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Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
Dredd-3D (Blu-ray) (2012)

Dredd-3D (Blu-ray) (2012)

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Released 20-Mar-2013

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Sci-Fi Action Featurette-Mega-City Masters: 35 Years of Judge Dredd
Featurette-Making Of-Day of Chaos: The Visual Effects of Dredd 3D
Featurette-Making Of-Six short EPF featurettes
More…-DTS-HD MA Sound Check
Trailer-x 3 but not for this film
dts Trailer
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2012
Running Time 95:51
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Pete Travis
Icon Entertainment Starring Karl Urban
Andile Mngadi
Porteus Xandau
Jason Cope
Emma Breschi
Olivia Thirlby
Rakie Ayola
Lena Headey
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI ? Music Paul Leonard-Morgan

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     North America is a wasteland, except for one huge city of 800 million inhabitants covering the US east coast, called Mega City One. Massive residential blocks with names like Peach Trees tower over the concrete jungle, and violent crime is endemic. The only thing stopping total anarchy is the Judges; those who dispense justice and are authorised to be judge, jury and executioner if necessary.

     Experienced Judge Dredd (Karl Urban) is asked to take rookie Anderson (Olivia Thirlby) with him for one day to assess her suitability. She is a mutant, a psychic with the ability to read peoples’ minds, although she has been less successful in passing the judge’s training course. They are called to Peach Trees to investigate three skinned bodies. Peach Trees, all 200 levels, is under the control of the violent gang of Ma-Ma (Lena Headey), who is manufacturing and distributing the drug Slo-Mo, which puts those who inhale it into a dreamlike trance where everything is experienced in extreme slow motion. Inside Peach Trees, Dredd and Anderson raid an apartment and capture some gang members, among them Kay (Wood Harris). The judges are unaware that Kay is in fact a high ranking gang member with knowledge of the location of the drug lab. Ma-Ma cannot afford to let Kay be taken downtown and interrogated; she orders the tower blast doors closed, sealing off Peach Trees from the outside city. The hunting of Dredd and Anderson commences and carnage ensues.

     Dredd is total action and can bear some comparison with the recent The Raid (2011); law enforcement officers are trapped in a multi-story building and are hunted ruthlessly by a diverse and large group of bad guys, all intent on killing them. Both share the claustrophobic feel of fire fights and explosions in small rooms and dimly lit corridors, of a feeling of no escape for the heroes as the enemy keeps coming in droves. In Dredd there are explosions and bullets galore including three Gatling style machine guns with which Ma-Ma destroys an entire floor. The fire fights are helped immensely by the sound design; this is one aggressive audio track where the sound of firing, shell cases, hits, ricochets and falling debris fills the sound stage. In this film you are right in the middle of the action.

     Dredd was made in 3D, and there are both 3D and 2D versions on the Blu-ray. This is a subtle 3D without, mostly, the obvious bullets and weapons coming straight into the camera. Instead the 3D effect is used to give depth to the frame, such as extreme close ups of faces, and is especially effective in conjunction with the use of extreme slow motion effects. In this case, the hook is that the extreme slow motion is how the Slo-Mo drug users are seeing their world, so we see in extreme slow motion bullet hits blowing through cheeks, heads exploding and eerily beautiful strands of blood floating through the frame, each drop finely detailed. Outside of the action, other uses of the extreme slow motion include water and shards of broken glass; all are stunning images in their intensity, extreme sharpness, clarity and detail. As a gimmick, I would have to say it works pretty well.

     While set in what remains of the U.S. Judge Dredd was a U.K. comic, originally published by Sci-fi magazine 2000AD in Britain in 1977, and the comic, and the film, has a different focus to adaptations of American comics. In Dredd we are not concerned about personal problems, identity crises, anguished moralising or, in fact, anything other than bringing the bad guys down. There is no secret identity, no other life behind the Judge Dredd mask; the mask is the man. As Dredd, his face except for his jaw hidden by the helmet, Karl Urban is very effective; all square jawed and gravelly voiced. Oliver Thirlby is also fine as the rookie with special powers, but in truth both have to take second place to the action and the effects.

     In an age of bloated epic running times, at 95 minutes Dredd is lean and taut, wasting no time on exposition, moralising, romance or back story. This is an action film, and the action is continuous, loud, and spectacular, thanks in no small part to the stunning slow motion images and the fabulous sound design.

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Transfer Quality


    Dredd is presented in an aspect ratio of 2:40:1, the original ratio being 2.35:1, in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code.

     Dredd was shot in 3D using digital cameras, and colour graded in post-production to give it a dull, gritty look. Exterior sequences have a yellow tone, the interiors in Peach Trees are dark and grey; the corridors however are lit by yellow, red or blue lights, giving a very eerie look that is very effective. The red of the blood in the slow motion is deep and brilliant. Parts of the film thus look stunning.

     Other than these sequences however, I think there are issues. Parts of the film inside the tower in diffused light evince a lot of digital noise, and often it looks as if it was being shot through a gauze (such as at 19:55, but there are plenty of examples). This often results in a soft looking print, where shadow detail is indistinct. Blacks are also affected, but the still shots and close-ups are great, such as Dredd’s stubbled, square chin. But a lot of the medium shots can be quite murky.

     English subtitles for the hearing impaired are provided in a clear white font.

     There are some stunning images in the print, but it is a mixed bag.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


     Audio is an English DTS-MA HD 5.1.

     The audio track is fabulous. This is an all action film and the audio is loud, aggressive and enveloping. The explosions are deep and resounding, the gunfire reverberating from all around the sound stage. There are directional effects and panning effects, debris and shell casings hitting the floor. When there are not fire fights, the sound design and the music, by Paul Leonard-Morgan work together. Indeed, the music often acts as sound design with mechanical machine like sounds mixing with bass and percussion to hold and ramp up the tension. There is something in the surrounds almost always, adding to the atmosphere. The sub-woofer did what was expected, and was frequently in play supporting everything.

     Dialogue was occasionally indistinct due to the aggressive sound design, and also because some of the dialogue was distorted through loud speakers. There were always the subtitles when this happened.

     Lip synchronisation was fine.

     There are no reservations about the audio – it awesome. Just remember to warn the neighbours, and the dog.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


     There are a couple of good featurettes, plus a number that are strictly EPK.

     The following trailers play on start-up. They cannot be selected from the menu: The Dinosaur Project (2:03), Sinister (2:25) and Zero Dark Thirty (2:07). There is also a DTS trailer (0:49) before the feature.

Mega-City Masters: 35 Years of Judge Dredd (14:27)

     An interesting look at the development of Dredd’s character and uniform over 35 years of comics. Uses the comics plus interviews with the co-creators of Judge Dredd Carlos Ezquerra, John Wagner, plus various artists, writers and the editor of 2000AD, Matt Smith. This is well worth a look.

Day of Chaos: The Visual Effects of Dredd 3D (15:21)

     Another interesting featurette covering the look of Dredd, creating Mega City One, and shooting in 3D, and the extreme slow motion cameras capable of shooting 4,000 frames per second. Also includes concept artwork and behind the scenes footage and interviews with a wide range of people including cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle, screenwriter Alex Garland, visual effects and special effects supervisors, the art director, producers and the camera supervisor.

Six Featurettes

     Six short EPF featurettes that use interviews, film and behind the scenes footage. There is little that was not included in the two longer featurettes above although a few extra people have sound bites including actors Karl Urban and Olivia Thirlby, director Pete Travis, costume designers and a set decorator. The six featurettes are:

DTS-HD MA Sound Check

     Sound check for your system – 5.1 and 7.1.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     The US Region A release has the same extras as our release, but adds a short motion comic prequel (2:57) and a theatrical trailer. The audio is DTS-HD MA 7.1 and it adds a Spanish dub. Reviews of the US release mention the video is murky but generally OK. I cannot comment further. The UK Region B version has most of the short EPK featurettes and adds cast and crew interviews (26:35), but misses out on the two longer good featurettes that we have.

     The Mega-City Masters: 35 Years of Judge Dredd and Day of Chaos: The Visual Effects of Dredd 3D featurettes are good, and I think they are to be preferred to interviews. If your system can both read Region A discs and has 7.1 audio, then the Region A US release is the way to go.


     Dredd is lean and taut, wasting no time on exposition, moralising, romance or back story. This is an action film, and the action is continuous, loud, and spectacular, thanks in no small part to the stunning slow motion images and fantastic sound design.

     The video is mixed, the audio excellent. There are some good interesting extras, plus some EPK.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Monday, March 18, 2013
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

Other Reviews NONE