By Nathan M Rose

Jan 04, 2013 04:30 PM EST


Dredd 3D Blu-ray Review

Outside of a small cult following, 2000 AD comic book character Judge Dredd was unknown in the United States until, back in 1995, Sylvester Stallone tried to bring the character mainstream with the Judge Dredd film. The thematic elements of the comic book series were toned down for mainstream audiences, alienating the characters fans.

With the resurgence of comic book films, the creators of Dredd along with DNA Films and Lionsgate decided to take another shot at putting the iconic character on the big screen, at the same time remaining loyal to Dredd's roots.

This new film stars Karl Urban (Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Star Trek) as Dredd, and supporting actresses Olivia Thirlby (No Strings Attached) and Lena Headey (Game of Thrones, 300) and is directed by English film director Pete Travis.

The film follows a day in the life of Judge Joseph Dredd as he dispatches judgment in Mega City One and evaluates rookie Cassandra Anderson (Thirlby). During a routine drug bust, Dredd and Anderson become the target of Ma-Ma (Headey), the drug overlord of their district.

If you are looking for a dark and gritty action film, this is your film, from the time the voiceover begins to the minute the credits roll at the end. The action is non-stop, violent, gory, and does not shy away from showing anything on the screen.

Although the plot and sets are fairly simplistic (and the budget almost nonexistent) the cast and director create a very intense experience that squeezes every dollar they can on film. Even though Urban never takes off his helmet throughout the film, staying true to the comic, his portrayal of Dredd is perfect. Exemplifying a man in control of his emotions, an emissary of the government that now polices the new world.

Helping to bring this vision of Dredd to the screen is the use of a new camera technique to help the audience feel the effects of the "Slo-Mo" drug portrayed in the film. Even the film's amazing score by Paul Leonard-Morgan slows down its beats per second to help emphasize this effect.

Dredd's 3D Blu-ray transfer is close to perfection. The 1080p AVC (2D) and MVC (3D) transfer shows off every gritty detail. The colors are not muted and the 3D does not show any ghosting.

The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 soundtrack mix is one of the best I have ever heard. It pushes the envelope of your sound system, and has a full sound the truly engulfs you in the film.

While Dredd was unfortunately not successful at the box office, hopefully it will find a following at home. The film is truly a great action/sci-fi flick that Lionsgate honors by giving it one of the best transfers that I have seen in a very long time.

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MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 95 minutes
Distributed By: Lionsgate

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