Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Pitch Black: Yeah, o.k., all right, I get it. (P.S. this is not a picture of Vin Diesel in the movie. I think those are espresso cups).

I was lucky to find a copy of Pitch Black at my local library. I watched it the other night and was very pleased! Although it lacked depth in parts, and made a few mistakes, it was a well done B movie. I wondered if Frye from the cartoon “Futurama” was named after the docking pilot from this movie. (She was the mistake: when they were skittering across the atmosphere, and the “windshield” blew out, she didn’t get burned or anything). But Frye was a great name for her character and I thought she lent a tough seriousness to the role.

Remember the end when Riddick got to the ship and was going to leave without the others? And Frye shows up? I thought he looked almost embarrassed as he attempted to help her into the ship, after breaking her spirit (or so he thought). But then she died and he had his Streetcar moment (“Stella!”) shouting “it was supposed to be me!” or whatever he said. Then he flew away with the black guy and “girl/boy” Jack.

I loved the junkie mercenary. He was a tough, kick ass kind of guy brought down by a habit. And shooting up in his eye was marvelously skin-crawling.

Maybe I was a little tired watching it but I found it difficult to figure out what everyone was doing on the ship. Did Jack belong to the antiques dealer? Where the hell was everyone going? Who were all those people? The woman with the long dark hair? And the ship seemed to be hit by unfriendly fire but they never seemed to agree why. I was trying to pay attention, really.

I thought hard about the second movie (Chronicles of...) based on the first. Riddick’s reluctant hero/criminal/superstrong/tough guy character isn’t fully explained. It seems he’s human but had the operation on his eyes so he could see in the darkness of prison. But did that make him blind in the light? I saw him looking around without his sungoggles on. What was this talk about his race being so special? The handprint on his chest?

The aliens were cool killing beasts and I wished we had seen them in the second movie. Not those stupid Necromongers. Maybe if they gave birth to the aliens it would have made more sense. I guess David Twohey has been taking Epic lessons from Antoine Fuqua. He said, “I can do that!” And Vin said, “Yeah, I’ll, like, be the star, and have all the cool lines, and the other dudes will talk like the guys who were in ‘I, Claudius’ on PBS.”

I decided to rename the Chronicles of Riddick to: “Pitch Black II: Not so dark.”

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