Thursday, June 10, 2010

Shutter Island

Martin Scorsese, 2010 (7.8*)

This is Scorsese's tribute to Hitchcockian melodramas, in my opinion, aided by an exotic island location which holds a maximum security asylum for the criminally insane, and an earnest if strained performance by Leonardo Dicaprio. The film is full of stormy atmosphere, disappearing psychos, mysterious doctors; in fact, all it's missing are the Universal logo and Boris Karloff and you'd have a classic 40's horror film if done in black and white.

I've actually heard people say that this is Scorsese's best film, while others have placed it closer to his worst (impossible with Bringing Out the Dead in his filmography), so it's obviously not an 'accepted classic' of his. I guess it really depends on how jaded a film fan you are, for this is really not a new story, the 'twist' is not that unexpected, and one gets the feeling that 'I've seen all this before'.

The most misleading marketing in recent history has all the ads touting this as a Hitchcockian suspense-horror film, yet it's far closer to A Beautiful Mind and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, being more about states of insanity than any horrific mystery. I'm not sure if Scorsese's real fans will find this as rewarding as his more serious efforts (Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, Departed), yet it's an engrossing enough story to hold one's interest until the cliched plot unravels. Look for terrific character actor Ted Levine, the killer in Silence of the Lambs, in a small part as a prison guard.


hermanturnip June 18, 2010 at 11:00 PM  

You are the fifth person to "recommend" this movie. I come from the "Real Genius" and "Strange Brew" school of film, so I think I might just have to plunk down some money and check it out!

Claudia Lawrence June 19, 2010 at 4:16 AM  

You have a very good blog that the main thing a lot of interesting and useful!hope u go for this site to increase visitor. BTW keep blogging!!

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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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