Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Shutter Island Review

Timely, huh? I don't get to the theater much and it seems like whenever my wife and I do decide it's time for a trip to the movies there is never anything good playing. I'm not falling for Hot Tub Time Machine. Repo Men looks like a 'wait until it airs on TNT' kind of movie even though I am a Whitaker fan. Clash of the Titans and She's Out of My League look horrible, and the rest of the movies showing are not even worth mentioning. Shutter Island won by default and the fact that Scorsese directed it and DiCaprio stars in it made me hopeful. Part of the problem of seeing movies late in their theater run is you inevitably hear that someone liked it or didn't like it and that will influence the movie-going experience. I did my best to put those things out of my mind with a large butter popcorn and some Reese's Pieces.
On to the spoilers...
The movie was visually untouchable. Lighting, cuts, and the other back end movie stuff were all on point. DiCaprio gets paid the big bucks because he owns movies. He owns the screen like Denzel Washington or Tom Hanks. His presence, essence, aura, whatever you want to call it bumps this picture up a few more notches than if someone else had played the lead role. As far as the story and genre the movie was a creepy thriller which is not quite a horror movie, not quite a psychological thriller. The story and feel of the film reminded me a little of The Number 23 with Jim Carrey. The twist at the end honestly caught me off guard, and that is one of the biggest compliments I can give a movie. Usually I can see it coming a mile away due to telegraphing from the writing or acting.
I was pleasantly surprised to learn Ted Levine played a part in this movie as the warden of Shutter Island. He is one of my favorite character actors. Bullet with Levine and Mickey Rourke is worth seeing on Levine's performance alone. I also just found out from his IMDB page Ted Levine has been in a lot of Monk episodes. I have never watched that show. After thinking about it I'm still not going to give it a chance even on the Levine cred.
The only question I was left with after Shutter Island was at the end. After thinking about it walking out to my car I determined DiCaprio's character chose the lobotomy because he did not want to remember the truth. I think the therapy worked, and he remembered everything. He just didn't want the knowledge of what really happened to his family, thus the original psychosis. I rated it 3 out of 5 on Netflix.

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