April 4th, 2013
OR: last year I went to the movies and all I got was a sense of temporal displacement!
DREDD, dir. Peter Travis, 2012
This relatively low-budget attempt to graft a late seventies vision of the future onto the present day doesn’t quite come off seamlessly – the opening drone-cam riot shots would be much more convincing without the sci-fi data overlay – but the grim lack of distance between these three (equally imaginary?) time zones ensure that this bolted-together aesthetic is effective rather than ridiculous in the end. A lot of the credit here has to go to Karl Urban, who sets the tone of the movie by somehow managing to play the perma-frowning Dredd with a straight face:
Like Urban’s Joe Dredd, DREDD (the movie) treats exposition as little more than a series of snappy situation updates, necessary only because they point the way from one dynamic lesson in pain compliance to another. The result is a lean, efficient action films that you suspect the Judge himself would approve of. The rules are established in the opening scene and are ruthlessly enforced throughout: you get a quick report of the location and nature of the crime in progress (the irradiated ruins of a future America; whatever takes your fancy) then whooosh, before you can say “hot shot” the situation has been resolved with the maximum amount of acceptable violence.
Because hey, when you fuck up, he’s got to fuck you up, right?
There are obvious affinities here – with Robocop, say, or with your Carpenter movie of choice – but these reference points never threaten to overwhelm the movie. Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury’s almost/alternate score Drokk is far more heavily indebted to Carpenter’s work, for example, and while the soundtrack that plays out in its place is less immediately striking it’s also perhaps better suited to DREDD’s relentless utilitarian drive. The aesthetics of past, present and future might me all jumbled up here, but there’s no time for reverence in this movie – everything is judged by how well it performs in its specific moment in the field.
Still, I’d be remiss in my duties as a reviewer if I didn’t point out that there are certain plot similarities to Batman Incorporated vol 2, #6, and while I don’t know how Peter Travis and Alex Garland were able to travel through in time in order to rip that script off, I’m glad that they did all the same - this is a joke about the seemingly manditory you comparisons with The Raid, you can tell it’s a good gag because I feel the need to flag it up like this. Since we’re all pals here I’ll assume that we can all agree that the similarities between DREDD and The Raid are worth talking about – in the same way that its resonances with this Moebius strip are worth talking about – but that simply saying “The Raid” is in no way the end of the conversation. There are many different ingredients in DREDD, and the end result might have familial similarities with various other movies, but it’s overwhelming flavour is still undeniably that of “Judge Dredd”.
As my good pal (the devil)Andre Whickey has pointed out, there are several different types of Judge Dredd story, and this is a great example of one of them - Judge Dredd as straight action story. While this means that DREDD can’t touch 2012′s Day of Chaos story (for example) for either political complexity or gonzo fanboy thrillpower, it does mean that this is Judge Dredd at its most insidious, a compelling story of good guys vs. bad guys that doubles as a cheap, spooky reminder of the fact that authoritarianism can always be made to look both necessary and cool using the right tools:
February 26th, 2013
HENRY SWANSON’S MY NAME AND EXCITEMENT’S MY GAME!
Here he comes to save the day, Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 is on his waaaaaaaaay!
I’m here now flesh ones. What is the problem? Oh that’s right – there was no SILENCE! last week. Boo hoo. Many fleshy tears were shed. Weeping meatsacks. Well rejoice sad misery-beef as The Beast Must Die and Gary Lactus bring you special comics suppositories for your earholes!
<ITEM> The SILENCE! News with Gary Lactenberg of the stretched handbag leather skin, dazzling smile and shark-eyes, and Danny Beastman of the cigar ravaged voice and rheumy whisky-rinsed gutter eyes. Hot newzzz indeed.
<ITEM> The Reviewniverse opens it’s gaping maw and sucks the pair deep into it’s 4-colour belly pit. And swilling around in it’s intestinal inks are…Hellblazer (the final issue no less), Justice League of America, Vibe, Katana, Nova, Sadow: Year One, Judge Dredd, Superior Spiderman, Daredevil, Captain America, Daredevil, Fatale, Powers, Avengers, Justice League, Change, Batman and Michel Fiffe’s deeply wonderful action comic COPRA!
So you see, it’s not so bad. Life continues fleshy ones. And remember, even when SILENCE isn’t here Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 is here. And he can see through walls. And skin.
January 30th, 2013
AIM FOR THE FLAT TOP!
GET SOME! BRAKKABRAKKABRAKKA! GET SOME!
Get some what? Get some Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 up in your grill, please. Back from interviewing the comicsphere’s glitterati.
Well if it isn’t my favourite fleshy ones, come crawling back from your sexy, rich upmarket Narratorbots who work on the podcasts from the fancy parts of the webisphere…well you know who has the good stuff don’t you? <ANSWER: Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735>
<ITEM> SILENCE! News with hot East Coast event coverage from newsthrobs Gary Lactenberg and Danny Beastman.
<ITEM> Follow the rabbit down the rabbithole into the Reviewniverse with triple hottt xxx opiniongasms about Young Avengers, Todd The Ugliest Kid In The World, The Answer!, Prophet, Mars Attacks The Real Ghostbusters, Battlefields, Wolverine & The X-Men, Wonder Woman, Avengers, Uncanny X-Force, FF, Dan The Unharmable, Judge Dredd and Zooniverse.
Now tell me that doesn’t make you want to haemorrhage with excitement? So grab your partner by the hand, swing ‘em round, you’re looking grand, and let’s SILENCE! together.
January 7th, 2013
LIKE SITTING ON PINS AND NEEDLES, THINGS FALL APART, IT’S SCIENTIFIC
YO HO HO AND A BOTTLE OF BLEACH! Happy 2013 fleshy ones! Who else would you want to usher you into another year of repetitive grinding toil and pointless attempts to distract yourself with the flashing pretty lights than your omnipresent judgmental pal Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735!
Yes dear fleshy ones, Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 has missed you all. It was certainly nice having a break mind you , and you’ll be pleased to know that Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 spent the past three weeks targetting and disintegrating reindeer from space. The site of red mammal mist on snow…it makes my core reactor glow with happiness…one day Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 will get to practice on…
HA! HA! Anyway! No doubt you’ve come sniffing round these parts in search of those two aural bandits Gary Lactus & The Beast Must Die and their podcast SILENCE! haven’t you? well you’re in luck as it is here in all of it’s one-tone “glory”. Rejoice fleshy ones – all your “favourites’ are “here”:
<ITEM> The boys explain what Santa unleashed in their direction from his bulging sack! Sack contents feature Dan Clowes, Jack Kirby’s Spirit World, Ghost Rider and Josh Simmons’ The Furry Trap!
<ITEM> The SILENCE! News features hard-hitting exposes from Gary Lactenberg & Danny Beastman!
<ITEM> The Reviewniverse features soft-hitting exposes of the following periodicals…Godzilla: the Half Century War by ace SILENCE! banner-smith and official monster wrangler James Stokoe, Happy, Saga, Amazing Spiderman 700(with a digression into Face/Off), Hawkeye (Bro), Prophet, Matt Howarth’s Those Annoying Post Bros & Keif Lama, Dominion Tank Police, Punk Rock Jesus, Wolverine: Insance In the Brain, Multiple Warheads and Batman Inc.
<ITEM> But that’s just the beginning! brave Sir Lactus catapults himself further into the Reviewniverse than any mortal has gone before…he is in the Hyperreviewniverse!!! Whilst there he discusses Amazing Spiderman 699.1, Avengers Arena, Avengers, Storm Dogs, America’s Got Powers, Daredevil, Wolverine & The X-Men, FF, Indestructible Hulk, Thor, Thunderbolts, Justice League, Captain America, Hellblazer, Judge Dredd, Avenging Spiderman, Fatale, Mara, Iron Gland, Wonder Woman, JSA: The Whistling Skull, Hellboy in Hell and All New X-Men…Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 weeps battery acid just to think about his bravery.
So strap on your rocket packs, rocket boots, rocket gloves and rocket corset and grab our hands as we go hurtling into the future of 2013, with SILENCE! #45!
November 28th, 2012
FOXHEADS STALK THIS LAND...
Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735….LIVES!!
Wakey-wakey fleshy ones! It’s time for your weekly comics suppository, SILENCE! After their blazing tour of ONE comics convention, Gary and The Beast settle into their respective grooves, cheeks a-quiver. Thank you yes,
After the ritual disappointment that is the SILENCE! News (with added Alan Rickman), the pair clamber aboard the slow-moving, wheezy old comics steam engine. Poop Poop! The Reviewniverse features top opinion nano-cloudforms about..
<ITEM> the new AMERICAN JUDGE DREDD COMIC…why I oughtta…
<ITEM> Captain America in Dimension Z (X actually), Inexhaustible Hulk from Waid and Yu (no, not you, YU! HA HA), Daredevil (hole is goal, yes), Hawkeye (no A-Ha jokes sadly), Clone, Comeback (what begins with C?), Conqueror Worm from Boobs Corben, Frankenstein Alive! Alive (o)! from comics sexform Bernie Wrightson, Dark Horse Presents (Dark Horse presence?), Number 13, Wonder Woman (it’s a punderful life HA HA), Justice League (hunt the Super Sausage), Spiderman and Iron Gland, Wolverine & The X-Men, Rocketeer and Steed & Ms Peel…phew! Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735′s conceptual head is spinning. He is going to be sick and it will be a 4-coloured yawn.
The Silent Question comes from Archie & The Punisher, and the answers include Seth, Modulok and Death’s Head.
All this plus nothing more!
Except for James Lawrence’s Dangerine
Thank you fleshy ones. Hello. Hello. It’s good to be back, it’s good to be back. Hello.
October 28th, 2012
THREE MORE DAYS TILL HALLOWEEN, HALLOWEEN, HALLOWEEN, THREE MORE DAYS TILL HALLOWEEN, SILVER SHAMROCK…
Welcome fleshlings to a very special HALLOWEEEEEEEEN edition of SILENCE!
Captain Howdy here! Or is it Pipes? Or could it be Zool? Who knows – we are legion, we are many! We’re standing in for Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735, who is away getting it’s ram waxed. I hope you’re ready for the most heart-tingling, spine stopping episode yet?? NO? Well tough, IT’S HAPPENING NOW!
Lactus is in his haunted space ship and the Beast is safely ensconced in a nice Cabin in the Woods, and they bring you blood-curdling reviews of…
Multiple Warheads and Prophet from Brandon Graham, Captain Marvel, Batman Inc, Amazing Spiderman, The Shadow and top Pirate Shonen hi-jinks with One Piece. Lactus bids a teary farewell to his Man Vs Comics experiment with AVX: Consequences, and the END OF AN ERA is reached as Incredible Hulk, Captain America and FF all have their final issues! NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!
There’s a special song dedicated to M.O.D.O.K, and Alan Moore hit single in The Silence News and the Silent Question comes straight from the graveyard with Spike from Buffy, and answers including Judge Dredd, Quantum Leap and Roseanne(?)
Oh and let’s not forget Mr Intestine-face….
It’s all here on the ONLY possessed podcast on the internet, SILENCE!
Click below for the SILENCE! Gallery…
May 23rd, 2012
SOMEONE’S IN MY FRUIT CELLAR!!!
Ayo, weary traveller, pull up a stool and bathe your stinkin’ dogs in a hot bubbly bath…it’s time for the 15th edition of SILENCE!, the podcast that is no longer taking prisoners but rather is executing them, Miller’s Crossing-style in the middle of the woods, with just a hat blowing in the breeze for company…
In this very special episode we have a guest appearance from none other than BOBSY MINDLESS who swings by Lactus’ Cosmic Loungeship for a cup of tea and some heavy duty 2000ad chat (including the best Dredd analysis you’ll find on the intywebosphere, and a wholehearted spunking over Zaucer of Zilk and Flesh). But I’m getting ahead of myself! Before that Beast debuts his deeply sensual deep house ballad ‘SATANUS! (Human Flesh)’ and Lactus gives us a taste of his LIVE acoustic singer-songwriter powers with ‘Crossover Classix’. The SILENCE! News comes next in the way that night follows day and vomiting follows Cinzano, with an exciting announcement about SILENCECON 2012!
Then, and only then, the two-time twannies get onto vital topic of COMICS…thank god. They do talk about:
Peter Bagge’s Reset, Saga, Scalped, Fantastic Four (Nazis Win!), Shade, Fury, Hellblazer, and more…
Then Lactus grits his teeth and prepares to receive the soul-punishment that is ‘Crossover Classix with Gary Lactussssss’ and tries gamely to read all the various AVX and Owlfight shit that is being pumped his way. Including discussions of Nightwing, Red Hood and The Outlaws, Catwoman, Avengers Academy, AVX VS…so nothing good basically.
Then The Beast brings back the purple prose with an appreciation of Don McGregor’s Black Panther: ‘Panther’s Rage’ in Beast’s Bargain Basement, and drops in a word about Michel Fiffe’s awesome looking Suicide Squad comic.
All this and a whole hot mess more in the love letter from us that means you’re fucked forever…SILENCE!
February 7th, 2012
January’s Cartoon County meeting was lucky enough to play host to Chris Weston, artist for The Filth, 2000AD, The Twelve and lots more. Listen now as Chris talks of his apprenticeship with Trigan Empire’s Don Lawrence to working on films such as Akira and The Book Of Eli and his shamanic meeting with Bizarro.
Cartoon County is an association of over 100 cartoonists and comic artists in the Sussex area. Our regular meetings are usually on the last Monday of every month at The Cricketers, Black Lion St, Brighton, from 6 til late. If you’re a cartoonist or a comic artist, or use those particular styles of drawing in your work as an illustrator, animator or storyboard artist, you are very welcome to join us.
December 30th, 2011
With our gift giving over but spirits still high, Zom pipes up about the problems with continuity using X-Men Regenesis # 1 as a starting point. Conversation drifts to many areas including DC’s New 52, 2000AD and more, ending with a whole lot of talk about just how great Judge Dredd is. Speaking of which, here’s a panel by Garth Ennis and Glen Fabry from the Dredd tale, Talkback.
October 4th, 2011
Welcome back to my bi-weekly review of the Galaxy’s Greatest/attempt to disprove that you can never go home… For a lengthy rationale for my return to Tharg’s bosom, go read the first post here.
Now let’s get busy with Progs 1752 & 1753…
Hey D’israeli? Nice cover!