Tuesday, January 29, 2013


I had taken a long respite from blogging -- about 17 months -- but I'm coming out of retirement.  It's partly because, with my brief tryst with fame over, I've been looking for something to do and partly because I saw something last night that so confounded me that my love for bad movies was rekindled and I had to spew about it somewhere.  Blame my wife for being out of town.

I had heard some good reviews of Dredd, the 2012 Rob Schneider-less adaptation of the Judge Dredd comics.  It has 77% on Rotten Tomatoes.  The special effects were supposed to be great.  It stars Karl Urban, everyone's favorite space doctor/ DeForest Kelly impersonator, plus Lena Headey, everyone's favorite incestuous mother of a murderous teenage tyrant/ Linda Hamilton impersonator, and even Wood Harris, everyone's favorite strong-side linebacker/ drug kingpin who says "The game is the game.  Always."

But even if Wood Harris had called in Michael Kenneth Williams and Michael Potts to do his dirty work and save this movie, even the combined awesomeness of Omar and Brother Mouzone couldn't have made anything from this mess.  "Oh, man, it's Omar and Brother Mouzone, awesome!  Wait, why are they walking around in this movie?  Why are we getting them delivering this awful dialogue instead of a season 6 where Carcetti becomes governor and signs in marriage equality and then goes and pops into Treme for a cameo when the Ravens go to New Orleans?"

I suppose the special effects were made to look awesome in 3D, but I doubt that was the case and, besides, it cost $50 million and only grossed $13.4 million, so maybe they should have thought about how it would look on people's TVs.  The visual nature of the film leads me to assume that director Pete Travis has only ever watched Zack Snyder movies and, perhaps, only Sucker Punch.  It is just frames of slow-motion after frozen shots of explosions after uses of light that even Lincoln thought was a bit too much.  He tries to make it creepy and it really just made me very sleepy.

The acting is just fine if you like Karl Urban's chin spitting out monotonous one-liners that got cut from The Expendables.  In fact, the dialogue is so heavy-handed that none of the performances would be good enough to get past it.  It's written by the guy who's writing the screenplay for the Halo movie, so I'm sure I'm being tough on him.  (To be fair, he also wrote 28 Days Later, but that movie happened to be directed by one of the best in the world and it's certainly more memorable visually than it is dialogue-wise.)

Maybe more than anything else, it's just overly violent.  Not in a Grindhouse way -- putting aside Tarantino's use of violence as satire of violence in Django Unchained -- but in a Robocop way.  Which was great when I was a kid, but as we get closer and closer to that OCP future, it gets less and less appealing.  There's just too much blood and too many closeups of blood.  It comes off, in violence and style, as a significantly less clever Sin City.

Dredd is the worst movie I watched in recent memory and, in the last four days, I've watched both American Reunion and Wrath of the Titans.  Do you get that?  I watched Wrath of the Titans and I liked it more than this movie that got 77% on Rotten Tomatoes!

Anyways, I'm back.  I may drool over Girls or Justified or the 30 Rock finale, but my main goal here is to get back in the swing of watching bad movies.  Amour was incredible, but I didn't want to think too long and hard about how it made me feel.  I'm happy to think too long and hard about how Dredd made me feel.

No comments: