Dredd Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

The future America is an irradiated wasteland — a vast, ultraviolent world where criminals control the mean city streets. Ultimate law enforcers like Dredd and his new partner, Anderson, are Judges — the only force battling for justice.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/UHD Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

90

Details:

Studio and Year: Lionsgate – 2012
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 96 minutes
Genre: Sci-Fi/Action

Disc Format: BD-66
Encoding: HEVC
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Heady, Wood Harris
Directed by: Pete Travis
Music by: Paul Leonard-Morgan
Written by: Alex Garland
Region Code: A

Release Date: June 6, 2017

“Judgment is Coming”



My Take:

I Reviewed Dredd when it was originally released on Blu-ray and have included my comments from that review here. Ratings for film and bonus content will be the same as they are identical to the original release. New comments and ratings for the new Ultra HD video and Dolby Atmos sound are below.

The future America is an irradiated wasteland — a vast, ultraviolent world where criminals control the mean city streets. Ultimate law enforcers like Dredd (Karl Urban) and his new partner, Anderson (Olivia Thirlby), are Judges — the only force battling for justice. Dispatched by the central authority, the Judges’ target is Ma-Ma (Lena Headey) a 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, three-dimensional thrill ride.

My only real familiarity with Judge Dredd prior to this film was the 1995 Sylvester Stallone vehicle which at the time was pretty campy but not among the worst action/sci-fi films to come down the pike. Dredd is based on the British comic 2000 AD and its eponymous character Judge Dredd created by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra. There is little need for an in-depth breakdown of the storyline as the synopsis above pretty much covers it. The narrative is brief and to the point. This is a straight up action flick that eschews deep characters or entangled elements in favor of getting to the heart of the matter. Despite sharing the same lead character/dystopian themed setting there is essentially no similarities between this and the 1995 film. The character of Dredd here is of the extreme variety and the level of violence and societal anguish has a visceral edginess that lasts throughout.

I think that it works quite well in unison with the cinematography and production design which further enhances the concept/storyline. Sometimes simpler is better. Like the plot these aren’t complex characters but they fit neatly within the narrative’s construct. Each is aptly supported by the performances of Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby and Lena Heady. I have to say that I hesitate to call Dredd a “remake”, primarily for the aforementioned reasons. If looked at in that light there is little question of which is superior although I am sure there are proponents of each. As for me I simply enjoyed Dredd for what it is. Popcorn entertainment with a flair…

Replay Value:

Parental Guide:

The rating is for strong bloody violence, language, drug use and some sexual content.

AUDIO/VIDEO – By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

UHD Presentation: 88
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

 

  • HDR: Dark Highlights:
  • HDR: Bright Highlights:
  • HDR: Expanded Color:
  • Resolution:
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Dolby Atmos Rating: 92
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

 

  • Level of immersion:
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  • Effectiveness:
  • Entertainment factor:

 

Ultra HD Blu-ray has finally been released and eager enthusiasts are ready and willing to see what it has to offer. For those not familiar with the details regarding Ultra HD Blu-ray you can refer to my article that includes some pertinent data on the subject. Here is the link:

Ultra HD Blu-ray Has Come to AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Dredd comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Lionsgate Home Entertainment featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 62 Mbps and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 sound that has an average bitrate of 4.4 Mbps.

Dredd garnered a solid report from me on its video quality in 1080p. Its presentation in Ultra HD was rendered from a 2K DI and up-converted to 4K. Color reproduction is consistent, with primaries like blue and red appearing richer, and vividly pleasing. Secondary hues look great, providing a subtle, but appreciable increase in delineation. The increase in resolution isn’t always on display, especially in wide angle shots involving the use of CGI, although I believe that this is innate to the photography. In many respects, the image is emboldened with a discernible boost to definition. Close-ups tend to offer better refinement and deeper resolvable texture on surfaces and physical features compared to the Blu-ray.

Where this presentation shines, is in its application of HDR. It’s among the best I’ve seen and truly enhances the experience of viewing the film. The opening sequence where Dredd chases down the van load of bangers under the influence of ‘Slo Mo” provides a glimpse of what you can expect as cascading sunlight, brilliant flashes of light, the natural lighting, and low-level details within the image look terrific. The plethora of exchanges within the Peach Trees tenement, such as the apartment incursion, minigun attack and stun grenade explosion show off high dynamic range’s ability to create eye catching and lifelike image reproduction. The film’s variety of low level scenes within Peach Trees darkened hallways/environs, and/or the nighttime exteriors (the scene on the rooftop, with the skater kids, just after the minigun attack is a great example) benefited as well, providing interstitial blacks, and resolvable details in backgrounds that enriched dimension. The film utilizes sepia, and an overall cooler chromatic aesthetic, that appears faithfully reproduced in Ultra HD.

In listening to the Dolby Atmos surround mix I found it to be of the active variety that made steady use of the platform. Dredd had a top notch 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio surround presentation, which is taken to the next level in Dolby Atmos. The use of audio objects placed above is a mix atmospherics and discrete effects that successfully expand the depth of the soundstage. This is done to very good effect, creating a tangible level of immersion that coincides with the onscreen events with aplomb. Dredd features a series of set pieces that show off the immersive effect as the blend of music, weapon fire and smaller object sounds rain down from above. When called upon everything comes together, placing you inside the action as sounds rotate and revolve around the soundstage from both above and at ear level. I enjoyed the balance of atmosphere and integration of discrete object placement. I think that each complimented the source material, and made for an entertaining listening experience.

This Ultra HD release takes the enjoyment of an already solid home theater presentation to the next level, making for an entertaining viewing/listening experience. Kudos to Lionsgate…

Bonus Features:

  • Disc 1: Dredd Ultra HD Blu-ray
    Disc 2: Dredd 2D/3D Blu-ray
  • “Mega-City Masters”: 35 Years of Judge Dredd” – 14 minute featurette
  • “Day of Chaos: The Visual Effects of Dredd 3D” – 15 minute featurette
  • “Dredd” – 2 minute feature
  • “Dredd’s Gear” – 2 minute featurette
  • “The 3rd Dimension” – 2 minute featurette
  • “Welcome to Peachtrees” – 2 minute featurette
  • Dredd Motion Comic Prequel – 3 minutes
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Digital HD Copy

Final Thoughts:

Based upon the British comic 2000 AD and its eponymous character Judge Dredd created by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra, Dredd is as stylish as it is visceral in its depiction of dystopian America and the cops that patrol the chaos riddled city of Mega One. I kicked back, took it all in and found it to be an entertaining action flick that took no prisoners and made no excuses. Dredd is making its Ultra HD Blu-ray debut in this Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack from Lionsgate Home Entertainment, featuring a faithful and complimentary video rendering that make the most of the source material, a terrific Dolby Atmos immersive sound mix, and legacy supplemental material. If you enjoy the type of popcorn entertainment Dredd brings to the table, and are set up for Ultra High Definition, and/or Dolby Atmos immersive sound, this offering belongs in your video library. Enjoy!

 

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen – Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16×9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8802A 13.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies – 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton “Ergo” and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
SVS SB-13 Ultra (Piano Gloss finish)
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) – Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components – CP-CP102 cooling package