|Dark City: A Novel (Vol 1)
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John Murdoch is accused of murder and believed to be mentally disturbed, but he is the only salvation from the violent killings that are happening, as long as he can remain alive. Original. Movie tie-in."
- Director's Cut vs. Standard Edition
I believe Dark City to still be one of the greatest sci-fi movies around, and despite having seen it innumerable times, I still find new ideas and concepts emerging from the rich material. Like many people, I've owned the standard edition for years, but felt compelled to buy the Director's Cut when it was released.
Not only does the Director's Cut have added footage, but scenes are rearranged, extended, and subtly modified in terms of visuals, which have been retouched, and music. The opening narration has been removed, plot points are made clearer, and there is a little more depth to several characters. And yet, I can't completely recommend the DC. A lot of the scenes added feel unnecessary, and with the extended and added footage, the pace is more slack and the movie doesn't pack as much punch to me. For instance, the second song Jennifer Connelly sings was severely abridged in the original cut; here, the song is presented in full form, and while it's entertaining, it derails the movie for a couple of minutes.
The original DVD Dark City (New Line Platinum Series) was a flipper disc housed in a paperboard snapper case; the DC is in a standard Amaray plastic DVD case, is one-sided, and is housed in a paperboard sleeve with embossed lettering. In addition, it includes an insert that provides a code you can use to download a digital copy of the movie, although I'm not sure if the digital copy is the standard or DC edition.
This edition gets four stars because, while it's still a wonderful movie, I prefer the original cut, and with that cut going out of print, it should've been included with this cut on the DVD (maybe as a 2-disc edition). As a note, the Blu-Ray edition Dark City (Director's Cut) [Blu-ray] contains both cuts. ...more info
- Worst plot ever
This is the dumbest sci-fi movie I've seen aside from Battlefield Earth. I'm a diehard Star Trek and Star Wars fan and this movie does not have the character development needed to make a great movie. It also doesn't have a plot that makes sense. These aliens were dying so they kidnapped a bunch of humans to find out what makes them human? What kind of sense does that make? WHY were the aliens dying on their own world? What do humans have to offer to change their situation? Why take them off of Earth and make an "island" floating in space to house them for this experiment? Nothing in this movie made any sense. And if they have super powers to fling things at people, why did they always try to stab people with knives in this movie? STUPIDDDDDDDD!!!! If I could give this zero stars, I would....more info
- Even Better
The great vision of this movie is enhanced with the Blu-Ray format.This movie is made for High-Def and a big screen....more info
- A Blu-Ray review
I can see that there are very little reviews of the blu-ray and more of the old standard DVD edition from late 90's. But I love the new director's cut that was released for the blu-ray system it give a more thrilling and more mystirious look. The narration in the original was taken out in the director's cut because it gave to much away too quickly and the first 1-1&1/2 minute of the film was put at a later time in the film so that when you see the character wake up in the beginning you are in the dark (no pun intended) with him as well. The HD quality is perfect and ther 7.1 audio is amazing both restored to perfection. I will not give more of the story away cause some might have not seen the DC version and everyone hate a spoiler. But I will say that the Blu-ray disc is worth getting and i promises that once you see the DC version you will not see the original again even though the original was good....more info
- Movie rocks. The "bonus digital copy" is a farce.
OK, first things first. The movie is awesome. 5 stars.
The thing that irritates me, is that the "digital copy" is Windows Media and works on WINDOWS ONLY.
That's not even the most irritating part about it. The printed instructions that contain the "security key" has a picture of a MACBOOK! Why show a MacBook when the contents in question will absolutely not work on a Mac unless it's running Windows? Stupid, stupid, stupid.
I used virtualization to get to the files, and there were so many hoops to jump through, it's just retarded.
Upgrade WMP - upgrade security components, etc, etc.
And then the file is limited to your hardware. If Windows gets fubar, which is not uncommon for Windows, I'm SOL, as I will have already used my ONE TIME ONLY AUTHENTICATION.
Draconian DRM schemes do not deter or prevent piracy. They simply annoy legitimate customers like me.
Also, if they're going to allow digital copies like this, why Windows only? How about offering an AppleTV alternative for us Mac users?
OK, bitching out of the way.
Movie rocks, transfer is great, extras are great, Director's cut is cool but it's a completely different movie....more info
- Rent it
Acting and Plot arn't that great, neither are special affects. I'm not saying it's not worth watching but it isn't worth buying. ...more info
- Simple review.
BOTH versions of the movie are on this blu-ray disc. The sound and picture are great even if the people seem soft in a few scenes. The extra features are nothing to write home about, but there are more here than on the standard DVD version (non Director's Cut). It also comes with a free download of the movie in standard format. Overall, I'm very pleased....more info
- Free will
I finally watched this film after years of being curious about it. It was really pretty cool. Visually, it's stunning; a sci-fi/noir hybrid similar in tone (at least aesthetically) to "Bladerunner".
Although the film is visually provocative, as well as intelligent and interesting, the main weakness is that none of the characters are really particularly engaging or well-rounded. So once you get past the nifty visuals and heady plot twists, there's not much to hold onto.
It's interesting that this film came out so close in time to "The Matrix" because there really are a lot of similarities. Both films explore the idea that the mundane, everyday world around us is really all a ruse, and that some other force is using modern-day humanity as a pawn to advance their own agenda. And in both films, the main character is a unique man who has the ability to transcend the illusory game he's been plugged into and create his own destiny. I suppose both films are just modern takes on the age-old "free will vs predestination" dillemna....more info
- Exceptional film presented (on Blu-ray) in both the original version and "Director's Cut" (DVD has only DC)
"Dark City" was ahead of its time a year to be precise. Examining many of the same themes (an example of simultaneous evolution of ideas, themes and "the look")as "The Matrix" (with a somewhat different mystery/plot at its core although ironically "The Matrix" used some of the same sets) Alex Proyas' "Dark City" looks at the nature of memory and its definition of our humanity.
The Blu-ray looks quite good although there is an overuse of Digital Noise Reduction to eliminate the film grain (something that is an important part of the "look" of the film as much as the color scheme is for "The Matrix"), the images are crisper with a great deal more detail than on the previous DVD (having seen a DVD rental copy for comparison the DVD looks quite good as well) but some fine detail does occasionally get lost in some of the darker noir influenced sequences of the film due to the overuse of DNR. Still, it is a step up from the previous DVD edition which looked quite good for its time. It doesn't look as bad as "Patton" (where complexions had a waxy, pasty sheen to them and, again, fine detail in the faces were often lost)but looks better than some digitally overprocessed films. The Blu-ray has both editions of the film--the original theatrical cut and Director's Cut of the film both subjected to DNR to about the same degree,while the DVD has ONLY the "Director's Cut" of the film. It's a pity because the original DVD certainly is in need of a decent upgrade.
Audio sounds terrific.Both the DVD and Blu-ray editions come with a Digital "bonus" copy of the film that is Windows compatible. Unless you watch it a lot on your PC, you may pull it out once or maybe twice. It is NOT compatible with Apple or ipod devices however.
This new edition ports over almost all the original special features from the DVD including the commentary tracks plus adds additional ones as well. Some special features are in 480i while some others are in 1080p and these include a new documentary "Memories of Shell Beach", "Architecture of Dreams", a production gallery, introduction by Director Proyas and the film's champion film critic Roger Ebert (from a 2005 video interview for this edition), text essays, a review of the film by Neil Gaiman and a "Director's Cut Fact Track" that is a pop-up trivia text extra that notes differences in the "Director's Cut" vs. the theatrical version of the film, various subtle changes, etc.
As to whether you like the "Director's Cut" or the original theatrical cut that depends on you. I personally preferred the DC because it adds footage (including some alternate angles of shots that Proyas prefers)while subtracting the distracting narration that Keifer Sutherland had to read (it was forced on Proyas by New Line and he never liked it feeling it gave away too much of the plot of the film and was somewhat like the "Blade Runner" narration--it's not THAT bad but it doesn't add to the enjoyment of the film for me). We get the original theatrical trailer as well.
For those who HAVEN'T seen the film a synposis of the plot: John Murdoch (Rufus Swell)awakens in the bath to find two things--1) He doesn't know who he is and a trio of mysterious people are after him 2) there is the body of a prostitute in his hotel room who is the latest victim of a serial killer. He has no memory of having committed the murder nor does he know who he is or why he's there. Murdoch must complete the puzzle of his what happened, figure out who he is before a detective (Willim Hurt)catches him and figure out how the wife he has never seen before (Jennifer Connelly)figures in this mystery. His only guide aside from the clues he can find is a mysterious doctor (Keifer Sutherland)who claims to know who he is, how he lost his memory and that he is involved in some bold, bizarre experiment.
Regardless of which version of the film you like, "Dark City" is well worth seeing as it prefigures "The Matrix" a over a year. While it didn't catch on at the box office the same way, it did earn critical raves including Roger Ebert naming it the Best Film of 1998.
Film- 4 stars
Video-3 stars (Too much Digital Noise Reduction used to eliminate film grain)
Audio-4 1/2 stars
Overall--a terrific film gets its due even if the video isn't perfect it looks stunning at times (although there is a signficant amount of edge enhancement througout the film to compensate for the DNR).
Great extras from New Line.
- If Only...
...the studio had allowed Mr. Proyas to release THIS version (the Director's Cut) of Dark City to theaters, maybe it would have been better received. I will not do a laundry list of what has been added or removed but I will say I believe this version has more depth than the original theatrical release and, frankly, makes more sense without being obvious or losing the sense of the story unfolding for both the audience and John Murdoch at the same time. One thing I will give away is that they have removed the opening voice-over which, together with the music, makes for a tense, eerie opening atmosphere that I liked quite a lot. I also think they restored Jennifer Connelly's own voice to the scenes of her singing in the club but I can't be 100% sure. All in all, I much prefer this Director's Cut version to the theatrical release. Mr. Proyas says in the special features interview that this version represents more closely what his original vision was for the film and I think he did an excellent job. Just brilliant!...more info
- The Definitive Version?
The main criticism I had about the original DVD release of this movie was the opening voiceover, which I felt was unnecessary and contained major 'spoilers'. It now transpires that this was added at the insistence of the studio who did not trust the audience to have the wit or patience to follow the story as it unfolds.
Thankfully, this new version omits the voiceover and adds a few other minor edits to restore the director's original vision.
It was also irritating to learn that the restrictive 'R' rating was given for the absurd reason that the movie was 'too weird' rather than a result of any sexual or violent content.
This underrated movie deserves to become a genre classic. As a more personal creation by writer/producer Proyas than his later "I, Robot" and for several outstanding performances, particularly Kiefer Sutherland as the tortured Dr Schreber.
- Dark City
An excellent film, good picture and superb audio. I owned the dvd version and it simply doesn't compare. Great features and a great film. After watching it again, you get a sense that the Matrix films borrowed heavily from the film. ...more info
- Much better than the already good movie
I saw the movie twice at the theatre when it was released back in the 20th century ;)
I enjoyed the film very much at that time but I must say I've always been very frustrated about the editind... It seemed the first 25 minutes where just a juxtaposition of sequences with no real link together, no explanation, to fast and even the music was not really synchronised...
I was expecting a Director's cut for a long time and I can say that IT IS MUCH MUCH BETTER!! The plot line is now smoother, the intrigue ellaborates with good rythm, the quality of the image is sharp and the music is less a background noise this time and more efficient. Plus the commentaries are instructives and the interviews very informative.
IN A WORD: Buy the Director's cut and throw the old dvd away...
My only complaint: for a dvd made in Canada (mine was) there is no french subtitles (only a third of Canada speaks French after all! -ironic laugh-)...more info
- A classic film gets it's due!
The movie was amazing when it came out and the transfer was spectacular! I owned this on DVD earlier and it simply couldn't take advantage of my sound system the way this version does on BR. A must purchase for fans of the dark sci-fi type genres... ...more info
- Awesome Movie
Good to sse this come out in a director's cut. This is a great movie. It is also the most "original" sci-fi movie ever....more info
- Dark City Director's Cut Blu-Ray is the definitive version of the Matrix-inspiring classic
It was pure chance that I watched Alex Proyas's masterpiece back in 1998. Nothing better to watch, so although the trailer left much to be desired, in I went. Lucky me: the movie blew me away, in much the same way that Neo's "this isn't real?" would blow me away the following year. I won't spend more time discussing the merits of the movie itself, let's just say it ranks in my top 3 as a stunning work of art and philosophy.
The changes in the Director's Cut are actually quite significant, and watching it I repeatedly raised my eyebrows and even gasped at a few of the scene changes. I still haven't decided which version of the movie is better, but thankfully both are on the disc for your viewing pleasure.
The image quality is everything you would expect from Blu-Ray... Watching it on my friend's Pioneer Plasma was a fantastic experience. As you can imagine, black levels are extremely important in this movie, and Proyas's excellent cinematography can really shine in this format. The surround sound is equally amazing.
I haven't checked out the extras but this is a great movie in a great presentation. It's a must-buy....more info
Kudos for having both theatrical and directors cut on the same blu-ray. The quality is stunning and the sound is chimed to perfection. This is an unusual film. It is a noir science fiction. Think Bogart meets the Borg from Star Trek. Not for the casual film fan....more info