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22 of 23 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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13 of 15 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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13 of 15 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "You're not afraid of the dark, are you?", 27 Dec. 2014
By 
Call me Al (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Pitch Black [DVD] (DVD)
This is an enjoyable low-budget SF film about a small group of shipwrecked humans trying to escape from an inhospitable desert planet infested with an insatiably voracious indigenous species who hunt at night. Amongst the survivors is Riddick (Vin Diesel), a recently captured escapee being returned to prison and who is thankfully not "only dangerous around humans". Riddick displays an anti-hero `Snake Plissken' attitude (see John Carpenter's Escape From New York) and due to eye surgery, has an ability to see in the dark. The cinematography with its stunning use of light and colour expertly depicts a believable alien terrain and the brief showing of events from an alien species perspective and through Riddick's `night-vision' is very effective. The film, which has a well-judged dry humour that successfully contrasts with the tension and horror of the narrative, has rightly become a SF classic.
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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)   
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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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4.0 out of 5 stars Because the Night, 23 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: Pitch Black [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
Stylish and suspenseful, Pitch Black's a fine cult movie. The look's wonderful; director David Twohy wisely keeps his monsters hidden, showing them only in quick cuts. The planet they inhabit is bathed in unexpected colours and dusk is evoked with palpable menace. If Pitch Black feels like an old B-movie at times, that just adds to the effect. A cleaner, polished look may have strangled the spookiness. As it is the imagery and set pieces are fabulous. It's a powerfully unique film visually.
When a transport ship loses control pilot Carolyn Fry (Radha Mitchell) tries jettisoning passengers. Her co-pilot, Greg Owens (Simon Burke), stops her, and they end up stranded on a desert planet with three suns. The crew include antique dealer Paris P. Ogilvie (Lewis Fitz-Gerald), a young boy called Jack, William J. Johns (Cole Hauser), and Johns' prisoner, Riddick (Vin Diesel), a murderer. Riddick, used to pitch black jails, had surgery which allows him night vision. This comes in handy when the crew realise that nightfall is close and a race of nocturnal winged carnivores are stalking them.
The characterisation's a bit vague and thin. Not much time's spent establishing secondary characters, so their relationships are hard to guess. When they are developed they're pretty generic. Paris, for instance, is your basic silly fop. Of the supporting cast my favourite was Keith David as Abu, a Muslim on a pilgrimage with three boys. He's kind, brave and intelligent, which you don't see much in fictional Muslims. You can tell this film is pre-9/11. At the centre of the story are Fry, Johns and Riddick, who make a complex trio; their natures evolve throughout the film. Riddick's dealt with somewhat sentimentally towards the end, which exemplifies the plot's mainstream goals. That said, some of its developments are genuinely unexpected. The writers take Fry and Johns down interesting paths.
Vin Diesel's a much better actor than he's given credit for. The way he moves between menace and leadership here is subtly effective, rivalling work by more accepted actors. He may be a beefcake, but that doesn't mean he's a one note performer. Radha Mitchell and Cole Hauser also do well, though this is Diesel's film. You can see why Riddick became popular. Diesel lends charisma to an average, predictable role, making more of it than others would or could.
With the help of tight plotting suspense is maintained, and there's some nice gory kills. One thing which sets Pitch Black apart from other recent films of its type is its minimalism. Its most action-packed scenes show very little. We mostly just see two or three characters, some electric lights and a sudden flash of the monsters. Yet these scenes are more gripping than many thrillers which stuff the whole frame with effects.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good movie which takes a new approach to the sci-fi genre, 20 July 2008
This review is from: Pitch Black [DVD] (DVD)
Even though this movie starts off with the usual: something goes wrong, spacecraft crashes, people are stranded etc. it still pulls off and introduces the viewer to some new ideas. Riddick is somewhat of a badass convict and has modified his eyes so he is able to see in the dark which is a sought after ability in the situation the shipcrew and he is in. The cutting in the movie is very good and emphasizes the mystique that shrouds around the anti-hero and male protagonist: "Riddick." The story in Pitch Black is, as already mentioned, to some extent very unoriginal and dissatisfied, but the clipping and cutting in the movie blended with some surprising elements which has been added to the story helps it to still support itself very well and one is afterwards left behind with a hybrid feeling of satisfaction and hunger for more. Vin Diesel acts really well in the role as Riddick and even though his character is a hardcore, tough survivor he still takes morale decisions almost on the verge of good, but that does not mean his decisions do not turn in his favor at the very end... Why destroy an already perfect reputation?
All in all this is a very good movie though not perfect. The story seems very unoriginal at the surface, but underneath it shines with enough originality to entertain. Some scenes has that wow factor while it as a whole is a bit better than average. It could maybe be described as a cult movie and it is definetely a recommendation for people who wants a spiced up sci-fi story blended with some minor psychological moments and an intriguing protagonist, namely Riddick.
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4.0 out of 5 stars "Paris P. Olgilvie. Antiquities dealer, entrepreneur." "Richard B. Riddick. Escaped convict. Murderer. Nice to meet ya", 5 Sept. 2007
By 
Maciej "Darth Maciek" (Darth Maciek is out there...) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Pitch Black [DVD] (DVD)
I was very favourably surprised by this movie, which didn't make such a big score when opening in cinemas but now is much more recognised once it is accessible on DVD.

It is one of the most original SF films of those last years, well filmed and with good actors. And it was really not easy to do something original considering the topic - a spaceship crashes on a distant and hostile planet and the stranded crew struggles to survive and find a way out. It was already treated in many SF books - and still this movie managed to find an original way to deal with the story.

I do not want to give spoilers, but from the title of the movie you can safely presume that absence of light will play an important role - and you will be right! Special effects, light and sound were very well done in this movie and even the most spoiled viewers should find this movie visually and accoustically quite impressive. There is at least one scene which WILL definitely impress you - when a giant planet rises above the horizon line of the alien world, where the action is situated. I still shiver with delight when I remember this moment.

Also, if by any chance you saw the idiotic sequel of this movie ("Chronicles of Riddick") please stay calm - "Pitch Black" is totally different in every aspect. It has a credible plot, interesting characters and simply is a real treat for every SF fan. OK, it is not "Star Wars" or "Aliens", but is still a really good movie. See it and have fun!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic, 12 July 2013
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Wasn't sure what a Steel box was before I got this but now I know. Its a erm, steel box. I wouldn't pay over the odds for one but they are quite cool. As for the movie, epic. This was one of the first films I watched when I bought my first DVD player. I had heard nothing about it and was very glad as I didn't see it coming at all (I won't explain in case there's someone who hasn't seen this). Then there's watching it in HD and surround sounds and its a mighty experience. Great film, nice box. Perfect, although had to then order Chronicles lol!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic sci-fi action extravaganza!, 6 Jun. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Pitch Black [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
This is one of the best Sci-fi action films for ten or so years, since Alien and Predator. Although the premise of the film seems borrowed and therefore predictable, further into the film you see that there are many new ideas that breathe life into the genre. So many alien films are derivative and tired before they've even begun but watching Pitch Black I experienced a similar sense of excitment and amazement since watching the aforementioned classics for the first time. Vin Diesel is an excellent anti-hero, the aliens are original, well designed and animated by Double Negative; all of which has this DVD sitting proudly in my collection. (which incidently does not contain Starship Troopers!)
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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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