on 16 August 2008
I have always liked the film but on blu ray it is something else. The picture quality is stunning as well as the sound.
What should be noted is that the blu ray disk contains both the theatrical cut(100mins) and the directors cut (111mins). The disk is also packed with an extensive range of extras such as 5 commentries and numerous making of documentries.
Overall this is one of my favourite blu ray disks and for the price it is a must buy for any fans of the film or any fans of science fiction in general.
on 31 March 2009
Dark City has been one of my favourite films for many years, it's a criminally underrated sci-fi film that, like one of it's influences, Blade Runner, was a flop when it was released and is only now starting to recieve some of the praise it deserves. Also, like Blade Runner, a decade after it's release it now sees the film given the 'director's cut' treatment. Unfortunately, unlike Blade Runner, this new cut does not improve/radically transform the film the way Ridley Scott's did. The main alteration is the removal of the opening narration which basically gave away the whole twist to the film, so that now the beginning of the film seems much more mysterious and is all the better for it. The rest of the changes just consist of slightly extended scenes that don't really add a great deal to the film. The dubbing of Jennifer Connolly's singing has been removed so that you can now actually hear the actress' own voice however there was a reason for why she was dubbed - she's just not a very good singer and I feel it let's those scenes down. Another gripe is that the excellent musical score has been significantly toned down to the extent that it's often barely noticeable which is a shame as I felt it really added to the atmosphere of the film. And some of the special effects actually seem to have been made less 'special' which I also think is a mistake. Where this DVD scores over the previous release, however, is in terms of it's extras which boast 3 commentaries, and a very informative 'making of' documentary. But in terms of the film itself, I feel that the original theatrical cut is actually the one I prefer, just turn the volume down for the first 2 minutes so you don't hear the opening 'spoiler' narration and you have a much more satisfying movie.
I have to say, like many, I missed this when it came out at the cinema so this was brand new for me. I think that it was a shame this missed out on the publicity as it is not a million miles away from the Matrix, and a year earlier, however with the ground breaking special effects and the big name cast, the Matrix seems to have taken all the glory. This disc contains both the original and theatrical releases, and with lots of extras this is a great disc for fans and new viewers alike. The film itself is a clever sci-fun/murder mystery film which keeps you interested for the whole time. It also looks and sounds good on the blu-ray transfer, giving you a great idea of the in depth and atmospheric sets. I enjoyed this very much!
on 19 May 2007
Breathtaking film. Beautiful to look at and it hurts your head to follow the plot. It's agressively intelligent and it doesn't wait for the popcorn public to catch up - you pay attention or you miss out.
That said, it's worth the effort, as all the strands fall neatly into place. Second and subsequent viewing show how everything was there for you to understand from the start if you could just get the jigsaw puzzle pieces to hold still long enough.
Extremely good performances from Rufus Sewell (Martha Meet Frank, Daniel and Laurence), William Hurt (Gorky Park, The Big Chill), Keiffer Sutherland (Lost Boys, 24), Richard O'Brian (Rocky Horror Show) and the sadly missed Ian Richardson (House of Cards, Hogfather). Where could you find a cast like that now?
It's all crafted by Alex Proyas, who went on to make a splendid job of I Robot.
Highly original, highly thought provoking, highly entertaining and highly recommended!
on 29 April 2000
I really loved this film. Strangely it's criticized for being more form than substance. Well yes, the movie is very stylish. And yes, it's a bit of a comic book world, with caricatural protagonists -- the dark city, the sad cop, the beautiful singer, the mad scientist. But far from being a weakness, this is a crucial element of the plot. I won't give it away; let's just say it's quite clever, even breath-taking and paradoxical. Like the Matrix, it was filmed in Australia, and it shares some of that film's (and that country's?) gloomy esthetic and mystical bent, without the fancy martial arts but with a tighter, more original and poetic plot. I haven't seen this film in a few years -- I really want to get the DVD soon!
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.
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.
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
on 31 October 2000
A bizarre comic book land (think Dick Tracy with less light) and a twisting storyling will keep you gripped, and the plot is very satisfying as it ties up all the loose ends and answers all the questions. But the DVD is really not up to scratch. The transfer is non-anamorphic, the featurette is very 'blink and you'll miss it' and the 'making of' is laughable. This is all an even greater shame when you see that the Region 1 DVD is packed with great things... once again region 2 residents are second class citizens!
A great film, a poor DVD.
on 13 October 2008
This is definitely the definitive version of Dark City that everyone should see. After watching it for the first time I was amazed at how heavily edited the original version was especially in the beginning half of the movie. In this version the added pieces of narrative help flesh out the characters and keep the movie's pace consistent, without making it too long. I also noticed it's easier to hear the dialogue as the soundtrack has been toned down from the less dramatic scenes, and it seems that Jennifer Connelly is actually singing in this version, either that or they've improved the overdub. Overall this still remains (even more so now) one of my favourite movies of all time!