BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Pitch Black: 4K Blu-Ray Special Edition (2000) - Review

  • Movie Review

  • Blu-ray Review

  • Film Details

  • Art

Pitch Black

And with Pitch Black, Vin Diesel arrives!

“They say most of your brain shuts down in cryo-sleep. All but the primitive side, the animal side. No wonder I'm still awake.”  That opening line of voice-over narration is our first introduction to criminal Richard B. Riddick (Vin Diesel) and his anti-heroic ways.  The character of Riddick, as Pitch Black, in spite of negative reviews, was ultimately a sleeper hit in 2000 and has earned its own cult following, would appear in two more films that writer/director David Twohy made with Vin Diesel and, unsurprisingly, it is probably the best of the bunch.  

"in spite of negative reviews, was ultimately a sleeper hit in 2000 and has earned its own cult following"


That statement of quality is not meant to take anything away from the others.  Each one of these modest-sized B-grade science fiction flicks - The Chronicles of Riddick, released in 2004 by Universal, and Riddick, released in 2013, - are deftly handled by Twohy and surprisingly satisfactory as Vin Diesel, able to show off some interesting acting choices with this character and his quips, handles the material well.

But, the character would mean little to us if he didn’t outshine everything and everyone here in the original film, which concerns itself with a damaged passenger spaceship - clipped by comet particles - as it makes an emergency landing on a desolate planet with three suns, keeping the planet in a state of perpetual daylight - even if the colors of the environment shift like the sands around them.  

This bleaching effect makes the outside a very dangerous place to be for very long and the survivors - Vin Diesel as Riddick, Radha Mitchell as Carolyn Fry, a docking pilot, Cole Hauser as William J. Johns, the bounty hunter transporting Riddick, Keith David as Abu 'Imam' al-Walid, a Muslim preacher, and a handful of others - are suddenly in the path of frequent attacks from wild photosensitive creatures who stalk the underground caverns below the surface of the planet.  But, hell, can they even survive the day here?! Pitch Black

With these very powerful creatures lurking in the darkness and an atmosphere that would rather see them dead, the group of survivors must lean on Riddick - who has his own agenda thanks to lies of his captor - and his surgically altered eyes which allow him to see in the dark, but must be shielded from the sun. Riddick, reminding them that they’ve found something worse than him, gives them hell, but agrees to help them get off the planet and fight these creatures - just as long as he gets his freedom.

Pitch Black works on several levels.  First and foremost is the science fiction aspect, but the film also has several horror qualities that balance out the intense characterizations - as these people are ALWAYS butting heads - and then, when it isn’t searing eyeballs with its interesting cinematography (courtesy of David Eggby, Mad Max), the film wisely sprinkles in moments of sardonic comedy and some great action sequences as these creatures prove to be damn-near unstoppable.

Be afraid of what’s IN the dark.  Pitch Black, now on blu-ray with a STUNNING 4K restoration, arrives with hours of exclusive bonus content thanks to Arrow Video.

5/5 beers

Pitch Black

4k UHD

4K UHD/Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Arrow Films
Available on Blu-ray
- September 1, 2020
Screen Formats: 2.35:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Discs: 4K UHD; blu-ray disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

From Arrow Video, Pitch Black is a sci-fi/horror sleeper hit that birthed a franchise and launched the career of a new action movie icon, Pitch Black holds its own today as a nerve-shredding creature-feature in which the monsters outside finally meet their match against a monster within.  When an intergalactic transport ship crashes on a remote desert planet with no sign of help on the horizon, the survivors, led by Fry (Radha Mitchell), band together to find a way back home. Among the passengers is Riddick (Vin Diesel), a convicted murderer being transported by marshal Johns (Cole Hauser) – and now freed of his chains and on the loose. But as a solar eclipse plunges the planet into total darkness, a threat even worse than Riddick reveals itself, and the last humans standing may have to form an uneasy truce with the cunning fugitive (whose eyes have been surgically altered to see in the dark) to last the long night.  Boasting crackerjack direction and a whip-smart script by David Twohy, as well as a star-making performance by Diesel, Riddick’s first outing is freshly unleashed in an illuminating, brand new 4K restoration, with hours of exclusive bonus content.

Video:

The brand new 4K restoration of the Theatrical and Director’s Cuts of the film, approved by director David Twohy, prove that Arrow Video are absolutely killing it with their restorations.  Every single moment of this 1080p transfer - framed in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio - is glorious with crisp colors, strong black levels, and a searing palette that absolutely crackles with moments of horror and sheer science fiction.  The 1080p/AVC-encoded video transfer is up there in quality with a crystal clear and detailed image. The overall colors range from orange colors in the beginning to less vibrant colors when the creatures come. Black levels are solid.  Skin tones are pocketed with detail

Audio:

The walls are alive with the sounds of creatures and explosions thanks to the DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround on both cuts!

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • There are two archival commentaries.

Special Features:

On top of the supplemental items outlined below, there is also - attached to the First Edition only - a Collectors’ booklet featuring new writing by Simon Ward on the film’s creature designs (including a new interview with creature designer Patrick Tatopoulos), original production notes and information from the film’s official website, and an archive interview with Vin Diesel from Starlog magazine.  Scoop this one up quickly!

  • Archive commentary with director David Twohy and stars Vin Diesel and Cole Hauser
  • Archive commentary with director David Twohy, producer Tom Engelman and visual effects supervisor Peter Chiang
  • Nightfall: The Making of Pitch Black, a newly filmed interview with director/co-writer David Twohy
  • Black Box: Jackie's Journey, a newly recorded interview with actor Rhiana Griffith
  • Black Box: Shazza's Last Stand, a newly recorded interview with actor Claudia Black
  • Black Box: Bleach Bypassed, a newly recorded interview with cinematographer David Eggby
  • Black Box: Cryo-Locked, a newly recorded interview with visual effects supervisor Peter Chiang
  • Black Box: Primal Sounds, a newly recorded interview with composer Graeme Revell
  • The Making of Pitch Black, a short behind-the-scenes featurette
  • Pitch Black Raw, a comparison between early CG tests and the final footage
  • Additional behind-the-scenes footage from the making of the film
  • 2004 archive bonus features, including an introduction by Twohy, A View Into The Dark, and Chronicles of Riddick Visual Encyclopedia
  • Johns’ Chase Log, a short prequel narrated by Cole Hauser detailing the character’s hunt for Riddick
  • The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury (in 16:9 widescreen with DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio), an animated short film directed by Peter Chung that acts as a bridgepoint between Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick, featuring vocal performances by Vin Diesel, Keith David and Rhiana Griffith reprising their roles
  • Dark Fury bonus features including Bridging The Gap, Peter Chung: The Mind of an Animator, A View Into The Light, and a “pre-animation” version of the film
  • Slam City, a motion comic from the film’s official website
  • Into Pitch Black, a TV special offering an alternative non-canon glimpse into what happened before and after the events of the film
  • Raveworld: Pitch Black Event, footage of a dance music event held to promote the film
  • Theatrical trailers, plus trailers for the two sequels and video game
  • Image galleries
  • Reversible sleeve featuring newly commissioned "night" and "day" artwork by Luke Preece

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 5/5 stars
  Video  5/5 stars
  Audio 5/5 stars
  Extras 5/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

5/5 stars

Pitch Black

MPAA Rating: R for sci-fi violence and gore, and for language.
Runtime:
109 mins
Director
: David Twohy
Writer:
Jim Wheat;  & Ken Wheat and David Twohy
Cast:
Radha Mitchell, Cole Hauser, Vin Diesel
Genre
: Action | Sci-fi
Tagline:
Are you afraid of the dark? You will be...
Memorable Movie Quote: "All you people are so scared of me. Most days I'd take that as a compliment. But it ain't me you gotta worry about now."
Theatrical Distributor:
USA FIlms
Official Site:
Release Date:
February 18, 2000
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
September 1, 2020.
Synopsis: When an intergalactic transport ship crashes on a remote desert planet with no sign of help on the horizon, the survivors, led by Fry (Radha Mitchell), band together to find a way back home. Among the passengers is Riddick (Vin Diesel), a convicted murderer being transported by marshal Johns (Cole Hauser) – and now freed of his chains and on the loose. But as a solar eclipse plunges the planet into total darkness, a threat even worse than Riddick reveals itself, and the last humans standing may have to form an uneasy truce with the cunning fugitive (whose eyes have been surgically altered to see in the dark) to last the long night.

Pitch Black

 

Pitch Black

Joomla SEF URLs by Artio
Follow us on Twitter
Like us on Facebook
Google+
Letterboxd
Find us on Rotten Tomatoes