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Dark City [Blu-ray] [Import]
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Dark City Director's Cut (BD)
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. Befitting a film of such ambition, the DVD includes a feast of bonus features, including audio commentaries by the director, producer, writers, and cinematographer, and also by film critic Roger Ebert, who named Dark City one of the best films of 1998. Also included is an isolated music track, an interactive game, and a photo gallery of production stills and set design sketches. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the DVD edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
At first glance, Alex Proyas' spellbinding movie seems like a pretty basic story -- a seemingly ordinary man is pitted against the mysterious aliens who control his world. But it is far more than that. It's a dark grimy nightmare where nothing is what it seems, and everything we think is real is just an elaborate illusion, suffused with murky noir atmosphere and a mesmerizingly creepy band of villains. This is one of the rare films that is sublime 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.
John Murdoch (Rufus Sewell) wakes up naked in a tub, with no memory of who he is, and a brutally murdered woman in the hotel room outside. Police inspector Frank Bumstead (William Hurt) and the cops are hunting him for a series of murders, but John is sure he didn't murder anyone. He also is the only who seems to notice that the Dark City is perpetually night. And he's the only one who doesn't spontaneously fall into a coma at midnight, which is when the the Strangers appear.
Who are the Strangers? Pasty, bald aliens inhabiting dead bodies who appear every night to rearrange the world. Buildings are reshaped, people's memories change, and some people's whole lives are altered. And before long, John discovers that the strangers are after him because he can "tune" reality as they do.Read more ›
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.
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.
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.
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!
Most recent customer reviews
Movie ratings are a matter of taste, of course, but I loved this movie. Visually beautiful and deserving of viewing projected onto a large screen. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Dance Day and Night
A "matrix" like movie before it's time, really enjoyed it when it got out.Published 22 months ago by Stephane Levesque
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 morePublished on May 20 2014 by Hayley Cann
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 on Sept. 23 2013 by Steff66