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DVNR city


As “a pretentious arse […] with no sense of humour” (it’s fascinating the sort of things you can happen to find written about yourself on the Internet), it’s sometimes difficult for me to tell whether something is meant to be a joke, so here’s my question: is New Line’s treatment of Dark City intentionally funny? That’s certainly how it feels to me, and I certainly can’t imagine any semi-competent technician actually thinking this looked good, but oh well. Take a look at the waxworks on display and judge for yourselves.

Then have a look at how one of director Alex Proyas’ other films, the vastly inferior I, Robot, looks on Blu-ray, and weep.

Dark City: Director’s Cut
(New Line, USA, VC-1, 20.3 GB)

Dark City Dark City Dark City Dark City Dark City Dark City Dark City Dark City Dark City Dark City Dark City Dark City Dark City Dark City Dark City

Posted: Sunday, August 31, 2008 at 5:27 PM | Comments: 22
Categories: BD Impressions | Blu-ray | Cinema | Technology | Web



Are you saying that you're not a pretentious arse? I mean that in the sweetest way of course.

Posted by: rebel_scum, August 31, 2008 7:01 PM


No, he\'s just a wanker...

Posted by: Basildon Bond, August 31, 2008 7:13 PM


No, he\\\'s just a wanker...

Posted by: Basildon Bond, August 31, 2008 7:13 PM


No, he\'s just a wanker...

Posted by: Basildon_Bond, August 31, 2008 7:14 PM


Steady on!

Posted by: rebel_scum, August 31, 2008 7:52 PM


And all this just because I didn’t like Doomsday

Posted by: Whiggles, August 31, 2008 8:24 PM


Never mind. You can tell that you've made it when absolute strangers start insulting you. Nobody wastes their time on internet critics whose ramblings are read by nobody.


Posted by: Baron Scarpia, August 31, 2008 8:56 PM


Do you want me to come over to your LJ and brutally insult you, Baron? I can tell you’re feeling a little left out of all the fun. You only have to say the word and I can make it happen.

Posted by: Whiggles, August 31, 2008 9:15 PM


I have never seen Dark City and will likely wait and catch it on television some day which means a cropped version no doubt.
I certainly won't pay for a DNR smeary edge enhanced mess proclaiming itself as high definition.

I Robot was good fun....Very enjoyable flick which bears no real relation to the actual novel by assimov. The Blu Ray is a textbook example of how to do high definition right.

I watched The Gauntlet on Friday and it too has been DNRed....That delicious smooth look without the grain....I hate it....I want film to look like film not high definition sports or entertainment channels.

Posted by: FoxyMulder, September 1, 2008 10:53 AM


Ah yes, The Gauntlet. I saw some screen captures of the Blu-ray release over at DVD Beaver and immediately thought “That looks kinda weird.” Judging by the screen captures, it’s nothing like as bad as Dark City, but it still doesn’t look the way it should.

I, Robot was enjoyable enough, but Dark City as a whole is, to me, a much more impressive film. And it’s not filled with product placement for shoes to boot. :D

Posted by: Whiggles, September 1, 2008 11:25 AM


I clearly must apologise for my remarks. I did not know you were that upset.

Posted by: Baron Scarpia, September 1, 2008 11:47 AM


Oh no, I’m not upset, I assure you. I’m actually quite amused, and my post (#8) was meant to be tongue in cheek, something I could probably have made a bit clearer. Sorry if there’s been a misunderstanding.

Posted by: Whiggles, September 1, 2008 11:50 AM


Robert Harris actually said this film had not been plasticized. Oops.

Posted by: Kram Sacul, September 1, 2008 5:27 PM


I have the most enormous amount of respect for Robert Harris and the efforts he has put into restoring films. However, as I understand it, his expertise is in the physical aspects of film restoration, not with digital “enhancement” and encoding techniques. Suffice it to say that, when he starts talking about DVNR and so on, he’s entering into an area that he may not really know a great deal about, and yet because he is an authority in one film-related field, people seem to assume that he is just as much of an expert in others.

Posted by: Whiggles, September 1, 2008 5:35 PM


Just finished the Miami Vice blu-ray. That's the ANTI-DNR poster child right there. I could almost feel the grit in my eyes. Still don't know what the fuck's being said half the time...

Posted by: rebel_scum, September 1, 2008 11:53 PM


Miama Vice looked excellent on HD DVD too, so I’m hoping they used the same master for the Blu-ray release without any added tampering, unlike the Mummy films and U-571.

Posted by: Whiggles, September 2, 2008 10:26 AM


Miami Vice kicks ass on Blu-ray. Less filtering and a higher bitrate will do that.

Dark City is such a DNR house of horrors. I'd actually say it's worse than Patton because at least Patton doesn't have that kind of ugly EE. Just a trainwreck in HD.

Posted by: Kram Sacul, September 2, 2008 2:48 PM


I think you could be right. I haven’t watched Patton on Blu-ray, but from the screen captures I’ve seen its look is at least consistent, unlike Dark City which seems to have something different wrong with it in every other shot.

Posted by: Whiggles, September 2, 2008 2:53 PM


Did you spot the shot of Mr Hand flying away, after spying Murdoch at his uncle's. It's a static shot, but as Mr Hand reaches the top of the shot the thin veil of grain just suddenly vanishes. It's like someone forgot to push the DNR button back on after lunchtime. Shame really, it's glimpese here and there, which show what Dark City COULD have looked like. Had The Hunt For Red October going earlier. That's another fine transfer, all the grain for the world to see.

Posted by: rebel_scum, September 2, 2008 11:45 PM


Oh piss, I spelt 'glimpses' wrong.

Posted by: rebel_scum, September 2, 2008 11:46 PM


Yeah, Xylon over at AVS posted some sans-DNR "missed" frames, quite interesting.

Speaking of Vice, that one is Universal on good behavior, Whiggles. Let's just hope they keep it up...

(Check the nighttime rooftop shot in particular).

Posted by: Anon, September 7, 2008 9:20 AM


Mm, yes, finally an improvement thanks to the increased bandwidth and/or disc space. A pity I didn’t think much of the film, otherwise I’d probably be upgrading.

Posted by: Whiggles, September 7, 2008 11:31 PM

Comments on this entry and all entries up to and including June 30th 2009 have been closed. The discussion continues on the new Land of Whimsy blog:


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