Pin It
Favorite

DVD Review 

by Marty Demarest


Big stars don't just make movies these days. They make franchises. Pop stars "branch out" into perfume brands and religious movements. Mid-celebrities reinvent careers by producing reality TV shows about themselves. And pray for the poor soul who isn't a live actor at all, but is instead computer-generated: Before you can say "Disney," they're the stuff of sponsorship deals and Happy Meals.


Smart celebrities, however, take the more creative route. Instead of waiting around to be replaced by a special effect, they take their personas and start turning them into multi-media characters. The sooner they stake out territory in the franchise realm, the better they'll be able to play the game of being a star in the age of video games and CGI movies.


In this case, Vin Diesel further develops the killer Riddick he created in the sci-fi film Pitch Black. Dark Fury was released on DVD at the same time as Pitch Black's sequel, The Chronicles of Riddick, arrived in movie theaters and a Riddick video game -- Escape from Butcher Bay -- started receiving praise from gamers.


Among them, Dark Fury is easily the best-looking. The animation is liquid and dynamic, with shadows and lights rippling across characters. That's to be expected from director Peter Chung, the animator who created Aeon Flux and delivered The Animatrix's lavish conclusion "Matriculated." He's the ideal choice to direct Dark Fury with his kinetic visual style and demonstrated ability to work with franchises. The latter quality means that he doesn't mess with the Pitch Black feel, and the former means that Dark Fury is often stunning.


Unfortunately, there are some sequences done using computer-generated images (mainly space ships and large groups of soldiers) that don't mesh with the film at all. Which is a surprise, because Chung's computer-enhanced work usually shows a skillful touch with technology. In Dark Fury, for example, Riddick is forced to fight an in-the-dark battle with glowing, floating aliens.


I say "forced to fight" because the story -- which picks up immediately after Pitch Black -- is designed to give Riddick the opportunity to engage in fights that would be too expensive in a regular motion picture. These include a haunting, cinematic battle in zero-gravity, and a time-slowed duel that shows how astonishingly lethal Riddick is. In fact, it explains why the character abandons his friends before The Chronicles of Riddick.





Publication date: 06/24/04

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Game Changer
  • Game Changer

    Since Condon became mayor, Jan Quintrall has been responsible for some of the biggest changes in the city of Spokane — and some of its biggest controversies
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • In Contempt
  • In Contempt

    A Spokane judge rules that the mental health system has willfully failed to follow evaluation deadlines
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • Never Again
  • Never Again

    Washington state lawmakers push reforms after last July's murder-suicide; plus, Spokane's police ombudsman is leaving
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun
Campbell House Holidays

Campbell House Holidays @ Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through Jan. 4

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Marty Demarest

  • The Cowboy's Cowboy
  • The Cowboy's Cowboy

    A Canadian sings about the life —  not just the lifestyle — of the new West
    • May 15, 2013
  • Completing the Trilogy
  • Completing the Trilogy

    Mass Effect has finally arrived
    • May 23, 2012
  • Minecraft
  • Minecraft

    Adventure and survival too often give way to mindless crafts in this building-block simulator.
    • Feb 8, 2012
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Game Changer

    Since Condon became mayor, Jan Quintrall has been responsible for some of the biggest changes in the city of Spokane — and some of its biggest controversies
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • Let Us Breathe

    Spokane joins national protests over the failure to indict white officers for killing black civilians
    • Dec 10, 2014
  • More »

© 2014 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation