Anyone who has grown tired of the bland heroism of so many recent American comic book movies should feel somewhat refreshed by the bleaker shadings of Dredd, an adaptation of the popular British comic strip that has been going strong in its homeland since it debuted in the ’70s. Previously brought to the screen in 1995 as an unsuccessful Sylvester Stallone vehicle, the comic has been given a more faithfully dystopian treatment this time around, thanks to the efforts of producer-screenwriter Alex Garland (The Beach, Sunshine). Wisely working on a smaller scale than the Stallone film, Garland and director Pete Travis (Vantage Point) nonetheless deliver a film of impressive spectacle that should prove far more satisfying to admirers of the source material than the earlier screen adaptation.
Fans of Dredd will be pleased with the transfer on this Blu-ray, though the film’s peculiar visual style—a grimy colour scheme, abundant use of extreme slow motion (3,000 frames per second)—may prove divisive. In addition to a 2D HD transfer, this disc offers the film in the Blu-ray 3D format, giving viewers with access to a 3D television/Blu-ray player the chance to experience the film as it was presented in theatres.
The list of extras on the back of the case suggests a wealth of supplements, but this is somewhat misleading. While two of the featurettes (Mega-City Masters: 35 Years of Judge Dredd, Day of Chaos: The Visual Effects of Dredd) clock-in at around 15 minutes, each of the remaining extras (Dredd Featurette, Dredd’s Gear, The 3rd Dimension, Welcome to Peach Trees, Dredd Motion Comic Prequel) are three minutes or shorter. Still, fans of the comic and those seeking a fresh take on the comic book movie should find plenty to appreciate on this disc.
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