Lana and I watched the new Judge Dredd movie the other night. We both thought it was one of the god-awfulest pieces of crap we’d seen in ages. Normally I’m more tolerant of movie dreck than she is but in this case I was the first to state my opinion on it. It was the slow-mo, you see. At least at first. Slow-mo is over used but I don’t mind it under certain circumstances. Lana and I also watched “The Warriors” and there’s a scene where a guy gets thrown through the wooden door of a bathroom stall in slow-mo. I thought it worked well. We both like that movie quite a bit, although are under no impression that it is high art.
The problem with the slow-mo in Judge Dredd was that it went on and on and on. It was tied to the use of this drug that slowed down time for people, and also apparently made everything sparkly. I think the drug was pretty clearly modeled on heroin. I suppose the connection between the drug effects and the slow-mo made sense, but what we’re treated to is people smoking “slow-mo” pipes and then everything gets really…well, slow. There’s one scene where the bad woman is taking a bath while smoking, and we get a couple of minutes of her sweeping her hand through the water in slow-mo while her hand makes sparkly splashes. Later we get to see a person fall from a 200 or so story building in slow-mo. I can hardly overstate how boring that was. Slow-mo for 5 seconds of a guy getting thrown through a door is far different from 2 minutes of someone taking a bath or falling.
There were plenty of other things about Judge Dredd I didn’t care for. First, it was basically a Dirty Harry movie, which, for me, made everything 100 percent predictable. Second, the special effects were generally “meh,” and the sparkly stuff reminded me personally of Twilight. Third, they kill Judge Dredd at one point. Only…not. A bad guy shoots Dredd through a wall with an armor piercing round. We clearly see blood start to pour from Dredd’s chest on the right side under his armor. We see him slide to the ground. There’s a hole the size of a man’s fist in the wall where the bullet came through. But it turns out that it’s just a flesh wound through the lower right side of his body and he slaps some first aid stuff on it and then gets up to wipe out more bad guys. Sorry, you just can’t do that.
I was reminded of trying to watch one of the early SF TV serials once. They were running the episodes back to back so I knew I could catch them all. One episode ended with the intrepid hero tied up in a rocket sled rushing toward a cliff. The sled went over the cliff and exploded, indicating to everyone that the hero had to be dead. Except! In the sequel episode, we saw the same exact scene with the rocket sled rushing toward the cliff, except this time a previously invisible door opened in the side and the hero leaped to safety just before the sled went over the cliff. This was the equivalent of that.
And yet! When Lana went on Internet Movie Data Base she saw the movie was rated at 7 of 10 stars. And people I know and like and whose opinions I listen to have told me they liked it. How can this possibly be? How can my observations and opinions on a movie be so diametrically opposed to those of other intelligent people?
Sometimes it’s kind of depressing to be so at odds with the world.