Showing 1 - 3 of 3 posts found matching keyword: judge dredd

As I mentioned before, I liked the movie Dredd. As I also mentioned before, I was the only one in the theater when I saw it. If you're paying attention, you can probably guess that Dredd was not exactly a money-making blockbuster in theatrical release. Fortunately, the film has done much better in DVD release, which is why I'm mentioning it again.

Dredd's publisher, 2000 A.D., has put together an online petition to help convince the movie's producers that the fans want more. So if you're one of the people that I have told how great Dredd was then watched it yourself on DVD and realized I was right, you can now repay me by signing the petition online here. (Or, if you're a Facebook type person, here.)

Go. Sign up. Tell your friends. We need more Dredd.

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I suspect that I first met Judge Dredd when he and Batman shared an adventure in 1991's Judgement on Gotham comic book. Dredd, a character appearing regularly in British comics, was a tough cop struggling to maintain order in a post-apocalyptic future that is equal parts terrifying, satirical, and absurd. Dredd and Batman both share a righteous morality, a utility belt of awesome technology, and a complete lack of any sense of humor, but the two are on opposite ends of the empathy spectrum. Naturally, I was instantly enchanted.

One afternoon in late June 1995, I rode with my friend Mark in his antique truck to the Northlake 8 AMC movie theater in Tucker, GA to buy advance tickets for opening night for the Sylvester Stallone Judge Dredd film. I was a bouncing bundle of pure enthusiasm, and something about that experience in my history has always stuck in my memory. Sorry to say, my memory has lasted far longer than my enthusiasm did. The movie sets and costumes looked good, but beyond the surface, it just didn't turn out to have much to do with the character of Judge Dredd.

After all these years, I felt I owed it to the character to give his new movie, cleverly titled Dredd, a fair shake. I'm pleased to say that the new Dredd movie treats the lawman better this time around. I was the only person in the building at yesterday's 4:30 showing at Newnan's Carmike 10 theater, and I can tell you that 100% of the audience was enthusiastically entertained. I even applauded appreciatively when Karl Urban as Dredd finally yelled "I am the law" the proper way: with his helmet on.

The movie is a small, day-in-the-life action story about what it must be like to be the toughest cop in a very violent world. The limited scope of the story is far more suited to the absurdist crime-story millieu historically associated with the characters than its big-budget predecessor. And though the limited budget did result in more limited costuming and visual effects (no robots or flying cars!), it added to a more claustrophobic environment which should be expected in Mega-City One, population 800 million.

The film may not have restored the lost enthusiasm of my youth, but I did enjoy it and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone who likes gory, stylish action films about foreign comic book characters. You know who you are.

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Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (based on the comic book story of the same name) will be released to DVD later this month. To promote the video, Warner Home Video is offering "virtual collectors cards" on Facebook to fans who waste their time hunt them down by following the daily updates at the video's official site and Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter pages. I find this promotional strategy strangely fascinating.

First of all, the public's interest in collectible cards collapsed nearly 15 years ago. What were once common collectibles are nowadays recognized as just more garbage to clutter your desk. (I should know; there's a Billy Dee Williams as "D. A. Harvey Dent" card from Tim Burton's 1989 Batman starring at me right now.) Since that time, no one on this planet has given two shits about collectible cards except the poor suckers who were stuck with them before humanity abandoned them in favor of Star Wars Prequel figures. However, the Warner Brothers would have me believe that it would be super exciting to visit multiple sites daily to gather codes which can be entered into their Facebook app to unlock "virtual" cards (from this point forward we're going to call them what they are: jpgs). I'm left wondering what's exciting about a picture stuck in a shockwave document that I can't download?

Prepared for my cynicism, Warner has gone so far as to turn the whole mess into a data mining operation contest. That's right, by registering for the opportunity to see pictures taken directly from the video that they're planning to sell me, I'd also be eligible to win a Playstation 3 or an HDTV on which to watch the Blu-Ray version of the movie. This sweepstakes is open to anyone older than 13 and a registered Facebook user. I shudder to think that this "contest" of trolling corporate sites daily for codes to unlock advertising would appeal to anyone who was older than 13, but I've learned to keep expectations very low when dealing with anyone associated with any social networking site. I'm sure they're looking forward to the next WB contest in which they can call a special 1-800 number and tell the operator where they live and what appliances they have for the opportunity for someone to come take them away from them.

The ultimate question is whether this unique strategy will pay off in increased sales of the direct-to-video movie. I don't see how it could. How could anyone fall for such a pointless promotion? Who would spend so much time traveling between sites to collect cards whose sole purpose is to create a buzz for a marketable product? Who would get so excited about the upcoming release of a movie such as, say, 1995's Judge Dredd that they'd go hours out of their way on multiple visits to hunt down an entire 90 card set of trading cards one $5.99 pack at a time at Oxford Comics located inside Oxford Books in Atlanta, GA? Only a fool, I'm sure.

Does anyone have card 78 in the set? I've looked everywhere?

On a completely unrelated note, I promise that I don't have any Judge Dredd cards. (Anymore.) So stop looking at me like that.

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To be continued...

 

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