13 years ago, David Twohy introduced us to ruthless anti-hero Richard B. Riddick in Pitch Black, spawning something of a cult following in the process, and birthing a star in action hero Vin Diesel. The simplicity of that film was substituted for its world-building sequel The Chronicles of Riddick, a disappointingly messy follow up that almost crippled the franchise. The filmmakers passion for the character has led to an unlikely third instalment – simply titled Riddick – and thankfully it has more in common with the first effort than it does the second, as we witness the franchise thankfully returning to its roots.
J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot was a surprise hit back in 2009, satisfying diehard fans as well as being accessible to newcomers. Four years on, the follow-up Star Trek into Darkness is one of the most anticipated films of the year. Thankfully, the sequel takes everything that was great about its predecessor and amplifies it, in doing so producing an entertaining thrill-ride of a movie that is one of 2013’s must-see blockbusters.
The UK release of J.J. Abrams eagerly anticipated Star Trek Into Darkness is only seven days away. Ahead of this evening’s London premiere, the cast, director and writers gathered in City Hall for a press conference where there was talk of the challenges of making a bigger and better sequel, Scottish accents, and hairstyles.
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As the annual summer blockbuster season draws ever nearer, more and more previously confidential information on some of this year’s biggest releases are now beginning to be revealed. The latest to get in on the act is J. J. Abrams’ sci-fi sequel Star Trek into Darkness (2013). It seems more than likely that Abrams, who will now also be directing Star Wars: Episode VII, won’t be returning for any future Star Trek sequels, such is the competition between the two rival franchises. However, everything we have seen thus far suggests that he’ll be leaving this current franchise on a high, and a mouth-watering second full-length trailer released online today gives further credence to the early impressions.
Native Kiwi Karl Urban has been lucky enough to be a part of many popular movie franchises during his 20-year career, including The Lord of the Rings and, more recently, J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot. Next year, Urban will return to the Enterprise for the eagerly-anticipated sequel, but this month audiences will get to see him – sans the upper part of his face – in gritty comic book adaptation Dredd 3D, in which he plays the titular Judge. On behalf of CineVue, I was invited to a session of interviews with the star and screenwriter Alex Garland, where there was talk of preparations, narrative decisions, and sequel possibilities.
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Approximately 35 years after John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra created him, Judge Dredd is now one of the most popular comic book characters of all time. Unfortunately, he has fared significantly less well on the big screen, with the 1995 Sly Stallone debacle failing to capture the character effectively. Thankfully, that’s not the case with Pete Travis’ Dredd 3D (2012) – an immeasurably superior, grittier take on 2000AD’s most feared law enforcer, befitting of its comic book counterpart.
Read the rest of this review at Cine-Vue here.