Last night, I finally got to see my first film of this year's Los Angeles Film Festival (earlier this week I had to cancel my man date to see Undoing with Paul, in favor of hanging out with Amy Sedaris and Paul Dinello. Paul was devastated, naturally, but them's the breaks), the much-anticipated-by-me Richard Linklater film, A Scanner Darkly.
But before I get to the film, please allow me to make a brief, unrelated statement of fact: parking at the Ford Amphitheater blows.
Don't get me wrong. I love the Ford as a venue, and year after year, the LAFF consistently programs a kick-ass screening series at the intimate little amphitheater (previous year's standouts include Hero and March of the Penguins).
But damn if the stacked parking situation isn't one of the most brutal, jaw-clenching traffic scrums in town.
Ah, well - enough! If the city tried to build a lot to actually accommodate all those cars, I'd probably scream about that, too. You can't satisfy me, I s'pose.
Anyway, the film; it was cool-ish. Keanu Reeves was decent, Robert Downey, Jr. and Rory Cochrane were awesome, Winona Ryder was unrecognizable, and the headachey rotoscoped animation style of Waking Life has given way to a more stable, less epilepsy-inducing picture.
And though the crowd had to wait until nearly an hour after the posted picture start time to allow for a mob of Warner Independent suits and their associated army of publicists to find their seats (just siddown people!), the film seemed to be well received.
And now, the Swag Report: Not much. The WIP promotions people doled out these smelly rubber bracelets with words like DOOM, DESPAIR, and DEATH embossed on them, as pictured (who's freakishly veiny hand is that? I ain't sayin'). Target also disappointed, with a bizarre plastic checker set that left most people a little non-plussed - though, as my date pointed out, the thing could be used for a little bath-time diversion, being waterproof, and all.
But I won't hold lame swag against the movie. Definitely check it out if you're into Phillip K. Dick, animation, or have ever done drugs in Orange County (you know who you are).