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A Scanner Darkly (2006)

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Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Director Richard Linklater, producer Tommy Pallotta, actor Keanu Reeves, Isa Hackett Dick and Philip K. Dick historian Jonathan Lethem Rating:7.7/10 (10 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by commentary addict on January 9th, 2007:Find all reviews by commentary addict
I could listen to Richard Linklater talk forever (and, through his films, I kind of get to do just that). Loved his insights and anecdotes on this commentary. And Isa Hackett Dick, Phillip K Dick's daughter, has many interesting things to say about the relationship between this movie's storyline and her father's (and her) own life. It's also entertaining to hear PKD scholar Jonathan Lethem totally school faux-scholar Keanu Reeves when it comes to thoughtful analysis. It's hilarious hearing Keanu trying to sound all erudite and philosphical, while Lethem does it effortlessly. All in all, a very solid commentary - a cut above most.
Reviewed by reidca on April 18th, 2008:Find all reviews by reidca
I had much trouble listening to this commentary initially. It has been poorly mixed, and I often had trouble hearing it above the film's soundtrack. Also, all of the male voices came across as too similar and captioning who each speaker was would have helped, so I had trouble tell ing which was the pretentious twaddle the other reviewer commented on.

Still, if you are a fan, there is a lot of good information about this film to be had. Much of the conversation is about Philip K. Dick, his writings (he apparently has a 8,000 page unpublished journal!), his life (he had five wives) and how it all relates to the film. I was quite surprised to learn that a major plot twist was invented purely for the film and was not part of Dick's novel. Most film's drop their commentary as credits roll these days, but they talk right past the end credits this time - talking about how important the Radiohead music was and the similarities to the final scene of Coppola's The Conversation.
Reviewed by msz on September 6th, 2008:Find all reviews by msz
Although the participants provide some really interesting bits of additonal information, I wasn't too thrilled with the commentary as a whole (although I really like all the other commentaries by Linklater). The group is more lively in the first half but the atmosphere goes a bit stale in the second half with more and longer pauses. Most input comes from Linklater himself, Isa Hacket Dick and Lethem with Keanu Reeves and Tommy Pallotta only giving very occasional (and mostly not too interesting) feedback. I think a commentary with just Linklater and Isa Hacket would've been more exciting.
The things I found most interesting were the additonal layers of meaning that the group discussed (e.g. the scramble suit as a kind of analogy for the different personalities of Fred/Arctor) which seem to indicate that another round of viewing might not be a bad idea. Also there were some fascinating background infos on Dick's life.
Reviewed by badge on December 13th, 2009:Find all reviews by badge
Given all the elements that came together for this film (animation, Phillip K Dick, Linklater) I should have liked this commentary more than I did. Five people is probably three too many - Dick's daughter doesn't bring a lot to the table and I had trouble figuring out who was speaking sometimes (the occasional 'Dickensian' info items were no doubt provided by Lethem). All in all it feels like too much of a group hug - everyone's reverential towards Dick and always agreeing with each other ("Exactly!" "Absolutely!" etc). Just Linklater and one other participant - either Reeves or Lethem - would have made for a much tighter track.
Reviewed by Agressor on January 16th, 2011:Find all reviews by Agressor
Not much to add to the previous reviews, solid commentary with some interesting nuggets of trivia and insight provided. The "cast" seemed like a knockout on the paper but it was a bit of a letdown, with so many participants there should'nt have been nearly so many instances of complete silence as there were, and, as stated some of them could've stayed home, it would probably made for a better commentary. Worth a listen though for the Dick-curious.

Favourite bit: When they talk about Dick's attempt to get to read FBI's file on him and when he did it was probably all just transcripts of his conversations with them about his wanting to read his files.