Maybe Not The Last

Let’s be honest, audiences love a good supernatural film. They almost tend to come and go in phases / fads. The 80’s were all about ghost and ghouls. The 90’s were dominated by vampires, and we are currently knee-deep in a zombie craze. There is nothing wrong with this, and every now and then we get a film that is trying to find its own space. That is what “The Last Witch Hunter” feels like the most. Vampires are substituted with “Witches”. The eerie dystopian scenery is instead filled by more modern scenery.  Replacing the young “teenage” hero with a large and some what menacing Vin Diesel.  “The Last Witch Hunter” isn’t rewriting any formulas,  but it becomes clear fairly quickly that it isn’t trying to. It just wants to be different, and excelling at those differences is what ultimately makes watching Vin Diesel’s Kaulder such a fun ride. Kaulder is cursed with immortality. A curse casted on him by the witch queen when he defeated her over 800 years ago. For that time period he has faithfully served an organization that maintains the balance between humans and witches called The Axe and Cross.

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One Last Ride

A key principle to the Fast & Furious series has been “family”. The sheer length of the series has made this equally true for the cast and crew themselves. In the middle of filming Furious 7, that cast & crew suffered the tragedy of the untimely passing of Paul Walker. With the cast in shock and filming delayed, the production of the film was in serious jeopardy. However, with heavy hearts the cast and crew decided to finish the film in honor of Paul. This resulted in a movie that delivers upon the expectation of the franchise but succeeds in being more. It succeeds in being a heart felt tribute and good bye to Paul Walker.

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Let’s roll the tape : The Chronicles of Riddick Saga

When David Twohy wrote Pitch Black, I’m sure he didn’t imagine a trilogy would come out of it. Truthfully I think all Twohy wanted to do was write a good action horror movie. That action horror genre began to get a little stale in the late 90’s/early 2000’s. The horror genre was in the middle of shifting to more supernatural and/or gore that dominated the 2000s. David Twohy had a very simple story in its premise, the creature that go bump in the night. Vicious creatures who see in the dark. The premise isn’t really original but Twohy had the foresight to add an X-factor to the equation. The most famous character he’ll probably ever write, Riddick. An ex-con who has special eye-sight that allows him to see in the dark.

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It wouldn’t be a stretch to see the influences Twohy took for the Riddick character: An ex-soilder, pilot, mercenary, wise cracking bad ass. More than anything Twohy wanted Riddick to be cool, the kind of cool the late 90s would respond too, and he was right. Pitch Black was a movie filmed on a modest budget and despite mixed reviews did exceptionally well in the box office. This is often how low-budget horror films work, you can probably set your watch too it now. Low budget horror films find success with audiences: The Blair Witch project , Saw , The Purge. I want to say, low-budget allows for a better concentration of the narrative. However, all low-budget films don’t receive the kind of love that the horror genre tends to enjoy.  The Chronicles of Riddick Saga is good example of how you can expand a franchise out of the horror/action genre for better and worse.

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