The critically-acclaimed triumph from visionary director Alex Proyas (I, Robot, The Crow) is back with a brand new directors cut featuring enhanced picture and sound, never-before-seen footage and three commentary tracks t... more »hat take you deeper than ever before into the world of one of sci-fis most exciting and revered tales. When John Murdoch (Rufus Sewell) wakes with no memory at the scene of a grisly murder, he soon finds himself hunted by the police, a woman claiming to be his wife and a mysterious group of pale men who seem to control everything and everyone in the city. Starring Rufus Sewell (The Illusionist), Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind), William Hurt (A History of Violence) and Kiefer Sutherland (TVs 24).« less
"I noticed the 440+ reviews here are for the film - not the Blu so I at least wanted to answer some common questions about this cut.
The director's cut is 111 minutes with the already mentioned changes listed here and everywhere - including the removal of the beginning narration, more character development scenes, etc. The transfer looks phenomenal (compared to how I saw it prior - even upscaled). I played the title on both a Panasonic plasma and a Bravia via a 80 GB PS3 and Sony BDP301. I paused the film in over 34 spots of action, dark contrasts, bright colorings and various hue changes. Virtually every frame looked excellent, especially the scenes with Jennifer Connelly singing; the majority of the colorings were in her scenes until those last beach sequences.
The special features are the same between the DVD and Blu with the exception of one of the commentaries. The 7.1 DTS HD sound was enjoyable, even though two of the channels were primarily used in the large machine sequences only.
A worthwhile Blu addition and I did not see too many failings in the grain reduction/transfer issues I had read about."
Excellent Dark Sci-Fi Question-Reality Film
John Nolley II | Fairfax, VA United States | 03/18/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The trailers for Dark City suggested a film so complex and impeneterable to leave the viewer rather confused at its conclusion, yet in execution the film makes far more sense than the intriguing montage in the trailer.Set in a dark world--literally dark, as no one seems to remember being out during the day--the film focuses on John Murdoch (Rufus Sewell), a man who awakens amnesiac to find a murdered woman nearby. Soon thereafter pursued by the police (led by William Hurt), he must solve the mystery of his missing memories and eerie pursuers.Helped along the way by a woman claiming to be his wife (Jennifer Connelley) and a pendactic psychiatrist (Kiefer Sutherland), Murdoch learns that his pursuers are a race of aliens with the power to warp reality with their minds who continually change the city and the memories and even lives of the people inhabiting it in an experiment designed to save their lives. Murdoch has developed their same power to "tune" and save humanity from the aliens' machinations.The film's theme of questionable reality--carried across on two levels as both human memories are manipulated and the physical world itself changed on a nightly basis--is done fairly well if somewhat less successfully than the in the Matrix.Replete with dark imagery suiting the film noir genre and quite at home in Blade Runner, the movie makes for a stunning visual performance. The aliens are masterfully done as frightening and eerie outsiders. My only complaint is that I was able to grasp the film's actions and meanings on a first viewing with little difficulty; I had expected to come out with the sense of, "What the heck?!" that would require two or three viewings to fully digest the film's depth. Yet that aside, the film is still a definite watch for any fans of film noir or reality-questioning sci-fi.The DVD includes a number of special features to sweeten the deal, including two commentary tracks, the theatrical trailer (whose music unfortunately didn't make it into the film), an isolated score track, and more. The video and audio transfers are crisp and clean."
Science Fiction Noir
Ravenlore | California | 08/17/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"'Dark City' is pure science fiction noir and a visual feast: a gloomy metropolis encrusted with bristling Gothic ornament, redesigned and reinvented in impressive FX sequences night after night. Making up original stories in the noirish setting is one difficult task, as you can tell by watching the movie. It is complicated and mysteriously complex, all to the point where, if you take your eyes of the film for one second, you can get lost. Every moment of your attention must be paid to the movie as it unfolds, otherwise you may perhaps not appreciate the quality and effort that movie brings on. Films like "Dark City" are the pinnacles of imagination and visual style--you look at them and wonder, how any human being could possibly create such breathtaking scenarios and stories. The movie is not for one second dull and dreary, and never for one moment a let down. The premise of the movie, outlined by Kiefer Sutherland's "mad doctor" character as we descend into the "Dark City", is that a race of aliens is dying, although they are advanced enough to control spacetime through thought alone, a process known as "tuning." His character is central to the plot of the aliens' experiments with a cast of human subjects by rearranging their memories nightly - not just within an individual, but from one person to the next. The whys and wherefores revolve around one John Murdoch, played with urgency by Rufus Sewell and shadowed throughout by John Hurt's angular, intense police detective.In this era of pretentious, over the top sci-fi films (The Matrix) Dark City stands as a triumph of imagination and will endure for years."
A masterpiece, now even more perfect (plus DVD supplements).
Adnan Khan | 05/16/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A brilliant film from Alex Proyas, that expertly mixes noir, science fiction and themes of existentialism. A lot has been written about this great film (go read Ebert), so I won't repeat. But here are the confirmed special features for the DVD release; it's a packed-to-the-gills release, and Amazon had not updated the product page at the time of this post.
* The disc will carry both the theatrical and director's cuts of the film - each of which will be presented in anamorphic widescreen, along with an English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround track. * Extras will include: - 3 commentary tracks (with director Alex Proyas, Writers Lem Dobbs, and David S Goyer, Director of Photography Dariusz Wolski, Production Designer Patrick Tatopoulous, and film critic Roger Ebert) - An introduction by Alex Proyas - A Memories of Shell Beach making-of featurette - An Architecture of Dreams featurette - Text Essays - Neil Gaiman review of Dark City - A production gallery - Trailers and more."
A question-your-existence dark fantasy that works.
D. Parvin | Boston, MA USA | 04/09/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Dark City is the equivalent of taking a train through a tunnel with the proverbial light at the end being either an oncoming train or the end of the tunnel - except the tunnel is a nasty horror film roller coaster loop without the majority of the gore and bad plot. (The light analogy is apt; Dark City is one of only two films I know of where no scene takes place in daylight, at least until the end of the film.)If you've never seen this, the plot is a man (Rufus Sewell with an American accent reminscent of Damian Lewis in Band of Brothers) accused of murder being forced to explore the underside of his city - and realizing something is very, very wrong in the very structure of the universe when memories don't add up. Feared and then supported by his wife (Jennifer Connelly as she just started becoming a superstar), helped at times by an amoral 'psychatrist' who has a lot more up his sleeve than therapy (Kiefer Sutherland acting for a change!), he is pursued by a droll detective (William Hurt) as they question the reality and realize the horror of their lives.The plot works here for several reasons, unlike much in this genre. The heroes are worth rooting for and clearly delineated against the real bad guys, and the explore-the-world theme that often overcomplicates plotlines this gets pulled along at a quick pace by at first the murder charge and then later the pursuit by the real baddies. Give the writers credit too - unlike the Matrix, the world created here doesn't borrow extensively from myth and religion and you don't need to watch five times to get the point. Cinematography is out of this world - and one of the reasons this picked up comparisons to Lang's Metropolis - and the sound track featuring a ton of brass, bass, drums and weeping violins fits.The DVD transfer has good blacks (important given that whole never see the sun thing) and I happened to actually learn things about films in general from the Ebert commentary.A good chaser of this genre after watching the last couple of Matrix films. Recommended."