Yesterday sucked. I didn't get anything done- I was just too burnt out. I figured it was time to just go out, and see a movie. I do this less and less frequently, as the years wear by, and movie ticket prices spiral into insane realms (ten bucks for an hour and a half of spurious entertainment? That's just nuts.) However, I just needed to get out of the apartment, and experience something different.

The local theater was showing "Inconvenient Truth", and I figured it was high time I finally got to see it. Alas, as I got to the ticket window, I was told that it was sold out...

Wow- over a month after its initial release, the movie's showing to sold-out crowds- cool for the forces of good, but bad for me. I looked through the movies that were due to open up, and decided upon "A Scanner Darkly." I had heard a lot of decent reviews, and the folks over at Rotten Tomatoes provided me with the info I needed to know. It only got a 61% rating there, but many of the complaints among the negative reviews was that the film was too "cerebral." Considering that I live in a country in which Britney Spears and American Idol are fare for the average joe, I took such negativity with the pinch of salt that it deserved. I forked over my nine bucks, and entered the theater, just as the trailers were ending.

Quick synposis?

Worst movie ever made- period.

I wanted to walk out, three times, but I was damned if I was gonna throw the remainder of my entertainment investment away, no matter how painfully uncomfortable, boring, and incoherent the spectacle was.

The movie sells itself as a psychothriller about government surveillance, drugs, and the machinations of a government that perpetuates the evils it fights against.

Bullshit. From the beginning to the end, I kept wondering:

"When does the plot start?"

"When will I start to give a damn about these two-dimensional characters?"

"How high was Woody Harrelson, when he signed on the line to be a part of this crap?"

This movie, supposedly, is based on the writings of one Philip K Dick. Previous cinematic incarnations of his works, such as "Blade Runner" and "Minority Report" have succeeded, to a greater or lesser degree- but never have they been twisted into such a bizarre mishmash of inconsistent, Seinfeld-esque non-sequitorial nonsense.

The film cites one screenwriter- Richard Linklater- but you could have fooled me. Every scene seems to have been written by someone who has no knowledge of what happened before, or will happen after the particular bit he/she was asked to write. There is no consistency, no story arc, no cohesive message or vision that ties the picture into a whole- it's the film equivalent of a Pollock painting.

And here's what galls me- the screenwriter(s) try to insert clever little pop references, into every little dollop of clumsy filmmaking, that will be instantly recognizable to the "sophisticated" gen-xers out there (IE- those who have spent too much time watching AMC and VH1)- a bit of Clockwork Orange in one scene- a Burroughs reference in another- a character that behaves like Kramer and Hunter S. Thompson's love child in another. Throw into the mix enough gratuitous references to street drugs, self-abuse, and suicide to make the voyeuristic wanna-be-hipsters in the audience think they're watching something "edgy."

Whenever one of these "pop-up-video" incidents occurred, I could hear a few of those in seats next to me chuckling to themselves- "Gee- I once read about this- I understand this reference- and thus, this movie speaks to me, because it reinforces my self-image of COOLNESS. I'll say I liked this film, because the folks who criticize it, are criticizing, by proxy, my COOLNESS." The word of mouth review will be "the only people who don't like this film, are those who are too SQUARE to "get it", dude!"

Uhh- yeah, right. I was getting flashbacks to the IPDI conference- I wanted to burn the theater down- but I digress...

I "get it"- I "get it" all to well- I caught it on the first pitch, and it was a pile of stinking ass. I've read Dick, Burroughs, Genet, Ellison, Ginsberg, Miller, Kant, Raynd, and seen more 'edge' cinema than these folks could ever cram into a shitty film like this, and quite frankly, mene mene tekel, upharsin.

In the end, the inexplicable protragonist gets sent off to work in a government farm that cultivates the drug that has ruined his life- wow- I'd give a damn about his plight, had the filmmakers developed his character, and allowed me to care about what was going on. All I got from this "revelation" was a feeling that some clueless idiots in hollywood were screaming "I-RONYYYYYYY!" in my face, while they spent my nine bucks on cocaine, which they proceded to shoot into their collective asses.

The folks who are so lauding this movie are people who, very much like the republicans, sincerely want to believe that the emperor is wearing clothes, despite the patently obvious truth that the monarch is swaggering down main street, with his ass hanging out.

When I said this was the worst movie ever made- I'm not lying. This makes "Battlefield Earth" look like a wagnerian opera, and "Spiceworld" look like a Frontline news documentary. I'd rather spend the rest of my life watching an endless loop of "Manos: Hands of Fate", than endure another second of a movie like this, again.