on 21 September 2005
I've been dying to see this directors cut of The Chronicles Of Riddick for some time, in the U.S, it came out at the same time as the normal version, so i thought we'd never end up getting it. But, i am pleased to say that i was wrong.
While being a big fan of the theatrical cut, i always had the feeling that an extended cut would be better recieved by the common movie goer, and would help the movie flow. This is true, as in the directors cut we get more of a history for Riddick, and we get more information on his Furyan origins and on why his race is almost extinct, making Riddick seem a lot more important to the universe than he seemed in the other cut. We also get a new character in the movie, a woman (presumably Furyan, maybe his mother) who comes to Riddick in his dreams to remind him of the terrible tragedy that happened on the planet. We also get a few tantalising glimpses of Furya itself, whetting the appetite even further for the sequels. Also, supporting characters like Jack/Kyra, the mercs who catch Riddick, Lord and Dame Vaako and the Norwegian prisoner leader are more fleshed out, giving us extra oppurtunity to identify with them.
The action scenes on Crematoria are also extended including a spectacular new part were Riddick comes to truly realise he is Furyan and who it was who destroyed his race's world. Other action scenes in the movie are either the same or only extended by a few seconds of extra footage.
The new footage also serves to make some scenes of the movie more emotionally charged and just that little bit more exciting. For example, when Riddick is looking at the devastation when the Necromonger invade Helion Prime, we see flashback of Furya, and also the final 30 mins in necropolis. So if you didnt like the theatrical cut, give this a try, if you liked the theatrical cut, definately buy this, anyone who has not seen either, i would recommend both, but the directors cut is the better movie.
I've heard that in the planned sequels they will go to the underverse in number 2 and then back to Furya in number 3, i sure hope these get made as i love the character and the movies, and this could turn out to be a great sci-fi saga in the years to come, and the more people who buy the DVD the more chance we have of the sequels getting made.
on 28 November 2004
Big Vin is back as the So bad he's great Riddick. This film was trashed by the critics but i loved every minute of it at the cinema.Taking huge design influence from David lynche's DUNE and fleshing out Riddicks Badass character (Snake plissken for the new millenium)The film starts at a sprint and doesnt slow down, never letting the somewhat silly pretentions of the plot get in the way of the awesome set piece action.This isnt going to get Mr Diesel an oscar, but he clearly loves the character and this comes through in his performance. If you love sci fi that offers spectacle and were annoyed with the direction the Matrix sequels took (architect speech anyone?) give this a go. Utterly enjoyable kick ass nonsense :-)
on 25 October 2005
I am a discriminating Sci-Fi fan, both literature and film, and I definitely do not agree with what professional critics had to say about this movie. I'm glad I didn't pay attention to the reviews and watched it for myself.
The story includes Dune-like intricacies (prophecy, conflicting character motives, foreshadow, plots within plots, human weaknesses, multiple heroes, patience, questionable morality, rituals, inner challenges, sacrifice, etc.) but without the extended, drawn-out politics to slow the story. It is fast paced and entertaining along with the important issues and messages. The art in this film is breathtaking including the rocky fins and caves of the ice planet, the Necromonger ship; the sparkling seas, sands, and architecture of Helion Prime; and the brutal beauty of the jagged, glassy, and blistering Crematoria. The DVD version really showcases the artistic elements of this movie.
The film has a Conan flavor with the non-traditional and non-innocent hero doing the right thing instead of the easy thing, and getting involved though he doesn't have to. The superhero (and regular hero) qualities of the Riddick character are also a nice addition to the story: speed, protection of the weak, strength, ease of killing, frequent flying through the air during attacks/escapes, quick thinking, sense of humor, resistance to Necromonger mental intrusion, enhanced eyes for night vision (Achilles heel being light sensitivity), precision, gracefulness despite bulk, piloting skills, use of varied weaponry, respect for life, risk taking, etc. The combination of weaponry is also interesting - unique craftsmanship blades mixed with Sci-Fi technology weapons. However, the violence in this film is very tasteful, similar to the Zatoichi movies, where our hero is able to kill without a lot of blood and gore. And he only deals out death when forced to, not at whim or randomly. There is also a similarity to Kurosawa stories as well, specifically Yojimbo and Sanjuro regarding the flawed hero and the motives of the characters, with some events and symbolism corresponding to Throne of Blood. The story of The Luck Child is also played out in this film, which is especially nice for those of us who love fairy tales.
The acting is first-rate. All of the actors did a fine job, but Vin Diesel's performance is truly exceptional. I had no idea he was so incredibly talented. (I always thought he was mainly an "eye candy" actor. Not so.) He is amazingly expressive throughout the movie without the use of his eyes at all. (They are surgically enhanced with no pupils and covered with goggles part of the time.) And his voice, diction, and inflection are obviously a product of natural talent, serious training, and careful attention to his craft. I now have a new appreciation for the quality of his work.
I would rank this film right up there with some of the greatest Sci-Fi movies of all time including Metropolis, Blade Runner, and Forbidden Planet; and the story itself merits comparison to classic Sci-Fi books such as the Robot novels, Dune, The Chronicles of Amber, and the Foundation series. I recommend people watch this film and judge its merits for themselves. I don't think the critics of this movie watched it very carefully.
I have great difficulty choosing between Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick as far as a favorite. The stories are both wonderful with important and profound messages, as well as unique and interesting elements; but they are so dissimilar that a side-by-side comparison is not really feasible. The fact that the two are so different from one another is a good part of what makes them both incredibly special and a significant contribution to the realm of Science Fiction entertainment. I truly hope that if more films are added to this saga, they are equally original and surprising in content and style, instead of relying on formula or cookie cutter repetition like many series seem to.
J.H. Sweet, author of The Fairy Chronicles
on 25 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.
When I found out that there was going to be a sequel to Pitch Black , I couldn't be happier. Even better , both Vin Diesel and director David Twohy were back in the saddle , so how could it possibly go wrong ?
For me , absolutely nothing ! It was excellent ! A thoroughly enjoyable popcorn sci-fi/action movie , but then I read the scathing reviews on how bad it was (mainly because there were no monsters to stab at) but I truly disagree as this just opened up the whole Riddick universe and makes the trilogy far more interesting than just a "Hack & Slash" series of movies.
Don't get me wrong , I'll take toothy monsters over an invading army any day , but I'm glad they didn't just rehash the same story as Pitch Black by using any excuse for Riddick to see in the dark , which was barely touched on in this film and the only thing that bothered me about this was the PG:13 rating it got compared to the R-rated Pitch Black , so you knew it was going to be a softer affair.
Even though the third instalment isn't a complete rip off of the first one , there is a lot of elements from it that doesn't quite make that film original... Still , very enjoyable enough for me to buy it , although I did hope that bounty hunter ,Toombs (played by Nick Chinlund) would have returned or had some kind of spin off movie of his own as I found him quite an enjoyable character... As slimy as he was.
Visually this Blu-ray is superb , flawless , excellent , absolutely top notch and couldn't be happier with the picture quality.
The same can be said for the 5.1 DTS master audio which really does test your AV receiver to the absolute max.
As for the extras , like Pitch Black there's 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.
This film has been overlooked by the masses,because film critics called it Chronicles Of ridiculous,and gave it 1 star ratings.But if you check the scores of people on amazon who have seen it,most love it,I do too.Im so glad i bought both versions,as they both have a very different feel to them,So dont wait buy it,you will be very glad you did.The film draws you in right at the start and the only downsides to this film are,that it has to end,and that there probably wont be a sequel,due to the bad taste of you average highly paid film critic.
Well seems my last comment might be wrong,as Vin Diesel has commented in a recent interview,that there might be another film,so fingers crossed riddick fans.
Okay, first to clear something up. This is the approx. 115min version, not the approx. 130 min "directors cut", which some people below seem to be reviewing here by mistake.(...or is Amazon up to its old trick of lumping all thevreviews in together again?)
This one takes place 5 years on from "Pitch Black". I won't reveal the plot in case you haven't seen it, but this is a fast-paced and highly stylish follow-up. Clearly this film has a much bigger budget than the first (about $120 million vs about $25 million) and it shows as a proper Hollywood sci fi adventure. Also, it got a 15 certificate, (so important to Hollywood studios) and that shows, compared to PB.
Diesel is perfect as the anti-hero good-guy, Richard B Riddick, descendant of a thought to be extinct warrior race, taking on bounty hunters and a dark religious force, enslaving planets.
Is it better than the original? Well, personally, I thought it was about as enjoyable, for slightly different reasons. Diesel seems more confident in the role here than in the first and the set pieces give him a chance to show off his (character's) fighting talents far more. The action, moving from Planet UV, to New Mecca, Crematoria and Helion Prime, also gives the film more scale than the original. I didn't think the CGI was overdone either.
Riddick's character is far less ambiguous than in the first film and I don't think "chronicles" quite has the menace or sense of danger of the original, nor, the originality, having already introduced the character in the earlier movie, but overall, I really enjoyed it.
The dvd itself contains the movie + a bunch of extras including; an interactive tour of the sets by Diesel, riddick insider facts on demand (scene specific background facts and trivia are displayed in real time as you watch the movie) and toombs case log, following the chase for riddick up to the start of the film.
on 31 January 2009
Version: U.K / E.U / Region A, B, C
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Running time: 2:14:06
Movie size: 27,20 GB
Disc size: 32,68 GB
Total bit rate: 27.05 Mbps
Average video bit rate: 14.01 Mbps
DTS-HD Master Audio English 4364 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4364 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS Audio French 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
DTS Audio German 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
DTS Audio Italian 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
DTS Audio Spanish 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / Dolby Surround
DTS Express English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / 24-bit
DTS Express English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles: English SDH, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish
Number of chapters: 28
#U-Control - Picture-in-Picture
#Introduction by director
Format: HD DVD
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Running time: 2:13:56
Movie size: 22,13 GB
Disc size: 26,79 GB
Total bit rate: 22.03 Mbps
Average video bit rate: 16.81 Mbps
DDPlus 5.1 1536Kbps / DTS 5.1 1509Kbps
on 4 October 2006
The very sad fact about this excellent film is that it was killed (in spirit at least) by the movie studio in an effort to make it more 'viewer friendly'. I have both versions of this film on DVD and I can say unequivably that the commercial release is horrid, I can't stand to watch it, but the uncut director version is nothing short of excellent, one of my favorite films - why? The directors cut fleshes out the plot in a much better way and sits together as a film more naturally. The commercial version is edited completely different and cuts out all the story aspects of the film, focusing on being an action movie rather than a true sci-fi film. In short it doesn't work, all action and no plot leaves the commercial version empty, souless, spoiled. If you love sci-fi and especially if you loved Pitch Black then buy this film, but please buy the real version and enjoy.
on 1 February 2014
I am a real fan of action movies and this is one of my favourites. I prefer it to Pitch Black and Riddick (part of the Trilogy) Vin Diesel is perfect in the role of Riddick who finds himself in all sorts of trouble when captured by the bounty hunters. He meets up again with "Jack" the tom boy who has now grown up. However when you watch this film you just know that Riddick will win in the end as he is so COOL! There is plenty of action with a good story line. Judi Dench makes an appearance and at first you might think she would be out of place in this type of movie but you would be wrong. I'm sure she thoroughly enjoyed herself in the role of an Elemental! I liked the genre of the film and the costumes were terrific and unusual.
I would recommend this film.
on 27 May 2016
First things first..This is a good sequel to Pitch Black..But I was expecting more with the Directors Cut (one star taken away). The extra 15mins? that you do get are minimal and you can see why they were not used in the theatrical version (blink and you would miss them - one star taken away) . The only interesting extra part was the introduction to Riddick and his peoples past (which should have been longer ) Apart from that i would have been happy with the one disc version. But the price is the clincher and i could not say no.