Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Paging Dame Judi Dench

Is the Great Dame free at the moment? She needs to clear her schedule, as do Karl Urban and Thandie Newton, because they need to be ready to turn up for the next two installments of The Chronicles of Riddick, which Vin Diesel has announced are in the works right now.

Yes, we are as shocked as you are, Dame Dench. To many people (including at least one reader of this blog, and she knows who she is), this news is baffling, risible, proof of the delusions of Mr. Diesel. To others, me included, this is THE BEST NEWS EVER. Even better, judging from the enthusiastic responses on these pages, I now know I'm not alone. It's astonishing to find out that The Chronicles of Riddick, which has been used as a punchline for so long, actually has a fanbase. I really thought no one liked it. It's not like it set the world on fire, unlike what happens to the surface of prison planet Crematoria during daytime, if you know what I'm talking about.

Of course, Diesel is in the entertainment news a lot right now, as trailers for the fourth Fast And/Or Furious film has recently debuted, and his new movie Babylon A.D. is coming out on Friday. This is a cause for celebration for me, even though writer-director Matthieu Kassovitz is the man behind the appalling Gothika, a movie so utterly forgettable that all I can remember is that Halle Berry is in it as a ghost, or someone who sees ghosts, or as the girlfriend of a ghost, or as the lawyer/doctor of a ghost, or something ectoplasm-related. Whatever. It has ghosts in it. That much I know. Still, at least that shoot was where Robert Downey Jr. met his wife Susan, so something good came out of it (if you've seen RDJr's Inside The Actors Studio you will know how adorable they both are). As for director Kassovitz, he has been aiming his stinkeye at the cretins at Fox, blaming them for ruining his film with Diesel backing him up. Commenting on the state of the movie following its butchering in the editing suite:

It's pure violence and stupidity. The movie is supposed to teach us that the education of our children will mean the future of our planet. All the action scenes had a goal: They were supposed to be driven by either a metaphysical point of view or experience for the characters... instead parts of the movie are like a bad episode of 24... I should have chosen a studio that has guts. Fox was just trying to get a PG-13 movie. I'm ready to go to war against them, but I can't because they don't give a shit.


Babylon A.D. has been publicised pretty poorly by Fox, so it has very little chance of doing well, something I had originally figured was related to lack of confidence in Diesel's box office pull, before I read about the difficulties the crew had. It's an easy mistake to make. Diesel is often treated like a muscular lunkhead, but in interviews he has always struck me as an interesting guy (code for "he's a gamer, leave him alone"). That he draws ridicule so readily is one of the reasons, I suspect, filmgoers have been ready to point and laugh at The Chronicles of Riddick. If they don't like it, fair enough, but it's been laughed at in much the same way David Caruso's post NYPD Blue film career was. "Look at where your hubris and arrogance took you, Diesel", seems to be the cry. Screw that. It was a crazy-bold adventure filled with imagination and demented vision. I'd never argue that it was perfect, or a great film, but it was much better than many will give it credit, and it finishes on a perfect note. I've been eager to see the next installment ever since, and would have taken it in any format, be it comic, game, or animation. I can't wait, and I know for a fact that Brian Michael Bendoom is happy about it too. Upon hearing about the potential sequels, he said:

And no one would dare argue with... BENDOOM! (For background on Brian Michael Bendis' ill-treatment of the ultimate Marvel comics villain, check out these funny pages.)


Jaredan said...

Vin Diesel is a D&D playing, WoW addicted creature of awesome. He is Conan in space and should be afforded the credit such a postion deserves.
But please, for Christ's sake, no more Pacifier.

Admiral Neck said...

We saw The Pacifier the same day we saw the unutterably shitty Monster-In-Law, and compared to that still-born garbage (directed by Robert Luketic, also responsible for Worst Movie of 2008 contender 21), the Diesel film was The Godfather. Well, no, it was
Lethal Weapon 4. Okay, it was Kindergarten Cop, but still, it was way way better than the other dreck, and actually made us laugh about twice (Monster-In-Law just made us shout at the TV). Plus, it kept Diesel in the public eye long enough to keep Riddick sequel potential high. Shame Babylon A.D. will wreck that potential.