451 of 498 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best comic adaptation of 2012
First off, let me say that I am biased to this particular comic book character. I've been a fan since the late '80s and have wanted a film adaptation for a long time. I am not saying that I am pre-disposed to like this film. In fact, quite the contrary is true. I'm not only coming at this from the point of view of somebody who wants to see a good movie, but as...
Published 23 months ago by A. Davies
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Justice Served
The movie continues where the other movies left off - your basic carnage, cool weapon systems, and dumb criminals. Throw in a psychic, some corrupt judges, and a cool new drug and you have the recipe for a pretty good movie if you like this kind of violence and justice.
Published 3 months ago by fenx1200
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bottom line: It's a great action flick,
I think the subject says it all. If you are into the older just straight up action movies (Commando, Predator, etc.) then this is a movie you'll enjoy. There isn't any overly deep character development. And fortunately it is missing a lot of those really tired current action film trends (Super shaky camera shots, terrible jokes, bad acting). It really is just a fun action movie. Dredd, although I have never really learned anything about the character outside of the first movie and this one, is an interesting character. The story and the environment is really cool if you like the whole run down future kind of thing. It's more believable than the Stallone one, a more gritty nasty future with people living in these overcrowded apartment complex's which is where most of the movie takes place.
What this movie suffered from is abysmal marketing. The company that was hired to market this should be really disappointed in their treatment of this film. They overhyped the 3D, and under advertised the great action and interesting setting.
This movie, sadly, will probably not get a sequel as the it did not make a great amount of money. But do this film justice, buy the Blu-Ray and enjoy some great action, and great special effects.
18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Choke on that.",
What a crime that this movie did not do better at the box office. It so successfully melded the sensibilities of the types of bloody action/sci-fi movies we saw in the '80s with those of the frenetic action films of today. It was a wonderfully, gruesomely violent blend of future cop madness and black humor. Karl Urban is absolutely perfect as the stoic, no-nonsense Judge Dredd (and never takes off his helmet-awesome!). You need to see this great sci-fi action movie if you missed it in theaters. It's greatness stuck with me for days afterward. What a blast!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For fans of Robocop, Running Man, (old) Total Recall,
This review is from: Dredd [DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet] (DVD)
This movie felt like a throwback to some of my favorite movies of all time. I couldn't put my finger on it at first as to why i enjoyed the movie so much. It didn't seem like anything revolutionary as far as the plot goes. It just sucks you in and makes you enjoy it. It's an absolute bad-@$$ movie from start to finish. The super slow-mo was a little overused at first, but in some scenes it really was unique. Of course there are some great over-the-top scenes of graphic violence. Dredd came off as a total boss without over-acting the part. I hope this movie gets plenty of underground attention so they will make the two rumored sequels they had planned. Buy this movie now!
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dredd (3D / Blu-ray).,
Movie - 5.0
I don't remember much about 1995's Judge Dredd. I did like it, but probably more for the dark and dreary futuristic sci-fi atmosphere it had and the fact that it starred Stallone rather than anything else. I remember Diane Lane, Armand Assante, Max Von Sydow, and even Rob Schneider (*bleh*). I remember those kick-ass Lawgivers, some really cool set pieces (a prison out in the middle of a desert, I think), and that's about it. Needless to say, I was just a kid back then and my cinematic sensibilities have grown a lot since that time, which brings us to this reboot. The world has irradiated itself from nuclear war. The earth is all but a barren wasteland, with its remaining inhabitants crowded into Mega-Cities. Mega-City One's population is 800 million, with its territory stretching from Boston to Washington D.C. Amongst the crowded chaos stands one force to bring order; a force that serves as jury, executioner, and Judge. On a day when Dredd (Karl Urban) is assigned rookie, Cassandra Anderson (Olivia Thirlby), for assessment, they would get more than they bargained for on her first day. In response to an initial homicide call at the city block of Peach Trees, they also discover a drug ring run by a woman called Ma-Ma (Lena Heady). But she won't have the Judges taking one of her men into custody. And in an attempt to thwart them, she seals the block's blast doors, leaving the Judges to fend for themselves as they battle to survive.
Since the old Dredd, I've discovered a lot of interesting titles that make this movie the bleak and desolate sci-fi actioner that it is. Not that I'm saying any of these films are directly responsible for what you see here, but I like to think they helped contribute. These movies are: Blade Runner, Training Day, V for Vendetta, and Punisher: War Zone. This new Dredd takes some of the dystopian elements of Blade Runner, not so much the sense of prowess and ingenuity for its time, but similarly in that the future is a dirty, grimy, and post-Apocalyptic one. The Training Day reference is seen in how Dredd teaches Anderson to make her own judgement calls, how those decisions can turn out (for better or worse), and ultimately ponders the morality of what can and can't be done within the legal system. The Punisher: War Zone similarity comes in the excessive style and mentality of the hyper-violence. Here, you have Dredd working on the side of the law. But the law, in fact, allows him to brandish his own (bloody) justice based on their rules and his own judgement, much like the Punisher does as a vigilante, only the Punisher worked outside of the law. Then, there's V for Vendetta which, for the most part, was about anarchy (or anarchy in the sense of "freedom," if you go by the movie). Where V fought to break out of authority, I see Dredd as the exact opposite in that he fights to achieve it. As lawless and degenerate as the world of Dredd is, I'm fascinated by this contrasting view that manages to tell all of these things in 90 minutes of action-packed goodness. And because of that, I now regard this as one of my all-time favorite films.
Video - 4.5
- Codec: MPEG-4 MVC
- Resolution: 1080p
- Aspect ratio: 2.40:1
- Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1
Dredd was shot using 3 kinds of digital cameras: the Phantom Flex, which shoots at a rate of over 3,000 frames per second capturing every little detail for slow-moving, jaw-dropping clarity, as seen from all the obvious effects in the Slo-Mo sequences; the Red One MX, which captures images at 4.5K resolution and is currently the highest-quality camera of its class at the moment; and the Silicon Imaging SI-2K, a favorite of DP (director of photography), Anthony Dod Mantle, that shoots at a native resolution of 2K and was used in collaboration for both of Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours (of which the first won an Oscar for its cinematography). Case in point: they shot this movie using some pretty top-notch cameras, and it definitely makes a difference. Not to mention, with such a masterful and skilled DP like Mantle working on, frankly, the most popular comic book franchise to ever come out of England, a visual feast is to be expected. The result was an excellent 2D image. But the fact that this was shot in 3D is what makes the film even more of a unique experience.
I saw Dredd in theaters twice, of which both viewings were in 3D. So seeing it at home on BD is actually my first time ever seeing it in 2D. That being said, the 2D presentation is near-perfect. The beauty of Dredd being shot with all these cameras means that the negative format is completely digital, so transferring it to BD was a cinch. Clarity is spectacular showing all the little lines and details in the sets, props, costumes, and texturing. Dredd's face (at least what's shown of it) and all the Judges uniforms look razor-sharp. In particular, I really like how you can see the stubble on Dredd's face and the lines above his lips with that signature scowl. The black levels give the film a very gritty feel and and balance perfectly with the contrast to show just enough detail within the frame, but also withholds enough to give the movie a kind of edginess. The color scheme is very monochromatic, though I'd say it helps create the bleak, desolate atmosphere that Dredd is supposed to be. It consists mostly of dark reds, blacks, dingy greys, and mustard greens, but I like the effect it gives the story. Alternatively, the colors become very exaggerated during the Slo-Mo sequences, where the crew wanted to create a surreal, almost artistic, sense of depth in conjunction to what the the drug is actually supposed to do to your brain. On the downside, since the movie was shot in Stereo (Stereoscopic 3D), it gives way for some video anomalies: the non-Red One MX-shots have a little bit of digital noise in them, colors and detail seem a bit off in some shots, and the obvious 3D effects simply don't register on a 2D viewing plane. So if you can, I highly recommend you watch this in 3D by default.
3D - 5.0
And now to the good stuff. Lately, I've been going through and sampling a lot of 3D movies to compare depth, pop, and overall effectiveness just to see how one 3D movie can differ from another. Most of the 3D movies I own were shot in native 3D, with I think, The Avengers being being the one lone converted-3D title I tried out with the rest. And after lots of sampling, I've come to the conclusion that for all the excuses I hear for 3D merely being a "gimmick," it ultimately comes down to artistic creativity and how the director and production crew decide to present their movie. In the case of Dredd, after watching the special feature on the movie's visual effects, I have to say I commend the approach Mantle took with his first-ever attempt at filming in 3D. The world of Dredd is a confined one. The world was blown to hell, and what remaining 800 million people there are have to bundle into one Mega-City that only stretches so far along the Eastern Seaboard. Knowing this, Mantle purposely utilizes the effect of closeups to help accentuate the nature of this confinement and isolation. I feel this gives the film an extra sense of depth just by itself and that it does a great job creating separation between the fore-, middle-, and background.
As for the more commonplace 3D elements (i.e. the "pop" effect). The film takes advantage of this mostly during the Slo-Mo sequences. Smoke floating, bullets flying, and blood, glass, and water splattering, shattering, or splashing look especially breath-taking when combining the frame rate of the Phantom Flex, the exaggerated color scheme, and the layering of 3D to create a true thing of beauty in an otherwise "ugly" world of a story. This particular visual aspect adds a whole new dimension to the storytelling, and provides a great counterpoint to the hyper-violence rampant throughout. Coincidentally, all the digital noise and off-color anomalies that are present in the 2D version are pretty much absent in 3D. And I have to say that in comparison to what I saw in theaters (which used a Sony 4K projector), seeing this on an LED flat-panel screen looks even better. The brightness of the LED lighting makes a huge difference in detail, which I'm willing to sacrifice a little size and blacks for, so definitely give this a chance in a home theater setup if you thought the video was a little too murky back in the cinemas.
Audio - 5.0
- English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, Neo:X
- English: Dolby Digital 2.0
- Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
- English, English SDH, Spanish
Being an action movie on top of everything else, Dredd has a remarkably aggressive audio design that really puts the viewer in a bubble of sound throughout its entire duration. While guns firing, bullets ricocheting, and structures crumbling make up the forefront of this chaotic mix, it's Paul Leonard-Morgan's pulsating electronic score that really enhances the mood. Much like Hans Zimmer's work for the action sequences in The Dark Knight, the score acts as a sound effect in itself to help give the film a unique sound. In the case of Dredd, I feel the music gives it a sort of "driving force" that can double as either a representation of Dredd, the character, or the kind of world he's living in and trying to defend. The rhythm of these pieces, in turn, end up making a good portion of the movie fly by before you know it. But of course, as a fan of action movies I won't deny the bad-assery of all the shooting, explosions, and blood splattering all over the place either. In terms of pure immersive audio, you couldn't ask for anything better.
As for the actual quality of sound from the speakers, it's perfect. Dialogue is at a very clear and discernible level that not only emanates from the center, but occasionally through the front, side, and rear channels as well. Dynamic range is stellar from the piercing sound of bullets to the low end of the music making for a sonic treat. Separation offers up some pretty intense moments when the Judges are having shootouts with stuff blowing up from this and that speaker and the music resonating through or along with it from the others. Side and rear channels have excellent directionality dividing proper placement of effects such as bullets flying from one side of the screen to the other, crowds of people scrambling to safety, or vehicles driving across the road. And last, but not least, are the LFEs (low frequency effects). Bass is pounding from the constant rhythm of the score and the frequent discharge of the Lawgivers, with an even more boisterous display of this when Ma-Ma and her gang are shooting up a floor with motorized .50-caliber Gatlings. This is definitely a reference track for showing off your home theater setups.
Extras - 2.5
- Mega-City Masters: 35 Years of Judge Dredd (HD; 14:27)
A brief, but very detailed overview of Judge Dredd since his first appearance in Britain's weekly comic book publication, 2000 A.D. The creators and various other writers/artists talk about Dredd's origins (much of the influence coming from Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry), the symbolism and representation of his character (a stranglehold on order, justice, and authority), and get into particular detail about his design and how they wanted it to be simple, yet macho enough to be the complete embodiment of the law (his helmet mimicking a medieval executioner's mask, with the eagle on his shoulder representing America, or in some cases, fascism). They also discuss Dredd's rise in popularity over the tenure of his existence and how the character itself became an icon amongst British comic book lore. In addition, they also discuss the general worldview of Dredd, the various characters and scenarios he faced, and the different types of stories written over the years (i.e. satires, metaphors, etc.). I honestly wish this segment were double the length, as I'm really interested in learning more about the franchise, now.
- Day of Chaos: The Visual Effects of Dredd (HD; 15:21)
This segment talks mainly about the production design of the movie and the specific style of 3D they wanted to shoot. Initially, all the art and production crew had to work with was a storyboard script (that coincidentally looked like a comic book itself), but still managed to achieve the look and vision that was asked for by using a lot of practical shots throughout South Africa and incorporating sprinkles of CG to make it look like the dirty, grimy, yet massive set piece that is Mega-City One. The inside of Peach Trees was constructed to scale as a set, but only had 3 floors and a quarter of the actual coverage, which they later redressed for different shots and angles. Meanwhile, the 3D aspect was something the crew wanted to do a little differently than most other 3D films. Here, they had more so an intention of creating a surrealist perception of Dredd's world using lots of closeup shots, the occasional Slo-Mo sequence, and other effects to give the viewer a more "wondrous" feel, as opposed to the gimmicky "pop" most other films have become acclimated to producing. It's a damn shame this and the first segment were all they could afford to make in terms of extras, as I feel there's a lot more work that went into the actual movie that we'll never get to learn about.
- Dredd Featurette (HD; 1:53)
A promotional piece that gives a very basic overview of the film's setting and plot. And it's not even as intriguing as the theatrical trailer. I would say it feels more like those promos they play in the theater like a commercial before the lights go out and the actual trailers even start.
- Dredd's Gear (HD; 2:31)
Again, too brief of a segment that talks about Dredd's police gear, Lawgiver gun, and motor bike.
- The 3rd Dimension (HD; 2:00)
Some quick tidbits about shooting in 3D. Most of it is rehash from the Visual Effects segment.
- Welcome to Peachtrees (HD; 2:33)
Talks about how the production crew wanted use the entire city block set as a "character" in the movie.
- Dredd Motion Comic Prequel (HD: 2:57)
Gives a little background info on Ma-Ma and the man that created Slo-Mo.
- Theatrical Trailer (HD; 2:30)
Overall - 4.5
I didn't even know they were doing this remake, let alone how awesome it would be. Dredd is a visually stunning and thoroughly engaging sci-fi actioner with a lot of subtle influences that I feel make it a perfect setup for the world of Judge Dredd. And as well-received as it was by fans and critics alike, it sadly has yet to break even of its production budget to show any kind of profitability. But if you've seen this movie based on a recommendation (mine or someone else's) and like it, do me the favor of spreading the word to anyone you think would like this and try to help the home video sales for a possible sequel. In fact, it's rumored that screenwriter Alex Garland wants to make this a trilogy which, given how great this first installment is, would be a sight to behold. The video specs are excellent in 2D. But the fact of the matter is that you should see this in 3D at least once in your life. Meanwhile, the audio will definitely rock your theater room, so be careful not to disturb anyone if you're watching this late at night. And it's a shame the special features couldn't include more content (like an audio commentary). But hopefully enough word will get out, people will buy this, and we'll see that trilogy yet!
22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reminds me of great early-80's action flicks,
This review is from: Dredd [DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet] (DVD)
I wasn't expecting much when I went to see this movie, but the trailer sucked me in so I gave it a shot. I was really blown away by how good this movie was. It reminded me of some 80's action flicks - violent, anti-social, yet with ultimately a great redeeming lead hero. I kept thinking that the director of this movie must have loved John Carpenter movies - like Assault on Precinct 13 or Escape from New York. It had a kind of paced, character-driven feel, building to the climax, with a great electronic soundtrack. If you like John Carpenter movies, action flicks, or those 80's violent movies like Robocop, you will like this movie.
16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprising good,
I have to admit, when I heard they were re-doing Judge Dredd I was not thrilled. The Stallone version, cheeseball as it was, carried a lot of weight and honestly I didn't see where there was room for any sort of improvement given the source material. I'm not knocking the Dredd comics, I just did't expect anyone to have the will to translate them in any way faithfully to the big screen. Man, was I wrong. This film is dark, violent, gory, and unrelenting. It has not real morally redeeming moments. It is... almost perfect. Dredd, this Dredd, is a bad ass for the ages. Kudos to Alex Garland for a solid script. And kudos to Karl Urban for throwing himself into a role that no one is every going to recognize him for (literally, he's a frown with a helmet for the entire movie).
The other surprise for me was the cinematography. This movie is visually stunning in a way you just don't expect from a action movie like this. The visuals are balanced with a terrific sound track as well. The movie really draws you into the world the filmmakers were trying to create.
I don't know, maybe my initial doubts going in are clouding my judgement, but this was a stand out movie for me for 2012 and I can't wait to see it again on blu-ray.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars surprisingly great movie!!,
After the first Judge Dredd movie I was hesitant to watch this one...But upon watching this movie, I was blown away by it. It has a raw-sexy cool feel, the casting was perfect and the acting was on par. The story itself was really good as well. But the gritty and sharp soundtrack has to be one of the best movie soundtracks I've ever heard. It goes perfect with the dark and violent movie. This is truly a cult classic that I would definitely recommend.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie!,
This review is from: Dredd [HD] (Amazon Instant Video)
This is arguably one of the best action movies ive seen in a while. Its true to the comic book but more importantly it will make sense to newcomers as well. Dredd is set in a distopian future where mega cities have been built and the majority of the earth has become uninhabitable. Crime spirals due to overpopulation and street judges are created. Policemen who serve as judge, jury and executioner (IF NEEDS BE). This movie actually builds the mega cities around our existimg cities. Judge Dredd didpenses justice harshly but very fairly. Most of the movie takes place in a building but dont let that turn you away. You will be completely satisfied with the pacing and dark humor in the film. And you may even be left pondering how the concept of such justice would be applicable in todays and the futures society. Watch it!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple, Perfect Action Film,
This review is from: Dredd (Amazon Instant Video)
It grows exponentially more difficult to create a good action movie, especially one that can stand out from the massive corpus of material. Stories get trite or convoluted, visuals get bloated or too heavy on the CGI. But Dredd works. Definitely the best action movie I've seen in several years.
Here's why. The movie is tightly controlled: Dredd says very little but what he says is concise, like the language of a Hemingway novel; the film is short without overblown drama or lengthy kill sequences; the music propels the film without getting in the way of the flow; scenery and individual scenes are interconnected and aligned so that the story moves quickly but not abruptly; and the editing pays homage to keen observers who need little reference for story connection.
Simple yet effective film making requires enormous discipline, and it is precisely what makes this movie excellent.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best Comic films ever!,
One of the most underrated movies of 2012. Dredd sadly fell short here in the states due to poor advertising and the attachment of the 3D tag in the name. Those of us who did see it though have fallen in love with it. It was the best movie of 2012 and will go down as one of the greatest cult films of our generation. Here's hoping pages like 'Make a Dredd Sequel' lead to a much deserved sequel. This movie kicked so much butt and deserves better. Instant classic in the same vein as Robocop, Escape from NY etc.
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