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Pitch Black

4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    89
    from 5 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Pitch Black shines in 4K; a must-have for fans, marking a cherished endeavor for Diesel & Twohy.

    Pitch Black 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
    89
  • Arrow's 4K UHD release of Pitch Black offers a visually stunning restoration with vivid colors, sharp details, and deep shadows under director David Twohy's supervision, enhancing the film's alien world.

  • Audio
    87
  • Pitch Black's DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio excels in clarity and immersive sound, with robust effects and dynamic score, though lacks Atmos upgrade and deep LFE.

  • Extra
    93
  • Arrow's Pitch Black 4K set dazzles with comprehensive extras including remastered cuts, the animated sequel Dark Fury, new and archival interviews, featurettes, commentaries, and promotional material, enhancing fans' experience with unparalleled depth and insight.

  • Movie
    84
  • In 2000, 'Pitch Black' emerged as a cult sci-fi favorite, blending horror and action with Vin Diesel's standout performance, innovative visuals, and a tense, survival-driven plot, while its 4K UHD release by Arrow showcases unique marketing strategies.

    Video: 89

    Arrow's 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of "Pitch Black" delivers an exemplary video presentation, faithfully bringing the dark, gritty world of this sci-fi horror classic into the 4K realm. Utilizing a native 4K scan of the original 35mm camera negatives, supervised by director David Twohy, the image is presented in the film’s original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1. Every bead of sweat, grain of desert sand, and texture of alien landscape is rendered with meticulous detail, showcasing significantly improved clarity over previous releases. Despite the inherent softness in some of the over-processed photography and the aging digital effects, the overall definition is sharper, especially in costumes and rocky terrains of the desolate planet setting.

    The HDR and Dolby Vision enhancement bring a new life to the film's unique color palette and stylized cinematography by David Eggby. Blacks are deeper and more profound, contributing to the ominous atmosphere crucial for the film's more intense sequences, while maintaining excellent shadow detail without muddying the finer details. Whites are brighter and more intense, effectively conveying the sweltering heat of the alien suns. The expanded color gamut enriches the visuals with a wider array of hues, from the scorching yellows and oranges of the daytime to the cool, monochromatic blues of night, further complimented by vibrant greens from lit flares and other light sources, ensuring that every scene pops with an intensity befitting this visually striking film.

    Arrow's commitment to quality is evident in this release. The grain structure remains intact, honoring the filmic quality without overuse of digital noise reduction, preserving the original look while enhancing it for a new generation of viewers. The inclusion of both HDR10 and Dolby Vision options caters to a wide audience of home cinema enthusiasts. Despite a few minor issues such as occasional softness and the limitations of early 2000s CGI, this 4K presentation represents a significant upgrade, solidifying "Pitch Black" as a must-have for fans and collectors alike.

    Audio: 87

    The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track of "Pitch Black," while missing the coveted Atmos upgrade, consistently excels across reviews, offering a rich and engaging audio experience. The track shines with its well-prioritized and clear dialogue, maintaining clarity even amidst the film's intense action sequences. Surround channels effectively immerse the viewer in the movie's eerie environment, from the ambient wind and rain to the chilling screeches of creatures navigating the soundstage. Discrepancies in LFE potency are noted, with moments of expected deep bass response sometimes feeling underwhelming, yet punchy enough in key scenes to add necessary weight. Graeme Revell's score is another highlight, demonstrating excellent integration with the on-screen narrative, enhancing both the tension and the isolation of the film’s setting.

    Despite its strengths, the track shows limitations indicative of its era, exhibiting a more front-biased soundfield and less pronounced directionality than modern mixes might offer. However, these characteristics don’t significantly detract from an overall solid performance. The environmental sounds and effects are artfully handled, creating a dynamic contrast between the confined interiors and the expansive outdoor settings of the planet. Anomalies in playback and concerns about dynamic range suggest that while this mix is formidable, it does not explore the full potential of high-definition audio formats.

    Listeners are advised of potential technical hiccups, such as issues with selecting the correct audio track upon initial playback, though these seem infrequent and resolvable. Ultimately, this DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 presentation supports "Pitch Black" admirably, capturing the essence of this cult favorite with a depth and precision that remains commendable two decades after its initial release.

    Extra: 93

    Arrow's 4K UHD Blu-ray edition of "Pitch Black" is a treasure trove for fans and cinephiles alike, offering an exhaustive array of extras that enhances the viewing experience immensely. It includes everything from the previously available audio commentaries and featurettes to newly produced interviews and a making-of documentary, ensuring both newcomers and long-time fans find something of value. The inclusion of the animated sequel "Dark Fury" adds a delightful continuity bridge for the series. The technical focus is commendable, with detailed explorations into the film's cinematography, visual effects, and score through the new "Black Box" interview series. This release not only preserves but enriches the legacy of "Pitch Black" with its comprehensive suite of extras, making it an exemplary package in terms of content depth and presentation.

    Extras included in this disc:

    Audio Commentaries: Two tracks featuring director David Twohy, actors, and the production team.

    NEW Nightfall: The Making of Pitch Black: A deep dive into the film’s creation with director David Twohy.

    Black Box Interviews: In-depth discussions with key cast and crew members about their contributions to the film.

    Behind the Scenes: A collection of production and interview footage offering insights into the making of the movie.

    Pitch Black Raw: Comparison between early CG tests and final footage.

    The Making of Pitch Black: Archival featurette from 2000.

    2004 Special Edition Extras: Including an introduction by David Twohy and various looks into the film’s universe.

    The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury: Animated sequel with its own set of extras exploring the animation process.

    Into Pitch Black & Raveworld: Pitch Black Event: Special TV featurette and documentation of a promotional dance music event.

    Slam City: Motion comic prequel to the film.

    Still Galleries & Trailers: High-definition image galleries and a collection of trailers for "Pitch Black" and related titles.

    Movie: 84

    In the year 2000, "Pitch Black" emerged as a distinctive blend of horror, science fiction, and action, spotlighting Vin Diesel's talents in a role that would pave the way for his rise to stardom. Directed and co-written by David Twohy, the film garners attention for its clever utilization of the Australian desert to create an alien landscape, enhanced by innovative visual design that mirrors the environmental conditions dictated by the story's planetary system. The color filters—ranging from bleached oranges and stark whites to monochrome blues and neon greens—not only serve to amplify the atmospheric tension but also underscore the film's aesthetic appeal on the 4K UHD Blu-Ray presentation. This visual style, alongside the intense percussive score, contributes significantly to the movie's suspenseful ambiance.

    The narrative thrust of "Pitch Black" centers on a group of crash survivors on a seemingly desolate planet, introducing a complex interplay between characters cast against type—most notably Radha Mitchell's Fry and Vin Diesel's Riddick. Diesel delivers a compelling performance, navigating clichéd lines with a unique cadence that brings depth to his character. The film's script adeptly shifts the audience's expectations, weaving a tale of survival against internal conflicts and external threats with efficiency. The creative decision to utilize 'Riddick vision' exemplifies how Twohy's visual ideas transcend budgetary constraints, maintaining the film's edge and appeal over two decades later.

    Despite its simplistic plot, "Pitch Black" explores themes of cynicism, self-preservation, and existential fear, set against a backdrop of differing ideologies and human biases. This thematic richness contributes to the film's cult status, offering more than just thrilling action sequences and creature scares. The 4K UHD presentation by Arrow Video not only enhances the visual experience but also reiterates the film's significance in the sci-fi genre. With diesel at its core, "Pitch Black" remains a testament to his emerging talent and Twohy's visionary direction—a lean, efficacious piece of storytelling that has aged remarkably well, holding its ground as a sci-fi gem in home media collections.

    Total: 89

    Arrow Video's release of "Pitch Black" in 4K UHD Blu-ray showcases the film's enduring appeal and marks a significant upgrade in terms of visual presentation. The film, a true cult classic that solidified Vin Diesel's status as a compelling anti-hero, remains unmatched within its universe for its taut storytelling and intense atmosphere. Arrow's entry into 4K UHD home entertainment is lauded for its masterful Dolby Vision HDR presentation, enhancing the film's visual depth and bringing new life to its stark, haunting landscapes. However, it retains the original DTS-HD MA soundtrack, which may disappoint some audiophiles seeking a more updated audio experience. The release also comes packed with an extensive array of extras, providing fans with ample background and insight into the creation of this sci-fi gem.

    One point of contention for potential buyers might be the necessity to purchase separate releases for those who wish to own both the 1080p and 2160p versions. Despite this minor inconvenience, the overall package is highly recommended, with the superior technical execution and wealth of supplements making it a must-have for fans. This release not only reinforces "Pitch Black's" esteemed position among second-tier genre films but also serves as a testament to Arrow Video's commitment to preserving and elevating classic films through their transition into the 4K format.

    In conclusion, Arrow Video's 4K UHD Blu-ray of "Pitch Black" stands as an essential acquisition for both longstanding fans and newcomers alike. Its impeccable visual upgrade, combined with a comprehensive selection of extras and insightful commentary, ensure that this release is more than just a simple home video upgrade; it is a celebration of the film's legacy and influence. While the audio presentation may not meet everyone's expectations for an upgrade, the overall quality and care evident in this release solidify its status as a landmark achievement in film preservation and presentation.