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The Chronicles of Riddick: Pitch Black [WS] [DVD] [2000]

  • SKU: 6541726
  • Release Date: 06/01/2004
  • Rating: R
Retitled The Chronicles of Riddick: Pitch Black and released just weeks prior to the sequel's opening, the stylish sci-fi horror monster flick that introduced audiences to Vin Diesel and the character of Riddick slams its way to DVD in four different versions thanks to USA Films and Universal Home Video. Previously released in 2000, the original theatrical cut has been unearthed once again (it was released previously with a few of the same extras in 2000) as a promotional tool for the virtual onslaught of the series releases heaped upon audiences in the summer of 2004. The fun starts with the film itself, which is presented in an anamorphic 2.35:1 widescreen picture and the choice of either 5.1 DTS Surround or 5.1 Dolby Digital tracks. Picture and sound quality are top-notch, evoking just the right balance of colors for the breathtaking panoramic scenes with sharp surround sound for the unique and effective sound effects. Extras start with a new introduction by director David Twohy; filmed in the editing suite for The Chronicles of Riddick, the intimate chat mainly focuses on the sequel and what viewers can expect from the bigger-budgeted epic. Next are the commentaries -- one with the director and stars and the other a purely technical track with the director, producer, and visual-effects supervisor. The star track with Twohy, Vin Diesel, and Cole Hauser is obviously the more engaging of the two, with the shaved-headed muscleman enthusiastically raving on about every scene to almost ludicrous levels. The technical commentary track does stand out for its detail and should be worth it for those in the field or looking to understand the process more. The five-minute making-of is next, which, besides the commentaries, is the closest thing to actually discussing the film at hand. The four-minute "A View Into the Dark" featurette comes close in delivering a little more perspective into the first movie, though it, too, is basically another lead-in to the sequel. The rest of the extras can be separated into two different sections -- commercials for movie tie-ins and new material created especially for this DVD. The promotional materials come in the form of two incredibly short (each under two minutes) ads for The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury straight-to-DVD animated prequel and The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay interactive game. The new material begins with Johns' Chase Log, featuring Cole Hauser reading excerpts from his character's log account of his capture of Riddick previous to this film. While this bit isn't needed, it's interesting, though one may find it ridiculous to have to sit through 14 entries to get to the actual capture that's summed up simply with an "I got him" line. The last extra included is the Chronicles of Riddick Visual Encyclopedia, which also features Hauser commentary over distorted film clips and production sketches. It might have a little more flair than your average stills gallery, but the fact is that nothing really takes the place of showing people the real production art and behind-the-scenes material. And for all of you who just haven't been teased enough by more shilling for the sequel, there's a few snippets of conceptual artwork in there to tide you over! There's a whole lot that's missing on this edition, namely trailers(!) and specific documentaries on the actual film (and not the sequel), so it really isn't fair to judge this as any kind of ultimate edition. Consider it more of a packaged advertisement for the world that David Twohy created and unleashed upon audiences everywhere in June 2004. If you didn't own Pitch Black before, now's as good a time as any to jump in, though others who were waiting to upgrade might want to be a little more patient for more meaty reissues down the road.

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    Ratings & Reviews

    Overall Customer Rating:
    94% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (61 out of 65)

    Special Features

    • The Chronicles of Riddick Visual Encyclopedia: Cole Hauser hosts this exploration of Mercs, the Slam, and other unique elements of the Riddick universe
    • Johns' Chase Log: Follow the bounty hunter Johns (Cole Hauser) on his month-long hunt for Riddick (includes excerpts from his personal log chronicling Riddick's final days of freedom before his capture, leading into the opening scene of Pitch Black)
    • "Dark Fury: Advancing the Arc": An inside look at the making of The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury, the visionary animated film by acclaimed animator Peter Chung (The Animatrix: Matriculated)
    • "The Game Is On": Join the ride of Riddick's earlier life as he attempts to break out of a triple-max-security prison, and get a sneak peek at the new Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay interactive game
    • Full-length feature commentary with Vin Diesel, Cole Hauser, and director Dave Twohy
    • Full-length feature commentary with Dave Twohy and the film's producer and visual effects supervisor
    • "A View Into the Dark": David Twohy and Vin Diesel explore the character of Riddick


    Pitch Black
    In this science fiction thriller, a spaceship is transporting a disparate group of people to a far-away galactic outpost called New Mecca. Mechanical failures cause the craft to crash-land on an abandoned planet that has three suns and no night. The only member of the crew to survive is junior pilot Carolyn Fry (Radha Mitchell), while the passengers who climb from the wreckage include a police officer (Cole Hauser) and the prisoner he's transporting, Riddick (Vin Diesel). As Fry and the other survivors survey the abandoned dwellings of the desert world while trying to decide what to do next, one of them is killed by a mutant creature living in an abandoned mining site. The vicious and bloodthirsty mutants, who live underground, have killed all previous inhabitants of the planet; they cannot stand sunlight, but research reveals that the planet has a total eclipse every 22 years, and the latest one is due any moment. Pitch Black was directed by David N. Twohy, who also made the sci-fi cult item, The Arrival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Radha Mitchell
      Radha Mitchell - Fry
    • Vin Diesel
      Vin Diesel - Richard B. Riddick
    • Cole Hauser
      Cole Hauser - Johns
    • Keith David
      Keith David - Imam
    • Lewis Fitz-Gerald
      Lewis Fitz-Gerald - Paris

    Customer rating

    Rating 4.4 out of 5 stars with 65 reviews

    would recommend to a friend

    Most relevant reviews

    See all customer reviews
    • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

      Awsome movie, with some technical problems


      I never watched this movie till I bought it in this Blue-Ray format. I would highly recommend this movie for people who like sci-fi / suspense / horror. The plot isn't very complicated, but the cinemetography is as good as it gets for this type of film. The camera angles, lighting, and colors were well thought out in the production. Much to my suprise, VinDiesel did an excellent job as Riddick, as well did all the other actors. Several times durring the BlueRay Disc there are problems with the audio and video being out of sync. They have both theatrical and directors cut versions on the disc, which I suspect attribute to the problems. I would have expected someone from the disc manufaturer to actually watch the completed disc before releasing it. It is possible that I have hardware "lagging" problems , but the audio problems always occur at the same point (and correct at the same point) on the disc. Also, I have not had any audio problem with the 20+ other BDiscs I have watched. Yes, my firmware is up to date on the BD player. Reguardless, I enjoyed watching this movie, and would still recommend this disc if it on sale. If you can get past the audio sync issues (as annoying as they can be), you should get this disc. I have not seen the DVD version which I am sure does not have this problem. If you like this movie, I highly recommend "The Chronicles of Riddick" which is the sequel to this movie. I had NO problems with audio in this release.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

      Predictable sci-fi escape from hostile planet plot


      3 of 5 stars to the sci-fi movie Pitch Black. This is the second movie in the Chronicles of Riddick series with Vin Diesel in the role of Riddick. The movie opens with a passenger transport space ship starting to crash into a world (the ship had been knocked off-course). The ship is carrying Riddick plus several other passengers. The crash breaks the ship into lots of big chunks and Riddick is landed far from the main group of passengers. The world appears to be a hot dry planet (a desert) with three Suns. So, the handful of survivors seek water as their first task. Things seem to go OK until nightfall when bird-like creatures come out of hiding and start killing/eating people. The group is re-united with Riddick just before nightfall. From here the plot is simple and not too interesting: get to another part of the crashed ship to the shuttle to escape from the planet. Of course, between where they are and where the shuttle is are those birdlike creatures. You can guess most of the rest. If you didn't see the first movie of the Riddick series you'd have no idea who this guy is and why he has shiny eyes. The movies does little to give you any of the back-story. For that matter, in this movie Riddick is a not too interesting character and there is no development that would lead to a future story. So this is a good sci-fi movie with a very predictable plot. Yes, I do recommend it.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

      Catches you offguard.


      This movie is excellent science fiction, suspense, and horror that catches you completely off-guard. It's an Australian film, so it pulls out all the stops that ridiculous US filmmakers have been putting in for decades now. I'd watch just about anything by this director now, as long as he builds his films with the intensity and invokes provocative characters like this film. This is one of Vin Diesel's first feature films, but his on-screen presence in this movie is far greater than most of his movies. His character steals the show, an anti-hero: a mass murdering maniac whose eyes are "shined" to give him night vision--and the whole time the audience wonders if he will have some sort of redeeming quality. The aliens are early CG creations but are done well with what was available at the time of production. This film will blow your mind if you like Alien, Aliens, Terminator 1 or 2, or Predator.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Great intro to Riddick character

      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      I love VIN DIESEL> I'm glad that Riddick's character was so well written for him. Origional SCI-Fi plot. Everyone did a very good job acting. They didn't seem like they were acting. Movie was well cast. However CGI monsters created By Pactick T. didn't have enough realism. They needed a bigger budget to let this verrrry creative man let his monsters really come to life. ALSO... studios should have let Director's cut of "Chronicles of Riddick" been released into theaters so the it could have really been appreciated. Now I had to wait all these years for the sequel of "The Chronicles of Riddick" to come out this September. Which might have meant a bigger budget 4 the 3rd Riddick character movie and maybe the plot might have shown Riddick going back to planet Furia with the Necromongers in tow with Riddick as the Lord Marshall.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Excellent movie

      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      The beginning of a great sci-fi trilogy. Vin Diesel in my opinion is the perfect actor for the role. He plays a captured con that is absolutely ruthless and determined to survive a crash landing on an alien planet. Stranded with a bounty hunter, the ship's female pilot, a young girl, pretending to be a boy and several other passengers. The planet is due for an eclipse (hence the title pitch black) and when the world falls into darkness a voracious horde of aliens arise to devour everyone. Vin Diesel becomes an unlikely hero, and not your typical hero at that. Ruthless, determined, and unafraid to make sacrifices to get off the planet. Rocks from beginning to end. Follow it up with The chronicles of Riddick, and then Riddick. All 3 are excellent sci-fi adventures.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

      Arguably Vin Diesels best movie


      Awesome Sci-FI / Horror Flick A must see if you like the Genre and to correct JimG944s Review its actually the First in the Riddick series since it came out in 2000 and Chronicles of Riddick Hit the Theatres in 2004 as noted by the item descriptions above lol. Basically Ignore where he says "If you didn't see the first movie of the Riddick series you'd have no idea who this guy is and why he has shiny eyes" they give you a short and kind of nonsensical reason why his Eyes shine in this movie .... since it is the first one. Definitaly a good visceral Sci Fi movie. If you like this one you will definitaly want to check out the second one since it explains alot more of his past.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

      Vin Diesel's best role


      There have been a lot of Vin Diesel movies. Most of them haven't been that great and his position in them most often seems uncomfortable. Strangely enough, here in this movie playing a flashy-eyed serial killer who ends up going toe-to-toe with alien monsters, he seems to actually work. Most things he's in it seems all he has to do, is be large and potentially menacing. But he makes Pitch Black work.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Great action movie

      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      Great movie and cool visuals. Fine detail throughout with the exception of some noise in bright and dark scenes some more noticeable than others but in a way it adds to the overall gritty barren wasteland. Extras were kind of bland though. If your a Pitch Black and/or Diesel fan pick up a copy for your collection and enjoy. It's worth it.

      I would recommend this to a friend

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