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"Pitch Black" on DVD

Beware the Darkness

by Johnny Bray

It's hard to begin talking about what's wrong with this movie. Seemingly the best place to start is with that fact that, plain and simple, it sucks.

It starts off with the voice of Riddick explaining who everyone on the ship is. I guess this is what they call character development. And it's about all there is in the entire movie.

Once Riddick is finished the introductions, the space ship starts to crash land on an unknown planet. Why it crashes we will never know -- but it's not important (or so it seems).

When they finally land on the planet, things start going wrong. People are dying, and of course they think it is Riddick who is killing them all. After all, he is a well-known murderer. So why was he on their ship in the first place? Another fair question.

On this remote planet, there is a species of animal that can only come out when it's pitch black out (hence the title of the movie).

Wouldn't you know it, only a few hours after our friends land, there is an eclipse of the three Suns. This, in turn, causes the rest of the planet to be pitch black for as long as is required to complete the film.

Fortunately, the vicious killer that is with them, has had his eyes altered so he can see in the dark. He's willing to stop killing people for long enough to help them off the planet. He's only mean and ruthless when the script calls for it.

Enough about the plot.

Not only is the screenplay awful, the acting is just as bad (if not worse). Vin Diesel is the only thing remotely decent about this flick. He plays a bad guy well enough, but it doesn't come close to compensating for this piece of garbage.

The director, David Twohy, has written many screenplays before, but he should have stuck to writing. It is clear that directing is not his strong point.

To make a long review short, do not see this movie. It is a waste of your time and energy (yes, the energy to reach out and put it in your DVD player).

Trust me when I say, you'll be much happier having not seen this movie.

I know I would have been.

Pitch Black comes in the typical anamorphic widescreen and 5.1 Dolby Digital, but much of the movie is "pitch black" anyway, so good video quality is wasted. However, it does make good use of the sound.

As far as extras, there is a featurette on the making of Pitch Black, feature commentaries by the cast and crew, a "Raveworld Pitch Black Event", and the theatrical trailers.

Pitch Black, from Universal Home Video
109 minutes, widescreen (2.35:1), 16X9 compatible, Dolby Digital 5.1
Starring Vin Diesel, Radha Mitchell, Cole Hauser and Keith David
Produced by Tom Engelman
Written by Jim & Ken Wheat and David Twohy Directed by David Twohy


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Updated May 13, 2006