Judge Dredd Is Coming To TV!

On Wednesday it was announced by 2000AD that Judge Dredd will be coming to the small screen! I am super hyped about this. I think Judge Dredd:Mega-City One will kick ass big time. I do love the movie Dredd, it’s probably in my favourite three movies, but I think with Judge Joseph Dredd being in a TV series will suit the character and the setting of Mega-City One much better as we’ll get a show that’ll be able to explore the universe a lot more thoroughly. Movies are great, but with forty years of history I think a series is going to allow the creative team behind it more time to explore that universe.

No casting details have been announced, I’m really hoping they get Karl Urban, and Olivia Thirlby, back but I’m not going to hold my breath too much. I’ve got a feeling this series is going to be its own thing, though.

After hearing the owners of 2000AD talking (check out the 2000AD podcast) about the comic I’ve got a lot of hope for this series. They seem to get what it means and I think they are going to do it justice.

Building My Blu-Ray Collection

Just before Christmas my parents replaced their Samsung 32-inch HD LCD TV with the latest equivalent so to my joy they gave me the old one and for Christmas they gave me a Blu-Ray player. My brother brought me Pacific Rim on Blu-Ray and I’d treated myself to a copy of Dredd in Blu-Ray but I watched Pacific Rim first and WOW!! How cool is Blu-Ray?

Anyway, I already had Dredd on DVD and it’s one of a few that I was willing to replace with a Blu-Ray copy, there are a few others that I’m planning on upgrading, Avatar and The Avengers are the two main ones that I will be buying, and maybe The Matrix films but I’m not sure on those.

I know some people replace their entire collection when a new format comes out but as long as the Blu-Ray player plays DVDs I see little point in upgrading my 350 plus library of movies. If for no other reason then the cost alone prevents me from doing that.

From now on I will be mainly buying Blu-Rays simply because the picture quality is stunning.

Grand Theft Auto also looks gorgeous in HD as well.

Looking At Dredd: Part 2

Here is Part 2 of my look at the movie Dredd.

Wood Harris pays Kay, one of Ma-Ma’s lieutenants who is arrested early on in a drug den that Dredd and Anderson raid. It’s his arrest that leads to Ma-Ma locking down Peach Trees and sending her gang out after Dredd and Anderson. I liked Harris’ performance here. He plays a man with little or no conscience who enjoys what he does. Throughout most of the movie he has Anderson pushing him around and on the occasions when Dredd leaves them he tries to unsettle the rookie Judge. Kay is kind of the opposite to Dredd in what he stands for.

Ma-Ma is played chillingly by the amazing Lena Heady. The more I’ve seen of Headey the more I’m liking her as an actress. As Ma-Ma she shows her range as Ma-Ma is a very disturbed, vicious character who has no morals and no conscience. She is a junkie who seems to be constantly on the edge of not only sanity but of staying alive. The fact that she aggressively controls a gang like she does is testament to the person she is. I got the impression from this character that she is not only smart and ruthless but also someone that is neither happy nor concerned that what she is doing causes as much harm as it does. All this we get from Headey, she pulls a stunning performance out for this movie that is disturbing to watch.

Visually Dredd is stunning. This is the first film where I found the 3D didn’t bother me. It was there and added to the cinematic experience well but it’s not something that the film depends on. I’ve lost count of the times that I have watched this movie on DVD and Blu-Ray and it still looks as beautiful as it did in the cinema. The word beautiful can be a little misleading, I use it in the sense that Mega City 1 looks horrid, but in a visually stunning way. It looks like a third world city. The streets are full of rubbish and graffiti, the vehicles look like they are only just operating. Buildings look old and like they have no one maintaining them. Basically everything you would expect to see in a third world city. Even Dredd looks like he’s been on the streets a long time. His uniform is worn and tired looking. His helmet especially looks like its well worn. Peach Trees, where the majority of the movie takes place looks dull and uninspiring. Few people look like they are flourishing in this world, it looks very desolate.

The soundtrack matches this feeling of desolation. The score which was composed by Paul Leonard-Morgan feels dirty and made me feel like there was a heart beating in my ear throughout the movie. Picking up just at the most tense moments and dropping off to let the viewer breath for a moment. I actually liked the soundtrack so much that I brought it and listen to it frequently.

Director Peter Travis and all of the production team and the writers and everyone behind the scenes have worked hard to make this a very believable movie. The storyline is something that is just a little more extreme then the everyday events that a Judge in this world has to deal with, which I preferred seeing than if it was a Judge Dredd saves the world storyline. The settings look amazing and very authentic. This world is not the same as the comic book but I think its a very realistic evolution from comic to screen, a lot of thought has been put  into making that evolution. The judges uniforms are a good example. In the comic they are skin tight with a belt, the helmet and big shoulder pads. In the movie the uniforms are more tactical; heavy, dark leather with more subtle shoulder pads. The helmets are almost the same but the weapons look more realistic. They take a normal pistol and modify it. Any action movie fan knows what a pistol looks like and these are different but look similar enough that its recognisable.

Overall Dredd is in my top five favourite movies of all time, and not just for the fact that it is a film that has a lot of skill and heart in it but also because this world that Dredd is set in, I can see it becoming a reality. This is well directed, well acted and has a lot of heart and belief by those that got it to the big screen.

Yes I want to see a sequel.

Looking At Dredd: Part 1

Dredd is a movie directed by Pete Travis and set in an America where most of the country is a wasteland and the population is crammed in like sardines into giant Mega Cities. With all these people squeezed in crime has gotten out of control and the traditional judiciary system cannot cope so a new way of enforcing the law was needed, so the Judges were born. These judges are judge, jury and executioner all in one and Judge Dredd is one of these judges, He’s ‘The Judge Dredd’ as one of the characters refer to him in this movie.

The synopsis is a simple one; the experienced Judge Dredd is given a rookie Judge, Cassandra Anderson, who has only just failed the training to become a judge, but she’s a psychic and is being treated as a special case because of her special abilities so she is given one last chance to gain her passage to becoming a Judge by being given a day in the field with Dredd to see if she has the ability to handle being a Judge.
They respond to a triple homicide in a mega tower called Peach Trees. These are massive buildings that house a huge amount of people and are all but a small city on their own. These towering buildings dominate the skyline of Mega City 1 where this story takes place.
Once they are inside their actions in investigating this crime, in particular arresting someone in a drug den,  lead to a gang lord called Ma-Ma taking control and  locking the tower down, these towers can shield themselves in the event of a nuclear attack, and has her gang hunting the two judges down.

This movie is so much more then the synopsis  I’ve written above. This is a movie about The Judge Dredd. A judge who has no price, a judge who obeys the word of the law to the word, although he does give a little, there’s a good example of this early on. Dredd is not afraid to pull the trigger when he needs to. He is confident in himself and believes in what he is doing to uphold the law. Throw in a rookie judge who he has to assess, in what turns out to be an extreme situation, he has someone with him who is not as sure of herself, but she wants to make a difference and it is mainly through her eyes that we see this movie through. She is new to all of this as we, the viewer, are.

Dredd is played superbly by Karl Urban, who apparently sought out the producers when he heard they were making a Judge Dredd movie. I’ve only just started to read the collections of the Judge Dredd comics but something I knew  before I started reading them was that Dredd never takes his helmet off, ever. So for Urban to pull off the performance as Dredd that he did is very impressive. All you see of Urban is his mouth and chin, and that’s it but he still becomes the no nonsense lawman that Dredd is. He is able to pull off a huge array of emotions just with his mouth. Urban has a decent build which he uses to add to making Dredd come to life, and then there is his voice. Urban gives Dredd a very gravelly voice that works so well is almost chilling. I cannot think of a better actor then Karl Urban to play Judge Dredd and when I heard he was playing him I was very happy, and even happier when he pulled this performance out of the hat for Dredd.

Anderson is played by the lovely Olivia Thirlby. This is the first time I have encountered Thirlby and I was very impressed. She has to give a faultless performance as Anderson as she goes through a lot of different emotions through out the movie and she seemed to carry it off. There are times when she needs to hold her own against the violent men around her. The chemistry between Urban and Thirlby seems pretty good on screen. This movie is about Dredd but it wouldn’t work without Anderson’s journey through the movie.

Please return for the second part of this blog post tomorrow.

Shifting Expectations

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook you may have seen that I had a bit of a meltdown yesterday after watching the trailer for the RoboCop remake which is due to hit our screens next year. I did write a blog post about this but I’m not sure if it came across just how much of a meltdown I did have yesterday. In case you missed it here’s a link to it on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INmtQXUXez8

 

Now I had a lot of reservations about this remake, mainly because I love love love the original. RoboCop and RoboCop 2 were movies that were part of my childhood (yes I was watching incredibly violent films when I was young, but boys will be boys and it hasn’t made me a psychopath or anything) and both of which had a massive effect on me. I love the whole idea of robots and Cyborgs and I used to argue with a friend who would win a fight between RoboCop and the terminator (that was before I’d seen The Terminator or Terminator 2).

 

I am going to discard the third RoboCop film a little because I have only recently seen it. I knew it did not have Peter Weller in it so I had no desire to see it. The first two movies though are iconic to me, I didn’t take away the violence from them, I took the integrity of Alex Murphy from them. How despite everything his will and who he was came through time and time again. They also taught me that the world was generally a corrupt place and those in power do anything they can to stay there.

RoboCop was not someone who compromised, if you were a criminal you deserved to be punished. Kind of like Judge Dredd in that respect. When I heard that they were remaking this movie that I adored I was not entirely happy about it. Firstly RoboCop was a great reflection of the era it was set so I didn’t think it would translate well to today. There were rumours that Michael Fassbender was going to be playing the lead and this did perk my excitement a touch, but the next thing I knew he was not going to be in it. I did not recognise the new lead, Joel Kinnaman so I lost all interest and my expectation dropped to nothing, despite Gary Oldman, Jackie Earle Haley and Samuel L. Jackson being in the cast. I’d also heard that its going to be a PG-13.

 

Then my mate mike text me saying the first trailer is out, and it looks pretty decent. So during my lunch break I watched it on my iPhone…And I was blown away! The trailer indicates that it is going to focus on how Murphy copes with going from being human to a cyborg and it looks like he is going to still have more of his personality then the original. Visually it looks stunning and it reminded me a little of how Mega City 1 looked in Dredd.

I will also admit that I almost jumped out of my seat when I heard the line “Dead or alive you’re coming with me.”

I also had not realised that Michael Keaton was in it either which is a plus for me.

There were parts of it that do cause concern for me, particularly the suit. It’s too black for a start and it doesn’t look as intimidating as the original but after being so impressed with the trailer as I have been I’m willing to ignore it for the moment.

 

This trailer has sent my expectation of this film from nothing to through the roof! I will be gutted if it doesn’t match up but I’m actually looking forward to it now.

Get Sh*t Done Month

August is my get sh*t done month. I’m aiming to get the 1st draft of Project Apollo done and off to Owen and I want to have a short story, that’s all but done, ready to be sent off to the sci-fi magazines.

How easy is this going to be to achieve? That depends on a couple of things. The day job is a big one. This time of year my day job (valeter at a car sales) is quite demanding on the body. This glorious summer we are having here in the U.K. is awesome but it does sap ones energy when working a physically demanding job and at the moment we are busy. Which is absolutely great but it takes more of the body’s strength. Yesterday was a prime example, although not to warm I had a lot to do so come the evening when I got home I just could not get going with the words. So I got an early night and despite a few non-work related hiccups today I’ve got home and knocked out over 1100 words tonight *does a little dance* That’s the most words I have written in one day for a long time, and it feels good 😀

I’d also like to get back into a bit of reading this month as well. The last two books I have read have been amazing (Redshirts by John Scalzi & Blood In The Past by Jordanna East) so I was more then a little anxious at the prospect of starting a new novel. So I read more of Judge Dredd Vol. 1 but now its time to dive into a novel again and I’ve chosen The Drawing Of The Three (The Dark Tower Book 2) by Stephen King.

So that’s the plan, lets see how much of it I actually get done!

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Dredd 2 Petition

Hi guys and girls, I don’t normally put things like this up on here but I’m going to make an exception for a movie I adore.

Dredd is one of my favourite movies ever and I would be ecstatic to see Karl Urban play the non-compromising lawman once more. 2000AD, who first published the Judge Dredd comic strip, has launched a petition to get a sequel made. Now I don’t think anything is guaranteed but I believe it’s worth a few seconds of every one the movies, and the character’s fans to sign up to it. I have. So please if you enjoyed this movie go to the link at the bottom of this post and sign up. Lets use the Internet here and get something that many fans want.

http://m.sfx.co.uk/2013/07/25/2000ad-launches-official-dredd-sequel-petition/