Jul 20, 2006

Drugs Are Bad

Guy and I went to see A Scanner Darkly last night for the cinematic acrobatics, not the plot. So I was pleasantly surprised, as things went on, to discover that here was a film as firmly anti-drug as I am! A rare thing in indie films.*

Guy went to Wesleyan, so he was a little less excited.

But we both enjoyed it. Not exactly a fantastic film, but quite entertaining and somewhat thought-provoking; Guy and I spent some time debating whether the implication was that the government was involved in the production of Substance D, and whether Substance D was heroin, Crystal Meth, or some combination of the two (Guy carried that end of the conversation--my evidence came from watching Trainspotting and the like. And to be fair, so did his. Mostly.)

And the animation was very, very cool. I don't have the technical understanding to explain why it was cool, but I can tell that it was. (And it worked really well with the film).

But the best part of the movie, by far, was Robert Downey Jr. But then he's usually the best part of any movie he's in.

In this, he was, as usual, quite insane, but--again, as usual--freaking hilarious. He's one of those people who can just stand there and be funny (not to say he can't be more than funny, but he was just having a good time in this case, and it was nice to see. The man can't seem to get a break lately. He'll be talking about his drug use and nothing else for the rest of his life).

He and Woody Harrelson played very nicely together as pair of crazy fourteen year olds with stubble.

But Rob was better. His face is so mobile, and his mannerisms so distinctive, that he catapulted way over the barrier of the animation--which was cool, but did tend to impede subtle facial expressions.

Keanu Reeves, for example, was completely wooden. You're all shocked, I know. But then, he had to be. If Robert Downey Jr. has to spend the rest of his life talking about drugs, then Keanu has to spend the rest of his post-Matrix life saying lines like "What does a scanner see? Into the head? Down into the heart? Does it see into me? Into us? Clearly or darkly? I hope it sees clearly because I can't any longer see into myself. I see only murk. I hope for everyone's sake the scanners do better, because if the scanner sees only darkly the way I do, then I'm cursed and cursed again. "

Everyone else got to have way more fun. Some examples:

Barris: There's only one thing we can do to thwart the plot of these albino shape-shifting lizard BITCHES!
Luckman: What if they come in through the back door or the bathroom window like that infamous Beatles song?

A warning: if you go see it, remember that the first scene is not real. NOT REAL. And don't eat right before.

*Although can someone please explain to me how Warner Independent is not an oxymoron?


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