Thursday, August 16, 2007

Judge Dredd

Price: $1 (or 75 cents)
Year: 1995
Director: Danny Cannon
Screenplay: William Wisher and Stephen E. de Souza
Cast: Sly Stallone, Armand Assante, Diane Lane, Jurgen Prochnow, Max Von Sydow, Balthazar Getty, Ian Dury, and ROB SCHNEIDER AS FERGIE

Oh, Dredd, why are you so hated? What did you ever do to incite such scorn? Oh yes, this is a gimme, I even put it in all caps right there to make it easy to remember. ROB SCHNEIDER AS FERGIE. If ever a potentially great film was torpedoed by "comedic relief," this is it, but there is still copious qual oozing out around the schneid's hyuck-ster-y widow's peak to make this an easy dollar pick-up that titillates, arouses, and climaxificateasizes all my action trash desiahs with the cold clean efficiency of a sex robot dialed past sheen to sizemore, and without the urge to beat you, unless it is beating you with awesomeness and not cody from step by step-esque violencia. ahem. but i digress.
JUDGE DREDD, perhaps more than any other movie ever made this side of Triumph of the Will, needs to be contextualized in order for its massive miscalculations to be fully appreciated. Let us establish the scene. It's 1995. The love hangover from the massive summer of '94 lingers considerably over all in its wake. Truth be told, I barely fucking remember '95. It sits idle and unremarkable between the two biggest years of the 90's for me. But, oh boy, I remember when the dredd came out. Two things stand out to me about the hype building up to its release. First, it was Stallone's first $20 million paycheck, and, correct me if I'm wrong, was the first time any actor was paid that magic amount upfront for a starring role (profit points for Nicholson on Batman and Cruise on Mission Impossible netted them both far more vs. less upfront). It should also be noted that Stallone has maintained that same salary for every subsequent, non-auteur starring role of his, including the theatrically unreleased recent dudz AVENGING ANGELO and DETOX. Secondly, I remember that Mad Magazine ran a parody of this timed directly to the release date of this movie as opposed to the usual 3 to 4 month delay that accompanied most of their movie parodies, meaning that they were so sure that Judge Dredd would be a massive hit worth blessing with a 'rody that they sought out advanced screenings and shit to make it so. Ergo, it was supposed to be a movie that could not miss. Anyway, I never saw this when it came out and always wanted to know what kind of fiasco could direct my main man Sly's career on such a downstroke.

This movie has some ballsy pedigree. First, it has Stallone in his overblown, overbudget, Planet Hollywood shucking prime. Second, it cost a fuckload and looks it. Third, it has a screenplay written by two of the definitive writers of golden age action films: Wiliam Wisher, who wrote the first two Terminator films, and Stephen E. de Souza, who had a finger in the pie of almost every massive action franchise of the era (career highlights: 48 Hrs., Commando, The Running Man, Die Hard 1 and 2, Hudson Hawk) . Fourth, it has Diane Lane looking all fine and shit. Fifth, it was based on some comic book that was really popular in England, but a cult thing in the US so they could fuck around with it a lot and not cause a national nerd uprising (in the US that is, the imdb still hosts legions of butthurt britons whining about sly taking off his helmet). Sixth, it had that badass teaser poster up above. Seventh, it has Armand Assante at his coked up, bug-eyed zenith as a bad guy. Eighth, it had a primo summer slot where it's only competition opening weekend were the power rangers movie and some fruity borefest about astronauts starring the dude from joe versus the volcano and captain footloose. Ninth, it had the exquisite comedic timing and light hearted antics of a burgeoning supple flower of incestuous guilt and romance, the man whose erotic howls enchant survivor cast members globally and locally, the schneid's.
Needless to say, it was those last two sure things that fucked this shit up like it was ving rhame's gardener.

Let's focus on the positive. The special effects are awesome, looking dated in the best possible way. The sets are expansive and impressive, recalling demolition man clusterfucked with some blade runner and maybe a little robocop on the side. The action scenes are well developed and shot. The script is filled with cracking dialouge, gaudy one-liners, whatever. It's competent, tacky, bulky, awkward, but ultimately distracting enough, mercifully short and better than most stallone vehicles as a stallone vehicle, but the problem that ruins the movie or at least, knocks it down from acceptably passive action classic to maddeningly frustractingly inconsistent object of ire is that little cuntfuck ROB Schneider. Now, this little turd of a placenta shouldn't have been allowed to live after spreading his flaccid testicles all over the overwise perfectly amazing SURF NINJAS, yet inexplicably Sly handpicked this undersized grunion to be his sidekick in this big movie and nothing about it works. The way they meet-cute and become BFF is totaaly forced and insipid. His "funny"killing of the main bad guy at the end by whacking the evil robot on the back, thus causing his to short out and sputter like the pacemaker of a cast member of *batteries not included ruins all tension and build that the excessively competent crew rendered so lovingly.

He is quite simply a cunt. A fact that his subsequent career has born out in fantastically rendered detail from his pre-natal emergence as that cunt who says dumb shit about copiers on SNL to his recent Leno-ified mocktacular of my main bitch LiLo on Cuntchin's circus of the cuntified. God i just wanna choke his little measly throat with a laminated burger king crown while beating his nads with a frozen haddock. After releasing his throat from the suffocating grasp of diddy's favorite cardstock headwear, I would proceed to pour tapatio on his eyes while singing LA Puerta Negra by Los Tigres del Norte in a falsetto and using the frozen haddock as a flotation device while i drag his limp lifeless body out into the middle of poolake. once in the poolake, i would urinate myself to prevent hypothermia and recount the plots of various episodes of small wonder to keep my mind limber and alert while i proceed to dive deeper and deeper into poolake looking for the poomonster to offer up the schneid's corpse as an offering of friendship. after the poomonster eats the schneid, we would smell one another and play alien vs predator on atari jaguar until the end of time.

Either way though, Judge Dredd is a good dollar buy, worth revisiting, though i would not recommend watching it sober or alone or without a bag of smelt to pelt the schneider with. Also, the only person more hateable than Rob Schneider is Fergie from the black eyed peas, and in this movie he plays a guy named fergie thus making the hate so strong, the hate so strong.

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