gaming since 1997

Pitch Black Special Edition

When a space ship ends up in a meteorite storm, the passengers just barely manage to survive after a crash on a distant planet. Amongst them is Riddick, a convicted murderer and one of the most dangerous men in the universe. While everyone is trying to make the best out of things and looking for water and shelter on this planet that is surrounded by three suns and apparantly doesn’t have any real “night”, Riddick manages to escpae from his guard, the bounty hunter Johns. Johns immediately warns the rest of the survivors and they head out to find Riddick.

When one of the passengers little later disappears, Riddick is instantly the suspect but when Carolyn Fry (the pilot) goes out to investigate, she finds out that there’s something else on the planet that’s more deadly than Riddick. Luckily, these creatures seem to stay away from light and since there’s three suns, there’s no night so they should be safe. At least, that’s what they think until they find a deserted geological base where a machine is found that shows the orbit of the different planets in the solar system and it becomes clear that every 22 years a solar eclipse happens. And the last one happened exactly 22 years ago…

Sound and Vision:
Pitch Black has three color palettes mainly. Yellow for the beginning of the movie after the plane just crashed. These scenes contain extremely high contrast and also some minor – but not disturbing – grain. Then we get the second part of the movie when a space base is found and this part is mainly blue-ish. The last part is the darkness and of course is mainly black. The transfer doesn’t have any problems what so ever with these different palettes and things look very vivid at all times. The amount of detail is above average and I didn’t spot any compression errors.

The soundtrack is well-done. Although there’s no DTS track, the Dolby Digital 5.1 does give enough punch to the speakers to make things dynamic and alive while keeping dialogues understandable at all times.

Extras:
– Director’s Introduction: a short introduction to the movie. Hardly worth checking out
– Chronicles of Riddick: Visual Encyclopedia: several aspects of the Riddick universe get a short explanation. Not really interesting
– John’s Hunting Log: Bounty Hunter Johns has kept a log of his tracking of Riddick. A rather nice and original feature
– Dark Fury: Advancing the Arc: a very short Making Of of the anime Dark Fury. It’s a cut up version of the extra’s that are featured on the Dark Fury DVD
– The Game Begins: promo for the videogame “Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay”
– Making of Pitch Black: a rather standard Making Of with little new or interesting information
– Audio Commentary tracks
– A View into the Dark: Director David Twohy and Vin Diesel give an analysis on Riddick

Conclusion:
With the release of Chronicles of Riddick in the cinema, it was the perfect time to promote the original classic Pitch Black again and Universal has seen that very cleverly and released this Special Edition.

Technically, the image and sound are pretty good but for a special edition the extra’s are a bit less than expected. All are rather short and except for the diary of bounty hunter Johns I found them to be rather uninteresting and commercial of nature.

Pitch Black remains as great as it was when released originally and that alone should give you enough reasons to get it, especially if you want some background information before seeing Chronicles of Riddick

Our Score:
8.0

posted in: DVD, Reviews, Universal
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