Archives for posts with tag: pitch black

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Science fiction is one of those genres where the potential is only limited by scale and focus. It’s easy to get lost in a sci-fi world full of detail when following a story or character arc (multiple ones, for that matter). But it’s also easy to embroil people in a world or universe that has been around for quite some time, preferably the Riddick franchise.

In February of 2000, Pitch Black was released and was met with positive responses, with some even calling it one of the most wildly entertaining and inventive science fiction films of the generation. The scale was simple on film, but massive in possibilities, and the focus was set squarely on the setting, the character’s struggles, and the enigmatic badass himself, Riddick. Four years later saw the release of The Chronicles of Riddick, which increased the scale but took away some of the focus, becoming a lesser favorite than that of Pitch Black. And ever since the bitter responses, fans have been waiting for nearly ten years for a sequel that brought back the epicness and surreal universe that is the Riddick franchise.

The year of 2013 has seen some wildly entertaining films during the summer quarter, some sequels, others origin stories, and some that were standalone releases that raised the heat to an already hot year for action films. The fourth quarter of 2013 saw the release of the aptly named Riddick, the third entry in the Riddick franchise that fans have been milling over for the past decade. Met with positive responses that haven’t been high for the franchise since Pitch Black, Riddick has been selling the fans exactly what they asked for: the return of one of science fiction’s most hard-nosed badasses.

As a fan of the series (and even a supporter of Chronicles), I was impressed with what David Twohy and Vin Diesel brought to the screen. Riddick was a return of not just Riddick himself, but of the style and attitude of both films prior. It carried over the survival aspect of Pitch Black and the tenacity of Chronicles. In all ways, it was a return to form for the series.

I walked out praising the film for a lot of reasons, and I was pleased with what I saw as a fan. There were things that caught my eye that had me going “Wow, now THAT’s nice”, and “Very clever reference.” For devoted fans, it’s an easter egg hunt for nearly the entire running time, but at the same time something new and fresh to digest.

But, in the end, there was something that also caught my attention that drug the experience down a few notches. It’s forgivable, but still needs to be pointed out in the grand scheme of things.

In this article I will be stating 5 reasons why Riddick lived up to the expectations the fans and I had going for it. Each reason really gave the film its legs and strength, and each one made the overall experience one of the most of thrilling films of 2013 so far, even at the fourth quarter. But I will also be pointing out the 1 problem that stuck itself out like a sore thumb; let it be known that it doesn’t ruin the film, but it does add a blemish that is in desperate need of explanation.

There is a SPOILER warning from this point forward, which gives away some important plot points that will shatter your enjoyment of the film, so skip forward with some discretion. Now, starting off with the 5 reasons why Riddick is great…..

The post Riddick: 5 Elements They Nailed And 1 That Failed appeared first on WhatCulture!.

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The last few years have seen the return of science fiction cinema in a big way. Not since the early 80 s have there seemingly been so many sci-fi movies released in such a short time. Movies like Avatar have set box office records, and visionary directors such as Christopher Nolan, Alfonso Cuaron, and Guillermo Del Toro have turned to the genre as a way to tell their stories.

Although not as prevalent before about 2009, science fiction has been fairly well represented at the movies ever since the turn of the century, with the Star Wars prequels and The Matrix bringing more attention to the genre.

Even though many of the sci-fi movies released this year have been disappointing either critically or financially, there are many potentially fascinating examples of the genre left to come in the next few months and years.

Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity has received significant pre-release buzz, celebrated cinematographer Wally Pfister’s directorial debut Transcendence comes out early next year with one of the most interesting plot ideas in quite a while, and Christopher Nolan’s potentially groundbreaking Interstellar looms over almost every movie coming out in 2014. Many other projects are sure to come out over the next few years, hopefully continuing sci-fi’s second golden age.

What constitutes science fiction is up for debate but generally, I would list the prerequisites as being something that either depicts a future society, advanced technology, or uses a technical or scientific idea as a springboard to tell a story.

For this list, movies that contained elements of science fiction, but primarily belonged to a different genre were not considered, which is why no superhero movies appear and great films such as The Prestige, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and The Fountain are not listed even though they are better than many of the movies on here.

20. Pitch Black

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It’s cheap, derivative, uninspired, and certainly did not need an overblown sequel, but Pitch Black is one of the more underrated sci-fi films of the millennium so far.

When a cargo ship carrying the notorious criminal Riddick crashes on an uninhabited world, Vin Diesel’s hulking criminal escapes, much to the chagrin of the crew. However, after the dark secret of the planet is revealed, Riddick must join forces with the other survivors to have a chance at escaping the planet alive.

Pitch Black, while hardly a masterpiece, is a surprisingly clever film that has an unexpected number of ideas for what is essentially a B-movie. Vin Diesel plays the role he was born to as Riddick, a killer who shows no fear, empathy, or emotion, and the bleak landscape of the film sets just the right tone.

Sure, the special effects are pretty poor and there’s nothing particularly original about any aspect of it, but Pitch Black is a well executed, above average horror/action/sci-fi film that is just good enough to crack this list.

The post 20 Greatest Sci-Fi Films Of The 21st Century appeared first on WhatCulture!.

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