Part of

Part of

Thursday, February 25, 2010

SHUTTER ISLAND REVIEW (spoiler alert)


***Spoiler Alert: the twist in the story is discussed throughout***


  After watching the preview for this movie, I figured Leonardo’s character would be the 67th patient. I almost did not see the movie because I expected that to happen, and didn’t figure the end of the movie would surprise me. Well, I am glad I decided to see the movie after all. There were plenty of things about this movie that surprised me.
  The movie was set in 1954, where Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his new partner Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo) went to Shutter Island to investigate the escape of a patient at the hospital/prison for the criminally insane. It appeared as if they were not welcome there because both the staff and patients were not making their investigation very easy. Also not helping was a hurricane that eventually hit the island. Fighting the obstacles, Teddy pushed on, discovering clues here and there. As he gathered these clues, we find out that there was a whole lot more to this investigation than originally thought.
  Again, there was no surprise that he was patient 67, but I was surprised with why he was the 67th patient. The whole movie turned out to be one last attempt to cure him, which was why there were so many things that just did not seem right. There was something weird going on from the beginning of the movie. It started off on a ferryboat with Teddy in the bathroom throwing up with seasickness. He came out and introduced himself to his new partner. That was weird because they were the only ones on the ferry (besides the crew), and had already been on the ferry for a while. As U.S. Marshals, you would think they would have been introduced before a mission, or at least when they got on the ferry. After everything that happened, I thought that turned out to be a good place to start the movie, and the charade.
  Not long after that, there was the whole thing when the warden told them they could not take their guns into the facility. Thinking about it now, Teddy should have known he couldn’t take his gun in there if he was in his right mind. Instead he argued with the warden, even as the warden recited the code that prohibited them from bringing the guns in there. What was funny about the scene was that his partner couldn’t unclip his gun from his pants. After finding out that his partner was really his doctor, it made sense that he couldn’t unclip his gun, and that he really had no clue about what a marshal could do. This was a good example of how some people on the island played along with the story better than others.
  I also felt that there was something wrong with the characters in his imagination. They did not match up. Take the little girl for example. In Teddy’s imaginary world, she was the missing patient’s daughter, but in the reality, the girl was his daughter. He seemed to have more of a connection to her in the dream than just a marshal imagining all of this. Speaking of his imagination, it was crazy when he was holding Rachael in his arms, and then she turned to ashes. He really had a vivid imagination.
  After a dramatic and somewhat suspenseful trip, I was surprised at how depressing and disturbing this movie ended. He came home to find his wife staring out at the lake, where his children lied dead in the water. It just tugged on your emotions to watch him jump in the lake, and pull all three kids out at one time. Then he had them lying side-by-side in the grass as he cried over them. I am not a father, but I can’t imagine anything much worse than that. Oh wait, then he decided to shoot his crazy wife, and then watch her die in his arms. No wonder the guy went nuts. Who could blame him? To make it even more depressing, and to add a final twist, Teddy sealed his fate by pretending that this whole adventure did not cure him. He decided to go down in honor, than live with the demons of his past. Again, who could blame the poor guy?
  This movie was a refreshing change from a lot of the modern horror movies we see this day. It kind of took things back to the days of Hitchcock. There was that mystery through out the movie, with a great deal of odd things happening. You got the feeling that something was not right, but what was it? The cinematography was really well done, especially his dreams. And while I have never liked Leonardo, I have to say he did a very good job. I should also give credit to Martin Scorsese for a job well done.
  As usual, I found something that bothered me. Actually, it was one thing that annoyed me through out the movie, and I mean through out. It was the music. The duh duh duh duh that they played over and over again. It was annoying in the opening scene alone. Through out the ferry ride, them getting off the boat, the drive to the facility, and their entrance into it. They played that music again and again, and it was distracting me from what was going on. I understand it was part of the feel and style of the movie, but it could not be more annoying.
  Also, being a little picky, I have to point out what a wonderful rock climber Teddy was. He scaled up and down that cliff with minimal problems. It was pretty impressive for someone who was crazy. I guess you had to be a little crazy to think you could make it down, and then back up that cliff.  At least he got some questions answered after going through all that trouble.
  In the end, I am glad I saw this movie. To me, this movie was all about the twist within the twist, and it did not disappoint. After finding out what was really going on, you could see why all those weird things were happening: the odd meeting of partners on the ferry, the talk with the warden, and Teddy’s wild imagination. It all ended more depressing than I even thought this movie would end. The Hitchcock feel to the movie, along with the well-done scenes and good acting, made it an enjoyable movie to watch. Except of course, for that music they insisted on playing. I give this movie 3.5 pools of blood.

  HorrO

Thursday, February 18, 2010

THE WOLFMAN REVIEW



  2010 started with a few appetizers, Daybreakers and Legion, but now it’s time for the main course. The Wolfman is our first blockbuster horror movie of the New Year. I had big expectations for the movie, and you would expect that with some reports of a budget over $100 million. So what does a main course with the value of over $100 million get you?
  A story that was set in the late 1800’s, where Lawrence Talbot received a message from Gwen Conliffe that his brother was missing. He came home for the first time in apparently a long time, and became reacquainted with his father, that he did not get along with. He met with Gwen, and told her he will find out what happened to his brother, who was also her fiancĂ©e. After finding out that the same mysterious creature that has been killing villagers killed his brother, he vowed to find this killer. In his search for the killer, he got himself bitten by a werewolf. Now he must not only battle the demons of his past, but he must battle the beast within.
  The value in this main course came from several places. The first was that you got plenty of blood and guts everywhere. The wolfman tore it up, literally. With huge claws, and super strength, he was knocking off heads, and ripping off arms. He sunk his sharp teeth into people, and chewed up their flesh. They depicted the wolfman, as he should be, a violent creature of the night.
  A big part of any werewolf movie is the transformation from man to werewolf. They did a wonderful job showing the transformation. I was especially happy that it was shown more than once. Sometimes movies show you everything they got one time, but they were able to pull off the transformation several times. This gave you different perspectives to view the transformations. They seemed to focus on the arms and legs the first time, but later focused on his face. I especially liked the rage the wolfman displayed after the transformation. It was definitely the releasing of a beast.
 They did an excellent job setting the mood of the movie with the imagery. The story was set in the late 1800’s, everything was old: the buildings, how people lived and dressed, and how they spoke. While the movie wasn’t in black and white, they kept a dark tone through out many of the scenes. It kind of looked like it was going to rain every day no matter what. The castle where his father lived was very dark, and especially mysterious at night. And why anyone would want to be roaming around that forest at night, I don’t know.
  Along with the imagery, they got what they paid for with the acting. You don’t get much better than Anthony Hopkins (Lawrence’s father). It appeared as if he had the more complicated lines in the movie, and he delivered them great as expected. The same could be said for Emily Blunt (Gwen). She put the real emotion behind the story, and brought out the drama between Gwen and Lawrence. I can’t say I am that familiar with Benicio Del Toro’s prior roles, but I thought he did a good job also. They did him an injustice in some scenes with some pretty weak lines. There was one line in particular, during an important part in the end of the movie, which was terrible.
  No matter how expensive your main course is, you can always find faults in it. While I liked the violence of the wolfman, there was one thing I thought they did too much of, and that was having the wolfman pop up everywhere. The first couple of times were fine. Actually, in one scene he sprang out of nowhere and scared the hell out of me. I swear I was just about to put a piece of popcorn in my mouth, but when the wolfman came out, I think I threw the popcorn over my shoulder instead. I’m all for scaring people like that, and you can do it a few times, but sometimes enough is enough. By the end of the movie, it wasn’t scary anymore. You were expecting him to pop out behind a tree, or be a step ahead of his victim. After a few times, I get that he was a fast moving, killing machine.
  Also, there wasn’t anything special about the plot of The Wolfman. It was pretty much the basics of setting up Lawrence to get bit, realizing he was a werewolf, killing a bunch of people, and the usual love interest. There were some minor twists if you want to call them that. Don’t get me wrong though, the movie wasn’t boring. There just was not anything that shocking in the story.
  There was a segment of the movie where Lawrence was making his way back home. They flashed different views of him making the long walk home, and it kind of reminded me of another movie, in which a killer was making a similar walk back home. Anyone want to guess? He wears a mask, and likes killing his family members, preferably with a knife. For those of you who also saw Halloween 2, this reminded me of Michael’s journey back home. Just a random thought I thought I should share.
  This main course included many things to like. There was plenty of blood and guts, and more than one transformation from man to werewolf. The imagery was excellent, and they definitely got their money’s worth from the actors. It wasn’t perfect though, as they went a little overboard trying to scare you, and the plot was missing something. However, this movie lived up to expectations, and the large budget. I give this movie 3 pools of blood.

  HorrO
  
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...