Pete Travis

If ever there was proof remakes are worthwhile, it’s the 1995 adaptation of Judge Dredd starring Sylvester Stallone. Neither a critical nor a box office success, the movie would probably be forgotten entirely if it weren’t for the fact that it’s based on a very popular comic strip. In the UK, anyway. Also, as much as there is to dismiss about the movie, it has some good ideas that aren’t necessarily taken from the source material. Basically, it’s a movie that could be remolded into a very fine film. That said, the upcoming Dredd 3D doesn’t appear to be a remake so much as another attempt to mine a movie out of the character, which made its debut in the pages of 2000 AD in 1977. Not even the title is the same. Nevertheless, this isn’t simply an umpteenth adaptation of Romeo and Juliet or Anna Karenina. With comic-based movies we think of the franchise. While The Dark Knight is not exactly a remake of the 1989 Batman, there’s a tendency for people to be conscious of all movies involving the Caped Crusader, as a unified property. And we can’t rightly think about Dredd 3D without considering its predecessor, either. Two and a half years ago, Brian revisited the earlier version with a thorough look at its pros and cons for a Junkfood Cinema column. So, there’s no need to redo that, and I don’t mean to. What I mean to do is address the movie in the context of its […]

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Dredd 3D

“Judge Dredd” started as a comic book series in 1977 and eventually became so long-lived and popular that it spawned a really bad film adaptation in 1995. Get that movie out of your head now – pretend like it never happened – because Dredd 3D is a completely new take on the character; one the values hard-hitting action over comic book camp, one that has no interest in wacky side kicks or studio mandated love interests. The story is simple: in the far future, humanity has started living in gigantic city-states the size of small countries that are densely populated and densely developed. What with so many people being piled on top of one another, poverty has run rampant, crime is ubiquitous, and street gangs rule the day. The only line of defense between innocent people and complete chaos are the Street Judges, a group of dangerous and highly trained operatives who prowl the streets on their big motorcycles while carrying their big guns, acting as judge, jury, and executioner all in one. Our story centers on a Judge who goes by the name of Dredd; he’s pretty much the most badass one.

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After 1995’s Sylvester Stallone-starring take on the “Judge Dredd” comic series shit the bed and offered film and comic geeks little more than a couple of ironic quotables from a pizza delivery guy played by Rob Schneider, it didn’t seem very likely that anyone would take a shot at revisiting the property anytime soon. Seventeen years must be the statute of limitations on this one though, because here we are in 2012, getting a promotional clip for a new Karl Urban-starring take on the material called Dredd. Having reservations about this film due to past failures in translating the character to live action is understandable, but it’s starting to look like it might not be justified. Dredd recently screened for audiences at Comic-Con, and the buzz coming out of the room was that this new take on the character is much more true to the original comics. Word on the street is that this is a gritty, gory, action-packed shoot ‘em up that has way more in common with the face-punchingly awesome The Raid: Redemption than it does any Sylvester Stallone failures.

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Oh, the old kiss of death for any film. There are those that might claim that a director being forcibly removed from the final phase of authorship is not necessarily the sign of a bad picture, but results like Prince of Persia: Sands of Time speak for themselves. Then there are examples like Jonah Hex and X-Men Origins: Wolverine where new directors were brought on to “consult” for reshoots. No matter what, switching horses midstream is a dangerous move that stinks of desperation. Just how much desperation is coming off of Judge Dredd remains to be seen, but the LA Times is reporting that Pete Travis is no longer involved with the production, with writer/producer Alex Garland taking over his chair in the editing bay in a serious way. Here’s where it gets weird. Apparently, Garland is also contemplating petitioning for a director’s credit on the film, despite not having shot any of it, because of how involved he is in the post-production phase. Reshoots are a possibility as well, but like all of the rest of the reporting, it’s been claimed by people unwilling or legally unable to give their names. So who knows. Of course, like anything with movies, all the juggling could lead to a successful flick. However, it’s important to note that if all of this is the case, it’s not the producers not having confidence in what Travis churned out that almost ensures a bad movie – it’s the lack of a singular, focused storytelling […]

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poster-vantagepoint.jpg

Let me break down Vantage Point‘s tagline, “8 Strangers. 8 Points of View. 1 Truth.” 8 Strangers: The people going to see this movie on week two. 8 Points of View: A twelve minute film shown eight times. 1 Truth: The studio has your money and you are pissed. This will probably be the worst film of the year, that people will like.

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poster-vantagepoint.jpg

If there is one thing that you may learn from Vantage Point, it is that you should never judge a movie by its trailer.

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published: 11.21.2014
D
published: 11.21.2014
B+
published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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