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Vin Diesel’s ‘Pitch Black’ Headed to 4K and Blu-Ray

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Are you afraid of the dark? Vin Diesel’s Furyan-badass definitely isn’t. The ocular augmented, anti-hero is coming to 4K and Blu-Ray from Arrow Video via MVD Entertainment to remind us what Vin looks like kicking nocturnal-alien butt.

The synopsis for Vin Diesel’s Pitch Black goes like this:

A deep space transporter crash-lands on a desolate planet circled by three suns. Among the survivors are pilot Carolyn Fry, mystic Abu `Imam’ al-Walid, cop William J Johns and convicted criminal Richard B Riddick, and their first thoughts are of survival and escape. Then Fry finds out that the planet suffers a total eclipse every 22 years, which is when the hibernating, flesh-eating inhabitants awake and hunt.

Pitch Black eventually lead to, 2004’s The Chronicles of Riddick and 2013’s Riddick. Each film expanded on the mythos of David Twohy and Diesel’s world. The franchise also saw, animated features, video games and comic books all based around the titular anti-hero.

I was a huge fan of Pitch Black on release and the video game Escape From Butcher’s Bay was groundbreaking. The other two films in the franchise have been met with both good and bad criticism. ‘Chronicles’ in particular was met with negative outpouring, while ‘Riddick’ saw a close blueprint to that of Pitch Black and was mostly a success.

Pitch Black comes loaded with special features that include:

  • Brand new 4K restoration by Arrow Films of the Theatrical and Director’s Cuts of the film, approved by director David Twohy
  • 4K (2160p) UHD Blu-ray presentation in Dolby Vision (HDR10 compatible)
  • Original DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround on both cuts
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing on both cuts
  • Archive commentary with director David Twohy and stars Vin Diesel and Cole Hauser
  • Archive commentary with director David Twohy, producer Tom Engelman and visual effects supervisor Peter Chiang
  • Nightfall: The Making of Pitch Black, a newly filmed interview with director/co-writer David Twohy
  • Black Box: Jackie’s Journey, a newly filmed interview with actor Rhiana Griffith
  • Shazza’s Last Stand, a newly filmed interview with actor Claudia Black
  • Bleach Bypassed, a newly filmed interview with cinematographer David Eggby
  • Cryo-Locked, a newly filmed interview with visual effects supervisor Peter Chiang
  • Primal Sounds, a newly filmed interview with composer Graeme Revell
  • The Making of Pitch Black, a short behind-the-scenes featurette
  • Pitch Black Raw, a comparison between early CG tests and the final footage
  • Additional behind-the-scenes footage from the making of the film
  • 2004 archive bonus features, including an introduction by Twohy, A View Into The Dark, and Chronicles of Riddick Visual Encyclopedia
  • Johns’ Chase Log, a short prequel narrated by Cole Hauser detailing the character’s hunt for Riddick
  • The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury (in 16:9 widescreen with DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio), an animated short film directed by Peter Chung that acts as a bridgepoint between Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick, featuring vocal performances by Vin Diesel, Keith David and Rhiana Griffith reprising their roles
  • Dark Fury bonus features including Bridging The Gap, Peter Chung: The Mind of an Animator, A View Into The Light, and a “pre-animation” version of the film
  • Slam City, a motion comic from the film’s official website
  • Into Pitch Black, a TV special offering an alternative non-canon glimpse into what happened before and after the events of the film
  • Raveworld: Pitch Black Event, footage of a dance music event held to promote the film
  • Theatrical trailers, plus trailers for the two sequels and video game
  • Image galleries
  • Reversible sleeve featuring newly commissioned ‘night’ and ‘day’ artwork by Luke Preece 
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collectors’ booklet featuring new writing by Simon Ward on the film’s creature designs (including a new interview with creature designer Patrick Tatopolous), original production notes and information from the film’s official website, and an archive interview with Vin Diesel from Starlog magazine.
We are pretty danged excited about Vin Diesel and Pitch Black coming to 4K. This was a total sleeper hit that contained just as much pulse-pounding tension as Alien and Aliens. Say what you will about the films sequels, Pitch Black maintains itself as an all-time horror/sci-fi classic.
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Movie Reviews

[Fantastic Fest] ‘Piggy’ Filled With Incredible Heart and Wonderful Terror

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Piggy

Writer and director, Carlota Pereda fascinatingly creates a world in which we are given equal helpings of moments of big heart and a creeping terror. Piggy is one of those rare horror films that could have stood on its own without the horror and been an Oscar-worthy bit of effective drama. The turn from compelling drama to shifting genre is as refreshing as it is entertaining.

Piggy follows Sara (Laura Galán) a young girl who assists her family in their small-town butcher shop. Sara is often bullied due to her being an overweight teen. The small town and its cliques make for a soul-crushing daily life for Sara. She is constantly picked on, called names and even physically tormented by the popular bullies. When Sara ends up having to walk home following an assault by the bullies, Sara comes face to face with a serial killer who actually treats the young girl as an equal – not picking on her or poking fun. The duo begins their strange cat and mouse dance of constantly changing twisted mutual admiration.

The small quaint town featured in Piggy is very minimalistic – matching the incredibly stripped-down, heart-on-its-sleeve story. That atmosphere is one that makes for a brilliant spot to match Sara and her sensitive nature.

Galán is breathtaking in her role as Sara. It’s an incredibly demanding and revealing role that constantly has her being abused both physically and mentally. The constant emotional terrorism surrounding her combined with body shaming becomes a terrifying small-town presence that ends up being more terrifying and warped than the habits of the serial killer.

Much like Sara herself, the film forces you to side with the serial killer. Despite, his cold-blooded actions against the people of the town, he still has a big enough heart to see Sara as an equal and someone who he even fancies at times. In any other situation its heartbreaking to realize that he and Sara could have easily been in a relationship if it hadn’t been for that whole serial killing thing.

Piggy

Piggy handles bullying and body shaming by shifting the tables and working the story with as much humor and fun as it works with serious themes. Incredibly, the serial killer isn’t as disturbing as the torment that Sara receives. The juxtaposition between those two things is an incredibly compelling exploration for film.

The film allows you to side with the killer and entirely has you cheering for Sara. Galán gives a breathtaking performance that will have audiences siding with her and willing to follow her down whichever path she chooses to take. Piggy is an incredible work that has as much heart and nerves as it does horror.

Piggy arrives in Alamo Drafthouses on October 7 and in theaters and On Demand beginning October 14. The film also won best horror film at Fantastic Fest.

4 eyes out of 5

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‘Bones and All’ Trailer Introduces Savage World of Cannibals and Lovers

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Bones

Call Me By Your Name and Suspiria director, Luca Guadagnino is back with a true masterpiece that explores cannibals and lovers. Bones and All is a fascinating film that currently has my vote for Best Film of the Year. It really is that good. It stars Timothée Chalamet and Taylor Russell in an incredibly brutal road trip film.

The official synopsis fo Bones and All goes like this:

BONES AND ALL is a story of first love between Maren, a young woman learning how to survive on the margins of society, and Lee, an intense and disenfranchised drifter; a liberating road odyssey of two young people coming into their own, searching for identity and chasing beauty in a perilous world that cannot abide who they are.

The film stars Taylor Russell, Timothée Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg, André Holland, Chloë Sevigny, David Gordon Green, Jessica Harper, Jake Horowitz, and Mark Rylance.

Get ready to dine with cannibals and lovely monsters when Bones and All arrives in theaters beginning November 23.

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[Fantastic Fest] ‘Hellraiser’ Fascinates by Carving New Damnation and Games

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Hellraiser

In a world of reinvention and retooling, there are often a lot of letdowns when it comes to our favorite films and TV shows. More often than not we are disappointed by the retelling. It is great to announce that David Bruckner’s recent Hellraiser reimagining is incredible and makes use of Author, Clive Barker’s original parts to incredibly give us the familiar while also carving its entirely own fascinatingly dark path.

Hellraiser tells the story of Riley (Odessa A’Zion,) an addict trying to live her life and resist all temptation. When Riley and her boyfriend burglarize a shipping container, they come upon the puzzle box. The box immediately begins to draw attention to it begging them to push and pull its corners. Little do they know that the box’s offerings will change their lives forever.

Hellraiser

The backdrop of Hellraiser is a dreary one. It is entirely filled with a sheen of darkness and grime throughout. The entire city and places the characters visit all become participating characters in the film itself. An amazing work of production design around every corner.

Director, Bruckner is commanding with the darkness. He is careful to control Barker’s bleakness and is great at it. Between himself and screenwriters Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski the trio actively and effectively manage to solve their own puzzle box of the macabre and the constantly invigorating.

The Cenobites are back with a fully new roaster of incredibly creative beings. Each of them has a patchwork of skin in which flesh itself is what they wear. There aren’t any more bits of leather clothing that brought the legendary, Doug Bradley to life, instead, their wardrobe is made organically. Another fascinating detail of their look is brought about by these carefully placed pins with pearl tips. A touch of The Hellpriest’s personal touch.

The Hellpriest just as revelatory as the film. Jamie Clayton pays homage to and simultaneously reinvents The Priest from the ground up. A head full of pearl-tipped pins along with the fascinating touches from The Leviathan that add pieces of the box to her as well as the same creative organic wardrobe utilized by the other Cenobites. Horror fans have nothing but a brilliant experience ahead of them. Clayton makes the role her own and brilliantly creates her own spine-tingling voice for the character. A terrifying rasp, that is delivered with authority making her lines stand out with imposing importance.

Hellraiser

Ben Lovett creates a brilliant score that moves and shifts around as much as the puzzle box itself. Throughout it is entirely its own with tiny shifts to single notes of the famous Christopher Young score. The entire thing is devilishly done and creates an entire audio Cenobite all on its own. By the film’s finale, Lovett and Young become one in a chill-inducing crescendo.

Hellraiser is a fascinatingly dark work that combines Barker’s worlds and sensibilities into a brilliant haunting cocktail. There are hints of Damnation Game, Weaveworld and of course The Hellbound Heart. The hands shifting this puzzle box were tender and caring with Barker’s material. That reverence produces one of the best Hellraiser’s to date. Bruckner’s film gets back to diving beneath the flesh of terror. Jamie Clayton entirely lives in and reinvents The Hellpriest in every turn. Hellraiser brilliantly cuts, carves and pulls nerves. Dark, provocative, and filled with Clive Barker’s brilliance – Hellraiser is finally back.

4 eyes out of 5

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