Thursday, July 8, 2010

Movie Review: Shutter Island - D+

Who's In It: Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Creepy/Sinister TypeCast Villains.

What It's About: Leo goes to an island for the criminally insane to investigate a missing inmate. Hilarity ensues.

What I Was Expecting: It's directed by Martin Scorsese, which elevates any film buff's expectations. I had heard there was a plot twist that you either see coming or you don't.

What I Got: I saw it coming. In the FIRST scene, I saw it coming. Actually said out loud, "Oh...(insert spoiler here)". When that happens in a movie, especially in a film over two hours long, it makes you impatient. You see right through every red herring, every false lead is one you don't follow. It gets pretty excruciating when they don't steer you away from what became obvious at the beginning. That said, it would be a pretty mediocre film without the early tip off. It's dark, it's moody, but that would all serve a better purpose if I gave a rat's ass about any of the characters. And it's a Scorsese film that, frankly, could have been as effective if Brett Ratner were directing (see: "Red Dragon"). And good God, when the twist finally comes, it drags out FOREVER! This movie would have been better doing a reverse twist. You THINK you know one's coming, but it never happens. Might be something for wannabe screenwriters to think about.

Grade: D+

Oscar Potential: Cinematography, editing, nothing else stands a chance. Even in a week year.

Five Random Thoughts:
1. Max von Sydow plays so many German/Nazi Scientist types, I often forget he's Swedish.
2. HEY! It's Jackie Earle Haley playing a person in an asylum. That NEVER happens.
3. One rule this film does play with is The Economy of Characters Rule. Basically, you don't cast a recognizable face in a meaningless role. The audience will expect more from that character. Or maybe I just see too many movies that I expected more from Elias Koteas, Emily Mortimer and Patricia Clarkson.
4. This was a Dennis LeHane novel? I'm going to have to see how they differed. Just doesn't seem like it.
5. Is it too late in the day to make a pot of coffee?

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