Thanks to Jena for this scan from a recent In Touch mag. Seeing the two of them together really does make for the warm fuzzies....
As much as I adore Sandy Bullock, I've been pretty meh about the upcoming Lake House film. But I've finally taken a peek at some of the stills over at Club-Keanu and I have to say that visually it looks lovely. Here's hoping the story does well with americanization (the original Korean version was exquisite). The "solve a mystery" blurb in the clipping does not instill confidence.
NYCC '06: A Scanner Darkly--the First 30 Minutes
Comic-Con attendees are treated to a sneak peek at the upcoming Philip K. Dick adaptation.
by Chris Carle
February 26, 2006 - Go to enough comic book conventions and you are likely to see a cool sneak peek or two. The surprise of today's New York Comic-Con came from Warner Independent Pictures, who decided to showcase the first thirty minutes of the futuristic A Scanner Darkly to a crowd of lucky show-goers.
Audiences recently got a better idea of what the Richard Linklater film is about when the long form trailer hit the Internet a few weeks back, but the extended viewing we got at the con afforded us a closer look at the amazing interpolated rotoscope animation style and shed light on more of the story elements.
For those who have not yet heard of the project, A Scanner Darkly is based on the sci-fi novel by Hollywood favorite Philip K. Dick, whose works have been adapted into Minority Report, Blade Runner and Total Recall. This is perhaps the most faithful of a Dick story yet, and its rights were acquired at a discount because the filmmakers promised to remain true to the tale's original intent.
Set seven years in the future, the government is losing the war on drugs, and a quarter of the population has fallen prey to a drug known as Substance D. "Either you're on it, or you haven't tried it," remarks Robert Downey Jr.'s character early in the film.
The story tracks an undercover cop and his relationship with his friends, several of whom are mixed up in the mire of drugs. Every relationship and transaction is tracked by the government with advanced surveillance equipment, and only a single powerful corporation goes unchecked. That is the basic outline of what goes on… If you want to fully preserve the sanctity of the viewing experience, you may want to stop reading here, as we are about to delve deeper into the first 30 minutes, and as such, MILD SPOILERS FOLLOW.
Are you sure you want to click below to read the spoileriffic rest of the article?
In the thirty minutes we saw, the most overwhelming feeling the movie creates is a sense of crushing paranoia. The animation oozes and slinks around, casting an eerie sheen on the proceedings. The film opens with a crazy-making drug sequence where one of the (allegedly) addicted characters claws at his body, feeling he is being attacked by giant aphids. That scene sets the tone for the claustrophobic and desperate film, but what ices the sense of paranoia is the technology known as a "scramble suit," a sort of camouflage which cycles through millions of random body parts, completely obscuring its wearer. The film invites us inside the suit, where we see the world from the perspective of the main character, played by sci-fi vet Keanu Reeves.
Upping the paranoia ante further is the Big Brother approach to "scanning." The society portrayed employs an almost 1:1 ratio of watchers to citizens, and complete surveillance of everyone's movements. One sequence shows the central network of tracking systems as they hone in on multiple targets, finally settling on their intended victim, who is merely walking down the street. The information collection is apparent in every scene, with distorted views, record light indicators, security camera angles and recorded audio effects tipping off the spying. The ultimate payoff of this attention to the omnipresent nature of civilian surveillance is a sense of repression and dread.
These science-fiction elements really lend themselves to the animated style, which is created by a program that is a proprietary blend of Flash and Illustrator. Linklater used almost the same technology to make his philosophical ponder-fest Waking Life. Tweaks have been made to the software, including a warp function to provide depth of field, lending Darkly much more dimension than Waking Life enjoyed.
From the first glimpse, the performances seem solid and nuanced, and it's easy to see why actors would want to be associated with this production. Robert Downey Jr. especially stands out as a neurotic, shifty and hilarious schemer. Overall, the film is much funnier than it comes across in the trailer, and the paranoia is played as much for laughs as thrills.
If the rest of the film is as intriguing and affecting as the first thirty minutes, audiences should be in for a mind-blowing head-trip into the future. Stay tuned to IGN FilmForce for more updates as the film gets closer to release.
When I got home, The Wired mag was there.
Alas, I have no scanner so here's a photo of the cover.
And because I'm extremely guilt-ridden by the lack of attention I give to the blog these days, I'm going to pay penance by TYPING SHIT UP BY HAND.
Or at least as much of it as I can...
There's actually several related articles, I'll do the one about A Scanner Darkly
in a bit, errr, tomorrow if no one else has got it d'oh, KeanuWeb has it right here, for now - here's an extra feature called "10 reasons Keanu RULES":
1. HE'S THE FACE OF GLOBALIZATION - Born in Beirut to an English Mother and a father of Chinese and Hawaiian decent, he's a citizen of the world. And unlike the multiracial Vin Diesel, he saves the universe with his geekiness, not mere muscle.
2. HE'S NOW HOLLYWOOD'S SCI-FI GUY - He was the first actor to bring William Gibson's work to the screen with Johnny Mnemonic. When Ewan McGregor and Will Smith turned down the part of Neo, Reeves jumped at the chance to enter the Matrix.
3. HE MADE A TRILOGY THAT BEATS THE STAR WARS PREQUELS - Reeves said of the original Matrix, "It's got the kind of mythical figures that make a classic: the hero, the wise man, the warriors, the guides, the prophesy, the oracle, and the messiah." All that and no Jar-Jar.
4. HE'S AN EARLY ADOPTER - His former band Dogstar released an enhanced CD way back in 1996, when the only "dual disc" was a double-sided vinyl LP.
5. HE LOVES A WELL-BUILT MACHINE - Despite his inner Buddha, Reeves covets Norton motorcycles. We'd like to see the Wachowski Brothers direct him in a big-screen version of Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
6. HE REVERES THE F/X GUYS - Reeves gave millions of his backend earnings from the Matrix sequels to the movies' costume and special effects teams.
7. HE ENJOYS A GOOD GRAPHIC NOVEL - Reeves is a huge fan of Frank Miller, creator of The Dark Knight Returns and Sin City. He also starred in Constantine, the big-screen adaptation of the creepy comic book Hellblazer, and he's been mentioned as a possible lead in the Silver Surfer film.
8. HE'S HIPPER THAN A JAPANESE SCHOOLGIRL - Reeves the fanboy has an impressive record for spotting what's next in everything from music (Architecture in Helsinki) to movies (director Mike Mills).
9. HE'S A VIDEOGAME THESPIAN - He didn't just participate in the anime crossover The Animatrix; he was also game enough to shoot extensive motion capture for Atari's Enter the Matrix.
10. HE'S SMART. NO, REALLY. - Reeves has called himself a "meathead" but Matrix producer Joel Silver insists he's "very well read, very conscious of the world, politics, the economy." He can talk about the difeerences between the theories of Schopenhauer, Hegel, and Kant. And he's even a crack chess player. Hey maybe he is The One.
Well hell....we knew all of that.
...and of course, Club-Keanu already had this feature.
Oh well, at least I feel punished.
Here's a look at the poster for A Scanner Darkly, and Warner Brothers also has released a new trailer as well (direct link to quicktime file).
I love, love the paraniod look of the windowblinds.
Coming to a newsstand near you, Keanu will be featured on the cover of March's issue of WIRED Magazine, (which V. has a subscription to so I'll be checking the mailbox) and will also be interviewed by Michael Fleming in April's PLAYBOY, which someone will have to go to another part of town and buy... *cough* [dons sunglasses], 'cause ya know....smut.
Today, referencing that Wired article, AICN reports that Reeves is possibly being considered for another comic-based role, this time it's Marvel's Silver Surfer, and 'tis merely a rumor at this point.
And what's been going on with me?
Well, The Vibemerchants went to a pro studio and recorded a couple of songs so we could enter a contest to open for....Bon Jovi! Which is hilarious but sort of appropriate since Bon Jovi was the biggest name that a little band called Dogstar was ever on the bill with, I believe.
And last but definitely not least, February 14 was a very special "V." day....I got engaged.
"Hello again everyone! Thanks to all who entered my little contest, and a huge thanks to Krix for helping me do it. Congratulations to Erika H. of Canada...The Matrix Online Game is on it's way to her. Again, thanks to all who entered, and have a great day!
"Hi Guys! Renie here. I have a brand new copy of The Matrix Online Video Game, plus a subscription card for more Matrix Online game time. The package is new, but the box is a bit ripped, and I did open the box to insert the subscription card, which was sold separately. If you'd like a chance to win this way cool prize, just answer this question correctly:
Name 3 films in which Keanu is not holding or drinking beer