WSR Detailed LaserDisc Review

Dark City
Genre:Science Fiction

Reviewed In Issue 30 Of Widescreen Review® Stars:
Rufus Sewell, Kiefer Sutherland, Jennifer Connelly, Richard O’Brien, Ian Richardson, William Hurt

WSR Review Scores
Picture Rating: 5
Sound Rating: 5+
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score:
Internet Links

Both LaserDiscs and the DVD feature the theatrical trailer and running commentary. The DTS® Digital Surround LaserDisc include additional commentary by film critic Roger Ebert on analog track right.

DVD General Information
(Studio/Distributor): New Line Home Video
(Catalog Number): ID4643LI
(MPAA Rating): R
(Retail Price): $49.98
(Running Time In Minutes): 100
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): Yes
(Theatrical Release): 1998
(LD Release Date):
(THX® Digitally Mastered): No

Credits Information
(Director): Alex Proyas
(Screenplay/Written By): Alex Proyas, Lem Dobbs & David S. Goyer
(Story): Alex Proyas
(Music): Trevor Jones
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer): Patrick Tatopoulis
(Visual Effects):
(Costume Designer):
(Editor): Dov Hoenig, ACE
(Supervising Sound Editors):
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers): Michael De Luca & Brian Witten
(Producers): Andrew Mason & Alex Proyas

DVD Picture Information
(Principal Photography): Super 16
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio): 2.40:1
(Measured LaserDisc Aspect Ratio): 2.35:1

DVD Sound Information
(DVD Soundtrack): DTS Digital Surround
(Theatrical Sound): DTS, SDDS & Dolby Digital
(Theatrical Re-Issue Soundtrack):
(Remastered Dolby Digital): No
(Remastered DTS Digital Surround): No
(Additional Languages):

WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
In Dark City, when John Murdoch (Rufus Sewell) awakens in a strange hotel room, he learns that he is wanted for a series of brutal murders. But in a city where reality is the ultimate illusion, discovering the truth could prove fatal.

LaserDisc Picture:

LaserDisc Soundtrack:
(Surround Bass Below 50Hz): Yes
(Aggressive System Surround): Yes
(Intense 25Hz Bass): Yes
(Deep Bass Challenging): Yes
(Aggressive 0.1 LFE):
(Holosonic Soundfield): Yes
(Aggressive Split Surround): Yes
(Center Back Surround Imaging): No
(Directionalized Dialogue): No
Superb Sound Effects Recording Quality:
Superb Music Score Recording Quality:
Superb Special Visual Effects Quality:
Superb Color Fidelity:
Superb Cinematography:
Reference LaserDisc:
Collector Edition:
DVD To LaserDisc Comparison:
The picture quality is excellent on both LaserDiscs and anamorphically enhanced DVD. Images are sharp and detailed, with the DVD delivering a sharper picture with better detail and texture. The picture is stylistically dark, but shadow detail and contrast are nicely presented. There is neither noise or artifacts for a satisfyingly solid and eerie visual experience. The LaserDiscs and DVD letterbox aspect ratios are framed at 2.35:1, while the anamorphic version is 2.23:1. Both the DVD and LaserDisc Dolby® Digital 5.1 discrete soundtrack and the LaserDisc matrix PCM soundtrack are superb. The discrete version does, however, deliver directional surrounds which enhance soundfield dimensionality. Bass extension is deep and powerful to below 25Hz, especially with respect to .1 LFE. The atmospheric music score is well recorded with an expansive soundstage, but dialogue is often forward sounding. The DTS Digital Surround LaserDisc sounds more dynamic overall and resolves low level ambience better and with more clarity.