A Scanner Darkly


Animation / Drama / Mystery / Sci-Fi / Thriller


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Downloaded 88,046 times
June 24, 2013 at 12:41 PM


Keanu Reeves as Bob Arctor
Robert Downey Jr. as James Barris
Woody Harrelson as Ernie Luckman
Winona Ryder as Donna Hawthorne
720p 1080p
954.66 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 40 min
P/S 6 / 34
1.44 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 40 min
P/S 9 / 86

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by flawless2003 8 / 10

A Must for Fans of Dick and Linklater

I've never written a review on this site before, but since I've just been at the first screening of this movie at Brandeis, I feel like writing a few comments. First of all, visually this movie is incredible. The roto-scoping is a vast improvement over Waking Life (and that's on a crappy screen with the film only 95% completed.) Despite the overall dark nature of the film, the dialogue is at times hilarious, and at the screening the audience erupted into laughter several times. Now, on to the story itself. I never read the Phillip K. Dick novel, but from what I could tell, the movie stays faithful. This is not a popcorn thriller; like I said, it is very dark. As the producer Erwin Stoff said after the showing, the movie reflects the bad experiences Dick had with drugs during his life. Apparently the producers bought the rights to the book from Dick's daughters at a reduced rate because they promised to be faithful to his vision, and I could definitely see the effort that was put in in order to accomplish that. Overall, I enjoyed this movie very much. Admittedly, it was hard to follow at times. But, as with the other Linklater films that I have seen, A Scanner Darkly is worth seeing for the interesting dialogue, esoteric characters (especially Robert Downey Jr and Woody Harrelson, who provide many of the films laughs), and stunning visuals. It is not a plot-driven movie at all; the story as described in the IMDb summary, which is more or less accurate, is just a framework from which to express Dick's stark and angry vision of the ravages of drugs on society. Those seeking visceral excitement will be disappointed, but those looking for an intelligent, bleakly funny, dream-like, thought provoking experience that is incredibly grim yet not entirely hopeless, will be rewarded. A Scanner Darkly is definitely not for everybody, because its pacing and animation style are not mainstream(the same is true of its release schedule: only 4 theaters on July 7, 8 the next week, and so on). However, for fans of Linklater and/or Dick, this is no doubt a must see, and you should mark July 7th on your calendar.

Reviewed by darfoo 9 / 10

Great movie...Someone finally "gets" it...

Hollywood has tried so many times to capture the feel of Philip K. Dick terms of his style and writing. Films like Total Recall, Paycheck, Minority Report, all were playing to the lowest common denominator and really lost a lot of the feel that Dick conveys in his writing. Blade Runner came close, but it still missed the essential darkness that Dick brings to each and every one of his works.

Enter "A Scanner Darkly", aside from the Interpolative Rotoscoping that the film maker used to put the graphical images of this movie together and give it an amazing visual feel all its own, the vision and imagery conveyed by the film are as true to Dick's original as any movie has come. I left the theater feeling overwhelmed, touched, and changed, much the same way as when I'd finished the book. This is rare, and it is decidedly a beautiful thing.

Reviewed by imaginarytruths 9 / 10

extraordinary and faithful adaptation of one of PK Dick's most personal

When someone on a trip starts to wig out, you take them someplace quiet and talk soothingly and assure them that everything's going to be OK. But as the tagline of this film makes clear, for these characters everything is most definitely NOT going to be OK.

For those who haven't read the book, it's important to know what you're getting into. PK Dick wrote this novel as a way of telling the story of how he and his friends in the early '70s damaged and destroyed themselves with drugs. He tells this story within the framework of a surreal science fiction thriller, but many of the scenes are straight from his own experiences with the unpleasant consequences of people using drugs and disintegrating mentally.

This film does an amazing job of capturing the feel and tone of the book as well as the paranoia, perceptual distortions, and chaos of hallucinogenic overindulgence. Add to that a story that only gradually emerges from the madness, but by the end brings in a lot of heavy ideas such as the existence of free will, whether ends justify means, etc. There is a sense of consequence to what happens in the film, a sense of despair at what has been lost. So this story of drug-addled losers becomes the story of the human struggle for identity and meaning.

I have a couple of minor quibbles regarding scenes from the book that only partially made the cut (no explanation for the significance of "If I'd known it was harmless I would have killed it myself, no little kid to explain how 6 and 3 gears means 18 speeds). Still, most adaptations of PK Dick stories take a few basic ideas and try to shape them into more conventional films that fit into established genres. Even when it works, such as with Blade Runner or Total Recall, it's not really PK Dick. Not so this film. This is PK in all his dark and perverse and deeply thoughtful glory.

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