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on 24 January 2014
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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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 31 March 2017
Pitch Black was Vin Diesels main entry into mainstream Hollywood. His aggressive character Riddick being a prisoner on-board a crashed spaceship facing a significant alien species, was clearly something different when it was first released.

Watching Pitch Black on a small screen, I felt it looked cheaply produced, due to the filter used in the cinematography, but this rapidly changed during the second half of the movie, when the pace of the film changes rapidly.

Invariably Vin Diesel really is the highlight of the movie (for a change) , along with quite a reasonable supporting cast, and a spectacular enemy that really is worth waiting to see.

Originality isn't high in Pitch Black, and other movies such as Aliens are better, but Pitch Black is a well put together Sci -Fi Movie that deserves a watch.
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on 23 December 2012
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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on 20 January 2017
This review only applies to special edition DVD (ASIN:B0002K10MU). The picture quality is excellent thanks to an average bitrate of 6296kbps. Sound is good too. Great value at £1.18 delivered (Prime).

I loved this movie. It's been written as a vehicle for Vin Diesel (Riddick). It's not clever or that original (hero criminal saves the day), but is great to watch.
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on 1 March 2018
I had this on DVD before but I must have lent it to someone because I couldn't find it anywhere. Anyway, I bought this special edition, as it was so cheap and it's great. If you want a review of the film, go to IMDB or other sources. I like the film as I like Riddick.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 5 September 2007
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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on 12 July 2013
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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on 27 March 2012
i love it. transfer is more than powerful to help bring Twohy's world of eternal light to life. the lighting is brighter on blu-ray. the transition from eternal light to total darkness is more than visual. you experience it a lot better in blu-ray. the darkness scenes are terrifying and and tense. great cast with no large fan credits to them but their authenticity gives life to a wonderfully crafted horror/thriller scifi flick. blu-ray is how we're meant to watch movies. the special features are awesome with bounter hunter logs. you want more from Riddick universe. sad that 3-d wastes money then again i never really experienced 3-d. but why i must i wear silly goggles to watch an anti-hero who wears them for me? hehe
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on 17 June 2014
I was once a real Sci Fi fan but gradually lost my liking for this genre, as it decended into a form of, who could provide the best special effects, without any characters as such, but I caught this film on late night TV by chance, & got caught up into the theme! I have to admit, that Vin Deisel, was not on my list of favourite actors previously, but this part seems to fit him like a glove & I've now watched & enjoyed this film again without the breaks & carried on to view the later films, without losing my interest
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 18 December 2013
Bought this to make a collection of the Chronicles of Riddick...this particular copy is not the best blu ray out there...the dark scenes are grainy but acceptable..when it came to the bright areas it was fine....however...the sound was amazing (5.1) and the steering remarkable...all in all I am satisfied for the cost which I paid for this blu ray....

P.S..but won't be buying from Zooverstock again...disc arrived without shrink wrap so suspect not new.!!
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