SENSE OF DREDD?
After a long gap, we have decided to return to putting out Digital editions of TRIPWIRE. Available to download for free from our website is our Dredd special, which looks at the Dredd 3D film with the help of interviews with John Wagner, Alan Grant, Karl Urban and our review of the film itself. To vary the content though, we have wrapped it up with a review of Skyfall and Argo. The plan is to put out a digital TRIPWIRE edition every other month from the first quarter of 2013. So why not check it out?
TRIPWIRE Digital Dredd Edition
SENSE OF DREDD?
I went to see Dredd 3D way back in July but it has been unofficially embargoed until around its UK release. It has been out in the UK since last Friday and it hits the US this week. It has taken a long tome to bring Dredd back to the big screen since the Sly Stallone Judge Dredd, which was released way back in 1995. Dredd 3D is a very different beast though: apparently it is the most expensive British independent film made to date with an estimated budget of $45m and guided by comics aficionado novelist Alex Garland (The Beach, 28 Days Later), it couldn’t be further away from a bloated Hollywood studio picture if it tried. Karl Urban plays the eponymous hero/ anti-hero, who is given a new rookie partner female Judge Anderson (Olivia Thirlby) to pass a final test on the mean streets of Mega City One, to see if she’s up to scratch. So Dredd and Anderson get embroiled in the shenanigans that are taking place in the drug-fuelled tower block controlled by former prostitute Ma-Ma (Lena (Game of Thrones) Headey). Dredd 3D is one of the most violent films released to a nominal mainstream audience and it certainly warrants its 18 certificate over here, as the viewer is unlikely to see this much viscera in any other wide release movie. It is refreshing that the take here is so different to Stallone’s Dredd, as the production team have utilised the South Africa settings, where it was shot, to fantastic effect, creating a Mega City One that has the feel of a contemporary metropolis taken to its ultimate conclusion and its brief running time means that you are introduced to Dredd’s world, he goes in and does his thing and they wrap up proceedings. Urban does look good as Dredd and the filmmakers have done a great job bringing the world of the Judges to life. But it is unremittingly nihilistic, the 3D doesn’t always work and Thirlby’s Anderson doesn’t have enough to do to gain the empathy of the audience, as Dredd is simply a force of nature and so impossible to empathise with. For all of its flaws, and its similarities to The Raid, it is heartening to see that Dredd 3D has hit the very top of the UK box office and there are positive noises that there will be a sequel. Garland and his fellow filmmakers have certainly wiped the bad taste of Sylvester Stallone from the mouths and minds of filmgoers and hopefully they will have their opportunity to correct some of the problems in a followup. If you’re a comics fan or a Dredd and 2000AD fan, then you need to see Dredd 3D.
AN IMAGE A DAY DAY NINE
Here’s a Frazer Irving Judge Death image from TRIPWIRE 10th anniversary book back in 2002…
AN UNUSUAL PLACE FOR COMIC ART
Yesterday I went to the penultimate day of the original comic art exhibition at Harrods on Brompton Road in Southwest London. Lying In The Gutters columnist Rich Johnston had organised this small get-together as he was one of the people responsible for the exhibition. You may or may not be surprised to hear that, even though I’ve lived in London all my life, this was the first time I’d ever stepped foot in Harrods. I wandered through the Food Hall a little bit and it made me think that I should come back at some point to have a proper look. Monday was a pretty entertaining day all round: I went to see The Brothers Bloom, the new film from the director of Brick, Rian Johnson, which was disappointing but I had the whole afternoon to kill before I went to Harrods and bumped into Jill Thompson, who was in town for her signing at Gosh last Saturday. I had never really spoken to her before even though I was familiar with her work (Scary Godmother, Sandman) and, as I was at a loose end, I took her to Soho, Covent Garden and Chinatown, which was a lot of fun. She was very nice and I’m sure we’ll be doing something on her work at some point. The exhibition contained a page of The Killing Joke by Brian Bolland, the first appearance of Judge Dredd by Carlos Ezquerra, Watchmen by Dave Gibbons and more. Frazer Irving, whose Judge Death was represented there, Chris Weston, who had a page of his Filth in the room too and a few other people came along like my friend David Baillie, Kieron (Phonogram) Gillen. Here are a few photos I took earlier in the afternoon around Trafalgar Square of the newly-cleaned St Martin-in-The-Fields and a few at the event…
There are two interviews with me out there at the moment, discussing Studio Space and TRIPWIRE: one is online at http://forbiddenplanet.co.uk/blog/?p=7617
and the other is in print in Judge Dredd Megazine 272, cover dated 24 June 2008. The latter sees me talk about the history of TRIPWIRE and how I got started in the first place with this writing business.
By the way, a little bit of extra news about the TRIPWIRE Annual: It will feature exclusive Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull concept art, seen nowhere else…