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Dark City (1998)

Rufus Sewell , Kiefer Sutherland , Alex Proyas  |  R |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (796 customer reviews)

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Dark City (Director's Cut) Dark City (Director's Cut) 4.3 out of 5 stars (796)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Rufus Sewell, Kiefer Sutherland, Jennifer Connelly, William Hurt, Richard O'Brien
  • Directors: Alex Proyas
  • Writers: Alex Proyas, David S. Goyer, Lem Dobbs
  • Producers: Alex Proyas, Andrew Mason, Barbara Gibbs, Brian Witten
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: New Line
  • DVD Release Date: July 29, 1998
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (796 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0780622553
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #158,110 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Dark City" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Comparisons to 'Fritz Lang' 's _Metropolis (1926)_
  • Set designs
  • "Neil Gaiman" on "Dark City"
  • Interactive game "To Shell Beach..."

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Alex Proyas, (The Crow) directs this futuristic thriller about a man waking up to find he is wanted for brutal murders he doesn't remember. Haunted by mysterious beings who stop time and alter reality, he seeks to unravel the riddle of his identity.

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

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
411 of 456 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blu review only... July 26, 2008
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.
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118 of 128 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Science Fiction Noir August 16, 2000
'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.
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183 of 209 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Dark Sci-Fi Question-Reality Film March 18, 2003
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.
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68 of 76 people found the following review helpful
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.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Tour de forced!
In a fortuitous development for the writers, the movie's premise that people are just ever-shifting composites of stock memories meant that personal identity was meaningless and... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Daniel J. Green
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it since I saw It....
This is called a "Cult Classic" by Wikipedia but I say this is an awesome concept! I love the whole plot of this movie, and have done so ever since I watched this Movie in... Read more
Published 1 day ago by J Doe
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic!
This is a classic!
Published 8 days ago by Km! Ra
2.0 out of 5 stars Just not sure what the hype is all about. ...
Just not sure what the hype is all about. Gotta accept the idea of injectable memories, lack of collisions when people are put to sleep, and buildings being created in hours...
Published 9 days ago by B. Korek
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
brilliant and under-rated with the exact right cast.
Published 18 days ago by infinte_variety
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie!
Great Sci Fi.
Published 19 days ago by Neal
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 19 days ago by Cagary
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
This was so different that I really enjoyed it. A bit of a space thriller, but not. Anyway, a must see and must be a cult classic!
Published 28 days ago by Suzanne Schumacher
5.0 out of 5 stars The director's cut of Dark City is far superior to the original...
The director's cut of Dark City is far superior to the original theatrical release. The goofy narration has been removed and scenes that add to the flow of the story have been put... Read more
Published 29 days ago by David Buckner
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I love this movie and can watch it over and over !!!!
Published 1 month ago by Cynthia D. Stitt
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What I don't understand is why puts up all the reviews for Dark City under the Director's Cut version as well. I don't want to see reviews for Dark City, I want to see reviews for Dark City (Director's Cut).
Aug 15, 2008 by Michael Daggett |  See all 8 posts
Closed Captioned or English Subtitles?
I don't know about the Standard DVD edition, but the Blu-Ray version does. As such, I would assume the DVD does too. I haven't read anything to the contrary, and usually DVD reviewers are quick to point something like that out.
Aug 9, 2008 by A. Berk |  See all 4 posts
Director's Cut Note
Although I understand that the Standard DVD doesn't have the theatrical cut, the Blu-Ray does indeed contain both cuts of the film. From the opening menu you get to choose either the Director's Cut or the Theatrical Cut. Upon choosing the Theatrical Cut you'll be taken to a menu of what is... Read More
Aug 3, 2008 by A. Berk |  See all 2 posts
I can't speak for the DVD release, but having just gotten the Blu-Ray release, it seems to me that it the DVD includes the two original commentaries on the Theatrical Cut of the film, as well as three "expanded" commentaries included with the Director's Cut. This means that each of the... Read More
Aug 3, 2008 by A. Berk |  See all 4 posts
Will Amazon be re-stocking this anytime soon?
Yeah, I'd like to know as well. It's been out of stock for the last 2 weeks.
Sep 8, 2008 by M. Chen |  See all 2 posts
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