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Posts tagged “Judge Dredd

Review: Dredd (2012)

Dredd-1I’ll admit.  My familiarity with the 2000 A.D. comic book character, Judge Dredd, is not a lot.  Before watching this movie, I did a little research to try to get a feel for the characters themselves.  When the movie Judge Dredd came out in the 90s, I went to see it because I’m a huge Stallone fan.  That being said, other than some cheesy entertainment, that film was very subpar to what I felt a comic book movie should be.

When they announced Karl Urban would be playing the title character in a 2012 remake (completely unassociated with the Stallone movie) I was both excited and worried.  I feel that Karl Urban is one of the best actors out there today, and I knew he could pull off the role.  What had me worried was that people would remember the movie from the 90s and associate that with this new one.  Apparently that happened in the U.S..  Overseas, Dredd made a decent amount of money for what it was.  Here, in the States, it flopped.  Unfortunately, that is sad, and after watching this movie, I realize that it didn’t get a fair shot.

To begin this review, I will warn that there WILL BE SPOILERS!  If you want my thoughts without spoilers, scroll down to the last paragraph.  When I saw the trailers, they honestly didn’t do much for me.  Even up until the moment I went to watch this movie last night, I had concerns.  I’m glad that I didn’t read too far into them.

Let’s begin with the casting.  I’ve already mentioned Karl Urban and my thoughts on him.  His performance was Judge Dredd, from what I know.  Lena Headey as the villain Ma-Ma was completely believable.  I enjoy Headey’s work, and don’t think that a better person could have been chosen for the role.  Some minor castings that were notable were Wood Harris as Kay and Domhnall Gleeson as a computer techie.  Harris was not very impressive in his performance, but there were a few moments where he was decent.  Gleeson on the other hand was extremely creepy, and deserves credit for pulling off the role well.

The most impressive of performances, and one that I feel carried the movie was Olivia Thirlby as Judge Cassandra Anderson.  Maybe it was the fact that her character had psychic abilities, so she was forced to have more emotion, but the wave of positions she took in the movie was impressive.  She had a compassionate side, a disturbed side, and definitely proved to be a badass when she needed to be.

Plot decisions:  The story chosen for this movie was a smart move.  Instead of going with an origin, they went with a typical day in the life story, which skipped all of the nonsense that we didn’t need to see.  The voiceover by Karl Urban in the beginning is all of the back story we need for this film.

Having Dredd and Anderson in a locked down building with thousands of people targeting them (or having reason to) was an instant burst of adrenaline and palm sweating material.  The whole time you had to wonder how the hell they were going to survive.  My only real complaint is that when the four “bad” judges showed up toward the end, they didn’t seem like much competition for Anderson or Dredd.  I also felt that when Dredd and Anderson both got shot, it was too easy of a repair.  The blood lost didn’t even weaken our heroes.

Visual and Sound effects:  Wow!  That is all I really have to say.  Mega City One was amazing.  Not many movies can pull of 3D or slow motion.  In fact, I feel that those two effects are way overused in movies as a gimmick.  Most of the time, it doesn’t even work right.  Dredd pulls it off.  Of course, the slow mo was used more in the drug induced scenes, which made it have a purpose.  The gore factor also gave it a realistic feel as well.  You know Dredd is dealing with criminals with complete disregard for human life, and he is there to judge them appropriately.  If this movie didn’t have the blood and guts, there would be no point in making it, because it wouldn’t be believable.

The sound was also notable in that I don’t think it could have been mixed any better or planned differently to make it more impressive.

SPOILERS END HERE with final thoughts.  Dredd is FAR underrated.  The way it ended made me want more, and I hope that a sequel is greenlit.  If you haven’t seen it, and are a comic book or action film fan, then check it out.  If you still are unsure, then let me put it this way.  ROBOCOP + THE PUNISHER + MAD MAX + better plot = DREDD.  I definitely believe that in 2012 it ranks right up there with The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises, and in fact surpassing the latter in some aspects.  For 2013, I’m redoing my ratings, so instead of a scale of 1-10, I’ll rate things on a five scale.  Dredd gets 4 out of 5 sCrypt seals of approval in my opinion.  Chime in with your thoughts below!


Capitol Punishment Battle Poll

One of my favorite comic book characters when I was growing up was an anti-hero.  He was a good guy, who did bad things, so that the guilty could be punished.  Sure, most of us are familiar with Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry movies or Liam Neeson in Taken.  These are characters who push the boundaries, cross the line, and serve justice the way the judicial system won’t.  Though I’d love to have the two mentioned above in this poll, this is a comic book battle, but don’t worry, there are plenty of contestants: The Punisher (Marvel Comics), The Red Hood (DC Comics), Judge Dredd (2000 AD Comics), Eric “The Crow” Draven (Image Comics), Sin City’s Hartigan (Darkhorse Comics), Jack Bauer (IDW Publishing), and of course my favorite of them all… Johnny Chong (sCrypt Comics).

Who do you think is the most likely to win this battle royale?  Place your vote below or add your own to the poll.  Need help deciding?  Here’s a breakdown of each character:

For Marvel Comics:  Frank Castle (Castiglione) was a veteran family man, but when his wife and child were murdered by the mob, he took his combat and field expertise into a new battle… “The War On Crime.”  Since then, he has moved from city to city, vowing to bring justice to those who are unjust, in an eye for an eye manner.  Those who are responsible for deaths of others will be found and killed by The Punisher’s hand.  He is highly skilled in hand to hand and weapon combat, is an expert marksman and military tactician, Has an exceptionally high pain tolerance, and is in peak physical condition.  He has also held his own in toe to toe battles with a few superpowered individuals.  The Punisher first appeared in The Amazing Spiderman #129 (in 1974).

DC Comics: Jason Todd took over the mantle of Robin once Dick Grayson became Nightwing.  After the Joker killed this new Robin, Todd emerged years later.  Angry that vengeance hadn’t been sought out against the Joker for killing him, Todd began travelling the world as Bruce Wayne had.  He trained in many forms of martial arts, and came back under the persona of The Red Hood.  The difference between him and Batman is one thing… He uses guns and kills those whom he feels are no longer worthy of life because of their guilty acts.  The Red Hood has fought not only Batman and many of his rogues, but gone up against the odds and come out victorious.  Jason Todd first appeared in 1983, but didn’t become the Red Hood until 2005 in Batman #635.

2000 AD Comics: Judge Joseph Dredd comes from a future, where crime is rampant.  There are no longer police, judges or juries.  Instead, a group called Judges, consist of the law enforcement and serve the purpose of judge, jury and executioners.  Joseph Dredd is the most well known of all the judges because of his effectiveness and decision making.  Armed with a daystick, his Lawgiver pistol, and a large lawmaster motorbike, criminals should cower in fear and hide if he is coming their way.  He is an excellent marksman, has bionic eyes that give him perfect nightvision, and is an expert in unarmed combat.  Judge Dredd first appeared in 1977 in 2000 A.D. #2

Image Comics: Eric Draven and his fiance were murdered unjustly alongside a highway.  A supernatural spirit known as the Crow ressurrected him because of his unjust murder and has vowed him to find those killers and wrongdoers, and show them true justice.  He has enhanced catlike reflexes with superstrength and agility, a healing factor, resistance to pain or injury, and can see through the spiritual eyes of the crow.  The Crow first appeared in Caliber Presents #1 in 1989.

Darkhorse Comics: Detective John Hartigan is a sixty something year old veteran officer in Basin city.  He is able of withstanding immense amounts of pain before collapsing, including bullet wounds, and cares little for himself as he protects the innocent.  Hartigan tends to let murderers and harsh criminals suffer a lot of pain before dying.  John Hartigan first appeared in That Yellow Bastard in 1996.

IDW Publishing: Jack Bauer has worked as a government official for CTU (Counter Terrorist Unit).  Often known to break the rules and push way beyond the boundaries of what is acceptable, he will do whatever it takes to take down the bad guys.  His interrogation techniques are effective, but considered heinous by some, as he will stop at nothing to get the truth.  Terrorists and criminals intent on destroying the United States or harming the innocent, do not want to be in his path.  He is highly trained with firearms and hand to hand combat, and has an unusually high pain tollerance.  Jack Bauer first appeared in the show 24, in 2001, and since then has been brought to comic book form by IDW.

sCrypt Comics: Johnny Chong was the owner of a gunshop in Jim Thorpe, PA until a virus killed most of the residents of the town.  After taking on hundreds of zombies, vampires, and even coming face to face with werewolves, he

 

decided to travel to China.  There, he trained under the Shaolin Monks to be able to use his body and mind as a weapon, in addition to his vast knowledge of firearms.  Having watched the woman he once loved murdered by a few thugs, he vowed to never let anyone he loved die by those likes again.  Johnny Chong although not yet in comic book form, is a prominent character in the sCrypt Comics universe.  He first appeared in “Flesh And Leftovers” the novel in 2010.

 

So, there’s the info, folks.  Vote below for your choice in who would win in an epic battle royale.  If you think there is someone else that should be added to this fight, feel free to comment and

vote for “other”.  Spread the word, and remember, the more votes, the better.

 

 

-Thanks again for the participation (sCrypt Comics)