Dredd, the most recent adaptation of the hero/antihero Judge Dredd, who made 2000 AD the amazing comic book it was, was easily my favorite movie of 2012. Dredd is above and beyond that of the appalling version featuring Stallone in the 1990s, and though it has some faults, it comes with some of the most stunning cinematography effects and visuals, along with an exciting action chronicle that keeps your attention.
For those unfamiliar with the lore of Judge Dredd, sometime in the distant future, the human race is recovering from some kind of apocalyptic event involving radiation. The surviving society in the remains of the United States gather together in megacities, originally established to remain sequestered from radiation, but since expanded to gigantic proportions with a massive population density.
Released at the tail end of a summer packed with blockbuster comic book movies with massive budgets and expectations, and coming several months after the debut of a much-praised Indonesian action film it was subsequently accused of ripping off, Dredd did not have a chance in hell of making anything other than a faint peep in theaters, even though it was filmed in the ever-popular 3D.
Despite mixed reactions to early stills from the film and tales of post-production battles over the final cut between director Pete Travis and writer Alex GarlandDredd premiered to a rapturous reception at the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con and the positive buzz began building. That buzz ultimately failed to translate to ticket sales as the film grossed $6.3 million on its opening weekend to finish in sixth place. The R rating, over-the-top violence, and the toxicity left over from the 1995 attempt at making a Judge Dredd movie with a mostly unmasked Sylvester Stallone in the lead and excruciating comic relief from the never welcome Rob Schneider killed any chance for Dredd to spawn a new franchise fronted by the iconic unsmiling dispenser of ruthless justice.
That is a damn shame because Dredd turned out to be one of the few genuine cinematic surprises of last year, and today it makes its home video debut on 3D Blu-ray and DVD. To mark this momentous occasion we have the amazing 3D Blu-ray cover art as well as four brief but cool clips from the film for your viewing pleasure.
You can check out the cover art and videos here below.
Dredd 3D Directed by Pete Travis
Written by Alex Garland
Starring Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Wood Harris, Lena Headey, Domhnall Gleeson
Lionsgate | DNA Films
Rated R | 95 Minutes
Release Date: September 21, 2012
Created by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra, Judge Dredd first appeared in 1977 in the science-fiction anthology 2000 AD. A law enforcer given the power of judge, jury, and executioner, Dredd patrols the dystopian metropolis of Mega-City One, a vast city-state within a post-apocalyptic wasteland.
In 1995, director Danny Cannon (I Still Know What You Did Last Summer) brought Judge Dredd to the big screen starring Sylvester Stallone, Diane Lane, Max von Sydow, and Rob Schneider – and yes, you read that correctly – that’s Deuce Bigalow Male Gigalo, not Roy Scheider of Jaws.
Judge Dredd is pure ’90s cheese: a violent, effects-heavy movie that feels like the best parts of RoboCop and the worst parts of Demolition Man – the comic book equivalent to 1993’s Super Mario Bros. Looking back on it, if Stallone would have kept his helmet on – and if Rob Schneider wasn’t involved – it might have been a passable action movie.
Luckily, Hollywood believes in second chances – especially if there’s money to be made. In a cinematic landscape post-Batman Begins, it seems everything is being rebooted or re-imagined with a dark, gritty, brooding twist.
I hope that mediocre 1995 Judge Dredd movie with Sylvester Stallone hasn’t put off the character forever because the first trailer for Dredd has arrived today. You can watch it here below.
Directed by Pete Travis (Vantage Point) from a script by novelist and screenwriter Alex Garland (Sunshine), Dredd takes us into a grungier Mega City-One straight out of District 9 and pits futuristic lawman Judge Joe Dredd (Karl Urban) and his mind-reading rookie partner Cassandra Anderson (Olivia Thirlby) against a gang of cutthroats and scumdogs led by drug baroness Ma-Ma, played by Lena Headey of Game Of Thrones and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
It’s about time some promotional materials from the upcoming futuristic action-thriller Dredd started to emerge. Based on one of the U.K.’s most popular comic book characters, Judge Dredd – the iconic policeman of a post-apocalyptic world who doles out justice via the barrel of a gun – was last given the big screen treatment back in 1995 with Sylvester Stallone in the role. But the movie was a resounding and costly flop that rankled fans of the character and fans of decent action flicks alike. Myself, I happen to enjoy it only as long as I can pretend that Rob Schneider’s annoying comedy sidekick is not really there.
This year the good judge is getting a gritty reboot with Karl Urban (Star Trek) donning the helmet of Mega City One’s greatest badass lawman and Pete Travis (Vantage Point) directing the movie from a screenplay by Alex Garland (28 Days Later). Now we have the first poster for Dredd as well as a pair of visually striking images from the film for your perusal.