In theaters Friday
Despite the never-ending glut of remakes and reboots coming out of Hollywood, often for movies that were just fin the first time, I’m betting Judge Dredd fans aren’t too upset about Dredd 3D. After all, the last time we saw a big-screen adaptation of the cult-classic character created by writer John Wagner and artist Carlos Ezquerra, it was in the craptacular1995 flick starring Sylvester Stallone as Dredd and Rob Schneider as his wacky sidekick. This time around Karl Urban stars as the most infamous of the futuristic Judges who police the post-apocalyptic urban sprawl of Mega-City One. They save time and paperwork by serving as judge, jury, and executioner all in one tidy, helmeted package. (Stallone played the same character but never used his license to kill on Schneider’s character, which I think we can all agree would be right near the top of our hypothetical Judge To-Do List.)
Dredd looks to be taking itself quite a bit more seriously than its predecessor, with Dredd and his new rookie partner (Olivia Thirlby) – who also happens to be psychic — tasked with taking down a ruthless drug overlord named Ma-Ma (Lena Headey). She’s flooding the streets with SLO-MO, a drug that slows the user’s perception of time to a crawl. To succeed, they’ll have to fight their way up a 200-story slum skyscraper controlled my Ma-Ma and her men. I’m guessing Dredd will be relying heavily on the “executioner” part of his job description for this one.
The trailers look decent, the cast is solid, and the script is by Alex Garland (28 Days Later…, Sunshine). We’ve got our fingers crossed for this one.
Alphas (Syfy, 8/7c) – “Falling”
“Rosen must decide how to proceed with the mole. Meanwhile, Hicks’ son makes an unexpected visit; John is introduced to Rachel’s parents; and Kat’s first assignment has her on the trail of a powerful new street drug.” I would enjoy it if the mole turned out to be an alpha who can literally transform into a mole. Although that wouldn’t be the greatest of covers.
Revolution (NBC, 10/9c) — “Pilot”
The Revolution pilot has already been online for a while now, but for those of you who haven’t seen it and are still interested, now’s your chance. I’m a big fan of creator Eric Kripke, so I’m really hoping it will be good, but I’ve also heard some middling to negative reviews. Hopefully the show will just take an episode or two to find its footing.
Warehouse 13 (Syfy, 9/8c) – “Second Chance”
“Pete and Myka uncover people who are rusting away in West Virginia. Meanwhile, Steve tries to quit his dependence on the Metronome by visiting his hometown; and Artie reveals the truth about Brother Adrian to Mrs. Frederic and H.G. Wells.” More Jaime Murray guest appearances are almost enough to lure me back to this show. Almost.
Borderlands 2 (Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC)
Do you like the idea of exploring a distant alien world? Do you like the idea of shooting all of the people and/or creatures you find there? Would you like to have a ridiculously large selection of weapons available to help you with the murdering? Then buddy, Borderlands 2 is probably for you. This one picks up from the surprise-hit original and supposedly has a slightly less flimsy storyline this go-round.
Cabin in the Woods (Blu-Ray & DVD)
Still one of the best movies I’ve seen this year, possibly even eclipsing my love for Avengers. It doesn’t really classify as science fiction, but I don’t care. If you haven’t seen it yet, do so immediately.
Hot Set (Syfy, 10/9c) — “Crash Landed Astronaut”
If Syfy has to continue releasing a glut of reality programming, I’d at least prefer it be something like this, which requires actual talent, rather than yet another ghost hunting show. In the same vein as the network’s Face Off, Hot Set has two competing teams of production designers working from a new theme each week. First up, designing an alien landscape for a wayward astronaut to crash into.
Judge Dredd (Blu-Ray)
No matter how good or bad Friday’s Dredd 3D proves to be, I guarantee you’ll enjoy it more if you watch this version first. The absence of Rob Schneider along damn near catapults the new movie into Oscar territory.
Doctor Who Special 2012 (IDW Publishing)
This oversized comic issue features three new stories of the Eleventh Doctor, all wrapped in a fez-tastic cover. The stories were penned by comic legend Len Wein, Doctor Who novelist Richard Dinnick, and writer Tony Lee, with art by Matthew Dow Smith, and Mitch Gerads. There’s also a prelude to IDW’s new ongoing Who series by Andy Diggle and artist Mark Buckingham.
Ghostbusters #13 (IDW Publishing)
The Ghostbusters return to New York City after trekking cross-country, only to find that they’ve got new competition in the field of paranormal investigation and containment.
i.am.mars: Reach for the Stars (Science, 10/9c)
You may recall that, amongst all the shutterbugging and science, the Curiosity Mars rover took a moment to blast a new song by will.i.am across the Martian landscape. This Science Channel special takes a look at what went into both making the song, and broadcasting it to another world.
John Carter: The Gods of Mars (Marvel, Trade Paperback)
If this year’s John Carter movie left you craving more, check out this trade paperback that adapts the second book in Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “Mars” series. JC has returned to Mars/Barsoom 10 years after his first jaunt, and he finds himself up againt, well, the Gods of Mars.
Star Trek #13 (IDW Publishing)
IDW’s ongoing Trek series set within the continuity established by J.J. Abrams’ film continues. And it appears there’s one thing that’s true in both versions of Trek‘s reality: being a Redshirt sucks.
Star Trek: The Next Generation — Hive #1 (IDW Publishing)
This new four-issue miniseries is penned by Trek veteran Brannon Braga. Opening 500 years beyond the Trek universe’s “present,” Hive finds the galaxy completely assimilated by the Borg. But what’s a Borg Collective to do when it’s achieved the one goal it’s been pursuing for centuries and there’s no one left to assimilate? A future version of Locutus decides the only thing to do is travel back in time and prevent his own species’ victory.
Misfits (Logo, 10/9c)
Having completed their run of the first season, now Logo has moved on to broadcasting the second. What’s in store for the super-powered Brits tonight? Check it out.
Doctor Who (BBC One, 9/8c) — “The Power of Three”
In the next-to-last episode of Who before the long, pre-Christmas Special break, the Doctor is troubled by zillions of mysterious cubes that appear across the Earth. They seem harmless…but since when has that ever meant anything?