1.26.2012

"Dredd" film due in September

If more proof were needed that I live under a rock, unbeknownst to me, way back in July Empire magazine ran an article concerning a new Judge Dredd movie due out around September of 2012. The article included pictures which indicate a darker, grittier version of the Dredd setting than 1995's somewhat campy Judge Dredd with Sly Stalone. I actually kind of liked the original, but I like dark and gritty more (which is perhaps why I enjoy the "grim darkness" of the 41st century so much).



Although they don't have the big shoulder eagles, otherwise this version looks (so far) like it will be more in keeping with the original comics created by John Wagner -- which should be surprising since  the makers of THIS film actually had Wagner down to their set in South Africa to check things out and advise. It seems he was pleased and summed up why just from the pics I'm thinking this will be a better film:
Very pleased with what I saw of Karl Urban and Olivia Thirlby. Both excellent in their roles and work well as a team. Entire crew really dedicated and determined to produce a damned good movie ...  Alex Garland and I have had our disagreements but he has usually had a convincing argument for doing things his way. On the main issue, concentrating the plot on a slice of life rather than trying to convey the wh…ole sweep of Dredd and Mega-City life, I now see that he’s right. It was one of the flaws of the first movie, they tried to do too much.

I give massive credit to the producers for getting input from the creator and for casting Carl Urban as Judge Dredd. I've enjoyed Mr. Urban's performances in all the films I've seen him in, including The Two Towers/Return of the King, RED, and even The Chronicles of Riddick.

Not sure what it is that appeals to me about the whole Judge Dredd setting. When I step back and think objectively, the whole idea of a police force that has the power of judge, jury, and executioner is pretty horrific. I think our police today, with their relatively limited powers, already have too much power and that this all too frequently leads to abuses and violations of peoples' rights. Lord Acton was most certainly correct when he wrote "[p]ower tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Maybe it's my naturally pessimistic view on modern society that leads me to gravitate towards dark future settings like Warhammer 40K, Judge Dredd, even Blade Runner and Alien.

In any event, I've added this film to my list for 2012, along with Prometheus. Haven't been to the cinema since Abrams' Star Trek was out in 2009, now I'm going to go twice (maybe thrice -- I am still debating John Carter of Mars).

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