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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - January 2014

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  "Riddick" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Jim Clements

movie-january-2014-riddick

Synopsis

This is the thrid installment in the Riddick franchise.  For the uninitiated, Riddick is an outlaw who is wanted by every bounty hunter in the entire galaxy.  This particular movie picks up as his reign leading the Necromongers unravels and he is exiled to a seemingly lifeless planet known as Furya.  He must regain his edge as a killer/survivor if he is going to make his way off this bleak planet alive.  Ultimately, the way off is by activating an emergency beacon that alerts bounty hunters who quickly descend on the planet in search of their bounty.

Specifications

  • Universal
  • 2013, Color, Rated R, 1 Hr 59 mins
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: AVC
  • English 5.1 DTS HD Master
  • Starring:  Vin Diesel, Jordi Mollà, Matt Nable, Katee Sackhoff, Dave Bautista and Bokeem Woodbine
  • Directed by:  David Twohy
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Strong
  • Sex: Yes
  • Language: Yes

Commentary

The first part of the movie follows Riddick as he recovers from some serious looking injuries and works his way to a reasonably habitable part of the planet Furya.  This part of the movie is hampered by some of the less convincing CGI effects inthe movie.  The middle thrid of the film has Riddick exerting his dominance over the mercenaries and this part is held back by some very campy moments.  The final part of the film is full of energy and great action sequences but is also less effective due to several cliche-like kills.  What I mean by this is the method where there is a struggle, the camera is shaky, you hear the killing blow (crunch!) and then the camera zooms out to reveal the actual nature of the most likely creative technique that Riddick used to slay this particular foe.  But, hey, it's a Riddick movie and I had fun watching it.  

Technical

This movie was shot on digital video and the transfer is consequently very sharp with excellent detail in every scene.  It is a dark movie that could have turned out soupy but that is not the case and the image represents with excellent contrast even in the most challenging scenes.  I am deducting 1/2 star because the CGI effects are sometimes grossly obvious.  

The audio is amazing throughout.  It showcases all the dynamics, frequency range and spatiality a Hollywood film can muster.  I was able to hear all the spoken lines clearly.  This may seem like a spurious observation, but I honestly have trouble with Vin Diesel sometimes because he has a deep, gravelly voice and is known to mumble.  I heard all his lines loud and clear this time. 

Extras

This 2-disc set comes with the Blu-ray, a DVD and an HD Ultraviolet streaming code.  The set set also includes the Unrated Director's Cut which adds 8 minutes of additional footage.  Other on-disc extras include the following featurettes - The World of Riddick, Riddickian Tech, The Twohy Touch, Vin's Riddick, Meet the Mercs and Riddick: Blindsided.