Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Dredd: 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc Review

In 1990 filmmaker Richard Stanley brought the first film based upon the internationally famous British Comicbook stories in 2000 AD entitled Hardware. That film like the short story that inspired it, did not feature the character of Judge Dredd in it, but with a lower budget and a good cast supported by friends Stanley made from his work in music videos, the film has enjoyed cult film status though not many Americans know that the story is set in the same universe as Judge Dredd. Then Danny Cannon with the star power of Sylvester Stallone and an inflated Hollywood Studio budget directed the first live action theatrical motion picture to feature the character of Judge Dredd proper, but as a product of the time in which it was produced, it was a mid 1990s special effects laden piece of eye candy with little of the nutrients to make the film distinguish itself from the mighty shadow Stallone set upon it because he was still more of a movie star at the time I think and big budget Sci-Fi films made by major Hollywood Studios tended more often than not to focus more on spectacle rather than story.. I also just feel that Stallone is a smart man who knows what his fans want to see him do, but for a while he was a bit off course in the features he made and then with time, perspective and a re-embracing of the character that made him the star he is, Stallone made Rocky Balboa and now enjoys the respect he is due as a writer, director, actor and action hero without devolving into a meme of himself as some of his contemporaries had. Then after more than a decade, with Karl Urban in the lead role, Dredd managed to find the right balance between the grounded low budget of Hardware and the spectacle of Judge Dredd and with Lionsgate as the theatrical and home video distributor, Dredd captured the right balance with a simple siege type story penned by Alex Farland where Judge Dredd and a psychic trainee he is evaluating for her final field test before either succeeeding or failing in her quest to be a Judge, find themselves battling through a building block filled with civilians and a ruthless drug lord played by Lena Headley in a film that is truer to the comics and even has some undercurrent of thought to it's characters so the audience knows that Headley's character is as much a victim of life in Mega City One as those who fall as a result of her actions. In a sense, she is very much a doppelgänger and antihero to Dredd's fanatical pursuit of enforcing the law as Judge, Jury and Executioner.

Lionsgate Home Entertainment's 4K UltraHD Blu-ray Disc edition presents Dredd in a magnificent Ultra High Definition resolution of 2160p with an outstanding (2.40:1) resolution that is made even more breathtaking because the disc supports High Dynamic Range for the most vibrant colors and contrast available to  home video enthusiasts today. The English Dolby ATMOS Soundtrack is also equally gratifying and this should come as no surprise because the included 1080p full HD Blu-ray Disc is the same one that was included in the original BD release, which means you get on one disc the 2D and 3D versions of the film on top of the fantastic DTS-HD MA 7.1 Soundtrack optimized for DTS Neo X 11.1 playback on the HD BD too. Also provided are the English Dolby Digital 2.0 Audio Track optimized for Late-Night Listening and French and Spanish Language Dubbed Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Soundtracks as well as English Subtitles for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired and English and Spanish Language Subtitles encoded as options. 

The extra value features that are found on the original Blu-ray/BD-3D combo disc release are also included on the 4K BD, such as a 35 year retrospective look at the comic entitled Mega City Masters, two featurettes covering the three dimensional shooting process as well as the 3D visual effects, several other featurettes covering the casting, costume and production design as well as the motion comic prequel and the theatrical trailer. Sadly the i'Tunes Digital Copy download code is not provided for this release, but the Ultraviolet HD Digital Copy code, which is only redeemable for a limited time, is included on the insert within the two-disc Black UHD BD case. 

This is a great deal. Dredd: 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc set will debut at retailers on and offline on June 6, 2017 courtesy of Lionsgate Home Entertainment.

(C) Copyright 2017 By Mark A. Rivera.
All Rights Reserved.