#JupiterAscending #Wachowskis #BADASS

It’s been fifteen years since the Wachowskis made a truly great film. Fingers and toes crossed that this one turns out to be as good as it looks! (But remember, The Matrix Revolutions had great trailers, too. Ugh.) The Tatum/Kunis/Bean combo is very promising, though.

From the streets of Chicago to the far-flung galaxies whirling through space, this film tells the story of Jupiter Jones, who was born under a night sky, with signs predicting she was destined for great things. Now grown, Jupiter dreams of the stars but wakes up to the cold reality of a job cleaning other people’s houses and an endless run of bad breaks. Only when Caine, a genetically engineered ex-military hunter, arrives on Earth to track her down does Jupiter begin to glimpse the fate that has been waiting for her all along-her genetic signature marks her as next in line for an extraordinary inheritance that could alter the balance of the cosmos.

Riddick. Riddick! RIDDIIIIIIICK!

Riddick‘s out now. Grantland posted a wonderful primer on the series, the character, and one Mr. V. Diesel, which is well worth a read.

I love Pitch Black. It’s one of my favourite SF films of all time. Partly because of the minimal ensemble cast of almost unknown actors, partly the stark harshness (harsh starkness?) of the desert and the contrast between blazing day and total night, and partly the grungy lo-fi, low-budget vibe.

But mainly because: Riddick. Intergalactic badass with surgically shined eyes, the wits and moves of an alpha predator, and not a single sleeved shirt.

“Hello, ladies. You’re not afraid of the dark, are you?”

Then four years later came Chronicles of Riddick, a sequel with the kind of grandiose title that made me immediately worried it was going to be a completely different kind of movie. And it was, and it was objectively pretty bad – incomprehensible plot, lots of Royal Shakespeare Company-trained actors hamming it up massively, including Judi Dench (!) – but I still enjoyed it.

Because, you know – Riddick. Who (spoiler alert for a nine year old film!) ended up being emperor of the galaxy! Somehow. Maybe? I’m still not clear. He’s king of the Necromongers, at least! (Ugh.)

The closest we’ll ever get to seeing Khal Drogo on the Iron Throne, basically.

And now, those nine years later, Riddick’s back, and this time – judging by the eponymous titling of the film – it’s personal. I’m trying to avoid reading too much about the movie so I don’t spoiler myself, but I do know he’s not the king of anybody anymore. And the brief synopsis on IMDB sounds remarkably familiar:

Left for dead on a sun-scorched planet, Riddick finds himself up against an alien race of predators.

Pitch Black 2, ladies and gentlemen! I can’t wait.

Retro SF Movies that Everybody Should See

More retro-futurism stuff from io9 here.

There are some classics in here, and real favourites of mine. Moon was fantastic, minimalist and claustrophobic with a nice turn in growing tension. Dark City was brilliant as well, one of those cult classics that not enough people have seen.

I was a little surprised to see The Truman Show in the list, but it makes perfect sense – the combination of the cliché of suburban white picket fence America with Big Brother-style hi-tech surveillance absolutely makes it retro SF.

But I’m sorry – Flash Gordon was terrible, though.