Astronaut Sam Bell has a quintessentially personal encounter toward the end of his three-year stint on the Moon, where he, working alongside his computer, GERTY, sends back to Earth parcels of a resource that has helped diminish our planet's power problems.
John Murdoch awakens alone in a strange hotel to find that he has lost his memory and is wanted for a series of brutal and bizarre murders. While trying to piece together his past, he stumbles upon a fiendish underworld controlled by a group of beings known as The Strangers who possess the ability to put people to sleep and alter the city and its inhabitants. Now Murdoch must find a way to stop them before they take control of his mind and destroy him.Written by
(at around 10 mins) During the time Murdoch is attempting to remember his first name, the little "Be Back at" sign in the haberdasher's window reveals one shot is a mirror-flip image, causing the sign's text and clock to appear backwards. See more »
First there was darkness. Then came the strangers. They were a race as old as time itself. They had mastered the ultimate technology. The ability to alter physical reality by will alone. They called this ability "Tuning". But they were dying. Their civilization was in decline, and so they abandoned their world seeking a cure for their own mortality. Their endless journey brought them to a small, blue world in the farthest corner of the galaxy. Our world. Here they ...
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Here's most of the differences between the 1998 theatrical version and the 2008 director's cut:
The opening narration with Dr. Schreber's voice has been omitted in the director's cut
A bunch of the shots with John tuning have been altered/replaced
A new subplot is added with John's unusual spiral-shaped fingerprints and how he's "evolved"
Some of the effects with the Strangers "true form" have been tweaked with
The color timing was altered to a more green and yellow tint, compared to the blue and gray tinting from the theatrical version
During all of Emma's singing scene's, you can now hear Jennifer Connelly's voice instead of Anita Kelsey's voice from the theatrical version
The shots in the opening where it shows the city about to fall asleep have been moved to a later part of the film
The opening scene in the bathtub has been extended
Some of the shots showing the dead hooker are alternative shots
The scene in the lobby has been extended with entirely new shots, including a shot where a lady falls from a phone booth due to her unconsciousness
The shot with John leaving the hotel has been extended
The shots with the scene when the hotel owner enters John's room and encounters the Strangers have been extended and re-arranged
The scene when Emma is in Schreber's office contain alternative shots and alternate dialogue
The shots of when we first see Bumstead playing the accordion have been re-arranged and extended
Dialogue was added when Bumstead investigates the victim and contain alternative shots
Extra dialogue between Emma and Bumstead
It's revealed that the hooker John goes to also has a daughter, thereby giving a different motive for his departure
Extra shots of when John goes up to the billboard
When John is up on the billboard, in the theatrical version he goes through some of the newspaper clippings and continues to stand up while doing so. However, in the director's cut, he sits down after examining some of them looking a lot more shocked.
Some dialogue was added at when Mr. Book is speaking to all the other Strangers in their lair
Extra dialogue between Emma and Bumstead while in his car
Alternative shots and extra/alternative dialogue of when we see Emma get out of the shower and sees John sitting down
Extra dialogue between Schreber and Bumstead
Extra dialogue between Mr. Hand and Screber plus the addition of shots with John watching the conversation going on between them and John checking out Schreber's bag
Extra dialogue between Mann and Frau while having dinner
Extra dialogue between Schreber and Mr. Hand
When the Strangers have another meeting in their lair, extra dialogue was added and also contain alternative shots
Alternative shot of when John sees the newspaper salesmen and remembers that he was also the hotel owner
When Walenski confronts John about there being no way out, Walenski has an extra line of dialogue in the theatrical version, "You're not a killer. They set you up with a fake identity, Iike everyone else here."
Extra dialogue between Emma and Mr. Hand
The scene of when John is looking through photos of his "past" contain longer shots
Extra dialogue between Emma and Bumstead
A new scene was added showing the dead hooker's daughter hiding under the bed
The scene when Bumstead confronts John contains alternate shots
Extra dialogue between John and Emma
Extra dialogue between John and Schreber along with alternative shots
The entire scene with John, Bumstead, and Schreber in the car has been extended with extra dialogue, contain alternative shots, and add a scene where John uses his tuning against Schreber to force him to help John and Bumstead find Shell Beach
Schreber gives extra dialogue when explaining why they're in the city
A bunch of the shots during the duel between John and Mr. Book have been tweaked with
In the theatrical version after the fight, John says to Schreber, "I'm gonna fix things"
This is probably the best Sci-Fi-Film of the Ninetees. Matrix is good, but this film is better. Both deal with the same question: What is reality? Not only was Dark City first, it also handles the subject much better and more adult than Matrix. Also its conclusion is far better than the one of Matrix.
Not only does this film deal with reality, it also deals with humanity, something which lacks Matrix. What makes us humans? To quote Dr. Schreber from the film "Are we more than just the sum of our Experiences?" This film is slowpaced, but not boring at all. And it deserves the title: Dark. The film is dark, "noir" and this gives the film a great atmosphere. The darkness and coldness of the strangers is in contrast to the bright light of the sun created by John Murdoch in the end.
This film is very philosophic, which I like. The best films are those which help us to think and this one clearly is such a film. Something which is needed in our society of marionettes and idiotic consumers who know more than anyone else before in history but who lack the ability to truly think.
The show down was a little weak, but the film made this up again at the very end with the last meeting between Murdoch and Mr. Hand. I remember Murdoch's words well and he speaks of a truth which is sometimes forgotten: What makes us human is not to be found in our heads, our brains and our minds.
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