RoboCop: The Definitive History Hardcover – 24 Oct 2014
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"This is the first book on the classic franchise...a must-have for movie and sci-fi fans alike." -- --Sight & Sound
"This is a pretty amazing artifact for any RoboCop fan" --Badass Digest
"fans will doubtless welcome this new hardback tome" --Total Film
About the Author
Calum Waddell has been a film critic for a decade, featuring in a number of newsstand publications. In addition, he obtained his PhD in Film and Philosophy from Aberdeen University in 2014. His first full length feature, "Slice and Dice: The Slasher Film Forever" was released to UK DVD in 2013 and many of his "making of" featurettes can be found on the Arrow Films and Video line.
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Compared to say the Back to the Future history, this is a little weak.
A lot of space is offered to the remake but I'd have preferred to hear a lot more about the original trilogy.
Still, a decent read if you liked the films.
Pros: Lots of glossy photos.
Cons: Surprisingly shallow writing from someone who normally does so much better
I'd say it's a must-have for any fan. Even if you're only a fan of the original classic 1987 movie, the section on Verhoeven's masterpiece alone makes this book a worthwhile purchase. (It is the largest section of the book, running to page 81.)
Personally I'm a huge fan of the original RoboCop trilogy and the new reboot, but even if you're not, I'd say the film sections here will s till be of interest as they offer some tantalising glimpses of what might of been for RoboCop 2 if original writers Ed Neumeier & Michael Miner returned, and the epic scale RoboCop 3 could have been on if RoboCop 2 performed better at the box office and if Orion weren't teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.
Full of interesting facts, new interviews, an introduction by co-creator Ed Neumeier, gorgeous glossy photos (my printer's ink cartridge can finally take a rest) including rare behind-the-scenes photos and pre-production designs, this book is near-perfection.
The only nitpick I have is that some of the non-film incarnations of the character are lumped into one section. The 1994 TV series has the longest section (10 pages) and there's even 2 pages dedicated to the Manga-inspired Alpha Commando series which still hasn't been released on DVD, but the 1988 Marvel animated series which spawned the Ultra Police line of action figures is one paragraph and doesn't even have a picture. The series wasn't broadcast in the UK, but when I later viewed the whole series on DVD, I was unexpectedly and pleasantly surprised by it.
It would have been nice to have a bit more detail on the video games, comics and action figures too. But then again, as a RoboGeek, how could any single book say everything I want it to say about RoboCop?! The fact remains, the film sections are fantasic (which is after all the medium where the character started out). A lavish-looking book to put in the centre of your coffee table.
Much like BOOM! Studios' RoboCop Versus The Terminator reissues, it shows some time, care, effort and love has been put into it. When you think of some of the awful DVD covers and other naff stuff us Robo fans have got over the years, it's good to finally have some quality and feel proud to be a Robo fan again! An essential purchase.
RoboCop: The Definitive History is a wonderful book that brings back the good old memories of watching those movies and TV shows.
This book goes behind the scenes to cover the making of RoboCop franchise which includes the first three movies, TV series, the animated RoboCop: Alpha Commando, comics, video games, toys and finally the 2014 movie reboot, all in that order.
There are stories on the production, behind the scenes photographs, pictures of the make up, costumes, actors, miniatures and storyboards. The text and visuals are about a 50-50 mix.
The text is insightful and detailed with background stories and the challenges faced with making each film. The first three films takes up slightly more than half of the book. Other parts of the franchise are lacking and split up into smaller sections. More could have been written but I still enjoy going through them because I did not know how big the franchise was before I read the book.
The design and make up of Robocop still look amazing today. You'll get to see closeup the unmasked RoboCop with actor Peter Weller's head half-fused with mechanical parts. There are also sketches for the Enforcement Droid Series 209 (aka ED-209), another one of my favourite characters, and even photos of how the miniature and life size models were created. The way the films were shot then is a huge contrast to the latest 2014 RoboCop which relies heavily on CGI.
Overall, this is a great movie companion for the RoboCop franchise. It provides an entertaining read in the form of a good recap and history. Highly recommended to the fans.
(See more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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