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Dark City
     

Dark City

4.0 16
Director: Alex Proyas, Rufus Sewell, Kiefer Sutherland, Jennifer Connelly

Cast: Alex Proyas, Rufus Sewell, Kiefer Sutherland, Jennifer Connelly

 

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Alex Proyas (The Crow) directed this noir-styled futuristic thriller, scripted by Proyas, Lem Dobbs (Kafka), and David S. Goyer (The Puppet Masters). Separated from his wife Emma (Jennifer Connelly), amnesiac John Murdoch (Rufus Sewell) awakens alone in a strange hotel to learn he is wanted for a series of brutal killings -- but he can't remember

Overview

Alex Proyas (The Crow) directed this noir-styled futuristic thriller, scripted by Proyas, Lem Dobbs (Kafka), and David S. Goyer (The Puppet Masters). Separated from his wife Emma (Jennifer Connelly), amnesiac John Murdoch (Rufus Sewell) awakens alone in a strange hotel to learn he is wanted for a series of brutal killings -- but he can't remember if he did or didn't commit these murders. Indeed, most of his memories have completely vanished, and he becomes the focus of interest for both mad genius Dr. Schreber (Kiefer Sutherland) and sympathetic detective Frank Bumstead (William Hurt). Attempting to unravel the twisted riddle of his identity, Murdoch encounters a group of ominous beings known as the Strangers, shadow-like figures who have a collective memory and possess the ability to stop time and alter physical reality through a process called The Tuning. Focusing their minds, they are able to change the size and shape of the material world. Murdoch manages to stay a step ahead of his adversaries as he slowly jigsaws together the puzzle of his past-bittersweet memories of his childhood, his love for Emma, and the key to the murders -- while following a labyrinth leading to the Strangers' Underworld, a set inspired by Fritz Lang's Metropolis. Rufus Sewell commented on the Underworld: "When Alex first sent me the sketches for that set, I was more excited than I had been when I read the script. The Underworld was truly remarkable -- a little bit scary, very thrilling, and full of hundreds of bald people." At the Fox Film Studios in Sydney, Australia, where 50 sets were built, three months were spent constructing the set for the Underworld, the largest indoor set ever built in Australia. The production design by George Liddle (Rapa Nui) and Patrick Tatopoulos (Godzilla, Space: Above and Beyond) is a composite of different styles and eras, combining the look of 1940s Manhattan with German Expressionism. The music is by Trevor Jones (G.I. Jane). The film's dedication reads: "In Memory of Dennis Potter with gratitude and admiration."

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
An extremely ambitious film about the nature of the human soul, Dark City is worth seeing for simply for its visual artistry. The film presents a bleak, film noir-ish urban landscape of no particular era and perpetual nighttime. The imaginative story begins as a crime thriller, though we quickly learn that the murder mystery is part of an all-encompassing puzzle that blends the realms of science fiction and philosophy. Dark City takes what could have been a wildly pretentious storyline and imbues it with skill and substance. Director Alex Proyas was responsible for the similarly desolate, dreamlike world of The Crow; with this film, he proves himself not just a visual wunderkind, but a deft storyteller as well (he co-wrote the screenplay with Lem Dobbs and David S. Goyer). Rufus Sewell is excellent as the brooding, justly paranoid John Murdoch, and Kiefer Sutherland is delightfully creepy as the wheezy Dr. Schreber. Those who like their stories straightforward and grounded in reality should be forewarned, but for those who don't mind mixing their entertainment with metaphysics, Dark City is one of the most overlooked films of the 1990s.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/29/2008
UPC:
0794043122965
Original Release:
1998
Rating:
R
Source:
New Line Home Video
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
1:51:00
Sales rank:
16,452

Special Features

Closed Caption; Expanded audio commentaries by film critic Roger Ebert, director Alex Proyas, writers Lemi Dobbs and David S. Goyer; Documenatries: introduction by Alex Proyas, Memories of Shell Beach (making of), Architrecture of Dreams; Production gallery; Theatrical gallery

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Rufus Sewell John Murdoch
Kiefer Sutherland Dr. Daniel Schreber
Jennifer Connelly Emma Murdoch
William Hurt Frank Bumstead
Richard O'Brien Mr. Hand
Ian Richardson Mr. Book
Colin Friels Walenski
Mitchell Butel Husselbeck
Frank Gallacher Stromboli
Bruce Spence Mr. Wall
Melissa George May
John Bluthal Karl Harris

Technical Credits
Alex Proyas Director,Original Story,Producer,Screenwriter
Steve Andrews Asst. Director
Axel Bartz Set Decoration/Design
Mara Bryan Special Effects Supervisor
Jenny Carseldine Set Decoration/Design
Michael De Luca Executive Producer
Lem Dobbs Screenwriter
David S. Goyer Screenwriter
Judith Harvey Set Decoration/Design
Richard Hobbs Art Director
Dov Hoenig Editor
Trevor Jones Score Composer
Liz Keogh Costumes/Costume Designer
David Lee Sound/Sound Designer
George Liddle Production Designer
Sarah Light Set Decoration/Design
Andrew Mason Producer,Special Effects Supervisor
Valerie McCaffrey Casting
Michelle McGahey Art Director
Vanessa Pereira Casting
Patrick Tatopoulos Production Designer
Arthur Windus Special Effects Supervisor
Brian Witten Executive Producer
Shauna Wolifson Casting
Dariusz Wolski Cinematographer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Dark City
1. The Strangers [2:00]
2. John Murdoch [5:19]
3. Dr. Schreber's Office [5:00]
4. Automat [7:01]
5. He Can Tune! [3:38]
6. Who Am I? [4:39]
7. Thinking in Circles [6:54]
8. Tuning Begins [13:50]
9. Imprinted Memories [8:47]
10. Search For Murdoch [8:17]
11. Tuning Time Again [5:36]
12. Do You Remember? [5:18]
13. "Sleep" [3:03]
14. Dark Secrets [6:36]
15. Final Imprint [3:08]
16. To Shell Beach [10:47]
17. End Credits [5:06]

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Dark City 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of the best movies I've seen. Rated as the number one movie of the year that year by Roger Ebert and deserves to be more popular than it was. I am not some blind fan - I am telling you that Dark City will stay with you in your head for a few days after watching. I fell in love with 'Mr. Hand' and the way he spoke, mimicking his 'Sleep... NOW' quotes. The movie unravels at a deliberate pace so that you can relate with the main character, who, as you might guess, doesn't remember anything including his own name when he wakes up. The pace is given a shot in the arm when you see entire skyscrapers literally grow out of the ground as if they were organic - the visual impact is obvious. The commentary by Roger Ebert, who discussed the movie with a class that summer, is also highly recommended viewing. Additional details can be picked up with repeated viewing. Great, great movie.
blearyeyes More than 1 year ago
Whereas some Directors cut versions of familiar films do not quite live up to expectations This does and does it in spades. It is a completely different and totally improved film. Every image is packed with so much detail that it is impossible to catch it all in just one viewing. For anyone who is a fan of this film this is a must- a gotta have, must!
AlchemystAZ More than 1 year ago
Film Noir meets Sc Fi. Awesome may be an over-used word, but this is.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
While a good entertaining film to watch, it looks like the writer borrrowed some of his ideas and characters from the french/english film 'City of Lost Children'. The idea of living life thru others and the look of the sets and the Strangers comes staight out of the other film.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i saw the cover of this when i was younger and i thought it would be the scary and science fiction ish type of film. now years later finally saw it and it wasn't what i was expecting. should of kept that comparison to matrix in mind. the strangers look almost badass and reminded me of hellraiser's pinhead's outfit. this is the story about a guy and a creepy underground world. and kiefer's character was kinda annoying especially the way he talked. jennifer connelly was pretty and liked her hair. the film was okay though don't expect much just from the cover like a book and cd.