Anyway. The point is. A film is, obviously, a byproduct of the culture it's made in. (That's not the point, this is:) A film is also the result of the technology of the time. Which is why Dredd 3D gives us the drug "slo-mo".
Director: Pete Travis
The Scowl: Karl Urban
Thrilled me: Olivia Thirlby
Thought she was the boss from Workaholics: Lena Headey
His first name is Wood: Wood Harris
Terrifying to look at: Domhnall Gleeson
What kind of fucking name is Domhnall?: Domhnall Gleeson
The son of Alastar Moody: Domhnall Gleeson
Names his son Domhnall Gleeson: Alastar Moody/Brendan Gleeson
Has brothers named Fergus, Briain, and Ruairi: Domhnall Gleeson
I can't figure out how to pronounce his name: Domhnall Gleeson
I hope he doesn't consider this cyber-bullying: Domhnall Gleeson
I'm just...in shock...sorry: Domhnall Gleeson
What It's Good For:
-Karl Urban's facial expression
-the opening scenes showing Mega-City One
-seeing Judge Dredd
-copying The Raid: Redemption
-some B-movie moments (which means unintentional laughter)
-seeing a face hit concrete
-not seeing Stallone
-sitting up a larger story
-don't think it really does anything spectacular
-really rips off the premise of The Raid: Redemption
-should get a sequel but probably won't?
-does he really stay a step ahead of roided-out gatling gun fire?
-the other Judges showing up got my hopes so high
-if you know nothing about Judge Dredd you could think this is the Robocop reboot
CGI hit film in the 70s. Westworld used CGI for the Gunslinger's infrared vision. Superman had a CGI title sequence. Star Wars used CGI for the trench-run briefing sequence. Alien had CGI navigation maps. These things were, at the time, revolutionary. And simple.
Think about the fact Alien had navigation maps and this was considered cool. Think about what CGI is used for today?
King Kong before and after CGI.
(Don't even argue with me about what's better, the '33 version of the '05 version. I'm not talking about that. I'm simply saying the 2005 movie achieves things the technology-limited 1933 version could not. Whether one film is better than the other isn't the purpose of the discussion.)
After 40 years of existence almost every major studio release uses CGI, even a film like No Country for Old Men (when Brolin is hunting deer at the beginning; the deer).
CGI has changed how movies are made, how actors act, shot selection, and narrative possibilities.
3D will do the same.
And, yeah, 3D has been around since the fifties. But what we were seeing then was the stupid "Oh look! Bubbles are coming at the screen," kind of thing. And the technology was ridiculous. 3D, at that time, needed the silly Blue-and-Red lensed glasses (anaglyph). These glasses only work if you have two images, one in red and one in blue/cyan. This meant every film had two have two prints, one in red and one in blue. And these had to play simultaneously. This was before the digital day, when people stood in the back of the theater and had to change the reel. Imagine how annoying it was to keep two reels going, absolutely in sync. Darkening is a problem with TODAY'S 3D films, and it was a problem back then too. Could you imagine how much worse it probably was then? The screens were different, the projectors were different, the glasses were different. We're using the best technology available and still having dimming troubles? Imagine 60 years ago!
All of this is to say: 3D existed in the 50s, but it wasn't viable. It was complicated. It got less complicated in the 70s. And in the early 80s it seemed 3D films were becoming a thing. Jaws III was called Jaws 3-D. The tagline was "The third dimension is terror." Oh my. What did the film do with 3D? Stuff came at the screen. Oh boy.
Don't forget, previous 3D caused eye pain and fatigue. (Now it can cause nausea)
3D left major motion picture and became the bread-and-butter of IMAX films.
Then came the aughts (which is still a stupid word).
Technology has, of course, developed. And maybe 3D has been slow to the game. 3D predated CGI by nearly 20 years yet CGI matured faster. But I think it's safe to say 3D is finally ready to swing a bat. And hard.
This article explains a good amount. It's from 2009, predates the release of Avatar, so as far as I'm concerned, Rafe Needleman is a prophet.
"3D movies have been coming out for almost five years! What do you mean 3D is about to hit us? It's already here!!!"
Not really. We've had more gimmicky movies. Like...Clash of the Titans 3D isn't real 3D (though it is Real D 3D). My Bloody Valentine 3D isn't right either.
As far as I'm concerned, there are only two "true" 3D movies. Avatar and Hugo. And I'll say Hugo kicks the shit out of Avatar (in terms of 3D). (To be fair, I did not see How to Train Your Dragon in 3D).
Just like with CGI, filmmakers are tinkering with 3D, figuring it out. I'd equate Toy Story 3 3D to the navigational maps in Alien. It was definitely cool when it happened, but I'm sure in twenty years or something we'll be like "wow, look at how simple that 3D was!"
What do I mean by "simple 3D"? There are two components to 3D. 1. Depth. 2. Pop.
And "simple 3D" is when depth exists without being explored/utilized, and the things that "pop" are obvious attempts to exploit the 3D. (I know, that's a little vague. What do I mean by depth being "explored/utilized", and "obvious attempts" at "pop"? All I can say is: see Hugo then watch Alice in Wonderland (by Dim Burton).)
Hugo is also, I think, immersive. Except it does stuff with 3D Avatar only dreams about. James Cameron has even said he thinks Scorcese used 3D better than he did. "And the movie is magical...It's like a 16-cylinder Bugatti firing on all cylinders, and the 3D is one of those cylinders...It's absolutely the best 3D photography that I've seen."
I'd say the movie isn't really a story so much as an experiment in 3D form and function.
For example. The drug. Slo-mo. Okay, this thing is a blatant attempt at exploiting 3D. But it's not...SOMETHING COMING AT THE SCREEN, LOOK OUT!. I've never seen a 3D effect quite like it. Which means, gasp, Dredd 3D is...innovative? The slo-mo gives us color saturation, a, go figure, slowing of time (which I've yet to see in conjunction with 3D before (unless you count the 12 seconds in Avatar during the Thanator chase (if you do count this, I'll amend my statement to: "I've never seen a non-CGI scene use slow-motion in a 3D film" because the entire chase in Avatar is totally CGI and the scenes in Dredd involve real people doing things.))), and a combination of extreme close-ups and first-person perspective shots.
Would slo-mo have been a part of the Dredd narrative if the movie wasn't based on 3D? I don't think so (drugs may have been, but not "slo-mo"). And I'm pretty sure 3D was the reason for having people fall from a really, really, really, high floor onto concrete.
Sure, Burton's Alice in Wonderland had a similar fall from a really, really, really high place. But that's ALL 3D gimmick. The fall itself is only briefly highlighted. The main thing we get from the scene: objects COMING STRAIGHT AT YOU! LOOK AT THAT FUCKING PIANO!
And slo-mo is also how Dredd innovates on "pop". Colors saturate, water and glass glitter, violence gets microscopic. These are all things Dredd could have done without using slo-mo. The filmmaker is perfectly capable of changing formal elements such as speed of action, tint, and camera distance himself/herself. Like in The Lion King: there's a slow-mo moment in the fight between Scar and Simba. Why? Just because. There's no narrative justification for this. It's just a decision on the filmmaker's part. Tarantino has the slow-mo walk at the beginning of Reservoir Dogs. There's also no narrative reason for this. Dredd 3D makes 3D EFFECTS PART OF THE NARRATIVE. Which is weird.
Is Dredd 3D a good film? Arguable. I argue it's 50/50. It's "bangable" in locker room-speak. That's not necessarily a compliment, in case you're unfamiliar with locker room-speak. I mean, it's better than not being bangable. But...still...
I'm not saying Dredd 3D is a good film, or even an important film with its formal "achievements". What it is is: an indication of the potential of 3D. What are the immersion potentials of 3D? What are the "pop" potentials?
Imagine if Chronicle had been in 3D
(+5 rhyme bonus)
(You may be wondering where Prometheus stands. I think it's a worthwhile 3D experience, but I don't think it's...special? I'm probably wrong though and just refuse to give it credit because I'm bitter about the whole plot being Lindelof sucking.)
Did I Like It:
Yes. Enough. But not to an amazing degree. In terms of action films that take-place-in-one-building-that's-locked-down-and-involve-everyone-trying-to-kill-the-protagonists-while-the-protagonists-try-to-make-their-way-to-the-top-of-the-building-to-stop-the-person-in-charge I prefer the eccentricities and action of The Raid: Redemption. Dredd 3D never really...escalates for me. What's the coolest moment? No, seriously, what's the coolest moment? Is it just where he slams the other Judge in the throat with his gun? Is that that cool? Is it a mile-high swan dive ending in a face-first greeting with concrete? Well, obviously the answer to that is yes. But...somehow...as cool as that was...that's all the movie built up to? There's no...gigantic payoff? At least I didn't feel like there was. Looper had Bruce Willis kill 30 people and a person popping from telekinetic pressure. Dredd has violence but never really...indulges in violence? And I thought it would? Like the scene in The Crow. I thought Dredd would do something REALLY awesome. But maybe the most awesome thing he does is just...throw people off of things. Which is cool, mind you. It's just...not the majestic height I thought this movie could reach or would reach.
Olivia Thirbly impressed me. A lot. Like, for her to go from being the slutty friend in Juno to this. Whoa.
Urban's face is hilarious.
Note that when Ma-Ma's face explodes, it forms the red X that is on Dredd's helmet.
% Character / % Actor's personality / Uniqueness grade
-movies with someone is named Dread/Dredd: The Princess Bride; Judge Dredd; Bad Boys II
-movies where characters have dreadlocks: Predator; The Chronicles of Narnia; Apocalypto; Gone in 60 Seconds
-movies where people fall from high places: Die Hard; Superman; Vanilla Sky; The Lion King :-(; Return of the Jedi
-Simple 3D movies: Avengers; Men in Black III; Mirror, Mirror; The Green Fucking Hornet; Glee: the 3D concert movie