A Scanner Darkly (Full Version)

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Empire Admin -> A Scanner Darkly (18/8/2006 8:01:02 PM)

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cascararogue -> RE: A Scanner Darkly (18/8/2006 11:59:10 PM)

I have no idea what the article said on this film but I have waited a long time to see this film and tonight I finally did and it was amazing. I loved the way the film looked and what they could do with the drawings the way that it seemed beyond reality but also not. I loved the story all that paranoia and people playing each other off what a horrible reality we could all end up living in. Philip K Dick was always a great writer and I am glad that Richard Linklater did this story justice.

Monkey Wrench -> RE: A Scanner Darkly (19/8/2006 5:10:25 AM)

That sounds like a fucking brilliant film. OoOOOOOOOooooh!

Tyler_Durdan -> RE: A Scanner Darkly (19/8/2006 2:35:21 PM)

Saw this last night and was impressed. Obviously it looked visually superb. The style of the film added to the paranoia and there were moments where i felt Reeves confusion (not in an annoying way where i didnt know what was going on). I also felt the cast worked well, with Reeves, Downy Jnr and good old Woody all putting in some clever, sometimes humerous, but ultimately good performances. I reccomend this film highly.  

Luna_raine -> (19/8/2006 10:12:55 PM)

Waited a long time for this film, and I shed tears at the end for many reasons. The inclusion of the letter was awesome. Downy Jnr was fantasic as Barris and Harrelson was perfect as the classic schitz stoner. For all his faults, Keanu did exactly what it says on PKD's tin. And he did it well. I hope as many ppl see this film as it deserves. My favorite book of all time, and this was put together with the respect it is due. Incredible.

kingoftheducks -> RE: A Scanner Darkly (20/8/2006 5:30:17 PM)

Twas juggling options, should we see 'A Scanner Darkly' on 'Snakes On A Plane' and, as you can probably tell by the title, Scanner pipped it to the post. I haven't read any Philip K. Dick (well, a few pages from 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep' aside) and had no idea what to expect from a film that was being hailed as the first decent adaptation of his work. 'Total Recall', fun though it is, is a Schwarzenegger movie with a neat concept, 'Minority Report' - likewise - is The Fugitive with a sci-fi twist, whereas 'Blade Runner' came from a variety of sources, distilled into a blueprint for dystopian vision that was stylish and awe-inspiring, yet a tad hollow.

Richard (School of Rock) Linklater's adaptation utilises the same rotoscoped animation technique he employed on 'Waking Life' and melds its paranoid surveillance plot with the kind of stoner-talk he perfected in 'Dazed & Confused' and 'Slacker'. To deliver these delightfully messy conversations he has employed a rogue's gallery of 'former' users most notably Robert Downey Jr and Woody Harrelson who make a delightful comedy double-act, Rory Cochrane as Freck channels the still-living spirit of Benicio Del Toro into his bug-eyed, twitching mannerisms, and it wasn't the only time the film reminded me of Terry Gilliam's 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas'. Elsewhere Keanu Reeves gives his usual performance, but it fits perfectly, he's never known what character he was playing, so it helps a lot here. Winona Ryder has little to work with, but doesn't offend, as Donna.

The film is beautiful to look at it, the use of the animation has been to capture the world through a semi-real filter that occasionally plays with our perceptions and messes with what we have come to expect from both live-action and animated cinema. The zooms never sit quite right, the world never stays still enough, everything has an eerie sense of life to it that increases your feeling of unease as the film plays out, as Keanu's Bob Arctor gets ever more addled himself. The film's visuals become an authorial voice, a tone for the celluloid and it creates a powerful sensation in the viewer, a feeling of dread heightened by tonal, subliminal score. We are drawn into this world of paranoid conversation, the giddy little highs then the terrifying lows. Linklater's real skill is creating a strange comedy out of the material, yet never dumbing it down, there's a stoner's reality to this world and the actions and reactions of characters to what they see, what they didn't see and what their mind creates. This uneasy comic sense is reminiscent of Gilliam's brilliant telling of Hunter S. Thompson's 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas' and this film deserves to find a cult-audience just as large, though fortunately for 'A Scanner Darkly' the general critical consensus seems to be on the film's side from the get go...

mr_e2006 -> Scanner Darkly (21/8/2006 1:11:09 AM)

Saw this film the other day, went into it not knowing exactly what it was about. Visually it looks very very good. The animators managed to show you completely fully animated scenes, then mix and show you half animated and half real footage, and it does come across very well. Main characters play their parts well, but I thought the story got a bit slow at the mid point at the film. I think it could have been better scripted, and have more interesting scenes with the characters, which would help drive the story. Some scenes I just felt it had little to do with the story. But overall, the annimation helped to portray the halucinations that the characters were going through, throughout the course of the film. If you're somebody who's looking to move into a career with annimation, its a definite must see film. Overall, I thought it was good, but could have been made better.

Bulletproof_Monk -> RE: Scanner Darkly (21/8/2006 9:38:26 AM)

Wasn't quite sure what to make of this.

The animation looked great, and Robert Downey Jr. was hilarious as usual. But the film itself lacked drive, and subsequently it veered from interesting to downright dull.

Having said that, there were some fantastic moments (the opening sticks in the mind) and the soundtrack rocked. It just could have done with being a bit shorter, especially the numerous scenes of the characters just sitting around babbling incoherently, which kind of overstates the same point.

Some people will love this, others will hate it. It's certainly an original and twistedly offbeat piece of filmaking, but you may question exactly what the point is.

3 out of 5.

themessiah -> RE: Scanner Darkly (22/8/2006 12:32:17 AM)

Animation was great (although it is rotoscoping so what are you going to expect); although Reeves is (well) just Reeves and seems out of everything compared to what Downey and nearly everyone else is in the film.
Thankfully I was working when I first saw this film (I get paid to watch films) and thought it was rather dead in the storytelling of it all... however I did notice that when I saw the second screening (straight after the one I had just been to)... that a viewer begins to look away from what they see on the screen as much and look much harder at the script and also the story, and after walking out of the second screening I far more happier.

The main reason I think for this was mainly because I kept on looking at what was going on the screen (something which people begin to do on seeing their first ever rotoscoping film) and not keeping up with the story (and in many ways with the way the film works out; you have to). 

Suggesting that after the first few mintues try and forget about the animation (if you can call it that) and try and drive yourself with the storyline and the film will fold out far better in the long run.

Overall: 4/5
Shame about Reeves that's all!!

MuckyMuckMan -> RE: Scanner Darkly (24/8/2006 3:31:42 PM)


ORIGINAL: themessiah

Suggesting that after the first few mintues try and forget about the animation (if you can call it that) and try and drive yourself with the storyline and the film will fold out far better in the long run.

Totally agree with that comment, after about 10minutes I purposefully turned my attention from the jaw dropping visuals to the storyline and I'm glad I did otherwise I would have walked out of the cinema non the wiser, and ultimately disappointed (as my girlfriend did). The film is quite complex and you certainly need your thinking head on if you are going to understand whats going on on a first viewing.
IMO though, its a top film and one that can only get better with repeat viewing.

alexisreaver2132 -> darkly good (26/8/2006 9:45:26 AM)

Thought it was a really interesting film, very clever and captures more of Philip K Dick's warped vision. Keanu reeves was cool with his split personas, robert downey jr was funny as drugged up loon, and woody harrelson as a stoned stoner was all compelling.

britesparc -> Trippy and effective modern noir (29/8/2006 4:03:07 PM)

A Scanner Darkly may come from the same author as Blade Runner and Minority Report, but Richard Linklater’s adaptation has more in common with Naked Lunch that with those other classics of dystopian sci-fi angst. However, it shares many qualities with other superior adaptations of Philip K Dick’s work, being as it is set in a near-future world very similar to our own, but with several exaggerated eccentricities which reflect contemporary concerns. Chief of these is the cast’s principal narcotic of choice, Substance D – a mind-altering drug which currently has about a quarter of America’s populace in its addled grip. Downey Jr’s character describes humanity as divided between Substance D addicts, and those who haven’t tried it yet. Reeves plays Bob Arctor, an undercover narcotics officer who has infiltrated a gang of D addicts in order to bring them down, and hopefully unravel a major drugs ring. However, all is not what it seems, especially after Arctor is tasked with investigating himself by his superiors, who believe he may be the ringleader. Arctor – slipping further into D-lerium, and, it transpires, on the run from a peaceful civilised life of normalcy – grows increasingly unsure as to whether he’s a cop masquerading as a druggie, or vice versa. This off-kilter, shifting-sand narrative is reinforced by Linklater’s use of CG rotoscoping, rendering the whole movie with an otherworldly animated sheen that reflects the disorienting nature of D-addiction. As well as offering scope for believable hallucinations – such as when Harrelson and Downey Jr turn into giant cockroach-men – it also makes events one step removed from reality, taking the entire movie into a blurry-edged hinterland between the believable and the fantastical. It also offers innovative effects opportunity, such as the cops’ Scramble Suits, which alternative between infinitely shifting images of innumerable people, meaning the user is permanently unrecognisable as anyone. This is a truly mesmerising effect, and we can add the Scramble Suit to the lightsaber and the hover-board in cinema’s list of groovy sci-fi gubbins (I’d also like to include the groovy spinny stun gun from Minority Report, too). All this adds up to a disorienting and dark journey through a fractured mind, rather than a simple cops-n-robbers noir (hence the Naked Lunch comparisons). However, with its beleaguered, world-weary anti-hero, his dubious associates, and a potential femme fatale, a noir it very much is, albeit a rainbow coloured one. And this, really, is its biggest flaw: as a noir, the climactic reservation is a let down, the denouement disappointing. It just can’t keep up with the frantic kaleidoscope of the previous hour or so; the disparate story threads don’t quite hang together and some characters are quietly dropped and never mentioned again. Perhaps that’s the point; it’s a crazy whacked-out world full of disorienting characters, so it’s perhaps fitting that the movie doesn’t quite gel 100 percent. However, for the most part the film is a tremendous success: the world the characters live in is recognisably our own despite the odd piece of future tech; the performances are all top-drawer, and it’s nice to see Reeves on top again – the man might not have the greatest range in the world, but he can do downtrodden and beleaguered in his sleep. Arctor is almost like a grown-up Ted S. Preston: the middle-aged version of the stoner chic Reeves specialised in fifteen years ago. It’s an impressive performance in a very impressive film.

jimmysteel -> Darlk and disturbing (29/8/2006 4:23:35 PM)

Wow! Is simply the best phrase to describe this film in a way that comes close to the effect it had on me. With such vivid and innovative visuals and intense plot with its twists turns and shock a minute style presentation will garuntee this movie to be the DVD cult classic that rivals the boom that5 Donnie Darko claimed. Not many films stay with you for so long, in depth discussions about the various roles and actions of the distinct characters. Not only that but the persona; reflections of your own lifestyle cause emotional almost catastrophic self doubt. The middle section does however slow the general frenetic pace of the narrative down, but I saw that as we find out more Arctor(Reeves) seems to become more bewildered and if anything aided the conveyance of sheer deterioration that he experiences. In short an excellent film, visually, In terms of story and it makes you think a lot!

quizkid -> (30/8/2006 3:47:23 PM)

this film made my head spin and i dont mean that as a compliment maybe if i had been on drugs it would have made more sense. the rotoscoping animation was a novelty that paled quickly particularly the everchanging suit which was damm irritating. an animated keanu reeves a contradiction in terms! the endless stoned dialogues coutesy of downey harrelson and rory cochrane was just jibberish even if some of it was vaguely amusinga first animated tits ive seen dont get them in pixar films! . uni types may stroke their goatees and find something terribly profound in this but it didnt do it for me sorry worse film ive seen this year and ive seen lady in the water and aeon flux.

michelletabor2000 -> awsome (4/9/2006 3:34:53 PM)

found it a bit strange, and having not read any of Dick's stuff a bit confusing at times, but great. now i need to watch it again, this time with a spliff so i can work out exactly whats going on......

michelletabor2000 -> also (4/9/2006 3:35:56 PM)

and obviously the animation was amazing :-)

michelletabor2000 -> also (4/9/2006 3:35:58 PM)

and obviously the animation was amazing :-)

gunstar -> Drugs man..they're like...whoaa man you've got black outlines! (10/9/2006 8:38:33 PM)

Booo! If I wanted to listen to drugged up slackers, i'd attend university. The messaage seems to be that there is no personal responsibility and drug abuse is the fault of the government. Seriously poor. I was so bored I lit a joint in the cinema and then fell asleep.

moviemaniac2 -> (30/9/2006 4:20:34 PM)

essential viewing for any Sci fi fan. great performance from Robert Downey jnr- on a roll after KISS KISS BANG BANG. hadnt got a clue what was going on- but thatbwas the point- neither di Bob Arctor ( Reeves)

wooz -> [Clever drug reference]! (11/1/2007 12:13:57 AM)

What seems at first to be a meandering, pointless, confusing and at times hilarious experience suddenly, with its closing minutes, reveals a deeply saddening twist, dispelling instantly the baffling and jovial atmosphere.

MOTH -> RE: [Clever drug reference]! (26/1/2007 1:55:01 PM)

A brave and satisfying attempt to bring Philip K Dick's tricky novel to the screen, which remains surprisingly (and pleasingly) faithful to the source material and Dick's trademark themes of surveillance, drugs and paranoia.
There's no doubt the roto-scoping animation is what elevates this film above the norm, being perfectly suited to the material by imparting a feeling of disorientation and un-reality upon the viewer that reflects that experienced by the characters. Plus it's difficult to imagine any other approach resulting in a more impressive rendering of Dick's superb 'scramble-suit' concept onscreen.
An unusual, bleakly funny, and ultimately quite sad film that will probably stick in your head for a few days - well worth seeing. 

big_al -> RE: [Clever drug reference]! (27/1/2007 4:04:13 PM)

only one word needed to describe A Skanner Darkly


discodave101 -> A classic marmite film... (28/1/2007 3:16:43 PM)

I wanted to love it, I wanted to feel I could understand it all fully without needing to look at IMDB afterwards, but I'm afraid I couldn't. I loved the rotoscope, very stylish...but overall I just didn't enjoy this film. I'm sure it may be one I look back on and enjoy much more in the future and may really show its true colours on repeat viewings. But for now its a 2 star bit of a let-down. Have to say though, again Linklater shows a lot of skill and what id' still deem as 'promise'. I think the empire conclusion sums it up perfectly, as I've never read a Dick novel. I can easily imagine how much I'd love this film if I was a fan of his books though.

john.sharman27 -> RE: Scanned Darkly (31/1/2007 10:23:57 PM)

Dick filtered rather than filletted and all the better for it.The illusion of rotoscoping layed over the delusional paranoid perceptions of it's main characters. Dick finally gets the treatment he deserves. A highly manufactured artefact: after filming it took 18 months to animate. The excellent acting shines through the well drawn craftsmanship.The surveillance society with the lubrication of paranoia fuelled the machine of Nixon's America, which Dick(whose home had been broken into and papers taken)was the subject of, often high on amphetamines. The loss of civil liberties can be updated to our own times to protect us from terrorism.

Truth becomes relative and multiperspectival. We see the collapse of identity and brain cells under the onslaught of substance D. This layered tapestry depicts the tragi-comedy of drug-fuelled psychosis, set subtly in the future. As with Carlos Casteneda's story it teaches us to hold firmly onto our objectivity less hands mouth teeth eyes mind go up in smoke. Do the scanners see into our hearts or into our heads Keanu Reaves' character asks. The unity of embodied intelligence is seen through a glass darkly and fractures into a million trips. Science fiction turned inwards was far more what Dick was about(forget Blade Runner, Total Recall & Minority Report). This film has far more in common with Gilliam's Fear & Loathing and Naked Lunch. See it on the big screen for the best effect. They've made films out of graphic comics and novels. Now a sci-fi novel has been transformed into a graphic animation. Welcome to the future.

Of  course if you've read the book you will also realize that the New-Path project which manufactures and distributes the all-pervasive Substance-D are trying to destroy people's identities so they can manipulate the whole population. The film brings out how the police are not aware of the higher up honchos intentions, hence the use of the scramble suit to deceive one level of authority by another. At the end the sobered up Reeves' character is subliminally aware when he sees the blue flowers of substance D spread out in the rows of corn that what is truly happening is far beyond what anyone could ever believe. He saves a blue flower in his boot to show his friends.

joanna likes films -> Head-Itching! (1/6/2008 1:51:59 PM)

This don't make a lot of sense, it's so mixed up and the script is all over the place. Sure, it's clever when they used the leads as cartoon people but come on, arren't we supposed to get this? I've seen it a couple of times and still don't get it, though I'm getting The Matrix and a lot of people don't understand that movie. A real shame because it had some clever artwork and fanastic Hollywood stars.

blaud -> Very Clever (16/6/2008 9:06:16 AM)

A mind-numbing experience- very interesting

lynnshep -> Scanner Darkly (22/7/2008 4:42:27 AM)

Strange, disconcerting, hard to get into. Good acting and effects, but the animation distracted me from the movie and the story.

lynnshep -> Scanner Darkly (22/7/2008 4:42:28 AM)

Strange, disconcerting, hard to get into. Good acting and effects, but the animation distracted me from the movie and the story.

nc_jj -> An innovative masterpiece. (25/7/2008 6:11:09 AM)

Dazzling, very original and unique. Really clever.

PureAinmhi -> (10/5/2009 12:04:38 PM)

It's a fantastic film to look at on screen but honestly I didn't actually get it at all. I was highly confused and only around 50 minutes in did I get what was going on. It shouldn't really take 50 minutes or so to explain to me what is going on. Some good witty dialogue in there from Robert Downey Jr but apart from that I didn't think it to be that good.

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