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Monday, November 16, 2009

Review: Dark City, Director's Cut

I was first introduced to the movie, Dark City by Steve Grimm, who told me that it was one of the best movies ever made, only marred by the movie studios who stuck in a narration at the start that spoiled everything. He loaned me the New Line Platinum edition DVD, and told me to stick it into my DVD player and skip the first chapter.

I went home, and did exactly that, and my brothers and I were captivated by the movie. The story was well-told, the actors portrayed what felt like a very real world but in a surreal environment, and the visuals quite unlike any movies I had seen up to this point. When I saw that the director's cut was out, I bought it, despite my fear that somehow knowing the plot would make the movie less watchable.

It turned out that the director's cut is only very subtly different from the original theatrical release. The opening narration is gone (a mistake admitted by the director), and some scenes have been extended for more character development, but to be honest it was so long ago since I saw the theatrical release that I no longer remember what scenes were there as opposed to not.

Regardless, the story is still compelling, moving forward quickly enough to keep your interest, but not so fast as to lose you. William Hurt plays his role with verve, and Jenny Conelly has a luminosity in her scenes that has only grown since. All in all, 90 minutes very well spent.

Highly recommended. (Note: this movie is R-rated, not for any particular scene, but the intensity might be a bit much for young viewers. Lisa had a nightmare afterwards)

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