DID YOU READ

Dredd 101: A brief guide to the world of “Dredd 3D”

Karl Urban in Dredd 3D

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It’s been 35 years since Judge Joseph Dredd made his debut in the comics world, and now Britain’s favorite super-cop is finally getting the movie he deserves in “Dredd 3D,” a bloody, brutal adventure starring Karl Urban as the law-dispensing hero of Mega-City One.

Still, if you’re not overly acquainted with Dredd and his adventures, you’re not alone.

Despite being consistently ranked as one of the world’s most popular comic-book characters (and spawning a regrettable 1995 film that starred Sylvester Stallone as Dredd), the character has never achieved the same level of name-recognition in the U.S. as his spandex-sporting peers. But with early reviews looking very favorable for the new film, there’s a good chance we’ll see a few more people looking to catch up with Mega-City One’s most famous Judge.

While “Dredd 3D” does a nice job of bringing its audience up to speed with its post-apocalyptic setting, we’ve put together a brief primer on what’s worth knowing before you head to the theater.


THE CITY

In the future-world of Judge Dredd’s adventures, a nuclear war in the year 2070 has rendered much of the U.S. (and North America) uninhabitable due to radiation fallout. The surviving population is crowded into closely-packed urban “Mega-Cities,” with Mega-City One containing nearly 800 million people by the year 2100. While other cities are mentioned in the series, the majority of Judge Dredd’s adventures take place in Mega-City One, which covers most of the East Coast and is bordered to the west by a dangerous, radiation-filled landscape called “The Cursed Earth.”


THE LAW

Due to the intense over-crowding and high crime rates of the Mega-Cities, a system of law enforcement was established that allows individual “Judges” to impose sentences on law-breakers on the spot — eliminating the need for a courtroom in most cases. While Judges’ punishments are often harsh, the death penalty is only used in the most extreme cases (usually when murder or assault on Judges is involved). The Judges themselves are held to the highest standard, and must be walking encyclopedias of law capable of delivering swift (and occasionally lethal) judgement.


THE MAN

According to his history in the comics world, Joseph Dredd was cloned from one of the very first Chief Judges of Mega-City One — a background that gives him a personal connection to the law of the city. In one of the more memorable stories from the Judge Dredd archives, Dredd is forced to pursue and arrest his own brother (also a clone and a Judge) when he breaks the law. Dredd is the ultimate Judge, able to dispense instant justice that accounts for every detail of the law, and a deep-seated desire to keep the city safe from attackers both outside its walls and within.

It’s also worth noting that Judge Dredd’s face has never been seen in the 35 years of his adventures, with only the mere hint of his appearance under the helmet in certain stories. Unlike its predecessor, the new film takes that very intentional element to heart — keeping the face of justice just as mysterious as the comic made it.


THE ARSENAL

While every Judge is equipped with an arsenal of weapons, their primary tool is the “Lawgiver,” a pistol that can only be operated by the Judge it’s assigned to protect. The Lawgiver also comes with several different types of ammunition that the Judge can alternate between via voice commands, including armor-piecing rounds and incendiary rounds.

Each Judge is also given a “Lawmaster” motorcycle capable of wielding a wide range of offensive weapons, as well as providing crowd-control assistance and other helpful actions. Like the Lawgiver, the Judge’s Lawmaster responds to voice commands from the Judge assigned to it.

“Dredd 3D” hits theaters September 21, and stars Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, and Lena Headey.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. 

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number! 

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time. 

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by. 

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo. 

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim. 

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t? 

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?” 

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud. 

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.