Riddick Collection Blu-ray delivers great video and audio in this excellent Blu-ray release
See individual titles for their synopses.
Additional bonus, 'Dark Fury', is on DVD.
For more about Riddick Collection and the Riddick Collection Blu-ray release, see Riddick Collection Blu-ray Review published by Kenneth Brown on March 24, 2011 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
In the not-too-distant future, a docking pilot makes a forced crash-landing of her spacecraft on
a distant planet. As the survivors explore the uncomfortably hot planet, they must band
together. The planet is eerie, arid, and...
Five years after the events in the film Pitch Black, escaped convict Riddick finds himself caught in the middle of a galactic war waged by Lord Marshal, the leader of a sect called the Necromongers. Riddick is charged with...
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but those who've been patiently waiting for Universal to issue a high definition release of The
Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury -- Aeon Flux animator Peter Chung's excellent direct-to-video bridge between the Riddick
films -- will just have to keep waiting. While the latest Riddick Collection does indeed include Chung's Dark Fury, it isn't
presented in high definition and hasn't been given a lossless soundtrack. It isn't even housed on a Blu-ray disc. That's right: the 3-disc set
includes the same two BD-50 Pitch Black and Chronicles of Riddick discs franchise fans already own and a standard DVD copy
of Dark Fury (which most fans of the series also already own).
Seeing as my colleague, Martin Liebman, has already written two thorough and accurate reviews of Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick, there's little need to write what would essentially amount to strikingly
similar opinions of the films, video transfers and DTS-HD Master Audio tracks. (While I'll admit to having a bit more affection for the sequel
than Marty, I still consider it a guilty genre pleasure at best.) Instead, I'll be detailing the content of each disc, the set's special features, and
the particulars of the Dark Fury disc. The movie, video, audio, extras and overall scores I've awarded the Riddick Collection
are based solely on the quality of Pitch Black and Chronicles of Riddick. As far as my scores are concerned, the inclusion of
Dark Fury, as presented, is merely a small bonus aimed at series newcomers.
The Riddick Collection comes packaged in a standard 3-disc Blu-ray case with a slipcover. No snazzy box, no inserts, no pack-in
goodies, no recently produced extras exclusive to Universal's latest Chronicles release. Not that anyone should complain. Aside from
Dark Fury's DVD treatment -- which warrants some griping -- the Riddick Collection is bursting with special features; among
them four audio commentaries, six U-Control experiences, dozens of production featurettes, deleted scenes and more. Oh, did I mention
both Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick come in two flavors: theatrical and unrated? If you don't already own either
release, this is definitely the collection to purchase.
Disc One: Pitch Black
The Blu-ray edition of Pitch Black doesn't offer any lengthy behind-the-scenes documentaries, but its cast and crew audio
commentaries and U-Control features pick up a lot of slack. For more on Pitch Black's AV presentation and individual technical
specifications, dive into Martin Liebman's full review here.
Unrated and Theatrical Cuts: Take your cup o' Pitch Black however you'd like it, be it David Twohy's 108-minute no-frills
theatrical version of the film or the director's slightly beefier 112-minute unrated cut.
Audio Commentaries: Two easy-listenin' commentaries are available -- an informative but largely anecdotal chat between
Twohy and actors Vin Diesel and Cole Hauser, and a more thorough (albeit more methodical) technical dissection with Twohy, producer Tom
Engelman and visual effects supervisor Peter Chiang (not to be confused with Dark Fury's Peter Chung). Fans shouldn't pass up
either as both offer unique perspectives on the development and production of Pitch Black.
U-Control Experiences: Two Picture-in-Picture features are also included -- a traditional PiP trek behind the scenes that
accompanies chapters 3, 7, 13, 14, 15 and 17, and "Pitch Black Raw," a running montage of production photos, concept art, raw
dailies, side-by-side comparisons and other materials accessible during chapters 1, 2, 4, 8 and 16. Both deserve attention despite being
somewhat limited in their scope, and both can conveniently be viewed in one pass.
An Introduction by David Twohy (SD, 2 minutes): Twohy reminisces about Pitch Black from the editing bay of The
Chronicles of Riddick, and reveals sequels were the last thing on his mind in 2000 when he was working on his first, and best, entry in
The Making of Pitch Black (SD, 5 minutes): This studio EPK merely scratches the surface of Twohy's film, serving up what
amounts to an extended preview, nothing more.
A View Into the Dark (SD, 4 minutes): Yet another clip-heavy EPK, now with more talking heads!
Dark Fury: Advancing the Arc (SD, 2 minutes): A brief glimpse at Dark Fury, its story and characters, and Peter
The Chronicles of Riddick Visual Encyclopedia (SD, 2 minutes): Two-minutes hardly constitutes an encyclopedia, and this
aimless add-on hardly warrants attention.
Johns' Chase Log (SD, 7 minutes): A dull string of audio logs recorded over the course of several days by one Johns, Williams J.
The Game is On (SD, 2 minutes): A brief trailer for The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, a videogame
originally released in 2004 for Xbox and re-released with a face-lift in 2009 for PS3 and Xbox 360 re-release.
My Scenes Bookmarking
Disc Two: The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury
Unfortunately, Dark Fury is presented in non-anamorphic widescreen with a decent 384kbps Dolby Digital 5.1 surround track on
a standard DVD. While the disc's artwork is different than that which graces the previously released standalone DVD, the two discs' video
and audio presentations, menus and supplemental content are identical. Optional English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles are available as
well. (Just no chapter skips.)
Dark Fury (SD, 35 minutes): Worth watching for Chung's visceral, exceedingly fluid animation alone, Dark Fury
achieves much of what The Chronicles of Riddick tries and, in many ways, fails to achieve. Specifically, retaining the tone of Pitch
Black while tossing Riddick into a completely different story and environment. It also features the voice talents of Vin Diesel, Keith David
and Rhiana, making it a most worthwhile addition to the franchise. I think I've made my only complaint well known by now...
From Pitch Black to Riddick: Bridging the Gap (SD, 9 minutes): Chung and filmmaker David Twohy take center
stage in this behind-the-scenes featurette, exploring the connective Chronicles tissue that is Dark Fury.
Animatic to Animation (SD, 33 minutes): An early pre-animation version of the film comprised entirely of storyboards, temp
voicework, CG animatics and other art.
Peter Chung: The Mind of an Animator (SD, 5 minutes): A much-too-short interview with Chung about his influences, career,
style and approach to Dark Fury.
Into the Light (SD, 5 minutes): Twohy and Diesel discuss the process behind expanding their anti-hero's universe in this
Chronicles of Riddick EPK.
Disc Three: The Chronicles of Riddick
Now this is more like it. The Chronicles of Riddick shows up to dinner with a generous spread of special features including two
commentaries, four U-Control tracks and a bevy of additional materials sure to satisfy fans and detractors alike. For a full analysis of
Riddick's AV presentation and the disc's tech specs, check out Martin Liebman's review.
Theatrical and Unrated Cuts: Like Pitch Black, The Chronicles of Riddick includes two versions of the film. Unlike
Pitch Black, the difference between the two is a whopping fifteen minutes. That's right, Riddick junkies. The original cut clocks
in at 119-minutes and the extended version is 134-minutes long.
Audio Commentaries: Two more commentaries have been primed for your listening pleasure -- a traditional track with Twohy
and actors Karl Urban and Alexa Davalos, and a separate BD-Live streaming commentary with Twohy and Diesel. Twohy and Diesel's
conversation is the better of the two, but only because it's breezier than the track with Urban and Davalos (both of whom could stand to
speak up a bit more). Still, if you enjoyed Chronicles in the slightest, don't skip either one.
U-Control Experiences (Unrated Version Only): You'll find four U-Control options at your disposal this time around -- a go-to
"Picture in Picture" track (on fifteen separate chapters); a series of twelve "Complete Chronicles" videos that connect various dots across
the franchise; a text-based "Chronicles Compendium" feature that unravels the races, worlds, beliefs and key players in Riddick's tale; and
six "Anatomy of a Fight" pop-up windows that detail the many ways a man can bite the dust, in this universe or the next.
David Twohy Introduction (SD, 1 minute): Twohy clues viewers in to what they should expect while watching his Unrated
Deleted Scenes with Commentary by David Twohy (SD, 8 minutes): Three unfinished deleted and extended scenes, all of which
were wisely trimmed from the final cut of the film.
Visual Effects Revealed (SD, 6 minutes): Go behind the scenes to learn about the development and implementation of
Chronicles' special effects and sprawling locales.
Creation of New Mecca (SD, 11 minutes): This followup charts the birth of New Mecca, the evolution of the characters and
universe, and the diverse places and peoples that populate the sequel.
Riddick Rises (SD, 13 minutes): Twohy, Diesel and other key members of the cast and crew talk about the differences between
Pitch Black and Chronicles, the changes the characters have undergone between the films, the new planets showcased in the
sequel, and the opportunities their expanded vision afforded them.
Keep What You Kill (SD, 18 minutes): Twohy and his cast and crew explore the most divisive aspect of the sequel: the
Virtual Guide to The Chronicles of Riddick (SD, 8 minutes): A number of characters wax poetic about the dangers,
planets, races and political powers in the Riddick Verse.
Toombs' Chase Log (SD, 10 minutes): Similar to the Johns' audio logs on Pitch Black, but with more bite, bile and random
Long story short? The Riddick Collection is worth the investment if -- if -- you don't already own the Blu-ray releases of Pitch
Black and The Chronicles of Riddick. The 3-disc collection includes Dark Fury, sure. But the lesser-known animated
Riddick film is presented in non-anamorphic widescreen on a standard DVD, making its inclusion a bonus feature at best. Ultimately, if
you're new to the Chronicles, this is the release to buy. If Pitch Black and its sequel are already sitting on your shelves though,
skip this misleading bundle and hold out hope for a full-bore Blu-ray release of Dark Fury with a 1080p video transfer and a lossless audio