Pitch Black: Collector's Edition (2000)
Main Menu Audio
Featurette-Making of Pitch Black (4:45)
Audio Commentary-David Twohy (Dir), Vin Diesel (Act) & Cole Hauser (Act)
Audio Commentary-David Twohy (Dir), Tom Engelman (Prod) & Peter Chiang (VFx)
Featurette-Raveworld Pitch Black Event (20:39)
Biographies-Cast & Crew
|Year Of Production||2000|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (56:38)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||David Twohy|
Sony Pictures Home Entertain
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Pitch Black's basic premise is as follows: Set in the far distant future, a ship is travelling through space when it is brought down by a meteor storm onto an unknown planet. Only a quarter of the ship's passengers survive, with some of them being the ship's pilot Fry (Radha Mitchell), bounty hunter Johns (Cole Hauser) and escaped convict Richard B. Riddick (Vin Diesel). Desperately trying to survive, they search for water. While doing this, they discover that the planet has three suns and that there is no darkness...yet. After discovering an "abandoned" research facility, the group also finds out that there is an eclipse every twenty-two years, with this being the twenty-second year since the last, and when an eclipse happens on this planet strange creatures come out to play. They only come out in darkness because they are somewhat allergic to light. As the convenient eclipse occurs (for the monsters), the ship's survivors try to make it through the night. Using Riddick's superhuman ability to see in darkness to their advantage, the survivors try to make it back to the escape ship with the necessary power before they are killed by the monsters.
Filmed in Coober Pedy in South Australia, Pitch Black creates images of a desolate and lonely planet. Director Twohy has applied several processes to the film stock to bring the resultant image closer to his vision for this movie, but more on this in the video section.
I liked Pitch Black, but several plot points used by the director make it a very coincidental film. It's one of those "if he only didn't do this, or if they hadn't done that" type of films where a very improbable plot keeps the film rolling. Still, if you are a sci-fi or horror fan (or both like myself), then Pitch Black is an entertaining ride and well worth viewing.
It is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.
As mentioned earlier, director Twohy has employed a bleach bypass process for all of the outdoor scenes that are set in daylight. In this process, the film stock is not dipped in all of the different liquids that normally process film. One or more processing steps are skipped, depending on the director's particular needs. In this case, Twohy wanted an extreme increase in contrast and chroma level in order to achieve a desert feel. This means that the scenes set in daylight have so much contrast that the light is blooming off the actors faces (in particular). Due to this process, the sharpness level in these scenes is somewhat lower than the rest of the film, which is razor sharp at all other times. Shadow detail is a little varied. In an early scene when Fry and Riddick have a little chat while he is chained to the wall, shadow detail is exemplary but later on in the movie when it is all dark, details become a little blurred, however this is to be expected when a film is set in darkness. There is no low-level noise.
Colour is also great, especially when a lot of it has been added in post-production. My favourite sequence in the movie is when the survivors discover the three suns - this is the best example of how vibrant the colour is in this transfer. Also, the light from the blue sun is reproduced very well indeed.
There were no MPEG artefacts seen and I could not spot one case of definite aliasing. I only noticed two flecks on the print, which meant it must have been very clean.
This disc is RSDL formatted with the layer change occurring at 56:38. This change was during a natural fade-to-black and was very unobtrusive.
There are four audio tracks on this DVD, being English and German Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes and two Dolby Surround encoded commentaries. I listened to the English track and also to the commentaries.
Dialogue quality is very clear except in some scenes which have high amounts of background sound. In these scenes, the clarity of the dialogue is slightly lower than normal.
Audio sync was perfect at all times.
The musical score by Graeme Revell was very good and very suited to the film, even though the score is no more than a typical action film score.
The surround channels were used very well for such things as ambience and music. Good examples of this are when the smaller creatures fly in swarms across the screen - this is represented well by the two front channels. The LFE channel was used extensively not only during the opening crash-landing of the ship but also during the rest of the film for music and gunshots (in particular).
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;
|DVD||Pioneer DV-626D, using Component output|
|Display||Toshiba 34N9UXA. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Yamaha CX-600 Pre-Amp, Yamaha MX-600 Stereo Power Amp for Mains, Yamaha DSP-E300 for Center, Teac AS-M50 for Surrounds.|
|Speakers||Main Left and Right Acoustic Research AR12s, Center Yamaha NS-C70, Surround Left and Right JBL Control 1s|