Posts Tagged ‘Pitch Black’

Pitch Black (aka Chronicles of Riddick: Pitch Black)

August 1, 2010 Leave a comment

The film that launched Vin Diesal from being an unknown starring in Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan into an action star. Also this film helped actress Radha Mitchell (Man on Fire, Silent Hill) get her ticket into the Hollywood limelight. The ‘Chronicles of Riddick’ was added to the title after the release of its sequel in 2004 titled The Chronicles of Riddick with the intention of a trilogy. A 3rd film is currently in the works bringing back the collaboration of David Twohy & Vin Diesal. A video game was released that acted as a connecting storyline between the first two films.

Written & Directed by David Twohy (Director of both Riddick films & 2009’s A Perfect Getaway). Wrote the films The Fugitive, G.I. Jane & Waterworld. Cole Hauser (Good Will Hunting, Tears of The Sun) stars as Johns, a bounty hunter tasked with transporting Riddick to prison. Radha Mitchell stars as Carolyn Fry, the surviving member of the flight crew who is wrongfully praised for their survival of crashing onto the planet. Keith David (Armageddon, Crash) stars as Abu ‘Imam’ al-Walid, a priest and father of three children.

A transport vessel crashes onto a desert planet after being struck by a meteor storm. They believe they are always in the light as the planet is orbited by 3 suns and quickly realize the need to find a water source. Soon, the 10 remaining survivors come across a mining colony where they find food and water. One of them is brutally killed and Riddick is captured and blamed for the murder. But they soon find out that the prior inhabitants never left but were killed by whatever killed their comrade. They soon come across these creatures as one of the children is killed and learn that they only stick to the night/dark. Therefore, if they stay in the light they would be fine. But of course this is a movie and it’s not that easy. They win the award for bad timing as an eclipse that only happens ever 22 years is about to occur.

“You’re not afraid of the dark are you?”

Now it’s a race against time to get the needed power cells they came across at the mining colony to their shuttle before darkness falls. Of course that doesn’t happen and the survivors are now at the mercy of relying on Riddick and, after a surgical operation in prison, his ability to see in the night. Will they make it off the planet alive with tensions mounting, trust dwindling and people dying?

The film mixes horror and action well without trying to be more of one rather than the other. With films like this, the character development is something that is usually forgotten in screenplay but not in this case. Not every character gets this treatment but the need isn’t there either. Plus after the sequel came out, this movie itself can be considered as development of the returning characters.

If you’re a fan of Vin Diesal than I highly recommend this movie. Also, with other viewings, this film will bring back that feeling of potential that we got our next big muscular action hero as his following films have been duds (The Pacifier) or cheesy attempts on action franchises (XXX). Plus we get some good one-liners that every action hero has to be remembered by and quoted on for years to come such as “Did not know whom he was fucking with!” The film itself isn’t even scary at all and doesn’t seem like it tries to be. It has more of that science-fiction/action feel to it and the sequel is undoubtedly placed in that category.


Phone Booth

February 28, 2010 Leave a comment

A thriller starring Colin Farrell (Minority Report, Miami Vice) as Stu who answers a phone call from a phone booth, apparently the only working phone booth left in New York. The man on the other side who has taken control of Stu’s life is played by the actor I’ve renamed The Actor Formerly Known as Kiefer Sutherland (The Lost Boys, Dark City) after falling in love with his portrayal on the tv show ’24’ as Jack Bauer. Now I just call him Jack Bauer. Stu has two love interests in this movie played by Katie Holmes (Batman Begins, The Gift) & Radha Mitchell (Pitch Black, Man on Fire), the latter being his wife. The cop in charge is played by Forest Whitaker (Vantage Point, Panic Room) who always gives us a good performance, his role in this film is Captain Ed Ramey.

My roommate actually just walked by and said “Would you like to have Jack Bauer hold you hostage in a phone booth?”

The movie plays off the saying “a ringing phone has to be answered”. The movie starts off with a montage of people on their phones and a narrator telling us some facts and the importance of communication in our everyday lives. The movie itself  takes place in one location, a phone booth and its surroundings. Being in a phone booth for basically the entirety of the film gives us that claustrophobic feel and the fear of imprisonment with the tension building from an unseen enemy who has shown you what he is capable of and what he could possibly do to you.

The film is directed well by Joel Schumacher (8MM, A Time to Kill) who has an up & down resume. This movie is done in real-time from beginning to end and it does not last longer than needed. Schumacher does a good job of building the suspense scene after scene and it keeps you focused on how Stu handles each situation “the caller” gives him and what he’s going to do next. The only thing I didn’t care for or could have done without was the split screen showing us different angles of the current situation. Cool idea, but done wrong in this case.

Colin Farrell does a good job in this role which was originally intended for Jim Carrey. This movie made me like him as an actor after first seeing him in American Outlaws portraying Jesse James which was strictly just a fun guilty pleasure western. It’s worth a watch if you’re looking for a quick and short thriller that will keep you entertained in under an hour and a half. To me it didn’t even feel like it was an hour-long. Rating 7/10