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The Chronicles Of Riddick / Pitch Black [DVD]
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Double bill of sci-fi action. In 'Pitch Black' (2002), technical problems force the spaceship Hunter-Gratzner to crash land on a distant planet with forty passengers on board. The passengers were heading for other worlds and only ten have managed to survive. One of them, Riddick (Vin Diesel), is an armed and dangerous convict determined to take control of events. The planet at first seems barren, with no evidence of water or living creatures - but when the sun sets the survivors discover they have the planet's terrifying nightlife to contend with. In the sequel, 'The Chronicles of Riddick' (2004), Riddick escapes to the distant planet of Helion in a desperate attempt to evade the mercenaries after him - only to find himself caught in the middle of a violent and bloody intergalactic conflict between two opposing forces: the Elementals, led by Aerion (Judi Dench) and the Necromongers, led by the bloodthirsty Lord Marshall (Colm Feore).
The Chronicles of Riddick
Bigger isn't always better, but for anyone who enjoyed Pitch Black, a nominal sequel like The Chronicles of Riddick should prove adequately entertaining. Writer-director David Twohy returns with expansive sets, detailed costumes, an army of CGI effects artists, and the star he helped launch--Vin Diesel--bearing his franchise burden quite nicely as he reprises his title role. The Furian renegade Riddick has another bounty on his head, but when he escapes from his mercenary captors, he's plunged into an epic-scale war waged by the Necromongers. A fascist master race led by Lord Marshal (Colm Feore), they're determined to conquer all enemies in their quest for the Underverse, the appeal of which is largely unexplained (since Twohy is presumably reserving details for subsequent "chronicles"). With tissue-thin plotting, scant character development, and skimpy roles that waste the talents of Thandie Newton (as a Necromonger conspirator) and Judi Dench (as a wispy "Elemental" priestess), Twohy's back in the B-movie territory he started in (with The Arrival), brought to vivid life on a vast digital landscape with the conceptual allure of a lavish graphic novel. But does Riddick have leadership skills on his resumé? To get an answer to that question, sci-fi fans will welcome another sequel. --Jeff Shannon
Pitch Black Owing a major debt to Alien and its cinematic spawn, Pitch Black is a guilty pleasure that surpasses expectations. As he did with The Arrival, director David Twohy revitalizes a derivative story, allowing you to forgive its flaws and submit to its visceral thrills. Under casual scrutiny, the plot's logic crumbles like a stale cookie, but it's definitely fun while it lasts. A spaceship crashes on a desert planet scorched under three suns. The mostly doomed survivors include a resourceful captain (Radha Mitchell), a drug-addled cop (Cole Hauser), and a deadly prisoner (Vin Diesel) who quickly escapes. These clashing personalities discover that the planet is plunging into the darkness of an extended eclipse, and it's populated by hordes of ravenous, razor-fanged beasties that only come out at night. The body count rises, and Pitch Black settles into familiar sci-fi territory.
What sets the movie apart is Twohy's developing visual style, suggesting that this veteran of B-movie schlock may advance to the big leagues. Like the makers of The Blair Witch Project, Twohy understands the frightening power of suggestion; his hungry monsters are better heard than seen (although once seen, they're chillingly effective), and Pitch Black gets full value from moments of genuine panic. Best of all, Twohy's got a well-matched cast, with Mitchell (so memorable with Ally Sheedy in High Art) and Diesel (Pvt. Caparzo from Saving Private Ryan) being the standouts. The latter makes the most of his muscle-man role, and his character's development is one more reason this movie works better than it should. --Jeff ShannonSee all Product description
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Top customer reviews
Not cerebrally challenging but with a take away and a beer not a bad way to spend an evening.
PB was all dark and moody with Riddick portrayed as cold, calculating, selfish, very able, killer. Pitted against the alien monsters on the alien planet, the question arises, who is the real monster?? Riddick or Aliens? Which the more savage?
COR was more chilled out, Riddick portrayed as mysterious, still dangerous but more humane. BAck story revealled a bit, but the main antagonist isnt Riddick but the High Lord of the Necromancers - who is threatened by the existence of Riddick.
Looking forward to the 3rd installation!!!