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January 24, 2007

When that which is perfect is come


With A Scanner Darkly's dvd release I have finally got to see Winona Ryder in all her virtual glory. She remains the sweetheart of a generation what with her disconnection and her gentle snark and that certain something suggesting madness in the tone of her voice. I suspect that if those of us from the '80s make it into our 80s we will still be a little in love with her.

Written by sci-fi auteur, the much-mourned Philip K. Dick (his stories were behind such classics as ‘Blade Runner’ and ‘Total Recall’), ‘A Scanner Darkly’ is set “seven years from now” in Anaheim, California. Orange County is no longer a place of irritating teenagers and their emotional hang-ups: 80% of the population is addicted to Substance D, a drug clouded in a mystery whose origins are never fully explained. Perhaps that’s the point; after all, its symptoms of withdrawal and its steady flow of head-mangling disorientation are all instantly familiar to everyone anyway (through numerous films and rock stars, obviously). Keanu Reeves plays Bob Arctor, a narcotics detective living undercover with D-addicts Robert Downey Jr, Woody Harrelson and Winona Ryder (as one critic put it finely, they’re a cast that “runs the full gamut of the drug experience”).

The film's use of cell-shading is the obvious stand-out effect but the result is more than a gimmick; perhaps the most faithful film adaptation of PKD's work in terms of mood and that disconcerting slippage of identity which is his hallmark. Robert Downey Jr does yeoman's work. I notice he has been set to star as Tony Stark in the forthcoming Iron Man feature. Good choice.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at January 24, 2007 07:04 AM


Oh you bugger.. I watched it the night before last and was about to post a review. I will instead just link to yours.
It was an amazingly good piece of work. RD was excellent as was Woody Harellson. The way they played off of one another was simply cinematic gold.. and Winona.. oh, Winona... I'd give my left, um, pinky tip to have a coffee with her.. I never did get the Winona Forever tatoo though..

Posted by: Gorthos [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 24, 2007 09:03 AM

I still want a Free Winona T-shirt.

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 24, 2007 10:14 AM

So it is rather good? I was wondering what it would be like. I will definetely put this down as a DVD to see.

Posted by: Andrew Ian Dodge [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 25, 2007 01:24 PM

Some of the humour was lost on me but overall I was impressed and had not expected to be.

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 25, 2007 01:33 PM

Well on your recomendation mate. :D I will make sure to have a gander as I quite like Dick's stuff.

Posted by: Andrew Ian Dodge [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 26, 2007 07:39 AM