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Dark City [Import]

Rufus Sewell , Kiefer Sutherland , Alex Proyas    R (Restricted)   VHS Tape
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (362 customer reviews)

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Product Description


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

Special Features

- All New Director's Cut and Original Theatrical Cut of the Film -Documentaries: Introduction by Alex Proyas, Memories of Shell Beach (Making of), Architecture of Dreams - Production Gallery - Text Essays - Neil Gaiman Review of Dark City - Director's Cut Fact Track - Theatrical Trailer - Multiple Audio Commentary Tracks featuring Director Alex Proyas, Writers Lem Dobbs and David S. Goyer; Director of Photography Dariusz Wolski, Production Designer Patrick Tatopoulos and Film Critic Roger Ebert

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars City of darkness Feb. 22 2007
Cult films don't come much more groundbreaking than "Dark City" -- it was bending reality before the Matrix ever did.

At first glance, Alex Proyas' movie seems like a basic sci-fi little-man-against-evil-aliens flick. But it isn't. Instead, it's a dark grimy nightmare where nothing is what it seems, and everything we think is real is just an elaborate illusion. This is one of the rare films that is creepy from start to finish.

The Strangers are pasty-faced, bald, leather-coat-wearing aliens (think Darth Vader, post-mask), whose survival depends on somehow imitating human souls and dreams. So they created the Dark City, to observe and manipulate the unwitting humans.

Our hero John Murdoch (Rufus Sewell) wakes up naked in a tub, with no memory of who he is, and the police hunting him for brutal murders that he is sure he didn't commit. And worse, hes being pursued by the Strangers, without even knowing who they are or why they're after him.

And then he starts seeing past the Strangers' illusions. Buildings are reshaped, people's memories change, and the sun never appears. As John searches for hints to his past, he finds that the places he knew never existed -- and it's connected to the Strangers. Now John and a suspicious cop will unravel the truth of the City -- and of why the Strangers want John.

It's not surprising that "The Matrix" and "Dark City" are often compared. They deal with an illusionary "real" world, malevolent manipulation, and one man who might be able to stop the bad guys. But "Dark City" is very much unique -- it's dark, angular, and haunted, like if Fritz Lang made a sci-fi noir.

The Dark City is a pretty creepy place, like a... well, like a city at night, with some surreal skyscrapers, big cogs and giant clocks.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A few things you should know about 'Dark City' March 12 2010
By A Customer
The Amazon editorial review implies this film is all style no substance, but that is untrue. Although a lot of effort went into the style (partly in homage to Fritz Lang's 'Metropolis') the darkness here is no mere plot device, it is a metaphor.

The 'dark city' is an elaborate device created by a soulless race of aliens (who all look like John Gielgud, perhaps because they "use our dead as vessels") as part of a giant experiment to find out what makes humans IRREDUCIBLE (i.e. the part of us that can't be measured or quantified - our souls). 'Dark City' is clearly influenced by Gnostic spirituality, with its concept of a demiurge who has trapped us in a materialistic 'circle of circles'.

The film is tightly scripted and packed together, with extremely fast camera shots (like British show 'The Prisoner', with which it has much in common), and more than one viewing may be necessary to understand the plot in its entirety.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely an improvement Sept. 27 2009
'Dark City' has always been an interesting but flawed movie, and this Director's Cut fixes a lot of those flaws with the removal of a few changes forced on the director by the studio (e.g. excessive narration) and adding a few minutes of extra footage which helps to fill out some of the holes in the theatrical release.

As you'd expect, it looks great on Blu-Ray, and comes with some interesting extras. If you like the movie and have only seen the theatrical cut, I'd certainly pick up this version to see it closer to the way it was intended to be seen.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It is over before it begins July 9 2006
By bernie TOP 100 REVIEWER
In a city where the sun never shines and everyone knows the way to Shell Beach but you can never get there, John Murdock (Rufus Sewell) thinks he knows a truth, with his half remember past he now seeks to find out the cities secret.

It appears to be around the 40's and John is thinking of his wife Emma Murdoch (Jennifer Connelly), that now may or may not be someone else.

We are carried along with the story and just might find the secret out before John. Can we handle the truth?

What happens if john finds out how unique he is and whom he may be threatening?

"Dark City" (1998) seems like a short story (both story and screenplay by Alex Proyas "The Crow") with a simple prime that was fleshed out to movie length. The visuals gothic in feel and style will hold you long enough to allow you to enjoy the slow unfolding of the story. Jennifer Connelly seems like she should have been born in the thirty's/ forties as she looks and acts her part so well that you forget you are watching a movie; At times you forget that it is a sci-fi movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
"Dark City" will be remembered as the film that bridged the film noir genre at the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st.
Alex Proyas directs a suspenseful story on the meaning of reality in a dark, foreboding dream world. As people go about their lives, almost no one notices something is seriously wrong with their world. Until one man wakes up alone, one fateful night.
John Murdoch (Rufus Sewell) awakes in a hotel room to find he's lost most of his memories. Even worse, he may have committed a string of brutal murders against local prostitutes. Fleeing the crime scene, he finds himself pursued by not only the police, but also a mysterious cabal of cloaked men.
Assisted by a cowed doctor and a supportive woman who claims to be his wife, Murdoch learns the truth of the city, and its secret Masters, the Strangers.
The feature actors all give strong performances, as a confused Murdoch and a supportive Jennifer Connelly as Emma. Keifer Sutherland is impressive, especially when you contrast the cowardly Dr. Scheber vs. his characters from "The Lost Boys" or "24."
The sets are as compelling as the actors, and credit is due for the deliberate "retro" look of the city. Making of movie of this style look creative guts, and it paid off.
I just beg of the producers of the story one request: don't make a sequel, this story will always stand as a one and only!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A "matrix" like movie before it's time, really enjoyed it when it got out.
Published 26 days ago by STEPHANE LEVESQUE
5.0 out of 5 stars A gem of a film
A man wakes up in a bathroom. There are signs of a struggle around him, a dead body, and a broken syringe. His instincts scream at him to run. But why? Read more
Published 5 months ago by Hayley Cann
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Sci-Fi!
I saw this movie in theaters in 1998 & it still looks good today; good mystery & climax...Combination of neo-noir thriller & science-fiction...At this price=worth it!
Published 13 months ago by Steff66
5.0 out of 5 stars Most interesting topic
I liked very much the idea of the experimental world and how and why the extra terrestrials manipulate the humans. It's so utopic, but still logical in its own way. Read more
Published 16 months ago by tornitons
5.0 out of 5 stars dark city
this is one amazing movie. i would recommened this to everyone and i was shocked how fast it arrived at my home,.
Published 20 months ago by darlene mcnamara
5.0 out of 5 stars A great movie made even greater
Dark City is a 1998 film which I never saw in the theatres but grew to love on television. Next to Blade Runner, Dark City is my favourite science fiction flim. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Gregory
1.0 out of 5 stars Missed the mark
This is one of those movies that in more skilled hands could have been something special. Unfortunately the dialogue was dreadful in parts, the scenes were poorly constructed, the... Read more
Published on Nov. 10 2011 by Mark
3.0 out of 5 stars make it a full year's worth--the 365th review
You can read opinions elsewhere as there are 364 of them as I write this. Saw this for the first time in whole in 2010 after Inception came out. Read more
Published on Sept. 4 2010 by Brian Maitland
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointment
The theatrical version of this film is one of my all time favorite. The directors cut only adds 11 minutes and that 11 minutes diminishes a great movie. Read more
Published on July 3 2010 by George Allanson
4.0 out of 5 stars Love this movie - Why is it twice as expensive as the US Amanzon...
This is a great great movie. I agree with the other two poster's who commented that the director's cut filled in some gaps of an otherwise great theatrical release, making this a... Read more
Published on March 24 2010 by A. Keenan
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