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Dark City [DVD] [1998]
Format: DVD|Change
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on 12 February 2016
A wonderfully dark journey into the imagination.

This is a film bursting with ideas, a cast perfectly suited to their roles and a expertly crafted atmosphere. The film combines a 1940s feel (Particularly the dialogue) with elements which crosses over into science fiction and horror, not unlike the Tim Burton Batman films of the same decade.

The plot follows a man with no memory, on the run both from the police and sinister agents, with a stranger's help he must uncover the truth about himself and the world around him which is not as it first seems, why for instance is it always night and why doesn't anyone seem able to leave the city? The score is nicely put together and really drives the movie along as well as some brilliant work from the art department.

The reason I couldn't quite give it 5 stars was, as I said the film is bursting with interesting ideas but some of them feel underdeveloped and I wanted them explored a little more, running at 100 minutes the theatrical version does feel slightly rushed, especially the ending. Also the motivation of the Strangers was also a bit unclear and non threatening to me, the consequences of their meddling was rarely shown and I think I'd have preferred it if the film makers had not revealed so early the existence of the aliens on the other side. These are minor complaints though, overall this is a fine movie.
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on 14 October 2012
Dark City is a film so filled with secrets that I can only describe a fraction of the plot and hope that my fellow critics have done likewise. John Murdoch (Rufus Sewell) wakes up in a strange apartment with a prostitute's bizarrely mutilated corpse. He has no idea how or why he found himself there, but is contacted by psychiatrist Dr. Schreber (Kiefer Sutherland) who claims he's in terrible danger. John is then pursued by the police and a group of aliens.
And that's all I'll say. The rest you'll have to discover yourself, as I did; it's an incredible journey, full of beautiful, surreal images and a screenplay which masterfully encompasses several genres, including two of my favourites, noir and sci-fi. The humans dress and talk like characters in a hardboiled drama; there's dames, cops and johns, and they live in a city which echoes Tim Burton's Gotham, with steam always rising from the sewers. The aliens, meanwhile, bear a striking resemblance to Nosferatu, and possess powers that evoke hypnotic visuals. The special effects are great, springing not just from technology but also imagination. What I love most about this film is its perfect marriage of imagery and story; neither element has been neglected, unlike, say, the Transformers series, which spends all its budget on special effects then gives them no reason to exist. Dark City is a banquet both visually and mentally.
The cast also does a magnificent job. Sewell gives a sturdy performance as the kind of hunted, haunted man beloved by Alfred Hitchcock, and Sutherland plays the nervous, eccentric shrink with his usual aplomb. Sutherland, perhaps best known for playing TV action hero Jack Bauer, is I think underrated when it comes to his subtler roles.
Dark City is an almost perfect masterpiece, and if I had to pick a flaw it would be its romantic element, which feels contrived and tacked on. I think it also creates a plot hole that I won't go into. Otherwise, however, Dark City is a smart, exciting mystery which is one of my favourite films, blending genres I love and all that makes cinema such a magical art form.
A note on the DVD: this isn't a feature packed disc, containing only a five minute "making of" segment and a two minute trailer.
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on 2 May 2016
This film was recommended to me by a friend and I'm so glad she did. If you enjoy science-fiction, film noir and a good action/mystery with great production values, I can recommend it to you. I won't go into detail because many others have already done so, but wanted to share my appreciation nonetheless.

I also enjoyed the DVD extras - as a writer with aspirations I have always enjoyed finding out the who and how of film-making, and the extras on this Director's Cut are well worth the extra pennies. I have also purchased the original version but have not yet watched it!

Dark City: Director's Cut [DVD] is a film worth watching.
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on 29 August 2015
Proyas masterpiece before he almost disappeared (he then made I-Robot and Knowing, 2 good films but not as musch as this one). Dark City is a very personal film, with a classy and noir view approach and a brilliant idea of a world that is like a creation of someone else mind. The sense of mystery and fight against fate is conducted with style and fascinating visual and writing solution, and this blu ray shows all the dark beauty of such a unique creation. It might reminds us of Blade Runner or Matrix but it's just Dark City
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on 30 October 2016
I thought I was a scif-fi buff but somehow managed to miss this. I had seen the film referenced and decided to remedy my mistake in not seeing it.

Almost a precursor to The Matrix in some ways but I could understand people disagreeing.

A top cast seems to have done little to promote what is essentially an excellent film. I might have rewritten the ending but it is what it is and if you did miss this when it was released well worth a bag of popcorn and a night in front of the tele.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 20 August 2014
`Dark City' strikes a chord in my disturbed soul.

You are asleep and talking to yourself in a voice that sounds like you're breathing your last. Your voice is echoing - it's cold and damp and you feel like you celebrated your hundredth last week. You're looking at colours that didn't exist when you went to sleep and are walking along a road you don't recognize past buildings that have not yet been designed. And it's night. Always night. You were there last night. You're there tonight and you're going to be there tomorrow night. Nobody will listen to you. You don't know where you're going nor where you came from. You smell smells that are unrecognizable and cannot remember your own name. The last train has left.

Welcome to your very own parallel universe. Welcome to `Dark City'. Great film. Buy it!
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on 4 February 2017
A light in the dark and cult classic. This was and still is a cult classic and ground breaking film. Sadly Alex Polxis has now left the big screen and has not been able to make any more block brilliant film . The problem is these only appeal to a small number of people, the cult hardcore fans but it does not mean they are either bad movies or do not defy the times but go beyond.
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on 4 January 2013
Right, lets get to it: this is NOT Bladerunner, this is NOT one of the Matrix series: is it as good? In many ways yes: the visual style and atmosphere are brilliantly portrayed adding a delicious noir feel to the mix. The plot is not the most complex and to be honest nor are the characters but in a way they don't need to be or indeed wouldn't work in this piece if there was and attempt to expand them. They are graphic novel staples for a reason: they fit. It is however the lack of layering of plot and character that lets this film down from having 5 stars to having 4. Still exceedingly good and often underrated.
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on 10 December 2009
I originally bought this film on DVD, so when it was released on Blu-Ray I just had to buy it. In a list of my top ten films this one would be in the top 5. The story draws you in so much so that at one point I began to think it was real and I was actually in the film, Keither Sutherland is just fantastic in this film and I could not imagine a more removed part for him to play especially as we all know him more famously from '24', he however is not the only star in the film and if you have not seen this Dark film, then I will not spoil it for you by giving away some of the plot or the weird/surprise ending of the film (which in my opinion made me love it more and more), hence me buying it on Blu-Ray. Once again a film that you will either Love or Hate.
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on 22 October 2017
A great film that pulls back the curtain on "reality" and makes you wonder how things really work in the world. Very gnostic in its approach. I knocked off a star because I thought the plot could have been a bit tighter, but a good film nonetheless.
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