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  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 2.35:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer ( )
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  Subtitles
  • None
  Extras
  • 2 Audio commentary
  • 2 Featurette
  • Animated menus
  • Web access

Pitch Black: SE

Universal/Universal . R4 . COLOR . 104 mins . M15+ . PAL

  Feature
Contract

It's still hip in Hollywood to shoot movies outside the US to save on production costs. Perhaps somebody within Universal is seriously keen on sci-fi (see their decision to buy the Firefly rights from Fox), perhaps it's purely a business decision, but Pitch Black evidently made enough return on Universal's initial investment for them to consider it a safe franchise prospect with two sequels and a computer game released to date under a new series title of 'The Chronicles of Riddick'.

Hence this re-release which frankly doesn't add much besides modified cover art and menu titles. I reviewed the original release some time ago and found it to be a pretty decent B-movie and an above-average DVD; not much has changed. My previous review can be found here and there's little I can say to expand upon it.

  Video
Contract

The same transfer created for the original disc is reused here and still holds up very nicely. The state of the art in film-to-digital mastering might have improved slightly in the last couple of years but not so much that a heavily processed stock such as this would benefit, in my opinion.

The image is impeccably sharp and free of artefacts. As I mentioned last time, the exterior shots are deliberately unnatural, with harsh exposure and blue/orange colour tints to represent the three suns that play such a large part in the story.

  Audio
Contract

This is still a good mix, although not quite reference quality. It's in 5.1 Dolby Digital once more; the DTS track from the US disc didn't make it. Dialogue is clear and easy to understand, although non-directional. The sound effects make up for this, though, with full use made of the split rear speakers and the subwoofer.

  Extras
Contract

The menus have been totally redone, and are totally animated. Here's the list of features:

  • Introduction by director David Twohy - this is new, and very short (under 2.5 minutes). The main gist of it is promotion for the sequel.
  • The Game Is On - an ad for the Chronicles of Riddick video game. Pointless.
  • The Johns Chase Log - basic animated graphics and voiceover describing the hunting of Riddick leading up to Pitch Black.
  • Commentary - with director Twohy and actors Vin Diesel and Cole Hauser, focusing on anecdotes and tribulations the crew went through during the shoot.
  • Commentary - with Twohy, producer Tom Engelman and effects supervisor Peter Chiang. Virtually all technical and like the other commentary track, carried over from the original DVD.
  • Two featurettes - All the easily-digestible marketing material you can squeeze into less than 7 minutes.
  • Dark Fury: Advancing the Arc - a short featurette on the Peter Chung animation created to bridge the two Riddick films.
There are also three trailers, two completely unrelated to the Riddick films, and a small visual encyclopedia, which promises to be expanded upon on the Riddick DVD.

  Overall  
Contract

Overall this is still a solid release but there's no point replacing the first DVD if you already own it. I'm actually surprised Universal bothered to recreate the disc, but I guess the opportunity to plug their other products was too much to pass up.


  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=4362
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      And I quote...
    "Pitch Black: Consolidated Edition"
    - Paul Dossett
      Review Equipment
    • TV:
          Mitsubishi Diva 33
    • Amplifier:
          Yamaha DSP-A1
    • Speakers:
          Richter Excalibur
    • Centre Speaker:
          Richter Unicorn
    • Surrounds:
          Richter Hydras
    • Audio Cables:
          Monster RCA
    • Video Cables:
          Monster s-video
      Recent Reviews:
    by Paul Dossett

    Vampyros Lesbos
    "As sexy as washing your hands, but longer."

    The Chronicles of Riddick - Dark Fury
    "Like.. a bridge. Over troubled waters."

    Bad Taste: Special Edition
    "The bastards have landed!"

    House of Sand and Fog
    "If tragedy was pudding, you wouldn't be able to get off the couch."

    Eating Raoul
    "A cult classic farce, treated poorly with a transfer from shabby source material."

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