Irresistible since he growled to fame as the eponymous Iron Giant in Brad Bird's impeccable animated reworking of a kid's story by an English poet, Vin Diesel went on to develop two movie franchises around his "In a World" voice and hulking physicality. The Fast and the Furious series is by now a six-time cash register, but the Riddick Series, as it has been ret-conned since the release of the first film in 2000, has evolved less frenetically. Pitch Black was a sharp, dark, low-budget sci-fi story that played like something from a 1950s pulp comic: A space ship crew crashes on a desert planet where vicious nocturnal alien raptors awake from hibernation as darkness falls. The crew's only hope of survival is a chained-up prisoner in transit, Richard Riddick, who has been surgically grafted with night vision by his previous captors. Its sequel, The Chronicles of Riddick, was a stab at world building that bordered on the rococo and was accompanied by a video game widely regarded as better than the movie. Thirteen years since the series began, it's back to basics and Riddick, the trailer seems to tell us, is the exact same plot as Pitch Black, which is precisely as all sequels should be (cf. The Fast and the Furious).
Almost diametrically opposite in every single way, Adore is the other notable feature of the weekend. On an Australian coast of joyful sunshine and emotional sunsets, where flattering swimwear is the sole clothing option, Naomi Watts and Robin Wright are two impossibly handsome women blessed with equally impossibly handsome, if less chiseled, teenage sons. Then one of the boys kisses one of the mothers, and all bets are off.
Elsewhere this week there seems to be some kind of post-Labor Day documentary dump in effect: Red Obsession is a fascinated sniff at the psychology of China's humongous and exploding appetite for Bordeaux wines; 99%: The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative promises a clever and considered attempt to tell the Occupy story in the language of a traditional historical documentary; Good Ol' Freda gives the Beatles' fan club secretary a chance to tell her side of that story; and finally, Salinger is the movie behind all those recent revelations that there are five posthumous works of his to be published over the next half decade or so. He's dead, so he's not going to mind the intrusion.