Vin Diesel

‘Furious 7’ delivers your over-the-top action fix

Big action, gravity-defying car shenanigans, and unstoppable macho energy make for a ridiculously fun ride. Yes, some sloppy editing bogs down director James Wan’s more-is-more finale, but that’s only in comparison to the other set pieces, which are damn near flawless. Fans of the action genre will want to catch this one early and often.

‘The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay’ handily bests its film counterpart

2004 was supposed to be the year of Riddick, at least as far as Universal Studios was concerned. In response to the adamant fan demands for a sequel to the 2000 cult-classic Pitch Black, Universal was attempting to seize an opportunity by building a multi-million dollar franchise out of one the sci-fi slashers surviving characters: Richard B. Riddick, better known as simply “Riddick”.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ is good, freaky fun

Of course, Guardians isn’t perfect, as it struggles to find a consistent tone. Sometimes it wants to be more adult, with bawdier language and sexual innuendo. For instance, Quill’s rumination that “If I had a black light, this place would look like a Jackson Pollock painting!” is pretty sophisticated for mainstream PG-13 fare. Other times, it feels as though the filmmakers are pandering to a much younger audience. You can almost visualize a ‘Dancing Groot’ doll gyrating in your kid’s Happy Meal.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ is solid entertainment, despite some wonky action and character work

For every good sequence, there’s one that’s muddled with bad camerawork and editing. Like a lot of blockbuster action, it’s barely legible; you have to work to keep up with it, and that work interferes with the enjoyment. The story also sags in the middle, as it seems to exist mainly to fill out the run-time. The protagonists take the MacGuffin to a dude they wish to sell it to, but the only real function of the section is to exposit what it is. It turns a big chunk of the plot into a shrug.

New trailer for Marvel and James Gunn’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

A galaxy’s apparently at threat, but despite all the aerial combat and general punching of people, the trailer for Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy is positively jovial in spirit (in the sky). James Gunn (Super, Slither) directs this adaptation of a comparatively lesser-known superhero property, which stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Lee Pace, Benicio Del Toro, Karen Gillan, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, Djimon Hounsou, Michael Rooker, Peter Serafinowicz, and the voices of Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper. To this writer’s mind, the (good) feeling that this looks like a weirder version of Firefly is strengthened by this first full trailer, which you can view below. Big damn heroes, etc.

‘Riddick’ retreads familiar ground in lieu of innovation

It will probably be one of those unsolved mysteries of the ages, like the Voynich Manuscript or the secret ingredient to Spam, how a third Riddick movie got made. The first installment in the now 13-year old franchise, 2000’s Pitch Black, is largely looked back on as being not bad, and its follow-up, 2004’s The Chronicles of Riddick is remembered mostly for being terrible, and featuring Judi Dench in a rare career misstep.

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