Vern sees into A SCANNER DARKLY… what did he see?

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with our main man, Vern, who got an early look at Richard Linklater’s newest, A SCANNER DARKLY. My words are meaningless when the great Vern speaketh below. Enjoy!

A SCANNER DARKLY, Richard (BAD NEWS BEARS) Linklater’s new adaptation of the Philip K. Dick novel, is a visionary and boldly stylized look at the tragedies of the drug culture and the growing police state. Its psychedelic style of wobbly, traced-over animation creates a fluid, disconnected reality that perfectly captures–

Ah fuck, who am I fooling. This movie put me to fuckin sleep.

Maybe it’s over my head, I won’t rule that out. And I don’t want to say it’s necessarily a terrible movie (like WAKING LIFE – I hate that god damn movie). I haven’t read the book, and maybe people who did will enjoy it. Who knows. I think I admire what the movie is going for but that doesn’t change the fact that, to me anyway, it’s a meandering bore with barely any characters, humor or even plot to latch onto.

A Scanner DarklyKeanu Reeves plays a narc who goes undercover with a bunch of hippies using a drug called “Substance D.” But he truly is addicted to the drug so also is undercover among the cops. Because it’s 7 years in the future he wears a “scramble suit” to hide his identity when talking to other cops. This is a suit that causes every part of his face and clothes to constantly morph into different identities (Michael Jackson’s “Black Or White” video on acid) and is probaly the most clever use of the animation (even if the gimmick gets old fast). The movie takes place in a surveillance-obsessed future where everything everybody does gets holographically recorded and then his job as a “scanner” is to go through the footage on fast forward. (It is not related to SCANNERS or SCANNER COP.) Because his drug use causes damage to his brain he begins to spy on himself without realizing that it’s himself (or at least that’s what I gather after reading up on the book afterwards.)

That’s sort of what it’s about but unfortunately that’s not what you’re watching for most of the movie. Mostly you’re watching Robert Downey Jr. and Woody from Cheers laying around in an apartment or sitting in a diner pretending to be real high and getting confused about stuff. Also Winona Ryder is there and some other guy who acts like Renfield from Dracula to show how high he is, proving conclusively that drawings can overact. Sometimes I thought he was trying to be Benicio del Toro in FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS and that’s helpful because it makes it easier to figure out what is wrong with the movie. As much as they’re marketing it as sci-fi, this is not about robots and lasers, it’s more of a drug movie. Like FEAR AND LOATHING it is intentionally disorienting and kind of puts the viewer in a drug state. But in F&L, you have two undeniably compelling lead characters with strong personalities. You have lots of hilariously insane conversations and nightmarish drug freakouts (the lizard people is the famous one but my favorite is the bath tub suicide/grapefruit tossing scene). And there are other characters and a great setting to play off of. And when it comes around to having insights about the world of the 1970s, it seems earned and insightful and relevant to today. SCANNER DARKLY is weak or absent in all those departments.

Especially the dialogue. When you’re making a movie that’s more about people talking than about any kind of plot, they should probaly be talking about something interesting. If this shit is lifted straight from the novel then I apologize, but at least as presented here it’s a fucking bore. The closest thing to an interesting conversation is when they study a bicycle and debate how many gears it has. They speak third rate mystical drug nonsense, not nearly as pretentious as all that college dorm dream bullshit in WAKING LIFE, but even more meaningless.

And then there’s the characters. I don’t got a problem with Keanu. He’s Neo, for chrissakes. But I don’t know what his personality is in this movie, other than confused. And they definitely give the guy some soliloquy type dialogue that his mouth can’t handle. Then you got Winona. She is no more likable than any of the rest of these characters, possibly less. And it’s only in retrospect that I realize she is supposed to be the love interest who is driving the story. I’m not sure what Keanu sees in her but maybe if I knew what Keanu was about I would.

Most disappointing is Woody, because I actually like that guy. Remember Larry Flynt? KINGPIN? Even NATURAL BORN KILLERS – I didn’t like the movie, but he was good in it. So I was ready to enjoy his performance. Finally they tear him away from riding around on a hemp bicycle to do another movie but they only let him be mildly amusing. To be fair, the packed screening I saw the movie with laughed at a lot of the mildly wacky drug antics throughout the movie, but I didn’t get one laugh out of it.

I guess it’s nice to see Winona Ryder in a movie again, she used to be pretty good. And if you’ve always dreamed of seeing a drawing of her boobs, here is your movie. Please note though, there is not a tentacle going up her coochie like in some of your other “adult oriented” type cartoons you weirdos jerk off to.

That’s right, this is a type of cartoon so I should probaly analyze the cartoonsmanship a little bit. The last cartoon I saw was ICE AGE PART 2 on a plane and I would have to say that I liked this better than ICE AGE PART 2. They are equally boring and laugh-free but this one didn’t have jokes about animals shitting, which makes it stand out as a unique use of animation. I guess it’s the same as WAKING LIFE, I have to acknowledge that it is an original use of the particular medium, and that’s a good thing. We need more people trying new things. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it works.

Why isn’t this movie live action? I guess because it’s a drug movie and there are some weird visions here and there. Maybe you’ve seen the guy with the eyes all over his head, and there’s bugs crawling on a guy at the beginning. Those are the cool parts. Other than that it’s mostly just regular boring suburban places and people. Because the visually imaginative stuff is such a small part of the movie it seems like kind of a waste of time for animators. But I think maybe I know what they were going for. In live action, those parts would be a computer effect that would stand out from the rest of the movie. But this way everything has the same level of reality, and even ordinary everyday things likes couches and pet dogs are a little wobbly and gooey and make you seasick. That sort of works so I’ll give it a pass.

Also I guess it adds production value because without the tracing over this would mostly be camcorder shots of famous actors pretending to be high in some dude’s living room.

But another good question is, why is it traced over live action instead of a real cartoon? I’m sure tracing over is a gigantic pain in the ass, but it’s not as effective as a cartoon. You’re always aware that it’s real footage that somebody traced over so it distances you. In a real cartoon, some animator is creating life out of drawings. Here, they’re chasing after life and trying to draw lines over it. In small doses it’s kind of a novelty to see people who look like they’re made out of jelly, but I’m not convinced it’s a good way to tell a story. And the way they shade their faces makes it look like a cheesy photoshop filter.

Nope, I didn’t like this movie. But I don’t want it to feel all bad about itself and spiral into drug addiction, so I’ll end by saying 5 (five) nice things about it:

Number one, a movie doesn’t carry full responsibility for putting a person to sleep. Other physical factors are involved such as fatigue, diet, etc. and maybe you wouldn’t have fallen asleep under different circumstances. You would’ve just been really fuckin bored and twiddling your thumbs while a drawing of Robert Downey Jr. tries to freak you out with how crazy and high he is.

Number 2, there’s occasionally some good stylistic flourishes. I like the way Linklater presents some of it as surveillance footage. There’s even a montage that’s sped up and has fast forward lines on it. That was cool although I’m not sure why holographic video fast forwards the same as VHS.

Number 3, it is probaly more intelligent than other animation related movies it will be competing against, such as GARFIELD PART 2 and etc.

Number 4, you might like it better than I did, who knows.

Number 5, as dull as the nonsensical conversations are, at least they didn’t make me squirm and cringe like WAKING LIFE. And THANK THE LORD JESUS CHRIST IN HEAVEN that that Timothy “Speed 2” Levitch guy isn’t in this one. I honestly would’ve walked out. “Coauthoring a giant Dostoevsky novel starring clowns” my ass.

the end

your friend,


Originally posted at Ain’t-It-Cool-News: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/23634

View the archived Ain’t-It-Cool-News Talkback

  • June 18, 2006, 8:46 p.m. CST

    Winona Ryder needs…

    by C Legion

    to show us her tits (not just in cartoon state, though they’ll still give me a boner), she seems to have a great pair, why not reveal them to us before she’s past it and they reach her knees?

  • June 18, 2006, 8:57 p.m. CST


    by quintasphere

    Wow, I’m really surprised. I thought it would be good. Still

    gonna see it though.

  • June 18, 2006, 9 p.m. CST

    I have NEVER been this close to first

    by MrCere

    But I quit reading the review after he said it bores him. All I need to know and a GREAT review!

  • June 18, 2006, 9:07 p.m. CST

    Dang, missed out on being first

    by quintasphere

    I loved Waking Life. This film is also worth seeing. I mean the visuals alone is fascinating. People seem to have a problem

    with rotoscoping. Why?

  • June 18, 2006, 9:08 p.m. CST

    The lack of tentacle porn = no go

    by Bob of the Shire

    And that’s a fact.

  • June 18, 2006, 9:09 p.m. CST

    “are” fascinating.

    by quintasphere


  • June 18, 2006, 9:12 p.m. CST

    even if there is no tentacle rape…

    by cagirl

    …I am still going to see this film. I liked the story in written form I just hope Keanu and Wynona don’t screw it up with their typical lack of acting skills.

  • June 18, 2006, 9:18 p.m. CST

    Def not expecting that

    by Bean_

    I’ll still see it.

  • June 18, 2006, 9:20 p.m. CST

    No Winona Ryder Hentai?

    by Squashua

    Does she at least shoplift? Man, that’s some exciting shit right there.

  • June 18, 2006, 9:21 p.m. CST

    So Vern LIKES Keanu Reeves

    by Monkey Butler

    and DISLIKES intelligent sci-fi. Pretty much all I need to here.

  • June 18, 2006, 9:23 p.m. CST


    by SBconnection

    Quite possibly the lamest commentary on this sight.

  • June 18, 2006, 9:24 p.m. CST

    So it’s like American Pop?

    by Orionsangels

  • June 18, 2006, 9:34 p.m. CST


    by thebearovingian

    basically, this movie sucks ass. Excellent. Just you wait for Harry and Co. to PRAISE this DRECK ENDLESSLY while still agreeing with Vern that the film does in fact suck ass…

  • June 18, 2006, 9:37 p.m. CST

    You’re bias, stop reviewing

    by seahawk21

    #1) If you didnt like waking life, then your review of this movie is automatically bais.

    #2) If you didn’t like waking life, you’re not even worthy of reviewing any film at all. Were the topics too much for you to handle? Confuse you? Why dont you go watch cameron Diaz dance in her underwear, that might be the level of intelligence you can handle on screen.

    #3) You didn’t read scanner darkly? that doesnt surprise me, How many books have you read? Do you read? Can you read?

    #4 Don’t review anymore…please…

  • June 18, 2006, 9:39 p.m. CST

    The subject of the film

    by quintasphere

    It’s hard to compare notes over

    a film one hasn’t seen yet. We could talk a little about the book, unless that’s too off topic. This film is dated. We don’t have a rampant police state or drug culture, at least not overtly. The plot sounds like it’s born of the seventies.

  • June 18, 2006, 9:46 p.m. CST

    I liked Waking Life

    by Sam Raimi’s Car

    There I said it. I can turn lights on and off in my dreams. Whee. My housemate tried to watch it when she was hung over and it made her hurl.

  • June 18, 2006, 9:46 p.m. CST

    Still seeing this

    by floydtheater07

    I tend to enjoy Richard Linlater’s work, and I think I’ll see this just because he is involved (and Philip K. Dick stories/novels usually work on film…usually).

  • June 18, 2006, 9:50 p.m. CST

    “…riding around on a hemp bicycle…” LMAO

    by zikade zarathos

    Oh God, Vern’s reviews are great. I hated WAKING LIFE but I actually had high hopes with this one — using the form to make a movie with an actual PLOT. Oh well, sounds like it’s WAKING LIFE 2: INSOMNIA CURE.

  • June 18, 2006, 9:50 p.m. CST

    saw it at sxsw

    by samuraisix

    I enjoyed it immensely. It follows the tone of the book very closely. I’ve also been listening to the audiobook (read incredibly by Paul Giamatti). I think fans of Waking Life will enjoy it, as well.

  • June 18, 2006, 9:50 p.m. CST


    by troutpencil

    Have you read A Scanner Darkly? I have, and I’ve read man PKD novels and short stories and I could tell from the beginning that Linklater and his legion of undergraduate frat philosopher fans were going to take a giant shit on the book by turning a story about drug abusers into more undergraduate frat bullshit philosophy ramblings. AND U SHUD NOT BE ALLOWED TO WRITE IN ANYMORE VERN TALKBACKS BECAUSE U R BIAS BECAUSE YOU DIDN’T LIKE THIS ONE.

  • June 18, 2006, 9:52 p.m. CST

    “The plot sounds like it’s born of the seventies”.

    by Shan

    Which was about when the book was written. Great book by the way …

  • June 18, 2006, 9:53 p.m. CST

    Give Reeves a chance.

    by Euangelion

    A ton of people seem to relish the opportunity to shit on Keanu Reeves. I’ll admit, he has handed in some shitty performances. However, most of the time that is due to the man either being utterly miscast (Much Ado About Nothing,)or accepting roles in just plain shitty movies (Sweet November, Hard Ball, The Devil’s Advocate, and handfuls of others).Whenever he’s in a decently conceived movie with a director that knows how to steer his performance, he actually does pretty well. Just check out The Last Time I Committed Suicide or The Gift to see what he can do in those types of situations. (I’d reference the first Matrix film as well but that opens the can o’ hate surrounding the sequels).

  • June 18, 2006, 10 p.m. CST


    by samuraisix

    the film pretty much has verbatim dialogue from the book.

  • June 18, 2006, 10:04 p.m. CST

    No matter how bad this is…

    by Drworm2002

    …it will never be as bad as Jeepers Creepers. I don’t give a fuck if it’s just Keanu Reeves taking a shit for 3 hours…still would be better.

  • June 18, 2006, 10:12 p.m. CST

    This movie sounds like POODOO to me!

    by zillabeast

    And so does that new football movie with The Rock. POODOO!!

  • June 18, 2006, 10:20 p.m. CST

    Vern doesn’t like high concept sci-fi!?!

    by Billyeveryteen

    Shocked! I am shocked… well, not that shocked.

  • June 18, 2006, 10:22 p.m. CST

    Every review I’ve seen of this says it sucks…

    by zacdilone

    …but Variety, Newsweek, and Hollywood Reporter are all giving Superman Returns unabashed praise.

  • June 18, 2006, 10:22 p.m. CST

    Don’t understand Keanu Reeves hate either

    by quintasphere

    The people who hate him are actually his biggest fans. They’ve got some personal reason for hating him that has nothing to do with his perfomances.

    They just will not say what it

    is precisely.

  • June 18, 2006, 10:31 p.m. CST

    The novel

    by quintasphere

    The weird thing is that I love

    the book but I’ve completely

    forgotten most of what was in there. It’s too late to go to the library now. So I’ll pick it up sometime this week and read it again before the movie opens.

  • June 18, 2006, 10:45 p.m. CST

    response to troutpencil

    by seahawk21

    I’ve read 6 philip k. dick novels, including scanner. You’re right, I am bais. I’m also not writing reviews on a movie website. If I did write reviews, I wouldnt be so obviously explicit with my bias. If you notice, i didn’t mention anything about Scanner (the movie) in my original post, becuase I havent seen the movie. I was only responding to “verns” comments on waking life. And you’re right, movie’s dont need “philosophical bullshit”. Movies that make you think and challenge your brain are pointless and dumb.(in case you can’t tell im being sarcastic) I’m not even saying that the Scanner movie will be good, I just don’t think someone who didn’t appreictae waking life, should review Scanner. Also, keep in mind this is an adaptation, so its Linklaters take on the book. If you want to experience the story word for word, then just read the book again. Having said that, perhaps you should read my posts a bit more carefully, so you don’t come off as stupid as you just did.

  • June 18, 2006, 10:50 p.m. CST


    by JohnGalt06

    Methinks comic book adapations are not for me. Oh well…

  • June 18, 2006, 10:52 p.m. CST

    seahawk21, i am sorry

    by Holodigm

    i apologize to you for not being entertained by 90 minutes of philosophy. you have no idea how guilty i feel for not getting a kick out of the same scene over and over and over with the dialogue slightly changed up. and i’m especially sorry you can’t realize that people with opinions different from yours could quite possibly have an education as well.

  • June 18, 2006, 10:56 p.m. CST

    Haha… “Richard (BAD NEWS BEARS) Linklater”

    by Flim Springfield

    That cracked me up.

  • June 18, 2006, 11:01 p.m. CST

    I must say …

    by Judas_Noose

    You all seem like blithering idiots when you compare and contrast such dynamically different concepts, feign intellectual discourse … and yet you cannot understand the difference between the words “bias” and “biased” – get a clue, dudes – pick up a dictionary for Gumby’s sake. Good grief.

  • June 18, 2006, 11:06 p.m. CST

    Waking Life… Annoying.

    by Froduss

    I was anxious to see Waking Life when I finally got the chance. I really wanted to enjoy it. And after 30-40 minutes, I had to turn it off.

    It got on my nerves the same way as when I go into a book store or coffee shop and hear existential babble from a bunch of losers, who in many cases, seem to be coincidentally unemployed. This is the same philosphoical rhetoric that has been peddled for years. It’s not that I “don’t get it”, but it is so “been there, done that, now let’s move forward and do something productive”. I guess that is why there are some that hit their thirties and can say they accomplished something at their point in life, while others spent their entire time “talking” in the their twenties and later have nothing to show for it. You can still find them there, now 30, 35, still “talking”, trying to impress others by spouting out someone else’s theories they picked up from a book.

  • June 18, 2006, 11:13 p.m. CST

    I hate rotoscoping

    by Mace13

    That shit just makes me naseous trying to watch it. I have no idea why but it just does. The few disney movies that used it here and there in places are ok because it’s not quite as “In your face” as other movies like American Pop or Hey Good Look’n. I just can’t stand watching full on rotoscoping mode movies. So i’ll probably be passing on this one. From what i’ve read about this movie thus far it doesn’t sound that good anyway.

  • June 18, 2006, 11:16 p.m. CST

    Challenging films

    by quintasphere

    There aren’t many fictional films that actually challenge my thinking anymore.

    Does anyone else feel this way? I saw Being John Malkovich yesterday on IFC. The movie,

    while still good, didn’t seem half as fun as it was the first time around. And this film is fairly recent.

    What happened to that explosion of great films that seemed to crop up a lot during circa 1998-2000. I’m thinking of stuff like Magnolia, Mulholland Drive,

    Three Monkeys, Momento, Fight Club, Adaptation, Three Kings, stuff like that. These

    films were like challenging puzzles. That stuff has dropped

    off the face of the earth.

    A Scanner Darkly seems more a curiosity in the present moment. Not an actual film EVENT, you know? Something to provoke a little thought, yes, but not a challenging, mindwarping experience.

  • June 18, 2006, 11:27 p.m. CST

    Re: I love and always have loved Winona Ryder…

    by quintasphere

    anchorite, wow, you really put your heart out there. I understand that. I know a lot of people feel the same way about her as well. But it’s

    hard for me to understand her appeal. The media used

    to talk about her a LOT during the

    nineties. I could never understand it. She always seemed a little distant to me.

  • June 18, 2006, 11:32 p.m. CST

    Great review, Vern.

    by Gilkuliehe

    I feel the exact same way about WAKING LIFE. It truly was like being at a party with a bunch of annoying fucks.

  • June 18, 2006, 11:49 p.m. CST

    response to seahawk21’s response to troutpencil…

    by havocSchultz

    …I don’t think someone who couldn’t appreciate the fact that he shouldn’t try to announce that he is being sarcastic right after the moment he was trying to be sarcastic should be allowed to attempt to write sarcasm…

  • June 18, 2006, 11:54 p.m. CST

    Vern is highly qualified

    by WukkaWukka

    … to review this movie, particularly if it’s a piece of crap. Seahawk, Vern has watched more movies than you’ve had hot breakfasts, and if he saw you in the shower, he’d probably shank you. Punk.

    And for the record, Waking Life was 90 minutes of Linklater tugging away while his friends read from first year philosophy textbooks. Put down the bong and it suddenly becomes a lot less fascinating.

  • June 18, 2006, 11:57 p.m. CST

    who gives a shit about any of it….

    by occula

    …i check this site every day to see if vern’s reviewed something. i will be giggling all night long thinking about a tentacle going up poor winona’s coochie. everybody else just wishes they were as naturally funny as vern, who might want to think about writing his own movie sometime…

  • June 19, 2006, midnight CST


    by quintasphere

  • June 19, 2006, 12:01 a.m. CST

    Ce film = les genoux de l’abeille

    by OurManInMontr

    or the bee’s knees, if you prefer. Very funny review, Vernito, but I’ll still be there on opening night. Or shortly afterwards. By the way, the bath tub suicide/grapefruit tossing scene is my favorite, too. Very nearly pissed myself when I first saw it. In a theater, on shrooms. I had watched a few movies on shrooms before, but not in a theater. It’s special. By the way, for new young adventurers in the enchanting world of psychedelics, I gregariously recommend “Apocalypse Now Redux” (Of course. Greatest movie ever, anyway.), “Pink Floyd: The Wall”, “Time Bandits” (another Gilliam… coincidence?), “Baraka” and “The Exorcist” (Actually, read ‘Insert your favorite scary movie here’). Actually, anything ending with “qatsi”, too. Mmm. And “Star Wars”. I might be trailing off again. Tabarnak.

  • June 19, 2006, 12:12 a.m. CST

    Somebody Has to xplain this to Me

    by quintasphere

    Why do people find Waking Life

    so annoying? I cannot see what’s

    so offensive about the film. Is

    philosophy really that bad?

    Is the stuff too obvious for the

    most of you? Like “I don’t see what’s so deep about this. Anybody can understand this crap.” Does the film insult your intelligence? Is it the way it’s constructed? I was pretty much taken with it myself whole film myself. In the end, if you don’t like Waking Life, then you probably won’t like A Scanner Darkly as well.

  • June 19, 2006, 12:15 a.m. CST

    Do people like this style?

    by Darth TJ Mackey

    Most folks I talk to find the rotoscoping kinda creepy, like in those insurance commercials on TV or whatever (not the e-surance chick–she’s hot). It’s sort of an “Uncanny Valley” effect. I’ll still see this one though, since it’s PKD and all. Hey, is there a review up for Seagal’s SHADOW MAN? ’cause I did a search of the site and I couldn’t find anything about it. Thanks.

  • June 19, 2006, 12:16 a.m. CST

    Re: Anchorite

    by quintasphere

    Ha! Ha! Ha! Hilarious. I should have been tipped off by the part. “I would have taken the fall for you, my love. It was MY prescription, officers. Please, take me instead.” Good stuff.

  • June 19, 2006, 12:19 a.m. CST

    Waking Life wasn’t ineresting. It was Freshman year…

    by OldBoy

    …philosophy notes. Dick’s novel is great, so I’m going to see the movie and probably enjoy it. I like to see people trying new things too, but I’m not going to praise something just because it seems hip which is what Waking Life was. And the animation that everyone praises was interesting, but gimmicky – and can be fairly easily done in photoshop. That it was done to so many frames was cool looking, and the animation in Scanner is supposed to be even better, but it sickens me to see assholes claim that anyone who didn’t like Waking Life “didn’t get it”. Personally, I would rather watch a movie with Cameron Diaz dancing on a bed in her panties while giving a rational argument against Frank Jackson’s Knowledge Argument, but maybe again, that’s just me.

  • June 19, 2006, 12:23 a.m. CST

    Somebody Has To Explain This To Me (v. 2.0)

    by quintasphere

    Why do people find Waking Life so annoying? I cannot see what’s so offensive about the film. Is philosophy really that bad? Is the stuff too obvious for the most of you? Like “I don’t see what’s so deep about this. Anybody can understand this crap.” Does the film insult your intelligence? Is it the way it’s constructed? All I know for sure is that rotoscoping makes some nauseous and creeps others out. I was pretty much taken with the animation myself. In the end, if you don’t like Waking Life, then you probably won’t like A Scanner Darkly as well.

  • June 19, 2006, 12:28 a.m. CST

    Thanks Vern

    by Jonesey1111

    Thanks for hating waking life! I thought I was the only one.

  • June 19, 2006, 12:48 a.m. CST

    Do the people that hate the “bullshit” philosophy

    by Monkey Butler

    in Waking Life also hate the Matrix? Because honestly, anyone can read Descartes.

  • June 19, 2006, 1:02 a.m. CST

    I hate when people attack Waking Life.

    by Rant Breath

    Of all the entertainment to attack in the world, why attack Waking Life?

  • June 19, 2006, 1:13 a.m. CST

    who the fuck is this guy?

    by 2bitkubrick

    he didn’t like waking life, he didn’t like natural born killers, he said this is “probably” better than ice age 2?!?!? seriously harry, where the fuck do you find these fools? the book is awesome, and granted, i don’t know if this will be a really faithfull adaptation of it, but still. linklater is known for writing compelling dialogue, have your seen the sunset movies fer chrissakes? way over this dudes head. let him review X3, it’ll be more this idiots speed.

  • June 19, 2006, 1:19 a.m. CST

    I hate when people defend Waking Life.

    by wolack22

    That movie was pretentious dog pee all over. It was for the sychophantic pseudo-intellectualizing esoteric cocaine freebasing scum. If you want to get off pretending like you’re smarter than everyone else ya sure this isa great movie, but if you actually know how the world works and dont smoke 5 pounds of crack a day then dont see this movie. P.s. i think it’s funny how vern gets off criticizing waking life when his career is centered around criticizing movies, it doesn’t get more pretentious and less practicle for society than that line of work. just kidding hehe

  • June 19, 2006, 1:21 a.m. CST

    also it’s funny howi waste my time criticizing…

    by wolack22

    waking life, and those who like it when i could be going out and doing things to help society instead of wasting my time metaphorically jerking off all over this website… ahhhhhhhhhh i’ve become what i hate

  • June 19, 2006, 1:22 a.m. CST

    Re: 2bitkubrick

    by quintasphere

    “… he said this is “probably” better than ice age 2?!?!? ”


    I didn’t even catch that part the first time around.

    Come on 2bitkubrick, you’ve got

    to admit that’s pretty funny.

  • June 19, 2006, 1:27 a.m. CST

    stop bashing waking life!!!

    by 2bitkubrick

    okay, granted, some of you may have got it and just not felt the need to be bashed over the head with it again. good for you, but you’re in a small minority. granted, it’s a little heavy handed. but, in the hollywood universe, its a godsend. c’mon, how many other films even try to do that much mind fucking in a film? none. like it or not, its extremely unique and should be respected for its vision and singular balls-outness (i made that word up, so sue me). second, those who post that philosophy is existential bullshit (froduss, for instance) either a) don’t get it and feel stupid so they attack what they don’t understand – or b) don’t give a shit about anything but that next paycheck so why even try to open your mind to new ideas. we are not all unemployed bong hitters, my friend. some of use are living quite well, due in large part to the application of such “stoner” ideas to our lives. thats okay though, keep thinking inside the box, i need someone to work for me anyway.

  • June 19, 2006, 1:28 a.m. CST


    by unclefishbits

    Rotoscoping my ass… people have a problem with prostelystic, inane, pseudo-scientific, horrendously retarded and ridiculous bullshit.

    Waking Life…. is one of the worst films EVER, because it is unapologetic about being completely inane. God DAMN, I hated that film.

    Damnit… anyone ever take any level of quantum mechanics, etc??? I am sure you went insane.

  • June 19, 2006, 1:29 a.m. CST

    ice age 2

    by 2bitkubrick

    it is funny quintosphere. and also very sad. but i laugh anyhow.

  • June 19, 2006, 1:35 a.m. CST

    the difference between The Matrix and Waking Life

    by Vern

    is that The Matrix is a very entertaining sci-fi and kung fu movie that happens to also have some pseudo-philosophy thrown in here and there, and to me it works as a really good analogy for the world we live in today. Some people can find meaning in it but they don’t have to, it’s just an added bonus. Waking Life is the opposite, it is literally nothing but people sitting around talking about supposedly profound topics. Slacker was better because it had a sense of humor and you were allowed to think the people talking were idiots if you wanted to. People talking is the concept of Waking Life, I understand that, I’m not gonna criticize them for staying true to their concept. But to me the result is one of the most annoying movies of all time. There are scenes here and there that I liked (I don’t remember which ones though) and I did think some of the animation was cool, I just didn’t like hearing a bunch of pretentious fucks impress Seahawk by talking about conduits and paradigms and shit. I’ve had those conversations before and I’ve moved on to more interesting things and yes, for God’s sake YES I would rather watch the Charlie’s Angels movies than listen to those people tell me their stoner theories about dreams. When I reprinted the Waking Life review in my book I had to put a footnote for that “Dostoevsky novel starring clowns” quote to explain that it’s real and not something I just made up to make fun of the movie. Anyway, Seahawk, after a couple years of college you’ll get sick of that shit and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about and you’ll come back here and apologize to me and I will welcome you like a brother and maybe then you can explain to me what “bais” is. And we’ll watch 2001 together because it’s one of my favorite movies and has been officially declared “intelligent sci-fi” by greater nerds than you.

  • June 19, 2006, 1:35 a.m. CST

    Is this why people dislike Waking Life?

    by quintasphere

    I didn’t count on people hating Waking Life so much. The film was excellent as far as I’m concerned. Despite that, I’ve narrowed down some reasons for why some people dislike the film

    based on some people’s responses.

    1. The animation is poorly constructed and distracting.

    2. The philosophy of the film can be summed up in two words “rank amateurism”.

    3. Everybody else I know loves this film for except me.

    4. I resent the people who appear in this film.

    5. I resent the sort of people

    who have seemed to enjoy this film.

    6. I’ve seen this type of thing


  • June 19, 2006, 1:41 a.m. CST

    2001?!?! you dare pull that card??

    by 2bitkubrick

    wow. you pulled out 2001! a nerds nerdy movie. one question, verne, why do you and everyone here think that waking life was made by stoners? people who aren’t high can’t wonder about such universal questions? do you think the great philosophers you read about in your community college where ALL high? normal people can’t ask such questions? maybe my question should be, why don’t you people ask such questions? like sheep, you are too content in your little studio apartments and ho-hum lives to wonder if there is something more? or you just don’t care? sheep. if you have to smoke some pot to give a shit about why you’re here, then lemme roll you one.

  • June 19, 2006, 1:41 a.m. CST

    unclefishbits, appreciate the response

    by quintasphere

    I’ll be sure to add that to the list.

  • June 19, 2006, 1:47 a.m. CST

    i cant watch this animation style

    by dr.bulber

    it makes me sea-sick.

  • June 19, 2006, 1:48 a.m. CST

    to two bit Kubrick

    by Vern

    I’ve been writing here for about five years or so, so I don’t remember where Harry found me, but it was probaly somewhere cool like the Mayan ruins or somewhere. I already reviewed X-Men 3, so please check that one out I’m sure you’ll enjoy that review too. Like I said in the review I like alot of Linklater’s movies, hell I even liked Bad News Bears and Newton Boys, probaly his worst reviewed movies. But I call it like I see it, I’m not gonna pretend like just because he’s made good movies in the past everything he makes is gonna be gold. If you click on the link to my Waking Life review you’ll see that I pointed out the same things you said about it being admirable for someone to break the mold and make a different type of movie. But that doesn’t mean it worked. If you like listening to these pretentious windbags talk about their interactive soap operas and lucid dreaming techniques then please, for God’s sake, watch the movie for us, and lead those people to your house and listen to your heart’s content. And because you’re listening the rest of us won’t have to. Just make sure the windows are closed so the neighbors don’t hear it, those people tend to talk loud.

  • June 19, 2006, 1:49 a.m. CST

    2bitKubrick, You’re Right

    by quintasphere

    Wow, Vern responded. That’s pretty darn cool. The drug issue comes up a lot. Why? Anyway, I’ve took this stuff into consideration. I’m

    going to watch the movie again with these criticisms in mind.

  • June 19, 2006, 1:54 a.m. CST

    Could we define our terms?

    by Euangelion

    What are the conditions for deeming the discussion or illustration of philosophical topic “pseudo-philosophy”? I’ve never watched Waking Life but The Matrix only seems to oversimplify and misinterpret a couple of concepts (mainly most of the references to Baudrillard’s ideas, which the philosopher himself took issue with in the press).

  • June 19, 2006, 1:56 a.m. CST

    the end of waking life

    by 2bitkubrick

    its a strange thing that a forum about a scanner darkly has become a waking life debate. to me, its just a larger tribute to the film, that it can still spawn such a heated discussion. my last point (before bed) is this – if you didn’t like it, fine. but don’t say it pretentious bullshit, cause you’re missing the point. i will make an analogy to fight club. i was working at a theatre when that movie came out. for the record, i fucking love that movie, and recommended it to everyone buying a ticket. many thanked me. some thought is was unpleasant, or were offennded by the content, or just found the tone to be too depressing (as i feel about million dollar baby and requiem. well done, but shit, i don’t watch a movie to feel depressed, ya know?) thats cool. but most who didn’t like it had some bullshit jock remark to make that “how could he be the same guy, thats fucking stupid” or “it’s called fight club, there should be more fighting, that was lame. lets go watch armageddon!’ ass clowns! if you got it and didn’t like it, thats cool. but don’t hate it cause you’re too stupid to get it. and don’t hate waking life because you either don’t get it and feel lame (go read up on some of it, free your mind) or think that all movies should have jokes and guns and all that don’t suck. and pleae, PLEASE dont pigenhole those who do like it as stoner losers. i wouldn’t call linklater a loser, considering he’s never had a real hit movie (something thats made lots of money, a hit by hollywood standards) and is still a name director in hollywood. not all of us are losers, some of us are just free thinkers, explorers, curious people who like to be challenged. it doesn’t always take drugs to do so (they sometimes help!). hell, there’s parts of that movie that i don’t agree with, but i respect the message, and the audacity to make such a movie with name actors in todays hollywood. so, please, someone post a better reason for not likiing it than “stoner existenial bullshit by caffine charged unemployed philosophers with too many degrees and not enough motivation who will never amount to anything,” and i’ll quit calling all who hate it idiots with a second grade reading level. deal?

  • June 19, 2006, 1:57 a.m. CST

    two bit part 2

    by Vern

    I pulled out 2001 because whatsisdick said I don’t like “intelligent sci-fi” and whenever anybody uses that phrase they mean “2001.” I agree that Scanner Darkly is trying to do something intelligent and in some ways it succeeds. But like I said it’s more of a drug movie than sci-fi and from what I’ve read Dick only put the genre elements in there because he thought he couldn’t sell a traditional novel. Anyway, to answer your question, I don’t smoke weed and I agree that not all of the people in Waking Life do. But the truth is, half of the movie reminded me of the scene in Revenge of the Nerds 2 where the nerds get high and talk about something like “what if the whole world is actually just a piece of dust in another, larger world” or some stupid bullshit like that. I’m not against “asking the questions” I just don’t agree that there is any depth to most of the questions these people are asking. Tell me this bud, what do you think about the “speed levitch” guy’s scene? Does that really float your boat?

  • June 19, 2006, 1:57 a.m. CST

    Waking life blows!

    by wolack22

    Psycho babble, and pretenious content is okay for books… but what you dont understand seahawk is that when you put something like that in a movie you need a plot and a good one. … see we all know catcher in the rye is a great book, but when you try adapting that into a movie it’s most likely going to suck because holden is going to look like some dumb spoilt rich kid… same goes for any great book… that’s why waking life sucked, and that’s why scanner probably sucks so suck it sucker!

  • June 19, 2006, 2:14 a.m. CST


    by Froduss

    Ok. So how did apply your stoner ideas to life? I’m actually interested. Seriouslly, you did drugs, read some books and talked about life, the universe and everything. That’s really not some exclusive club, my friend, but if you think you are unique, then go right ahead. Did I hit a nerve? Never did I attack “philosophy” or “existential bullshit”, but instead those who dwell in coffee shops and go “on” and “on”. It’s not about my comprehension of the film, because, trust me, I got it. It’s how it was packaged. Someone here once said, “not getting a film” and “not liking a film” are two different things. However, obviously, your are so open minded, you can’t except that notion. Wrap your head around that one and stop thinking you are so progressive. Seriously, this is the very same reason why I didn’t like Waking LIfe, not the concepts within, but having to watch a movie with people like you talking to each other. It was like a animated movie involving 30 2bitkubriks yapping at each other.

  • June 19, 2006, 2:20 a.m. CST


    by Abhimanyu

    Saw the new House on Haunted Hill on ‘shrooms, for the reasons specified. That movie was so bad, I walked out sober. Seriously.

  • June 19, 2006, 2:22 a.m. CST

    ok i got a perfect comparison for waking life…

    by wolack22

    Say they made a movie of The doors of perception by aldous huxley… say you made that a movie…. and now think how horrible that movie would be… but how intriguing the book is…. that is waking life…e xcept for the fact im not sure waking life was a book before hand, but it should have been… then it would have been ok. WAKING LIFE SUCKS!!!! existentalism is for people who want to get brain anyeurisms

  • June 19, 2006, 2:26 a.m. CST


    by 2bitkubrick

    i always thought algebra 2 was the part of college that couldn’t be applied usefully to life! per your suggestion, i just read your waking life review, and i must say, yes i agree with you on some points. but i wholefuckingheartedly disagree on others. speed levitch can die from an overdose, for all i fucking care , and i’m glad he was used sparingly in the film, because he’s exactly the kind of person i think you people think we ALL are. so yeah, fuck him. but what about the ethan hawke scene? you mentioned tolerating that in your review. thats a great scene, one of my favorites. i really like the ending at the pinball machine. also the scene with the light switch. and the one with the girl he bumps into on the subway (feeling like disconnected ants, a strange way of describing our collective lonlieness, how one can feel utterly isolated in a crowd of people). and, honestly, thats how the people i know speak of such mysteries. its not in riddles and durg addled nonsensical similie, its with questions, ones that are encountered in day to day life. feelings of disconnection from one another, and general dissatisfaction with existence at large. not a 90 speech that has no effect upon you and is forgotten within the hour. such ramblings can make a difference, and as i said, i don’t agree with all of the film, but i do respect it, as it appears you do from your review. kudos. you’re still a little fucking harsh on it, man, and i think the quotes you used were some of the worst you could find to emphasis your point. but as i posted earlier, it appears you “got it” (whatever that means), so, from this poster at least, you’ve gained some respect. (well, that and the 2001 thing. my name is 2bitkubrick, after all). my favorite scene has to be the one where the guy’s head turns into a cog in a machine and he talks about the theory of everything and if scientists can predict the movement of atoms and you are just made of atoms, can they eventually predict your movements, and how that throws the idea of free will into question. granted, none of this affects the fact that i’m staying up way too late to debate this and no matter what “mysteries of existance” i may reveal to myself tonight, it doesn’t change the fact that i have to go to work early tomorrow, which has always been something i’ve wrestled with when dealing with philosophy (the real world applications of it, or lack thereof). one last question vern, did you see what the bleep do we know, and (dare i ask) what did you think?

  • June 19, 2006, 2:38 a.m. CST

    Tentacle porn is so 80ies, man …

    by godoffireinhell

    It’s all about animated scat these days.

  • June 19, 2006, 2:45 a.m. CST

    froduss, wow.

    by 2bitkubrick

    okay, froduss. didn’t really attack you, just mentioned you as one of the many here that said “existential bullshit,” but okay, here goes. A)never said i was unique, or in an exclusive club, but hey, thanks. B)no nerve hit. i’m pretty amoral. just don’t diss on my momma. C)granted, you did preface your rant with saying “book stores and coffee shops” but you went on to say “the same existensial rhetoric that has been peddled for years” which led me to believe either you have spent a great deal of time in said places, or you were speaking on philosophy you’ve heard as a whole, not just in these places. sorry if i misinterpereted. i guess i tend to look beyond mere words and i see images and feelings and the strings of the universe vibratiing behind the text. i know you, i know you’re kind, i’ve seen the truth, and it shall set us all free. speak up, brethren, shout the truth from on high!! here ye, here ye, i have a big ole brain!!! (sorry, but i couldnt help myself. i don’t take this, or your attack to seriously. its my philosophy.) D) i’m not old yet (in my thirties), so i don’t know what i’ll look back and say, but you mentioned those who have accomplished and those who spent their twenties talking and now have nothing left except to try to impress others spouting off ideas they read in someone elses books. gee, i hope spending your twenties blogging about movies at 2 in the moring doesn’t count, or else we’re all screwed. D)i don’t know if you read it or not, but the person who said that there are people who didn’t get the film and those who just didn’t like it and thats two seperate things . . . yeah, that was me. so, yeah, i am progressive enough to wrap my head around that, cause i typed it. had to read lots of niche and schopenhauer before i could understand such an idea, but yeah, i’m right there with ya, man. so, in closing, if you “got” waking life but just didn’t like it, then good for you, i’ll send you an e-card with a kitten on it. but, please, don’t ever allude to a room full of 30 2bitkubricks again. i don’t think my ego can take it.

  • June 19, 2006, 2:46 a.m. CST

    sorry vern

    by 2bitkubrick

  • June 19, 2006, 2:49 a.m. CST

    thanks 2 bit

    by Vern

    Yeah, there were certain things I liked about the movie but the overall effect was to really, really annoy me. If I remember right I had to turn it off a couple times and take breaks to escape from these people. I don’t think I ever called people who LIKE the movie losers or stoners or whatever, maybe someone else did, but it is the characters in the movie who bother me, not the people who watch it. No, I never saw What the Shit Do We Know?!?!. It’s funny because it played for something like six months in my neighborhood and a drunk guy on the bus recommended it to me on two different occasions. I didn’t know there was any crossover with Waking Life fans, though. I heard that the Ramtha cult (which is headquartered somewhere around here) made that movie, so I thought it was some New Age thing and didn’t really take it seriously. Should I though? It sounds like you’re saying I would hate it, but did you like it?

  • June 19, 2006, 2:50 a.m. CST

    oops, sorry vern

    by 2bitkubrick

    for calling you a fool. even though i heavily disagree with your waking life review, i respect it. that, coulpled with your affection for 2001 makes me retract my previous statement. tell harry you don’t have to just review X3. i’m willing to forgo this in lieu of better reviews in the future. of course, when i go see scanner, it had better be fucking amazing, considering all the shit i talked. i’d hate to come back here with my tail between my legs and start comparing it to ice age 2. i hate crow. it tastes real bad.

  • June 19, 2006, 2:56 a.m. CST

    what the shit do i know?

    by 2bitkubrick

    you probably wouldn’t like it. kinda new agey, the ramtha cult didn’t make it, just some crazy lady has a spot in it. its really just a documentary, interviewing a bunch of physicist (?) guys and quantum mechanic this and thats and what they thing about free will and the state of being. imagine a full discussion of that scene i was talking about from waking life with the gear head guy about hawkings theory of everything eventually predicting human activitly and how that clashes with free will, and you’ll get the picture. much more scientific that waking life, as these dudes have like 20 phd’s each, all in some quantum or nuclear or small particle shit field. possibly worth a look, i’d just be interested to hear your opinion on it. all my friends eat that shit up, and i really don’t know anyone who can give me a good reason as to why it may suck, other than “stoner bullshit.” but yeah, that ramtha cult is some crazy shit. she’s nuts. she thinks she’s s god. seriously. should be some serious waking life fan crossovers though. anyone out there have an opinion?

  • June 19, 2006, 3 a.m. CST

    Vern, don’t qualify Seahawk’s comments any longer.

    by Thunder Mammoth

    anyone who can’t discuss with a pre-existing acknowledgment of the necessity in life and art for differences of opinions doesn’t really want to discuss anything. They only want to be near people who can tell them they agree, and how smart they are. honestly, why couldn’t someone who did not like Waking Life be a candidate for a review… who knows, you might’ve really been turned around? but you weren’t, so that gives us a good idea of what we can expect from the new film. sheesh – that’s not so hard to grasp, is it? Not that i even have to tell you, but please, KEEP YOUR BIAS… it makes you HUMAN, and it’s why your writing has always stood out from the lot. Rock on! By the way — Got high before first seeing Waking Life a few years ago… it didn’t make it any better. But have you ever seen SCENT OF A WOMAN? or…. seen Scent of a Woman, ON WEED????

  • June 19, 2006, 3:11 a.m. CST

    “Ice Age Part Two”

    by Traumnovelle

    Hahahaha. Ahhh. That made me giggle. Great review. I didn’t like the looks of this picture from day one. The two or three minute long trailer came close to giving me unbearable migraines. There’s no way I could sit through a two hour feature with that fucking shakey animation. And thank you for your tirade against Waking Life; more people need to hate that movie. I Heart Huckabees also. Fuck all that shit.

  • June 19, 2006, 3:16 a.m. CST

    Yes, stoners will enjoy Waking Life…

    by Rant Breath

    …more social climbers and jocks but that’s the human condition. I want all the Waking Life haters to write a 200-word essay on why God designed it that way. It’s due next Thursday.

  • June 19, 2006, 3:16 a.m. CST

    on weed?!?

    by 2bitkubrick

    thats funny. so, you wouldn’t say “dude, are you high right now?” you’d say “dude, are you on weed right now?” haha. i’m not poking fun, really, i have enough people attacking me tonight. i’ve just never heard that. must be a midwestern thing. by the way, I really do heart huckabees. c’mon guys, at least that movie had a plot and some humor. granted, even i don’t know what that movie was trying to say at times, but i still laughed mu existential ass off.

  • June 19, 2006, 3:17 a.m. CST

    “more THAN social climbers and jocks”

    by Rant Breath

  • June 19, 2006, 3:19 a.m. CST

    rant breath

    by 2bitkubrick

    did you mean stoners will like waking life more THAN social climbers and jocks? just asking. its 3 am i totally understand typos at this point. also, what do you mean – social climbers? just trying to clarify, as i make take you up on that essay. except i’m an atheist, so it should make for an interesting paper.

  • June 19, 2006, 3:25 a.m. CST

    “The last cartoon I saw was ICE AGE PART 2 on a plane.”


    That sounds like a movie I wanna see!!! “But none of those movies has Mothah fuckin’ ICE AGE PART 2 on a Mothah fuckin’ PLANE!” Awesome…

  • June 19, 2006, 4:42 a.m. CST

    I Heart Huckabees

    by Vern

    I gotta admit, I liked Huckabees. I don’t see it as the same as Waking Life though. To me Waking Life wanted you to embrace its ideas, Huckabees didn’t. My interpretation of Huckabees was that all these people are searching for meaning in life and they have these conflicting philosophies and all of them are kind of wrong. I mean come on, some of that stuff is clearly meant to be taken as ridiculous. Whatever was inteneded that movie makes me laugh, especially when Mark Wahlberg says, “No, I’m not a committee member, but I *am* a local firefighter.”

  • June 19, 2006, 5:04 a.m. CST

    I hate Waking Life too

    by CuervoJones

    Every detail of it makes me angry

  • June 19, 2006, 5:13 a.m. CST

    Winona needs more Tentacles!!!

    by DerLanghaarige

    But probably I like it anyway!

  • June 19, 2006, 5:18 a.m. CST


    by godoffireinhell

    Are banned.

  • June 19, 2006, 6:46 a.m. CST


    by seppukudkurosawa

    I guess, considering the source material, it’s strangely fitting that I’m in two minds about that review. It looks to me like Vern just didn’t have a handle on the movie in general, and because of that he didn’t like it. It’s a hard book, and Dick’s a slippery author, sometimes after reading one of his stories you’re left wondering what the hell it is you’ve just read. But then you stir on it for a little while longer and it just clicks. So the movie’s probably gonna leave a lot of people with the same reaction, and considering it’s a movie, a lot of people will never get to the clicking part until they watch it again.////

    Then again, apart from that, I’ve seen his points repeated by a few other people, so this might just not be a good movie. I’m starting to think that the way you approach this going in is crucial to how you’ll feel when you walk out the cinema. I bet Vern went in knowing this was a drug movie, and maybe expecting some freaky-ass weirdness a la Fear and Loathing (which he mentioned in the review), but this isn’t just a drug movie. It’s a drug movie based on a Philip K Dick book, which means it was written in an alternative dimension (Dick’s fucked up brain). I just think that Our Man Vern expected something different out of this movie, and had no idea how to react to what he was given///Good review all round though, but I’ll have to see the movie for myself to see whether I FINALLY disagree with Vern

  • June 19, 2006, 7:22 a.m. CST

    Re: What the Fuck Do We Know?

    by FatPaul

    …or as it says on the DVD case, What tHe #$*! Do wE (k)now!? Or something like that. Now, I don’t want to just jump in and attack the What the Fuck movie, but I think I’m just going to jump in and attack the What the Fuck movie. I think somebody has to. First, I have to disagree with Two-Bit Kubrick on at least two points: (1) The movie WAS produced, directed and written by members of the Ramtha School of Enlightenment, a typical new-age cult. (2) Of the experts interviewed in the movie, ONLY FOUR are actually qualified to talk about quantum physics. There’s another one who used to be a professor of theology, so I guess he knew what he was talking about on that end of the spectrum. The other experts are: an engineering professor, a graduate student, a radiologist, an anesthesiologist, a chiropractor, and the founder of the above-mentioned cult. So, they’re all experts, but less than half of them are actually experts on the subjects of philosophy and quantum theory, Which is what they spend the whole movie talking about anyway. The idea is to try to convince us that quantum theory gives us magical powers to control reality. And that having emotions is sort of like being hooked on crack. They talk about the “four-layered bio-body suit” (they never explain WHAT the four-layered bio-body suit is, but I think it might be the Guyver) and say things like, “What makes up things are not more things, but what makes up things are ideas, concepts, information,” and “Everyone is gods.” It’s MUCH worse than Waking Life. Most of the ideas in Waking Life were at least relatively sane, and they didn’t try to back them up with bad science. What the movies do have in common is that they are both fiction. In What the Fuck, the story is about that cute deaf chick from the really annoying William Hurt movie and how she overcomes depression and dancing cartoon blobs and learns how to draw all over herself. Oh, and the panel of experts has an annoying habit of making nonsensical Star Trek references. So, Vern, if you actually bothered to read this post, I definitely recommend that you watch What the Fuck and review it, but that’s just me being selfish. You probably wouldn’t enjoy it. Like I said, it’s worse than Waking Life.

  • June 19, 2006, 7:22 a.m. CST

    Hey Vern…..

    by Brock DD Landers

    Why did you not like Natural Born Killers? It seems like some outlaw shit The Vern would love.

  • June 19, 2006, 7:44 a.m. CST

    Review of the Year!!!

    by theneonsamurai

    Vern is a god among men.

  • June 19, 2006, 7:46 a.m. CST

    Could be worse – could be Squigglevision

    by BrandLoyalist

    You know, Dr. Katz, Home Movies season 1? Winona has already been depicted in Squigglevision – she was on Dr. Katz, like most of her fellow Las Vegas stand-up veterans

  • June 19, 2006, 8:02 a.m. CST

    Waking Life haters can just shut up now.

    by Karnov

    Quintasphe tried to distill the reasons why people hated the movie so I

  • June 19, 2006, 8:14 a.m. CST

    Did Vern use Substance “D”

    by Damer1

    right before he wrote this so-called review.

  • June 19, 2006, 8:32 a.m. CST

    Damer1: “so-called review”?

    by FatPaul

    You mean it’s not really a review? Is this some sort of philosophical statement about how reviews aren’t really reviews and talkbacks aren’t really talkbacks and all our so-called computers aren’t really connected to the so-called internet and the so-called world isn’t really what we think it is? If that’s the case, then I think you’re getting a little too deep for the talkbacks. You should just stick to the sort of whining and bitching that we’re used to. Be like Karnov. Start telling people how sorry you feel for them. The so-called talkbacks aren’t ready for the kind of deep philosophical discussion that your so-called post is leading us to.

  • June 19, 2006, 8:34 a.m. CST

    It ain’t gonzo… from the book’s author’s note:

    by BrandLoyalist

    “This has been a novel about some people who were punished entirely too much for what they did. They wanted to have a good time, but they were like children playing in the street; they could see one after another of them being killed – run over, maimed, destroyed – but they continued to play anyhow. We really were very happy for a while, sitting around not toiling but just bullshitting and playing, but it was for such a terrible brief time, and then the punishment was beyond belief: even when we could see it, we could not believe it.” The author’s note ends with a list of 15-odd people that Dick based his characters on — and the grim things that became of them: “deceased, permanent psychosis, massive permanent brain damage”. Fear & Loathing contains no real indictment of Hunter S. Thompson or his “guns, drugs, and insanity” lifestyle, except maybe that it’s clearly not for everyone… there’s just a brief pause to be wistful about the fading idealism of the 60s. In A Scanner Darkly, every scene of twisted drug-induced weirdness is meant to be a demonstration of the decay of these people’s personalities and minds. There’s nothing funny going on that doesn’t also make you think “oh christ, you poor bastard”. If that sense is missing from the movie, if they just went for Spicoli-style goofy drug antics, it doesn’t deserve a review better than Vern’s.

  • June 19, 2006, 9:29 a.m. CST

    Please note though, there is not a tentacle…

    by brycemonkey

    going up her coochie. Arf! Vern, you are the man! I’m not surprised this ended up being weird and not very good. I enjoy reading PK Dick’s work and he does have clever ideas but it is also terribly dated. I could tell this one would be like ‘Blade Runner on Acid’. For some that is a good thing, for me not. Most of the ‘great’ sci-fi writers are very dated now (read Heinlien recently?), it takes a plot with straight forward plot and strong characters to convert succesfully (Starship Troopers). This was always going to be a ‘challenging’ adaptation = not very fun viewing. Peace.

  • June 19, 2006, 9:31 a.m. CST

    Why hate “Waking Life”?

    by Snuffles

    Actually, I kinda understand that, as I hated Waking Life first time I tried it. Second time I gave the DVD a shot the “pretentiousness” I assumed for the film (and hated) I saw differently. The film itself saw the philosophical blather as pretentious, silly, not to be taken seriously. Thus I was able to enjoy the film as a sort of tour of the silly attempts to force meaning onto life, which ultimately has to be abandoned when you give up the ghost. Which the main character eventually does. I think “scanner darkly” might work that way as well, if you assume that the main characters are sadly, funnily, tragically damaged, not spouting anything “deep”.

  • June 19, 2006, 9:36 a.m. CST

    Vern, you liked Huckabees but hated Waking Life?

    by Snuffles

    I think you have made a mistake. Waking Life didn’t want you to embrace it’s ideas anymore than Huckabees did. The two films are more similar than you realize. You might want to check out Waking Life again.

  • June 19, 2006, 9:50 a.m. CST

    Snuffles: Tell that to Karnov

    by FatPaul

  • June 19, 2006, 10:01 a.m. CST

    wow-to holodigm

    by seahawk21

    There is a difference between someone who is giving an opinion i should respect, and someone who didn’t understand what my point was. It has nothing to do with education, Did I even say where I was educated? I’ll I’ve been talking about is waking life, and Philip K dick. And In response to the other guy, I announed my sarcasm because I’ve been misunderstood on every post, and I wanted to be as explicit as possible. Bottom line, you shouldn’t go see Sanner if you’re expected a high adrenaline rush. You should see if if you like Linklater and have read the book.

  • June 19, 2006, 10:06 a.m. CST

    Simple Test


    If you didnt like A-Ha’s video for ‘Take On Me’ then you wont like rotoscoping.

    Meh, im still gonna go see it, its gotta be better than the shit Ive been subjected to so far.

  • June 19, 2006, 10:09 a.m. CST

    I’d go see…

    by havocSchultz

    a movie called “Sanner” It sounds like some cool gritty cop and/or revenge flick…Behold…! Sanner!!! Ya…Good ole Sanner…he should’ve had a bad tv show in that decade that had all those bad tv shows…looks like I picked the wrong week to stop being sarcastic…

  • June 19, 2006, 10:31 a.m. CST

    Ha, this is kind of hilarious…

    by Mr Nice Gaius

    If this films turns out to be a major disappointment, it’s going to drive the boys over at InfoWars and PrisonPlanet insane! The Austin/Linklater/Alex Jones connection is no coincidence either.

  • June 19, 2006, 10:38 a.m. CST

    Karnov sounds unemployed…

    by wolack22

    I feel sorry for you that you dont enjoy talking about your next pay raise and quarterly sales bonus to give a better life to your family and charities and the innovative things you can accomplish at work to better society,… how you cant appreciate the beauty of a woman’s sexual prowness in the suck ‘n blow department, and would rather sit around on your ass and dream about nature and existential shit that would give anyone else a brain anyeurism and stare out the window and contribute nothing to society

  • June 19, 2006, 10:41 a.m. CST

    That review sucked.

    by Jar Jar 4 Prez

    Vern obviously don’t know shit from Shinola.

  • June 19, 2006, 11:09 a.m. CST

    This review

    by blackwood

    put me to fucking sleep. Which at least is better than abstaining sleep.

  • June 19, 2006, 11:15 a.m. CST


    by blackwood

    “chasing after life and trying to draw lines over it” was pretty nice.

  • June 19, 2006, 11:21 a.m. CST

    suck n blow

    by 2bitkubrick

    you know, i never understood why they called it suck and blow. i’ve never really had a girl blow on my member and it elicit anything from me other than a giggle. and as far as sitting around dreaming being an act that doesn’t contribute to society, i think your quarterly sales bonus is contributing nothing, sir, in fact, i think it is a lack of dreaming and experimental thinking in the face of such naked consumerism and rapant greed that is destroying this country. but thats just me. also, vern does know shit from shinola, and your name is jar jar 4 prez, so are you really one to talk? (wow, couple of hours ago i was bashing vern and now i’m running to his defense, weird.)

  • June 19, 2006, 11:32 a.m. CST

    what the @!$%^ do i know, obviously not alot.

    by 2bitkubrick

    alright, so maybe i exaggerated with saying “20 phds” but its been a while since i saw it. and i didn’t know it was made by that crazy rhamada bitch. she was insane. and yeah, i could’ve done with out the whole deaf girl storyline; i wish it was more documentary style, just interviews with the professors, i didn’t need the tacked-on storyline. despite all that, though, i still liked a lot of what they said, yeah, its kinda new agey, but its really hopefull, and its just trying to help people better their lives. i didn’t agree or understand all of it, but i still liked it. the water crystal thing was cool, c’mon, how do you explain that? i can really understand not liking that movie more than not liking waking life though.

  • June 19, 2006, 11:38 a.m. CST

    vern, i’m suprised

    by 2bitkubrick

    i’m pleasantly suprised you like huckabees. and i agree with your view of the characters in distress with conflicting philosophys, i’m just glad you see that. i laughed my ass off at mark wahlberg. maybe you’re not so bad, vern. i apologize for the harshness of my first post on here. you, sir, have won a fan this day. i may not agree, but i at least respect, your view. and please, go see what the fuck do we know. you may turn it off after 20 minutes and come back here and bitch me out, but i’d enjoy the verbal thrashing nonetheless. by the way, you should know, i’ve frequented this site for about 2 years now, because i always enjoyed the caliber of writing and the scoops you guys seem to get on all the movies i wanna see. never had i ever posted until now. just thought you should know that your review affected me so that i had to. granted, it was from outrage, but hey, bad press is better than none, right?

  • June 19, 2006, 11:50 a.m. CST

    Open Minds-Closed Minds

    by BayouWilly

    Why is it that everyone that hates Waking Life or doesn’t care much for philospohical posturing is a money-obsessed lad-mag come to life? Isn’t that kind of close-minded thinking? Isn’t it possible to not like something because… you didn’t like it? I don’t like cantaloupe but I don’t feel the need to explain why I suck, and not the fruit. What if we all sat around dreaming, and creating, and doing the things we want to do? Well… the trash wouldn’t get taken out, doctors would stop treating sick people and the world, albeit a beautiful, artsy world, would end in about two and a half years.

  • June 19, 2006, 12:22 p.m. CST

    to seppuku

    by Vern

    I think you’re probaly partly right there bud. I didn’t go in thinking it was gonna be a freaky drug movie (I think I expected more sci-fi, actually) but I definitely think some people, and possibly you, will enjoy the movie alot more than I did. I didn’t like the characters or what they were talking about for most of the movie, I really only got into the plot and the gimmicks (like the scramble suit), which are a small part of the movie. If you are a fan of the book then maybe, hopefully, you will have more of a connection to the stuff and be more involved in it than I was able to be. My sense is that it’s probaly faithful to the book, and if so hopefully fans of the book will get a kick out of it. Unless maybe it’s a great book but when you Robert Downey and Woody Harrelson read it it turns into crap.

  • June 19, 2006, 12:32 p.m. CST


    by Vern

    A couple people have been writing about whether or not the story is dated. One person last night even said that the police state angle is dated, which of course I gotta say is ridiculous for those of us in the US. With the whole NSA wiretap scandal, the Supreme Court ruling the other day that cops don’t have to even knock on the door anymore before they kick it down and shoot you for trying to defend your house, L.A. announcing they’re gonna have a drone plane flying around to spot criminals, etc. I think Linklater had no idea how relevant that was gonna be by the time the movie came out. In fact, they probaly will play that stuff up in the advertising when it comes out. But that’s really not the main thing the story is about and I would have to agree that the drug culture thing is a little dated. Obviously there is still a drug culture (although crack and meth are pretty different from substance D) but anybody who hasn’t gotten a dire warning about the dangers of drugs in 2006 sure hasn’t been paying attention. But hell, if the movie speaks to somebody and it helps them out then that’s good. p.s. what if we are all in a dream right now and not reality only it’s a really long dream and when you die you actually wake up and you’re some kind of weird bunnyman or something and you say whoah wasn’t that weird I had a dream of the entire life of a humanoid guy who posts on the talkbacks. I didn’t even have bunny ears, it was weird.

  • June 19, 2006, 12:34 p.m. CST

    Two-Bit Kubrick: The water crystal thing.

    by FatPaul

    I’m afraid that the evidence doesn’t really point to Masaru Emoto’s water crystal photos being genuine. His work has never been confirmed by the scientific community. No one has been able to re-create his results. He’s been offered large sums of money for proof of his claims, but none has been forthcoming. The closest he’s ever come to publication in a peer-reviewed journal was a pictorial in a journal of “alternative” medicine in which he also talked up the healing power of “HADO” water. So, it looks like Masaru Emoto is probably a fake, even if he has managed to come up with some nice-looking pictures.

  • June 19, 2006, 12:59 p.m. CST

    Ya that water crystal thing was BS!

    by wolack22

    Sure and we can all bend spoons with our mind just like neo and Chris Angel: Mindfreak is the second comming of jesus, and Ebert gave Fast and the Furious: Tokyo drift a thumbs up…… oh crap wait second i think he did… we’re through the looking glass here people!!

  • June 19, 2006, 1:01 p.m. CST

    good fuckin review

    by quadrupletree

    Why’s Vern relegated to the purple box? He should be full fledged white background you know? Just saying…

  • June 19, 2006, 2:05 p.m. CST

    Great review again but Vern-

    by LilOgre

    This review and “The Science of Sleep” review are great, entertaining, and engaging pieces of criticism, but a bit high class eh? Not that I mind it, I just want my Hollow Man 2 and Shadow Man (where, when?) reviews. As I said in the other TB, you’re the best.

  • June 19, 2006, 2:13 p.m. CST

    Lil Ogre: The Shadow Man review is up on Vern’s site.

    by FatPaul


  • June 19, 2006, 2:27 p.m. CST

    Bring back Waking life

    by oliwa29

    Waking Life fans love watching that movie and feeling smarter than they actually are ( also see: mulholland drive)

  • June 19, 2006, 3 p.m. CST

    Amusing as Always but…

    by She-Elf

    You know, I always enjoy reading Vern

  • June 19, 2006, 3:21 p.m. CST

    FatPaul – Are you Vern?

    by LilOgre

    Just kidding – what timing – went up today – thanks man. I’ve become obsessed with Direct-to-Video films this summer.

  • June 19, 2006, 3:22 p.m. CST

    Fat Paul

    by Vern

    I think maybe you are my unsolicited intern now, or my street team or something. Thanks for helping out with the links.

  • June 19, 2006, 5:28 p.m. CST

    starring keanu reeves means skip it

    by reckni

    He’s just not very good. Maybe Johnny Utah is his best performace, haven’t seen his alleged brilliance in Lake House. What has he been good in? The first Matrix was watchable because of everything around him. I mean dude single-handedly ruined Dracula. I don’t hate the guy . . he’s stoked cause they’re still paying him top dollar, and good for him. Nothing like a bad actor raping the system this harsh.

  • June 19, 2006, 5:59 p.m. CST

    response to wukkawukka

    by seahawk21

    At last I’m going to end my tenure on this particular talkback (please no tears). Wukkawukka, you have no way to qualify any of the statements you made. SOME of the topics in waking life are philosophical ramblings, some are not. I’d go into detail about what the real premise of the movie is, but based on most posts, I would just be told Im showing off my education and knowledge of “1st year philosophy textbooks”. Any way, the MAIN point i made originally that nobody commented on was that Vern had a bias going into this movie, whether conscious or not, it’s still a bias. It was a bias he explicitly stated IN the review. My point was that he should not have been given the assignment to review this film. Someone who didn’t have such strong feelings towards Linklater films (and especially waking life, since the way Scanner was filmed will bring back any attitudes you had toward waking life) and who could’ve viewed the movie without bias should’ve reviewed it.

  • June 19, 2006, 6:09 p.m. CST

    To Seahawk

    by Vern

    Buddy, that’s ridiculous. I’m not some consumer reports journalist or scientist trying to write an objective study of the measurable value of the movie. I don’t know how you would think that’s what movie reviews are supposed to be, who you would expect to write such detached, robotic reviews, or why in the world you would want to read them. I’m writing a damn essay man, of course I have opinions about things and of course I’m telling you what those opinions are. And if anything I’m biased *towards* Linklater because I like most of his movies and was hoping to like this one. And furthermore man I was not “given the assignment to review this film.” I saw the movie, I wrote about it, I chose to send it to Harry instead of post it on my own sight because Harry is a nice guy and I am giving back to the community, etc. The truth is, aside from meeting him once briefly when he was in Seattle I have had almost no interaction with the guy outside of what he writes at the beginning and ends of the reviews. I’m a lone wolf out here man, look out before I bais all over your movie. Anyway glad you read the review thanks for your thoughts bud.

  • June 19, 2006, 6:47 p.m. CST

    VERN! How can you hate Speed?

    by s00p3rm4n

    I love that movie. I find it hilarious (and predictable) that the Academy excluded Cruise from Best Doc because they thought Speed was faking it. My cuz met him a few years back – he’s definitely the real thing. And I don’t mean that in the way that models say they’re “the real thing.” Because Speed doesn’t have fake tits. I heard he got plugs though. (Just a rumor.)

  • June 19, 2006, 9:08 p.m. CST

    Ashok0…being IN a good movie…

    by cagirl

    …is not the same as being a good actor. Keanu is a one tone actor, all of his characters sound the same and whether it was neo in the Matrix to the prince’s evil half-brother in “Much ado About Nothing” I liked both those movies, but not because his acting in them was any good. I have met the guy and he seemed like a great person, really nice…that also doesn’t make him a good actor. I mention it only because some other idiot posted on here that “Keanu haters” have a personal problem with him, not his acting. Rubbish!

  • June 19, 2006, 10:22 p.m. CST


    by wolack22


  • June 19, 2006, 10:29 p.m. CST

    Scanner Darkly Premiere @ 9/11 Conference in LA!

    by pockybot

    The producer of A Scanner Darkly will be presenting the movie with a Q&A at a huge 9/11 Truth/anti war conference expo in Los Angeles this weekend:


  • June 20, 2006, 1:25 a.m. CST


    by Kevin Bosch

    I was at South By Southwest, and this didn’t screen there. I even double checked the catalog to make sure. Unless it was a secret screening, you didn’t see this there.

  • June 20, 2006, 1:53 a.m. CST


    by Vern

    I don’t know about South by Southwest, but at SIFF they advertised it as “Secret Sneak Preview” or something. I figured it out from the catalog description and so did everybody else, but it was never officially announced. So they might have some deal with the studio where they have to do it that way.

  • June 20, 2006, 3:48 a.m. CST

    wolack22 is an idiot

    by Karnov

    wolack22, actually I

  • June 20, 2006, 6:12 a.m. CST

    Thanks, Vern.

    by FatPaul

    Yeah, street team. That sounds good.

  • June 20, 2006, 1:16 p.m. CST

    Scanning this review…

    by ironburl

    …Hated “Waking Life”….Hated “Natural Born Killers”…seems to be a jackass…conclusion: Vern’s opinion is worthless.

  • June 20, 2006, 5:56 p.m. CST

    Wow…missed this the first time through.

    by Childe Roland

    Lots to cover. First, disappointed that the movie doesn’t seem to carry the thought-provoking weight of the book. Not terribly surprised, though. And I’m thankful the movie failed on at least some levels because it meant another funny review from Vern (as I pointed out in his more recent talkback, when he actually likes a movie the review is less entertaining). On Keanu, the guy lacks the most critical ability of any decent actor: knowing which projects to pick. WHoever mentioned above that he was perfect for Neo was right…int he first film. When Neo was the “Whoa!” spouting, wide-eyed everyman thrust into a world he didn’t understand…yeah, that was Keanu. But when he got all God-like and contemplative, he just couldn’t sell the character anymore. Point Break? He was the very definition of a sky-diving, surfing undercover FBI agent. Dracula? He should never try a British accent, ever. And that includes Much Ado. Someone mentioned The Gift above. That was actually a pretty amazing bit of acting for him. The furthest I’ve seen him stretch and retain any amount of credibility. It’s the exception, though. He should stick to parts written pretty much with him in mind…like the orthodontist in Thumbsucker. I don’t hate the guy, but his complete ignorance of his own limitations annoys the ever-loving fuck out of me. Which brings me to Waking Life. I really don’t think that anyone who managed to stay awake through that picture missed the point. It’s just so damned ham-fisted in the dialogue (or monologue, depending on the sequence) department. And given that it used animation as a medium, it really doesn’t fully explore its own visual potential. For those who would appreciate it, it was clumsy and amateurish. For those who wouldn’t, it was “too highbrow.” I think the window for appreciation of that film is pretty narrow, and not in a good way. I might’ve really dug it if it had come out during my first year of college. At least Huckabees put the existensialism into a somewhat entertaining context, plotwise. But it was also a bit clumsy with the philosophy (perhaps intentionally so for humor value, but the window of appreciation for that aspect was narrow as well). Finally, for whoever suggested above that those who can’t appreciate the finer/more philosophical points in life would make good employees for him, does that mean you found a way to convert a philosophy degree into a well-paying gig or, better yet, an independent business? I’m intrigued. Do tell us more about this Platonic ideal career that marries higher thought on the human condition with capitalistic entrepreneurship. Does one get dental with that?

  • June 20, 2006, 6:27 p.m. CST


    by Euangelion

    Very comprehensive post. (On Keanu, you really ought to check out The Last Time I Committed Suicide if you appreciated his turn in The Gift. That is, if you haven’t already.) Concerning the viability of philosophy in the career market, I know you were using it as the basis of a ribbing, but here are a few options: 1)College professor (average starting salary: $35,000 per year).2) Logician (very useful in the digital era).3)Priest/Pastor/theologian/religious studies and/or philosophy of religion scholar. 4)Lawyer(philosophy grads own the LSAT)and other professional positions within the realm of law. Also, in today’s ever changing global labor market, humanities majors in general are sought out for their ability to adapt to emerging situation and learn new skill sets in a timely manner due to the breadth and depth of their educational background. (FYI, I share your contempt for comments such as the one you mentioned before going into your joke.)

  • June 21, 2006, 10:40 a.m. CST


    by dman6

    so she is going to boob nude

  • June 21, 2006, noon CST

    Thanks, Euangelion…

    by Childe Roland

    …I’ll check out Suicide(Originally typed that as “I’ll try Suicide,” but realized that would get the hopes of a few too many folks on this board all up where they shouldn’t be). Keanu does have his moments. I just wish he knew how to pick them so I didn’t have to suffer through the rest. On the Philosophy thing, yeah, I was joking. I was a minor myself and you’re right about how much easier that made the LSAT. I would imagine the Logician route would require more of a math background than your average collegiate Philosophy student brings to the table, though (I’m thinking finite math, at the very least) but I could be wrong about that. The college prof and theologian gigs are all fine and good (and quite appealing, actually) if you can get by on those salaries. In a dual-income relationship in certain markets, that might work. But I doubt you’d have a lot of folks working for you, as the guy who made the statement I was mocking implied would surely happen for him. At least not in a you-sign-the-paychecks kind of way. Don’t get me wrong…I wouldn’t trade the hours spent with Plato or Marcus Aurelius or Nitzsche or Sartre or Kafka (or the hundreds of others sampled) for anything, and they certainly helped me to define my own perspective on the nature of reality and the meaning of life. But if I have to hear one more person regurgitate something they absorbed in a first or second year survey course as though they’ve just become the first person to discover a new way of thinking (and, yes, unfortunately, it usually happens when someone’s been smoking too much pot), I’m going to go ahead and give them a demonstration of my own particular take on nihilism.

  • June 21, 2006, 6:29 p.m. CST

    I just wtched Waking Life yesterday…

    by loodabagel

    Well, I kind of watched it. I spent a lot of time flipping between IFC and music videos. And believe me, I wanted to! But it was way too fucking pretentious. I’d say that about one in five soliloquies was amusing. Didn’t Linklater realize how much it sucked? Judging from the rest of his movies, he seems like a pretty mainstream guy. Still, being a PKD fan, and having read A Scanner Darkly, I still intend to watch the movie.

  • June 22, 2006, 10:15 a.m. CST

    Nona 2

    by dman6

    so we r going to see here boobs


  • June 22, 2006, 5:12 p.m. CST

    Waking Life

    by blackhack

    Just read through this post. For those who didn’t like Waking Life, all I gots to say is, “I don’t wanna say you don’t know what you’re talking about, but I don’t know what you’re talking about.” As to Vern, in a Dostoevsky novel starring clowns, you’d be a perfect fit for the part of ass clown.

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