Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Overlooked Movies -- Dark City

I was lucky enough to see Dark City in the theater when it first opened. I loved it. I thought at the time that it was the best P. K. Dick movie around, even if it wasn't based on a P. K. Dick story. Apparently not many people agreed with me, as the movie wasn't a hit. I thought it would be, which proves once again that my powers of prediction are negligible.

The story opens in the way of so many paperback originals that I can't count them. A man wakes up with no memory of who he is or how he came to be where he is (in a bathtub). He has blood on him, and, sure enough, there's a dead body nearby. And then things get really weird. No one knows what's real and what's not real because The Strangers are implanting people with false memories. Perception and reality are twisted so that it seems as if nobody really knows what's going on.

Nice performances from Rufus Sewell, William Hurt, Kiefer Sutherland, and Jennifer Connelly. Nice visuals, too, in a dark way.

If you like SF/crime mash-ups and you haven't seen this one, you've missed a real treat.

10 comments:

pattinase (abbott) said...

We liked it. You never know, do you. Look at DRIVER recently. I know no one who saw it.

Steve Oerkfitz said...

Roger Ebert picked Dark City as his favorite movie that year. It seems to be developing a cult following along the same lines as Bladerunner(which also did poorly when it opened).
It's one of my favorite science fiction movies.The bluray is very well done and contains the directors cut, and is relatively cheap for a bluray.

George said...

I have the Blu-ray of DARK CITY. There's also a version with Roger Ebert providing commentary scene-by-scene.

Randy Johnson said...

I've always liked this one. But I have some friends who think it pretty pedestrian. Never got that.

Fred Blosser said...

The missing link between David Lynch (the spooky nightclub scenes) and THE MATRIX (almost everything else in the movie). I was disappointed that Proyas' subsequent movies, I ROBOT and KNOWING, were nowhere as good.

Bill Crider said...

Those were big disappointments to me, too, Fred.

Fred Zackel said...

I was (backhandedly) grateful that the movie was a flop. My DVD copy was dirt cheap. I watch it at least once a year.

Vince said...

I'm a big fan of this movie, but especially the director's cut that came out on DVD a few years after the original release. It eliminates the opening voiceover that explains the entire movie and allows you to unravel what's going on along with Rufus Sewell. It's an even better film that way.

Sergio (Tipping My Fedora) said...

This movie is a great Noir / SF mashup but I couldn't imagine it ever being a big hit really - I love it because it has big ideas and big ambitions and tends to soft pedal the characterisation. Whereas you can see why the not dissimilar TRUMAN SHOW would, by being arguable just as conceptuual audacious but by putting the emphasis squarely on the main character and on making him relatable large audiences flocked to it - having Jim Carrey probably didn't hurt either. But I definitely prefer DARK CITY though - great choice!

mondal said...

I love it because it has big ideas and big ambitions and tends to soft pedal the characterisation. Whereas you can see why the not dissimilar TRUMAN SHOW would, by being arguable just as conceptuual audacious but by putting the emphasis squarely on the main character and on making him relatable large audiences flocked to it.
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