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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film:


Extras:


Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
93





Studio and Year: Universal Studios - 2013
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 118/127 minutes
Genre: Sci-Fi/Action

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish DTS 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Vin Diesel, Jordi Molla, Matt Nable, Katee Sackhoff, Dave Bautista, Bokeem Woodbine, Raoul Trujillo, Karl Urban
Written & Directed by: David Twohy
Music by: Graeme Revell
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: January 14, 2014
"Rule the dark"


Film Synopsis:


Global action-superstar Vin Diesel reprises his breakthrough role in Riddick, the much-anticipated new chapter in the epic adventures of the most wanted man in the universe. The all-new thriller finds the title character trapped on a sun-scorched planet and pursued by ruthless bounty hunters eager to collect the reward for Riddick’s capture dead or alive.

My Take:


Chances are that if you’re reading this you have seen or at least heard of the character of Riddick who was introduced in 2000’s “Pitch Black” a great sci-fi/horror/thriller directed by and co-written David Twohy. In 2004 “The chronicles of Riddick” written/directed by David Twohy took the character to new heights in an anti-heroic sci-fi action adventure. With fans clamoring to see more of Riddick on the big screen David Twohy once again reached for his pen and directorial chair and Riddick was born. With Vin Diesel producing the film was shot independently on a fairly limited budget with distribution handled by Universal Studios.


The plot picks up not long after the events of “Chronicles…” and finds Riddick left for dead by his Necromonger minions on a distant planet whose environment and indigenous life are as hard edged as their newest guest. After acclimating himself as only he can Riddick locates a way station with a beacon and broadcasts his image into the airwaves which captures the attention of bounty hunters and mercenaries. Two groups arrive, one for money, one on a personal mission, each vying for the ultimate capture of one of the most dangerous and wanted men in the galaxy. As prepared as they are they are unprepared to meet not only the challenge of their quest but why lies in wait…


As a fan of both “Pitch Black” and “Chronicles of Riddick” I looked forward to Riddick but kept my expectations in check. The lack of a big budget was obvious as the scope of the production and cast were limited. I didn’t find that to be a problem as the screenplay didn’t feel as though it had been written for a larger body. The supporting cast were fine in their respective roles and were supported by the breadth of the writing. Vin Diesel owns this character and was as solid as he has ever been. So the question remaining is did I like Riddick? The answer is yes. There is a noticeable return to the roots of what initially made the character so interesting in Pitch Black. On the flip side that is also what imparts a nagging sense of been here done this. There is also a connection to Pitch Black that you may or may not find credible or necessary. Personally I didn’t find it to be either but luckily it really has little impact on the fundamentals we look for in a film like this. The action is decent and the visceral edge that you expect shines through as the events formulaically unfold.


I didn’t find Riddick to be as thematically well rounded as its predecessors but for fans of the Riddick mythos its familiar territory was fun and entertaining to explore. Both the theatrical and eight minute longer director’s cut, which I watched during my evaluation, are included.


Parental Guide:


The rating is for strong violence, language, and some sexual content/nudity.



AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


Audio: 94

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics:

  • Low frequency extension:

  • Surround Sound presentation:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Dialogue Reproduction:




Video: 92

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction:

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression:


Riddick comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 26 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.5 Mbps.


This is a superb looking Blu-ray presentation from Universal that delivers high level detail, razor sharpness and resolute definition that brings out the lifelike textures captured by the camera lens. Close ups and mid level shots are incredibly detailed and revealing of even the subtlest nuance visible within facial features, clothing, and objects/backgrounds within the frame. Fidelity is never in question regardless of the camera’s perspective. Colors are kept within the scope of the thematic elements which means lots of browns, grays, and blacks. The stylized color palate deemphasizes primaries but the dusty earth tones have a rewarding quality nonetheless. Skin tones are texturally revealing and lifelike. Blacks are rich, gradationally strong and dynamic which helps them pop during sequences that contained both light and dark elements. Detail in uneven light and darkened environments reveal discerning shapes and structure in backgrounds/objects. I found this to be a pristine high definition video offering that looked terrific on my big screen.


Like the video presentation, the 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack doesn’t disappoint. This is an entertaining audio presentation that utilizes the entire system to create a theater like experience. Sound staging is excellent as both the front and rear channels are seamlessly integrated. Sound effects traverse the room during the large fight sequences. Dynamics are energy filled and impact felt with discerning articulation and resolute clarity. This is an active mix that makes regular use of the subwoofer to accentuate its dynamic range. The result is tactile low frequency detail that energizes the room with clean, hard hitting bass. Dialogue had excellent soundstage presence with clear, defining vocal character and excellent room penetration. This is a top notch and complimentary audio/video presentation that enhances the subject matter.

Bonus Features:

  • Theatrical and Director’s Cut of the film

  • (HD) * Exclusive The Twohy Touch — In this short film, writer and director David Twohy explains the development of Riddick, the third feature film in his high-concept sci-fi series. Interviews and on-set footage detail Twohy’s vision and inspiration, as well as the creative collaboration between the filmmaker and star Vin Diesel that takes the cult franchise to a new level – 6 minute featurette


  • (HD) * Exclusive Riddickian Tech — The filmmakers, including Riddick’s amazing effects team, talk about the extraordinary technologies used to create Riddick’s eye-popping sci-fi elements, from the practical effects to the green screen wonders that made it possible to bring this highintensity, futuristic thriller to the big screen – 10 minute featurette

  • (HD) * Exclusive The World Of Riddick — Key members of the filmmaking team, including director David Twohy, production designer Joseph C. Nemec III and director of photography David Eggby talk about the inspiration and influences behind the film’s vivid and unique visuals and savage predators – 10 minute featurette

  • (HD)Vin’s Riddick — Vin Diesel, his co-stars and the entire filmmaking team provide an inside look at the superstar’s passion for everything from the film’s production and developmentto his intensive physical training, as well as just what makes Diesel ideal for the role of the indestructible Richard B. Riddick – 8 minute featurette

  • (HD)Meet The Mercs — From Karl Urban and Katee Sackhoff to Jordi Mollà, Dave Bautista, Bokeem Woodbine, and Nolan Gerard Funk, this featurette spotlights the dynamic supporting cast of Riddick and the characters they portray, exploring what the actors bring to their roles, as well as the weapons and clothing styles that define them to enhance this heart-stopping thriller – 10 minute featurette

  • (HD) Riddick: Blindsided—A motion comic prequel to Riddick that fills in the gap since 2004’s The Chronicles of Riddick

  • Bonus DVD

  • Ultraviolet Digital Copy




Final Thoughts:

Riddick is the third installment in the sci-fi/thriller/action film franchise built around the dark anti-hero character played by star Vin Diesel. Written/directed by David Twohy there is a familiarity and viscerally resounding edge that harkens back to what initially made the character appealing to genre fans. The script isn’t as strong as those found in the first two installments however there is enough action and typically entertaining character interplay to make it fun to watch. Riddick comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring resplendent high definition video, engaging DTS-HD Master Audio surround sound and a fan friendly assortment of supplemental features that look behind the scenes at the production and include insights from the cast/ crew. If you’re a fan this Blu-ray release deserves a place in your video collection.









Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:



JVC DLA-RS55 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector

(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal )

Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System

Marantz AV8801 11.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor

Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier

B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier

Oppo BDP-103D Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (With Darbee video processing)

Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control

Canton "Ergo" Series speakers

Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers

SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)

APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector

Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling

Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package

Riddick (Unrated Director's Cut) [HD]

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Enjoyed this movie. I'm a big fan of all three, and looking forward to a fourth.


PS -- Thanks Ralph for all of your reviews. They are enjoyable to read, and helpful in my blu-ray decisions. Happy Holidays.
 

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This will be another movie I buy before seeing. Cannot wait!
 

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I did see this movie in the theater. The special effects were good, but the actual movie IMO was horrible. Bad script. There was no suspense as you knew exactly what was going to happen before it happened. I did like the previous Riddick movies, but this one was by far the worst. Felt like leaving the theater half way through. Rent the movie and save yourself $25.
 

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I always thought the second film was a bit convoluted, and really this one is a remake of the first film, not that that is a bad thing, and hey you do get a gratuitious Katy Sachoff topless scene
 

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Ralph.. thanks again for another thoughtful review. We had a lot of fun mixing the film.....


Curious which version you watched, or both.


Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter #8

Quote:
Originally Posted by FilmMixer  /t/1507237/riddick-unrated-directors-cut-blu-ray-official-avsforum-review/0_20#post_24109221


Ralph.. thanks again for another thoughtful review. We had a lot of fun mixing the film.....


Curious which version you watched, or both.


Thanks again.

Greetings,


Hi Marc, I watched the Director's Cut (mentioned that in the final line of My Take
). You did a great job as usual....




Happy Holidays!


Regards,
 

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Hi Ralph,

Do you by chance know what the extended scenes were? As a whole, I found that the theatrical version was just fine. unlike the second Riddick movie that had so many holes in it, which the directors cut fixed and made a much more engaging film. Im hoping this will do the same, although I didnt think it was missing that much in the plot.
 

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Discussion Starter #10

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonAlam  /t/1507237/riddick-unrated-directors-cut-blu-ray-official-avsforum-review/0_20#post_24109722


Hi Ralph,

Do you by chance know what the extended scenes were? As a whole, I found that the theatrical version was just fine. unlike the second Riddick movie that had so many holes in it, which the directors cut fixed and made a much more engaging film. Im hoping this will do the same, although I didnt think it was missing that much in the plot.

Greetings,


Ron, I don't know what they were and would have to watch the theatrical version in the hopes of making the distinction. Luckily you liked the theatrical version which is included here. In the event the director's cut doesn't work for you you're still good to go.




Regards,
 

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I have to agree!! I was excited to see this one but it was pretty bad film, however I enjoyed the other two.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wxman  /t/1507237/riddick-unrated-directors-cut-blu-ray-official-avsforum-review#post_24109180


I did see this movie in the theater. The special effects were good, but the actual movie IMO was horrible. Bad script. There was no suspense as you knew exactly what was going to happen before it happened. I did like the previous Riddick movies, but this one was by far the worst. Felt like leaving the theater half way through. Rent the movie and save yourself $25.
 

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Loved Pitch Black, thought Chronicles was a little above average, and I pretty much loved the slimmed down RIDDICK. Had a couple issues. The been there done that feeling, but other than that, this movie IMO was great. Can't wait for this on Blu!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisagon  /t/1507237/riddick-unrated-directors-cut-blu-ray-official-avsforum-review#post_24108988


Enjoyed this movie. I'm a big fan of all three, and looking forward to a fourth.


PS -- Thanks Ralph for all of your reviews. They are enjoyable to read, and helpful in my blu-ray decisions. Happy Holidays.



Thanks for the review Ralph. I' now looking forward to this - I had no idea there was even a movie in the works, let alone out on BluRay. Have you seen the animated (short) second movie, Dark Fury ?
 

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Ralph, thanks for another insightful review. I always enjoy reading them.


I'm a huge fan of the Riddick films, in particular "Pitch Black" and "Riddick". For anyone on the fence, my guess is that if you enjoyed the first film there's a decent chance you'll like the third. It's ironic that the less they spend making these films, the better they are, at least so far.


My wife is a fan of the series too, although I suspect she just likes watching Vin Diesel.



Hopefully Universal Studios makes a nice profit on Blu-ray sales so there is a compelling reason to make a fourth film in the series.
 

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Riddick is one of my favorite film characters of all time.  I absolutely loved Pitch Black, the animated Dark Fury (awesome artistic direction), and, of course, The Chronicles of Riddick--filled with great one liners like "I bow to no man," "'had to end sometime," "It's an animal thing," and my favorite: "should have taken the money, Tombs!"  Vin Diesel owns the character in every way.  When I first heard the Riddick trailer was released, I RAN to my computer to pull it up; what I saw left me sorely disappointed.  The scope seemed far too similar to Pitch Black, which, while a GREAT starting point for the series, didn't seem like a format that needed to be repeated.  I was expecting an epic sequel, involving things we have never seen. (Reaching the Underverse in grand fashion and turning it on it's head, perhaps?)  I ended up skipping this film's theatrical run on purpose, wondering what inspired Twohy to take this route.  Now that I know it was shot independently, the scope makes a little more sense to me, and I'm more inclined to buy it.  The great A/V will certainly help to defeat the persistent sense of nostalgia I expect while watching the film. This will be an absolute purchase for me, based on the combination of the awesome universe Twohy has created and the sheer drive it took to get this movie made. I look forward to hearing every "shhling" of a knife blade, and every "splash" of blood.  Thanks for this review, Ralph!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by fitbrit  /t/1507237/riddick-unrated-directors-cut-blu-ray-official-avsforum-review#post_24111900



Thanks for the review Ralph. I' now looking forward to this - I had no idea there was even a movie in the works, let alone out on BluRay. Have you seen the animated (short) second movie, Dark Fury ?
Dark Fury is absolutely awesome.  The art design in that film is outstanding.  There are so many tense moments, it's unbelievable.  (Fighting in foam, anyone?
)
 

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I watched the Director's Cut the other night and pretty much feel exactly the same as Ralph does on his excellent review. I was floored at times with how good this looks on Blu-ray and it will become one of my showcase pieces for demos. Contrast and black level detail were phenominal.


As for the Director's Cut vs the Theatrical, there is a bit more development in the story in the beginning before Riddick is abandoned on the planet with the Necros. It doesn't add much to the story overall though. The ending is where the biggest differences lie. The end of the theatrical is a pretty definitive ending whereas the Director's Cut sees more of an open ended ending that propels the story into more. I have a feeling that with the theatrical run making at least 3x's the budget for the film this is a sign that Universal will greenlight the next film in the series and this ending pretty much sets that up. I wonder if Twohy would have even included this scene if it hadn't.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kris Deering  /t/1507237/riddick-unrated-directors-cut-blu-ray-official-avsforum-review/0_20#post_24113875


I watched the Director's Cut the other night and pretty much feel exactly the same as Ralph does on his excellent review. I was floored at times with how good this looks on Blu-ray and it will become one of my showcase pieces for demos. Contrast and black level detail were phenominal.


As for the Director's Cut vs the Theatrical, there is a bit more development in the story in the beginning before Riddick is abandoned on the planet with the Necros. It doesn't add much to the story overall though. The ending is where the biggest differences lie. The end of the theatrical is a pretty definitive ending whereas the Director's Cut sees more of an open ended ending that propels the story into more. I have a feeling that with the theatrical run making at least 3x's the budget for the film this is a sign that Universal will greenlight the next film in the series and this ending pretty much sets that up. I wonder if Twohy would have even included this scene if it hadn't.

Greetings,


Thanks for chiming in with your thoughts Kris. Posts from you and Dave remind me of old times...




Regards,
 
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