Monday, July 31, 2006

Friday, July 21, 2006


Wonkette had an amusing link to an interview with Ann Coulter regarding her love of The Grateful Dead. It's as if the hippies and the ultra-convsevatives have overcome their obvious hatred of one another solely for the purposes of haunting my dreams. . . hippiecons!

"People are often incorrectly surprised that there are a lot of conservative dead heads. I’d mentioned that in an interview, and actually on the ‘Tonight Show,’ that one of my friends — who was a fellow Deadhead — would get up in the morning, smoke a bowl, turn on Rush Limbaugh, and start making his candles for ‘Grateful Dead’ merchandising." - Ann Coulter

We See As Through A Mirror Darkly

Saw "A Scanner Darkly" the other day which, contrary to it's generally positive reviews (thanks, turned out to be horrifically convoluted and dramatically flawed. Perhaps the most blatant failure was Linklater's inability to portray the mental split between Bob Arctor and Agent Fred and the character's inability to distinguish between the his two personas. Because of this, throughout most of the film it appears that the Bob is entirely aware that he's playing the role of Fred and that Substance D, as opposed to causing and increasing incapability of combining the memories/knowledge of each persona, merely causes a generalized sense of confusion and psychosis. The viewer is left confused as to Bob's actions (why would he knowingly spy on his life and the life of his friends even after it's made clear to him that he's specifically is suspect?) without adequately revealing the critically specific effect Substance D is creating.

Added to this failure of dramatic emphasis is the fact that the overarching plot of the attempt to discover the manufacture of Substance D is presented at a point in the film well beyond it having any discernible effect on the events that, up until the last 10 minutes, had been the main focus of the plot. We're left sitting through 3/4th of the film waiting for the conflict between Reeves and Downey Jr. to come to a head yet when it does it's played of as a minor detail only to be replaced by a painfully underdeveloped "plot twist" of negligible relation to any previous conflictual issues.

Concurrently, the final revelation regarding the character Donna was meaningless as Linklater failed to portray her relationships with Frank in any but the most shallow of depths and thus created little emotional resonance regarding the betrayal. Surprises such as this are dramatic largely because they necessitate a fundamental alteration in the plot. Yet, this development could have been entirely stricken from the film and absolutely nothing regarding the endpoint of the plot for Arctor/Agent Fred would have to have been modified.

All-in-all, the ideas of "A Scanner Darkly" are fairly interesting and for the most part the performances are enjoyable. I can readily understand those who have had previous experience with the work in it's literary format to appreciate seeing it's cinematic development, but for those of us with little previous experience with the Philip K. Dick story, Linkalter's adaptation was a muddled disservice leaving us unnecessarily more confused then the drug addled minds of the characters within.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Happy Birthday America

Back in VA after large chunks of The Twilight Zone in marathon form, a New Orleans benefit show that almosst turned into a roof collapsing disaster in and of itself, Russian accents, sparks at the strangers with candy movie in chelsea,$5 milkshakes, a million billion trillion stars, numerous looks of confusion, ordering only beverages at restaurants, 45 minutes of gawking at the sheer absurdity of trying to softly massage a passed out person back to consciousness, and fireworks.

Glad to see NYC is just how I remembered it.