Judge Dredd 2012 -grrrowl or grrreat?

May 2, 2016

Movies based on comics are a big deal nowadays.  So, to show how up-to-the-minute I HATE HATE!!! really is, here’s a review of a 3 years old film!

Back in 2012,  I wrote a post about the then-soon-to-be-released movie Dredd and my thoughts on the concept of a new  Dredd movie, sight unseen.  Although comics producers have far more respect and even control in the movie industry than used to be the case, I still was wary.  The ghost of Sylvester Stallone’s 1995 crap Judge Dredd  had to the struggle with the “A new 2000AD movie?  Cool!” components in my brain.  I ended that piece with a note of wary optimism.  And I was right to be happy (yeah yeah, not so happy that it didn’t take 4 YEARS to write this piece here, but what can I say to placate any comics fans out there?  I got a life beyond I HATE HATE!!! and comics-based movies, y’know?  On second thoughts, you probably don’t know.  But anyway.

“There’s ten of us and only two of you.”

One point in the movie’s favour is the fact that Karl Urban. who plays Dredd, doesn’t take his helmet off once.  The uninitiated probably don’t see the significance in this: but it is a big deal.  in the near-to-40 years of 2000AD history, Dredd has hardly ever been seen by readers with no helmet.  I seem to remember from my childhood days that there was once a picture of him taking a shower with his helmet on!  Comics-illiterate Stallone and his handlers have no understanding of the importance of comics tradition.  But someone in the 2012 Dredd production did see the importance – long-time 200AD Judge Dredd artist Carlos Ezquerra was a co-writer, working with SF movie writer Alex Garland (Ex Machina, 28 Days Later, Sunshine)  – and Karl kept his hat on throughout.  Yay Dredd!

The female eye-candy, Olivia Thirlby, doesn’t wear her helmet at all, but the film creates a plausible-sounding excuse for revealing her face: she’s a “psi” judge, meaning she has telepathic powers, and a helmet would affect her brain waves or whatever. 2000AD enthusiasts will blow holes through this in a second – her character, Cassandra Anderson, in the comics is far older than the movie Anderson, and there is no way a judge like Dredd would be overseeing a psi cadet’s final assessment anyway.  But this is movieland, not 2000AD, so I feel I can forgive Dredd‘s sins much more easily than the Stallone attempt.  And Thirlby is certainly a pleasant-looking “Anderson” rookie.

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Instead of creating a colossal event that might destroy Mega City one or even the world unless Dredd manages an edge-of-your-seat mission, the viewer gets a sort of “everyday life of a Judge”.  Dredd goes to pick up a wanted perp and ends up in a life-or-death struggle to fight his way out of the Megablock against the forces of the block Queenpin, Ma-Ma (played by Lena Heady, aka Queen Cersei in Game of Thrones)

.  There’s some corruption involving a few judges, a fun,  over-the-top Ma-Ma (her final scene has a wonderful, dreamlike-yet-visceral feel), a lot of gun-play, but no ominous end-of-life-as-we-know-it threat hanging over our valiant heroes. A proper “this is what judges do” kind of film.  Kind of depressed that other 2000AD movies of a similar vein haven’t been made.  Or have they?  Tell us in Comments if you know of any!

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At the London Film and Comic Con in July 2012, Alex Garland claimed he was planning not only a sequel to Dredd but a trilogy! When I read that I emitted a little “ooh” but then remembered the Matrix Trilogy and cried “Nooo…!” like I was a slo-mo addict taking a tumble from the penthouse of a Megablock.  But never fear: in March 2015, Garland said that a direct sequel would likely not happen in the near future, “at least not with the crew involved in the original film.”  Kind of a shame: a Judge Death-related flick could be good, or one about the pro-democracy terrorists (a contemporary idea that might put some real-life proponents of democracy on the spot).  But sequels can kill good ideas (the bloody Matrix, innit?) so let’s leave Dredd alone.  But Strontium Dog, ABC Warriors, Slaine… 2000AD is full of wonderful material that any scriptwriter ought to want to kill for.  In fact, once I’ve finished this blog post I may unearth my 2000AD collection and look for the Next Big Thing!

The rottentomatoes.com page for Dredd is at www.rottentomatoes.com/m/dredd/ and is interesting.  Lots of positive comments.  Lovely.  Dredd was also nominated for a few film prizes, and won a few – see here for details.

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Thank the Goddess I’m not a Palestinian – cos the Israeli “defence” forces are wiping them out!

November 18, 2014

First, a truly incomprehensible attack on innocent Jewish men, women and children, using the excuse there are a lot of Israelis “in danger” from “Palestine officials”.

Let’s examine the charges by Israeri concerning the “oh-so-dangerous Militants”:
Here’s the low-down on why Netenyahu is overseeing these brutality. The Israelis have state-of-the-art firearms, whereas the Palestinian community have virtually nothing left.

Sling vs helicopter gunships, automatic rifles, grenades, the rape of Palestinian women and children... how can any sane person see the Israeli response as proportional???

Sling vs helicopter gunships, automatic rifles, grenades, the rape of Palestinian women and children… how can any sane person see the Israeli response as proportional???

An example (thanks to the Guardian: after Palestinians allegedly killed in a terrorist attack on a Jerusalem synagogue, 2 PFLP suspects (note that word: suspects) killed “in retaliation by Israeli “security” forces. Netenyahu ordered the destruction of the homes of alleged suspects (no judicial oversight, no rule of law, Netenyahu decides these men did the attack, and not only killed the “suspects” but also ordered the demolishment of these so-called “suspects” homes. Was that proportionate action? Making families homeless, even though the people living there would have had no idea of what, if anything, the “suspects” may have been up to. This is not justice: it’s a bare-faced landgrab, designed to make Palestinian families homeless and leave the way clear for more Kibbutzin and other illegal “settlers”.

US leader Obama criticized the attack on the Synagogue, which killed four innocent people, including US citizens Aryeh Kupinsky, Cary William Levine, and Moshe Twersky, and injured several more. He said:

There is and can be no justification for such attacks against innocent civilians.

“The thoughts and prayers of the American people are with the victims and families of all those who were killed and injured in this horrific attack and in other recent violence. At sensitive moment, it is all the more important for Israeli and Palestinian leaders and ordinary citizens to work cooperatively together to lower tensions, reject violence and seek a path forward towards peace.”

So you can see, Obama deplores the attacks on the Jews in Synagogue, but didn’t make any mention of the fact that the families of the alleged killers have had their homes demolished. Isn’t there something in American society about the right for private, family life? Oops, I nearly forgot: Any provisions in the US constitution only apply to US citizens. Palestinians being forcibly removed from their homes is okay as far as Uncle Sam is concerned. Plus Israel is an important ally of the USA’s. Whereas the USA, like Israel, consider Palestinians to be the enemy. Even the children are viewed as terrorists-in-waiting. It’d be funny, if you didn’t realize it was about actual living human beings. Fucking Netanyahu, fucking Obama.

This is a public service announcement... with wrecking balls!!!

This is a public service announcement… with wrecking balls!!!

Why oh why doesn’t someone put an end to the Israeli’s war on innocents and its seizure of Palestinian property? Can someone explain to me: let’s assume one of the “suspects” did something wrong. Surely the suspect should be arrested and face a fair trial. But no, the “suspects” are killed, or tortured, or similarly disappeared. And an entire family is made homeless. Is this right? I’d love to hear a rational argument from pro-Israeli figures on this subject.

The Israeli government is despicable. Collective punishment, ghettoization, arrest and murder of innocent people. That’s the kind of crap the Nazis got up to. And now the Israelis are up to it. Makes me feel disgustingly sick. I hate the authorities in Israel, and I hate the Western powers (eg USA, UK, France) who support them. Leave the Palestinians alone FFS! Even the Nazis didn’t keep up their war of terror for this long!

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New powers to seize terror “suspects” passports… yet another thought crime…

August 29, 2014

On the Guardian website today (29 August 2014) is a top-of-the-page headline: “New powers to seize terror suspects’ passports”. Now maybe that seems fine to you – can’t have terrorists suicide-bombing their way around the world on British passports, can we? But that is not the intent of prime minister Cameron’s plan, and by wording their headline as they have, the Guardian (and, I expect, other newspapers) are deliberately misrepresenting what the government are up to.

christian-burka

The current law already allows for the confiscation of terror suspects’ passports – “terror suspects” meaning people who are suspected of engaging in terrorism. This new law is rather an extension of the old, much-criticized “control orders”, which allowed the authorities to keep people under virtual house arrest because the police think the individual might engage in terrorism. The law allowed for control orders to be imposed on individuals without telling the “suspect” what evidence existed. If you’re put under a control order as a result of evidence that you and your legal representatives aren’t allowed to see, how are you supposed to effectively defend himself? What if the evidence is faulty? How can you appeal, when you don’t know what lies the authorities are using to impose the control order?

And now the thought crime is going one step further. “Oh look, there’s a British Muslim trying to leave the country. He’s got a return ticket to Paris on the Eurostar, but maybe he isn’t really planning to return. Maybe he’s going to travel on to Syria or Iraq and behead people. After all, that’s what Muslims do, isn’t it? Look on Youtube, you’ll see a video of an American journalist being beheaded by a British Muslim. Bloody British Muslims, all the bloody same. Better take away is passport.”

Secret evidence, secret courts, all makes me think “secret police”, and “police state”. Maybe you don’t care because you’re not a Muslim? Well, who do you expect to come rescue you when the authorities decide that people like you might be a threat? Pull your head out of your butt; and don’t give me any of that “Can’t happen here” crap, because it is happening here, now.

Incidentally, the UK terror threat was raised from substantial to severe for the first time since 2010. This means that an attack is deemed to be “highly likely” – although not necessarily imminent. Who decided that? Them. And you must never question what they say or do…

***TOTALLY OFF-TOPIC ANNOUNCEMENT***
According to WordPress, this is my 399th post. Which means the next post will be #400!! That’s got to be a cool anniversary, yeah? So get in touch, tell me what you’d like me to write about, and I’ll try to please you all. If you’re familiar with I HATE HATE!!! you know I’m perfectly capable of writing about anything, even stuff I know absolutely nothing about. And if no one makes any suggestions, I’ll pretend someone did and write some drivel about something no one knows or cares about. Something else you know I’m perfectly capable of, if you are at all familiar with this blog…

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Cop cleared for using taser on suspect in cell?

April 29, 2014

Well, what a shock (pun intended)!  A police officer tasered a naked man in a cell because the suspect threw his underpants at him… and his brutality has been vindicated by a court!

Wiltshire PC Lee Birch, the cop who shot the man was cleared of assault and misconduct.  He must have acted in self-defence, as everyone knows that underpants are dangerous weapons… And the victim, Daniel Dove, hadn’t even committed a crime.  He had been arrested for being “drunk and disorderly” but was later released with no charge (except for the electrical charge he got from the stun gun of course). Which makes me wonder: if throwing his underpants at PC Birch was such a vicious attack that warranted use of a taser, how come he wasn’t charged for that attack?  And why was Dove being strip-searched anyway?  He was arrested for being drunk and disorderly, not suspicion of possessing drugs or carrying concealed weapons.  It’s not routine procedure to strip-search suspects.

My guess is that Dove was pissed off for being nicked for no reason.  He probably got mouthy, so the police decided to put him in his place and humiliate him by strip-searching him.  Dove was naked when he threw the underpants, but police rules state that during a strip-search the suspect should never be completely naked at any one point.  He should have been wearing a shirt or t-shirt when removing his underpants. Birch was deliberately humiliating him.  If it happened to me, I’d probably throw more than my underpants at the cop.

taser-in-cell

Cop about to taser a suspect in Burnley police cells

 

Unfortunately, police are using their tasers without proper reason all over the country. Lancashire Police constable Scott Fairclough used the electro-shock weapon on the 20 year old man after he had refused to be strip-searched.  The whole incident was captured on CCTV.  And Fairclough’s colleagues thought the whole thing was funny! One PC was heard saying the 50,000 volt weapon would make him “glow in the dark” and produce “blue flames coming out of his eye sockets. ” And another officer commented: “Ahh did you make him cry? Couldn’t happen to a nicer person.”

The Mirror reported:

In an interview, PC Fairclough said he asked the man to remove his clothing and was met with the reply: “Don’t come in here, you’ll regret it.”

He then said that he heard a deep inhalation of breath from the man and took that as a sign he was about to attack him and activated his Taser.

However, in its report, the IPCC said the CCTV footage it had seen showed the man arrested was not showing signs of being volatile towards officers before the Taser was used.

Guidelines state officers may use the weapon “when faced with violence or threats of violence of such severity that force is needed to protect the public, themselves or the individual concerned”.  I don’t see how any of these cases meet that criteria. And there are cases where taser use has been ridiculously cavalier.  Another Lancashire Police officer Stuart Wright tasered a63 year old blind man, Colin Farmer, because he supposedly mistook Farmer’s white stick for a samurai sword!  And Farmer clearly posed no danger to PC Wright at the time, as Mr Farmer was walking away from the cop and Wright shot him in the back.

The home office has reported that the police also use their tasers on children.  Every  day kids as young as 11 are being tasered!

Rachel Baines, chair of the Lancashire Police Federation, said there were “always lessons to be learned” where tasers were involved. She said: “The public still find it odd. We are under a lot of scrutiny, but it’s worth remembering that it is a less lethal option than using a baton and causes less injuries to people. We are pleased with the IPCC findings which say the uses were justified.”

Baines is missing the point here, even though she said it herself: tasers are allegedly “less lethal” but they have a horrific effect and can kill. Wikipedia says:

Tasers and other high-voltage stun devices can cause cardiac arrhythmia in susceptible subjects, possibly leading to heart attack or death in minutes by ventricular fibrillation, which leads to cardiac arrest and—if not treated immediately—to sudden death. People susceptible to this outcome are sometimes healthy and unaware of their susceptibility.[citation needed]

Although the medical conditions or use of illegal drugs among some of the casualties may have been the proximate cause of death, the electric shock of the Taser can significantly heighten such risk for subjects in an at-risk category. In some cases however, death occurred after Taser use coupled with the use of force alone, with no evidence of underlying medical condition and no use of drugs.

 

The taser is an  awful weapon.  The British police allow only highly trained officers to use firearms, but cops have to do little training before being issued with so-called “stun guns”.  Can you imagine what it would be like if the British police were armed with guns?
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Camover revisited…

October 2, 2013

Previous readers of I HATE HATE!!! may have seen my post of 27 Jan about the German sport “Camover” – an multi-player offline game that consists of destroying CCTV cameras. It’s a good idea, but unfortunately the puny, cowardly ISPs have been closing down sites thst are connected to it.

But never fear: here is a FAQ on a site about Camover: http://camover.noblogs.org/faq/faq-in-english/. Unfortunately, vlosing date for the original Camover game’s closing date was in February, and as far as I can tell, it’s now gone.

But why can’t we resurrect it? Make it international. CCTV is evil, and I live in the UK, a police state with probably most cameras in the world. So let’s do it!! Anyone interested, leave Comments or get me via Contact Form. CCTV is EVIL. So let’s kill the thing!!

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Robin Walker – what a nasty piece of Tory to find on the sole of your shoe!

May 1, 2013

I am a member of online campaign groups like 38 Degrees and Open Rights Group. These are groups that ask members what campaigns it should get involved with, then the group will call on its members to send to local MPs. ministers and other such, so our will is focused and targeted and helps ensure that the government and others can’t just ignore us. Divided we are nothing. United we can do anything… well, the government can’t just ignore us.

My local MP is the Tory Robin Walker. Incidentally, his late father Peter Walker (1932-2010) was MP for Worcester until 1992, when he resigned as MP and was sent to the House of Lords to do his masters’ work. Robin has been a pretty engaged MP – he has replied to every email I’ve sent him (he uses official House of Commons writing paper and envelopes – you would have thought that Parliament had discouraged use of snail mail) but only once has he expressed agreement with my point, about the Defamation Bill). Most recently he sent me a (probably form) letter telling me how important it was that the government keep my communication and other logs for all eternity just in case I were a terrorist or paedophile. He wrote:

Communications data is vital for the police in their fight against crime, including serious offences, such as child abuse, drug-dealing and terrorism.

Note the use of the “big 3″: child abuse, drug-dealing and terrorism”. The suggestion is that opposing the Data Communications Data Bill is, or supports, nonces, pushers and suicide bombers. Thanks Robin; yet another reason to avoid voting for him when the general election comes round.

Right now, I don’t have a clue who’ll get my vote: it won’t be the Conservatives, the Lib Dems are no longer a viable choice…if Ed Miliband can drag Labour back to the left I might put my mark by his name; but how likely will that happen?

Brits are wage-slaves, with mortgages and their children’s educations keeping the populace keeping their nose to the stone, while bankers, corporate directors and other vested interests keep their money in tax havens. But don’t worry: the Conservatives want your personal data, phone logs, emails, bowel movements, whatever, stored for all eternity in a massive computer system that probably fail (as do most government-contracted computer systems do). We’re stuck with this situation unless someone does something about it.

Who’s your MP? Does he care about you? I’d love to see along string of Comments to this post, telling us how our MPs act for our best interests. And my current voting advice regarding the next election: go to the voting station, spoil your ballot (I like to write at the bottom of the voting card “None of the above” and a X in a box next to it), put it in the black box, and be on your way. This is not apathy, this is showing the establishment that the status quo must end.

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Call centre lays off employees – and replaces them with prisoner slave labour!

August 8, 2012

An article in the Guardian today (8 August 2012) tells how a call centre in Wales has laid off 15% of their employees, and replaced them with prisoners from Prescoed prison in Monmouthshire, paying them 40p per hour – just 6% of the Minimum Wage!

The roofing and environmental refitting company Becoming Green has taken on a staff of 23 prisoners. Currently 12 are being paid just 6% of the minimum wage.  The law specifically exempts prisoners from any right to the minimum wage,which suits Becoming Green just fine – it confirmed that since it started using prisoners, it had fired other workers – regular workers who do have the right to be paid the minimum wage.. Former employees put the number of workers laid off at 17 since December.

Becoming Green claim that there had been “performance issues” with the employees who had been fired; but the workers themselves say they were meeting targets and had worked as required.  Workers and ex-employees say it’s obvious that Becoming Green had sacked the regular workers because they can get slave labourers from the prison to do the same work for pennies.

Spokespersons for the Howard League for Penal Reform and prisoners’ charity Unlock said they’d never before heard of prisoners being used like this, taking jobs from other people while being prison wages – a derisory £3 per day that was dubiously justified as “training rates”.

So,is this another way for the booming private prison industry to finance itself – allowing businesses to use inmates as slave labour in return for kick-backs? Why else would the prisons let their inmates be taken advantage of in this way?

Apparently Kenneth Clarke wants to increase the number of prisoners working for outside companies. But speaking about the expansion of prison work from 10,000 to 20,000 prisoners over the next decade, Clarke told the BBC last month: “It would be a very serious downside if we started replacing job opportunities for law-abiding people, and we’ve been conscious of that all the way through.” Was this ignorance? Or a calculated lie?

Steve Gillan, general secretary of the Prison Officers Association, said that for any company to rely on cheap labour of prisoners was “immoral and disgusting”.

He went on:

The association wants to see prisoners working and leading law-abiding lives but not at the expense of other workers being sacked or laid off to facilitate it.

Some employers must be rubbing their hands and the shareholders laughing all the way to the bank.

The ministers must be held to account if the factual position is this company has sacked workers to employ prisoners … The general public will be outraged if this proves to be widespread and proper scrutiny of contracts needs to be made public to ensure public confidence.

Private prisons, government-approved slave-labour, honest workers being sacked to make room for slaves with no right to the minimum wage… who’d a thunk it?

Well, quite a few people would have seen this coming – the cranks, the crackpops, the tin-foil hat brigade. Remember that, when you hear another outlandish conspiracy theory…

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