4K Ultra HD Review “Dredd”

Actors: Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey, Wood Harris, Langley Kirkwood
Directors: Pete Travis
Rated: R
Studio: LIONSGATE
Release Date: June 6, 2017
Run Time: 96 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
4K Ultra HD: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Extra: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Lionsgate has been plowing through their catalog and delivering some great films on 4K Ultra HD recently. If you are looking for a demo disc to show off your 4K TV, “Dredd” would be the one to show it off for sure. The film packs a visual and audio punch already before being delivered in Ultra HD. I was blown away with the presentation here. This film definitely didn’t get the attention it deserved but has luckily found a nice home with fans and this release gives the fans a great reason to repurchase this film! (as long as you don’t care about the 3D option).

Official Premise: Mega City One is a vast, violent metropolis where felons rule the streets. The only law lies with cops called “judges,” who act as judge, jury and executioner, and Dredd (Karl Urban) is one of the city’s most feared. One day, Dredd is partnered with Cassandra (Olivia Thirlby), a rookie with powerful psychic abilities. A report of a terrible crime sends Dredd and Cassandra to a dangerous area controlled by Ma-Ma (Lena Headey), a drug lord who will stop at nothing to protect her empire.

“Dredd” comes stocked with a 2160p transfer with an aspect ratio of 2.40:1. You can see a little bit of up-scaling throughout but the detail on this is just beautiful. The non-stop action is also perfectly showcased in the Dolby Atmos track. The previous Blu-ray release of “Dredd” included a combo pack with a 3D/2D version of the film on the same disc, that is not the cause with this release and the 3D has gone missing. A little bit of a bummer but at the same time 3D seems to be fading. This combo pack also does come though with a standard Blu-ray (sans the 3D also) and a digital copy.

Judge Dredd is such a popular brand name still today and even has a new TV series in the works. He even has his own Judge Dredd slots game, which has great bonuses or and you can also play some fun online slots at SchmittsCasino.com, while you watch the film. Speaking of bonuses, this combo pack also includes two featurettes both running about 15 minutes each: “Mega-City Masters: 35 Years of Judge Dredd” which gives us history lesson on the character and it’s legacy and the second is a bit for technical “Day of Chaos: The Visual Effects of Dredd”. Both worth checking out. Other than that there are four other very short peeks behind-the-scenes as well as a “Dredd Motion Comic Prequel” and trailers included.

Blu-ray 3D Review “Dredd”

Actors: Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey
Directors: Pete Travis
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Lionsgate
Release Date: January 8, 2013
Run Time: 95 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

The character of Judge Dredd made his first appearance in 2000 AD #2 back in March of 1977. After the disappointing attempt to bring to the big-screen, though cult favorite, back in 1995 with Sylvester Stallone in “Judge Dredd”, “Dredd” is the latest attempt and is adapted by Alex Garland from John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra’s legendary comic book and filmed in stunning 3-D. This film is the way that this comic book character should be portrayed. Karl Urban (“Star Trek”, “The Chronicle of Riddick”) really scores with this role, even while keeping his helmet on! Lena Headey (HBO’s “Game Of Thrones”) plays a good baddie as Ma-Ma. Overall the film is a blast to watch. It is action packed, gritty, gory and the way that Judge Dredd should be. I highly recommend checking this out and be sure to watch in 3D if possible.

Official Synopsis: The future America is an irradiated wasteland. On its east coast, running from Boston to Washington D.C., lies Mega City One – a vast, violent metropolis where criminals rule the chaotic streets. The only force of order lies with the urban cops called “Judges” who possess the combined powers of judge, jury and instant executioner. Known and feared throughout the city, Dredd (Urban) is the ultimate Judge, challenged with ridding the city of its latest scourge, a dangerous drug called “Slo-Mo,” and the sadistic crime boss Ma-Ma (Headey) who is using it to take over the city.

Lionsgate is given “Dredd” a very impressive release as it explodes onto 3D Blu-ray.  The releases includes the 3D and the standard 2D version of the film on one disc plus Digital Copy and digital Ultraviolet code. The film looks absolutely stunning with its 1080p High Definition 16×9 Widescreen (2.40:1) transfer.  This works perfectly with the film’s very sharp visual effects sequences and 3D.  The film was shot in 3D using RED MX, SI2K and Phantom Flex high-speed cameras. The film has great depth and really looks amazing on Blu-ray.  The star of the release is easily the Blu-ray’s audio track.  “Dredd” comes packed with an insane 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio that is optimized for 11.1 Neo X.  This is becoming a trend with Lionsgate releases after “The Expendables 2”. I was blown away with this track and as was my surround sound.

The special features are impressive as well on this release. They are made up with six production-based featurettes.  The first is “Mega-City Masters”: 35 Years of Judge Dredd”, which looks into the legacy of this amazing action hero.  “Day of Chaos: The Visual Effects of Dredd 3D” focuses on the film very sharp and stylized visual effects. “Dredd” is a focus on the man that we know as “the law”. “Dredd’s Gear” is a look into all the super-cool goodies taht “Dredd” packs to kick some major ass! “The 3rd Dimension” is a look of introducing this series with the use of 3D. The last featurettes is “Welcome to Peachtrees”, which is a location-based feature on where 95% of the filming takes place in. Rounding out the fantastic special features is a “Dredd Motion Comic Prequel”, which is a nice lead-in to this film.

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The future America is an irradiated waste land. On its East Coast, running from Boston to Washington DC, lies Mega City One- a vast, violent metropolis where criminals rule the chaotic streets. The only force of order lies with the urban cops called “Judges” who possess the combined powers of judge, jury and instant executioner. Known and feared throughout the city, Dredd (Karl Urban) is the ultimate Judge, challenged with ridding the city of its latest scourge — a dangerous drug epidemic that has users of “Slo-Mo” experiencing reality at a fraction of its normal speed.

During a routine day on the job, Dredd is assigned to train and evaluate Cassandra Anderson (Olivia Thirlby), a rookie with powerful psychic abilities thanks to a genetic mutation. A heinous crime calls them to a neighborhood where fellow Judges rarely dare to venture- a 200 story vertical slum controlled by prostitute turned drug lord Ma-Ma (Lena Headey) and her ruthless clan. When they capture one of the clan’s inner circle, Ma-Ma overtakes the compound’s control center and wages a dirty, vicious war against the Judges that proves she will stop at nothing to protect her empire. With the body count climbing and no way out, Dredd and Anderson must confront the odds and engage in the relentless battle for their survival.

The endlessly inventive mind of writer Alex Garland and director Pete Travis bring DREDD to life as a futuristic neo-noir action film. Filmed in 3D with stunning slow motion photography sequences, the film returns the celebrated character to the dark, visceral incarnation from John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra’s revered comic strip.

Blu-ray Review “Judge Dredd”

Directed by: Danny Cannon
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Diane Lane, Armand Assante, Jurgen Prochnow, Rob Schneider
MPAA Rating: R
Distributed by: Hollywood Pictures Home Entertainment
Release Date: September 18, 2012
Running Time: 96 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extra: 2 out of 5 stars

“I am the Law!” – Easily one of the best quotes in any film.  Even better since it is said by Sylvester Stallone, so perfectly.  This film was not a big success as it was deemed too cartoonish for the character of Dredd.  This was also released during the decline in the Stallone’s popularity.  I personally have always been a fan of this film.  It has a lot of problems but overall it is a fun film…yes even though Rob Schneider is in it.  Disney to choosing to re-release this film on Blu-ray now to time it with the release of Lionsgate’s “Dredd 3D”. If you are a fan of this film though, then this is a no-brainer purchase.

Even though this film was a big-budget release, it never really seemed like high quality production.  The 1080p transfer though looks very impressive and definitely one of the best of the recent Disney catalog releases.  The audio track includes a nice DTS-HD MA 5.1. It does its job very well.  It is very loud and delivers a punch like Mr. Dredd himself. There is a lot of action in this film and overall it sounds very impressive. Alan Silvestri’s score also sounds very impressive with the track.

The special features are not as impressive though.  Basically the only feature is a short 20 minutes featurette called “Stallone’s Law: The Making of Judge Dredd”. It techincally is a new feature but not newly produced.  It is a this made-for-TV promotional piece from 1995,though it was not included on 1998 DVD of “Judge Dredd”. Lastly there is the theatrical trailer and opens with a short narration by James Earl Jones.  Overall the extras could have used a little amping up in the content area but Disney still delivered a great release overall.