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Showing 1-10 of 65 reviews(4 star). See all 270 reviews
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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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 28 October 2015
Not as good as you remember it, but easily the best Riddick film. I remember thinking his character was amazing in 2000 - now it just seems a bit ridiculous, with slightly ham acting. Likewise the other characters. However, it is a good for a low budget film. Oddly, the Blu-ray doesn't seem to add much.
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on 2 May 2014
Bought the all Riddicks for my hubby to watch but then decided to watch them with him. Really enjoyed this first instalment, brilliant, just something to watch and enjoy. Couldn't wait to watch The Chronicles of Riddick and Riddick wasn't disappointed.
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on 24 May 2017
Good quality transfer.sharp images
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on 8 July 2013
A few shots that leave to be desired, but overall it is a great transfert, the sound is good as well.
The movie itself is not as good as what I remember, is far from flawless (flat scenario, Vin Diesel a little ridiculous at times), but still a few good images or scenes.
Oh, and all the extras !!
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on 30 November 2012
This was quite a breath of fresh air in the sci-fi genre when it first came out. I wouldn't say it is an original story, but the way they tell it and shoot it is.. Well worth owning if you are into sci-fi. The blu-ray quality is pretty good, it is grainy but I think this is the way it was intended.
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on 2 February 2017
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on 21 March 2008
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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