Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Big Sit

That's what one reviewer is calling Linklater's A Scanner Darkly. I've only read one of Philip K. Dick's novels (Ubik, to be exact), but I've been dying to see a real adaptation of his work on the big screen and not just an excuse for an action flick that so many Dick adaptations turn out to be (I'm looking at you Total Recall, even though I still kinda liked you).

So, just my luck, instead of taking Dick's novel and deciding, "Let's make an action movie," Linklater (who I generally like) decides to turn Scanner into a talky mess just like his talky (but interesting) mess Waking Life. Now, maybe Dick's story is a talky mess (I haven't read it, so I don't know), but surely Linklater realizes it takes more than trippy animation and deep philosophical talk to make a successful science fiction film. I mean, Waking Life was interesting and different, but not the kind of movie one actually "enjoys." That's why I'm surprised no one has attempted to make a film out of Ubik, since I think it has the potential to be visually interesting (necessary for a visual medium like film), in addition to the fact that it has a plot with enough twists to keep audiences interested in all the weirdness.

An old post by The Forager discusses the difficulty Dick's work has had in making it to the screen in some recognizable Phillip K. Dick-like form. The problem with Dick is that he doesn't always have the easiest plots, so plots get grafted onto his stories to make them more mainstream. My fear, however, is that Linklater is going overboard in the opposite direction, making Scanner into just another excuse for a big long conversation about life, the universe, and everything else (plus drugs). Victor Morton's review suggests that my fears have been realized and that Scanner is just Waking Life 2.

Also, this movie needs to be at more than the Royal Oak Main Art, since I don't feel like driving all that way to see it. Hopefully my review will be forthcoming.

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