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Chronicles of Riddick [HD DVD] [Import USA]
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Description du produit
Auf der Flucht vor den Söldnern, die entschlossen sind, das auf Riddick ausgesetzte Kopfgeld zu kassieren, findet sich Riddick mitten in einem intergalaktischen Krieg wieder. Die Sekte der Necromonger ist auf einem unheimlichen Kreuzzug durch das Universum und hat dabei nur ein Ziel: unterwerfen oder vernichten. Und es scheint, als sei ausgerechnet Riddick, der unwahrscheinlichste aller Helden, der Einzige, der die Menschheit retten kann. Aber welches Interesse sollte er daran haben, irgendetwas außer sein eigenes Leben zu retten...?
Richard B. Riddick ha passato gli ultimi cinque anni spostandosi nella galassia da un pianeta remoto all'altro cercando di evitare cacciatori mercenari pronti a tutto pur di intascare la taglia sulla sua testa. Ora si trova sul pianeta Helion, dove una progredita società multiculturale è stata invasa da Lord Marshal, un despota il cui obbiettivo è soggiogare gli umani per mezzo della sua terribile armata di Necromonghi. In una prigione sotterranea Riddick ritrova Kyra - unica superstite del capitolo recedente - e sulla via della fuga, per una serie circostanze, i due si trovano all'interno della nave comando dei Necromonghi. Qui, Riddick è costretto ad affrontare Lord Marshal in un combattimento apocalittico... --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.
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So I really wasn't prepared for what appeared on this screen as the film unrolled. It sneaks up on you as it opens with Riddick's attempted capture by Toombs, a bounty hunter. The irritated (and very hairy) Riddick sets out to find out who put the bounty on his head and discovers that he is being recruited to stop the conquest of space by the Necromongers. These latter are truly the knights of total badness. Their goal is entropy - the total destruction of life and rebirth onto another plane, the Underverse. The Necromongers, despite a truly heroic culture, are so bad that Vin Diesel comes up smelling like a rose.
Why hire Riddick? The theory is that sometimes you need to fight evil with a different evil. Riddick is one of the last Furyans, a people who met the Necromongers and lost. An entire male generation was destroyed right down to infants strangled with their birth cords. If anyone would want to destroy the Necromongers Riddick should. Or he would if he cared, and starting out, he doesn't. But as he walks out the Necromongers arrive. Diesel gets caught in the combat, captured by Toombs and dumped on a prison planet where he finds Kyra (who was Jack in the first film).
When the Necromongers show up again hunting for Riddick, the whole thing falls apart. Riddick, who has been pretty even tempered for a stone killer, gets really, really mad. Now it is the hunters who are hunted in a spectacular display of violence, betrayal, and architecture. Yes, I said architecture.
Whoever did the set design and effects for this film (hats off to director David Twohy) simply went insane. The planetary and prison settings were delightful on their own (imagine being chased across a planet by a sunrise that will burn you to a crisp), but the work on the Necromongers is simply amazing. They have been designed from the ground up. Clothes, armor, spaceships, interiors, culture, etc., etc., etc.
Between the effects and the settings I had to watch the film twice to notice that there really was a plot, albeit a skeletal one. And half the actors to reasonable jobs with a script of a maximum of 2,000 words. Purists who demand great art and drama may be dismayed, but this film was downright fun to watch. A sci-fi barnburner with all the stops pulled out. If you like fast, furious, and dirty, Riddick is the hero for you.
Riddick treated like an animal in a cage for so much of his life and hardly knowing how to relate to the human race anymore, starts a slow painful journey to regain his humanity in Pitch Black and you can see his incremental steps forward with a few slips back, in this film.
That's what most reviewers forget. The entire thing is about Riddick. Everything else is icing. There are fewer words in the script, but if you recall, Riddick didn't speak for almost the first half of Pitch Black. Riddick is a thinker and a doer, not much of a talker, which is what I would expect if he had been tied up with a horse bit in his mouth for quite a long time. You have to figure out what's going on inside him. Riddick takes on the Necros because Kyra gets captured, not out the goodness of his heart. He fights the Lord Marshal to regain Kyra and to survive, not because the universe is in trouble.
He gave up his freedom voluntarily and lived like a hermit on one of the most inhospitable worlds in the known planets to protect Jack/Kyra and Imam from Mercs. The only thing that brought him out was percieved betrayal by Imam.
If you can look under the seemingly superficialness of the movie you will find quite a bit of the good stuff. The special effects are so big in the movie that you can become lost in them if you don't pay attention to the details. The special effects are great! But what I really enjoyed was watching Riddick actually continue to grow through this movie.
In previous prison escapes Riddick always escaped alone, on Crematoria he actually tried to help some of the others. He made a sacrifice of himself to go there and rescue Jack/Kyra. He had never willingly gone into a prison before, he was always escaping them.
I saw quite a bit in this film, and I haven't seen anyone else mention any of this. You can overlook a lot if you just look at the muscles and the action. I highly enjoyed this flick, it's one of the better films to come out of that year. Riddick is real, whatever else he may be, and he isn't so sweet a hero/antihero that he gves you tooth decay.
I liked everything about the film, the bad guys were original and not cookie cutter copies. The character was familiar and the story logically progressed from the last film. If Pitch Black had the kind of money in it's budget that this film had, I'll bet it would have been mind boggling.
The other thing reviewers tend to forget is that this is fiction. It's pure imagination and fantasy, just what great escapist entertainment is all about.
I want to see impossible feats, bigger than life action and all the frills that go with it. If I wanted real life, I'd stay outside the theater. I want to see the grand large sets and the great special effects, but at the same time I want good acting also. I believe everyone in this film did a credible potrayal of the characters they were playing.
After saying all that, I'll end with this.
I love this movie. I own it and Pitch Black and I watch both of them. I guess I must have watched the both of them more than twenty times already, and I'm still not tired of them yet!
I'll give this movie an excellent rating.
First off, let me say that when playing the DVD, the first selection to come up is Convert or Fight, and no explanation of the choices. This confused me at first, so I will mention off the bat that they are simply different menu formats, that each menu has the very same options, simply different background visuals. Select either one and continue with the movie.
Chronicles Of Riddick takes place after Riddick's escape from the planet of monsters on Pitch Black, starting out with his recapture after being in hiding for many years. Now we are going to get a glimpse of just what is going on in the universe during the futuristic time frame of `Pitch Black'.
A large sect of religious fanatics called Necromongers are moving from planet to planet, converting others to their faith and killing those who will not convert. Necromongers are half-dead beings from many different original planets, kind of like Star Trek's Borgs except they do not loose their individuality when they are converted. Some are made into "Lensors", very cool effect of once-humans with these round blue shields over their faces, under which their faces look a little skeletal and decomposed.
Riddick gets caught up with the Necromongers after he is taken to the prison planet of Crematoria, where daylight, rather than nightfall, is the killer. Here he finds a grown up Jack (the girl from Pitch Black), now using her real name of Kyra. The girl Jack was a strong addition to Pitch Black, the adult Kyra is rather whiney and annoying, and my one complaint would be that they should have done better with Jack's development. He has to escape Crematoria and help Jack off the planet also.
Truthfully, the entire plot is Riddick running from people who want to capture him, but it's still a good movie made interesting with the addition of the half-dead race. The Lady Vaako of the Necromongers is a very `Cleopatra' type of character, with her own Marc Anthony in the form of Vaako, one of the Lord Marshal's fiercest warriors.
In some of the scenes the Necromongers almost come across like Televangelists, wanting converts so badly, and desiring entire populations to kneel before them. Just a funny comparison to mull over while you watch. There is also an Elemental in the movie, a race of beings who can phase in and out of dimensions, whose job it seems to be not to inform the Necromongers but to distract them from Riddick, at least that is the feeling that I got.
The special effects of this movie make up for the slower parts about three quarters of the way through the movie, stunning visuals of cities that are half gothic and half futuristic, great flight scenes (including a cool shot of the underbelly of one of the ships), the sunrise over the planet Crematoria is spectacular (but not quite as good as the nightfall effect in Pitch Black), the power going out all over the city, the half metal-half squishy mind readers, and that is barely skimming the effects.
The costume and set designs are visually stunning, well made without going too far over the top, and the editing is not as choppy as David Twohy warns us about at the beginning of the Director's Cut.
My one other problem is that with a loss of midrange hearing, I had to use the English Subtitles to hear some of the conversations, so if you are slightly hard of hearing you will want to use that feature. The battles are rapid and a bit confusing during the use of strobe lighting, but that is what the slow-mo button is for. ;-)
All in all, this is a pleasing sci-fi adventure movie, not to be confused with a work of art or a lesson in any socially redeeming values. It is good old-fashioned fun and a relief to us sci-fi fans who tire of critics blathering on about how sci-fi and fantasy are not worthy forms of entertainment. These are the same critics who thought The English Patient was a good movie. (gag)
As the Necromongers say, "Humans are an unguided mistake."
Enjoy the movie!
I don't know if this was where the director was going, but I saw a lot of elements you would see in one of those classic 50's space operas. If you have seen any of the classic Buck Rogers or Flash Gordon serials you might get what I'm saying. The movie gives you the impression of being on a grand scale without actually being on that level. The plot itself is rather simplistic and that's why it works. The beauty is in the subtle complexities most probably won't even notice. The side plots in this movie don't seem to fit right, but by the end they show as being essential.
On a less glamorous note certain things that lend themselves to that 50's matinee style of Sci-Fi do seem cheesy like how stuff is named. You have villains called Necromongers. You have planets with names like Crematoria and races with names like Furyans. Names like that kinda kill the whole Riddick coolness. Riddick himself, on the other hand, is still the ultimate coolness he was in Pitch Black. I have to hand it Vin Diesel. He definitely has this character down. While Pitch Black did a decent job giving this anti-hero some development this movie further expands on it. You get a little more into his motivations and drives in this movie, which are mostly personal. I do believe this is the best anti-hero character I have seen in science fiction.
The action on this movie is sweet, but in the first few scenes it does go by VERY fast. After a while the action settles to a better pace, which will delight the bruisers in the crowd. The imagery is definitely worth watching and the set design is awesome. There is this medieval style to the Necromongers that give it both a familiar and unfamiliar vibe to them. Locations like Crematoria (I hate that name) are both fascinating concepts and nice looking design-wise. You get to see a lot of different types of special effects here and generally they look very solid. The computer-generated effects aren't in any way top notch, though they are several degrees better than movies like Van Helsing.
They have released a theatrical cut and an "unrated" director's cut. Supposedly some of the content that would have given the movie an R rating was put in the director's cut, but to be honest I didn't see anything that would have changed the rating in my eyes. I guess the MPAA are very picky about some things. What are the differences? Well for one there are about 14 more minutes added to the movie. Some of it just little details. Some of it totally new content that changes some scenes (and the storyline) completely. Some of it useless. The biggest and best change is the addition of a sort of Furyan destiny laid out in front of Riddick. Not awesome, but it is interesting.
The sad thing is some good stuff that was in the theatrical version is lost. One in particular is the big Necromonger (sigh...) fight scene in Crematoria (ugh...). The theatrical version was a shorter and apparently the sound editing would have been horrible if cut with the same audio. The result was a music only scene that I call the "ballet of death" that to me carried a higher sensory impact that the uncut, full audio, fight. I suppose less is more for me. Another cut I would have liked to see stay was Riddick's "back of the bus" monologue, which was replaced by a completely useless (although sexually suggestive) scene with one of the mercs.
Previous releases of this movie only gave you one option in regards to which version of the movie you wanted to see, including the HD-DVD release. This Blu-Ray release gives you both versions of the movie. That in of itself is a big bonus for a guy like me who sees good stuff from both versions. The good times don't stop there. The video is a VC-1 codec taken directly from the digital master (same as the HD-DVD release). I'm not going to say it's the absolute best transfer out there, but it is really nice and definitely is head and tails above any Riddick DVD release. The audio, on the other hand, gets the full praise with DTS-HD 5.1 lossless surround sound. Not even the HD-DVD had that. You also get DTS 5.1 surround in French and Spanish (subtitles in all three languages).
The extras are a mix of content that was available in the DVDs and HD-DVD along with a little more (I did say this was the best release to date, didn't I?). Here's the breakdown (all in 480p standard definition):
Intro by David Twohy - Just an explanation of the transfer of the Director's cut. It almost sounds like an apology to those who may notice the cuts in editing. Same intro as in the Extended Cut DVD and HD-DVD.
Director's Commentary - Actually pretty informative as David doesn't seem to shy away from share all the details in making the film. Same commentary from DVD and HD-DVD (essentially the previous releases).
Virtual Guide to Chronicles of Riddick - A few entries on the Riddick universe as told by the characters in the movie. Same feature from previous releases.
Toombs Chase Log - A personal log chronicling Toombs' hunting of Riddick up until the start of the movie as told by Tombs himself. Same featurette from the previous releases.
Visual Effects Revealed - A short featurette on the special effects of the movie. I believe this is brand new, but it's pretty brief (about six minutes) so not much of a new bonus.
Creation of New Mecca - A look at the various set pieces from the movie. Same as the HD-DVD and it seems this featurette replaces Riddick's Worlds from the DVD. Alas... no more 360 degree views of the more impressive sets.
Vin Diesel's Guided Tour - Vin walks you around the sets showing you behind the scenes work on the movie. Same as in the previous releases.
Riddick Rises - A discussion of the Riddick character by Director David Twohy and Vin Diesel. The two people who effectively created the character give more background info on our favorite anti-hero.
Keep What You Kill - Very cool analysis of the Necromongers and their culture as well as film details like costumes and props and such. Same featurette as in the HD-DVD.
Complete Chronicles - A U-Control feature with picture in picture narrative of Riddick. Includes both video footage and text trivia. This is aBlu-Ray exclusive.
Chronicles Compendium - Another Blu-Ray exclusive that is also a U-Control picture in picture feature that delves into pretty much all the other things in the Riddick universe that Complete Chronicles doesn't cover. In the same format as Complete Chronicles as well.
Anatomy of a Fight - Yet another U-Control feature exclusive to Blu-Ray. This one focuses on Riddick's combat strategies and methods.
Deleted Scenes - Same as all previous releases. Some are alternate scenes. Some would have been nice to have added to the Director's Cut. Some definitely best left off the movie. Commentary by Twohy also available.
BDLive enabled - Of course this is a Blu-Ray exclusive. If you want to share Riddick comments and stuff that's what BDLive is all about.
Chronicles of Riddick is a good solid story with the look of an epic film but with the sensibilities of a good old 50's Sci-Fi adventure. If you are into action then you should be happy with this movie. This current release by far offers the most from any previous release with both versions of the movie, lossless audio, and a few extra features not previously available. If you have a Blu-Ray player this is the version to get.
On the surface, one could summarize Pitch Black as an Aliens knockoff. But it was so much more than that. Just as Aliens was more than about soldiers blowing up aliens, Pitch Black was about how people hide behind who they really are and that people don't change - they just reveal their true natures. The movie was also noteworthy for being a science fiction film that portrayed Muslim beliefs in a positive light and as the dominant religion.
Keeping those elements in mind, the Chronicles of Riddick (TCOR) is the logical extension of the first movie, even though it doesn't involve many aliens or all that much darkness. No, TCOR stays true to its characters and appeals to what made the first movie so much fun - Riddick's bad, sure...but the bad guys are even WORSE.
Those bad guys are the Necromongers, a race bent on the total conversion of the universe to the "Underverse" - sort of an anti-Mecca. The Necromongers aren't just bad guys; they're an entire style. Statues abound of torture and self-mutilation. The Necromonger ships have faces built into their hulls of the uncaring tyrant known only as Lord Marshal. Everything, from the staves the captains wield to the weapons of mass destruction the Necromongers use to obliterate planets - it all fits. The Necromonger ships even hum along on roiling clouds of black energy.
The troops match the architecture. Their helmets model the pain and suffering they believe in. Undead watchdogs, their faces encased in strange helmets, "lens" out the living, seeing through darkness and right through walls. Those who are caught are converted to "half-dead," uncaring soldiers in service to Lord Marshal. The most powerful Necromongers can steal a person's soul right out of their bodies.
In short, the Necromongers are really cool bad guys.
If the Necromongers seem familiar to some, it's because they're modeled after the concept of a negative energy universe that so many Dungeons & Dragons players are familiar with. Vin Diesel is a self-professed gamer and his roots show - heck, Judi Dench plays an "air elemental." Nobody uses an air elemental in a sci-fi context these days unless they're a gamer.
Unfortunately, this assumption may lose those who aren't sci-fi fans, gamers, or fantasy fans. Indeed, many of the criticisms of the movie is that it's too confusing. My parents (who admittedly, raised me to be the gaming freak that I am) understood the plot just fine, and they are not gamers.
If the plot were merely about the Necromonger's quest to take over the universe, it would make for a rather feeble rip off of the Borg from Star Trek. Instead, Riddick is prophesized to kill the Lord Marshal, and as a result his second in command (played by Karl Urban, of Eomer fame from Lord of the Rings) along with his scheming wife plot to bring about the conflict.
Why? Because the Necromonger way of life (er, death?) is "You Keep What You Kill." In other words, whoever kills the Lord Marshal gets to take over the entire legion of Necromongers.
Of course, Riddick wants nothing to do with his fate as one of the last members of a race known as the "Furions." The Furions have been all but wiped out by the Necromongers. But Lord Marshal is to be killed by his own knife by Riddick...so bounty hunters are once again on his trail.
Being on the lam is not a good way to raise a kid. Riddick has long since left the Imam on New Mecca and Jack (the kid from Pitch Black) to her own devices. When the Necromongers finally back Riddick into a corner, he discovers there's no escaping the bad guys...or his past.
TCOR is filled with a lot of important relationships, commentary about the nature of evil, snide swipes at religious institutions, free thought, and morality. It also has plenty of action. Instead of running across a pitch-black planet, Riddick must traverse a burning planet aptly named Crematoria.
With the majesty of the Necromongers and the amount of planet hopping that takes place, digital effects are rife throughout the movie. These are expected - indeed, the movie would be unwatchable without the effects, some of which are integral to the plot. The most subtle effect is Riddick's eyes, that shine like silver plates in the darkness.
Critics of the film have pointed out that Lord Marshal does not appear to be a physical match for Riddick. That's kind of like saying "The Emperor doesn't seem like he can take Luke Skywalker in a duel." The physical presence of Lord Marshal is not the point. He is the only one to have touched the Underverse and upon doing so acquired incredible power. He SHOULD look like a "normal guy."
The Chronicles of Riddick is a good old-fashioned science fiction ride across the universe in the tradition of Conan (especially the ending). The movie will only seem confusing to people who are not familiar with gaming and fantasy tropes...and thus critics and boring people SHOULD NOT SEE IT.
But for the rest of us...watch it, then watch Pitch Black again. They make an excellent pair.