Saturday, February 20, 2010

Shutter Island (2010)

Its hard to talk about this one without giving away too much. I actually read the book earlier in the year, back when the movie was supposed to come out in October or November of 2009. In some ways I wish that I hadn't read the book before seeing the movie and just came into it cold. But on the other hand, when I read the book, one, of many, of my initial reactions was excitement to see how Scorsese would try and adapt this. I know someone put it like this already, but I was happy that Scorsese basically made an "A grade B Movie". Its his exercise in brining to together elements of the genre movies he loves. It is part psychological horror, part mystery-thriller, haunted house movie.. always with an oppressive sense of foreboding. In a weird sense, it was almost like Scorsese's own "Raiders of the Lost Ark", where its not only a triumph of atmosphere, but also feels right about being set in a very certain time and place in our country's history. I also think that it would take more than one viewing to full appreciate how good the writing here actually is, it feels like it is pretty painstaking in making sure that it all hangs together. I really enjoyed it, I thought he made the ending work. And I kind of can't wait to see it again to see how he puts some of these pieces together. I would be remiss in not mentioning that the acting is also really good-Dicaprio mostly hangs onto the accent he had left over from "The Departed" (I feel like, especially in this area, there will always be debates about the accent. But in other parts of the country people would either not care or not realize the accent might be a little off. I am sure Scorsese was just like, "close enough" and then moved on) It was awesome to not only see Mark Ruffalo, but Ben KIngsley and Max Von Sydow were some awesome, spot-on casting. Then it was great to see Patricia Clarkson, Elias Koteas, Jackie Earle Haley, and Ted Levine, who someone finally let be creepy again. In the end, I think it worked, I thought the visual worked, and even worked better with the revelation of the ending, it might have dragged juuuuust a bit but not enough to bring the whole thing down. I thought that this Dennis Lehane novel wouldn't be a good fit for Scorsese, but, as I have mentioned it before, if he keeps bringing his A-game to these sorts of genre exercises, we are the ones that are luckier for it. Really good stuff.

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