|Dark City (Director's Cut) [Blu-ray]
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Studio: New Line Home Video Release Date: 07/29/2008 Run time: 111 minutes Rating: R
If you're a fan of brooding comic-book antiheroes, got a nihilistic jolt from The Crow (1994), and share director Alex Proyas's highly developed preoccupation for style over substance, you might be tempted to call Dark City an instant classic of visual imagination. It's one of those films that exists in a world purely of its own making, setting its own rules and playing by them fairly, so that even its derivative elements (and there are quite a few) acquire their own specific uniqueness. Before long, however, the film becomes interesting only as a triumph of production design. And while that's certainly enough to grab your attention (Blade Runner is considered a classic, after all), it's painfully clear that Dark City has precious little heart and soul. One-dimensional characters are no match for the film's abundance of retro-futuristic style, so it's best to admire the latter on its own splendidly cinematic terms. Trivia buffs will be interested to know that the film's 50-plus sets (partially inspired by German expressionism) were built at the Fox Film Studios in Sydney, Australia, home base of director Alex Proyas and producer Andrew Mason. The underground world depicted in the film required the largest indoor set ever built in Australia. --Jeff Shannon
- An all-time classic!
I don't see why this film was considered to be terrible when "The Matrix" was a hit. Many people consider this movie hard to understand, but the plot is no more complex than "The Matrix". In fact, this film inspired "The Matrix". This film has great performances, great directing, great sets, great special effects, and a great plot. This is very much a sci-fi mystery with some great action scenes added into the mix. The plot is very thought provoking, and keeps you on the edge of your seat. This director's cut features some added scenes to let you get to know the charaters a bit more and deletes the annoying opening narration. These changes greatly add to the film. If you are a fan of "The Matrix", then I highly recommed this movie....more info
- Narration Begone!
Haven't had time to sit down and watch the new version yet, but I did take a few moments to check out the beginning and am ABSOLUTELY THRILLED that the opening narration is gone from the Director's Cut. I have always hated the opening narration which proceeds to tell you what's going to happen in the movie. Beyond my first viewing, I have never watched the original DVD with the narration - I keep the sound lowered until Keifer Sutherland looks at his watch, then raise it. I've never let anyone else watch it with the narration, either, especially if it was their first time seeing the film. Makes a great puzzle to assemble when you don't know what's going on.
Similarly, I was never able to watch Blade Runner until the narration was removed. Why would we need Harrison Ford to tell us what we can clearly see on the screen? Raspberries to New Line for forcing the insertion in 1998, kudos to New Line for allowing the Director's Cut (and keeping the original edit on the Blu-Ray addition as well for those who prefer that version....more info
- If you are from Europe, BEWARE!
I always check the regions of every Blu-ray I order from Amazon, carefully reading the region note, myself living in Europe. On Dark City page you could still read "all regions", but IT IS NOT! I bought it and I have no chance to see it on my European blu-ray, except reading the note "invalid region". Thank you, Amazon, for betraying my trust....more info
- No more spoiler narration!
This movie is my favorite of all time; however Keifer Sutherland's spilling of the beans within the first two minutes was always devastating to me. So, if you are a fan of the movie, then your number one question regarding the director's cut should be, "it there a voice over?" and the answer is, thank goodness, "No!!" ...more info
- All Regions?
Concur with the recent poster - check carefully. Just received this, and found it was 'Region A' and NOT 'All Regions' as described by Amazon. Shame the guys at Amazon are letting themselves down with regard to descriptions.. Great movie tho - as I recall.......more info
- AWFULL: Mortal Combat meets Crouching Tiger
I'd add "meets 28 Days Later" to the title, but that would be an insult to 28 days.
Wow. I can't believe this movie got so many rave reviews. Maybe it would be useful if the reviews included the reviewers age.
To even mention Blade Runner in context with this movie is a joke.
We both fell asleep, twice!
They don't make movies like they used to, thats for sure.
I wish I too could fight evil by pointing my forehead and issuing a "shockwave".
Look for my copy to turn up soon, cheap.
If you're an adult, best to skip this excersize in stupidity.
- I beg to differ with the Amazon.com official review
In my opinion, this is a compelling movie. Don't pay any attention to the review from Amazon.com. I do not think that the reviewer understood it. I think the movie is fabulously cast and acted. The screenplay was very good and the cinematography was amazing. If the Amazon.com reviewer was looking for the unfortunate semi typical sci fi movie with a lot of machismo inspired war scenes between aliens and earthlings, they would not like this movie. This is a sci fi art film with a creepy dreamlike quality to it. If you watch it with an open mind, you will see that it gives the viewer the impression that they are watching someone's private nightmare. ...more info
- Best Blu-Ray PQ i've seen to date!
The picture quality in Blu-ray version is absolutely stunning!! This is how all transfers to high def should be. With a calibrated a TV you will be blown away with its inky blacks and spot on colors.
The finest BD I've to date. Buy this just to show off your rig and if you like the movie then just consider it a bonus....more info
- Fun to see but the original is best.
I concur with the opinion that, though fun to see, the added footage is underwhelming. The "bloat" definitely undermines the quirky, incongruous nature of the theatrical release. The DC cut seems cheaper and the characters more predictable. I did enjoy the opening sequence without the narration but beyond that the added 12 minutes made the movie a bit slow. Though I'm pleased I bought this version so I could experience the new footage, my yearly viewing of Dark City will be the original cut....more info
- Especially good for the internet age
An addendum to the other reviews.
It is possible that we will soon live in an (individually) customizable reality. For example, take some one whose primary reality verification source is the Internet.
Another example is basing decisions on "hunches." Which sensory channels did these hunches arrive from? Which part of your sensory spectrum could you guarantee? Are there possibly edge-of-spectrum inputs that you did not block out? Audio (ultra / sub-sonic suggestions)? Visual (infra-red / low-contrast suggestions)? A topic you hadn't thought about? Followed by recommendations about some possible ways you could feel about it?
Take the first issue - a channel like the Internet. You could, theoretically, be getting fed a self-consistent "channel," or selective reality.
Every now and then, it may help to break out and grab hold of some non-manipulable sources. Verify your accustomed reality using connections/"friends" besides your publicized ones.
Back to "hunches." Look at when you arrived at your hunch. Were you in an environment where you could not restrict edge-of-input-spectrum "suggestions?" Examine the possible source of your hunches. Select an environment where you could shut out some sensory or electronic input communication sources, at least temporarily. Hunches under these conditions are more likely to be based on your own synthesis.
This could be a remote possibility now. So dredge it up for reexamining later in a few decades. And if it's not valid then, then plug it into your calendar for and check its relevance in another decade or so.
This movie facilitates an outlier mindset. Somehow, its more successful successor "The Matrix" did not (at least for me). This at least got me developing back-of-the-mind responses to such outlier scenarios.
In a sense, this movie adds contingency planning, if for a currently remote risk, to the thinking of those who watch it. Other movies tend not to add real value. It also stands out as an interesting, unusual, and well-made movie. I would definitely recommend buying it. I tried twice, and got it this time.
- Awesome Movie!
I watched this movie about six years ago and loved it. I was excited to see it come out in Blu-ray and quickly jumped on it....more info
- Dark City [Director's Cut]
At last! A director's cut that actually improves on the original!
The 1998 version of Dark City was a fantastic film (apart from the studio enforced opening narration), very inventive plot with lots of good 'reveals' throughout, also, the cuts were very fast (I don't think a single 'shot' lasted longer than five seconds) which propelled the story along at a blistering pace.
The new edit has an improved 5.1 soundtrack and the re-cut has slowed the film down - which actually improves it. There are extensions to lots of scenes that round off each character's involvement in the plot, and the opening narration has been removed (hurrah!). The picture has also had a major clean up that reveals plot as well as detail.
The new extras are also very interesting and a welcome change from the usual, boring, "This is how we did the effects" documentaries.
All in all, a better version of an already outstanding film. 10/10.
- Great Movie but....
I really enjoyed this movie. The story was different and if you like the supernatural then you should enjoy this movie. They do speak in whispers through out the movie so you might have to turn up the sound. But otherwise the sound quality is good. My only really problem is the digital copy. If you have a Mac you can't download the digital copy of the movie. Also the digital copy is in standard definition. Ok this is one of those movies that is a cult type movie with its cult following but Guys in the studio distribution center stop being so cheap. If you are to make a Blu Ray out of the movie at least do it right and make this digital copy useful for everyone and in the same definition as the movie purchased (In Wide Screen). You are charging at least $18.00 for this movies purchasing price depending where you get it. That should always be part of the purchase and you wonder why people download movie by pirating, be a little more giving and more people would buy more. I do remind you that this movie was already released to dvd before so you are just milking it....more info
- Fantastic Movie Gets Amazing Director's Cut and AAA HiDef Presentation
Dark City has always been in my top five favorite movies ever since I saw it in the theater. Between the theater, VHS, and DVD, I have probably seen this movie 25-30 times. Now, with the release of the Director's Cut on Blu-Ray, I am sure I will be watching it many more times.
The D.C. has many new pieces that add to the puzzle of the storyline. Also, the removal of the intro voice over is a welcomed change. Top that off with a crisp HD transfer, with deep blacks and vivid colors, and you've got a real masterpiece here.
I cannot recommend this enough. Dark City is one of those movies that nobody seems to have heard of, but whenever I have forced somebody to watch, they ALWAYS love it....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
- 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.
- Jennifer Connelly
I bought this before watching it... it's a Jennifer Connelly thing. I would run away with her in a heartbeat.... but this is not one of her best movies. So I would would suggest renting it first. If you love it then buy it....more info
- Great Movie, and EXCELLENT video/sound quality
I am glad I waited to buy this on Blu Ray. It's a great movie and the Video and Sound quality in this Blu Ray disc are EXCELLENT...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
- Amazing Film
Imagine if you settled down for a nice warm bath and it was so relaxing that you fell asleep. You startle awake and look around the bathroom. Something feels wrong. You can't remember how you got there and you don't know who you are anymore. There's a strange looking syringe on the ground, so maybe this is drug related. That doesn't really explain the amnesia logically though. This all sounds unbelievable doesn't it? Impossible even. However, this is precisely what happened to John Murdoch (played by Rufus Sewell) and that's how "Dark City" opens.
Part of me doesn't want to say anymore about this film and the other part wants to tell you all about it. This movie truly is a psychological thriller with a sci-fi horror twist. (If you understand the relation of that line to Aqua Teen Hunger Force, you will be amused.) I actually can't think of a better way to lay it out. The viewer is essentially brought into a very strange world, but it looks very close to, say, a 1920's setting. Something feels very amiss throughout the whole movie and the viewer is left to unravel the mysteries with John. In this guise the movie is very expertly written because we never learn something too soon. All we know is that something feels off in this world and when everything is revealed it's quite shocking.
The film concept doesn't end there. It's actually a very deep film and if you pay attention to what's going on it asks very human philosophical questions. Such as if faced with extinction what would humanity do? What kind of atrocities could be committed in order to save our race? While the film doesn't precisely answer these questions it does help us understand the antagonists called The Strangers.
Despite the strong performances from Rufus Sewell and Jennifer Connely (John's love interest), I think that Keifer Sutherland's performance was the most impressive. He played sort of the mad scientist kind of role. I realize this film came out in 1998, long before Keifer was the surefooted star of 24, but to view this in retrospect shows how strong of an actor he really is. Not only does he play the role of mad scientist kind of character, but he's also overly nervous and exhibits a limp. I just felt this was kind of out of the norm for Keifer and was impressed that he pulled this off so convincingly. It's also strange that I mention this because he was not the main star of the film, which was Rufus Sewell.
Unfortunately the film doesn't answer all the mysterious questions that came to my mind, but that's okay. You don't need all questions answered in a story all the time. The film is so strong and so well written that these details can easily be overlooked as well. If you like delving into bizarre worlds with a science fiction element then this is definitely a movie to watch. I picked this up on a whim because it had an interesting cast and an intriguing synopsis. I was blown away, probably by the sheer fact I had no idea what to expect from this film. Amidst all this complexity it maintains a very strong and dark 1920's mystery feel as well. It's a very bizarre film, but also very well done in my opinion. If you are summarily intrigued by this then I do recommend you give this a viewing.
4.5 out of 5...more info
- Bald headed freaks were annoying....SLEEEEP
The skinheads looked like a bunch of malnourished prisoners from San Quentin (with the exception of the pint-sized bald urchin). They also reminded me of a bunch of Freddy Krueger Wanna-Be's; without the acne problem.
Kiefer Sutherland delivers his usual low-talking dialogue (just a tad louder than in "24"). Jennifer Connolly is an air-head nightclub singer (there is no day) and wife of "Murdoch." Murdoch? We wanders the streets "Tuning," between the 'time stops' and the 'flying baldies' pursuing him. Willian Hurt is cast in his usual "heavy" part that he's been relegated to, the past decade or so.
SHELL BEACH, SHELL BEACH, SHELL BEACH. Yeah......real fun movie (he says tongue-in-cheek). Then again, maybe my review is a fabrication and an illusion ;-)...more info
- FANTASTIC RE TELLING
Finally they have let the Director do it the way it should have been done. The story is much more enjoyable but even darker than before. It makes more sence with more character depth and also previous spfx errors have been removed and corrected. A far more superior version of the film with no studio interferance. ! two thumbs up!!!...more info
- Not quite a classic, but still a VERY good sci-fi movie
Very cool sci-fi-noir flick from 1998, where humans are the rats in some weird experiment. Hadn't seen this one in quite a while, and was glad to see that it still held up to multiple viewings. And I love the look of this film, which comes across great on Blu-Ray....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
- Shell Beach
I saw this in it's orignal version some time back. Didn't really catch on to it, was confused basically. Just watched the directors cut...and now I'm a beleiver. Second time around I had an idea of what this deal was about..and it made all the difference. I like entering a "different world" in a film, and this one does a very convincing job. Some magnificent sets, with moody lighting. Good actors, intriguing story. Looking forward to another re-watch in the future. ...more info