DISC VERSUS DISC:
Welcome to DVD: Disc Versus Disc. A blog idea I came up with. The purpose of this new blog series is to compare original films and their remakes. Anyone from The GCRN Staff can do a Disc Versus Disc, and I’m starting with Judge Dredd Vs Dredd. YES I know there were comics, before these films, but my focus here is the films.
Judge Dredd (1995)
Actors: Sylvester Stallone, Diane Lane, Rob Schnider, Armand Assante, Balthazar Getty, Mitchell Ryan, and James Earl Jones as the Narrator.
Director: Danny Cannon
In a dystopian future, Dredd, the most famous judge (a cop with instant field judiciary powers) is convicted for a crime he did not commit while his murderous counterpart escapes.
Actors: Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey, and Wood Harris.
Director: Pete Travis
In a violent, futuristic city where the police have the authority to act as judge, jury and executioner, a cop teams with a trainee to take down a gang that deals the reality-altering drug, SLO-MO.
STALLONE VS URBAN: The Looks of Judge Dredd
Say what you want about Sylvester Stallone, I don’t care. I like a majority of the roles he’s played in his career. Judge Dredd being one of them. It is that classic Stallone style, but hardened, and uncaring. Dredd as a character is slightly over the top with Stallone’s performance. You know the whole “I AM THE LAW” bit and everything. His version of Dredd follows the law to it’s letter, but at the same time throughout the film he learns to be a little more flexible.
Karl Urban’s approach to Dredd is somewhat the same as Stallone’s version, however it is not over the top acting. It’s dark, gritty, and more military based.
Dissecting The Plots:
There are certain elements between the two films that are the same. Yet story wise they are completely different.
In the 95 film you have Judge Hershey training a rookie, in the 2012 version you have Dredd teamed with a rookie. Both films take place in a somewhat future time. Both films have LawMasters and LawGivers, the vehicles and weapons of a Street Judge. I love that they kept the ideal of the LawGiver alive, and in Dredd it seems there are more uses for it. As far as I can tell after watching both films back to back, those are really all the comparisons they have.
Both films tell individual stories from one another. Dredd is NOT a sequel to the 95 film. It is a remake, and being a remake I like the fact that they took another story, and put Judge Dredd smack dab in the middle of it. The new Dredd does not have much in the way of in your face media coverage, whereas Judge Dredd had Vardis Hammond. Dredd has a female drug lord as it’s villain, whereas Judge Dredd has Rico. Rico was the clone brother of Judge Joseph Dredd.
The 1995 film focusses on a NEW society of Judges, led by Rico, and wanting to take over the city, whereas Dredd seems more to be one incident report, amongst a long day in the life of a Street Judge. Dredd is more grounded in reality, and does not have flying LawMasters. However the version of motorbikes that they use for LawMasters in Dredd are awesome.
Both films have violent acts in them, but Judge Dredd tends to hide the gory details. Whereas Dredd does not hold back on punching you in the face. In Judge Dredd there are two times where Rico tells the ABC robot to rip a limb of a person. It is not shown on screen, but implied with that character screaming, and a bit of blood being splattered. However in Dredd there is a guy that gets his face melted off! Yes this happens ON SCREEN. I could not believe that. Then again the film is Rated R. Another contrast is that in Dredd, Judge Dredd never takes his helmet off.
In conclusion both films have their merits. Even though nowadays people think of Judge Dredd as a Batman & Robin type film. I still enjoy it. Is it a film I can watch all the time hell no, but after watching it again, I truly enjoyed it for what it is. With Dredd I like the overall darker, more serious tone to it. I’d compare Dredd to Batman Begins, as far as their similarities, and taking the material more seriously. Sadly Dredd was slightly to violent and gory for my tastes at times. I think it’ll be a film I revisit every once in awhile. Not something I could watch even once a year.
There ya have it! The FIRST Disc Vs Disc. There will be more of these in the future from myself, Steve, Dan, and whomever else wants to do one. Please sound off in the comments if you like the concept of the blog.