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Friday, 01 December 2006 |  Written by Mel Odom  | 
Chronicles of Riddick, The Vin Diesel first brought the character of Riddick to life in a slick B movie science fiction/horror presentation called “Pitch Black”. As Riddick, Diesel was sheer menace in motion for the first part of the movie and truly looked as though he was going to be the ultimate villain. That part ended up being played by the indigenous predatory life forms that only came out in the extended darkness on the planet, giving the film its name. That feature also played to Riddick’s strength because his eyes had been altered so they couldn’t stand bright lights and he could see perfectly in the darkness. By the end of that movie, Riddick managed to escape and bring a few other survivors with him when they finally blasted off for outer space. When I found out there was going to be a sequel, I truly believed we were going to get another science fiction/horror ...
Editor's rating: 
Wednesday, 01 November 2006 |  Written by Darren Gross  | 
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines It is several years after “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” and John Connor (Nick Stahl) is now a nomad. He travels around the country alone, works odd jobs and never stays in one place for too long. While it appears as if his and his mother’s actions in the previous film have prevented the global apocalypse, his nightmares and instincts tell him that doom lies just around the corner. Appearing from the future are the “TX” (Loken) intent on killing all of John Connor’s seconds-in-command, including Catherine Brewster (Danes), the young daughter of an important military general (Andrews) who is being pressured to upload a program called “Skynet” into the worldwide web in order to eradicate a world-wide computer virus. On the TX’s trail is another T-101 (Schwarzenegger), intent on assuring the future of John Connor and Catherine Brewster. Jonathan Mostow’s sequel follows the pattern set by the previous films: a central chase filled ...
Editor's rating: 
Wednesday, 01 November 2006 |  Written by Bill Warren  | 
Doom Universal had high hopes for “Doom.” An international consortium was put together to make this moderately expensive movie, based on a home video game wildly popular the world over. But the movie tanked at the box office—has ANY movie based on a video game done particularly well? It’s possible that they tend to make their money in ancillary markets—that is, on video. But even if that’s true, if a customer has a choice between a standard DVD of the movie and this high-definition DVD, there’s no compelling reason to go with the more expensive disc, as high-definition adds very little to this movie—which needs all the help it can get. Occasionally, studios have fun playing with their logos, as when with movies with winter setting, we see the logo covered in snow. Universal has had more fun with the image BEHIND the logo—the Earth itself. (So shouldn’t the name be Planetary rather than ...
Editor's rating: 
Wednesday, 01 November 2006 |  Written by Darren Gross  | 
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory When this remake of “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” was announced a couple of years ago, the idea was met with much consternation. The 1971 original has become a much-beloved family favorite and a few generations have grown up with its deliciously twisted story, charming heart and memorable songs. How could a remake in the cold corporate world of the ‘00s even begin to compare? The easy answer is simple- by returning to Roald Dahl’s original book (and title) and visualizing parts of the story that were a technically impossible to do 30 years ago. Apart from that, Burton filters the story through his personal vision and gives it a completely odd ball charm that frequently catches you off-guard. Reclusive, brilliant candy magnate Willy Wonka (Johnny Depp) has kept himself locked away in his candy factory for decades. Unseen by the public for years, the world goes Wonka-crazy when a worldwide sweepstakes is ...
Editor's rating: 
Tuesday, 01 August 2006 |  Written by Darren Gross  | 
Serenity Based on the short-lived 2002 Fox TV series “Firefly,” this miraculous spin-off feature tells the tale of a small rag-tag group of outlaws and lost souls aboard the rust bucket space ship Serenity. After rescuing one of their crew, a psychic named River (Glau), from a security facility, the crew finds her emotionally unstable and discovers that she has been programmed to let loose in violent, room flattening outbursts when a subliminal message is broadcast in her vicinity. As Captain Mal Reynolds (Fillion) flees the coldly lethal government operative (Ejiofor) sent against them, he endeavors to decipher the federation-shattering secret that River carries buried in her head. This extremely likeable and original science-fiction adventure plays like a thinking man’s underdog version of “Star Trek.” Serenity’s crew is a morally grey but honorable and ultimately justified bunch and one roots for them passionately and feels their shocking losses strongly. Thematically and iconically it’s somewhat reminiscent ...
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