Saturday, February 19, 2011

"A Scanner Darkly" (2006)

Went to see Linklater's latest, an adaptation of one of my heroes - Philip K. Dick's "A Scanner Darkly".

First off I have never really liked Linklater as a filmmaker and the problems I have with him continue right through "A Scanner Darkly". That said, the movie is the most faithful adaptation of a PKD novel ever put to screen. And that is pretty cool and worth watching just for that simple fact.

The movie is pretty good. The animation really serves some of the story elements, while at other times it seems extraneous and distracting. Robert Downey Jr. kicks ass in this movie - he captures Dick's character of Barris completely - Downey is Barris - which is awesome. The animated use of the scramble suits is pretty amazing, in fact it is incredible how well that part of the story translates through animation. You actually feel the characters through their scramble suits. (For those who know the book you will be amazed, for those who don't - you'll see what I mean when you see it).

The movie's first half is actually amazing in the way it captures the novel. However the second half chops so much of the novel out that I think the ending kind of sucks ass. I'd be curious to hear reactions to the end from readers and non-readers.

It seems to me that Linklater really connected with the druggie conspiracy theory first part of the book, but totally missed the themes and ideas of the second half of the book. The second half of the movie only works if you've read the book and know the info that has been left out of the flick. At least in my opinion anyway.

A lot of the poetry and soul of Dick's story is missing from this flick and that is my biggest complaint. However, seeing a PKD (for the most part) being put on screen word-for-word (technically / finally) is really fucking cool. Hopefully it will lead to future accurate adaptations - albeit with a little more soul..

Originally posted on July 16, 2006 on Myspace.

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