Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Who's On Top: Film


Movies like “Riddick,” a satisfyingly primitive spectacle, help explain the unlikely ascendancy of Vin Diesel as a man of cinema. With his hypertrophied body and Barry White purr, Mr. Diesel — much like his more sweetly appealing brother in brawn, Dwayne Johnson — embodies a particularly salient caricature of masculinity, one that appears to transcend obvious racial identity to make him an ideal modern Everybrute. If Arnold and Sly became the cartoon emblems of Reagan-era might, Mr. Diesel has come into his own as a contemporary hero, one who suggests a postrace ideal, even as he affirms old-fashioned power with displays of annihilating violence. This is the third live-action film in the “Riddick” series, which opened with the aptly grim and gloomy “Pitch Black” (2000), and immediately entered its decadent phase with the unintentionally self-parodic “Chronicles of Riddick” (2004). The series director and writer (sometimes co-writer), David Twohy, has smartly gone back to genre basics with this installment, which serves as an effective reboot. Gone are the silly costumes and wigs, the overstuffed plot and exotic-sounding villains like the Necromongers, the religious fanatics that Mr. Diesel’s character, the escaped convict more formally known as Richard B. Riddick, once battled. Now, there’s one man alone, stranded on a seemingly desolate distant planet with only his wits, his fists and his voice-over. — Manohla Dargis

Top 10 @ Box Office: 
1. Riddick
2. Lee Daniels' The Butler
3. Hombre de Piedra
4. We're the Millers
5. Disney's Planes
6. One Direction: This is Us
7. Elysium
8. Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
9. Blue Jasmine
10. The World's End

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