Riddick: The Complete Collection
Blu-ray + Digital HD UltraViolet
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(Jan 14, 2014)
Blu-ray + Digital HD UltraViolet
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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. Then, from Emmy Award winning animator Peter Chung (Æon Flux), Riddick and crew face off against ruthless soldiers of fortune in The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury. Riddick then finds himself humanity's unlikely champion for a universe on the edge of annihilation in The Chronicles of Riddick. And in the latest chapter, Riddick, he is forced to work with mercenaries who want his head in order to escape a sun-scorched planet facing a deadly storm.
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The first movie (Pitch Black) involves him and the crew/passengers on a ship he is being transported back to prison on which crash lands on a seemingly deserted planet. There is a short animated feature called Dark Fury, which extends that story and leads up to the second movie Chronicles of Riddick. That movie has two central story lines that ultimately intertwine, Riddick out to help one of the survivors of the first film who is now in prison, and taking on a race called Necromancers who take over worlds and convert its inhabitants to their "religion" or kill them. That is the movie with the most overall star power with Judi Dench, Thandie Newton and Karl Urban playing key roles. The third film, Riddick finds him again on a seemingly deserted planet, and having to survive not only the planet itself, but a band of bounty hunters that end up coming after him.
I will not say more about any of the movies to avoid spoiling it for the few who would be reading this having never seen them. The first and third films are a blend of chase/survival and monster movies. The second film is really different from the other two, and personally I think told the most interesting story. Like I said initially, they are very action heavy movies, and while the series as a whole has some great actors in it, it was not written with the intent that it would ever get any acting or writing awards. Vin Diesel mainly looks stoic and scary, and occasionally fires off some one liners at the other characters. He does very well with that character, and if you listen to the commentaries he participates in, you know how seriously he takes the character.
For extras, each movie has two versions of the films, the theatrical version and extended unrated versions. There are commentary tracks on each film, on Pitch Black with the director, Diesel and Cole Hauser who plays Johns. On the second movie, the director, Alexa Davalos and Karl Urban provide a commentary track and on the last film it is just the director. There are also several making of and behind the scenes features on every movie. So if you like going through the bonus material there is a lot there. All of the movies look and sound great in the Blu-Ray format. The animated Dark Fury though is just in standard definition. That did not bother me, but just be aware if it would bother you.
Anyway back to the review of the Blu-ray Riddick collection. As for the extra footage, there really wasn't that much in each movie. What there was, overall did not add much to the arc of the stories or profoundly enhance its movie. In total, there was maybe a total of 15 or 20 mins worth of extra footage. The extra were rather disappointing. They are not nearly as extensive or as in-depth as most of us have come to expect extras to be. If you already have this collection in Blu-ray, I honestly can't recommend spending the extra cash on this version. Prior to this purchase, I did not own any of the movies. Thus, in my case it was a good purchase. I would purchase again and recommend under the or similar circumstances. As for the content of the featured films themselves, I thoroughly enjoyed and have already watched all 3 back to back yesterday and this am 2 or 3 times now. I know! I know! LOL As an aside, I really wish Hollywood had cast Vin Diesel as the newest action hero early on in his career so that we who enjoy them could have had more of him in action movies. In the mid-90's and early 2000's there really was a need to fulfill the shoes of the action movie icons of the 80's and 90's: Sly Stallion, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mel Gibson to name a few. Oh well, opportunity missed so 'llI just take him where I can see him. :-) Enjoy the collection!