Today’s a day of victory for science fiction fans. Why, you might ask? Why because Riddick, a third installment of a franchise that’s only become a franchise thanks to the passion of the fans and the sheer determination of director David Twohy and actor Vin Diesel, arrives on home video today. And frankly, that should put a smile on your face even if you couldn’t care less about Riddick. It’s always a good thing when an original project, something not based on any preexisting property, manages to find enough eyeballs to survive in the cutthroat, risk-averse wilds of Hollywood. Riddick should make you happy for all the reasons the Battleship movie made us cringe. It’s the victory of a unique world and vision, as opposed to just another thing whose chief selling point is its name recognition.
2013 was actually a pretty good year for original science fiction films, from the modest to the ambitious. Sure, there were duds along the way, but any year that gave us Upstream Color, Pacific Rim, Europa Report, Elysium, The World’s End, Gravity, and Riddick has to be considered largely full of win. Let’s hope the next few years can continue to see more original sci-fi films in among the parade of sequels and spinoffs.
Riddick is now available as a Blu-Ray combo pack for $22.99 on Amazon, or as a digital download from Amazon or iTunes. You can also pick up a Riddick box set — including Pitch Black, Chronicles of Riddick, Riddick, and the animated flick Dark Fury — for forty bucks. And if you’re a gamer, we also recommend grabbing The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Dark Athena as well. The two games it includes are as good as the film series at its best.
Today on Television
Face Off (Syfy, 9/8c) — “Sexy Beasts”
Season 6 begins with 15 contestants taking on the task of creating beasts to be paired with beauties.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC, 8/7c) — “Seeds”
Coulson and May uncover startling information about Skye’s past, while the team is swept into a storm at S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy.
Person of Interest (CBS, 10/9c) — “4c”
Reese boards an international flight in an attempt to put the team and the past behind him, but is angered when he realizes his travel plans have been manipulated.
Today in Home Video
Rewind This! (DVD & Digital)
An exploding industry without rules! Direct to-video madness! VHS vs. Beta! In the 1980s, videotape changed the world and laid the foundation for modern media culture. REWIND THIS! traces the rise and fall of VHS from its heyday as the mainstream home video format to its current status as a nostalgic relic and prize to collectors who still cherish it. Featuring interviews with both filmmakers and enthusiasts from the VHS era, including Troma legend Lloyd Kaufman, indie auteur Atom Egoyan, and Hobo with a Shotgun filmmaker Jason Eisener, REWIND THIS! is the definitive story of the format that came to be synonymous with the home video revolution. So gather up your friends and start the pizza party just make sure to have your tapes back on time.
Special Features: Packed with extras, including commentary, original animations, a special music video, and over an hour of bonus interview footage on laserdisc, remix culture, video panic and more!
The Universe in 3D: A Whole New Dimension (3D Blu-Ray)
Take an exhilarating, unprecedented 3D tour of the Universe in this amazing set. The planets of our solar system have experienced epic catastrophes throughout their long history, both raining down from outside and bubbling up from within. We’ll voyage back in time to investigate the violent events that profoundly shaped the planets, including earth itself. We’ll witness stunning revelations about what transformed Mars into a barren, hostile desert…The disaster that changed Venus from temperate to hellish…The impact that blew away Mercury’s mantle, turning it into a planetary core…A colossal disturbance that rearranged the orbits of the gas giants…Titanic impacts on Jupiter…And how a lost moon may finally explain Saturn’s rings. Explore the history of our planets for the first time in spectacular 3-D!