|Set in a not-too-distant future
where America has lost its "war" on drugs, Fred, an undercover cop, is one of
many people hooked on the popular drug, Substance D, which causes its users to
develop split personalities. Fred is obsessed with taking down Bob, a notorious
drug dealer, but due to his Substance D addiction, he does not know that he is
also Bob. Based on a classic novel by Philip K. Dick and directed by Richard Linklater. Filmed in live-action, and then animated using the same critically
acclaimed process that Linklater used in his previous film, "Waking Life."
You can learn how to tell if you have a problem with substance abuse by reading up on numerous online resources and watching films on the subject.
When, towards the end of ‘A Scanner Darkly’, a character conspiratorially confides that ‘the whole process is hidden behind the surface of our reality,’ he’s talking about the industrial manufacture of narcotics, but it takes only the smallest of synaptic leaps to apply his words to the socio-politics of the world he lives in, and the production of the film itself. Closely adapted from a novel by Philip K Dick – in whose work the daily experience of future life is frequently exposed as a strategically constructed tissue of mollifying deception – ‘Scanner’ is set ‘seven years from now’ in a Los Angeles where a quarter of the population is dependent on the powerful and ultimately lethal mind-bender Substance D. It’s a police state in which unaccountable authority is maintained through hypersurveillance and the cultivation of multiple strata of crippling paranoia, to which many citizens’ understandable response is a retreat from the world and even the self – a schism reflected on a formal level by a more subtle and sophisticated version of the digital rotoscoping technique Linklater used in 2001’s ‘Waking Life’, whereby live-action is rendered as eerily beautiful painted animation.
Theatrical Release: May 25th, 2006 - Cannes Film Festival
DVD Review: Warner - Region 1 - NTSC
|DVD Box Cover||
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|Distribution||Warner Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC|
Average Bitrate: 6.26 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.
|Audio||English (Dolby Digital 5.1)|
|Subtitles||English, Spanish, French, None|
by Richard Linklater, Keanu Reeves, Isa Hackett Dick (daughter of Philip
K. Dick), and others
The image is perfect - one of the advantages of its process of creation is the ability to seamlessly transfer the final product to DVD... and have it look quite flawless. It's progressive, 16X9 enhanced and put to a dual-layered DVD. The animation process bridges a nice gap between the easily discernable actors and advanced technological special effects. It may be one of the futures of the dissemination of the entertainment medium. Likewise the 5.1 audio is crisp and very effective for the film.
The commentary is a bit drab, but overall does ignite some occasional interest with production details and story development shining through. There are two healthy 'Making of' featurettes for those keen enough to delve into.
I really enjoyed the film, as I did 'Waking Life'. Linklater really has something and I am anxious to see his next project. He really seems to have his finger on the pulse of many societal switches. Philip K. Dick fans will eat this right up too. Recommended!