Dark City (1998)

Rating: ****
Release Date: 2/27/98
Director: Alex Proyas
Cast: Rufus Sewell, William Hurt, Kieffer Sutherland, Jennifer Connelly

Wow. A spectacular film with all of the charm and creepiness of an old "Twilight Zone" episode, enhanced by totally mind-blowing imagery and special effects. Very much like "The Fifth Element" (1997), it's a shallow and content-free film that resembles live action anime more than anything else, but it's still very cool and immensely satisfying to watch. Keiffer Sutherland as an eccentric doctor is a little over the top, but all of the other performances are stellar. William Hurt is downright awesome and sexy Jennifer Connelly is to die for. Very dark and moody, with just the right touch of surrealism to keep you guessing and constantly intrigued.

Notes on the director's cut:
The director's cut seems mostly unnecessary, but it adds some extra dialog and character development, which is nice. The opening narration has been removed, which runs the risk of alienating first-time viewers, but I was never fond of Kieffer Sutherland's odd vocalizations in the film to begin with. The film also restores Jennifer Connelly's actual singing voice. While it's more authentic sounding than Anita Kelsey's obviously dubbed voice in the original version, it also lacks the smouldering seduction and conviction that Kelsey brought to the musical numbers. On the other hand, it lends Emma's character a bit more vulnerability and girl-next-door charm. However, the biggest difference in the director's cut is that the entire film looks like it was run through an ugly greenish-yellow filter, which makes it look awful. I'm not sure why Alex Proyas thought this was a good idea, because it really messes up everyone's skin tone. For that reason alone, I prefer the theatrical cut of the film.