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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Visually stunning and a great film
A spacecraft carrying an assortment of passengers including Richard B. Riddick (Vin Diesel), a dangerous, murderer between prisons, is forced to make a crash landing on a deserted, triple-sunned planet after the craft suffers severe damage during a meteor shower. The ship is ripped into pieces, killing several crew members and leaving officer Fry (Radha Mitchell) in...
Published on 22 July 2009 by Dr Evil

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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Riddick's enjoyable first outing
Set in the future, David Twohy's 'Pitch Black' tells the story of a handful of space travellers struggling to survive when their ship is forced to crash land on a distant planet. The group all have different reasons for being on the space craft, the main character being the supposedly ruthless murderer Riddick (Vin Diesel - Saving Private Ryan, The Fast and the...
Published on 3 Feb 2005 by dantesmum


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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Visually stunning and a great film, 22 July 2009
By 
Dr Evil (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Pitch Black [Blu-ray][Region Free] (Blu-ray)
A spacecraft carrying an assortment of passengers including Richard B. Riddick (Vin Diesel), a dangerous, murderer between prisons, is forced to make a crash landing on a deserted, triple-sunned planet after the craft suffers severe damage during a meteor shower. The ship is ripped into pieces, killing several crew members and leaving officer Fry (Radha Mitchell) in charge of the survivors. After two unfortunate deaths, the survivors discover that the only visible life form on the planet is a species of light-fearing, carnivorous, occasionally cannibalistic aliens dwelling in caverns beneath the desert surface. Using a model of the planet and its suns in an abandoned research station, Fry deduces that she and her fellow travellers have unfortunately descended on the planet on the day of its first total eclipse in 22 years, giving them mere hours before they are bathed in total darkness. Only then is it safe for the hungry subterranean creatures to emerge, seeking to feed on the remaining survivors. However, the dangerous Riddick, through black market injections received in lock-up, is able to see in darkness- causing the surviving crew members to reluctantly remain dependent on the potentially harmful criminal. As the survivors are killed one by one by the hungry creatures, they realise that Riddick may be their only hope.

When this film first came out, it was a bit of a cult hit that was sort of ignored as far as publicity and advertising went but I loved it all the same. Then came along its sequel, THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK, which gave this film a boost into the spotlight and is now considered a sci-fi/action classic. Watching it now on Blu Ray, some nine years later from when I originally watched it, I still can't believe how good this film is! It has everything you could want from this type of movie - brutal, hard-hitting action, fast-paced and nail-biting suspense, one of the best anti-heroes of all time and an excellent storyline. The special effects are great - the creatures that the characters are up against are genuinely creepy, the opening scene with the ship crashing is incredible and very intense, the planet feels extremely lonely and desolate and the impressive visual effects are so good (sometimes the film appears near-enough black and white because of the lighting from the planet's three suns). The acting from the whole cast is great too - this is one of the first films (along with The Fast and The Furious) that made Vin Diesel become one of the biggest names in Hollywood today.

The picture and sound quality is some of the clearest and best I have seen yet on Blu Ray so I highly recommend watching it on this format.

FILM - 4/5
PICTURE - 5/5
SOUND - 5/5
OVERALL - 4/5
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Riddickulously Entertaining, 6 Sep 2004
This review is from: Pitch Black [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
All I had to go on regarding the quality of this film prior to buying the DVD was word of mouth. The opinions I'd been party to were mixed to say the least.
So, imagine my delght when I bought this item, partly to catch up on the story and nature of Vin Diesel's main character, before going to watch the follow up, 'The Chronicles of Riddick'.
Not only is 'Pitch Black' incredibly stylish and aesthetically pleasing - just watch the incredible range of lighting effects - but the characters are charmingly intruiging, if largely archetypal for this type of movie. Yes, it relies heavily on its predecessors, but try making a 'humans stranded on an unknown planet and encountering carnivorous aliens' film that doesn't. The plot roles along nicely, and although it was never going to win any Academy Awards, is juxtaposed nicely with just the right amount of tension and action. Add into that mix a well above average muscle-bound anti-hero portayal from Diesel and you've got a very good movie, especially for the price.
There aren't many extras on this early DVD release - but if you want those you can splash a few extra quid on the Special Edition - but if you're looking for a B Movie type sci-fi horror that breaks the mould in terms of sophistication and performances you need look no further.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You aren't afraid of the dark are you?, 23 Jun 2007
This review is from: Pitch Black [DVD] (DVD)
This punchy and slick sci-fi action horror is based around a small group of travellers who crash land on a strange uninhabited planet which, by some luck, is about to plunge itself into complete darkness which is set to last for some time. The main member of this gang and the character around which the entire film is based is a notoriously violent and ruthless killer called Riddick. As he can see in the dark and is known for his dramatic escapism the team decide to use him to help get them off the planet alive.

The rest of the film is spent watching the members of this plucky little group get picked off one by one. All of the characters face emotional difficulty and have to use all of their strength and wit to survive.

Vin Diesel plays a very convincing hard faced super cool killer who risks his own life to help save others. The other characters have their own individual charm and personality which really help to give this film some substance and make it seem very realistic.

The format however is pretty much predictable and you can have a good guess at who will be killed next, but the characters are played so well and the spooky and demanding world is brought to life in such a magical way that you cant help but enjoy every minute. Well worth a look if action and aliens are your thing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars WOW...DON'T TURN OFF THE LIGHTS!, 1 Jan 2003
By 
Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Pitch Black [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This is an incredibly good movie that successfully crosses over into two genres: science fiction and horror. It does justice to both.
A passenger laden space ship crash lands on an apparently barren and arid planet orbited by three suns. One of the passengers is a viscious killer whose eyesight is such that he can see better in the dark than the others.
At first, their most serious problem appears to be how to get off the planet. It quickly becomes clear that how to stay alive in order to get off the planet is the first and foremost issue. You see, the planet is inhabited by killer creatures that shy away from light, and an eclipse is on the immediate horizon.
The viewer does not fully see the creatures throughout most of the film, just their gruesome handiwork. Less is more, and the film director capitalizes on this premise to great effect. You do not really see them fully until the very end, and they do not disappoint!
This stylish and gripping film depicts the killer as the anti-hero who ultimately squares off with the creatures from one's worst nightmares. As darkness falls, the survivors become less fearful of the anti-hero, as his unique ability to discern these carnivorous creatures in the darkness can help them survive. It is their fear of these nightmarish creatures that now becomes paramount.
Visually stunning, this film is unusual and clever. Vin Diesel gives a breakout performance as the anti-hero. It is no wonder that this film is a sleeper hit. It has the makings of a cult classic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW ! ..... "...Only 1 rule - Stay in the Light.", 12 July 2002
By 
I Talukdar (Bethnall Green, LONDON United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Pitch Black [VHS] (VHS Tape)
What a Remarkable film....
A group of passengers travelling in an interstellar freight ship are knocked out of their shipping lane...
This is a very engaging film. Well acted by all characters (particularly Vin Diesel)...
Primarily dealing with the premise of putting 'ordinary' people in a high stress and dangerous situation where they must survive at all costs... this film does not rely on visual effects to make up for anything else... a fine cast - superb story - great script... a must see Cult Classic. In the same league as Aliens....
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Riddick's enjoyable first outing, 3 Feb 2005
This review is from: Pitch Black [DVD] (DVD)
Set in the future, David Twohy's 'Pitch Black' tells the story of a handful of space travellers struggling to survive when their ship is forced to crash land on a distant planet. The group all have different reasons for being on the space craft, the main character being the supposedly ruthless murderer Riddick (Vin Diesel - Saving Private Ryan, The Fast and the Furious).
When Riddick goes missing the other survivors become nervous due his reputation, but it becomes apparent there is much more to fear when one of the party is eaten alive by a mysterious creature. The creatures weakness appears to be any form of light - which makes the pending eclipse extremely bad news.
This dvd contains special features which will no doubt increase its appeal to fans of the film. It proved to be successful enough to warrant a sequel, 2004's 'The Chronicles of Riddick', however there are certainly better films in the genre (either Alien or Aliens for example). The special effects are ok and this is one of Diesels better performances but the story lacks the necessary depth to be considered a classic. I found it hard to really warm to any of the characters with the exception of Radha Mitchell's (Fry).

I found the film to be entertaining enough but would advise that you watch the film before buying.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vin Diesel Rules!, 29 May 2001
This review is from: Pitch Black [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
I remember going to see this at the cinema because it had just come out and there was nothing else on, apart from Gladiator, which I had already seen four times. It was one of those lovely experiences when you go into a film, not really knowing what to expect, and coming out having been pleasantly surprised. Pitch Black is a great sci-fi/horror/action thriller, and it is a shame that it did not recieve much attention in the media when it arrived (although it has been a critical success, I believe). I snapped it up on DVD, and I was not disappointed. The film looks pristine on this format, and you really get to appreciate David Twohy's direction; the lighting, in particular, is excellent, especially as the second half of the film takes place in the dark. There are some truly beautiful shots in here, so keep your eyes peeled. The characters are all of a far higher calibre than your usual shocker - the reluctant stand-in captain who initially doesn't give a stuff about her crew (although, of course, she changes!), the good cop who seems just a little bit dodgy, and finally, the piece de resistance, Vin "I'm the coolest man in the universe" Diesel as Riddick, the badass, evil convict who you really don't want to mess with - ironically the only man who can save the stricken crew when the monsters begin their slaughter (if he doesn't kill them all first, that is). Although Diesel's central performance is simply too cool to forget, there are a bunch of excellent character actors rounding it out, notably Claudia Black and Keith David. Watch out for the shocker of an ending too - you won't have seen THAT coming. Make sure you check out the commentary as well, by Twohy, Diesel and Cole Hauser (the dodgy cop) - it is very funny and they tell a lot of great stories about the production. Well worth the money.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alien meets .... well nothing, this film is unique !!, 30 Oct 2001
This review is from: Pitch Black [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Firstly, if you only see one Sci-Fi film this year make sure it's this one !!
The acting is great, the story is fantastic and the effects are quite simply out of this world !
The story is based around a crew that have crashed on a planet with three suns. This seems bad enough (a bit hot to say the least), however when the eclipse occurs - once every twenty or so years - night is not what you want to experience.
The planet is host to some very nasty, very large, very hungry aliens.
The cast includes a convict who has had his eyes modified so he can easily see in the dark - which is quite useful, he is also played by Vin Diesel so he is big enough to look after himself and the rest of the crew. The crew however need to get over the fact he is a convicted murderer !
The story is full of tension and the pace of the film - once the suns have gone in - is very fast.
A must for anyone who likes a good Sci-Fi/Horror tale.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb on BD, 13 July 2010
By 
G. Gilpin "Geoff" (Northamptonshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Pitch Black [Blu-ray][Region Free] (Blu-ray)
I first saw Pitch Black some years ago in a small local theatre with some friends (it was almost a cult film from the outset). After the viewing I was criticised for my choice of film. I stayed the course, however, and eventually bought PB on DVD. Visually, it's such a haunting film that when Amazon was doing "twofers" I bought the film on BD. I wasn't expecting to see much difference based on my previous experiences with older films remastered on BD. I am very pleased to say that I was wrong. This film is excellent on BD: the exterior scenes are intentionally over-exposed to give a very bright effect, which is often colour-washed, and this comes over beautifully on blu-ray. The interior scenes are also superbly detailed with effective use of back-light etc.

So much for the visuals. Although the content is a bit formulaic it's a better-than-average SF movie, the monsters are also a bit derivative and Vin is Vin. The other actors are largely unknown (to me, anyway). There's some Australian accents, presumably from passing opal miners (the film was shot in Coober Pedy).

But it's the photography that really does it for me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pitch Perfect !, 24 Jan 2014
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Pitch Black [Blu-ray][Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Having just bought the most recent film in the trilogy (simply called Riddick) I felt it was long overdue to upgrade the rest of the films in this franchise to Blu-ray.
I remember getting Pitch Black on US import DVD about 5 weeks before it was due out at the cinema here in the UK (almost a year before the UK DVD release) due to a February cinematic release in the US compared to an October release here , and it was a directors cut no less , but sadly , those days of getting movies weeks before their actual UK cinema release are long gone , as nearly all movies on DVD/Blu-ray in the US are now released at the same time (give or take) as the UK , so I find there is little point buying imports anymore.

This is arguably the film that launched Vin Diesel's career and , with what I thought was an excellent sequel that followed (apparently the critics didn't liked it) , it didn't just rehash the same storyline like so many sequels do , it completely opened up the Riddick universe and was turning out to be an excellent franchise.
As for the most recent instalment in the franchise , its fair to say the story has gone back to the first film , but still enjoyable enough... I'm not a big fan of Vin Diesel movies , but I do like his Riddick franchise which he has made his own and I could quite happily sit and watch all 3 movies in one sitting , and rumour has it , he's signed up to do more.

Visually the Blu-ray transfer is excellent. The scene where Riddick is chained up after the death of Zeke , the detail on his hair (what little there is) is quite remarkable. Even the alien creatures , which looked rather flat on the original DVD , gain incredible detail.
The contrast of going from having 3 suns to all out darkness , the black levels are solid and don't suffer the jerkiness that the DVD suffered from.
The sound is in 5.1 DTS master audio and is quit impressive given the low budget of this film , and the opening crash sequence is definitely one for the sound demo-ests out there with a decent audio setup... Although the best sound demo ever that still ranks No:1 for me is , Star Wars: A New Hope and the shutting down (or whining down) of the sub-light engines on the Millennium Falcon on its approach to the destroyed planet of Alderaan... It just can't be beat !

The extras are ok , but nothing really to shout about from what you got on DVD. There is a picture-in-picture behind the scenes feature that you now get along with a couple of other additions (U-Control for e.g.) but for £7 this is excellent value and very worthy of an upgrade.
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Pitch Black [Blu-ray][Region Free]
Pitch Black [Blu-ray][Region Free] by David Twohy (Blu-ray - 2009)
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