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Thom Wade

The Chronicles of Riddick

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Last saturday. I didn't have my computer, as I was leaving L.A. Got to meet Tom Savini, Greg Nicotero, Ken Foree (Dawn Of The Dead), Sid Haig (Spider Baby/House Of 1000 Corpses), Tony Todd(the Candyman) and Mick Garris (the Stand, the Shining). I missed Romero and Robert England, unfortunately.

Fun way to end my time in L.A. What interested me was they interviewed one of the effects/design guys from the Chronicles of Riddick, Patrick Tatopoulos. According to him, this is the start of a trilogy (three Riddick films, excluding Pitch Black). He also is working on I, Robot, and he said that the robots that are appearing in the ads are not the finished product. This same guy was the designer for Dark City, which seems far more obvious in the Riddick stuff than the I, Robot stuff.

Also asked Mick Garris if King kept the heavy religious stuff in his script for the Desperation TV movie. Garris smiled sheepishly and said yes. In fact, he feels it's a bit to preachy and needs to be toned down. His upcoming Ride the Bullet looks intriguing.

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"One of the best sci-fi films ever!"

- Shawn Edwards, Fox TV.

Is this guy credible?

-s.

Edited by stef

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An early review I'd heard is that it's merely OK. He noted that Twohy goes into Michael Bay mode when Riddick is beating the snot out of the enemy.

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Have you seen Pitch Black? I was under the impression the girl Jack was one of the survivors of PB. How is this film in comparison?

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I've seen Pitch Black. Haven't seen CoR yet, but I remember some press that did say that the Jack character is the same from PB, only all growed up and pretty like - and, I think, played by a different actress.

I couldn't find the character listed for CoR on IMDB, though, so I don't know who the new actress may be.

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Have you seen Pitch Black?  I was under the impression the girl Jack was one of the survivors of PB.  How is this film in comparison?

Never heard of it or read anything else. I went into this film blind. Anyone else seen it?

I saw it. Not the best sci-fi film, but not too bad. I don't think it's as dumbed down as Riddick is, from what I've heard.

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Alan wrote:

: Nezpop wrote:

: : Have you seen Pitch Black? . . . How is this film in comparison?

:

: Never heard of it . . .

[ boggle ]

How is it possible to review a sequel without ever having heard of the original!? I mean, heck, your review refers to movies that Twohy has WRITTEN, like G.I. Jane and Waterworld, so obviously you must have done SOME research (though it would have made more sense, I think, to refer to other sci-fi films he has DIRECTED, like The Arrival and, yes, Pitch Black; I wasn't aware that he had written those other films you mentioned, actually).

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I enjoyed Pitch Black as the campy B-movie that it was. Just the idea of "developing" that world into something epic and melodramatic turns me off. That kind of tone would spoil what was fun about Twohy's first venture with Riddick.

I *am* a little surprised, Alan, that you got to the film without having heard about its predecessor. True, it wasn't on the posters, but there was a lot of discussion about it in the rising buzz for the film.

Nevertheless, your review seems to do a good job of highlighting what other critics generally agree are the problems with the film.

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Alan wrote:

: Since the first wasn't a great hit, it's not reasonable to expect Riddick's viewers to

: know these details, especially since they weren't forwarned.

I disagree. For one thing, Pitch Black WAS a hit, albeit a modest one, but it did well for a low-budget sci-fi flick and it generated a fair bit of buzz at the time it came out, at least among sci-fi fans.

For another, many films that do modest business on the big screen find huge followings on video, and this builds up the audiences for their sequels beyond anything the first films experienced during their theatrical runs. [*] Keep in mind, BTW, that the newspaper ads for Riddick are also advertising straight-to-video spin-offs, which may be a nod to the first film's video fanbase.

On top of all that, the new film makes SEVERAL explicit references to the earlier film -- it even recycles a bit of the old footage, if I'm not mistaken.

Plus, Pitch Black was one of the key films in Vin Diesel's rise to stardom -- until that point, he was known only as the first soldier with a name to get bumped off in Saving Private Ryan. (Well, and as the voice of The Iron Giant, too.) You might say Pitch Black was the film that made The Fast and the Furious and XXX possible -- so Vin's fans, at least, would definitely know all about this new film's sequelness.

[*] I am reminded of how Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me and Terminator 2: Judgment Day outperformed their predecessors' entire box-office runs on their opening weekends alone, due in large measure to the wide exposure the original films got on video. Since Pitch Black grossed $39 million during its entire run (not THAT bad for a film released in February) and Riddick seems poised to do about $30 million this weekend, it seems the new film won't join THOSE ranks -- but it does show that a film's reputation can go well beyond its initial theatrical release.

Jeffrey Overstreet wrote:

: I enjoyed Pitch Black as the campy B-movie that it was.

Me too -- and those eclipses! those starscapes! wow!

: Just the idea of "developing" that world into something epic and melodramatic

: turns me off. That kind of tone would spoil what was fun about Twohy's first

: venture with Riddick.

I agree. The new film is far too self-serious and portentous for its own good -- it turns out Riddick is yet another person with a destiny, someone whose great deeds for foreseen by a prophet, yada yada yada. There are none of the modest frights and thrills that the original film had, just a bunch of actors walking around in stiff costumes -- I kept wondering what these people all did in their "down time", when they weren't pacing about and speaking in ultra-serious voices. (This film also confirms for me that

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Well, the marketing is avoiding the sequel thing...it's supposed to be the start of a trilogy (a quadrilogy if you include Pitch Black). I am a bit annoyed by the DVD re-release being called the Chronicles of Riddick: Pitch Black. That film was about the ensemble-the pilot played by Radha Mitchell was every bit important to the film-and Riddick's growth as a character...as was the character Jack. It was about the survivors, not just Riddick. At least they didn't alter the film itself to bear the Chronicles of Riddick in the title sequence.

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Saw this one this afternoon. Wasn't expecting too much, and got what I expected. Still think Pitch Black was better, even though it's been a while since I've seen it. Some campy fun to be found in this one. Number one thing I have to say is that I definitely makes me appreciate the Star Wars prequels, because even Phantom Menace puts this one to shame in terms of universe building, acting, etc.

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Would anyone here believe me if i said that i actually enjoyed Pitch Black, and that i thought VD was really cool in it?! Yes this is really me talking, nobody got to my password.

-s.

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I believe it. You actually thought the original Matrix was a great movie... tongue.gif

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Just a jab at Stef.

Actually, the new Matrix films and this Riddick stuff actually make me appreciate the original Matrix more for what it was. Which is a lot better than this other stuff...

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I haven't seen Pitch Black in years, and from my theater experience alone i should've HATED it. (I was there with my wife and the guy sitting next to her was in Howard Cosell mode, "Oooh, he's about to go get that girl!" "AAh, there's something behind that rock!")... But the thing i loved in particular was the texture of the picture itself. Fans of The King is Alive, one of my all-time favorites, might understand. The shots in the desert were beautiful, the two suns were a great idea. It felt hot, sweaty, dust of the earth and sand in your lungs. The picture itself just sort of writhed with an alien, otherworldy feel, and this was accomplished thru a natural camera on a natural earth. VD just plain looked cool, too, and the first half of the film, before the actual attack of the little dinosaur creatures, was very creepy and cool. I think i described the first 42 minutes of Jeepers Creepers in much the same light.

-s.

Edited by stef

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Vin Diesel signs up for another 'Riddick'

Vin Diesel is going back to the future to topline and produce a third chapter in the "Chronicles of Riddick" franchise.

Universal will handle domestic distribution on the sci-fi film, which is titled "Riddick." Lionsgate is selling international rights at the Berlin Film Festival.

David Twohy -- who wrote and directed the first two films in the series, "Pitch Black" and "The Chronicles of Riddick" -- will helm from a screenplay he penned.

Plot details are being kept under wraps. But insiders say the third outing will hew closer in tone to the cult hit "Pitch Black" and will focus on the character of Riddick as opposed to the universe he inhabits, which was the case with the critically panned "Chronicles of Riddick." . . .

Variety, February 11

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