A Scanner Darkly is a Good Movie
Yes Scanner is now out and available at a few places. I saw it at BAM (whay dont they give student discounts on the weekends?). The Village Voice (the barometer of "hip"?) said that "half-way through the year, it's the American film to beat". Well I dont know about that, MI:3 was pretty great and more overall awe-inspiring and just as "American" in its own right.
TBS, Scanner is very funny and is kind of an ensemble acting piece with Keanu Reeves, Woody Harrelson and Robert Downey Jr in the co-leads, with also Wynona Ryder as a co-lead, but she kind of seems to be dumbing herself down. So Scanner is definetely the most Californian movie to beat :-).
Keanu is our hero and the others are his "friends". The movie in summary is about the economic and sociological corruption of our state-capitalist system, about drug paranoia and addiction and 'treatment' of mental health 'problems', about trading the predictable and known for the reward (?) of possibility, and about goodness prevailing in the end. Its also, as the final minutes show, a paen to the friends that author Philip K. Dick lost to addiction.
The movie starts kind of slow and creepily and then the funniness kicks in with the characters and then the paranoia and state manipulation and the justice (not to spoil the film but these phases are probably pretty obvious anyway). And has also been well publicized the film is a breakthrough in cinematographic style, half-animation, half-real, and very kind of fuzzy like the Robin Williams character in that Woody Allen movie which escapes me now. The message is duality, like anything good and true.