11/27/2005: "movie reviews"
I've had the chance recently to watch a whole bunch of DVDs. Here are my thoughts:
The Chronicles of Riddick
Have you ever watched Dune without reading the book? Heck, even with reading the book the movie is almost a nonsensical mess. You know there's a story there somewhere, and you're trying to follow it, but you're missing just enough information to not really follow along enjoyably. The Chronicles of Riddick is a modern-day Dune, but with a nice easy storyline that's right out front where you can grab on to it.
How can I compare the two? Well, let's see. They're both cast in a far future of humanity where we've spread to the stars. Both are about overthrowing established powers (to one extent or another), both are about unlikely heroes, and both have a huge tapestry of rich background information, mythology, and history that simply isn't adequately explained in the movie. The difference is, you can get by without it in Riddick, where the lack of said information really hobbles your enjoyment of Dune.
Dune is not an action movie. Riddick is an action movie. (With Vin Diesel cast in the lead role, how could it not be?) As it's an action movie, things move. By and large they move along quite linearly, almost predictably, but you still enjoy it because you can follow it, and there's lots of special effects, fighting, and even some near-Shakespearian drama to boot.
I could watch Riddick again and probably catch a lot more than I did the first time. I'd enjoy it too. Dune? Well, I've read the book twice, seen the movie as many times... meh. The action makes Riddick worthwhile.
Fight Club is very good, and highly recommended.
12 Monkeys is quite good.
Signs is quite good, and suspenseful.
Kill Bill Volume 1 is really quite excellent, especially the anime part.
Kill Bill Volume 2 is good, but not quite as much so as Volume 1, perhaps only because by the time you get to Volume 2 you've had over two hours to acclimatize to the Tarantino goodness.