Blu-Ray Most Wanted - Number 1: Dark City

Now that I have fully adopted Blu-Ray (albeit via my US PS3), I’ve been looking ahead to some of the titles coming this year. For Blu-Ray to succeed it has to impress the masses over the next 12 months - this timescale will be enough to tell us whether the format is going to have any sort of longevity. We’re not going to see many big hitters this year, the Star Wars films, Indiana Jones and other classic blockbusters will be held back until Blu-Ray is more established. Thankfully that doesn’t mean we’re starved of quality as long as we know where to look.

Over the coming days I’ll be posting the titles I’m most looking forward to over the next year…

darkcityposter.jpgToday, my pick is currently only a rumour, but it’s a tantalising one! Alex Proyas’ mind-warping, little seen classic, Dark City. This film was drowned out on release by the hype that accompanied The Matrix, but it is by far the more rounded experience of the two. It requires constant attention - miss a couple of minutes and you may as well stop watching, but if you’re commited Dark City is totally rewarding.

The latest news is that writer, David Goyer, has said that we can expect new extended cut with new effects. The extended length means the film is being rescored and even more exciting is the prospect of a limited theatrical release; I can only hope that this theatrical outing makes it to the UK as Dark City should really be experienced on as big a screen as possible. The word is that a DVD and Blu-Ray release of this new cut will follow shortly after.

9 Responses to “Blu-Ray Most Wanted - Number 1: Dark City”

  1. John Hodson Says:

    I’m teetering; I think if I’d seen something like ‘The Searchers’ on Blu-ray (or if I had a PJ and 100″ screen) then I’d be knee deep in HD discs right now, but I’m trying to hold out for a Blu-ray player that laughs in the face of regional coding.

    I think I’ve pretty much given up on the idea of one that is also multi-region for SD, and upscales same to perfection, but that would be just dandy. If only…

  2. ColinP Says:

    I think region coding is something we might be stuck with long-term for standalone units. The only option for those who are adventurous enough is a Home Theatre PC with a Blu-Ray drive and AnyDVD. That would be the best all round solution and is pretty future-proof if downloads become the norm.

    I keep speccing up a multi-format multi-region HTPC, but the cost is just too much. However, with multi-format drives now under £100 it is becoming more feasible to put together something that plays any disc I stick in it, be it HD DVD, Region A, B or C Blu-Ray or any region DVD! Whack a DVD writer and digital satellite receiver card in and you have a unit that could even be used as a PVR with as much space as you need! If only I could find a nice looking case for it all :D

  3. John Hodson Says:

    Now that’s a plan…

  4. ColinP Says:

    The day I find a case I like that offers enough expansion, is not too big to fit in my AV cabinet and looks good I can see myself picking up everything I need! I am tempted to pick up the drive sooner rather than later to ensure HD DVD compatibility in the future…

  5. Ian W Says:

    I know what you mean about the size of the case Colin, mine would just about squeeze in my cabinet but without any room for it to ‘breath’. It’s currently sitting on a coffee table next to the cabinet. I’m not too worried about HD DVD compatibility though, after all it is now a dead format. AnyDVD is a very impressive piece of software, I’m currently using it when playing SD DVDs on my HTPC and will be upgrading to the HD version when I pick up a Blu-ray drive. There is one other thing you’ll need apart from just a drive and AnyDVD and that’s the software to play the discs as Vista doesn’t support Blu-ray movie playback. Thankfully WinDVD recently released a Blu-ray version as PowerDVD looked like the only option and I hate PowerDVD.

    John, seeing The Searchers on my Brother’s 32 LCD in 720p via his PS3 sold me on HD. Rio Bravo looks jaw-droppingly good too.

  6. ColinP Says:

    I agree regarding PowerDVD - I’ve always been a WinDVD user and would like to keep that up. I want to retain some HD DVD playback capability long-term as I already have a sizable collection that I don’t want to replace given I won’t see any major jump in quality on Blu-Ray if and when any of them do appear on the victorious format.

  7. John Hodson Says:

    ‘John, seeing The Searchers on my Brother’s 32 LCD in 720p via his PS3 sold me on HD. Rio Bravo looks jaw-droppingly good too.’

    Groan! Get thee behind me Ian…

    When either (or both) of you have a Blu-ray drive could you post your thoughts on the hardware and full specs on the kit that you’ve pieced together?

  8. paulwjm Says:

    I’m a 100% behind you (not that way!) regarding Dark City. A re-release cut preferred by Proyas has been talked about for several years now and while I’ll certainly be going for Blu-Ray in the near future, something like this appearing could speed up my commitment! I’d be surprised if a theatrical release would be on the cards in the UK at least because it wasn’t a massive commercial success on its original run, but perhaps its momentous cult fandom since could change that.

  9. ColinP Says:

    Dark City (BD) has now been announced:

    http://www.dvdtimes.co.uk/content.php?contentid=67606

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