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  Specs
  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
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  • Theatrical trailer
  • 3 Featurette
The Chronicles of Riddick - Dark Fury
Universal/Universal . R4 . COLOR . 33 mins . M15+ . PAL

  Feature
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Following Warner's lead, Universal are exploring new ways to maximise return on their intellectual property. Warner created the Animatrix to reveal more of the Matrix backstory, and similarly, Dark Fury bridges the two live action Riddick films. A game has also been released.

Written by creator David Twohy, and animated by Peter Chung (The Animatrix, Aeon Flux), the feature was intended to explain how the character of Riddick got from the end of Pitch Black into the hijinks of The Chronicles of Riddick. How well it does so, I can't say. According to the extras, the key idea was the changing relationship between the characters of Riddick and Jack, the teenager who idolised him in Pitch Black. I'm sure the prospect of profit was entirely secondary.

The plot in a paragraph: Riddick and passengers are captured by a merc ship. The mercs know that Riddick is a wanted criminal and use Jack as leverage to capture him. Their leader isn't after a reward, though; she has another fate in mind...

Violence ensues. I was unmoved.

  Video
  Audio
  Extras
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Visually, this is reminiscent of Aeon Flux, though with far more computer assistance. The backgrounds and some of the characters are computer-generated, giving eerily smooth movement, while the hand-drawn ones are jerky and stylized. I didn't find the combination comfortable, but then again I personally find the anime style cold and uninvolving, so maybe it's just me. Technically, the transfer to disc is fine.

The same actors from the first film provide the character voices, which was a nice touch. The sound mix is full 5.1 surround with aggressive surrounds and a wide soundstage. Deep bass was lacking, however, and the ambiance of the ship wasn't convincing. There's an absence of background noises that made it all feel a bit too sterile.

The only real issue I had with the authoring was a complete lack of chapters, frankly a pain in the proverbial even for a 30-minute feature.

There is no commentary, and only a few extras - three short featurettes, animatics (again without commentary), and some unrelated trailers.


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  •   And I quote...
    "Like.. a bridge. Over troubled waters."
    - Paul Dossett
      Review Equipment
    • TV:
          Mitsubishi Diva 33
    • Amplifier:
          Yamaha DSP-A1
    • Speakers:
          Richter Excalibur
    • Centre Speaker:
          Richter Unicorn
    • Surrounds:
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    • Audio Cables:
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    • Video Cables:
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      Recent Reviews:
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