The sci-fi/horror sleeper hit that birthed a franchise and launched the career of a new action movie icon, Pitch Black is released in an illuminating, brand new and definitive Ultra HD 4K restoration, with hours of exclusive bonus content. The film – about the crew of a crashed spaceship fighting for survival – holds its own today as a nerve-shredding creature-feature in which the monsters outside finally meet their match against a monster within. Boasting crackerjack direction and a whip-smart script by David Twohy, as well as a star-making performance by Vin Diesel, this lavishly packaged edition includes director’s cuts of the film, a host of behind-the-scenes featurettes and much much more.
What We Thought:
Pitch Black wasn’t a box office smash. It didn’t lose money or anything, but it certainly didn’t light up the weekend totals. What it did do was make Vin Diesel a star. He had a supporting role (with half of Hollywood) in Saving Private Ryan and voiced The Iron Giant, but it’s this underrated science fiction flick that kicked doors down for him and lead to films like XXX, The Fast & Furious franchise, and more.
I’ve always enjoyed the film and know a lot of people who enjoy it as well. It may not have made $100 million in its theatrical run, but it certainly gained a following over the years and spawned multiple sequels. Writer/Director David Twohy tweaked a sci-fi story with his one time potential script for Alien 3 and the result is a film about a spaceship crashing on a planet with one of the passengers being a criminal in lockup. Diesel plays the criminal named Riddick with Cole Hauser as the officer who caught him and is transporting him. These two men plus other survivors of the crash soon realize they aren’t alone on the planet with creatures out to kill them. When an eclipse gives the creatures the advantage, the survivors try to get to another ship to hopefully get off the planet. There’s just enough characters to root for or against and it comes in under two hours so it moves quickly and gets right into the drama.
The movie is from 2000 and some of the CGI is certainly dated by today’s clearer/crisper CG standards, but it’s also part of the film’s charm. Riddick doesn’t have normal eyes and this helps him see in the dark. The creatures use sound in the dark and are harmed by light. You get a lot of shadowy/intentionally blurry images because that’s what Riddick or the creatures are seeing. The CGI, though dated, does get that perspective across well.
You’ve probably seen Pitch Black (and its sequels) especially if you like sci-fi or Vin Diesel. Even with the following it’s grown, it’s still underrated in my book. If you are a fan, this new 4K release is a must own. The film looks and sounds amazing. The film uses coloring throughout with tints of yellow, green, etc., in certain scenes to highlight what’s going on and this is probably the best the movie has ever looked. Plus it’s jam packed with bonus features. Just look at all of those below. The highlight of them for me is the inclusion of The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury, the animated short that ties in Pitch Black to its first sequel The Chronicles of Riddick. You could spend an entire weekend going through all the commentaries, featurettes and behind the scenes stuff. Plus it comes with the Director’s Cut and Theatrical Cut. I watched the Director’s Cut which has a few more minutes to it. If you are a fan than this new 4K release is…
- Brand new 4K restoration by Arrow Films of the Theatrical and Director’s Cuts of the film, approved by director David Twohy
- 4K (2160p) UHD Blu-ray presentation in Dolby Vision (HDR10 compatible)
- Original DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround on both cuts
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing on both cuts
- 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 filmed interview with actor Rhiana Griffith
- Black Box: Shazza’s Last Stand, a newly filmed interview with actor Claudia Black
- Black Box: Bleach Bypassed, a newly filmed interview with cinematographer David Eggby
- Black Box: Cryo-Locked, a newly filmed interview with visual effects supervisor Peter Chiang
- Black Box: Primal Sounds, a newly filmed 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