RoboCop 3 (Remastered) (1992)
|Year Of Production||1992|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (59:14)||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Language Select Then Menu|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Fred Dekker|
Twentieth Century Fox
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Auto Pan & Scan Encoded||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes, this whole film is a 100-minute ad for dolls|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Every now and again, I walk away from a film with the feeling of having been insulted - I felt insulted after watching Memento because my diabetes doesn't stop me from being able to beat the crap out of its director or star, and I felt insulted after watching The Blair Witch Project for so many reasons I can't begin to describe them all, except to say I felt robbed at the end. RoboCop 3, however, is the biggest insult I've ever suffered in the cinematic sense during my lifetime - it basically undoes its pants and takes a big crap upon something that was near and dear to me during a turbulent time in my life (and still is today). The only film that comes close to insulting my childhood memories as much as RoboCop 3 would be the Disney hack job performed upon Inspector Gadget a couple of years ago.
Lest you think I am bashing this film for no credible reason, let me tell you what I think of when I hear the word RoboCop - I think of hilarious political satire delivered with all the subtlety of a nuclear strike on an outdoor toilet, mixed with enough bloodshed to make snuff films look family-oriented. Frank Miller and Fred Dekker, who also directed this turkey, have not a singular clue as to what makes a RoboCop film so great. The film moves along at such a choppy, erratic pace that there is just no laughs, and ultimately no point, in what I would describe as the single most disappointing third instalment in a series since Army Of Darkness.
The story begins with the giant corporation of the previous two films, Omni Consumer Products, having been taken over by a Japanese conglomerate. The Delta City project mentioned in the previous two films still hasn't gone ahead despite the passage of what looks like decades, but numerous residents are about to be evicted in order to make way for the buildings. Essentially, if an area known as Cadillac Heights is not cleared for construction in a week, the stock price for OCP will go into the toilet. Anne Lewis (Nancy Allen), a literal proxy for RoboCop's heart and soul, is written out of the film about ten minutes in, after a sequence of scenes that would embarrass the likes of Lloyd Kaufman. I think her last words to RoboCop (Robert John Burke) in this film run something along the lines of "get them for me, Murphy..." or thereabouts. What a sad end for one of the best characters in the series.
Speaking of sad characterisations, Robert Burke absolutely sucks in the role of RoboCop. He has none of the charm, charisma, or fluidity that Peter Weller brought to the role, in spite of Weller doing the first film in circumstances that would try any professional past their limit. While I am on this subject, a film about a Christ-style protagonist is only as good as your main antagonist, and while that of RoboCop 2 was somewhat weak, the writers here seem at a loss to even set up any antagonist here. Eventually, they decide on making OCP, a faceless, nameless corporation, the main bad guys, but it is only when a new cyborg called Otomo (Bruce Locke) is introduced that there is anything tangible. Sorry, Frank Miller, but transplanting characters from your own failed comic books (Otomo being lifted from the Ronin comic book) into films will not wash here. RoboCop worked so well in its first incarnation because the bad guys were so real and tangible that one could relate to them as much as they hated them.
I think that when all is said and done, this film is a testament to how the studio system's apparent greed and its related need to PG-ify everything can ruin a story beyond comprehension. In the end, it is adults who pay to watch films, not their children, and sometimes you need to make something that will satisfy their need for entertainment, too. If that means giving some adults (and even children, I might add) a sick joke by gunning the crap out of an innocent employee or having a cyborg cause more destruction than the criminals he is arresting, then so be it. I don't watch films because I want to hear smarmy slogans being repeated, I watch them because I want to see characters I can relate to play off one another in ways I can relate to. RoboCop delivered those things in spades because many of the characters were such mean, sadistic b******s that I could understand the hero's pain and feel great when I saw his enemies meet a very grisly demise. RoboCop 2 failed to deliver in terms of characterisation, but it at least got the extreme violence part right. RoboCop 3, on the other hand, is the sort of film that, were I running the planet, would see its makers executed for crimes against humanity.
In case I haven't made it clear yet, this film also contains one of the most piss-poor action sequences I have seen in a film, M-rated or otherwise, at 63:05, and the interchangeable arms at such times as 19:33 are just ludicrous. As for the flying RoboCop sequence at 86:54 - why the hell didn't they just stick a big S on his chest and be done with it? Frankly, I am glad that Orion fell into the can soon after this pile of crap was released, and if this is the politically-correct, family-values crowd's idea of a good film for an ideal world, then all I have to say to them is that their ideal world sucks in the worst way possible.
The video transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, and it is 16x9 Enhanced.
This is a sharp transfer, almost as sharp as the previous episode in the series, which is saying quite a lot. Again, the line structure of the picture is visible during the sequences from RoboCop's point of view, although the resultant loss of sharpness and visible artefacting is not so severe this time around. The shadow detail of this transfer is a slight improvement over the previous film, and there is no low-level noise.
The colours in this transfer are faithful to the artificial, fake look of the film, with no composite artefacting or smearing in evidence.
MPEG artefacts are not apparent in this transfer, thanks to the total video portion of the feature and sole extra being roughly a hundred and four minutes, with RSDL formatting. Film-to-video artefacts were frequently evident in the form of aliasing, with Otomo's sword at 26:19, and the Mediabreak at 76:47 providing the worst examples. The processing of the film to make the line structure visible in the latter example is to blame, although nothing can shift the blame for the utterly juvenile attempt at humour that soon follows. Film artefacts were also occasionally found in this transfer, with a few white marks on the picture appearing every now and again.
English for the Hearing Impaired subtitles are present on this DVD. As with the previous episode, they are very accurate to the spoken dialogue, with serious variations only occurring about two percent of the time.
This disc is RSDL formatted, with the layer change taking place between Chapters 9 and 10, at 59:14. This is a very noticeable layer change, as it interrupts a music cue and produces a hiccough-like effect that sticks out like Robert Burke at a convention of RoboCop fans.
Five soundtracks are present on this DVD, all of which are encoded in Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo at 192 kilobits per second. The first soundtrack is the original English dialogue, which also happens to be the default. Dubs in German, French, Italian, and Spanish are provided. Having shown this film to a friend, I have it on good authority that the dialogue is even more pathetic in Italian.
The dialogue is pretty clear and easy to understand at all times, worse luck. Occasionally, mild distortion or reverb effects are used on some voices, but these only served to highlight the poor writing, and are no cause for problems with comprehension. No problems were noted with audio sync.
The score music is credited to Basil Poledouris. There are some distinct themes in this one that would suggest that the score hasn't been simply recycled from the original RoboCop, but even a genius like Basil can't pull a diamond out of this bucket of cow t***.
The surround channels are not used by this soundtrack. I don't think anyone is going to miss them during this film, quite frankly.
The subwoofer was also uninvolved in this soundtrack. It's a sign that a RoboCop sequel is not the real thing when there is no subwoofer involved and one can honestly say they don't miss it.
|Surround Channel Use|
The menu is static, silent, and 16x9 Enhanced.
This 1.33:1, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo trailer sums up in two minutes why I would like to go back in a time machine and shoot the person who green-lighted this film.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
It appears that Fox or MGM are also planning to release a new version of RoboCop 3 in Region 1. Whether it will have better formatting is unknown. What is known is that the Region 4 edition previously released by Columbia Tristar has a 256 kilobit per second Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded soundtrack, while the previously released Region 1 edition from Image Entertainment is not 16x9 Enhanced.
Needless to say, I would prefer that this piece of crap be stricken from Hollywood history, and the only way one can help with that is to buy no version of this disc at all. You'll be better for it.
RoboCop 3 insults the viewer's intelligence, insults fans of the original or the previous sequel, and finally it insults the writer, producer, and director of the original to boot. To say that it sucks donkey dung through a straw is putting it ultra-nicely, and I feel a great swell of pity for Jill Hennessy for having anything to do with its making. When the makers try to reintroduce S.D. Nemeth as Bixby Snyder at 3:37, it only serves to backfire upon them by reminding us of how vastly superior the original RoboCop will still be in a hundred and fifty years.
The video transfer is excellent.
The audio transfer is flat stereo.
The only extra is a theatrical trailer.
|DVD||Toshiba 2109, using S-Video output|
|Display||Samsung CS-823AMF (80cm). Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Amplification||Sony STR DE-835|
|Speakers||Yamaha NS-45 Front Speakers, Yamaha NS-90 Rear Speakers, Yamaha NSC-120 Centre Speaker, JBL Digital 10 Active Subwoofer|