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Scanner Darkly Gets Screened... Again

Published February 28, 2006 in Early Reviews
By Ryan Parsons | Image property of Warner Independent
A Scanner Darkly A Scanner Darkly
Though the release of A Scanner Darkly is still a while out there are those that claim to have seen what looks to them to be the finished version of the film.

Now, we are still in the dark on how finished the film is, but the overall message received by Warner Bros in the latest screening is that there are some who are not all that happy about the ending of the film. However, this may just be something that Warner Independent cannot prevent, as the book ends exactly the same way.


Scanner Darkly Reviews


The end of the novel A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick leaves quite a few questions left unanswered; but that doesn't mean that the ending does not show a concluding, well, message to the audience. What can we say? The characters don't exactly turn out OK in the story and this may bother some people.

On the other hand, there should be just as many moviegoers who enjoy the film for not following the normal conventions.


Of course, what’s most notable about this movie is that it is filmed in that same cartoon-painted-over-real-life process that we saw in “Waking Life,” and for the most part, it was pretty well done. This effect allowed the movie to look a lot like a moving comic book – the characters had a lot more detail and texture than traditional animation, while still looking like animation rather than live action. Sometimes in scenes where the camera moves a lot, this effect can be a little awkward – things on different planes don’t seem to move quite right – but it allows effect like the above-mentioned camouflage suits to work a lot better than they would in a traditional live-action movie.


So in summary: the movie works pretty well visually (although there are no big explosions or car chases or anything like that; it’s not that kind of movie), and is fairly watchable most of the way through, if only for Robert Downey Junior’s over the top paranoid stoner. However, I didn’t feel like the movie told me a complete story; if this had been the 90 minute (it was a short flick) premiere of the “Scanner Darkly” TV series, I would probably tune in next week to see what was going to happen.

The entire review is filled with tons of spoilers including the main plot twist, so tread carefully if you decide to check it out.

Check out thenew reviews for A Scanner Darkly at AICN.

The Scanner Darkly had its recent release date, September 16th, pushed back to some time in March, 2006.

For the trailer, movie stills, other reviews and synopsis, go to The Scanner Darkly Movie Page.

Stay tuned for updates.


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Ryan Parsons
Sources: Image property of Warner Independent
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