Welcome back Movie Hivers! This week the grand daddy of all movie awards, the Oscars, made their annual announcement of the best in film. There were some surprises such as how in the world did Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow get snubbed for best director and of course some not so surprising nominations, Les Miserables for example. This weekend one of the best picture nominees opens and a film that got pushed back from last September. For my Blu-ray/DVD Pick of the Week it is the return of Judge Dredd in Dredd. This was a solid adaptation of one of the more obscure comic book characters that didn't get much attention. Lets get to the movies.
The 85th Annual Academy Award Nominations
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FEATURE
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
BEST FILM EDITING
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
BEST ORIGINAL SONG
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
BEST SOUND EDITING
BEST SOUND MIXING
BEST SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)
BEST SHORT FILM (LIVE-ACTION)
Movies Opening This Weekend
Zero Dark Thirty - Rated R - Starring Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton, Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler and Mark Strong
A chronicle of the decade-long hung for al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden after the September 2001 attacks, and his death at the hands of the Navy S.E.A.L. Team 6 in May 2011.
Gangster Squad - Rated R - Starring Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone and Sean Penn
A chronicle of the LAPD's fight to keep East Coast Mafia types out of Los Angeles in the 1940s and 50s.
The Impossible - Rated PG-13 - Starring Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts
Based on the true story of one families survival after the devastating tsunami that hit southeast Asia in 2004.
A Haunted House - Rated R - Starring Marlon Wayans, Essence Atkins and David Koechner
This spoof on the Paranormal Activity movies follows in the same footsteps of the Scary Movie franchise.
Blu-ray/DVD Pick of the Week - Dredd
Judge Dredd is a character that deserved a much better film than the one Stallone gave him way back in the 90s. While I won't say this Dredd is knocked it out of the park I will say that it's much closer to the original iteration found the comics 2000 A.D. It's dark, gritty, grimey, dirty and most of all bloody, but what do you expect from a story that has 800 million people living inside a city smaller than the size of Los Angeles and with a police force that can only respond to about 10% of the emergency calls (I remember the number being close to that, but I may be mistaken)?
Dredd has a pretty simple plot, but it's in the execution that makes this film quite the ride to go on. We get to follow Dredd (Karl Urban, who growls like the best of them and plays the role in such such stark contrast from his character Bones in Star Trek) on a typical day of policing (or judging in this case) in the heart of Mega City One. One of the only places left on Earth that can support human life. After a bizarre triple homicide inside one of the cities most notorious high rises Dredd and his new protege, Anderson (Olivia Thirlby from Juno, who kicks some serious ass in this movie), decide this is the case they are going to take. Big mistake, becuase this place is ran by Ma-Ma (a scary and scarred Lena Headey) and with the building completely locked down and the two Judges trapped inside Ma-Ma unleashes her army of evil and it's up to Dredd and Anderson to fight their way to the top to stop her reign of terror.
I got to see this movie in 3D and I have to say it looked pretty darn cool especially with the amazing work from director of photography Anthony Dod Mantle (28 Days Later, Slumdog Millionaire). I mentioned before that the movie is extremely bloody, but the camera and effects work at play here makes all the blood and gore seem like an art project. It's both beautiful and disgusting to behold. If you have the capabilities to watch it in 3D I highly recommend it.
This may not be the movie that takes Dredd to the hierarchy of comic book movies, but it's a solid action movie with some great performances and certainly redeems the character when you think about what Stallone did to him (I AM THE LAUUUUUUUW!!!).