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    Dark City
    Stars:Rufus Sewell, Kiefer Sutherland, Jennifer Connelly, and a bunch of bald guys
    No matter what you hear about Dark City, one thing's for certain: you won't really understand it until you see it. Before I saw it, I heard things like "[Dark City is] an apocalyptic view of the future from the director of The Crow" and that was from the TV ads! I read abcnews.com's movie reviewer say that where the movie is set in a place like Gotham City, looking like "Batman without the masks." Dark City is nothing like that. The actual date (I think) was briefly shown as 2358, but you wouldn't guess it from the 1930's era clothes, cars, and cops. In fact, I thought there was a slew of logic errors and inconsistencies that I was ready to pounce on in this review, but darn it, everything was explained by the movie's end.

    The first thing you'll notice is that "Dark City" is not just a metaphor. The city is in perpetual darkness. Even around midnight, all shops are open and the streets are crowded with cars and people. Logic error? Nope. Inconsistency? Hardly. I like trashing movies as much as the next wanna-be movie reviewer, but there was nothing here to trash! Dark City is a solid, complete movie with excellent cinematography and special effects.

    Make no mistake, Dark City is a niche film. The theater was nearly empty on the night following its opening, and I've read that it grossed a meager $5.6 million on its opening weekend. It doesn't have near the mass market appeal of something like James Cameron's juggernaught Titanic. For this I fault the promotion team. Dark City is basically a movie about an alien experiment. Everyone likes aliens, right? Everyone went to see Independence Day and Men In Black. Oh, well, I'm not the marketing type. But I still think it could have been better promoted.

    Dark City has a very claustrophobic feel to it. Even after its somewhat-happy ending, I wouldn't want to live there. It does, however, raise some philosophical questions. You know, the kind you don't want to focus on because it messes with your mind, but you can't help but talk about it because of the involved intrigue. What if all life is an experiment in someone else's laboratory? Is a person more than the sum of his memories? These question have been asked many times before.

    Still, if you go see Dark City, you would want to watch it all the way through, since it gradually tells you what the f*** is going on. Believe me, you'll have questions while the movie is playing, but like Radio Shack claims, they'll give you the answers.

    Comments? E-mail movies@aldebaran.net