In Dredd, the future America is an irradiated wasteland—a vast, ultraviolet world where criminals control the mean city streets of Mega City One —a vast violent metropolis. Ultimate law enforcers like Dredd (Urban) and his new partner, Anderson (Thirlby), are Judges—the only force battling for justice. Dispatched by the central authority, the Judges' target is Ma-Ma (Headey), the ruthless boss bent on expanding her criminal empire through sales of Slo-Mo, a dangerous reality-altering drug. With Dredd calling the shots, the two Judges declare full-scale war on crime in this unrelenting and brutal thrill ride. (Gary Reber)
Special features on the Blu-ray Disc include seven featurettes: Mega-City Masters: 35 Years Of Judge Dredd (HD 14:27), Day Of Chaos: The Visual Effects Of Dredd 3D (HD 15:21), Dredd (HD 01:53), Dredd's Gear (HD 02:31), The 3rd Dimension (HD 02:00), Welcome To Peachtree (HD 02:33) and Dredd Motion Comic Prequel (HD 02:57); the theatrical trailer; upfront previews; and an UltraViolet digital copy.
The 2.40:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 4K Ultra HD HDR-10 picture, filmed digitally using the Phantom Flex and Red One MX camera systems, was rendered with a master format Digital Intermediate at 2K (not 4K). As the 2K Digital Intermediate has been unconverted to 2160p, there is no real gain in native resolution. Still, the picture exhibits noticeably more detail and luminance than the Blu-ray Disc™. Previously, the native 3D Blu-ray Disc version was reviewed in Issue 174 (February 2013). As before, this new upgraded 4K treatment is engagingly surreal with its vivid and stylized cinematography inside and outside the Peachtrees housing project. The color palette is naturally hued with strong saturation with hues that are vivid, though, at times is intentionally muted. Fleshtones are perfectly natural. The production design is striking, with vivid colors. Contrast is excellent with deep, solid blacks and revealing shadow delineation and texture detail. Bright highlights are far more pronounced with at times blasts of white intensity. Resolution is superb, with fine detail exhibited throughout in faces, Dredd's chin stubble, hair, clothing, and object texture against CGI backdrops. Overall, detail is noticeably improved and HDR enhances the realism of the setting. (Gary Reber)
The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack is an upgrade from the Blu-ray with two additional surround channels and height immersion effects, which enhance the holosonic® spherical experience during action sequences. The upgrade delivers even more compelling and aggressive directionalized soundfield immersion.
The Immersive Sound element is at times quite effective, from ambient sounds and music extension to overhead doors slamming, overhead public address announcements, explosive machine-gun rounds and other gunfire to Ma-Ma announcing marshall rule, and other ambient sound effects. The sonics are often tense and dynamic while contrasted with nuanced subtle atmospherics and Foley sounds. Sound effects are powerful and aggressive. The .1 LFE channel is also aggressively used with deep, powerful sub-25 Hz bass effectively enforcing the carefully positioned sound effects, explosions, and gun fire. The rock and synthesized music score is well recorded, with a wide and deep soundstage that aggressively permeates the surround channels. The impressive and incredible surround activity is further enhanced by the additional two channels, which provide a seamless 360-degree soundscape, enhanced with effective height immersion effects. The overall dynamic range is excellent, along with deep low-level bass ambiance that feels subsonic. Fidelity is excellent as well. Dialogue is intelligible, with effective spatial integration, and a sense of Dredd's narration elevated. This is an intense, adrenaline-inducing sonic experience that really puts one in the scenes. (Gary Reber)