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72 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, January 8, 2013
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This review is from: Dredd [3D Blu-ray/Blu-ray + Digital Copy + UltraViolet] (Blu-ray)
Dredd was a box office flop. It grossed roughly $31 million world wide. The budget was, according to typical Hollywood standards, a paltry at $50 million. By all rights, it was a box office flop.

But here's the problem - it's a brilliant film that deserves to be seen!

Forget Sylvester Stalone and love interests. This is Dredd as he is MEANT to be - violent, satirical and rough. And the Dredd movie captures this is spades.

Video-

No visual artifacts, no weird compression issues. There is some noise in the 2D version (and I've read the 3D version doesn't have this issue, but I have no 3D TV to test), but I didn't find it overly distracting.

AVC 1080p transfer in 2.4:1 aspect ratio, as originally shot.

Audio:

WOW. They knock this out of the park, no question. The use of surround sound, in a way to enhance the film, is unquestionable. It's not just sound effects and ambient noise that makes the film, and the proper spatialization really contribute to the enjoyment of a film, and Dredd really does shine here.

My audio review is only for the 7.1 version of the DTS-MA mix. I don't have Neo:X compatible hardware, nor enough speakers, to use it. Even still, the sound is simply spot on.

Extras:

For a film that tanked theatrically, I expected light extras. I was pleasantly surprised that they saw fit to add about 40 minutes or so worth of extras to the film, and I actually took the time to watch them all.

Mega-City Masters is a look at the origins of the source material, looking back at the 35+ years of Dredd. Does a good job introducing the character and the background of his creation.

Day of Chaos - is a look at the visual effects and how they were created. They look at how they composited and used limited sets to create an incredibly large platform for the film.

Dredd Featurette - promotional material

Dredd's Gear - quick look at the weapons and equipment of Judge Dredd

The Third Dimension - filmed in 3D, with a 3D intent, they take a look at the creation of the 3D effects of Dredd

Welcome to Peach Trees - quick look at how they created the Peach Tree building

Dredd Motion Comic Prequel - 3 minute motion comic that quickly covers the back story to the film. Nothing amazing, and doesn't use the original cast for voices, but worth a watch

Trailers - these don't really count as extras, do they?

Over all:

Dredd, the film, is gritty, violent and satirical. Karl Urban performs admirably as the venerable Judge Dredd and delivers the lines with believability and, honestly, when I think of Judge Dredd, it will be difficult to see him as anyone other than Urban. He fit the character and the styling perfectly. It helps that he seems to wear a perpetual frown, a bit of a requirement for anyone wanting to be Judge Dredd.

It's immensely disappointing that Dredd didn't perform better theatrically - it desperately deserves a sequel. At least we can say that what we received was treated with care and respect to the source material and is a worthy look at a film version of Judge Dredd. We may never see this again, which is a shame, but heck, at least we get something treated as it deserves in terms of presentation.

Highly recommended.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 22, 2013 9:58:32 AM PDT
THX1138 says:
Agreed! Ironically just before Lionsgate announced that they were going into production with "this" version of Dredd; Millennium was moving forward with Dredd vs Aliens... Because (according to them & they "rep" Sly) Stallone hated the way that Danny Cannon directed the film and despised the way it turned out (limp ending; way too much comic relief; etc. etc.)

The Dredd vs Aliens script starts with Dredd retiring and becoming a member of the high council; and his first assignment is to go on an "under-cover" vacation on a Pleasure Planet where Pirates are planning to rob a Casino/Resort. All this takes place in the first few minutes and Dredd is sent off in a flying Taxi to the "airport" where he is soon up in orbit; boarding a gigantic inter-stellar cruise ship and traveling through hyperspace.

In the meantime, a Donald Trump-like bazillionaire is on the far side of the galaxy shopping for exotic moons to buy in order to build more 10-star Luxury Resorts & Casinos with an entourage of scientists, his three outrageously sexy & gorgeous android wives and an "armed-to-the-teeth" security team.

They find a small tropical moon with dinosaurs and some ancient ruins, and leaving his luxury space yacht in orbit, they all take a shuttle ship down to investigate... only to get trapped inside the huge Predator-built Pyramid (and awaken the Queen; who starts laying eggs). The head of security group is Judge Hershey (Diane Ladd); Dredd's unrequited love.

They send a SOS out... and the interstellar cruise ship Dredd is on (owned by the same Trump-like guy) comes out of hyperspace so Dredd can lead a rescue party. The huge ship happens to have a load of military gear & a jump ship in the cargo hold, so Dredd leads a group of the ship's security officers to the tiny moon to rescue Hershey & Trump's party.

As the Alien eggs hatch, they not only infect some of the humans, some get out and INFECT DINOSAURS... so now we see some HUGE ALIENS. Fortunately, there's an enormous robotic combat suit (60+ feet high) for Dredd to use to go toe-to-toe with these enormous Aliens... and rescue Hershey and the remaining humans.

In the end, as we watch Dredd & Hershey escape, the camera pulls back to reveal "Predator Vision" (as seen in the 1st AvP film) and a bunch of Elder Predators sitting around in a gigantic "trophy room" filled with specimens of "kills" on other worlds... including humans - Roman gladiators; Samurais; Nazi troops; some Gang-bangers (Predator-2) and some US Special Forces (1st Predator).

Having had a chance to read the script (I work in film production in LA), I thought it would have made a really great Sci-Fi/Action film... and would have made up for the 1st film. Too bad; maybe someday in the near future?

Posted on Dec 2, 2013 1:05:44 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 2, 2013 1:07:59 PM PST
P. Killion says:
I'm glad I'm not the only one to really notice how well the surround was done in this movie; I'm actually not as big of a fan of the movie as I'm sure others are (I enjoyed it enough to buy it, but it isn't one of my favorites plot-wise), but the audio just blew me away with how spot-on it was done. One of the most auditorily impactful movies I've seen/heard with a proper surround setup!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2013 5:40:19 AM PST
The audio really is an unsung hero in most films, none so much as this one in my mind.
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