The Law Returns. This Time With His Helmet On! Judge Dredd!

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Admiral_Young, Aug 13, 2010.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Except some Batman movies have made a point of unmasking him at key moments, particularly in Batman Returns, where it was done very awkwardly and gratuitously in the climax. Even the '66 movie was written to give Bruce Wayne a larger amount of screen time than he usually had in the series.


    But the point is, we did see the lead actor out of the mask. It wasn't all mask all the time.


    But David Prowse wasn't a big-name actor. If they'd cast, say, Paul Newman in the role, you can bet they would've unmasked Vader halfway through the first film or ditched the idea of a face mask altogether. A famous face is a valuable commodity. It's worth money. If a studio spends a lot of money on a famous actor, they generally expect that actor to be seen. This is why Sylvester Stallone took off his helmet as Dredd. This is why Tobey Maguire was constantly unmasked as Spider-Man. It's about the studio wanting to get the most for their dollar.

    In this case, it probably helps that, though Urban's star is on the rise, he's not a superstar like Stallone, not quite a household face, as it were. He's more a character actor than a leading man whose face on a poster automatically sells tickets or DVDs. So there's not as much pressure to make his face visible.


    He was visorless at least twice in the films: in the climax of the first film, when Magneto took his visor to force him to keep his eyes closed, and in The Last Stand when Phoenix was holding back his eyebeams.
     
  2. JacksonArcher

    JacksonArcher Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Those were isolated incidents and only two times in three films. You're also forgetting the mid-section of the first film when Toad used his tongue to whip Cyclops' visor off, FWIW. So technically three times. My point being, though, that Cyclops either had glasses or a visor on during most of the time he was on-screen, so I don't see the problem with Judge Dredd never taking off his helmet.
     
  3. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Cyclops' visor may have been part of the reason he was basically an extra in the movies...
     
  4. JacksonArcher

    JacksonArcher Vice Admiral Admiral

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    No, that was due to Singer and his writers' never being able to really figure out what to do with him.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The point is that there's a difference between "rarely" and "never." And I'm not citing the removals of his visor as fodder for some kind of debate on the rightness or wrongness of showing the actor's face -- I'm simply offering a factual correction to the assertion that he never removed it. I have no agenda in that beyond getting the facts straight.

    And as I explained, the problem -- which is the studios' problem, not mine -- is a matter of the fame of the actor involved. Bryan Singer could get away with keeping a visor over James Marsden's face for most of his screen time because James Marsden isn't famous. If they'd cast Brad Pitt as Cyclops, it's a guarantee that he would've spent half the trilogy with his powers neutralized so he could show his eyes. You have to realize, we fans look at these things in terms of the characters and the internal story logic, but the studios are looking at them in terms of the star power and the profit potential. If it's an obscure or only moderately known character actor, then sure, keep the face hidden the whole movie, they don't care. But if it's someone famous, someone whose face alone is a money-earner, then they want that face to be visible.
     
  6. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Call me crazy, but I really liked the Stallone version. (Never read the comic.) Interesting to see what Urban can do with it.

    "I may throw up on my Lawgiver." :lol:
     
  7. JacksonArcher

    JacksonArcher Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Too bad there aren't medals or rewards for getting facts straight.

    Which is a good thing Karl Urban isn't nearly as famous as Brad Pitt then.
     
  8. Samurai8472

    Samurai8472 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Geordi wants to talk to you.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I don't seek any. It's just my nature to be precise, to value and respect the facts for their own sake, and for the sake of any others who may value having accurate information.


    Precisely my point.
     
  10. JacksonArcher

    JacksonArcher Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Maybe you should change your name to Data. ;)
     
  11. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not a Judge Dredd expert by any means and maybe actual Dredd fans can pipe up here if there are any but I'm guessing that Dredd not taking off his helmet is part of the iconic symbolism from the comics and even Stalone himself in an interview I believe stated that he regretted doing that in his film. Dredd is part of a authoritarian state and the Judges are a symbol of that state's authority and power. I'm guessing that by taking off his helmet in the original movie that humanize Dredd which is fine I suppose if you are attempting to make him relate- able to the audience. As far as I know and again...Dredd fans please correct me...the reason why this particular aspect is such a big deal is that Dredd never takes off his helmet in the comics. Maybe fans thought that was the film's way of slighting the comics or something. I dunno. Either way in this film the helmet stays on.
     
  12. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I bet LeVar was champing at the bit for years to get the 'cloned eye implants' for Geordi. That prop he had to slap on his face could not have been comfortable.
     
  13. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, the singular form of Data would be Datum. The word data (pronounced /ˈdeɪtə/ DAY-tə, /ˈdætə/ DA-tə, or /ˈdɑːtə/ DAH-tə) is the Latin plural of datum, neuter past participle of dare, "to give", hence "something given".



    ;)
     
  14. SPCTRE

    SPCTRE Badass Admiral

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    Although I don't know much about the Judge Dredd mythology, I can see why him taking off his helmet could be such a big deal.
    I know I would be up in arms if Master Chief would take off his helmet in a movie adaptation of Halo ;)
     
  15. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ There's a perfect example of another iconic character who never takes off his helmet.
     
  16. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Right. V didn't change, so the whole film was about Evey and how V changed her. And the title is not conclusive. The whale is not the main character of Moby-Dick.


    Right, because he wasn't the main character. Same for Cyclops and Geordi, though with those guys you could at least see their eyebrows.


    Yes, thanks, I get that, but what may work in a comic or short film or video game (or may not; I've never read any JD and thus have no idea what the quality's like) doesn't necessarily translate well to a feature-length movie.

    If they make a movie where the main character (I'm assuming the role isn't to be a Vader-like supporting player) never shows his face, it'd better either be one of the best movies of the year or expected to provide only a modest return, because I think that's going to turn a lot of people off.
     
  17. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    What's with the sarcastic yea thanks comment? I wasn't directing my comment at you directly but the entire thread and I as I stated I'm not a hardcore Dredd fan so I'm not sure what the big deal with the Helmet is. I was simply pointing out why it might be such a big deal.
     
  18. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Judge Dredd is a parody/homage of the laconic American action hero, the loner-riding-into-the-sunset type. He never shows his face for the same reason Clint Eastwood never tells ya his name in a Spaghetti Western. He may dress as a cop but maybe he got The Man With No Name confused with Dirty Harry. It's the same guy. ;)

    If that doesn't work in movies, then the premise of Judge Dredd doesn't work in movies and we'll have an interesting failure.

    However, I also expect that the movie won't lean too heavily on Dredd as the lead character and there will be other characters in the story whose liveliness and abundant personalities (I can think of many examples from the comics) will more than compensate for Dredd's lack of visible persona.
     
  19. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    If anyone is interested in reading the script...give me a pm and I'll be happy to email it to you.
     
  20. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    The whole Dredd never taking his helmet off thing basically grew over time to the point where it almost became a running joke (in one issue Dredd keeps his helmet on in the bath for Grud's sake!) certainly in early Dredd strips it was implied that he was hideously deformed in some way, but this seems to have been dropped over time. Now it's more of a statement. Dredd isn't a man, he IS the Law.

    Of course any 2000AD fan realises we saw Dredd full (facial) frontal for several weeks in a row in
    The Dead Man
    ;)

    As for the casting...well the ideal Dredd is obviously Clint of about 30 years ago, and my own personal choice would have been Clive Owen, but Karl Urban? I wouldn't have thought of him, but now he's announced I like the idea, I like the idea a lot! Right sort of age too. Not too old, not too young. Also not too famous but not a complete unknown.

    For the record though, and as someone who started reading 2000AD with Prog 219!, I had to say, I don't think the Stallone film is quite the abomination its made out to be. Very flawed but MEga City 1 looks the part, and Sly isn't that bad, and as for Rob Schneider, it isn't like the comic Dredd hasn't had a succesion of comedy sidekicks. Max Normal? Walter the Wobot?
     

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