08 November 2005

Darker City??

Hey guys, it's Donnie...I love Alex Proyas's Dark City. It was one of those movies that I had been meaning to see for years, but when Proyas had I, Robot hitting theaters last summer, I decided to watch all his previous films so I could get a better handle on him as a filmmaker. And boy, am I glad I did. Dark City was one of the first DVDs that I re-purchased in the wake of The Great DVD Theft of 2005, aka, the night that some asshole broke into my apartment in LA and stole all my shit.

However, it now seems that I may have been a bit hasty. While buying DVDs I've been trying to shop smart (shop S-Mart!) and not buy older editions of films that will likely get a new treatment in the near future. However, Dark City was like eight bucks, so I figured, "Why not?" Well, Roger Ebert recently let it slip that he's recorded a commentary track for a new director's cut edition DVD. Ah....crap. There goes my eight bucks.

JoBlo broke the news yesterday, and they got a message from one reader who claims to have attended a test screening of the film before it was released and was absolutely blown away by it. However, he claims that this original cut was VERY different from the released theatrical cut. (Spoilers up ahead, so if you haven't seen the flick or want to be surprised by the DVD, you should probably skip down to the end.) Apparantly the opening narration didn't initially exist, which means that you had to discover everything about the film and who everyone was and what the hell was going on as it happened. The reader claims that this made for a much more powerful film and I feel like he's probably correct. The actual aliens themselves were also very different, having originally been created via either stop-motion or puppetry, giving them a much more "goopy and real" feeling. He also claims that the music was very different (although even he admits that it may have been a temp score) and the editing was much slower, more deliberate and Kubrickian, and that in general the theatrical cut had clearly been given the note to "speed up the pacing". (The spoilers have ended. You may go about your business.)

There's no gauruntee that these are the things we'll be seeing in this new "director's cut," nor do we even know when it's going to be released, as New Line has yet to even announce that such a cut exists. Personally I'd be very interested to see this earlier version, which sounds pretty cool in and of itself, although it would probably be more interesting to see how it compares to the theatrical cut, which I love almost as much as my childhood summers spent on the shores of Shell Beach...


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