Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Dredd:Blood, guts and NO sense of Humour!

14th January, 2013

Ohh, but putting pictures in on Blogspot can be a right ol’ piece of … bother … sometimes.

Especially if, like me, you’ve just added them in from a URL

You hjave to put them in in reverse order, if you’re putting them in from a URL … 

Hmmm … 

Any way … 

That’s not quite what I was going to tell you about, when I started this post.

Oh, no.

No … 

I was going to tell you about the movie I’ve just watched.

Karl Urban’s latest sci-fi piece, the Pete Travis directed film that is … Dredd … !


15th January, 2013

Sorry, I had to just had to get some sleep, there, over night … !

At ANY rate, I was telling you about the film I saw last night: the recent version of the cult 2000ad strip, Judge Dredd.

The film sees Dredd — introduced through a routine patrol at the film’s start, played by Karl Urban — being assigned to take Rookie Judge Cassandra Anderson* (Olivia Thirby) on her final assessment as a rookieº.

With Rookie Anderson in charge … ?   The pair head for a super-sized apartment block, called Peach Treesª, to investigate some reported homicides.

What they don’t find out, until they get there … ?   Is that the Peach Trees block is under the control of one Madelaine Madrigal — or Ma Ma — who’s a psychotic former hooker, turned drug lord.

And really not a stunningly pleasant person …


Now, I’ll have to admit to assorted … well, let’s call them mixed feelings, shall I … ?

And also to wanting to see this film for some time.   After all, I grew up on the original comic-book cut of the character, in the late seventies and early eighties.

That background left me with equally mixed feeling about the 1995 Stallone take on the character which got bits right — the general look of Mega-Ciry One, the sense of humour,  the look of Mean Machine Angel — but also — in allowing Stallone to take off the helmet — managed to alienate many.

As you can imagine, that left me looking forward to this … with a certain sense of trepidation^.

After catching this version … ?   Hmm I have to admit to still having a certain amount of mixed feelings about Dredd.

In some senses, it has a much rougher edge to it than the ’95 film: and arguably, a greater degree of realism.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing: this is, for the most part, a very good — and mostly true to source — interpretation of the strip.   And one that tries to present a plausible near future.

Where I felt Dredd did suffer … ?   Was in a lack of a sense of humour: something I feel the original strip certainly had, when I was reading it: and some thing that Demolition Man, Robocop and Iron Sky certainly had more of.

What can I tell you … ?

If you see Dredd expect a very good effort.   Just don’t expect the character’s sense of irony to have made it on screen.

*        Whilst it not actually mentioned in the film, the character’s first name is given as Cassandra, relatively early on in the comics.

º        In the comic strips, these are usually carried out in the Cursed Earth, the irradiated desert outside the city walls, and referred as Hotdog Runs.

ª        Sticking reasonably close to the background universe, the city†’s apartment blocks are small vertical towns. 

†       The city in question is the dystopian Mega-City 1: in the comics, it stretched from the northern part of the US east coast, to the southern part, covering — at various points in its fictional history — from New York to Miami.   In the film it’s slightly smaller, only going from Boston to Washington DC.      AHEM … !

^        See what I did, there … ?   I AVOIDED the word ‘dread’ … !

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