Category Archives: Film Review

Tron Legacy (Film review)

First Published 03/06/2011

Summary: Sci-fi retro classic Tron gets an upgrade in its 2010 sequel Tron Legacy, but is far less contemporary than it’s 1982 original.
 

Tron: Legacy

Disney in 1982 intended for their Tron movie to be the cutting-edge special effects laden film that would take immediate advantage of the burgeoning video games arcade culture. They barely succeeded with a so-so showing at the box office. Still, for all its faults, Tron is fondly remembered.

 

In Tron: Legacy both Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner reprise their roles as Kevin Flynn (and also alter ego CLU) and Alan Bradley (also Tron) respectively.

 

Sam, Tron Legacy’s New Hero

The story starts with Sam (Garrett Hedlund), Kevin’s son – now grown, and a rebellious youth – attacking his father’s company ENCOM, which he owns a controlling stake in, in light of Bridge’s disappearance 20 years ago. He sashays past security and into the mainframe room where he stops the launch of a new Operating System, a program which he feels should have been released free of charge to the public in keeping with his missing father’s mantra of freely distributed software.

 

Sam manages to escape ENCOM’s building in a way that would make Batman proud, and it’s while back in his bachelor’s hovel that his father’s old friend Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner) meets him. Alan’s just received a mysterious page from Sam’s father and suggests the son go investigate. And so the story starts to pick up when he gets to an old, abandoned arcade where his father set up his office all those years ago. Sam finds a hidden room and in there sees a computer that’s attached to some sort of machine. A few keystrokes on the keyboard and the machine comes alive and he’s suddenly transported to The Grid, a virtual reality world created by his father Kevin.

 

Rinzler and CLU – The Bad Guys

He immediately encounters trouble when he’s captured for supposedly being a rogue program, and is taken to a gladiator-style game arena where he’s pitted against Rinzler, the arena’s champion. Rinzler stops short of killing him when he’s identified not as a program but a “User”. He takes Sam before CLU, the Grid’s Führer-like dictator, and a program his father Kevin created in his likeness.
 

Quorra – The Girl

CLU challenges Sam to a duel on the Grid, hoping to kill him, but Quorra (Olivia Wilde), an ally of his father’s, rescues him. She takes him to Kevin who’s now grown old and sits apart from everything, meditating, and keeping Quorra (who it turns out is a program that carries answers to mankind’s problems) from his doppelganger CLU, who has destroyed all of her race in genocidal attacks. Bridges here is a peculiar if not sometimes incongruous mix of part Jedi, part Buddhist monk, and part The Dude from The Big Lebowski – you can’t help but smile at his The Dude-like “biodigital jazz, man” comment.

He explains to his son that CLU has held him captive in the Grid all this time but that Sam’s arrival’s reopened the portal to our world. They now have to journey back with all CLU’s might and resources against them. This inevitably leads to more light-based special effects action set pieces with the Daft Punk soundtrack – which received an Oscar nomination – playing in the background.

 

Box-office

The movie won’t be remembered for its convoluted story, but manages to impress in the visual department. It’s supposedly raked in over $400 million worldwide (boxofficemojo.com) and so one can only expect that Disney will be angling for more sequels to be made.
 

DVD and Blu-ray Release

Both DVD and Blu-ray releases have a sneak peak at Disney Channel’s new animated series, Tron: Uprising, as well as a documentary on Visualising Tron. The Blu-ray release has more documentaries and a Daft Punk music video, Derezzed.
 

Who Should Buy This?

Without a question fans of the original won’t miss this new instalment. Kids just entering teenage years may also find it entertaining. For everyone else Tron Legacy may only just be worth a night from your video club, with impressive visuals and a great beat from Daft Punk.

 

Sources: Tron Legacy (DVD), Production Year: 2010, Disney, Tron Legacy (boxofficemojo.com)

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THE BEST THING ABOUT NARUTO SHIPPUDEN

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Naruto Shippuden

Naruto Shippuden follows the adventures of the much loved manga character Naruto, and the Shippuden series sees his return, this time as a teenager. Naruto’s still impatient and irascible as always but has matured some. The series is darker than the original cartoon, especially with Sasuke having left the Leaf village to become a rogue ninja.

At the moment there are 16 seasons and a total of 368 episodes. Still airing in Japan at the time of this writing the 368th and final episode is expected to air in July.

Naruto Shippuden Characters
Naruto Shippuden Characters
Plot

The series continues two and a half years after the first Naruto series, the ending of which saw Sasuke Uchiha leave the Konohagakure village, also known as the Hidden Leaf Village, in order to be mentored by Lord Orochimaru, one of the lead antagonists of the Naruto universe, and enemy of the Leaf.

In Shippuden we catch up with Team Kakashi, a small group of 4 shadow ninja of which Naruto and Sasuke were once teammates.  The other 2 in Team Kakashi are Sakura, who has a mad crush on Sasuke, and it’s leader Kakashi Hatake (who is replaced temporarily by Captain Yamato after a grueling battle with a member of the Akatsuki terrorist organisation). Naruto is still obsessed with finding his best friend Sasuke and bringing him back to the Leaf while Sakura continues to have a crush on him despite hearing horrendous rumours of Sasuke’s activities under Orochimaru’s charge.

Sasuke with Naruto
Sasuke with Naruto

Team Kakashi are committed to rescuing Sasuke from Orochimaru and set out to find him – this time with a new team member named Sai who replaces Sasuke. Unknown to the team, however, Sai is on another mission, one that’s quite different from theirs, for while the team want to save their friend Sai has been sent to assassinate him.

Sai, a special-ops ninja is part of the secretive group known as the Foundation, and takes his orders from Danzo, a fundamentalist and extremist at heart who is at odds with the Leaf’s governance for their lax attitude towards Sasuke’s crimes.

Team Kakashi, led by Yamato, eventually locate Orochimaru’s hideout and confront Sasuke. Sai, originally intending to murder Sasuke on Danzo’s orders now has a change of heart after getting to know his comrades on Team Kakashi, even though this is after a series of altercations with both Naruto and Sakura.

It turns out that Sasuke’s been training hard under Orochimaru and is now on a whole different level from his friends. Naruto and Sakura barely escape with their lives, but still don’t give up on their friend though it’s now obvious to them that he’s changed and turned evil.

Sasuke, though, will not be distracted by love or fondness for his friends – all his training has all been for one purpose: to confront the man who killed all of his tribesmen, his own brother Itachi. Sasuke is blinded by the lust for revenge and this lust leads him to kill Orochimaru, his mentor, to gain even more power.

Lord Orochimaru, Sasuke's mentor
Lord Orochimaru, Sasuke’s mentor. Image from Flickr.com/photos/crz4all

orochimaru-in-akatsuki-6Meanwhile the Akatsuki are hunting tailed beasts – highly powerful weapons (and probably a metaphor for nuclear bombs) that the different nations in the Naruto universe use as a deterrent to war. Tailed beast take the form of monsters of immense power. They’re seen as natural disasters, and will usually be contained in a host called a Jinchuriki (of which Naruto is one), to prevent them from running wild.

It then follows that the Akatsuki start to hunt Naruto who then has to train even harder in order to gain the power he needs both to avoid capture and to win Sasuke back. Then Sasuke defeats his brother Itachi but learns a dark secret about the Hidden Leaf Village – that its leaders were involved in the plot to destroy his tribe and gave Itachi his mission in order to prevent a civil war with Sasuke’s Uchiha clan.

Sasuke now vows to destroy the Leaf to avenge his brother and knows he must fight his best friend Naruto to accomplish this. But the Akatsuki prove themselves formidable, and their leader consequently reveals the reason for their capturing the tailed beast weapons. Up to now there have been only 9 tailed beasts, but a combination of all will birth a super weapon the 10 tails and lead to the end of the world as we know it.

The different antagonists are thus forced to put their differences aside in order to face the common threat of the Akatsuki and save the ninja world from extinction.

Members of the terrorist Akatsuki group
Members of the terrorist Akatsuki group
Why We love Naruto Shippuden

You would think that the most we would enjoy from this franchise is the fact that it’s Japanese manga. True it is one of the better looking anime titles out there, and sometimes the rendering of locations, characters, and shadows is jaw dropping. But for most people Naruto has always been about the characters with a level of characterization rarely seen in this genre.

We get to know the characters, truly know them, so that in the end we care for them, which makes it all the more painful when they die. From Naruto’s love of raimen, to Sakura and Ino’s girly crushes, to Lady Tsunade’s drinking and gambling habits, to Asuma’s smoking, detail seems to be the focus in bringing these characters to life. We engage with them as much for their personal lives as their professional ninja one, which by the way is kick-ass awesome!

Airing Schedule

The series started on February 15 2007 in Japan, and is produced and broadcast by TV Tokyo. It’s English dub premiered on Disney XD in 2009 and episodes are also available on iTunes, Zune Marketplace, and PlayStation Store.

At the moment you can also get episodes on Hulu and Crunchyroll.com. In the UK Crunchyroll is available free on the NOW TV device. The 368th episode will air on July 10 2014.

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Sources: List of Naruto Shippuden Episodes

Naruto_Shippūden_Logo

GREEN HORNET (Film Review)

Many Forms, One Green Hornet

The ubiquitous Green Hornet has been through quite a few incarnations over the years, probably the most popular one being the TV series from the 1960’s where Bruce Lee played the Hornet’s sidekick, Kato. In this latest offering the lead role (Britt Reid) goes to Hollywood funny man, Seth Rogen, while that of Kato to Kung Fu-kicking Jay Chou.

Green Hornet, IMP Awards
Green Hornet, IMP Awards

 

The Green Hornet Story

The story’s a simple one where Seth plays his usual role of bumbling and lovable layabout. He disappoints his coruscating father, played by Tom Wilkinson, who continues to pester his son on his failures until his untimely death from what appears to be an allergic reaction to a bee sting. Britt Reid (Seth) now finds himself heir to a media empire but is not interested in the newspaper publishing business.

 

Still piqued by his deceased father’s disappointment in him, he sets about firing every one of his father’s house staff, before finding out that he’s unwittingly fired the one person who’s delicious coffee brew has, until recently, woken him up from slothful sleep everyday. Britt rehires this mystery employee, going on to meet Kato for the first time. He immediately takes to him and Kato reveals he’s an inventor of sorts.

 

As fate would have it their mutual dislike for his father leads them to vandalise a statue of him, recently erected to honour him in death. It’s here that they run into a group of criminals who’re harassing a couple. Britt confronts them, but is outnumbered and way over his head. Enter Kato who shows himself to be a skilled martial artist, and he swiftly dispatches the brigands, after which they’re pursued by the police who mistake them for criminals.

 

After their adventure they decide they make a good team and have not been fully utilizing their talents and set about forming a crime-fighting duo – with Kato’s inventions and martial artistry and Britt’s money – to rid Los Angeles of criminals. There’s one problem though, and it’s that after the earlier chase the police think them to be bad guys. They decide to use this to their advantage, building up their rep in the streets so they can flush out the criminal masterminds behind the city’s crime.

 

They get some help from Cameron Diaz, acting as a Pepper Potts-esque assistant to Britt, and when he and Kato aren’t arguing over who will get to sleep with her, she unknowingly helps them with advice on how to further increase the Hornet’s media profile. All this ultimately leads to a showdown with the movie’s villain, Benjamin Chudnofsky. A criminal ironically more concerned with his image than the Green Hornet.

 

There are some funny moments here but they are few and far between. Michael Gondry, director of the superb Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Focus Features, 2004), helms this and barely flexes his quirky imagination and filmmaking vision, leaving The Green Hornet to have less bite than fans of superhero movies would want. In the end the movie struggles, not knowing if it’s parody, in love with the superhero genre, or both. This, regrettably, leaves a film that feels a bit unfinished and not a little unaccomplished.

 

Home Release Extras

The DVD release of The Green Hornet comes with The Black Beauty: The Rebirth of Cool, a documentary about the Green Hornet’s car – a 1965 Imperial.

 

It also comes with another documentary titled Writing The Green Hornet where Seth Rogen, actor, writer, and producer, talks about how he researched superhero movies and tried to turn the genre on its head by going against convention: making the sidekick the one with all the cool moves, having a father figure that’s a disappointment and not the hero’s role model, and having a bad guy that’s uncool, insecure and inarticulate.

 

There’s a gag reel with obligatory blunders and horsing around from cast and crew, and film commentary from Seth Rogen, Neil Moritz (Producer), Michael Gondry (Director), and Evan Goldberg (Executive Producer)

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Sources: The Green Hornet (Columbia Pictures, 2011)

The Chronicles of Narnia The Dawn Treader

Summary: Should you see the movie, get it on DVD or Blu-ray? This review will help you decide whether or not to part with your hard earned cash.

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Image courtesy of IMP Image

By Uzor Chinukwue, May 2011

The Chronicle of Narnia The Dawn Treader’s Production woes

The preponderance of children’s fantasy literature in recent years has inevitably led to a rise in numbers of their big-screen incarnations. The Chronicles of Narnia series is right up there in the upper echelons of fantasy, children or adult, and so the makers of the Hollywood big budget films have a rich source to draw from. The series started with the much-anticipated Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe (Production year: 2005) and continued with the less well-received Prince Caspian (Production year: 2008). The series then encountered the first of its troubles when Production Company, Disney, first delayed then cancelled production of further instalments due to the poor returns from their investment in the Prince Caspian movie.

On the whole the films did not do too badly, grossing $1.2 billion on their worldwide release, but it was escalating production costs that endangered production of the rest of the 7 stories in C.S. Lewis’ mammoth tale. Enter 20th Century Fox as new distributor and a cutting of a budget of $225 million to the more austere looking $125 million and the film, like Aslan, was again resurrected. This time reception of the film and its performance at the box office has gone well (the Independent wrote in December 2010 that it had grossed a reported $124.4 million, thus already making up its budget.) It’s inevitable then that the series will continue, especially as the end of the Potter franchise will leave a vacuum in the children’s fantasy market.

 

The Dawn Treader at a glance

The Pevensie kids return for this third instalment of The Chronicles of Narnia series. The film starts with Edmund (played by Skandar Keynes) standing in line to join the army, presumably to get sent to the front where he’d have the kinds of adventures he had in the first two instalments of the series, adventures which he misses in his dull life in Cambridge where he’s been sent to stay along with his youngest sibling Lucy (played by Georgie Henley).

He fails in his efforts, of course, when he’s found to be just a boy. Together, both he and Lucy complain about their dull life and the fact that they miss their older siblings who are off adventuring in America. They’re joined in the room by their quibbling cousin Eustace Scrubb (played by Will Poulter); he’s new to the series but will most likely be making further appearances in future sequels. While they argue over petty nonsense their eyes catch a painting on the wall of a ship at sea. It’s “Narnia-like,” Lucy comments, and so it’s no shock when we discover it’s a magic painting.

The painting begins spurting water and soon Lucy’s little bedroom is completely submerged. They then find they’ve been transported to the land of Narnia; but what to do about being stuck out in the middle of the ocean? Price Caspian from the second instalment in the series, and played by Ben Barnes, comes to their rescue. Caspian is now Prince of Narnia and has managed to bring peace to most of his country. But he’s set out on a voyage with the crew of the Dawn Treader – the ship in the painting in Lucy’s room – to rescue seven lost lords and halt a corrupting mist that threatens to engulf the land.

 

Should you see this movie?

Well, one thing that is to be said for the film is the special effects are spot-on. We’ve already been spoilt by films overladen with CGI and so it’s rare to actually look at a movie and go Wow! How’d they do that? There are many such moments in The Dawn Treader, like the talking animals – the ever-impressive-to-look-at Aslan and the master swordsmouse Reepicheep, interacting faultlessly with their live-action colleagues, a mystery enchanted castle, mermaids, and sea creatures.

The glossy-ness of the whole thing is likely to make you smile and leave the kids occupied for the duration of the movie. But on the story side I’m afraid the movie lets down in the end. Michael Apted who helmed the James Bond movie, The World Is Not Enough, directs, and moves from one scene to the next in a pacey but ultimately emotionally vacuous style.

This may not appeal to diehard Lewis fans who may want closer and truer adaptations of his books. It may not work for movie connoisseurs, who look for a little more emotional depth in a movie. But on the whole, I think it will work for everyone else: families who want a film the whole family can watch on a dry Sunday afternoon, parents who want to put in a DVD or Blu-ray to keep the kids occupied while they catch up on some much needed rest, and even the normal everyday enjoyer of movies who just wants to see a little bit of magic on the screen before a night out. The film may not be classed as a great one, but it’s certainly a good one and one that will ensure production of further instalments in the series.

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Martha Marcy May Marlene (Film Review)

Summary: Innocent girl joins then escapes from Manson-esque cult only to find she can’t adjust to normal life.

martha_marcy_may_marlene_ver4

Is It Martha, Marcy, May or Marlene

I have to say I was one of those who didn’t see this on the big screen when it was released in 2011. The BBC’s film review program quickly convinced me of my shortcoming and I scampered to see it before it was removed from screens. But alas! my scampering was in vain and all but one of the cinemas in the West End had removed this underrated film.

 

So when the DVD hit the shelves I immediately sought to rectify my mistake and made it a priority to get this film into my XBOX to see what all the fuss was about. Presto, and over 100 minutes later and I let out a heavy sigh after having experienced a movie that truly deserves its indie tag.

 

Those of you who have read my reviews will know that I’m a fan of the indie genre. Sadly this tag is now used indiscriminately for every type budget movie out there which the big distributors want to have a cult following. But don’t let that put you off. There are still great releases, albeit few and far between. And this is one of them.

 

The Story

Martha Marcy May Marlene starts off with the lead character Martha, played by Elizabeth Olsen, sister of the Olsen twins – that peculiarly American moneymaking duo who sold millions of cutesy curios in the nineties based on their likeable image – phoning a sister who she has evidently lost contact with for 2 years. Rather haltingly she tries to get her sister Lucy (Sarah Paulson) to come pick her up, but doesn’t quite know how to say it, so that we immediately sense the strain in the relationship between the 2 siblings.

 

Soon enough we discover the reason behind Martha’s discomfiture – she’s just escaped from a cult, and we’re left to figure out just what this has done to her. Like with all cults she has a strong bond to its members and it is hard to leave and extricate herself from their teachings. The makers of the movie do us a huge favour by not compromising on story in order to explain every single detail, and for most of the movie the viewer is left to piece together a puzzle that intertwines past with present.

 

What’s the use of this style, you’ll ask? Why confuse us by leaving location and time ambiguous? Why leave us to ponder out where we are with regards to Martha’s timeline? Well, the simple answer to this is that Martha herself is quite disorientated, not knowing exactly where she is sometimes. The editing in these places is intelligently done as Past and Present Martha interlace – the same body and yet clearly different people – the one wounded but innocent and the latter wounded, damaged, and no longer innocent.

 

We see her confuse who she was in the past (values, education etc) with who she’s been taught to be by the cult: in one scene she dives naked into the lake in front of Lucy’s house to everyone’s great astonishment, and in another she climbs into Lucy’s bed while she’s having intercourse with Ted, her British husband (played by Hugh Dancy).

 

Her strange behaviour brings a strain on Lucy’s marriage and through it all Martha refuses to tell anyone just what she has been through.

 

The makers of the movie have made the ending ambiguous. But this – as in the decision with the timeline – doesn’t detract from the story. All in all this is very accomplished story telling and it is a wonder Elizabeth Olsen didn’t get a nod from the Oscars. Maybe it’s too soon for this actress, but with acting like this it may only be a matter of time before she gives the traditional hysteria-laced speech we’ve come to expect from recipients of the award.

 

See Also

Winter’s bone

 

Winter’S Bone (Film Review)

Summary: It’s a modern Western. More drama than thriller, it’s a grownup indie film with no pretence and lots of attitude. 

winters_bone

The Modern Day Western

The Western is making a comeback in modern times, but has taken on a grittier edge: more hard-broiled and stoic Clint Eastwood than heroic all-American John Wayne. Just look at the Coen brother’s No Country for Old Men and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

 

Winter’s Bone

Winter’s Bone, a screen adaptation of a novel by Daniel Woodrell, and set in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri in the American Midwest, is helmed by Debra Granik, one of an increasing number of impressive female directors in the business. New Hollywood-it-girl Jennifer Lawrence plays the lead roll of Ree Dolly, a teenager who’s cast into the role of adult in a household with no responsible parents. Her mother is “catatonic from depression” (The Guardian, Winter’s Bone by Peter Bradshaw) and there’s no help to be had from her drug-dealing father. This leaves Ree alone to take care of her younger siblings, Sonny (just 12 years) and 6-year-old Ashlee.

 

Ree will do anything to protect those kids under her charge, including beg for scraps from neighbours. She’s good at this, scrounging as much as she can, even to get feed for a sickly horse, but all this is threatened when the local serif (played by Garret Dillahunt) comes by looking for her absent father. The serif then informs her that her father was recently in custody and posted bail using the house as colletaral. They’ll lose everything if he doesn’t show up in court in a week’s time. Ree must now go looking for her insouciant father in time to save the house and her extremely vulnerable charges.

 

Ree’s Quest

Not one to shillyshally she sets up immediately first to beg to use an old friend’s truck. Transportation secured she starts out on her journey that will see her deal with dangerous neighbours who then get offended at her supposed meddling. There in the Ozark Mountains it seems that everyone is related to everyone else in that midwestern way and Ree brings this fact up repeatedly as she tries to procure favour from the people she knows are aware of her father’s whereabouts. But the world of drugs is a shady, complex, and dangerous one, one her father may just have met his end by. With no one seemingly willing to help her or the hungry kids she’s minding, she has no other option but to turn to Teardrop, her uncle, the brother of her father. Teardrop is one of the most violent characters ever commited to screen, and soon enough they wind up in trouble because of this violence.

 

But the violence is not directed only at her enemies, it’s also directed at her. We are left uncertain as to Teardrop’s agenda, not knowing whether he’ll assult his neice together with the people she’s fighting to obtain information from. All of this inevitably leads to a harrowing climax, one that will be remembered as containing a scene so graphic it will stick with you just as surely as the first time you saw the entrance of Leatherface in Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

 

Who Should See this?

You should see this if you’re an indie fan. This is a bold drama, one that rightly earned the lead actress, Jennifer Lawrence, an Academy Award Best Actress nomination in 2011. But it’s also a movie to see if you’re sick of brain-dead thrillers and want something a little uncomfortable to watch but that is at the same time realistic and brawny – Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian does well in naming it a “Hillbilly-gangster-reality-noir”. This is a film that has great weight and I would definitely recommend it.

 

Sources:

Winter’s Bone, (Production year: 2009), directed by Debra Granik, The Guardian, Winter’s Bone by Peter Bradshaw, Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), directed by Tobe Hooper, No country for Old Men, directed by Joel Coen (2007)

A Scanner Darkly (Film Review)

By Uzor Chinukwue

A Story of Drug Abuse

Richard Linklater’s rotoscoped animation A Scanner Darkly is a faithful adaptation of a Philip K. Dick novel of the same name. Published in 1977 Dick’s book is a sympathetic portrayal of the drug abuser’s life.

 

Keanu Reeves plays Bob Arctor, an undercover narcotics agent who infiltrates the Californian drug scene with the aim of establishing and trapping a high level target or two. Arctor, though, soon becomes too involved with the friends he’s made in this shifty underworld, and he’s soon one of them, taking just as many tablets of the extremely addictive and destructive drug, Substance D, as his addict companions: love interest, Donna Hawthorne (Winona Ryder), and flatmates Jim Barris (Robert Downey Jr.) and Ernie Luckman (Woody Harrelson).

 

a scanner darkly image 1

A Scanner Darkly

In A Scanner Darkly the identities of the undercover narcotics agents are hidden from even their supervisors by an image shifting suit, a devise that when worn continuously changes the image of its wearer, distorting facial features and even disguising the wearer’s voice, replacing it with a homogeneous digitised one. Arctor when in this suit is called Fred to hide his identity, and gives updates to his superior, “Hank”, who’s also in a similar image shifting suit, so that neither Fred nor Hank know the other’s true identity.

 

The pressure then continues to mount when Hank unwittingly asks Fred to investigate Arctor who he believes is a high-level target. This unlikely situation where Arctor investigates himself, that is Fred investigating Arctor, will create the kind of environment that will lead to the unravelling of the detective, whose mind is already being compromised by his addiction to Substance D.

 

Reality and Identity

Philip K. Dick is renowned for stories that deal with concepts of reality and identity. His fiction deftly provokes questioning of the verisimilitude of our world. Novels like The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch and Ubik effortlessly weave between worlds and bring a philosophical weight to the universes the writer has crafted. A Scanner Darkly is no different and follows Mr. Dick’s penchant for multifaceted views of the same world, but there’s no mistaking the author’s heavy emotional involvement in this particular tale.

 

Dick admitted that by 1971 he was “ingesting 1000 hits of speed a week, along with plentiful daily dozes of tranquillisers.” At the end of the novel, as with the film, the story is dedicated to the fallen, those who “played” in the drug scene and lost far too much. Like Adam in the Garden who gave away humanity’s future for the taste of an apple, the price paid for their mistakes seems overly cruel and excessive.

A Scanner Darkly
A Scanner Darkly. Warner Independent Pictures. Image at IMP Awards