Blu-ray Review “Riddick”

riddick-bluActors: Vin Diesel, Karl Urban, Jordi Molla, Matt Nable, Katee Sackhoff
Directors: David Twohy
Rated: R (Restricted) / Unrated
Studio: Universal Studios
Release Date: January 14, 2014
Run Time: 119 / 127 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

2000 was a big year for Vin Diesel, the sci-fi/action film “Pitch Black” was released and the franchise was born. The film was dark, gritty, intense and most importantly original. Then in 2004, we were given “The Chronicles of Riddick”, which was a bloated mess of a film. Luckily, “Riddick” is a nice return to the “Pitch Black” roots. It returns to its original R-rating and delivers some great bloody action. What “Riddick” doesn’t do is build on “Pitch Black” and take the franchise to a new place. Still for what it is, especially on a low $38 million dollar budget it is quite a ride. I would love them take this franchise further but I have a feeling that this will be the end of the road.  I definitely recommend checking  this out for sci-fi junkies and those who love the character of Riddick.

Official Premise: Vin Diesel reprises his role as the antihero Riddick in the latest chapter of the groundbreaking saga. A dangerous, escaped convict wanted by every bounty hunter in the known galaxy, Riddick has been left for dead on a sun-scorched planet that appears to be lifeless. Soon, however, he finds himself fighting for survival against alien predators more lethal than any human he’s encountered. The only way off is for him to activate an emergency beacon and alert mercenaries who rapidly descend to the planet in search of their bounty. With time running out and a deadly storm on the horizon that no one could survive, his hunters won’t leave the planet without Riddick’s head as their trophy.

Universal is releasing this Blu-ray with an Unrated Director’s Cut combo pack with a Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet digital copy. The  Theatrical Version is also included as well. Usually I am not thrilled with unrated director’s cut but this one really speaks to the fans. In fact I think that if they released this in theaters it would have received a warmer reception.  In terms of Blu-ray presentation, this film is a work of beauty. The 1080p transfer is stunning and looks like this is a $150 million dollar, easy! The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 will literally shake the walls during the action scenes, which there are plenty of. The year just got started but this is sure to be one of the best Blu-rays of 2014, no question!

I have to admit, I was expecting a little more love in the special features department for this film especially given how it is such a special project for Diesel and Twohy but I still dug quite a bit what we got. Don’t get me wrong a commentary track would have been great but there is some great content here. “The Twohy Touch” discusses how the film became and the legacy of the series. “Riddickian Tech” looks into the gadget and gizmos used to make this film as bad-ass as it was. “Vin’s Riddick” talks about the evolution of the character over the films. “Meet the Mercs” dives into the new group of mercenaires in the film. The World of Riddick” explores the world created for this franchise. Lastly “Riddick: Blindsided” is a neat motion comic.

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