Pitch Black

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Scrumptiously scary with a well crafted story, this movie was just plain fun. It combines horror and science fiction, similar in tone to the Alien movies (not surprising, as it was developed from the director’s unused idea for Alien³ ).  A transport vessel gets tagged by a convenient comet, forcing it to crash land on an unknown and probably hostile planet.  There’s an interesting mix of survivors, some settlers originally bound for distant worlds, wealthy merchants moving valuable goods, mercenaries, members of the ship’s crew and even a stowaway,  but the most critical is remorseless killer and all around criminal, Riddick, who is missing from his cryostasis pod.  Now the characters have to not only endure the planet, which has its own hidden dangers, but also cope with a psychopath on the loose.

Riddick is tremendous, an anti-hero in every sense, and I have no idea why Vin Diesel has been bashed by the critics for his acting. I thought he brought a lot of dimension to a complicated character that really defies a pat categorization. It was also a treat to see Claudia Black, as I’m a huge fan of Farscape and Stargate SG-1.  I expected Pitch Black to be nothing more than somewhat mindless action and gratuitous horror, but what I got was an intense story of survival against incredible odds. It is rated R for a reason, with quite a bit of violence and some truly appalling language but there’s more to it than that.  I loved the interesting array of characters whose personalities were actually quite well rounded, keeping me invested in the fates of each individual. The story is not all that complicated but it does have value as an entertaining thriller. Also, the CG effects of the oncoming eclipse and the rise of a ringed planet are truly spectacular. A very satisfying adventure that is definitely worth seeing on its own merits but also because it is the first of a trilogy.  Just don’t plan on sleeping alone after watching this! – BETHANY

For more on this movie, visit:  Pitch Black IMDB

Riddick’s “shine job” eyes, courtesy of a doctor in “a slam, where they tell you you’ll never see daylight again.”

Jack, “the winner of the look alike contest.”

Abu ‘Imam’ al-Walid (Keith David) and Carolyn Fry (Radha Mitchell), the ship’s pilot.

William J. Johns (Cole Hauser) – “Murders aside, Riddick belongs in the a**hole hall of fame. He loves to jaw-jack and he loves to make you feel afraid because that’s all he has, and you’re playing right into it.”

                “Amazing how you can do without the essentials of life, so long as you have the little luxuries.” – Paris P. Ogilvie (Lewis Fitz-Gerald)

“Strong survival instinct. I admire that in a woman.”

                                  Claudia Black as Shazza.

    “All you people are so scared of me. Most days I’d take that as a compliment. But it ain’t me you gotta worry about now.”  – Riddick  (Vin Diesel)

                                Great scenery on this planet. “What could have killed so many great things?”  –  Wild guess, the things Riddick says you need to worry about.

Huh, this could be a problem.

Definitely a problem.  (But a gorgeous shot!)



Photos courtesy of Polygram Filmed Entertainment, Interscope Communications and Universal Pictures



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