.

It's pretty hard to get into, I only made it about 6 episodes of what is like a 22 episode show. He has a partner that is a digital ghost in the computer, and he sets his gun to deliver "stun" rounds all the time, or otherwise looks for ways to shoot chandeliers on top of the bad guys instead of killing them or wounding them. Remember the guy who got chemically burned in the original movie, then rammed by the car and turned to goo? Well he survived somehow and is a villain in this.
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Old 01-18-2018, 02:44 PM   #10
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It's way, way edgier than the TV show and somewhere between Robocop 2 and 3 in terms of teeth. Unfortunately yeah... it's about neck and neck with the TV show in terms of budget.
They were in talks with Richard Eden (the series) to play Robo in prime directives but I don't know why it trailed off.
Why no 'thud' sound when he walks in directives... it was that horrible clanking sound... was that just because he was old? I also didn't realise the series was Canadian, then there was something about them not being able to use character names for some 'rights' reasons so they all changed.. except they could use his?... I don't understand that stuff though and read it a while back.


Edit: Yeah Andrew I watched it, only had one season, not too popular. Strange, in a book I bought a few years back 'The Definitive History' I read that the 'ghost in a machine' concept would have been an idea for a 2nd movie from the writers of the first.., only they wanted sooner than they could deliver so had to go elsewhere for writers.

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Old 01-18-2018, 02:51 PM   #11
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They were in talks with Richard Eden (the series) to play Robo in prime directives but I don't know why it trailed off.
The usual suspects, probably. Money and/or scheduling. Sadly, the actual Robocop suit in the TV show is a lot better than the one in Prime Directives.
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Old 01-18-2018, 02:53 PM   #12
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The TV Series went on Norwegian TV so I saw it as a kid and loved it.
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Old 01-18-2018, 03:06 PM   #13
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I noticed the PG more when I revisited it out of nostalgia...

.. saying that though, with the first movie... I am a wuss for this... but I still forward Murphy's death, or down the volume... not like it's scary or has me screaming or anything, I just think it harsh

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Old 01-18-2018, 03:15 PM   #14
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I've never seen the Robocop cartoon, but that's sort of amazing if they slipped the death scene in, censored or not. I always get a kick out of what cartoons, back in those days and now, manage to slip past censors. It's always fun to read or watch interviews with cast and crew who talk about it.
It was better time for creativity in some ways. Yeah, censorship was abundant, but thanks to the absence of the social networks people at least were unable to critically rip shows to pieces, frame by frame.
No crazy fandoms sending death threats to creators and actors of the show, either.

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You make this sound like it has more merit than I expected. I may have to check it out, now, if only to see for myself. I skipped it originally because all the pre-release stuff had me think it wasn't going to keep the satire or undertones of the original. The PG thing just seemed like the capper.
It's a not bad movie, but not good either.
Certainly better than Robo 3, even if it's not a very high milestone and with some interesting ideas to boot.

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Examining the people behind Robocop on the corporate level in a more realistic bent actually sounds like a good idea and a good approach if you're going to do something like a remake. The original Robocop is a classic, but is absolutely satire, with everything taken to extremes to highlight absurdity. Which is great, but putting forward a study of how something like that could happen in a setting a bit less satirical could even make it hit home more.
I disagree that RoboCop is "absolutely satire". I think it was so successful because, thanks to the talent of Verhoven, the movie was able to dance on the fine line between being "over the top" and "reaslitic".
RoboCop 2 is much closer to the "absolute satire" and in many ways it had failed due to it.

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Speaking of the actual RoboCop TV show (which is NOT to be confused with RoboCop: Prime Directives, that came later and is actually for adults)... did anyone watch it? It did have an official DVD release like 8 years ago.
Never have seen it.
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Old 01-18-2018, 03:54 PM   #15
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There's a synth/electronica album I like themed around Robocop. Might as well bring it up.

https://protector101.bandcamp.com/al...deluxe-edition

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It was better time for creativity in some ways. Yeah, censorship was abundant, but thanks to the absence of the social networks people at least were unable to critically rip shows to pieces, frame by frame.
No crazy fandoms sending death threats to creators and actors of the show, either.
That stuff still existed, it just came in the form of mail. I think people sifted through it sometimes before it got to crew, but not always. Either way, I don't know, I can't say I necessarily agree. I'd argue cartoons are the best they've been since the late 90's, early aughts at least, maybe ever at most. Way too many on right now that are high quality, though some really good ones have ended in the last couple years. I think it's Paul Dini who said "animation is like a pendulum".

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It's a not bad movie, but not good either.

Certainly better than Robo 3, even if it's not a very high milestone and with some interesting ideas to boot.
You make it sound like it's worth one watch, at least, so I'll probably look into seeing it at some point.

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I disagree that RoboCop is "absolutely satire". I think it was so successful because, thanks to the talent of Verhoven, the movie was able to dance on the fine line between being "over the top" and "reaslitic".
RoboCop 2 is much closer to the "absolute satire" and in many ways it had failed due to it.
Eh, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. Robocop is rife with it and I'd argue it's as much a social satire as it is an action/cyberpunk film. It's the way the news reports are filmed, the commercials (like artificial hearts created and operated by Yamaha), the privatization of absolutely everything, including police, the rich corporation deciding to level Detroit and make its own city it owns, displacing the poor, the literalization of "blood in the boardroom", the very nature of brutal, murderous robots replacing law enforcement bringing police brutality and their attitudes to their logical extreme.

It's very much a story about what makes a human and holding on to those things in a satirical, cyberpunk setting. Satire's also what Verhoeven likes to do. It was what attracted him to the project to begin with. He'd initially thrown the script in the garbage and would have passed until his wife read it and told him to take another look.

It does a great job of toeing the line, though, I agree. I just think it definitely qualifies as satire. It's just that the satire isn't extended to the personal journey of Robo himself. It's in the world that surrounds him.

Robocop 2 definitely ratcheted it up, though, and dispenses with what little subtlety there had been before, though, no question. Whether that was a good move or a bad one is up to each individual person. I did enjoy how the film knew exactly what it was and was in on the joke, though. That entire sequence with the early Robocop 2 prototypes is darkly humorous and might as well have had someone turn and wink at the camera, like "yeah, we know, sequels, but we get it, just strap in and come along with us on the ride".
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Old 01-18-2018, 04:00 PM   #16
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Probably one of my fav movies of all time.

Shame that apparently can't be said for the films that came afterwards.
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Old 01-18-2018, 04:10 PM   #17
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The Paul Verhoeven trilogy: Robocop, Total Recall, Starship Troopers. You kind of feel like you almost know the man after watching those.

I wish he was still getting big budget movies these days.
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Old 01-18-2018, 04:19 PM   #18
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That stuff still existed, it just came in the form of mail. I think people sifted through it sometimes before it got to crew, but not always. Either way, I don't know, I can't say I necessarily agree. I'd argue cartoons are the best they've been since the late 90's, early aughts at least, maybe ever at most. Way too many on right now that are high quality, though some really good ones have ended in the last couple years. I think it's Paul Dini who said "animation is like a pendulum".
Crazies always existed, just, I think in the 90-s they were less visible / noticeable.
I don't think I have watched a lot of cartoons made after middle of 90-s, so not sure if I can compare.

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Eh, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.
I've never said, that RoboCop is not satire. Just that it walks the fine line between being over the top grotesque and hard realism.

Though, maybe our definitions of over the top are slightly different, so that might be the issue.
For me over the top is something closer to the Naked Gun or various 80-s horror movies, rather than RoboCop.

Thing is, I am very tolerant to the "over the topness" and "crazyness", so it is really really hard to push me to the point where I can say: "It's too much!". Rule of thumb: they crazier something - the more I will like it. RoboCop in this scheme, doesn't even start to register as "over the top".
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Old 01-18-2018, 04:34 PM   #19
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I wish he was still getting big budget movies these days.
I believe he's semi-retired these days and that's why. He didn't do much after Starship Troopers before leaving the US to live and make films in other countries. That could be another reason. I know he did something overseas a couple years ago.

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I think in the 90-s they were less visible / noticeable.
It wasn't exactly easy to connect with each other in those days still, so yes, definitely. The internet made it easier. It's still a simple thing not to get caught up in them, though. I just enjoy the shows without getting caught in greater fandom stuff, for the most part.

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Though, maybe our definitions of over the top are slightly different, so that might be the issue.
Could be. Satire isn't so much over the top, though, as exaggeration to highlight flaws or to ridicule. Naked Gun is very much an over the top comedy, but not satire, for example.
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Old 01-18-2018, 04:37 PM   #20
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Robocop 3 is my absolute favorite of the series.
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