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Dark City " The Director's Cut " review.

Old 07-30-08, 11:56 AM
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Dark City " The Director's Cut " review.

I just happened to stop by Bestbuy on the way to the house this morning and picked up the only copy of Dark City, Blu-ray that was on the shelf and then made my way home, popped it into my player just to see the quality of the Re-mastered release. Needless to say, I sat through the entire film which was very engrossing, even more so now that it has a newly mastered high definition picture.
I will now tell all of you that are considering adding Dark City to your Blu-ray library, that this is...A Must Have!
The video: Has been totally remastered, including color, hue, edge enhancements and the movie overall has had the brightness adjusted to point were you can now see more of the city than ever before.
Colors burst onto your screen, even when shadowed or in low light situations. I must say that New Line Cinema really went all out on every aspect, virtually eliminating all signs of grain in this new master.
Sharpness is constant with sharp edges never going out of focus or giving a soft image, especially during action sequences, remaining cystal clear to the viewer.

The sound in the Director's Cut is presented in 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio sound also includes a 5.1 DTS soundtrack supporting the special features, but I want to focus in on the HD Audio included.
In a single word, I want to describe this DTH-HD Master sound track, it is absolutely..... " Superb "!
Equalization is perfect in the fact that you will not have to keep adjusting volume to hear dialog and then back down due to surging of the sound track.
I will add this, if you have a Integra or Onkyo receiver you might want to mute the sound if you pause the film, even if you have updated you dsp via firmware, because there is a audible pop (unlike the dsp bomb) that can be heard when resuming play. I have read on other sites that this is due to the soundtrack being completed before the new dsp standards could be implemented by New Line Cinema.

Overall I am very impressed with New Line Cinema's release of " Dark City " it now has a place in my top 5 Blu-Ray films in terms of Visuals and Audio quality that is only matched by about 4 or 5 titles to date and in my opinion just might be the clearest 1080p movies I have ever seen and thats saying alot considering how dark this movie is.

viewed on a Samsung 52" Lcd at 1080p/24 via a Samsung bd-p1500 player.
audio thru a Onkyo 805 reciever, into a Polk audio 7.1 system.

Last edited by reconredneck; 07-30-08 at 11:57 AM. Reason: correcting title, italics don't work there..
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Old 07-30-08, 12:59 PM
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I haven't seen the disc - not really a fan of the film - but they're going absolutely freakin' nuts about the bad image quality over at AVSFORUM (massive DNR and EE seems to be the primary reason). Let me just plop you right into the middle of this scathing thread:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...015709&page=13

EDIT: and here's an even better thread with more comparison pix: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1053561

Last edited by Richard Malloy; 07-30-08 at 03:27 PM.
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Old 07-30-08, 05:49 PM
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FYI, these two things you mention:

Originally Posted by reconredneck
edge enhancements
virtually eliminating all signs of grain in this new master.
Are not good things.
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Old 07-30-08, 10:14 PM
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When used in moderation and with proper techniques filtering can be a great thing.. FYI.
check out this review: http://www.dvdverdict.com/reviews/darkcitybluray.php judgement 100%

4 1/2 stars over at Hidef digest : http://bluray.highdefdigest.com/263/darkcity.html

I know it comes down to preference, but I don't like to see grain in the picture it does nothing to enhance my enjoyment.

Last edited by reconredneck; 07-30-08 at 10:21 PM.
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Old 07-30-08, 11:46 PM
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A lot of the time, some grain isn't a bad thing at all because it is the result of using film.

No grain is what you would get with a hi definition digital camera. No grain at all is virtually impossible with a film camera.
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Old 07-31-08, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by reconredneck
4 1/2 stars over at Hidef digest : http://bluray.highdefdigest.com/263/darkcity.html
That review gives it 4 stars. The 4 1/2 is for the movie, not the video.

I've seen the disc. I wouldn't give it more than a 3. Facial features are mushy throughout the film.
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Old 07-31-08, 11:15 AM
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I agree pretty much with Josh Z, as Blu-ray transfers go, this is an average one, and far from a top-notch one.
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Old 07-31-08, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Richard Malloy
I haven't seen the disc - not really a fan of the film - but they're going absolutely freakin' nuts about the bad image quality over at AVSFORUM (massive DNR and EE seems to be the primary reason). Let me just plop you right into the middle of this scathing thread:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...015709&page=13

EDIT: and here's an even better thread with more comparison pix: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1053561
It's AVS Forum, if it doesn't look good at 20x zoom it looks like shit, period.

Not saying they don't have a basis or legit complaints, but they are pretty ridiculous about the stuff.

Last edited by RichC2; 07-31-08 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 07-31-08, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by reconredneck
I know it comes down to preference, but I don't like to see grain in the picture it does nothing to enhance my enjoyment.
Grain is information, film information present on the original negative. So, you like your films altered? Why not go ahead and endorse colorization of B/W films as well? I am sure there will be quite a few people that would like the effect. While we are it we might as well add English dubs to all foreign language films and remove the original audio tracks so people can, you know, actually enjoy their films, not read them.

Applying DNR is about as bad of a trend as you could have with HD releases and I cannot think of a single reason why it should be tolerated. Period.

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Old 07-31-08, 08:41 PM
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This review has to be a joke. It just has to be. Otherwise, I just died a little inside.

You're in favor of horrendous edge enhancement and digital removal of grain to the point that picture detail is erased? It's one of the best Blu-rays you've seen? Really?
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Old 07-31-08, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Salty
This review has to be a joke. It just has to be. Otherwise, I just died a little inside.

You're in favor of horrendous edge enhancement and digital removal of grain to the point that picture detail is erased? It's one of the best Blu-rays you've seen? Really?
Well not everyone is in the business of being honest about what they're seeing, are they? And let's face it, a lot of regular joes are hard pressed to see THAT much of a difference even between SD and HD content. Dark City looks a lot nicer on Blu than my old DVD, that's for sure. But yeah, it's faaaaaaaaaaar from being something I'd consider demo material.
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Old 08-01-08, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Josh Z
That review gives it 4 stars. The 4 1/2 is for the movie, not the video.

I've seen the disc. I wouldn't give it more than a 3. Facial features are mushy throughout the film.
Kenneth Brown over at hidef digest said this about the video:

"Nothing outright spoils the experience, but purists will probably be bothered by the studio’s post-processing exuberance. While New Line’s tinkering isn’t nearly as detrimental as message board doomsayers are suggesting, discerning viewers will still catch several instances of edge enhancement and notice a slight application of DNR (similar to New Line’s ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ transfer). Skin textures are rendered a bit waxy from time to time, but are never flat or lifeless enough to cause any serious concern."
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Old 08-01-08, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by reconredneck
Kenneth Brown over at hidef digest said this about the video:

"Nothing outright spoils the experience, but purists will probably be bothered by the studio’s post-processing exuberance. While New Line’s tinkering isn’t nearly as detrimental as message board doomsayers are suggesting, discerning viewers will still catch several instances of edge enhancement and notice a slight application of DNR (similar to New Line’s ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ transfer). Skin textures are rendered a bit waxy from time to time, but are never flat or lifeless enough to cause any serious concern."
I work with Ken. He has his opinion and I have mine. We agree on some discs and disagree on others. This is one where we disagree.

The larger your screen, the more distracting the DNR and edge enhancement problems will be. The e.e. is really bad in a lot of scenes.

Last edited by Josh Z; 08-01-08 at 10:03 AM.
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Old 08-01-08, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Josh Z
I work with Ken. He has his opinion and I have mine. We agree on some discs and disagree on others. This is one where we disagree.

The larger your screen, the more distracting the DNR and edge enhancement problems will be. The e.e. is really bad in a lot of scenes.
I agree with you on that point. I only have a medium size Lcd at 52" I might not be seeing what you are. But I can tell you this much, I won't be going back to my old SD version of " Dark City. "
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Old 08-01-08, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by reconredneck
I agree with you on that point. I only have a medium size Lcd at 52" I might not be seeing what you are. But I can tell you this much, I won't be going back to my old SD version of " Dark City. "
It's certainly an improvement over the DVD edition. But for a High Definition transfer of this film, it's very flawed.
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Old 08-01-08, 12:41 PM
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Well, has anyone watched the SD version of the new Director's Cut? I'm not blu yet, and can't afford it right now, but I love this film, and want to see the new cut.

I know some features are gone, and there are new ones, so I'm keeping the original regardless - should I get the new disc and make my own ultimate edition or what?
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Old 08-04-08, 11:38 AM
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Split the dub/OST discussion into its own thread.
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