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minority report

Minority Report is twice the movie that Blade Runner is, and is one of the best representations yet on film of the world of Philip K. Dick. Dick's novels and short stories have enticed film makers for some time now, but in the eyes of this Phil Dick fan, they have rarely captured the Dickian essence (perhaps only in one scene from Total Recall when Arnold thinks he's on Mars and a guy is trying to convince him he's really just sitting in an Earthbound chair enjoying a pre-paid fantasy). Blade Runner is highly regarded, of course, and Dick himself was still around back then and was able to claim that Ridley Scott did a good job, but I've always found it a coffee-table movie, big and good-looking but empty inside. Minority Report, though, delivers the goods, and brings many moments of recognition for fans of PKD: the drug-abusing hero, the mechanical spiders, the confusion over identity, the way in which the future is recognizably connected to our present.

Ultimately, perhaps the main reason Minority Report succeeds where Blade Runner mostly fails is that Steven Spielberg at his best is a great film maker, while Ridley Scott is an over-rated mediocrity who occasionally gets lucky (Alien, Thelma and Louise and White Squall). Best scene: when Tom Cruise and the "pre-cog" are on the lam, and the pre-cog helps their escape by anticipating the immediate future.

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