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BLOG Dredd: One Too Many D's In The Title?

I’m writing this blog in a slight state of irritation. Possibly not the best state of mind to write in, but I have a problem.

Let me explain…

Anyone who comes to this site regularly and reads my blogs will know, I’m a huge fan of 2000AD and of Judge Dredd . I’ve written many blogs about the character and also about my excitement for the upcoming new film. I’m probably one of Dredd ’s biggest supporters here.

After the 1995 Stallone debacle I didn’t think my favourite character would ever grace the big screen again. And while the production has had a bit of a rocky road, since the release of the trailer and the Comic Con review the film's momentum has gone from strength to strength. Over the last few weeks and months I’ve been slowly getting more and more excited about the release of the new Dredd film. After hearing all about last week’s special screening for 2000AD forumers, which featured appearances by Karl Urban, Alex Garland, John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra, I was desperate to see the film.

This week – the week of release – I was going to be on holiday in Poole. No problem, I thought, I’d use the opportunity to meet up with the forum famous Llama God and go to see the film on Friday in one of the cinemas in the Poole/Bournemouth area.

There is one snag; my other half can’t see 3D. She wears glasses and her eye problem means that she can’t focus on the 3D at all. I’m not a fan of 3D, I can see it just fine, but given the choice I’d rather not; I think it’s a pointless gimmick and is nothing more than an excuse for the cinemas to charge everyone a bit more to see films. I’ve said in the past, “I’ve yet to see 3D actually improve a film. I want great action, compelling stories and engaging characters from a film. If you have them then there’s absolutely no need for 3D. And if you don’t have those then 3D won’t save a crap film.”

I know I’m not alone in this. Any time I, or anyone else on this site, has written about 3D the vast majority of comments are in agreement with a general disdain for the format. Almost everyone I know would rather see a film in 2D than 3D given the choice.

So, while I’d watch the film in 3D if I had to, because of Zoe’s eyes we’d have to find a 2D showing. Not a problem you might think; after all the reports are that the film is out on both 3D and 2D formats on the 7th. We just had to go to a cinema which is showing Dredd in 2D. So we headed to the internet to find an appropriate showing. We didn’t find one.

As it stands today the major cinema chains Vue and Empire seem to be denying the existence of a 2D version of the film. Cineworld is showing the 2D version, but only at 13 locations nationwide, while the Odeon chain seems to be showing it only at one cinema, Banbury, in 2D. The upshot of this is that within 250 miles of my present location there is just one cinema showing Dredd in 2D on Friday and that’s 97 miles away. These cinemas might add 2D screens in the next few days, but it doesn’t seem likely.

I realise the new film is being touted as “ Dredd 3D ” so it’s be expected that the majority of cinema showings would be in that format. I don’t have to like it but I can understand it. But you’d think some consideration would be given to people who can’t see 3D, people who suffer migraines and headaches because of it or those who just don’t like it. It seems like that for the sake of a few extra pounds people who have issues with 3D are being turned into second class citizens and I think that is ridiculous.

Looking at Twitter yesterday I wasn’t the only one lamenting the fact that 2D showings of Dredd a very few and far between so I know I’m not the only one facing this problem.

This isn’t a new problem; since 3D became more prevalent our cinema-going had dropped to almost nothing because of my other half’s eye sight. We used to regularly attend the cinema but as it became harder and harder to find a 2D showing at a decent time we started not bothering. Avid cinema fans being forced out of the cinema because of the greed of the chains wanting that few extra pounds out of everyone. And this does seem to be the chains. Sure the film makers are making the 3D films, but they are making 2D version as well. It seems to be the cinemas that are deciding to fill the theatres with just 3D and not balance the two.

I realise 3D isn’t going away. With Cameron talking about doing five or six hundred more Avatar films and Lucas converting the Star Wars films it looks like we’re going to be stuck with it for a while longer yet. But I think it would be great if the chains started to consider their customers. Just one screening in 2D at each venue this Friday night wouldn’t break the bank would it? It’s not like the perfectly sighted can’t see 2D so even people without glasses could attend that screening.

The upshot of all this is that Ie, a fan of Dredd for over 30 years, probably won’t get to see the film until some time next week and I don’t know of my other half will get to see it with me. I won’t get to share in the joy of seeing the film on opening night like thousands of others across the country. Not the biggest of disasters I know, but I think it’s pathetic that the greed of cinema chains means I have to hunt long and hard for a cinema that I, and my bespectacled other half, can enjoy a film which we’ve waited a long time to see.