Hello again, my geeky friends and a hearty welcome back to all my friends who are returning from Dragon*Con. I am sure you had a blast and I am very jealous.
We are getting into what Hollywood calls the dumping ground. This happens twice a year. Once in January and again in September. These two months, these dumping grounds as it were, are the months that Hollywood choses to release the films that they don’t believe in. They could be films that started out great but fell apart during production. They could be films that had a great cast but a poor script and they had hoped those issues would get resolved during production or they could be films that just didn’t work at all but because of the cast or director or producer, they don’t want them to go straight to dvd, so they give them a token release in a month that isn’t too busy so maybe they won’t do too badly and no one will notice.
This happens in January because it’s the beginning of the year. The holidays are over. The weather is lousy. Kids are back in school. All the Oscar hopefuls that opened in limited release are slowly expanding and it’s the time for serious films to dominate.
That’s when Hollywood opens the next Underworld film. That’s when a turkey like Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (which I liked for the record) opens and does decent numbers.
This also happens in September. The summer is coming to an end. Kids are starting school. Most vacations are over. Most people are suffering from Blockbuster fatigue and are tired of superheros and explosions. All the Oscar hopefuls are just hitting the festival circuit and Hollywood wants a few weeks buffer between the last summer movie and the first serious movie.
That’s why we are getting Insidious chapter 2 next week and that is also why we are getting only one real wide release this week. By the end of the month, we’ll start getting some real serious Oscar level films and starting the first of October, the race will begin.
This week, however, we are getting…..
RIDDICK (R 119 Minutes)
It’s nice to see an honest to God passion project get made. This is nothing if not a passion project. In 2000, Vin Diesel and Writer/Director David Twohy made a down and dirty little sci-fi/horror flick called Pitch Black that, while far from perfect, introduced us to Richard B Riddick, a furyian who can see in the dark and is one tough son of a gun.
A couple of years later, Vin made a little flick you may have heard of called The Fast and the Furious that made him an A level star. He leveraged that fame into getting the second Riddick film made.
The Chronicles of Riddick (2004) was decent but it’s ambition was greater than its budget. It did widen the universe though and introduced an entire solar system of planets and Peoples and humanity devouring religion (interesting metaphor) into what had been a very small feeling film-verse in Pitch Black.
The one thing it didn’t do though was make money. It did okay but got lost in a crowded summer of blockbusters. Vin Diesel has been saying for years that they were going to make another Riddick film and everyone just nodded and said Sure they are, Vin. Just as soon as you get named King of Hollywood.
After returning to the Fast and Furious franchise and making three films in a row that not only got better and better but also made hundreds of millions of dollars, I guess he actually did get named King of Hollywood because here we are talking about that third film.
They were wise enough to learn from past mistakes though. This film is a return to the Pitch Black formula. Take Riddick, put him on a hostile planet, in the hands of bounty hunters and let the games begin.
I have actually steered clear of spoilers about the film’s plot so I am going into this one as blind as I can be. I’ve only seen the trailers and know that Kara Thrace is among the bounty hunters, but aside from that, I don’t know where the story is going. I am curious to see how they get from the end of Chronicles of Riddick to the beginning of this film though.
Aside from Vin Diesel, the one through-line through all the films is Writer/Director David Twohy. It’s nice to see him get to return to the series he created and loves.
And any chance to see Kara…I mean Katee Sackhoff on-screen is one I can’t pass up.
SPECIAL SHOWINGS BEGIN TONIGHT AT 8PM. OPENS TOMORROW EVERYWHERE.
As I’ve said, this is a dump month, so there isn’t much to talk about this week or next, but I will do my best to fill the spaces with words until the drought is over and the movie rains begin to fall again on the 27th.
Until next time, Keep the Projector Threaded.