Here's a glimpse at what's new in theaters this weekend.
What's it about? Vin Diesel returns as notorious criminal and anti-hero Richard B. Riddick. This time, Riddick is stranded on a harsh planet and must survive both the lethal aliens inhabiting it, as well as the ruthless bounty hunters out to collect the price on his head.
Will it be good? I'm an unabashed fan of "Pitch Black," the first film starring Diesel's Riddick character. (The less said about its sequel, the better.) This looks stripped down and raw in a way that's much more fitting than the previous film's unneeded attempt at grandiosity. Diesel's love for the character always shines through, though, and that goes a long way. The cinema landscape is far too often bereft of pulpy, rough-around-the-edges sci-fi films and this looks to fill in the gap quite nicely.
Rated R for strong violence, language and some sexual content/nudity.
"The Ultimate Life"
What's it about? A billionaire with questionable priorities re-examines his life after discovering his grandfather's journal. It is the sequel (and in some parts, the prequel) to the film "The Ultimate Gift."
Will it be good? This is almost impossible to prognosticate. Sometimes films with a Christian message and/or undertones are worthwhile. (See: "Blue Like Jazz.") Far more often they are preachy and poorly made. (See: "Fireproof.") This at least has the presence of Peter Fonda (though an actor's appearance is hardly an indicator of a film's quality). I suspect, though, that whether or not this is critically lauded (or panned) will matter not at all to the audience who will flock to it.
Rated PG for a brief battle scene and mild thematic elements.