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Dark City

The Crow was a cornerstone in cinematography, mood, ambience and emotion, with Brandon Lee a presence not often equalled in movies for the last twenty years. It's not that clear whether Alex Proyas was trying to do it again, and while Dark City is a pretty good idea, it falls far short.

A man (Sewell) is mixed up in a murder case. He has strange dreams that haunt him of a beautiful place near the water that he's shared with his lover (Connelly), and he realises that time is missing from his life. Nobody else, not his girlfriend, the detective (Hurt) trying to work out if he's amnesic or a killer realise that there isn't a daytime in their city or that they can't escape it if they want to. In a turn that borders on the ridiculous (if interesting), it's revealed that the inhabitants are people stolen from Earth to live in a fake city drifting through space for the amusement of a bunch of flying aliens with Nosferatu-like faces and trenchcoats, who make everyone freeze for hours on end while they remodel the city buildings with the power of their minds.

Sewell is insipid, too much is unexplained (I didn't even get most of it until the second viewing) and it fails to hit whatever mark it was going for. To be fair, the special effects are pretty extraordinary.

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