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Monday, July 10, 2006  

Pirates and Dick

Phillip K. Dick that is… Julie and managed to see both “A Scanner Darkly” and Pirates II this weekend and I was impressed by both. First up A Scanner Darkly is Richard Linklater’s adaptation of the PK Dick novella and it was produced using the rotoscope animation that Linklater pioneered with his “Waking Life.” This film centers around Bob Arctor, an undercover narcotics officer in Anaheim (played by Keanu Reeves) who is slipping into a pit of addiction and paranoia as the lines between his self and his alter-ego blur. Verive family favorite Robert Downey Jr. continues his professional renaissance with a great performance as Keanu’s roommate and rival. (Check out “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” for more great RDJ action!) Winnoa Rider and Woody Harrelson round out the cast (can you even imagine how much pot was smoked on the set?) and provide the love interest and comic relief (both of which are dearly needed to lighten the film’s very dark tone.) Linklater has managed to take the rotoscope animation to a new level of transparency, and it doesn’t feel gimmicky at all but rather adds to the atmosphere of the film’s near-future distopian Orange County. I had very high hopes for this film, and I had been impatiently awaiting its often delayed release and it lived up to my hopes. It wasn’t the blow-your-mind amazement of that first viewing of the Matrix, but all the impact is there, it is just much more subtle.

The newest BIGGEST MOVIE OF ALL TIME, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Mans Chest, has none of that pesky subtlety. It is all about bombast, and cutlasses, and pirates and rum. And it rocks. Perhaps not QUITE as much as the first Pirates film, but certainly more then enough to keep you entertained for the very brisk 150 minutes. Gore Verbinski has the Pirate formula DOWN and has crafted another swashbuckling classic. I can’t wait for the third installment.

posted by JMV | 7/10/2006 03:40:00 PM
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