When word got out about a new Dredd movie, first thing I thought was why? Stallone‘s version of Judge Dredd was beyond abysmal and barely watchable. Granted, I was never a Dredd fan but after watching Dredd, all I can say, “The helmet stays on!” Karl Urban is becoming one of my favorite character actor who does not mind in not being recognized in many roles as in, “Hey, that’s Karl as…” He is the complete opposite of Tom Cruise and though I like some of his films, he always looks like Tom Cruise regardless of the role. But not Karl; he’s different and truly amazing like Jeffrey Comb amazing. Aside from playing Éome in the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002), and channeling the spirit of Dr. McCoy in the Star Trek (2009), there was a little film he did called Pathfinder (2007) which I enjoyed immensely. And yes, there was Doom (2005) but frankly that movie was a mess.
As I mentioned, “The helmet stays on.” This risk of not seeing the actor’s face was a gamble and not many actors would have wanted this option; hence Stallone. Karl is Dredd from start to end and that is a good thing. We can look at Dredd as noted in the film as the face of justice much in the way Darth Vader is the face of the Empire. Dredd is a solid character and is driven to provide justice; never wavering from his duties. Even in the face of overwhelming odds, while his grumpy cat expression gets grumpier, he does care and shows a compassionate side; just once. From a writer’s point of view, this is a classic example of show and not tell about the character and Karl does that convincing through out his performance.
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 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, 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 storey vertical slum controlled by prostitute turned drug lord Ma-Ma 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. Written by Production
My friend and partner Mr. Gene warned me about the amount of violence in this film and honestly, I haven’t seen this much red since watching Robocop. The visual carnage is almost hard to look away as it is amazing well done and so well choreographed. This is one of those films to watch that if you’re having a bad day and need a violent movie therapy, this is the movie to watch. I have not been more satisfied and surprised on the some ways a human body can get f’ed up. Even more to this mix is the amazing Lena Headey.
This MILF-y actress from 300, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and Game of Thrones, turns in a truly memorable performance. There is nothing MILF-y about her in this role and love how well she can play a great villainess. She is menacing and fierce just as she hideous and repulsive.
I am glad to have seen Dredd and it should have deserved a better opening. I am adding this to my dvd collection. This is truly something I recommend for you to watch and even own.
I was reading this piece on io9 about the relationship of being a superhero in a virtual reality can lend itself to you being altruistic in the real world. The article went on about how the test subjects used the VR tech. There were two groups – ones that could fly under their own power and another that flew but in a helicopter. When the experiment was over, the tester had knocked over a jar of pens. Of those that flew under their power were the ones that helped over those who did not help and flew in the helicopter. The article as went on to say that the power of flight might have contributing factor.
Now, those who follow this blog would undoubtedly want to have a superpower for a variety of reasons. Flying, I believe, would be high on the list for many people including myself. As an experiment, I typed in the word “superhero” on the 3 big search engines. Yahoo, Bing, and Google each had similar results when it came to images. (Give it a try.) A flying superhero or a Superman image appears first; which is kinda interesting. My guess is the concept of flying is so ingrained in our imagination and that it is logical to associate with the word of superhero.
Thinking further on this point, I had Maslow’s hierarchy of needs concept stuck in my head. When I was laid off from work and wasn’t going to school, I was at the lowest point in my life as the very basics – food, shelter, clothing were at times not being met. Moving on the Maslow’s next level can only be done when the level below is fulfilled and so on. Recently, I ran a 1/2 marathon which is the top-level, Self Actualization. This was something that was beyond I had ever done and could have only done in Maslow’s order. What if this sudden injection of superpowers such as flying would make leaps and bounds over the Maslow’s level and in some cases skipping them? In doing so, we have this new perspective on the world around us? In other words, if I was in the same experiment and was unemployed, would I yield the same results with the jar of pens? Were those flying in the experiment working and secured the each of Maslow’s level? If the answer is yes, than I would conclude my outcome would have become less than altruistic and here’s why.
If you remember the phrase, “absolute power corrupts absolutely.” I think this is what would happen to me because the Maslow levels are not satisfied. For example, I was poor and hungry and suddenly, I found a million dollars. Now, I am not poor but I’m still hungry. I may have security with my new wealth but not satisfied my hunger. In the process, I could become reckless with the money and lose it all. There would an element of instability/corruption because there was no foundation. On Star Trek: The Next Generation, First Officer Will Riker was given the powers of Q who is omnipotent. While he used his powers for good, he was getting corruptible each time he used those powers. He did not grow into those powers over days, week, years or even a lifetime; it just happened in a flash.
Let’s us call NASA out on this “SOLAR SAIL.” We all know this is code for a Phantom Zone prison for our criminals in the near future. Am I wrong? I leave the decision in your hands. On a side note, this is one of those moments were science fiction is becoming science fact. There are three types of solar sails spaceships that come to my mind. The first one is Count Dooku‘s ship as seen in Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones. The second is the Bajoran Solar Sail that Captain Benjamin Sisko re-created in the series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. The last one was by far one of my favorite and earliest designs for a solar sailer ship was the one created in the original Tron. I am always in awe of a solar sail design and how a low tech concept can still work in the future.
NASA will launch the largest solar sail in history as soon as next year
Solar sails are all about “propellantless” propulsion — using photons from the Sun (as opposed to an onboard fuel supply) to push a spacecraft through space. Building on the lessons learned from smaller solar sail missions, like NASA’s NanoSail-D and JAXA’s IKAROS, NASA is gearing up to to launch the biggest solar sail in history as early as next year. It’s called Sunjammer, and at 13,000 square feet it is positively massive.