Pitch Black

riddick 4

Initially I set out to compile a list of specific movies to watch after you’ve seen Riddick, in the same fashion as I’ve done for other new releases. But in an attempt to pick out titles worth recommending, I couldn’t choose. The thing about Riddick is that it’s not too directly derivative of any individual precursors. While the original movie in the franchise, Pitch Black, could mostly be traced back to 3:10 to Yuma given its central setup involving a prisoner transport plot, Riddick is more of a typical Western with tropes found in too many examples to mention. Part of the problem might be that it’s kind of all over the place. In the first act we follow Riddick (Vin Diesel) through a solo outing on a desolate planet. He faces trials of survival against monsters, making the early section more like a Harryhausen movie than a cowboy flick, though I guess that means a nod to Jim O’Connolly’s The Valley of Gwangi is in order, and going back further The Beast of Hollow Mountain, which features effects by Harryhausen mentor Willis O’Brien. Both of these deal with dinosaurs in the Old West. There’s also Tremors 4: The Legend Begins, which is a prequel revealing how the subterranean Graboids (or “dirt dragons”) were around as far back as 1889.

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twohy

Riddick is clearly a passion project for writer/director David Twohy. The third entry in the series took its sweet time arriving to theaters, following 2004’s underwhelming The Chronicles of Riddick, but while that sequel has its fan, it didn’t stay in touch with what arguably made the first movie (Pitch Black) so appealing. Riddick isn’t a blockbuster character but an antihero monster slayer. We see the character return to those simple animalistic traits in the new film where he faces off against a batch of mercenaries and monsters on an unknown planet. But it wasn’t easy getting there. Twohy more than likely could have made a bigger sequel with a PG-13 slapped on, but he set his sights on a dirty R-rated Riddick film. And we’re all the better for it. Here’s our chat with Riddick director David Twohy:

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Pitch Black Movie

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Universal will be putting Riddick – the third movie in the sci-fi franchise – in theaters on September 6, 2013, ending what will be a 9-year drought without Vin Diesel and his eyesight issues. Not only will the star be returning, writer/director David Twohy is also on board, meaning (at the very least) a sense of stylistic consistency. Unsurprisingly, the new feature has a lower budget and will involve less blockbuster-style action. This is pretty damned cool. Pitch Black was a lot of fun, Chronicles of Riddick was solid, and Diesel excels as this kind of survivalist action hero. The September slot doesn’t reveal a ton of confidence (which seems naturally after a poor tentpole showing and nine years), but this thing doesn’t have to change the world. It could be a bright spot in an otherwise dull wait until Awards Season 2013. Here’s the official synopsis:

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In a stunning development that has me thinking Vin Diesel would be the perfect choice for a For Love or Money remake, the actor has taken to his Facebook page to present his fans with a conundrum he’s facing when trying to get another Pitch Black sequel off the ground. I’ll let him tell it in his own words: “D T the writer/director just landed in New York with the good news. We can start filming this summer. However, there is a catch… in order for us to make a true R rated film, I must work for scale upfront. Not unlike the Find Me Guilty experience (which I wouldn’t have changed for the world).” I have to assume that the D T he is speaking of is Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick director David Twohy, and it sounds like the rest of the post is Diesel saying he wouldn’t want to do another Riddick sequel unless it was R-rated, and he’s willing to take a pay cut to make that happen. Alright Vinnie! I fully support any movement to get action films planted firmly back into R-rated territory. But wait, that’s not all. A probable pay cut isn’t the only hurdle that might be in front of another Riddick movie happening. Diesel goes on to say, “Money is always second to art, integrity and spirit… but the real issue is deeper. Can I suspend my life, to momentarily venture to that dark place… called Riddick.” What’s this? Has […]

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Junkfood Cinema

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema: stop touching yourself. Our fearless leader, Brian Salisbury, is taking the week off, so I’ll be your guide through the fat and cholesterol laden cinematic jungle. And I assure you Mr. Salisbury’s absence had nothing to do with that blinding chest pain … he’s probably still alive. Every week our intrepid host takes you, dear reader, on a perilous journey through a particular film, mocking it like a redheaded stepchild and then pointing out all the reasons it’s cool anyway. To put the bacon on the cupcake (what, you don’t put bacon on your cupcakes?) he’ll finish things off by choosing a delicious, health-defying concoction for you to stuff in your wet mouth. Like Lord Salisbury, I also revel in all the fried and battered goodness that movie history has to offer us and I’m steering this ship in one direction: up! Like the Friday the 13th and Leprechaun films of yore, Junkfood Cinema is blasting right past the shark and into the final frontier of outer space. That’s right, kids. This week’s target is none other than Vin Diesel Growls in Space with Glowing Eyes aka Pitch Black.

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bdreport-slumdog

Once again we’re playing catchup with The Blu-ray Report, but unlike previous week’s I am happy to go back and take a look at 8 new Blu-ray releases — some from this week and some from last week — that are currently all rocking my world to some extent.

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David Twohy, director of The Chronicles of Riddick and Pitch Black, posted on his official website that Riddick, the villain turned hero with the silver eyes, may be returning to the big screen.

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published: 12.23.2014
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