A Scanner Darkly
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What does a scanner see? Into the head? Into the heart? From the novel by Philip K. Dick (Blade Runner, Minority Report) comes A Scanner Darkly, brought to the screen by filmmaker Richard Linklater with an edgy graphic-novel look. The time: just beyond now. The place: suburbia. The story: a twisted, funny tale of people hooked on Substance D. And of a government that cheerfully destroys its citizens – their rights, their relationships – in order to save them. Robert Downey Jr., Woody Harrelson, Winona Ryder and Rory Cochrane play strung-out friends terrified of each other and of spies. Keanu Reeves plays a spy who’s also a friend…until his two personalities begin to split. Enjoy the paranoia. Nobody’s watching you. Really.
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"This was a story about people who were punished entirely too much for what they did. These were comrades whom I had; there are no better. They remain in my mind, and the enemy will never be forgiven. The "enemy" was their mistake in playing. Let them play again, in some other way, and be happy."
How successfully he immortalized his friends.
One last thing, if you're debating buying the Blu-ray or the DVD, get the DVD. Any Blu-ray transfer improvement would be miniscule for this rotoscope film. I rated the DVD transfer as perfect in my subjective evaluation.
The use of the "anonymity suits" is a really fascinating idea, and unlike Waking Life, the plot does not waver, it is solid, keeps you guessing, and ultimately has a great ending. The epilogue from Philip K. Dick's original novel remains in-tact, as well, which seemed like a really commendable thing to do.
It's also worth noting that all of the actors were extremely professional, and seemed incredibly immersed in their roles. Very good work.
Overall, great film.