Sunday, February 28, 2010

No Man Is A Shuttered Island

I'm not a Martin Scorcese fan. Normally, I attribute this to the subject matter he deals with. I'm not into the gangsters or the dumbass, abusive boxers, and that tends to overwhelm my opinion of his technical prowess, which is considerable.

I did rather like The Departed, so I thought maybe I'd enjoy his latest work, the psychological thriller Shutter Island, even though—well, it's pretty obvious from the trailer how the whole movie is going to play out.

And it does. The opening scene actually tips the whole thing off. The ending 30 seconds could've been out of any of the movies from the After Dark Horror Festival, which pissed The Boy off, but he rather liked it, and has been inclined to appreciate it more over time.

The Old Man also found it pretty predictable but enjoyed it more than I did.

Because, you know, I'm just not a Scorcese guy. Never really engaged. Found myself thinking, "Well, that was kind of interesting" a couple of times. But it couldn't really distract me from the obviousness of the whole thing.

Good acting. Dicaprio does okay. The Old Man thought he was too young for the part. But then, he's old. I don't think he's processed that DiCaprio is in his mid-30s.

Mark Ruffalo was good. The acting is generally good and the atmosphere great, as you might expect. But, look, the story is "Federal Marshall goes to asylum/prison to investigate mysterious missing patient." So, this only plays out one of..well, one ways. Just once, I'd like it to turn out that...

Well, no spoilers, here.

I kept hoping. I kept hoping for the non-twisty ending. And as The Boy and I have often observed of late, the non-twisty is the more surprising these days. It would've surprised the crap out of me.

There was a little, mini-twist past the big twist I thought might turn out in an unexpected way, but no dice. That was the part that pissed The Boy off. (Though, as I said, he's liked it more upon reflection.)

So, you know, I can't really complain. It was exactly what I expected. Meh.


  1. I watched this with my friend, had to explain the extra twist at the end to them, and we both didn't like the film. Where was the story? That's what we wanted to know. The only thing we could think of that might have saved the movie, was if it was shot in a cult-movie style.

    There is no reason for this movie to exist.

  2. OK I'm going to mean here for second.
    I'm not a super dooper movie expert, but I tend to like Scorcese's older stuff. What I absolutely do not understand is WTH he sees in Dicaprio? He's worked with him more than a few times, so I figure that I must be missing something? Does Dicaprio actually have acting talent? If yes, which movie? I'll watch it or watch it again with an open mind.
    Why would Scorcese risk looking like a fool by continually backing this guy? I mean, he's just not a Deniro. Not. What am I missing here? Somebody please explain.

  3. I'm with you, Jason. I've heard the same complaints about Plan 9 From Outer Space and I think they're less valid.

    Pollo, Di Caprio's okay. No, he's no De Niro, but I don't get the idea he's coasting on his looks.

    By the way, this movie sort of reminded me of Angel Heart, in which De Niro plays the Devil!

  4. Are we supposed to be thrilled by a movie based on a trick premise? Or by Scorcese's references to other films? I had no sense at any moment in this film that either the director or the actors were invested in it. So why should I be invested in it?


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