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Author Topic: Shutter Island (2010)  (Read 11133 times)
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« Reply #30 on: February 27, 2010, 10:53:59 PM »

Well, on repeated viewings I feel BOtD is good, but far from brilliant. Kundun is good too. But I would definitely say Shutter Island is a better movie than each of those.
Yea, when my favorite Marty film is almost without question After Hours...obviously my Scorsese taste is a bit strange. Sure, Shutter Island is much more Hollywood-ish than most of his movies, but I wouldn't say as blatantly as The Aviator or The Departed. As for the visuals, I definitely think it's better than most. Maybe not the best, but better than most.

Leo in Shutter Island surely isn't as great as many of the Scorsese-De Niro teamings (Taxi Driver, King of Comedy, Raging Bull, Mean Streets - Leo doesn't compare to De Niro there). However, it's undeniable that Leo has grown very much as an actor, even within his collaborations with Scorsese. In Gangs of New York, he didn't come close to the greatness of any of De Niro's performances under Scorsese. However, with Shutter Island, there's no question that he's much more impressive than De Niro, in say... New York New York, Cape Fear, Casino, and Goodfellas.

Adding this to what I read at IMDB (even the reviews praising the effort) and Di Caprio's presence I can't help thinking this is a stinker on the same level as After Hours, Bringing Out The Dead, Aviator and what else.

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« Reply #31 on: February 27, 2010, 11:12:20 PM »

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Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island (2010) is probably the best film I've seen in theaters since Slumdog Millionaire (which admittedly isn't saying a whole lot). It's a mature thriller that mixes a straightforward mystery with a phantasmagoric horror film, creating an engrossing, disturbing cinematic experience. The twist (which surely everyone knows by now) isn't a problem per se - the way it's handled, however, is the film's one major flaw.

1954. A pair of US Marshals - hard-bitten, guilt-ridden Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and affable Chuck Auele (Mark Ruffalo) - arrive on the titular island to visit Ashecliffe Mental Institution, a hospital for the criminally insane. Seems that a female prisoner (Emily Mortimer) broke out of jail, seemingly vanishing into thin air. Teddy immediately clashes with the too-nice Doctor Cawley (Ben Kingsley), who believes in engaging patients rather than putting them away - and who seems to be hiding something. The Marshals are trapped on the island by a storm, and Teddy comes to think that he and his partner are being set up - especially when word of a 67th inmate leaks out.

Shutter Island could easily have been a mess, but Scorsese deftly navigates the waters of its treacherous plot. The nightmarish dreams and are perfectly integrated into the main plot, a well-done paranoid police procedural. The movie plays up sinister expectations - the ex-Nazi Doctor (Max Von Sydow), mentions of HUAC and the Cold War - wonderfully, so we're almost let down when they're deflated. The contrast to the Holocaust is disturbing, moreso if we know about Operation Paper Clip and the MKULTRA program; the paranoid fantasies of the inmates have a palpable basis in reality. Teddy's apparent moral stand against these experiments, mixed with revenge, creates a wonderfully complex protagonist, and the film's palpable atmosphere of dread and quick pacing helps as well.

If there's a complaint about the film, it's the final 15 minutes or so. The twist itself is reasonable, if not overly original, and it does a fine job of frustrating plot expectations. However, after the secret is revealed, we're treated to an overlong explanatory scene, which seems like a retread of Hitchcock's expository excesses (Psycho, anyone?). Quite frankly, I would have preferred ambiguity to this deadeningly literal denouement. There may be more than meets the eye to the final scene, but the ship has already sailed by that point.

Scorsese eschews his usual quick-cutting, hard-hitting directoral style for a more measured approach. Scorsese does allow himself moments of showmanship - the gothic nightmare scenes, the storm sequence, the execution of Nazi guards at Dachau - but his direction is mostly focused, intense and gripping, allowing the images to speak for themselves. Robert Richardson's cinematography is alternately sweeping and claustrophobic, and there's a fine use of instrumental music, particularly tracks by John Adams, Gustav Mahler and John Cage.

Leonardo DiCaprio nails a difficult role. Shaky accent aside, DiCaprio is completely convincing as the haunted, hard-bitten Teddy, making his later scenes particularly poignant. Ben Kingsley (Gandhi) gives his best performance in years; it's nice to see him in something other than an Uwe Boll film. Max Von Sydow (Conan the Barbarian) shines in a small part. The supporting cast is excellent: Mark Ruffalo (Zodiac), Michelle Williams (Brokeback Mountain), Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen), Patricia Clarkson (The Untouchables), John Carroll Lynch (Gran Torino), Ted Levine (Silence of the Lambs), Elias Koteas (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button).

I can't quite give Shutter Island a "Great Movies" rating because of the ending, but everything else about it is near-perfect.
http://nothingiswrittenfilm.blogspot.com/2010/02/shutter-island.html

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« Reply #32 on: February 28, 2010, 08:49:53 AM »

Hell ya Groggy! I agree the movie is nearly flawless up until the twist reveal. For the 'revealing flashback', while I agree that it'd be more interesting to not explain it so clearly and leave it a bit ambiguous, the scene was so well done that its excusable. I also don't like that the four names are anagrams of each other...I would've liked a more clever way to shower that they're all the same two people.

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« Reply #33 on: February 28, 2010, 11:37:38 AM »

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Max Von Sydow (Conan the Barbarian)
Give. Me. A break.

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« Reply #34 on: February 28, 2010, 02:01:16 PM »

If I had reviewed any of Von Sydow's other movies for my blog I would have listed them instead. You know I'm a big self-promoter.

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« Reply #35 on: March 06, 2010, 01:32:39 AM »

SPOILERS

8/10

I really enjoyed the movie but the anagram thing was sure stupid, not least because I had no idea Teddy is a nickname for Edward Tongue

A lot of what happens is unbelievable and even laughable but makes sense after the final revelation. For example, the nazi bits seemed to me like "good meaning but just too moralizing" but in the end they make sense as part of Teddy's hallucinations and guilt. But I'm not sure if the twist justifies the corniness of the scenes with the ghost (or what ever) of his wife...

Anyone else think this makes an interesting comparison with Lost Highway (which, BTW, is miles better than this)?

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« Reply #36 on: March 06, 2010, 06:44:05 AM »

Haha, you may have a point here...

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« Reply #37 on: April 02, 2012, 04:04:19 PM »

A very much predictable (and what's worse - futile) waste of 2-and-something hours of your everyday life. It isn't crap since Marty directed it... which means it's crap, with all due respect. First of all, I ain't much of a Leo hater, but to call him miscast here would be the understatement of the decade. The visuals: very much sterile, there wasn't a single moment in the movie I felt what they were doing wasn't artificial. And the story/plot, with the ''67th inmate/patient/whatever'', were they fuck*ing kidding? - lol


5/10

« Last Edit: April 02, 2012, 04:09:41 PM by Dust Devil » Logged



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« Reply #38 on: April 02, 2012, 04:05:02 PM »

Haha, you may have a point here...

Thanks.

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« Reply #39 on: April 03, 2012, 01:41:24 AM »

A very much predictable (and what's worse - futile) waste of 2-and-something hours of your everyday life. It isn't crap since Marty directed it... which means it's crap, with all due respect. First of all, I ain't much of a Leo hater, but to call him miscast here would be the understatement of the decade. The visuals: very much sterile, there wasn't a single moment in the movie I felt what they were doing wasn't artificial. And the story/plot, with the ''67th inmate/patient/whatever'', were they fuck*ing kidding? - lol


5/10

Rewatch it, you'll give it 7/10.
THE good idea of the movie was to make it NOT like a twist ending film. Which means it actually works better the other times because, for the first time in a Scorsese movie, you'll actually care for the character.

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« Reply #40 on: April 03, 2012, 03:23:27 AM »

Rewatch it, you'll give it 7/10.
THE good idea of the movie was to make it NOT like a twist ending film. Which means it actually works better the other times because, for the first time in a Scorsese movie, you'll actually care for the character.

Not much of an idea since the character is cliched beyond comprehension: a tearjerker if I ever saw one.

Sorry, I just can't spare another 2 hours for this, not anytime soon anyway. As a matter of fact, I'm sorry I even watched it. I could have easily carry on without it on the shelves of my brain. Curiosity killed the cat indeed.

« Last Edit: April 03, 2012, 03:25:04 AM by Dust Devil » Logged



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