Anime Club: The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury

Hello everybody! While this is not necessarily an anime in the traditional sense, I wanted to include it in this week’s club regardless. This time we have The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury.

THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK: DARK FURY

220px-Dark_fury_cover

CREATED BY: Peter Chung

NO. OF EPISODES: 1 Film

GENRE: Science Fiction

YEAR: 2004

COUNTRY: United States, French, South Korea

Shortly after escaping the planet from Pitch Black, Riddick, Jack, and the Imam are picked up by a Mercenary spacecraft. Although Riddick attempts to conceal his identity from the mercenaries by impersonating William J. Johns (in Pitch Black) over the intercom, they quickly voice-print and identify him.

2962211-chronicles-of-riddick-dark-fury-movie-still-7Captured by the mercenaries, the trio of survivors discover that their captors have unusual plans for them. The ship’s owner, Antonia Chillingsworth, collects criminals, whom she freezes and keeps as statues that are, in her view, art. Although the criminals are frozen, they are alive and conscious. To her Riddick is the ultimate “masterpiece” for her collection. Riddick, Jack, and Imam must fight their way through the army of human and alien creatures at her disposal or they will meet a fate crueler than death.

It’s time to face off Dark Fury. Is there anything I actually like about you? A few things, but very little.  Set right after the events of Pitch BlackDark Fury does feature the return of the main cast, voicing their respective characters from the previous film. I strongly believe that they regret it now, but that is beyond the point. The only other positive I would like to point out is the animation style. I am not particularly a fan of its crudeness, but it seems thematically appropriate for the Riddick universe.

4055_2Now this is going to be fun. Dark Fury, what was the reason you were made? First of all, the film is only about 30-40 minutes long, so it would have been easily classified as an original video animation (OVA) instead of a film. Definitely not a surprise that it went straight to DVD. The encounter seems random in the series timeline, as it doesn’t necessarily make any significant on the story as a whole excluding Jack’s character development. As I mentioned above, I was not a fan of the animation style one bit. Even though it was thematically appropriate, it just appeared crude and amateurish. Sorry for not liking your work, the great Peter Chung. Maybe next time.

PROS:

  • Thematically appropriate animation.
  • Return of main Pitch Black cast.

CONS:

  • Peter Chung miss.
  • Crude and amateurish animation.
  • Not necessary.
  • Should have been made as an OVA.

SCORE: 3.0 / 10

If you have any suggestions for films/TV/Games/Music/Anime for me to review, drop me a comment!

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Furious 7: Seven Movies and They Finally Got It Right…

Hello everybody, we have perhaps the only Fast and Furious film I like, Furious 7.

FURIOUS 7

Furious_7_poster

DIRECTED: James Wan

STARRING: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Kurt Russell, Jason Statham

GENRE: Action

YEAR: 2015

COUNTRY: United States

Dominic Torretto and his crew thought they left the criminal mercenary life behind. They defeated an international furious-7terrorist named Owen Shaw and went their seperate ways. But now, Shaw’s brother, Deckard Shaw is out killing the crew one by one for revenge. Worse, a Somalian terrorist called Jakarde, and a shady government official called “Mr. Nobody” are both competing to steal a computer terrorism program called God’s Eye, that can turn any technological device into a weapon. Torretto must reconvene with his team to stop Shaw and retrieve the God’s Eye program while caught in a power struggle between terrorist and the United States government.

Alright everyone, the apocalypse has happened. I actually enjoyed watching a Fast and Furious movie. I know I know, I should have known better. Anyway Furious 7, which I wish I could say is the last Fast and Furious film, was actually incredibly entertaining. The stunts were even more ridiculous this time around, most notably during a major Furious-7-Dwayne-Johnsonrescue scene (no spoilers though). The soundtrack again was also top notch, with a blend of electronic, Latin, and hip hop.

Now to my favorite part, lets tear Furious 7 apart. The acting, just like the rest of the series, was quite sub par. I do want to call out to Vin Diesel and give him props. Who stood from the convoluted crowd as I genuinely felt the pain that he suffered after Paul Walker’s demise. While retiring his character was the right thing to do, I felt they could have done it differently. Amazing tribute to the standout actor of the series.

PROS:

  • Vin Diesel Performance.
  • Paul Walker Tribute.
  • Stunts.
  • Soundtrack.

CONS:

  • Remaining cast performances.
  • Lack of street racing,
  • Ridiculous plot.

SCORE: 6.5/10

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Guardians of the Galaxy: Marvel’s Other Superhero Team

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

STARRING: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, Benicio del Toro

DIRECTOR: James Gunn

GENRE: Superhero

YEAR: 2014

COUNTRY: United States

After discovering a mysterious orb in another part of the galaxy, Peter Quill from Earth, is now the main target of a manhunt led by a genocidal maniac Ronan The Accuser. Being hunted across the galaxy Quill gets lumped together with a group of misfits that need to learn how to get along before they can become the “Guardians of the Galaxy”. This team includes, Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, Gamora, Groot, and Drax the Destroyer.

The story focuses on the five main characters, and the way in which these radically different beings form a bond. Each character – Star Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Groot (voice of Vin Diesel) and Rocket (voice of Bradley Cooper) – is given just enough back story and setup that they have specific personality goals to achieve over the course of the film. Rocket Raccoon has an inferiority complex, Gamora has daddy issues, Star Lord has mommy issues. Even though they’re comic book badasses, everyone is flawed and vulnerable in some way. Those character pay-offs, in tandem with the story pay-offs, give the film numerous chill-inducing moments.

What holds Guardians of the Galaxy together is its humanity. Sure there’s lots of action and humor but it’s the quiet moments, the pauses, the knowing glances, that make the experience feel so wonderful. That humanity (or whatever passes for humanity when talking about Rocket and Groot) grounds an otherwise fantastic movie as something we can all relate to.

It rides the line of its PG-13 rating content wise but never demands much of the audience. There’s very little subtext or subtlety. Very few beats aren’t laid out to easily digest, save for some of those quiet pauses. Not that a movie like this needs them, but with such a diverse cast of characters and locations a hint of deeper meaning would have enhanced the story.

The film  feels way too busy for its good, crowded with more characters than is possible to keep up with. Solid actors like Benicio del Toro, Glenn Close, and John C Reilly barely get any screen time, while an important character like Thanos is introduced but never adequately employed. It’s evident also that the makers couldn’t decide on one definitive conclusion; the film has multiple endings. Yet these are minor issues in a film that is mostly enjoyable, and one that gives us such a charming set of heroes.

PROS:

  • Story.
  • Characters.
  • Main cast performances.
  • Set design.

CONS:

  • PG-13 rating.
  • Too many characters.
  • Interesting side characters not enough screen time.

SCORE: 8.9 / 10

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