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Riddick Collection (Pitch Black / Chronicles of Riddick) [Blu-ray]
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Vin Diesel stars as the ultimate anti-hero in one of the most action-packed sci-fi epics of all time! Journey to a remote, hostile planet with a group of marooned passengers who learn that escaped convict Riddick isn't the only thing they have to fear in Pitch Black. Riddick then finds himself humanity's unlikely champion in the special effects-fueled sci-fi adventure, The Chronicles of Riddick. Plus, see Riddick battle ruthless soldiers of fortune and vicious creatures in renowned animator Peter Chung's The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury.
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Pitch Black is a sci-fi horror. Riddick is being transported to a prison under a man named John a cop. There are other people aboard this same ship. Everyone is in cryo sleep, when rocks from a meteor storm shreds the ship up. A woman named Carolyn the pilot wakes up and saves a few passengers with a crash landing on an unknown planet. This comes at a cost. Riddick makes an escape, which he is a master at. After watching the movies, and even playing 2 Riddick games, he always manages to break out.
The planet itself is a hot desert. There are three suns on the planet. John eventually does capture Riddick,and to the relief of the now stranded passengers. There's somewhat of a murder mystery happening. They find out Riddick is not the only threat to them. There are carnivorous flying creatures that like dark environments. Riddick himself has eyes that has ultra violet vision, also a reason why he wears goggles in the daylight.
Riddick is unshackled by John after he gets Riddick to agree to cooperate with them. Vin Diesel does a great job as Riddick. You can tell he loves playing the part. He unsettles a lot of the passengers with his reputation and almost non-caring what happens attitude. He personally had a large part behind the scenes of these Riddick movies being made.
Things go even more rotten when an eclipse happens. Riddick has his vision, but everyone else must find their own light sources from flashlights, glowing chemicals, and torches. This is more about stealth, and avoidance of these alien carnivores. The dark is used very well as in never knowing how many of these creatures are there or how close. This never knowing what's out there is where the horror comes in. Out of the three movies, this one does have the less action. But it makes it more suspenseful, when not even Riddick will just go after all these monsters.
Dark Fury is right after Pitch Black. It's an animated 30 minute movie. I can't tell you who's with Riddick because that will spoil the previous movie. Riddick is captured by a mercenary ship in space. Riddick manages to hide himself from the scanners in the small ship he is in. When the mercs open up the ship, they find Riddick attacking and them with less mercs.
He is captured by a woman named Antonia Chillingsworth. She likes capturing dangerous people in the universe and puts them into some stasis. They are aware, but they can't move as living statues. She plans something different for Riddick. She wants to test him out in combat in an arena against 2 tentacle like aliens. This takes place in the dark which is Riddick's environment, as you learn in Pitch Black. It was a fun battle, the creatures have some type of toxin that melts things. While Riddick is fighting them with a knife. There's a nice 1 on 1 battle with Antonia's second in command Junner. He's got a rifle with a bayonet, plus it comes out as a sword. Your bound to see a blade battle.
Dark Fury has a lot of action for 30 minutes. Definitely a bigger change of Pitch Black. Everything is much faster paced. The animator is Peter Chung, who you may remember that he did Aeon Flux on MTV. He has a very unique art style of how he does his characters. The purpose in story is to explain the split of Riddick, and some of the characters of Pitch Black.
The last movie in the trilogy, The Chronicles Of Riddick, is a save the universe story. Necromongers are a cult that worships death. Their goal is to convert as many people as they can and bring them to the Underverse. Their leader, the Lord Marshall, has some strange powers of moving his soul around, and his body follows. Kind of like teleportation. They fly in ships, and invade planets to convert people or kill them. As for Riddick, he's on the run from mercanaries of course. He's been living on a cold planet the past 5 years after Pitch Black. He hijacks their ship to find out who hired the mercs, and how they found him. He learns it's someone from his past, so he flies to that someone's planet location.
Riddick confronts the person who hired the mercs. But also a woman named Aereon, played by Judi Dench, an air elemental. Her people believe in the balance of the universe. She sees Riddick as the best weapon against the Necromongers. She also reveals Riddick to be a Furion. He may be the few or the last of a conquered planet. Riddick like always, is indifferent to what she's saying about the universe ending.
Riddick's own motive is to help someone named Jack. Jack was one of the survivors of Pitch Black. She was 12 years old back then. She also looked up to Riddick. And has anger towards Riddick, for going out on his own without her. Unfortunately, his plan is held back by a Necromonger invasion on the planet that he is on. He battles a few to be only.....captured again. You can guess what happens next. There a good amount of action from the people defending their planet, from sky battles to ground troops. The Necromongers do not care how many of them die in their tactics. They can replenish by conversion. Riddick has a few action scenes here. There's about as much action as there was in Dark Fury in this whole movie.
Unfortunately...again he is captured by the the mercs from earlier in the movie. They want to sell him this time to a prison. The prison planet Crematoria is a chance for us to see Riddick in prison. It's a dangerous prison, in that the planet itself is a death trap. The sun gets so close to the surface, it causes the rocks to burn into ash. There is no where to go without a space ship. It's nice to have an opportunity to see how Riddick handles a prison. We learn in this movie that he's been to other prisons already, and has broken out of them. Butcher's Bay is named as one of them. Butcher's Bay was actually a prequel game to the movie Pitch Black. Dark Athena another game was a continuation of Butcher's Bay. If you like stealth video games, and Riddick, you might try it out or look for reviews on those.
The Necromongers give chase to Riddick. Were in for a big action scene between prisoners, guards, and Necros. He does run into Jack while on the planet. I have to mention her only because that's his only motivation throughout the movie. He wants to help Jack out. Somehow fate gets the Necros in the way of that. Riddick doesn't seem to have much of a choice in matters. It's just like how Aereon predicted of how he was going to confront the Necros and their leader Lord Marshall. You get some flash backs of Riddick's past in this movie. Their weren't any hints in the previous 2 movies.
Chronicles definitely is going for a more complex story with many more different environments. In theaters this movie didn't do to well. One of the reasons was because they spent a lot more money on this movie than the previous ones. And I've heard that some viewers didn't like the death cult angle. I didn't have problem with that. I like seeing Vin Diesel's characters deal with different types of threats. What's different about this is that he never is out to save the universe. There wasn't any point of acceptance of that on his part. Just saving his own life and Jack's.
All three movies are different from each other and fun. There hasn't been many great sci-fi out there, and this for me is one of the top ones.
A lot of the greats were mainly from the 80's, the still talked about ones. It'd be great to see more of them. Riddick, the fourth movie has recently come out this year. If you plan on seeing that movie, you should watch these. Maybe even try the games like I mentioned before.
Pitch Black (Unrated) - This is a really good sci-fi horror film. Riddick seems to have been tagged as an action sci-fi franchise. But, Pitch Black is barely an action film. There is really only one fight scene in the film, and the rest of the film is more of a character driven survival story. Vin Diesel is really giving it his all as Riddick. You can tell he is going beyond 100% with this character. I like how Riddick is only a supporting character too. Besides that, the monsters in this film are very cool! This is ike a small underrated early 2000s cult sci-fi film along the lines of something like Firefly. It wasn't big at the time but now has a big following. This film is very much like John Ford's Stagecoach too, in that many people who are completely unrelated have to face off against an evil third party that cannot be negotiated with (the creatures). Overall, Pitch Black is a great introduction to Vin Diesel the actor. Some good effects, R rated violence, and dialog make this a solid, and arguably the best film in the Riddick franchise. - 9/10
Dark Fury - So Dark Fury is an interesting little short. The animation is not bad but it is not great. IT doesn't seem to have the polish of other anime shows but it isn't gross enough looking. This story is kind of nice, it sets up some important plot points in the final film. It's also only 35 minutes, which is quite short. I don't have much to say about this. All I can say is that I appreciate what Vin Diesel was trying to do here: flesh out more of this Riddick universe by showing more creatures and bounty hunter type people. - 6/10
Chronicles of Riddick (Unrated) - And the big one. This is a film I struggle with loving very much. I love the film's scope, lead character, action, design aesthetics, and plot. I just don't think that the film pulls them all off great though. The PG-13 really and I mean really hurts this film. Pitch Black features a scene where an alien bites a guys head clean off, little bats rip a girl in half, and a man is shot in the head several times! The goriest moment in this film is where a man's head is cut off, and no blood comes out of him. So, they sacrificed artistic entegrity for a bigger budget. The effects in this look really weak unfortunately. I just don't find any of the big Necromonger ships to look that good. But, I love that once again Vin Diesel is giving his all for this film. They really expanded the universe of the first film into something Dune/Star Wars esque. The design aesethetics really place this film in a Dune type category: a scifi film that serves best for fans of cult cinema. Riddick also racks up a massive kill count in this, which is very impressive. He kills many Necromongers during a huge battle and this scene is the highlight of the film. I also kind of like what has happened to Jack's character from the first film too. There's some groan worthy lines and bad acting in this (Thandie Newton is pretty lame). Overall though, I appreciate what this film was going for, and feel it missed it by just that much. - 7.5/10
Overall: This is a must buy collection for people who love science fiction, action, mythology, and Vin Diesel. These films really know what they exist in and what is their mythology. I love these films even more because of how much Vin cares for this film's universe. All I can say is, you will not be disappointed. You get a great scifi horror film, a decent animated prequel, and a good action blockbuster. 2013's Riddick looks like the best of the series. It's a return to the R rating of Pitch Black, and also continues the story of Chronicles of Riddick. Therefore, I say buy and enjoy. Riddick's 2013 film looks to be the big pay off for fans of this series. - 8/10
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