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Pitch Black

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Overview

Retitled The Chronicles of Riddick: Pitch Black and released just weeks prior to the sequel's opening, the stylish sci-fi horror monster flick that introduced audiences to Vin Diesel and the character of Riddick slams its way to DVD in four different versions thanks to USA Films and Universal Home Video. Previously released in 2000, this Unrated Director's Cut has been unearthed once again (it was released previously with a few of the same extras in 2000) as a promotional tool for the virtual onslaught of the ...
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DVD (Director's Cut / Wide Screen / Uncensored / Subtitled)
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Overview

Retitled The Chronicles of Riddick: Pitch Black and released just weeks prior to the sequel's opening, the stylish sci-fi horror monster flick that introduced audiences to Vin Diesel and the character of Riddick slams its way to DVD in four different versions thanks to USA Films and Universal Home Video. Previously released in 2000, this Unrated Director's Cut has been unearthed once again (it was released previously with a few of the same extras in 2000) as a promotional tool for the virtual onslaught of the series releases heaped upon audiences in the summer of 2004. The fun starts with the film itself, which is presented in an anamorphic 2.35:1 widescreen picture and the choice of either 5.1 DTS Surround or 5.1 Dolby Digital tracks. Picture and sound quality are top-notch, evoking just the right balance of colors for the breathtaking panoramic scenes with sharp surround sound for the unique and effective sound effects. Extras start with a new introduction by director David Twohy; filmed in the editing suite for The Chronicles of Riddick, the intimate chat mainly focuses on the sequel and what viewers can expect from the bigger-budgeted epic. Next are the commentaries -- one with the director and stars and the other a purely technical track with the director, producer, and visual-effects supervisor. The star track with Twohy, Vin Diesel, and Cole Hauser is obviously the more engaging of the two, with the shaved-headed muscleman enthusiastically raving on about every scene to almost ludicrous levels. The technical commentary track does stand out for its detail and should be worth it for those in the field or looking to understand the process more. The five-minute making-of is next, which, besides the commentaries, is the closest thing to actually discussing the film at hand. The four-minute "A View Into the Dark" featurette comes close in delivering a little more perspective into the first movie, though it, too, is basically another lead-in to the sequel. The rest of the extras can be separated into two different sections -- commercials for movie tie-ins and new material created especially for this DVD. The promotional materials come in the form of two incredibly short (each under two minutes) ads for The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury straight-to-DVD animated prequel and The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay interactive game. The new material begins with Johns' Chase Log, featuring Cole Hauser reading excerpts from his character's log account of his capture of Riddick previous to this film. While this bit isn't needed, it's interesting, though one may find it ridiculous to have to sit through 14 entries to get to the actual capture that's summed up simply with an "I got him" line. The last extra included is the Chronicles of Riddick Visual Encyclopedia, which also features Hauser commentary over distorted film clips and production sketches. It might have a little more flair than your average stills gallery, but the fact is that nothing really takes the place of showing people the real production art and behind-the-scenes material. And for all of you who just haven't been teased enough by more shilling for the sequel, there's a few snippets of conceptual artwork in there to tide you over! There's a whole lot that's missing on this edition, namely trailers(!) and specific documentaries on the actual film (and not the sequel), so it really isn't fair to judge this as any kind of ultimate edition. Consider it more of a packaged advertisement for the world that David Twohy created and unleashed upon audiences everywhere in June 2004. If you didn't own Pitch Black before, now's as good a time as any to jump in, though others who were waiting to upgrade might want to be a little more patient for more meaty reissues down the road.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; The Chronicles of Riddick Visual Encyclopedia: Cole Hauser hosts this exploration of Mercs, the Slam, and other unique elements of the Riddick universe; Johns' Chase Log: Follow the bounty hunter Johns (Cole Hauser) on his month-long hunt for Riddick (includes excerpts from his personal log chronicling Riddick's final days of freedom before his capture, leading into the opening scene of Pitch Black); "Dark Fury: Advancing the Arc": An inside look at the making of The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury, the visionary animated film by acclaimed animator Peter Chung (The Animatrix: Matriculated); "The Game Is On": Join the ride of Riddick's earlier life as he attempts to break out of a triple-max-security prison, and get a sneak peek at the new Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay interactive game; Full-length feature commentary with Vin Diesel, Cole Hauser, and director Dave Twohy; Full-length feature commentary with Dave Twohy and the film's producer and visual effects supervisor; "A View Into the Dark": David Twohy and Vin Diesel explore the character of Riddick
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Karl Williams
Screenwriter and director David Twohy continues his intriguing career of crafting challenging, well-mounted science fiction films via limited means with this somewhat derivative but highly enjoyable action thriller. Most of the casting in Pitch Black is by type and thus instantly forgettable, though given the story's haunted-house horror movie structure, this is probably by design. However, the film is anchored by Radha Mitchell and the strutting, grunting Vin Diesel, relative newcomers who prove their mettle on the big screen with reflective performances marked by detailed, intuitive choices. As he did with Warlock (1988), Disaster in Time (1992), and The Arrival (1996), Twohy takes what was intended to be a straight-to-video genre potboiler and transforms the project into something at least a cut above other examples of its type. Unfortunately, in all of these projects, the writer/director is at times overcome by shoestring budgets that hamstring his creative efforts to impress visually.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/1/2004
  • UPC: 025192472220
  • Original Release: 2000
  • Rating:

  • Source: Universal Studios
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Director's Cut / Wide Screen / Uncensored / Subtitled
  • Sound: Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound
  • Time: 1:52:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 9,711

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Radha Mitchell Fry
Vin Diesel Richard B. Riddick
Cole Hauser Johns
Keith David Imam
Lewis Fitz-Gerald Paris
Claudia Black Shazza
Rhiana Griffith Jack
John Moore Zeke
Simon Burke Owens
Les Chantery Suleiman
Sam Sari Hassan
Firass Dirani Ali
Ric Anderson Total Stranger
Vic Wilson Captain
Angela Makin Dead Crew Member
Technical Credits
David N. Twohy Director, Screenwriter
Ric Anderson Stunts
Iain Anderson Animator
Martin Ash Set Decoration/Design
Anna Borghesi Costumes/Costume Designer
Brent Coert Production Manager
Michelle Comerford Stunts
Marney Commens Stunts
Mullinars Consultants Casting
Brian Cox Special Effects Supervisor
Jamie Crooks Asst. Director
Evan Davies Animator
David Eggby Cinematographer
Tom Engelman Producer
Tim Field Production Manager
Ted Field Executive Producer
Anna Foerster Cinematographer
Shannon Blake Gans Executive Producer
Caroline Garrett Animator
Ian Gracie Art Director
Nigel Harbach Stunts
Antony Hunt Executive Producer
Peter Jerimijenko Stunts
John Cox Special Effects
Sue Kelly-Tait Makeup
Nigel King Stunts
Scott Kroopf Executive Producer
Jacinta Leong Set Decoration/Design
Roger Lofting Executive Producer
Maree McDonald Makeup
Rick Mietkowski Cinematographer
Tom Myers Sound/Sound Designer
Scott Pourroy Executive Producer
Graeme Revell Score Composer
Ann Robinson Casting
Michael Rumpf Set Decoration/Design
Debbie Santic Stunts
Rick Shaine Editor
Yasca Sinigaglia Stunts
Margaret Stevenson Makeup
Graham "Grace" Walker Production Designer
Jack Wareham Camera Operator
Jim Wheat Original Story, Screenwriter
Ken Wheat Original Story, Screenwriter
Anthony Winley Executive Producer
Wilfred Woodrow Stunts
Peter Woodward Makeup
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. The Animal Side [2:56]
2. Crash Landing [5:29]
3. The Survivors [8:38]
4. The Dead Planet [10:07]
5. The Other Inhabitants [5:13]
6. Into the Hole [4:22]
7. Riddick's Deal [9:58]
8. The Coming Eclipse [9:18]
9. Darkness Falls [6:36]
10. Just Don't Run [5:21]
11. The Escape Plan [6:14]
12. Paris's Demise [5:38]
13. Duel in the Dark [5:37]
14. Running the Gauntlet [4:35]
15. Survival Instinct [8:44]
16. Sacrifices [4:37]
17. Say Good Night [2:36]
18. End Titles [5:40]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play
   Scenes
   Bonus Features
      An Introduction by David Twohy
      The Game Is On
      The Johns Chase Log
      Feature Commentaries
         Feature Commentary With Vin Diesel, Cole Hauser and Director David Twohy
         Feature Commentary With Director David Twohy, Producer Tom Engelman and Visual Effects Supervisor Peter Chiang
      The Making of Pitch Black
      Dark Fury: Advancing the Arc
      The Chronicles of Riddick Website
      The Chronicles of Riddick Visual Encyclopedia
         Play All
         Orrery
         Merc
         Slam
         The Chronicles of Riddick
      A View Into the Dark
   Languages
      Spoken Languages: English 5.1 Dolby Digital
      Spoken Languages: English 5.1 DTS
      Spoken Languages: Feature Commentaries
         Feature Commentary With Vin Diesel, Cole Hauser and Director David Twohy
         Feature Commentary With Director David Twohy, Producer Tom Engelman and Visual Effects Supervisor Peter Chiang
      Captioned for the Hearing Impaired: English
      Subtitles: Español
      Subtitles: Français
      Subtitles: None
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 38 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(23)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 38 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Classic Literature--a Retelling of the Salvation of Man

    This is classic literature--reference to classics, the Holy Bible, and poetry throughout. A re-visioning of the greatest story ever told, yet few people acknowledge the writer for his extraordinary ability to combine science, fiction, and religion. Fry's sacrific allows Riddick's rebirth. This is in the same class as the original Star Wars trilogy for weaving in universial themes and literary motif. Far more than the average sci-fi thriller produced today.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    One of the Great Classics of Science Fiction

    This is truly a masterpiece of Science Fiction and an interesting study in human nature with profound messages similar to those in films such as Fahrenheit 451, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Metropolis, Logan's Run, and Blade Runner. The internal struggles of the characters (spirituality, self-sacrifice, fear, temptation, addiction, guilt, mastery of fear, human kindness, self-interest, resourcefulness, etc.) add a tremendous amount of depth to the story. The guilt of the captain over her early impulsive actions and the penance she ultimately pays for her mistake are deeply touching and almost made me cry. The stark landscape setting really allows us to focus on the characters - their personalities, motives, relationships, actions, etc. The emulation of Jack for Riddick is beautifully done, very quickly and easily charming us to both characters. The story is very well written, with the acting equally well done, showcasing the relationships between the characters. The Riddick/Johns relationship is interesting, particularly their respect for one another: Some kind of "code of ethics" between bounty hunters and the convicts they pursue? Also of note is the hero worship of Jack for Riddick, and the hero's subsequent defense/protection of her several times, in various ways, against multiple threats. Additionally, the interplay between the captain and Johns (his manipulation of her, and her judgment mixed with empathy of him) really adds dimension to these characters and the overall story. This is one of the few films I have seen that seems absolutely perfectly cast, particularly Jack who is difficult to distinguish between boy and tomboy - she is very believable. The creatures/monsters are extremely well done, both their appearances and movements. I think this is a much better story than the Alien and Predator movies, though I enjoy those as well. The humor in this story is exquisite - the "looks clear" scene is one of my favorite bits of this movie. Given the intensity behind Mr. Diesel's acting, it is amazing that he is capable of adding this type of "lightness" to his work. And the tension present throughout the film is tremendous. We are literally "on pins and needles" as we watch the action from our observer position and instantly recognize the mistakes of the characters (delay, poor choices, etc.) leading toward their doom with no way to warn them or urge them to hurry. I don't understand the term "cult" applied to this film because that seems to imply a select viewership and I believe this movie has the power to please a variety of peoples, though especially fans of Science Fiction and human-interest stories. I call this one of my "treadmill movies" (to watch while exercising) because the miles pass in a non-painful flash. A special thanks to the many people involved in making this movie for the wonderful quality of distraction and thoroughly engrossing entertainment. I am unable to choose a favorite between Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick. I am pleased they are remarkably different from one another. I believe they are both equally significant in their contribution to great classics of Science Fiction.-- J.H. Sweet, author of The Fairy Chronicles

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 14, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    One of my favorite movies of all time. Delightful and visually

    One of my favorite movies of all time. Delightful and visually beautiful--especially Claudia Black--and a great story. The next movie and the next are also worth watching.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A GREAT SCI-FI MOVIE

    This is by far one of my favorite sci-fi movies out to this day. I love everything about this movie.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Are You Afraid of The Dark

    This movie was great. The direction was amazing and visual effects were off the chain.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Awesome

    Great sci-fi movie...Vin Diesel does a great job. Check out the Chronicles of Riddick and the game, both do not disappoint.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great movie but DVD is lacking

    This was a very well-done sci-fi thriller, somewhat similar to Aliens, with a great deal of suspense. It had great camera work and fantastic visuals, as well as interesting characters. It really keeps you on the edge of your seat, and makes you think that monsters are around every corner. This was also Vin Diesel first starring role in a feature film, and an indicator of performances in future roles. The movie was a fairly original idea, as far as the planetary eclipse bringing darkness every 22 years and the aliens only coming out in the dark. The main problem is that the DVD has nothing by way of extra bonus features. Sci-Fi Channel did a fantastic hour-long 'investigation' into Radik and his story - why he was in prison, where is silvered eyes came from, etc., similar to the 'Curse of the Blair Witch' (the addemnum to the 'Blair Witch Project' movie). It was very well done, but for whatever reason it was not included on the DVD. Perhaps with the coming 'Radik Chronicles' movie, they will re-release this movie with an extra disk or something.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    cineamatographic!

    For this genre of film this one excels, the special effects in regards to the alien creatures are believable, the pace is on time, and the casting works well. This is a movie with no sequel, how nice.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Just OK

    When I heard about this movie from a friend, I was really anxious to see it. Although it was a decent movie, it was ultimately a disappointment. But it's a good movie for sci-fi fanatics.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Good Sci-Fi thriller

    This movie has a great opening and a great ending. Although it did run into a few problems in between. It also has a few throw away characters, like the holy man and his followers. It has a B-movie like flavor to it but that just adds to its charm. The main stars do a good job and keep you interested in the story. A good movie for any Sci-Fi fans collection.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    An Unexpected and Guilty Pleasure

    Picked up at the video store on a whim and with no expectations, I found this film entertaining and full of plot turns, characters and effects that kept me interested. The story is not particularly creative or new, survivors of a crash having to deal with murderous aliens, but it's well done. Not a great film, just greatly enjoyable. I've recommended it to all my fellow sci-fi movie fan friends.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This Movie Had Me On The Edge The Whole Time

    YYYEEEEEEAAAAAHHHHHH!!!! Pitch black was an awesome movie..I didnt even want to get up to go to the bathroom...Vin Diesel is awesome in this movie...and it is full of unexpected circumstances that thrill me every time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Pitch Black is way cool

    I really like Fry. He could see at night where no one could. So he could see all the monsters and watch everybodys back ,when he isn't watching his.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I DIDN'T LIKE IT

    I didn't really enjoy this movie. I thought it was boring and unbelievable. Although at times throughout the movie it displayed some pretty cool and well done special effects I still thought it was a cheap movie. One of the effects in the movie that I thought was annoying was a segment in the beginning where the tint of the screen was a bright orange which was suppost to represent the planet's light factor. Some of the actors in Pitch Black seemed to be very bad and untalented. The storyline was fine but just plain unbelievable. Even though in Science Fiction movies you are suppost to bend the truth, I couldn't. The dialogue in the movie i think sucked. When the movie reached its mid point i already wanted to stop watching it. My advice is not to buy this video just rent it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Most excellent

    I thought that this movie had a very clever premise. The cinematograhpy was beautiful. It was suspenseful and thrilling. I was on the edge of my seat, and I thought that was just an abstract concept until I saw this movie. I couldn't wait to see what happened next. Vin Diesel was spectacular, and for all you Farscape fans, there was plenty of Claudia Black to satisfy. The movie had stunning reversals and surprises. Things were not always as they seemed and never what you expected.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    BUY this EXCELLENT Special effects.!!!!!! MOVIE!

    Pitch was a great show and an ok cast but had a lousy beginning that i didn't understand at first and a lousy plot to the movie.. but great special effects and interesting story. Vin Diesel did a great performance for the convict. THis was pretty SCARY so ReNt it or buy it. Only actors i knew in it was Vin Diesel and Keith DAVID (holy man). GIVE IT A SHOT!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Raveworld.net PITCH BLACK Raves are cool!

    The best secret of PB is the Raves on the DVD.. MY TV was THUMPING HARD!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Best Sci-Fi movie since Aliens

    I think Aliens is the best Science Fiction movie ever made. However Pitch Black is a close second. Like any great Sci-fi movie it has great effects, but doesn't rely on them to keep the story moving along. Has great performances all around, especially from Vin Diesel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Must See Movie

    A great Sci-Fi movie. right up there with Alien. you have got to rent it. Vin Diesel is wonderfull.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    BEST MOVIE IN THE WORLD!

    Pitch Black is the best movie I've ever seen. The character twists are great and the plot, though seemingly shallow, is pulled off in a very enjoyable way. It's my favorite movie!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 38 Customer Reviews