Blu-ray A Scanner Darkly [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray 6955214),
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A Scanner Darkly [Blu-ray]
Region 1 USA/CA (
Richard Linklater's adaptation of Philip K. Dick's classic novel is a challenging, mind-bending experience that cautions about the dangers of excessive drug use as well as the government's capacity to abuse and manipulate power. Using the same interpolated rotoscoping technique that Linklater employed in 2001's WAKING LIFE, the film is an animated, trippy descent into one man's unraveling mind. Set in the not-too-distant future where a new drug, substance D, has created an epidemic, A SCANNER DARKLY charts the mental unraveling of Bob Arctor (Keanu Reeves). Arctor is an undercover cop who has been assigned to track a group of individuals who include the druggily verbose Barris (Robert Downey Jr.), the hyper-intense Luckman (Woody Harrelson), the ultra-paranoid Freck (Rory Cochrane), and the beautiful Donna (Winona Ryder). As the film unfolds and Arctor finds himself abusing substance D in order to maintain his faade, his mind begins to spin out of control, to the point where he doesn't know what's real and what isn't. Eventually, the truth comes out, leaving Arctor even more numbed. Linklater's surprisingly faithful adaptation of Dick's novel blends humor, drama, and Bob Sabiston's striking animation to deliver a thought-provoking film that will leave viewers as dazed as the film's protagonist.
Winona Ryder, Robert Downey, Woody Harrelson, Keanu Reeves, Rory Cochrane
4 stars out of 4 -- "One doesn't leave the movie with a mind blown by visual bedazzlement but with a soul shattered by the profound sense of tragedy Linklater and company so beautifully put across."
3 stars out of 5 -- "Embedded in the visionary headtrip of A SCANNER DARKLY is a hotly political call to arms."
3.5 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he animation is at once startlingly realistic and surreal, conveying the story's heightened atmosphere of paranoia."
"Mr. Linklater uses the animation technique called rotoscoping to translate Mr. Dick's worldview, mostly to fine expressive effect."
New York Times
4 stars out of 5 -- "Linklater's skewed sensibilities interlock lovingly with Dick's paranoid sci-fry..."
"[T]his feature-length hallucination of a flick pulsates with enticing contradictions and wayward logic."
Sight and Sound
4 stars out of 4 -- "[O]ne of cinema's funniest, most frightening, and ultimately most moving meditations on the chemically altered life."
Ranked #12 in Film Comment's "20 Best Films Of 2006."
4 stars out of 5 -- "Among the finest Philip K. Dick-derived films, this finds Richard Linklater assembling a fistful of mainstream rebel icons..."
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