Science-fiction merges with old-fashioned gun violence action in two of next month's most hotly-anticipated releases: Dredd, a 3D reboot of the Judge Dredd franchise starring Karl Urban (Star Trek) as "the man with the helmet" - and Looper, Rian Johnson's time-traveling mob thriller featuring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a young hit man who must execute his future self (played by Bruce Willis).
Today's Dredd featurette focuses on the cutting-edge slow motion photography used to create the effect of "Slo-Mo" - a drug that (as screenwriter Alex Garland puts it) provides residents of crime-riddled Mega City One rare moments of bliss, as they experience reality at a fraction of its regular speed. "Slo-Mo Sequences" involve capturing staged blood-splatter slaughter at 4,000 frames per second (fps) - and transforming said brutality into something majestic and beautiful.
Dredd director Pete Travis has crafted the comic book film as a visceral experience first - in terms of both visuals and sound - and a piece of cinematic storytelling second. These Slo-Mo scenes flow uninterrupted for several minutes on end, and resemble beautifully-illustrated comic book panels in motion. Couple those effects together with an unambitious narrative - as well as two-dimensional protagonists - and the end result is that Dredd usually impresses on a technical level (even as it comes up short elsewhere).
For a look at the rest of the film, check out the 60-second Dredd TV spot below:
The cast of Dredd includes Karl Urban, Lena Headey, Olivia Thirlby, Wood Harris, and Rakie Ayola. It opens in 2D and 3D theaters on September 21st, 2012.
A new TV spot for Looper summarizes the sci-fi aspects and storyline for Johnson's film - even more succinctly than recent trailers. The philosophical, scientific, and moral implications that come with assassinating people across the vast expanse of time are among the issues explored here, mixed together with healthy helpings of Neo-Noir atmosphere and kinetic action sequences (brought to life courtesy of energetic cinematography by director of photography Steve Yedlin).
Levitt is heavily made-up and altering his voice so as to be physically convincing as the younger version of Willis in Looper. That above-and-beyond effort can be interpreted as an encouraging sign that Johnson's film boasts a solid balance of brains and thrills - though, it's hard to imagine Looper can match Dredd, as a pure sensory overload. Moving on...
Check out the new Looper TV spot below:
Looper arrives in theaters a week after Dredd on September 28th. Does one of these sci-fi films seem more your thing than the other? Or will you be giving both a look?