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Overall Rating
3.56

Awesome: 19.89%
Worth A Look35.8%
Just Average: 28.98%
Pretty Crappy: 10.8%
Sucks: 4.55%

12 reviews, 104 user ratings


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Pitch Black
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by Erik Childress

"Mediocre Sci-Fi Disappoints"
2 stars

Pitch Black (**) – The good ole’ days of science fiction were a thing of beauty. Every once in a while a great film (Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Forbidden Planet, The Day the Earth Stood Still) would come out of the crop of crap. But even the films that were deemed as crap still hold a place in our heart, whether it was a favorite as a child or just a good laugh today at the expense of a bad movie. But when a film falls somewhere in between those parameters, it can be an unrewarding experience.

Such is the case with Pitch Black, a sci-fi flick whose ads go to great lengths to tease us into seeing something extraordinary and for a while it engages our attention. We open with a well executed crash sequence that gets the film moving at a brisk pace. After apparently crashing on City Alpha Five from The Wrath of Khan, the sole survivors settle in to work on an escape plan. That is until they have to start a manhunt for Private Carparzo from Saving Private Ryan (Vin Diesel), who now plays a dangerous convict. This seems like enough plot for your average outer space adventure, but we know there are species more evil than prisoner Raddick. Or are they? What plays out could have amounted to moral dilemmas about who must live and die but the small time devoted to those questions feel more manufactured than genuine. But for the first hour we’re hooked, if for no other reason than expecting the onslaught of creatures plastered in the cool final shot of the trailers. There are even some great shock moments – two of which actually lifted me out of my seat. But just as the film seems set to kick into overdrive, an amazing thing happens. It slows down to a crawl and produces little to no suspense during the portion of the film when we should be reaching for the Depends. The kills in Pitch Black are even uneventful and boring. Even a mediocre science fiction picture has some quality kills in it. Here we’re subjected to attacks that come quick, leave little blood, and even less fun. The aliens here are a crossbreed between Alien, the bugs in Starship Troopers and your average vampire. They are cool to look at, but get shortchanged by getting even less to do than the actors do. Vin Diesel has a great presence on film and could probably play the Incredible Hulk if they ever decide to make that movie, and he’s about the only halfway interesting character as the prisoner. Everyone else is basically reduced to walking corpses whose character names are practically absent and barely memorable through the course of the running time.

Pitch Black joins a small list of sci-fi films with a promising premise (Screamers, Hardware) and then drowns it in a rush of unoriginality and a color scheme that gives it an incredibly cheap look. There are moments when the audience must feel color blind as the cinematography strives for a Sleepy Hollow/Angela’s Ashes kind of bleakness and winds up looking more like a cheap sci-fi effort from the early 80s. Pitch Black could have been the first pleasant surprise of the new century instead of a mediocre effort not even worthy of the previous one.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=1801&reviewer=198
originally posted: 02/23/00 14:17:01
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Trilogy Starters: For more in the Trilogy Starters series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2016 Boston SciFi Film Festival For more in the 2016 Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

10/30/16 morris campbell i dont hate u scott ur right its derivative cool but derivative 4 stars
10/12/13 David H. didn't make sense to me 2 stars
1/31/13 jcar a very good scfi flick with good effects, acting, action, and diesdel kicking butt! 4 stars
1/28/12 hurdygurdy man Plot on thin ice, c'mon frosbitten and didn't cover gloveless hand?? Left me cold. 2 stars
7/23/10 bagwell5 A rip off of Alien, but still well done. Cole Hauser gives a great performance, 5 stars
6/08/10 Harvey Scott Great introduction to the Riddick character. LIked it! 4 stars
8/29/09 CTT Nicely realized sci-fi 4 stars
2/16/09 Samuel NIce aliens(called biorapters) awesome movie 5 stars
1/10/09 PAUL SHORTT NEITHER SCARY NOR EXCITING 1 stars
8/29/08 Shaun Wallner This one was kinda boring. 2 stars
3/01/08 Pamela White Diesel's best movie so far 5 stars
10/12/07 Carlos Vin Diesals best movie hands down... 5 stars
8/10/07 TheRealNapster I loved this Film. It made it into my collection 5 stars
8/08/07 TigerSlap Erik Childress is so full of shit! This movie is great entertainment! 5 stars
2/16/07 Vip Ebriega Fun action thriller, but they could do a bit better than expected. 3 stars
1/17/07 David Pollastrini great action, great gore 5 stars
6/08/06 William Goss Shameless sci-fi rehash that is loads more fun than it has any right to be. 4 stars
3/09/06 Dk A poor mans Alien it never really gets going 2 stars
3/04/06 chris f brilliant film way better that the trashy sequel 5 stars
1/01/06 cody a alien ripoff but a cool scfi action flick with cool characters, but ending stunk 3 stars
12/08/05 JM Synth Mr Diesel's only genuinely good film 4 stars
8/12/05 ES Better than its piece of garbage sequel 4 stars
5/27/05 Jake Great, sci-fi fun 5 stars
12/31/04 Max Without Vin this movie would of bombed! 5 stars
11/13/04 Rachel I love this movie. Great script (for the most part) intensely funny moments, good acting 5 stars
9/03/04 alisha vanmaanen wierd but i was still held captive to the end 3 stars
8/16/04 Herolder Yeah, it's an Alien rip-off, but a good one 5 stars
7/25/04 Vince Totally agree wth Star-Crosser : great cinematography + Vin Diesel. Excellent. 5 stars
6/09/04 Ali Hbous A fine piece of Sci-Fi 4 stars
2/29/04 Star-Crosser The cinematography and Deisel's suprising charisma make it worthwhile. 5 stars
12/08/03 John Bale Like an old Saturday Arvo Serial but the imaginative photography makes it watchable. 3 stars
11/12/03 Twenty-Two YUMMMmmmmmm........ Vin Diesel! 5 stars
11/01/03 American Slasher Goddess Extremely dull clone of Aliens. 1 stars
10/03/03 Timmy Best movie since "Aliens" 5 stars
7/07/03 Shawn Great Movie! Watch it a couple of times and it gets even better. 4 stars
5/27/03 Alana This film is awesome - Vin Diesel's best performance to date& excellent cinematography. 5 stars
5/26/03 mr. Pink An Alien rip-off, which isn't even a good one at that. Really dull! 1 stars
3/23/03 Sugarfoot I need no more proof, when I say that Scott Weinberg is a dumbass. 4 stars
12/30/02 Bob Hardcore Boring commercial crap. 1 stars
11/23/02 Sweetgrrl1972 It's super fun fantastic! Who goes to a movie like this to think anyway? 5 stars
9/22/02 Eloise i enjoyed the blood'n guts, the birdy monsters and Vin, yummeee 5 stars
7/04/02 KMG The little girl looked like Leaf Phoenix when he was in "Space Camp" 3 stars
6/10/02 Zefram Mann What would have been a throwaway flick is made great by the dynamic Diesel's character adds 5 stars
3/02/02 Butterbean Great Movie!!! I'm looking forward to the sequel! 5 stars
2/18/02 Katie Sheppard I loved it!!!! Vin Diesel is sooooooooooo sexy and he plays and awesome killer!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
2/13/02 Chris Bradford Im a big fan of Vin Diesel 5 stars
1/28/02 Gracy Lionheart Predictable, but fun to watch if you're in the right mood. Better than The Patriot any day. 4 stars
1/26/02 Andrew Carden Pretty Good For A Movie That Was In Theaters For Only 1 Month. 4 stars
12/11/01 Jim Reasonably suspenseful, cool cinematography, nasty aliens, and Radha Mitchell in a tank top 4 stars
10/30/01 Sumixam Not too bad, the creatures aren't overly exciting but a promising flick nevertheless 4 stars
10/03/01 Mark Conway Can i just say this is one of the crapest movies i have ever seen in my life. 1 stars
10/01/01 Shane Robert Myers!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Good! but the ending was unexpected?????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 3 stars
8/13/01 Kitty It's an original movie plus Vin Diesel is in it! 4 stars
8/02/01 KC Au Pretty forgettable flick. Not scary. 3 stars
7/30/01 Robert best sci fi movie ever 5 stars
7/07/01 officer 412/l nice looking sci-fi on a low budget 3 stars
6/20/01 Beth The movie kicks ass Vin Deisel is a major hottie in it 5 stars
6/19/01 jessica ohh Vin, baby 4 stars
6/15/01 M Hatfield Wow! Wot a bod! 5 stars
6/14/01 Elaine Lewis Fucking Awesome 5 stars
6/11/01 ReeRee757 Mmmm...... Vin Diesel. Ay papi. Oh yeah, loved the movie too. 5 stars
5/28/01 Desire' Vin , baby you are sooooo fine!!! 4 stars
4/22/01 TigerDream Cool effects and all but still a crappy story to go with it and very dull 2 stars
2/06/01 Trashstar I liked the colour scheme of the movie, liked the charecters, almost awesome,bad ending. 4 stars
1/06/01 Toni That movie kicked so much ass I loved it! Vin ,baby you are hott! 5 stars
12/08/00 jetcat punchy, tidy script with cool filming style 4 stars
11/20/00 Matthew Bartley Thoroughly enjoyable 4 stars
11/13/00 The EVIL Penguin Made Deisel a rising star. 4 stars
11/13/00 KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi Pointless, derivative, and DULL!! I can't believe people actually dug this. 1 stars
11/12/00 Neil Not a bad movie with good effects and very origional 4 stars
10/17/00 terry c compared to anaconda this one shines 4 stars
6/07/00 Jaime N. Christley Underrated sci-fi actioner; fast, well-made, and SHORT 4 stars
5/31/00 Keiros Shoulda spent an extra coulple of million to make Alien5 2 stars
5/20/00 mellemel BORING! Why did I waste my money! 1 stars
5/19/00 MR joel harwood VERY DRY 4 stars
5/09/00 The worst killer alien movie I think I have ever seen. 1 stars
4/17/00 Brien kidna sucked 3 stars
4/11/00 Dr. Rev. Krule, MD Decent movie, well worth seeing Diesel, good special effects 4 stars
3/24/00 malcolm had some nice shots. too coincidental. Diesel eats up the screen. 3 stars
3/22/00 Adam Fun, that's it. 4 stars
3/20/00 bonedaddy what was with the glow worms 4 stars
3/20/00 El Tigre Turn off you brain and enjoy the ride. Vin is awesome. 4 stars
3/10/00 brentley Very entertaining, but script & FX could have been better. 4 stars
3/09/00 Kyle Broflovski I liked this movie better than it liked me. 4 stars
3/06/00 yankee this movie was tiring. Special effects was all there was. No plot what so ever 2 stars
3/02/00 Michael Thompson Decent fun Sci-Fi Fare 4 stars
2/29/00 PhilmPhreak Any sci fi is better than no sci fi 3 stars
2/29/00 DarkNyt Not as good as I expected, but much better than what it could have been. 4 stars
2/29/00 Captain Highcrime I've seen better; but on the up side, it could have been ALOT worse (Supernova, anyone?) 3 stars
2/25/00 Alyssa What Alien 3 SHOULD have been. Vin Diesel is incredible. 5 stars
2/25/00 Drano Cool as Fuck!! Vin Diesel kicks ass! 4 stars
2/24/00 Crispin Fully disagree with illiterate Erik. This is a well made and paced movie. 5 stars
2/24/00 Cheaps Never, ever complain about Star Wars again ! 3 stars
2/23/00 notspork are you crazy??? vin diesel is a fucking SUPERHUMAN. every female should see this movie. 5 stars
2/23/00 Wyatt Earp Way better than I expected 4 stars
2/22/00 Overflow Bitch Not bad. Expected more. 3 stars
2/22/00 Zensmile A pretty good movie. I thought the creatures were a bit hokey...but great scifi graphics. 4 stars
2/22/00 Kman Either an underfunded A film, or a well done B movie. Well worth seeing if you liked Aliens 4 stars
2/22/00 Louis Pretty good if you're bored on a saturday afternoon. 4 stars
2/21/00 Obi Wan Fucking Phat!!! Vin Diesel ROCKED in this flick. Loved it . ..expected nothing got plenty 5 stars
2/21/00 Judy Alan KICK ASS ACTION AND PRETTY DAMN SCARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
2/20/00 majawat could have been much worse 4 stars
2/20/00 Jerck Mehoff awsome 5 stars
2/20/00 Jason Kallelis Nothing special. Aliens with a few new twists. See it matinee if you want a cheap thrill 3 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  18-Feb-2000 (R)
  DVD: 01-Jun-2004

UK
  N/A

Australia
  18-May-2000


Directed by
  David N. Twohy

Written by
  David N. Twohy
  Jim Wheat
  Ken Wheat

Cast
  Vin Diesel
  Cole Hauser
  Radha Mitchell
  Ric Anderson
  David Keith



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