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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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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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars WOW...DON'T TURN OFF THE LIGHTS!..., 9 Mar 2006
By 
Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Pitch Black [DVD] (DVD)
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 doesn't 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. It is no wonder that it is a sleeper hit. It has the makings of a cult classic.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy the darkness in 720p/1080p, 21 Mar 2008
By 
Jason (Warwickshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pitch Black [HD DVD] (HD DVD)
A simple idea, well executed:

Put humans on same planet as aggressive creatures sensitive to light. Put planet into *long* eclipse. Watch as humans attempt to get off darkened planet as creatures try to kill them.

Sounds like yet another standard sci-fi horror flick, doesn't it? Wrong. This is a very good movie that features several characters who have several shades of grey. Worth buying the SD version, and existing fans of the movie will be pleased with the improved picture quality of the HD-DVD version, its hard to believe that this film was originally made in 1999 for a mere $20 million!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Alien 'light', 12 Sep 2004
By 
Kurt Decoene "Tybo" (Menen - Belgium) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Pitch Black [DVD] (DVD)
This is a classic space thriller and of course it's going to be compared to 'Alien' and this is basically what I would call 'Aliens light'. Less money, but still quite convincing SFX and it shows that it's not necesary to have a multi-billion budget to make a good movie.
In thrillers people ALWAYS do stupid things, like sticking their heads and other body parts in places they're bound to get eaten, killed or horribly mutilated. Not smart, but if they didn't, you wouldn't have a movie now would you ? (hey, they do it in Alien so why can't they do it in this film ?)
So if you can get past the fact that people examine holes in the surface of foreign and unknown barren celestial bodies by sticking their heads in them,you'll probably enjoy this movie...
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A refreshing take on the often cliched alien horror movie, 3 Jun 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Pitch Black [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
Combining a great story, fantastic direction, brilliant acting, and outstanding special-effects this movie has everything you need in a horror/sci-fi cross-over, and then some. The extras on the DVD are OK, although I feel that the footage of Rave Parties with a (very) loosely based Pitch Black theme are a little unnecessary. Perhaps it would have been better to include some deleted scenes, or more cast and crew interviews, however the commentaries are good, and for me they are always the best kind of extra. Of course the film is great, so any extras on the DVD just help to make even greater. And you get to see Vin Diesel being the coolest action hero since time began. Don't miss it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple, effective, and very good., 6 Nov 2007
This review is from: Pitch Black [DVD] (DVD)
If you'll excuse me, I'll start in reverse order.
A lot of people are drawn to this movie after having heard of or seen the sequel, The chronicles of Riddick. Now I'm a big sci-fi fan, and can sit through a lot. I also like Vin Diesel, but the sequel is poor. It boasts better effects and higher budget, but lousy OTT storyline. In fact it reminds me of the crappy Highlander 2 storyline in the way it is so far removed from the original.
All this to say that Pitch Black should be considered separately from the sequel. Do not make the mistake of pre-judging this movie on the basis of the sequel.

On to Pitch Black.
Somebody already mentioned Alien, and I think there are indeed certain similarities. If you consider the cult status of Alien, this is high praise indeed. The main similarities are the aliens themselves. Never seen before, violent, prone to hiding in the shadows, and with an appetite for a bit of human carnage.
The storyline is fairly predicable, but this in itself is not a bad thing. Much like Alien, you want to know 'how' something will happen, rather than 'if'. It's not going to win any oscars, but it will keep you thoroughly entertained, and on the edge of your seat.

The cast of the movie were all relative unknowns prior to this. So there's no feeling of a pecking order in terms of the way they act. Diesel tends to steal many on-screen momentz, but that's more to do with the fact that he's a big guy, and his character has been written to be imposing.
His nemesis is excellently played by Cole Hauser. You're not sure whether to like him or loathe him, and you end up doing both at different moments of the movie.
The vessels' stand in captain Radha Mitchell is excellently weak and pathetic in the beginning, gradually buidling up to her climatic finale.

A lot has been said already about the content of the movie. My only point to add to this would be the pace of the events.
The opening scene with the meteorite shower and crash landing is fast and frenetic. The pace then slows right down as the survivors explore the planet, and as we are introduced to our anti-hero Riddick.
And then as things start to become more clear (or dark....) the pace starts to pick up again as the panic sets in. It's an up and down experience that is really good fun and well worth watching.
After all, fun is what it's meant to be about....
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic, stylish chiller, 26 Dec 2005
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This review is from: Pitch Black [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
I loved this flick. As soon as I finished watching it on tv one night I knew I had to get the dvd. I'm always cautious of Vin Diesel movies but this one works, and works well.
The story is simple: a group of people become stranded on a barren planet when their ship crash-lands on it, one of whom is a dangerous criminal (Vin, playing Robert Riddick) being transported to a high-security jail. They all have to work together to survive. Only, there's a problem: the planet has one other life-form on it, a vicious flesh-eating lizard-bird species that only comes out at night. If that wasn't bad enough, there's another problem that compounds the first one: there shortly will be a unique and badly timed conjunction of planets, blotting out all three suns in the system, casting the planet in TOTAL DARKNESS (hence "Pitch Black"). One by one the rag-tag bunch of survivors get picked off by the beasts, including the 3 sons of a Muslim imam, which tests his faith to the limit (I've never ever seen a Muslim imam used in such a movie before, quite a departure). It turns out that the only one among them who can help, is Riddick...the convicted murderer. And the reason is this: back in prison he had his eyes altered by a surgeon so that he can see in the dark, giving them an eerie silvery glow. So ultimately the survivors have to put all their trust in this man to survive, to lead them to safety. And the irony is, Riddick has perhaps more morals than most of them ever did...but I don't want to elaborate on that. You'll understand as you watch it. All I will say is "Don't you cry for him. Don't you dare."
I perfect movie overall, just the right length, great acting from everybody, stylish cinematography, evocative music, excellent CG-created aliens that appear on screen just long enough for you to get the idea of what they are (your imagination does the rest, which is always better). A classic thriller. If you want to impress people with your DVD collection, add "Pitch Black" to it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review by Raps, 24 Sep 2003
By A Customer
Every review I've ever read regarding Pitch Black refers to it as being not unlike the 'Alien' movies but, after seeing the movie for myself, I just don't get where they're coming from. The two films may be in the same class, which is fair enough but I don't see even the remotest connection between them. Except that they're both films about an unfriendly alien species? Anyway, Pitch Black is far superior. The art direction, the filming, the casting, and the storyline all combine to give a depth of atmosphere rarely experienced before. The opening sequence alone, which is awesome, has you sitting on the edge of your seat and sets the scene and the tone for the entire movie and ensures a flawless ride all the way to the final conclusion.
Finest point: Riddick is so chilling and so superhuman and is played so convincingly by Vin Diesel (I doubt anyone else could pull it off.) that although he is a recaptured escaped-convicted murderer, you can't help rooting for him. Riddick doesn't hog the limelight with vast amounts of dialogue during the film, which is a shame as Mr Diesel has a voice to die for, but as Vin performs this role with such sublime grace and presence he really doesn't need to. Word has it there is to be a trilogy spawned by this movie called The Chronicles of Riddick, the first of which is to be called Riddick and I just can't wait. In the meantime, if you like this, buy the collectable limited edition version, it has extra stuff and a short movie on the end called "Into Pitch Black".
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Enjoyable and Actually Quite Original, 13 Mar 2001
This review is from: Pitch Black [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
After a much delayed release in this country, I took the first chance I could to see this film at the cinema. Receiving critical judgements from both ends of the scale, I was intrigued as to how good a film with an almost nameless cast and small budget would actually be.
However, after watching it, I definately agree with the approving critics. Despite obvious comparisons with other Sci-fi horror classics such as Alien and Starship Troopers, this film still manages to retain a surprising level of originality, mainly because of the way that it goes beyond the usual stereotypes and really builds depth to its characters; particularly in Riddick, the films main anti-hero.
The basic plot revolves around a space craft that is forced to crash land on a seemingly deserted planet and the attempts of the surving crew members to survive. As is obvious, the survivors are not alone on the planet, as the native inhabitants are a breed of bat-shark alien hybrid that dwells in the darkness and has a strong taste for human flesh. The aliens themselves, although actually quite disturbing do bear an uncanny resemblance to the creature from the aforementioned Alien and this is one of the reasons that some critics took it upon themselves to discredit the film Stateside. However, the human characters cannot be compared in the same way, as they are much different from your average horror film fodder. Amongst the survivors are femail captain Fry (Rada Mitchel), homicidal maniac convict Riddick (Vin Diesel), vengeful Bounty Hunter Johns and a wide variety of other characters, including an English antique dealer, a religios trio and some of the ships crew. The insight given into each of the characters is superb, as we learn of their fears, dislikes, addictions and grudges: a lot more than is usually disclosed in films of this type.
The plot starts when the survivors of the ship realise that serial killer Ridick has escaped and is roaming free on the planet surface. Bounty Hunter Johns and Captain Fry then take it upon themselves to hunt him down and recapture him. But their problems then go from bad to worse when some of the survivors begin to be picked off and devoured by the alien creatures which can only live where there is darkness. The occurance of a total solar eclipse frees the creatures from their sub-terranian dwelling and the blood letting begins. The main gimmick of the fil is how Riddick has in-built night vision and is therefore the only one who can guide the group to safety and in other words how the groups biggest fear turns into their only hope: An intriguing premise which is pulled off effectively by the charismatic Riddick (Vin Diesel) and the vulnerable Fry (Rada Mitchel).
Overall, this is a very enjoyable film that does not stint on the suspense, plot-twists and gore. If you like your Sci-Fi with an element of originality, then this is for you. Great Stuff.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pitch Black HD DVD viewing, 31 Jan 2009
By 
G. Abraham "Abes" (So'ton, ENG) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Pitch Black [HD DVD] (HD DVD)
Pitch Black [HD DVD] [2000]
Enjoyable Movie, enjoyable plot, differing from other Sci-Fi movies and setting theme for the Riddick Chronicles... Vin Diesel plays an unusual heroes role, which is worth a viewing (in my opinion), especially in HD, giving that definitive watching which is one above the cinemas.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Review by Raps, 10 Sep 2003
By A Customer
This special edition is well worth the money, not least if you are a Vin fan. As well as extra shots of Riddick, there's extra footage which adds to the plot. There's also a film called "Into Pitch Black" which is a taster of what could come next. Included is an exclusive booklet outlining the movie and what it took to make it.
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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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