Riddick (David Twohy, 2013)

A man, a dog, two ships full of mercs and a planet of beasties (spoiler notice)

Right off the bat, let me confess that I like this film series. I have a soft spot for Richard B. Riddick. Not everyone has, clearly evinced by the slew of negative reports surrounding this latest entry. Riddick is a movie that sets out to do a very specific thing. It takes its damn sweet time to do it, and along the way a few iffy story lines involving women swish uncomfortably past, but it succeeds at exactly that goal. Whether you'll be as disappointed as many others depends on your stomach for Vin Diesel reprising his role as intergalactic badass.

Gone in 60 Seconds (Dominic Sena, 2000)

 Blasting to Palm Springs with Eleanor

Rare is the film starring Nicolas Cage in which he doesn’t freak out at some point, but Gone in 60 Seconds is that film. It’s an unapologetically fun heist movie that doesn’t center on any one bank or casino to be robbed, but instead has no less than fifty expensive cars in its visor. Not only is this a large amount to steal unnoticed in any situation, circumstances force them to be arranged in a single night.

Quantum of Solace (Marc Forster, 2008)

 Give that man a measure of respite

My appreciation for this film has grown since I first saw it in the cinema. 2005’s fantastic series reboot Casino Royale reintroduced with a vengeance the idea that Bond movies are spy thrillers rather than a facile parade of action stunts. Coming from that, Quantum of Solace was a step back. It was an ordinary Bond flick with a typical plot, spurred, I have come to believe, by the incredible rush to produce a sequel at the time. But that same time has been kind to this film and I’ve warmed up to it.

Mind Game (Masaaki Yuasa, 2004)

 When you’re inside a whale, there’s not much to do but make art

Mind Game is a Japanese animated film steeped in art and deconstruction of cinema. Sounds a little heavy? This absurdist anime fortunately offers a lot of laughs as well.

Prometheus (Ridley Scott, 2012)

The trick is not minding it hurts

Ridley Scott made a worthy prequel to the core Alien film series that, with the exception of the exceptionally poor fourth film (Alien: Resurrection, 1997), has managed over four decades to remain a unique sci-fi horror experience.