For better or worse, the final confrontation between Superman and General Zod in this summer’s Man of Steel set off a firestorm of controversy across the web. Heroes and villains were once black and white but seem to be getting away from those restrictions with every new comic book movie. Should comic book heroes be held to a higher standard of morality in today’s world of “gritty and realistic” adaptations? Is it fair to expect filmmakers to portray movie heroes and villains as paragons of good and evil, or is it time they dabble in the gray areas? Or is it as simple as looking at a particular character’s origins and tough decisions (made by writers) over the years to decide whether or not the killing of their adversaries makes sense?
We’ve taken a look at comic book movies made over the years and put together a list of combatants, conflicts and resolutions to see if the line made famous by Aaron Eckhart in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight holds true: “You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” Hit the jump to see how other heroes have dealt with their villains over the years.
With less than $300,000 separating the top three films this weekend, the final order of the domestic top ten has been difficult to call. Sunday’s estimates have End of Watch and House at the End of the Street tied for first with $13 million each. Warner Brother’s Trouble with the Curve is not far behind, however, so more definitive results will have to wait until Monday. One thing we can say for sure? Dredd 3D is off to a rough start.
||End of Watch
||House at the End of the Street
||Trouble with the Curve
||Finding Nemo 3D
||Resident Evil: Retribution
This week on Blu-ray is an embarrassment of riches with all four Indiana Jones films, the new horror classic The Cabin in the Woods, a Criterion Collection edition of David Fincher’s The Game, Tim Burton’s wonderfully offbeat drama Ed Wood, and much more. Briefly:
Hit the jump for details on all the aforementioned new Blu-ray releases.
Film festivals and comic book movies typically don’t mix. Movies based on popular paneled heroes generally get their start at conventions or through marketing departments. Yet, thanks to TIFF’s Midnight Madness program a certain gruff helmet sporting antihero from the long running British comic book series 2000 A.D. is getting the red carpet film festival treatment. That’s right Judge Dredd has returned to the big screen in the hopes of erasing all the painful memories of Sylvester Stallone and Rob Schneider ruining the image of the darkly satirical and viciously violent character with one of the worst examples of overblown 90s blockbuster tripe. Finally put into the hands of filmmakers who are fans of the blood-soaked pulpy roots, Dredd 3D manages to get the tone and style of John Wagner’s uniquely twisted world right. It’s not perfect, but it is an appropriately nasty blast of B-movie thrills that effectively reintroduces Judge Dredd on the big screen and would be a welcome starting point for a franchise. Hit the jump to find out why.
It’s exactly one month until Dredd 3D blasts onto screens, so now seems like a good time to roll out their first TV spot and a new viral site. The thirty-second spot does a decent job at summing up the trailer while establishing the tone of the picture and giving you a listen to Karl Urban’s affected Judge voice. The viral site, called “Dredd Report,” is a decent satire of the “Drudge Report,” but as far as marketing goes, it’s not all that appealing. There are a host of real-life links to news stories on legitimate sites, which makes it difficult to hunt down the movie-related content.
Also starring Lena Headey and Olivia Thirlby, director Pete Travis’ Dredd 3D opens in theaters on September 21st. Hit the jump to watch the TV spot and for links to the viral site.
One of the big surprises at this year’s Comic-Con was Dredd. For those unfamiliar with the film, Dredd is an adaption of the 2000AD comics character Judge Dredd, and it stars Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, and Lena Headey. The film follows Dredd (Urban) and rookie Judge Cassandra Anderson (Thirlby) fighting through a tower that’s crawling with thugs in their attempt to bring down drug overlord Ma-ma (Headey). Lionsgate premiered the film in San Diego, and it’s pretty great. Unlike a lot of films that get an R rating due to one violent scene, Dredd is borderline NC-17 due to tons of blood and violence. Trust me, Dredd is going to surprise you and it’s definitely worth checking out when it premieres on September 21.
Lionsgate has just released a very cool graffiti-style outdoor billboard for the film and they’re letting us premiere it online. If you live in New York City, you might have noticed it when riding the subway. Hit the jump to check it out, and here’s my recent interviews with Karl Urban and Olivia Thirlby.
The first trailer for Pete Travis‘ Dredd has gone online. I know filming was already well underway (if not wrapped) by the time The Raid came out, but thems the breaks. The trailer does a good job of setting up the conflict, and while there’s the inevitable speed-ramping, at least there’s a plot point to explain it (the drug called Slo-Mo, which is what I think Zack Snyder takes every morning). I’m not sure if this trailer is enough to get naysayers past the 1995 Sylvester Stallone flop, I’m still excited to see Karl Urban as the eponymous judge/jury/executioner.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer. The film also stars Olivia Thirlby and Lena Headey. Dredd opens in 3D on September 21st.
New images have been released for the action flick Dredd and Andrew Dominik‘s crime drama Killing Them Softly. For those unfamiliar with the films, Dredd is an attempt to faithfully adapt the 2000AD comics character Judge Dredd, and stars Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, and Lena Headey. As for Killing Them Softly, the movie stars Brad Pitt as a mob enforcer who’s tasked with investigating the robbery of a high-stakes card game. The film also stars stars James Gandolfini, Richard Jenkins, Ray Liotta, Ben Mendelsohn, Scoot McNairy, Bella Heathcote, and Sam Shepard.
Hit the jump to check out the images. Both films open September 21st.
Being Flynn (opening in theaters on March 2nd), adapted from Nick Flynn’s 2004 memoir Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, tells the story of Nick (Paul Dano), a young writer who misses the loving nature of his late mother (Julianne Moore) and hasn’t seen his father, Jonathan (Robert DeNiro), a self-proclaimed “master storyteller,” in 18 years. When Jonathan impulsively reaches out to Nick, the young man finds himself overwhelmed and ends up taking a job at a homeless shelter, where he works alongside a young woman named Denise (Olivia Thirlby), with whom he attempts to sustain a romance.
At the film’s press day, actress Olivia Thirlby spoke to Collider for this exclusive interview about why she fought for this role, the lack of pressure in playing a fictional character in a real-life story, spending time volunteering in a homeless shelter for research, and how open director/screenwriter Paul Weitz was to fostering a collaborative environment on set. She also talked about how her desire to be an action heroine attracted her to Dredd (starring Karl Urban as the title character), how much fun she had kicking ass and learning how to handle weapons, and how incredibly dynamic and complex her role is. Check out what she had to say after the jump.
The first set photos and videos from Star Trek 2 have gone online. Because some of you are such raging spoilerphobes, I’ve put the images after the jump along with my comments. Enjoy waiting for the marketing to spoil everything.
Hit the jump to check out the set photos and videos. The film stars Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin, Karl Urban, John Cho, Alice Eve, Peter Weller, Noel Clarke, and Benedict Cumberbatch. Star Trek 2 opens May 17, 2013. [UPDATE: More images from the shoot, including a look at an IMAX camera on set.]
A new image has gone online of Karl Urban as Judge Dredd in Dredd. We’ll keep bringing you these images, but it may be a good idea to assume that all of the images of Judge Dredd will look pretty much the same because: A) Urban has said that Dredd won’t remove his helmet in this adaptation; and B) It appears Dredd is partial to the frowny face.
Hit the jump to check out the image. The film also stars Olivia Thirlby and Lena Headey. Dredd opens in 3D on September 21st.
In a rare interview with Judge Dredd comics creator, John Wagner, the writer reflected on the history of his creation and revealed just how excited he is for the new film, Dredd, starring Karl Urban (Star Trek). A British comic strip created by Wagner and artist Carlos Ezquerra for the sci-fi anthology “2000 AD,” Dredd was originally, according to Wagner:
“a very two-dimensional character, a vehicle for extreme behavior in an extreme society, more of a robot than a man. Today he’s more rounded, more human, a man capable of introspection, of questioning his own beliefs.”
“Two-dimensional” would be a kind description for the previous feature: the 1995 Judge Dredd starring Sylvester Stallone. Wagner gave his thoughts on that performance, as well as why he’s looking forward to the new version. Hit the jump for much more.
The Judge Dredd reboot, Dredd, seemed to be going well. Karl Urban was playing the title role and the film promised to be more faithful to the original comics than the awful 1995 adaptation starring Sylvester Stallone. For those unfamiliar with Judge Dredd, the story takes place in a dystopian future where the law is carried out by “Judges” who are “judge, jury, and executioner” for all criminals. The film was shooting in 3D in Johannesburg for a September 21, 2012 release.
However, 24 Frames is now reporting that director Pete Travis (Vantage Point) has been locked out of the editing phase and the process is being handled by screenwriter and producer Alex Garland (28 Days Later). According to 24 Frames, “Creative disagreements with producers and executives in charge of the film reached a boiling point,” and that, ” sources said it arose when Travis and producers and executives in charge of the production did not see eye-to-eye on footage Travis was delivering.” However, other sources say that “although Travis is no longer involved in postproduction, he is keeping up with progress via the Internet and has not been pushed aside.” Hit the jump for more. [Garland and Travis have released a joint response to this story. Hit the jump for the quote.]
It would have been nice to see Dredd make a showing at this year’s Comic-Con, but we’re still getting a look at the new adaptation of the 2000 A.D. comic Judge Dredd. We recently got the first image of Karl Urban as the title character and now Empire Magazine has three more stills from the flick. One of the shots is the first look at Olivia Thirlby (Juno) as rookie Judge Cassandra Anderson. Not much is known about the plot other than it will be more faithful to the comic than the 1995 Sylvester Stallone film, and that Lena Headey (Game of Thrones) is playing the villain. [Update: We've now added the Empire cover which shows Karl Urban frowning like there's no tomorrow.] [Update 2: We've added six more images including one of Headey as the villainous clan leader Ma-Ma]
Hit the jump to check out the images. Dredd opens in 3D on September 21, 2012.
Just a few days ago, we received the first official image of Karl Urban as Judge Dredd in Dredd (sliced above). According to Box Office Mojo, Lionsgate has scheduled the full unveiling for September 21, 2012, where the R-rated Dredd will face the animated comedy Hotel Transylvania. The audiences obviously don’t overlap, but both movies are in 3D. Can I assume there enough 3D-equipped theaters now that such is no longer a problem as it was in the early days of the 3D movement?
Lena Headey and Olivia Thirlby join Urban in the new adaptation of the 2000 AD comic Judge Dredd. Pete Travis (Vantage Point) is directing from a script by Alex Garland (Sunshine). Click here for all our Dredd coverage.