Movies: Pitch Black
I suppose the movie "Pitch Black" was surprisingly successful upon release. Successful enough, at least, to merit an awful sequel, a good videogame, and a decent animated spinoff movie. I had never seen the original, though, so I decided to queue it up on my Blockbuster account to see if there was anything worth seeing.
A group of survivors find themselves marooned on a desert planet where night falls every 22 years - but they're not alone. Along for the ride is Richard B. Riddick, an incredibly dangerous convict. Even worse, nocturnal terrors lurk underneath the planet - and time is running short...
"Pitch Black" is an uneven mashup of the scifi and horror genres - it tries to be this generation's "Alien," but director David Twohy is no Ridley Scott. The real strength of the movie is Vin Diesel's performance as anti-hero and general badass Riddick. His largely amoral character is memorable enough that he's the star of all the spinoffs and sequels.
Unfortunately, the plot is pretty awful. The characters all make some rather stupid decisions (including a panic attack that comes at the worst possible time), and since you start off with so many people, they end up feeling like cannon fodder at the end of the film (the same mistake committed by the "Dawn of the Dead" remake, BTW). The film is admirable, I guess, for looking as good as it does with a relatively small budget for a blockbuster, but that doesn't make me wanna see it again.