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A Scanner Darkly
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Scanner Darkly, A (DVD)
America in the near future has lost the war against drugs. Paranoia reigns as 2 out of every 10 Americans have been hired by the government to spy on the other 8 in the name of national security and drug enforcement. Enter Fred, a reluctant undercover cop recruited by the government. To maintain his cover, Fred regularly ingests the popular Substance D. The drug has caused Fred to develop a split personality, of which he is unaware; his alter ego is Bob Arctor, a drug dealer. Fred's superiors set up a hidden holographic camera in his home as part of a sting operation to snare Bob. A "scramble suit" that changes his appearance allows Fred to appear on camera as Bob and prevents his colleagues from knowing his true identity. The camera in Fred/Bob's apartment reveals that Bob's friends regularly betray one another for the chance to score more drugs]]>
- Commentary by writer/director Richard Linklater, Keanu Reeves, producer Tommy Pallotta, author Jonathan Lethem, and Isa Hackett Dick (daughter of Philip K. Dick)
- "One Summer in Austin: The Story of Filming A Scanner Darkly" featurette
- "The Weight of the Line: Animation Tales" featurette
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The visuals were excellent. It took me a bit to get into the rotoscope look but I've watched the film several times and it just works perfectly.
The acting is brilliant. Robert Downey Jr. and Woody Harrelson have one of my favorite comedic exchanges over the bicycle. And Keanu Reeves was an excellent choice for Bob Arctor, a burned out junkie. Not a slam at all. I really think he was brilliant at this complex, tragic character.
I think Philip K. Dick would have been deeply touched. I was with the closing letter from Phil.
As for surveillance, kind of prescient that it was written forty years ago, and came out several years before the Snowden revelations, which it also relates to.
Essentially the film does a very good job on twenty-something angst and personal craziness, paranoia, and of course, drug abuse, supply, law-enforcement, corporate power, straight society, etc., so in those terms you could say it is a contemporary and political film, and an updated retake on the "1984" scenario of Big Brother is watching. .
Most recent customer reviews
Plus it is just a funny/entertaining movie.