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Hi, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab...

Summer is typically a time for sequels. They go together like peanut butter and chocolate. The sad thing is, most sequels shit the bed, and you end up with peanut butter and sardines instead of that sweet Reese’s cup you think you’re going to get. There’s nothing worse than going back for a second or third or whatever installment of a series you love and watching the whole damn thing go down in flames. As a result, people get nervous about sequels. They’re skeptical. They want to believe, but they’ve been burned so many times that they’re skittish now.

This weekend, I’m going to review three of Hollywood’s biggest-budget sequels, starting with David Twohy’s new THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK. I’m seeing HARRY POTTER & THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN with a huge group of friends tonight, so I’ll write about that one next. And just in time for Monday morning, I’ll put up my review of a film that... well, let’s just say it “does whatever a sequel can.”

When I got the invitation to Wednesday night’s Century City screening of RIDDICK, I was excited and went to tell my wife to keep the evening free.

Her reply: ”We’re seeing what?”

Well, fingers crossed that more people don’t have that same reaction when the film opens next weekend. Universal’s gambling a huge chunk of their summer schedule on this mega-budget follow-up to the cult hit PITCH BLACK, and the way they’ve titled this, completely avoiding any obvious connection to the earlier film, they’re announcing their intentions to create a new franchise starting right here, right now.

The original film is a great little SF movie, written by Ken and Jim Wheat and directed with real style and energy by David Twohy. Universal reissued the DVD on Tuesday of this week, and I watched it again, both to catch my wife up and to refamiliarize myself with the world before seeing the new one.

One thing I’ve always enjoyed about that film is the way it picked its moments. It’s not a giant budget movie, but you might be fooled into thinking it was based on how well-realized the world of the movie is. I remember when we showed it at the first BNAT, that crash near the start of the film just about ripped the roof off the place. And Vin Diesel’s performance as Riddick is really where his climb to stardom began, and for good reason. He’s a wonderfully enigmatic antihero, dark and cruel and completely self-motivated until the very, very last few moments of the movie. And even when Jack asks him as they’re escaping the planet, “What do we tell any mercs we meet out there?”, his wry response of “Tell them Riddick’s dead. He died somewhere on that planet” doesn’t quite ring true. Maybe the worst part of him died, the totally selfish part, but Riddick’s still pretty scary.

And to Twohy’s credit, he got that completely right in THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK, as confident a SF film as I’ve seen in quite a while. This film is enormous in terms of scale and unfettered in terms of imagination. It’s like Twohy finally got the chance to set himself loose, and the result is two hours of pure pulp fun. This isn’t the kind of film you have to apologize for liking, either. Just so you know where I stand on this summer’s film that I haven’t reviewed here yet, let’s do a quick recap. This’ll help you get a bearing on what you might think of RIDDICK when you see it.

VAN HELSING. Imagine you have a seven year old kid. You have to go out for the afternoon, and you decide to leave him by himself. While you're gone, there's a triple feature on TV. The original DRACULA, the original FRANKENSTEIN, and the original WOLF MAN. And while he watches all three of those films, he eats a whole box of Count Chocula cereal and drinks a 12-pack of Mountain Dew. So when you walk through the door and ask him what he's been doing, he tackles you and bellows:


Well, that's VAN HELSING. Were there good ideas in there? Yep. A few. Were there bad ideas in there? Yep. A whole bunch. The biggest problem I see is that with $175 million to play with, Sommers no longer has to filter between the good and the bad ideas. I can imagine that if I were eleven, this would have probably rocked my world. Then again, when I was eleven, my friends and I would laugh for three hours over someone farting.

Then there’s THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW. Again, I have to use an analogy to explain how I felt about the film. It’s like the retarded guy working the fry machine at McDonald’s. Nice guy. Always friendly and in a good mood. And he makes really tasty fries. I wouldn’t let him land a plane or perform open-heart surgery on me, but as long as he’s King Of The French Fries, he does it well. Emmerich has no interest whatsoever in narrative coherence or character integrity, but he sure does like blowing stuff up real pretty, and I felt like I got my money’s worth on that level.

But I’m tired of these summer movies where we have to turn our brains off to be able to sit still for two hours. I’m tired of paying $10 a pop to get insulted, even if it looks nice while they’re doing it. And so, for that reason, I say thank god for David Twohy and this film, because this one’s guilt-free, folks. This is a big giant SF action film that has a simple but interesting story, a whole fistful of characters I liked, and that builds to an unexpected ending that floored me and left me rabid for whatever comes next.

One of the first things that jumps out at me is the way Twohy distinguishes himself from the pack as far as big-budget filmmakers are concerned right now. The guy has taste, and it is reflected in every single choice made by his collaborators on the film. Cinematographer Hugh Johnson (G.I. JANE, WHITE SQUALL) has a fantastic eye, and his work with Twohy really classes the material up. Holger Gross, the production designer behind STARGATE, has helped Twohy fully realize not one, not two, but at least four different planets, and each one has something about it that makes it interesting and worth watching. And Grame Revell, whose work as a composer is always hit and miss with me, delivers a great score here, building off his PITCH BLACK themes even as he gives epic support to the imagery.

None of this would matter too much if we weren’t interested in what was happening onscreen, and here’s where Twohy really distinguishes himself. Yes, there are a lot of badass dialogue exchanges and tough guy one-liners, but they all feel justified and never stop the show. Hell, you could have called this series RIDDICK’S UNIVERSE OF BADASSERY, and it would have been perfectly justified. But Twohy isn’t just interested in having Riddick say funny things and kill people. He’s actually building characters here, and there’s a pretty deep roster of people that he’s writing for. Keith David returns as Imam, the holy man who Riddick saved at the end of PITCH BLACK. He’s settled on his home world, the new Mecca, and he’s started a family. When that life is threatened again, he is the one who starts the events in motion that eventually pluck Riddick from his self-imposed exile and drop him right into the middle of a horrific, dark crusade that only he might be able to stop. There was one other survivor in PITCH BLACK, the girl disguised as a boy who called herself Jack, and the character does indeed return in this film, but time’s been rough on her, and she isn’t the same person, or the same actor. Alexa Davalos picks up as the now-renamed Kyra, and she has a very difficult role to play. She’s stunningly beautiful, but she has to portray someone just as deadly as Riddick, just as hardened by life. To her credit, she pulls it off, and she actually makes you care about the character in a whole different way.

There are a lot of new characters introduced, too, and a ton of mythology that Twohy sets up that could easily become confusing in less expert hands. When you try to throw too much information at an audience in this type of film, you risk causing them to disconnect emotionally. Twohy manages to give you the exposition in bits and pieces, letting you digest each piece before offering up the next one. It’s a pretty remarkable balancing act, and he’s helped enormously by the performances from Colm Feore (32 SHORT FILMS ABOUT GLEN GOULD) as The Lord Marshal, the leader of the Necromonger Army, Karl Urban (Eomer from LORD OF THE RINGS) as Vaako, a commander who serves directly under Lord Marshal, Thandie Newton (M:I2, BELOVED) as Lady Vaako, one of the film’s real bad guys, and Linus Roache (PRIEST) as The Purifier, a Necromonger with secrets of his own. All of them are strikingly played bad guys, charismatic enough to win your sympathies, but evil enough to deserve your scorn.

There are more characters filling out the corners of this universe, too, like Toombs, a mercenary who is hunting Riddick when the film begins. Nick Chinlund was in Twohy’s last film, BELOW, and he’s got a real Tom Waits thing going on. He’s this great, freaky, gravel-voiced guy who plays scummy with enormous charm. Any time he and Riddick are onscreen together, the movie’s got a whole different pulse, and Twohy’s smart enough to leave Toombs in a terrible place without ever showing us what his fate is. If there are further sequels, I’m hoping Toombs manages to escape with just a few scars, because he and Riddick should definitely meet again. And, yes, Judi Dench appears here in her first SF appearance as Aereon, an Elemental who is mostly made of air. She’s a provocateur, not aligned to either side in the war that is destroying whole systems at once, simply offering up wisdom and prophecy to whoever will listen. She’s the one who knows what role Riddick is destined to play in the events that are unfolding, and his first encounter with her spurs him to examine what place he does hold in the larger world around him.

The set pieces in this film... and there are many... are all really well staged and well shot. My biggest complaint with any action filmmaker is when they fail to establish a sense of geography or they forget that action is simply an extension of emotion. Just having people fight for no reason is dull, especially if you don’t know where they are in relation to one another. Twohy makes sure that the stakes are clear in every single action scene, and he is downright masterful at showing how a scene is set up. Simon West... Stephen Sommers... Paul “Weak Sauce” Anderson... you guys should pay attention. This is the real deal. He makes it look deceptively easy, too. I’m sure his editors Martin Hunter (FULL METAL JACKET) and Dennis Virkler (THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER, THE FUGITIVE) helped a lot. When you work with really strong collaborators and you know what you’re doing, the results can be this exciting. I especially like the hand-to-hand combat here. Twohy’s definitely riding that line between the PG-13 and the R, and I think by not showing a lot of blood, he gets away with an overall brutality that is surprisingly concussive. These fights look like they hurt, and even Riddick takes his fair share of abuse over the course of the film.

The real miracle of this film is that I like Vin Diesel again. A lot. Vin’s one of those guys who really needs to work with the right writers and directors, people who understand his particular charisma, and Twohy has crafted him a showcase here that lets him do all the things that he does well. There’s a lot more made of his eyes in this film, and you could probably make a drinking game out of how many times he puts on or takes off his special goggles, but it’s a minor affectation. What Vin does really well in this film is he seems to believe in all of this. It’s outlandish... it’s impossibly big... but because he takes it seriously and inhabits these worlds as if they are real, the film works. And, like I said, the ending is particularly special. Be careful to avoid spoilers before you see it. All I’ll say is that it was the last thing I expected, and when it happened, it changed the way I thought of this series. There is potential here for Twohy to take us to worlds we’ve never seen in a story that we’ve never heard before, something that seems increasingly rare in this genre. I think the key is that Twohy really loves science-fiction. He respects the audience because he respects the genre. This is the kind of film that I always hope for when studios make giant SF films, but we so rarely actually get what we’re looking for.

Mark my words... RIDDICK is special. It’s the whole package, and if there really is extra character material to put back into the film on an eventual DVD release, all it can do is enhance the film. As it stands, it’s already complete, a wicked ride that never sacrifices integrity for fun. It eats its cake and has it, too, and the real winners here are us, the SF fans who finally have a franchise worth cheering about.

I’ll be back with my take on AZKABAN tomorrow at about this time, and then I’ll see if I can... ahem... swing that last review in time for Monday morning. Until then...

"Moriarty" out.

Readers Talkback
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  • June 4, 2004, 5:35 p.m. CST


    by BilboFett

    Hi. I'm first. After I actually READ this article, I'll post comments. :) yes, this is satire.

  • June 4, 2004, 5:38 p.m. CST

    Pitch Black was forgettable...hope this one is better...

    by aceattorney


  • June 4, 2004, 5:58 p.m. CST

    the original BNAT

    by maxwell's hammer

    I was at the original BNAT when "Pitch Black" was screened, and mind you, this was several months prior to its theatrical release. I remember the way the Alamo Draft House went nuts for this movie. It was so amazing, because we as an audience knew absolutely nothing about it, or what to expect. Flash forward a few months, i see the first preview for it in a theater, and I'll be damned if the trailer didn't give away what made the movie so amazing. It went ahead and spoiled that really cool little plot twist about the eclipse and those funky night creatures. My then college roommate was underwhelmed, and I have to say, so was I. Why can't studios leave some of that element of surprise and discovery in the movie and not give it all away in the previews? Sunuvubich.

  • June 4, 2004, 6 p.m. CST

    Looks awsome

    by Fight-clubber

    This film is gonna b awsome im glad theve given Twohy a chance 2 really shine buy giving him complete freedom and with a fuckign massive budget. Pitch black was 1 of the best looking and exciting cult films of the last few yrs and his film below was grt. I can only see good thigns coming outta this flick and from the sound of it it has brains unliek that evil pill of dull shit the day after tommorw.

  • June 4, 2004, 6:01 p.m. CST


    by ChickenGeorgeVII


  • June 4, 2004, 6:35 p.m. CST

    Don't keep me in suspense, Mori. Spider-Man 2, a disappointment?

    by Lenny Nero

    Say it ain't so.

  • June 4, 2004, 6:39 p.m. CST

    Moriarty is a joke

    by TheCreepingKid

    Now Riddick could be great, but I'm tired of Moriarty sucking up to people in the business to feel like he's a"player." This is the man that said "The Punisher," was the best things he's ever seen and thought that "Real-World," New Line movie about spring break was great...and that's just off the top of my head. Harry, Beaks, Quint, Capone, Herc, you guys are great. Moriarty, your a joke.

  • But we can all hope "Mortal Kombat 3" is good!

  • June 4, 2004, 7:12 p.m. CST

    Good review moriarty...

    by Anlashok

    Summers been pretty blah so far, hope this spices things up.

  • June 4, 2004, 7:31 p.m. CST

    Pitch Crap

    by FineEagerSeeker

    Pitch Black is crapulent and so will be its offspring!!! And when was the last time you spent $10 on a film???

  • June 4, 2004, 7:32 p.m. CST

    Finally, a review worth reading.

    by Insane Tiki

    I don't know if I'll see Riddick in the theaters or not, but based off of Moriarty's review, I'm more inclined. It's good to see a review on this site that actually gives real reasons why a film is good, instead of a "review" that just gushes and gushes about how AWESOMELY GEEKY AND COOL a film is for eighteen paragraphs. I'm as big a fan of stuff like man-in-suit Godzilla and Bruce Campbell as anyone else, but that's not always the best reason to spend money to see a movie.

  • June 4, 2004, 7:46 p.m. CST

    I WANT to believe this

    by MrCere

    This sounds wonderful and I would get my butt in the seat even if buzz was bad, but I SO want this film to be good. Hope Morty is right...please please please please please.

  • June 4, 2004, 8:33 p.m. CST

    Creeping Kid...

    by drew mcweeny

    ... show me where I said THE PUNISHER was one of the best things ever. I enjoyed it for what it was... a very small-scale action film with no CGI, something that is increasingly rare these days. And I liked Thomas Jane in the lead role. If you're a fan of the comic and disagree, it may well be because of comparisons to the book, which I've never really read. And if you didn't think THE REAL CANCUN was funny, sue me. Seriously. Let's go to court, and you can sue me. Of course, that's assuming you actually saw it, which I did, and yeah... I laughed. See, I do this weird thing... I actually go into every movie hoping for the best, and I give them all a chance. I know... very controversial technique when deciding what to enjoy, especially among fanboys, but I'm wacky that way.

  • June 4, 2004, 8:45 p.m. CST

    Yes, rpca...

    by drew mcweeny

    ... because if we disagree on two films, then you should never like anything I like again. That means you're not allowed any Kubrick, any Kurosawa, any Coen Bros, any Pixar, any Marx Bros., any James Cameron films, or any of the thousands of other movies I enjoy. From now on, only me and my shitty taste are allowed those. You can keep Carrot Top's CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD and anything starring Jim Varney. I hope you're very happy together.

  • June 4, 2004, 8:52 p.m. CST

    Hey Mo...

    by crimsonrage do you think this flick will play for someone who was really not fond of the first film and can't stand Diesel's tough guy act? Like Wesley Snipes, Diesel always seems to be ACTING tough instead of BEING tough. Lee Marvin was tough. Charles Bronson was tough. Lee Van Cleef was tough. Warren Oates was tough. Joe Don Baker was tough. Vin Diesel has a gym membership.

  • June 4, 2004, 9:07 p.m. CST


    by drew mcweeny

    Ha... good question. If Diesel doesn't work for you on any level, then I'm not sure how much you'll like it. For me, it all depends on how he's written, and I think Twohy is pretty great with that sort of thing. There's a scene in the film where he threatens to kill a guy with a teacup. And does he? Well... let's just say that the sardine key he holds up next becomes threatening by default.

  • June 4, 2004, 9:25 p.m. CST


    by crimsonrage

    ...I'll catch it at the dollar theater in a few months. Thanks again!

  • June 4, 2004, 10:10 p.m. CST

    Jim Varney

    by AttackingClone

    Earnest goes to camp is a classic Mori, and don't u deny it. BTW Varney was in Toy Story 1 and 2 so haha. Anyway I hope this movie is good, PB wasn't as good as I hoped, weird lighting and Aussie accents (i'm aussie) put me off in the begining, but it got better as it kept going.

  • June 4, 2004, 11:16 p.m. CST

    Moriarty, you

    by 900LBGorilla

    - Gotta admit you sold me. The preview looked

  • June 4, 2004, 11:18 p.m. CST

    Oh And Paul "Weak Sauce" Anderson is now his official name in my

    by 900LBGorilla

    I love it

  • June 4, 2004, 11:18 p.m. CST

    Off topic but..

    by MaulRat

    But I saw the re-release ANTI-David Lynch cut of Dune the other day and it STUNK!.. Not that the original was Sci-Fi gold either but.. Jesus.. they even changed the directors name from David Lynch to some other hack, and that fucking backstory at the start... what a wank.. but anyway.. The Riddick movie, I'll wait for DVD.. Nothing personal against the movie, no politics or agenda, the trailer didn't appeal to me much. Besides that's only 22 bucks they'll be missing from their 100 Milion+ potential box office takings so, I hope it all goes well for them. *BAMF*

  • June 5, 2004, 3:14 a.m. CST

    Nice Review Moriarity...

    by RoomOnFire

    I'm now more than ever totally stoked on seeing this. However, you mentioned that the Toombs character isn't directly killed off, where in the novelization he gets straight-up offed. I wonder if this is a result of that cutting that was supposedly done to the film. Most of the early reviews I've read had a lot of people responding well to the Toombs character. I'm anxious to see what kind of charisma the actor playing him brings to the table.

  • June 5, 2004, 4:09 a.m. CST

    movie looks like...........

    by Square96

    Riddick looks like a bag of ass with a leaky bottom. The first movie was fucking terrible and there is no point to waste money on this since it's just a more expensive terrible. Riddick lick nuts

  • June 5, 2004, 5:55 a.m. CST


    by DocPazuzu

    I'm now officially enthusiastic about seeing this film. Sounds very good.

  • June 5, 2004, 8:26 a.m. CST

    I hope sci fi becomes the next craze.

    by Darksider

    After the zombie one is done that is. :) Vin Diesel and Keith David are both underrated. Pitch Black was a breath of fresh air. Hopefully Chronicles will be similar, but with a larger budget.

  • June 5, 2004, 10:26 a.m. CST

    Movie looks cool, but It won't make much at the Box Office, and

    by The Founder

    Vin is appealing in very few things, and Pitch Black was one of them. Don't get me wrong, I have no beef or problem with Vin, but it's his poor choice in his last films that has soured me to the guy. Here'e a guy who had potential to become this generation's action hero, and a person of color to boot, instead of all the lily white action guys who always save the day in a world where people of color obviously can't. Well that a whole different topic that we can thibnk Hollywood for. Now back to Vin. His choices as I said have been poor, his films mediocre to terriable. I don't know of Vin is to blame or his agnet, but he's on the fast track to the straight to video bin. Will Riddick boost him up? No, I could be wrong, but even if this film range from good entertainment to great movie, and was worth the big budget, it still won't perform well. I give this movie 70 million tops for domestic gross, and I'm being kind. Sorry Vin, you waited to long, people have little interest in you know.

  • June 5, 2004, 11:17 a.m. CST

    I'm not so sure Moriarty.

    by TheGinger Twit

    I have a feeling I'll feel just as stupid watching this as I felt watching Pitch black.

  • June 5, 2004, 11:20 a.m. CST

    Ahahahahaha... VD. hehe

    by TheGinger Twit

  • June 5, 2004, 11:52 a.m. CST


    by Turd Furgeson

    Just hurry up with the Spidey 2 review already.

  • June 5, 2004, 12:04 p.m. CST

    Future Tips

    by Jack Burton

    1. Leave the scatological metaphors to Harry in the future. That opening paragraph was just nasty. 2. Leaving a 7 year old home alone for 6 hours would get you arrested for child endangerment. 3. Don't tease us about Spider Man 2. If you are going to drop hints that you saw it, just say if it's either worth it or not. I have some big reservations about that one more then any other film this summer (most of the rest look terrible) and so does everyone else I know. With that out of the way, why is this Pg-13 and the video game rated M? Within the opening of the game Johns and Riddick are both saying "fuck" and the violence is heavy. (It's also a freaking great game so anyone with an X-Box should check it out.)

  • June 5, 2004, 1:24 p.m. CST

    Dude With The Nasty Nickname...

    by drew mcweeny

    You want an answer? Sure. Yes, I wrote two drafts of MORTAL KOMBAT 3. How that means I'm not allowed to have a negative opinion of the work of Paul "B.S." Anderson escapes me. I'm not riding anyone's coattails. He had nothing to do with me getting that job. Like every open assignment in Hollywood, that one was a competitive process, and both my partner and I saw enormous merit in writing a franchise picture that is a SF/kung-fu film. Why? Cause I love SF and kung-fu films. It's really just that simple. I imagine it's the same reason Anderson took the job on the first film. If they ever work all their legal nonsense out and actually make the picture, you can decide then if the work we did is better or worse than the work he did. And even if you hate the work we did, that still isn't going to change my opinion of Anderson. As far as all the AvsP stuff you ran, you're barking up the wrong tree. I didn't write those articles, and I didn't publish those articles. And if you're really obssessive about Harry's opinion of AvsP, you'll notice that lately, he's actually become optimistic about it based on the newest footage that's come out. He almost seems eager to see it at this point. Once again, this "scandal" isn't.

  • June 5, 2004, 2:43 p.m. CST

    Well Stoopid your name fits.

    by The Founder

    Why would a person of color be only black? I said Vin is a man of color, I never said black nunmb nuts.

  • June 5, 2004, 3:13 p.m. CST

    Hmmm....Necromongers (grimace)

    by flossygomez

    Pitch Black had some good atmosphere, some good moments. The solution they found to hide from the bat things was a little too convenient for my taste though. It is one of the best opening scenes in sci fi. I have reservations about any movie where there are "Necromongers" in them. The name is just too 7-11 video game cool. I can almost smell the slurpees and slim jims. Must have been on Meth when the wrote that name down. I hope I'll be pleasantly suprised, and that I'll have to eat my words.

  • June 5, 2004, 3:19 p.m. CST

    LemmiWinks...a tip from Mister AnalPoster

    by flossygomez

    Hey. Lay Off The "Placing Caps on Every Word' Schtick. It's Distracting. Ouch...Just a Suggestion.

  • June 5, 2004, 6:18 p.m. CST

    Way to go Mori!

    by ethandarkseid

    It's about time you came around and stood up for yourself. When these little peckerheads come around and start bashing you (and just giving in to jealousy) its good to see the writer responding with a valid rebuttal. Now that I have your attention...can you PLEASE remove the ads for that god-damn napoleon dude??? "friggin sweet" my ass.

  • June 5, 2004, 10:16 p.m. CST

    Geez Rapeman!

    by trafficguy2000

    Obsess much? Good review Mori! I'll be checking this one out!

  • June 5, 2004, 10:49 p.m. CST

    Damn that lucky ass Moriarty!

    by ima biggun

    Hollywood connected sumbitch has seen Spidey! Damn him! Damn him to heck!

  • June 6, 2004, 4:16 a.m. CST

    Moriarty will have a good review on Monday if his opinion agrees

    by GravyAkira

    I hope Riddick is a good movie , but its box-office future doesnt look too bright in my eyes. Vin Diesel can still have a good career with slightly better film choices. I thought A Man Apart was a very underated film. Oh, and I would suggest getting to a theater early on June 30th. It is the best movie Ive seen since ROTK. Maybe a review later. Peace.

  • June 6, 2004, 7:44 a.m. CST

    Bad sequels?? BULLSHIT!!

    by Blok Narpin

    "The sad thing is, most sequels shit the bed" ----- BS. The idea that most sequels suck is complete bullshit. There are good sequels and bad sequels. For every Batman and Robin there is an X-Men United. For every Matrix Reloaded/Revolutions there is a Back to the Future II/III. For every Godfather III there is a Terminator 3. Sequels are like any other movie. They might be good or they might be bad, It depends on story, script, acting and direction. To say most suck is bullshit.

  • June 6, 2004, 9:14 a.m. CST

    You could have given us a fucking spoiler warning...

    by JackBurton

    While you didn't get too specific on certain things you still gave a hell of a lot away that I'd rather not have known. I hope this rocks, I really do, but I definitely have my doubts.

  • June 6, 2004, 10:57 a.m. CST

    Man, I'd like to think we're not that one-dimensional.

    by Devil'sOwn

    At this site, it seems like people are so cynical, and very willing to point out how naive someone who has anything realistic or, heaven forbid, positive, to say is. The movie looks like fun. Stop banging on your highchairs being morbidly fixated on how much money the movie makes, if your ego can withstand it. See the movie for yourself. Riddick's milieu is being expanded, so yeah, it's on a grander scale than it's predecessor. That's called growth. If the scenario seems to grandiose, you've obviously forgotten that one of the pricipal tenets of these scifi flicks is suspension of disbelief.

  • June 6, 2004, 1:17 p.m. CST

    Sounds good


    Just the fact that it's not called "Pitch Black II" speaks volumes. I was a little worried about them falling into the 'Dune'-trap by having too many charaters and ideas, but it sounds like this guy avoided that. Sure seems like Pitch Black really was the new Terminator. At first glance--small films/directors/actors but big potential brewing beneath the surface. I'll definately be seeing this one.

  • June 6, 2004, 1:21 p.m. CST



    ny-kid...I...just...fucking... HAD to do it!

  • June 6, 2004, 3:02 p.m. CST

    blockbuster season

    by drjones

    i guess it was jake gyllenhaal who made THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW worth watching for me. well the father son story part was rather emberassing because of it`s lack of reason and profoundness. BUT THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW was IMO much more entertaining and a bit less ridiculous than TROY. TROY was pure crap except some cool fight scenes, sean bean and brad pitt`s freaking body!!!! TDAT offered a certain amount of suspense... and to the other blockbuster: HARRY POTTER.... HE rules I T A L L. just the way cuaron uses weather and seasons to create suspense is really stimulating. . . . i

  • June 6, 2004, 3:14 p.m. CST

    Yeah, baby

    by Mafu

    Thank God for David Twohy. I can't wait for the ass-kicking to begin.

  • June 6, 2004, 3:35 p.m. CST

    yep: harry's got a burr up his about Shrek 2

    by devxmike

    Interesting, VERY VERY VERY interesting. No review of 'Shrek 2', by ANYONE. Very odd. Clearly, at some point, big ol' Harry's been dissed in some way by Dreamworks, and he's *** IN HIS BIG LITTLE BOY SNIT WAY *** taking it out on them by refusing any review of Shrek 2 on this site. "I'm takin my ball and goin home", the little boy sneers, and stomps off, dust streaked tears on his precious little snot-nosed spoiled-brat face. Have a good summer! (When does this post get deleted?)

  • June 6, 2004, 4:58 p.m. CST

    Hopefully, not anytime soon.

    by Devil'sOwn

    'Cuz if it's the truth, all venomous jokes aside, we deserve to know.

  • June 6, 2004, 5:46 p.m. CST

    nah, STEPFORD will bomb

    by ScreamingPenis

    Shrek and Garfield will both have a big share of the kiddie market next weekend. Harry Potter wins the older kiddies with more money. But I'm not sure who's going to see the Stepford Wives...maybe women and the older crowd. It just doesn't look like a very fun movie, the sort of thing that does well during the summer. Riddick will do well next weekend, definitely in the top three. And if it's as reasonable as Moriarty claims, then it will have a good second and third weekend.

  • June 6, 2004, 5:58 p.m. CST

    Um, Devxmike...

    by drew mcweeny

    ... not to puncture your balloon of delusion, but did you happen to see my review for SHREK 2 at or Quint's review for it at or any of the half-dozen other reviews that were run for it on the site in the weeks leading up to release? I haven't reviewed TROY yet, but that's because I haven't seen it because I just didn't really care. Is that a conspiracy, too?

  • June 6, 2004, 6:38 p.m. CST

    Stepford. Wives...


    It will suck

  • June 6, 2004, 7:14 p.m. CST

    Goddamn you Mori...

    by Grammaton Cleric

    quit dickin' around with these fuckers and give us the lowdown on Spidey 2...or just a hint...please...

  • June 6, 2004, 8:19 p.m. CST

    Fuck all you haters

    by Man w No Name

    COR will be a bad ass movie, and as much as you nerds and fanboys like to think...just because you hate Vin Diesel doesn't mean everyone else hates Vin Diesel. Except for XXX I've enjoyed all his movies. And all you guys can do is talk shit about it's box office draw...LOL, so what, if it's a good movie, it's a good movie, who cares how much money it makes. Oh, and btw, for the moron that said Stepford Wives was going to out perform COR, what rock have you been living in the last month?? Stepford Wives at most will make 10 million dollars opening weekend. It's a bad remake, there hasnt been any buzz about the movie, and it's hardly advertised at all. How someone thinks that it'll get a big piece of the box office is beyond me......Pitch Black>>>spiderman, and I'm sure COR>>>>>spiderman 2.

  • June 7, 2004, 1:10 a.m. CST

    Riddick is a pimp

    by urgay

    Pitch Black was a sweet movies and im sick of hearing all off you goobers rip on good movies. p.s. Hey Greg- I didn't do it

  • June 7, 2004, 1:17 a.m. CST

    by the way

    by urgay

    fuck garfield and shrek 2. only little kids and homos will like those movies(except Puss in Boots.And fuck the stepford wives too. what was the last blockbuster that fag Matthew Broderick had anyway, Lion King?

  • June 7, 2004, 3:15 a.m. CST

    Anyone catch the first 10 minutes after "Wild Boyz"?

    by SmarkJobber

    I dug "Pitch Black" for what it was, but I can already tell I'm not gonna like the sequel. If the first ten minutes are indicative of the quality, this looks to be a bust. Of course I've never been enamored with they way Twohy uses the camera (or pen for that matter). I chalked up his stilted action staging to low budget in his previous efforts, but he really has no excuse with Tentpole Money. It's too soon for me to dub it "Chronicles of Shiddick," but it don't look good.

  • June 8, 2004, 10:24 a.m. CST

    I just saw this last night...


    ...And was very plesantly impressed with it! It's nice to see that after LOTR, someone isn't afraid to approach the big epic fantasy/sci-fi saga. The production design and costuming are amazing, the effects (minor issue with the hellhounds) are really nice, and the acting is a lot better than you'd expect. Sure, Diesel's delivery is a tad... dry, but we aren't going for a Shakespearean quality here. I'm just happy to see some imagination and actual interest in telling a good story. You can debate what concepts this movie "rips off", but in the genre of sci-fi/fantasy, total originality is almost impossible anyway. And you don't have to be brain-dead to appreciate the film, either, which is nice, especially in this day and age... I hope we get to see part 2 and 3, there's a lot of cool directions to go in with this story. I'd also like to mention that it really reminds me of the sci-fi novels I grew up reading as a kid: evil weird empires, crusading heroes, ect. When was the last time aside from "Dune" anyone even really tried this kind of stuff, anyway?

  • June 8, 2004, 12:47 p.m. CST

    one *flaw* in pitch black

    by trkane

    i rewatched pitch black the other day in preparation for riddick, and something occurred to me, a nagging, minor thing. these are clarly humans, from earth (there are muslims, and the british-accented dude said he was supposed to die in france), and therefore the technology they possess would logically be some advanced form of what we have. currently, solar cells can store energy, and run even after the sun is down. future solar cells could probably store way more energy. i know, i know, the sun was always up so they didn't have to worry about that, but if the crash survivors' guess was correct, and the settlement they found was a geological advance team or something, they probably would have brough existing solar technology with them (which would store the energy), not build new stuff just for that planet. and if they researched the planet at all before they sent an advance team there, thay would know about the darkness anyhow(and maybe the creatures too!). well, in any case, i'm sure riddick will be sweet.

  • June 8, 2004, 2:49 p.m. CST


    by Hellboy

    Just wanted to say that. :)

  • "For every Batman and Robin there is an X-Men United. For every Matrix Reloaded/Revolutions there is a Back to the Future II/III. For every Godfather III there is a Terminator 3." The other examples are good but dude are you trying to say that you honestly enjoyed BTTF II and III? Those movies sucked major ass! When I saw BTTF II in the theatre the whole crowd was falling asleep! As for Matrix Reloaded/ Revolutions, though they weren't perfect they still rocked ass IMO! Much better than that sorry BTTF trilogy which just flat out sucked hard.

  • Sure, it borrowed Asimov's multiple-sun-eclipse idea from "Nightfall," but used it for a completely different effect: as a vehicle to shift the movie from science fiction to monster mode. And this would be a bad move if the movie turned into a strictly monster flick, but the monsters/aliens are really just another vehicle to showcase what the movie is REALLY about: what humans will do when they are thrown into a life or death struggle for survival--a story that has been with us as long as we've been struggling to survive, a truly mythic story. Faced with death, will humans lose their humanity to save their own skin? Or will they trascend mere physical survival to risk it all for the sake of others? This is a common element in hero stories throughout history; it is not simply physical triumph (beating up the bad guy, killing the monster, blowing up the Death Star), but rather it is the point at which the hero risks himself to save others, THAT is when he becomes a hero. That has been the point of the hero myth throughout history, the development of empathy and self-sacrifice. And that is what this story is about, Riddick rejoining the human race and becoming more than just a badass. That is what elevates Pitch Black above mere science fiction or horror or adventure or any other genre that it managages to blend so well in one slick package. Pitch Black is mythic. And The Chronicles of Riddick looks like it will expand upon everything that makes Pitch Black great.

  • June 9, 2004, 8:42 p.m. CST


    by nismonick

    Hey, Does anyone know the song playing in the background of the commercials (especially the radio ad) is??? It sounds awesome! Also anyone know if theres gonna be a sountrack to this movie?? -Nick

  • June 9, 2004, 9:32 p.m. CST

    Nismonik -- Trailer music...

    by SmarkJobber

    Yeah, "Riddick" uses Elfman's main theme from the "Planet of the Apes" remake. Kinda fitting that they'd use music from another mediocre sci-fi movie, huh?

  • June 9, 2004, 9:39 p.m. CST

    My two cents

    by BillEmic

    I caught a screening of this movie last night in Detroit and I have to say that Quint's review is pretty spot-on. It's very, very underwhelming. I'd forgive cheezy special effects and space opera terms like "Necromongers" if the film had decent action sequences and characterization. But it doesn't. The only thing Quint failed to point out is that the action sequences are horribly directed and edited. Chronicles of Riddick uses the sloppy and choppy style that Hollywood seems to favor as of late, where every move is rendered undecipherable by poor angles and jumpy editing. I honestly don't know what Moriarty saw in this film. Yeah, it tries to create a new sci-fi universe but...that only gets you so far. This is a text book case of DVD rental...check it out for $3.50 when it hits Blockbuster. That's my whole hearted advice.

  • June 10, 2004, 3:25 a.m. CST

    Chronicles of Riddick

    by southernangelq

    I enjoyed Pitch Black. It was different and held my interest. So did Riddick. Most women find Riddick shivery sexy, even my sixty year old mom.