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トゥーヒー監督の映像のとらえ方には、ビデオ映画を劇場映画に変えられるほどのインパクトがある。『ブレア・ウィッチ・プロジェクト』のように、観客に与えるヒントを効果的に使っている。モンスターの姿を見せずにおいて、その存在を感じさせるのだ（もちろん、一度そのおそろしい姿を見せるのも効果的だが）。『ピッチ・ブラック』は、パニック映画の要素を存分に秘めた作品だ。監督の選んだキャストも抜群。ラダ・ミッチェル（アリー・シーディと一緒に出ていた『ハイ・アート』が記憶に新しい）に、ヴィン・ディーゼル（『プライベート・ライアン』のカパーゾ二等兵）は特にきわだっている。その強じんな肉体を存分に見せてくれるディーゼル。彼の役柄の成長が、この映画をグッと引き締めている。（Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com）
I remember getting Pitch Black on US import DVD about 5 weeks before it was due out at the cinema here in the UK (almost a year before the UK DVD release) due to a February cinematic release in the US compared to an October release here , and it was a directors cut no less , but sadly , those days of getting movies weeks before their actual UK cinema release are long gone , as nearly all movies on DVD/Blu-ray in the US are now released at the same time (give or take) as the UK , so I find there is little point buying imports anymore.
This is arguably the film that launched Vin Diesel's career and , with what I thought was an excellent sequel that followed (apparently the critics didn't liked it) , it didn't just rehash the same storyline like so many sequels do , it completely opened up the Riddick universe and was turning out to be an excellent franchise.
As for the most recent instalment in the franchise , its fair to say the story has gone back to the first film , but still enjoyable enough... I'm not a big fan of Vin Diesel movies , but I do like his Riddick franchise which he has made his own and I could quite happily sit and watch all 3 movies in one sitting , and rumour has it , he's signed up to do more.
Visually the Blu-ray transfer is excellent. The scene where Riddick is chained up after the death of Zeke , the detail on his hair (what little there is) is quite remarkable. Even the alien creatures , which looked rather flat on the original DVD , gain incredible detail.
The contrast of going from having 3 suns to all out darkness , the black levels are solid and don't suffer the jerkiness that the DVD suffered from.
The sound is in 5.1 DTS master audio and is quit impressive given the low budget of this film , and the opening crash sequence is definitely one for the sound demo-ests out there with a decent audio setup... Although the best sound demo ever that still ranks No:1 for me is , Star Wars: A New Hope and the shutting down (or whining down) of the sub-light engines on the Millennium Falcon on its approach to the destroyed planet of Alderaan... It just can't be beat !
The extras are ok , but nothing really to shout about from what you got on DVD. There is a picture-in-picture behind the scenes feature that you now get along with a couple of other additions (U-Control for e.g.) but for £7 this is excellent value and very worthy of an upgrade.
Watching Pitch Black on a small screen, I felt it looked cheaply produced, due to the filter used in the cinematography, but this rapidly changed during the second half of the movie, when the pace of the film changes rapidly.
Invariably Vin Diesel really is the highlight of the movie (for a change) , along with quite a reasonable supporting cast, and a spectacular enemy that really is worth waiting to see.
Originality isn't high in Pitch Black, and other movies such as Aliens are better, but Pitch Black is a well put together Sci -Fi Movie that deserves a watch.
When a transport ship loses control pilot Carolyn Fry (Radha Mitchell) tries jettisoning passengers. Her co-pilot, Greg Owens (Simon Burke), stops her, and they end up stranded on a desert planet with three suns. The crew include antique dealer Paris P. Ogilvie (Lewis Fitz-Gerald), a young boy called Jack, William J. Johns (Cole Hauser), and Johns' prisoner, Riddick (Vin Diesel), a murderer. Riddick, used to pitch black jails, had surgery which allows him night vision. This comes in handy when the crew realise that nightfall is close and a race of nocturnal winged carnivores are stalking them.
The characterisation's a bit vague and thin. Not much time's spent establishing secondary characters, so their relationships are hard to guess. When they are developed they're pretty generic. Paris, for instance, is your basic silly fop. Of the supporting cast my favourite was Keith David as Abu, a Muslim on a pilgrimage with three boys. He's kind, brave and intelligent, which you don't see much in fictional Muslims. You can tell this film is pre-9/11. At the centre of the story are Fry, Johns and Riddick, who make a complex trio; their natures evolve throughout the film. Riddick's dealt with somewhat sentimentally towards the end, which exemplifies the plot's mainstream goals. That said, some of its developments are genuinely unexpected. The writers take Fry and Johns down interesting paths.
Vin Diesel's a much better actor than he's given credit for. The way he moves between menace and leadership here is subtly effective, rivalling work by more accepted actors. He may be a beefcake, but that doesn't mean he's a one note performer. Radha Mitchell and Cole Hauser also do well, though this is Diesel's film. You can see why Riddick became popular. Diesel lends charisma to an average, predictable role, making more of it than others would or could.
With the help of tight plotting suspense is maintained, and there's some nice gory kills. One thing which sets Pitch Black apart from other recent films of its type is its minimalism. Its most action-packed scenes show very little. We mostly just see two or three characters, some electric lights and a sudden flash of the monsters. Yet these scenes are more gripping than many thrillers which stuff the whole frame with effects.
It is one of the most original SF films of those last years, well filmed and with good actors. And it was really not easy to do something original considering the topic - a spaceship crashes on a distant and hostile planet and the stranded crew struggles to survive and find a way out. It was already treated in many SF books - and still this movie managed to find an original way to deal with the story.
I do not want to give spoilers, but from the title of the movie you can safely presume that absence of light will play an important role - and you will be right! Special effects, light and sound were very well done in this movie and even the most spoiled viewers should find this movie visually and accoustically quite impressive. There is at least one scene which WILL definitely impress you - when a giant planet rises above the horizon line of the alien world, where the action is situated. I still shiver with delight when I remember this moment.
Also, if by any chance you saw the idiotic sequel of this movie ("Chronicles of Riddick") please stay calm - "Pitch Black" is totally different in every aspect. It has a credible plot, interesting characters and simply is a real treat for every SF fan. OK, it is not "Star Wars" or "Aliens", but is still a really good movie. See it and have fun!
P.S..but won't be buying from Zooverstock again...disc arrived without shrink wrap so suspect not new.!!
Now that OBVIOUS comment it out of the way. The thing that spoiled this film was the over grainy presentation of this film. WHen in darker places, the scene in the coring room for example, there is an excessive amount of film-grain (or film grain effect) used. An upscaled DVD does look better, I checked!