I've gone on about The Matrix a lot lately, and my love of the Wachowskis (3), but I never go on about Alex Proyas' Dark City, mostly because I keep forgetting about it. The Matrix, which shared some similarities with Dark City, came later but was so unlike everything I'd seen before that it eclipsed the previous film. Plus, you know, the fighting. The wonderful, wonderful fighting.
It's a shame, as Dark City is excellent, dealing as it does with issues of memory and identity, and features at least two things I've always wanted to see (4) for every one thing I didn't (5). Plus, lots of pre-Jack-Bauer panting from Keifer Sutherland. It's a corker, and an interesting companion piece to writer Lem Dobbs' other forgotten mindbender, Kafka, which I always felt was given a hard time for no other reason that Steven Soderbergh was due a kicking from critics (6).
Alex Proyas is one of those directors I also tend to forget exists, but he's three for three in my book (7), and I'll always be interested in his work, even when it looks like he's put Nicolas Cage in another movie about knowing the future, which worked out really badly last time (8). That this is a director's cut intrigues me. I think it's a fine movie, but the first hour moves at such a hectic clip (compared to the perfectly judged final hour) that I often wondered if there had been some tinkering done to get us to the really crazy stuff. It goes so fast Graeme Revell's music doesn't pause for a second. It makes the first forty minutes or so feel like a single scene. Very odd. Perhaps that might be different with a new cut. We shall see.
So, anyway, we want this. On Blu-Ray. Which would mean we would have to buy a Blu-Ray player. And then re-buy my entire DVD collection on the new format. ::cries:: Please consider this installments 2-145 of Want! Now! Or maybe I'll just wait for holo-players and/or cortex downloads.
(1) Not to be confused with the popular Psychlo beverage Kerbango.
(2) Okay, I do want it, but unless I find a competition I can enter soon, I'm going to have to forget about it. If anyone hears of any UK competitions to win it, please leave a comment directing me to it so I can win it and ease my pangs.
(3) I've talked Canyon into seeing it at the IMAX this Friday. Yes, I am personally committed to saving this movie from oblivion/infamy!
(4) Richard O'Brien as a bad guy! Exciting psychic thinkoffs between floating people!
(5) Rufus Sewell with an unconvincing American accent.
(6) Turns out I was on the right track, and Soderbergh knew it. In Down and Dirty Pictures (which is essential reading for anyone interested in movies), Soderbergh says (on p.79):
I was going to get my head handed to me on my second film, pretty much no matter what I did. That's what I was prepared for. In a way I decided I would go out in flames by making a movie that had a really big bull's-eye on its chest.
That's probably his low self-esteem talking, because otherwise it's a bit of a smack in the mouth to Dobbs. Anyway, there are some mild similarities between the two, and I recommend you catch it if you get a chance, though apologies if the presence of Keith Allen gives you nightmares or episodes of nausea.
(7) Yes yes yes, I, Robot is not perfect, but it features some amazing set-pieces, and it
(8) He's also rumoured to be the number one pick to direct a Silver Surfer movie. Shades of Caruso approves!