The Chronicles of Riddick: Pitch Black [WS Unrated Director's Cut] [DVD] [English] [2000]

  • SKU: 6440522
  • Release Date: 06/01/2004
  • Rating: R
  • 4.2 (48)
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, this Unrated Director's 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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Overview

Ratings & Reviews

Overall Customer Rating:
4.2
94% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (45 out of 48)

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
  • Closed Captioned

Synopsis

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

Overall Customer Rating

4.2 out of 54.2
48 Reviews
94%of customers recommend this product.

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