Shutter Island: even Scorsese has his off days (an off day for him is still a B-)

26 Feb

Okay, so I actually read the book Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane (Mystic River, Gone, Baby, Gone), so watching this was much different for me than for the person who was trying to ‘figure it out’ the whole time. I was able to simply relax and not be confused at any point, so my opinion of the film is much different than someone who came in cold. That being said, I think the first half of the movie was overly long and if it wasn’t for the ending, this movie would have been very disappointing.

You know things aren’t getting off to a great start when within the first two minutes you lean over to your friend and say, “This music is annoying.” 

Click play on that song and then imagine Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo…imagine they are…wait for it…DRIVING IN A CAR. That is all they are doing to this music. Driving in a car.  “This car ride is so tense and horrifying that this song is perfect.” –Martin Scorsese.

I can’t believe some of the stuff in here came from Scorsese. It’s like he thought there was certain way to make a ‘horror’ movie (this movie was not scary by the way, not at all, especially considering the way they were marketing it) which includes cheesy overblown music, loud sounds that make you jump and ‘disturbing’ visuals. A lot of the dream sequences or the flashbacks involving the Nazis had this artifcial quality to them that really threw me off. It was like you could see how someone would be like, “Let’s have her covered in a lot of blood, but be really calm and sort of rational. That’ll really give ’em the creeps!” I felt like I was being shown all these images that should have been creepy, but it was like you could tell they were trying SO HARD. Are you still listening to that song? TRYING WAY TOO HARD.

Also, they REALLY played up the Nazi/WW II angle which was only briefly mentioned in the book. I think this was a misstep because it ate up time they could have used to show Teddy investigating more people (because there should have been more of that) and getting more clues out of the orderlies and other patients. Or, it could have just been cut completely so this movie wasn’t two and a half hours (including previews, which were for all my most anticipated movies of 2010, such as Death at a Funeral and The Scorcer’s Apprentice and She’s Out of My League and Clash of the Titans (when I say ‘most anticipated’ I mean ‘least anticipated’)).

Despite the problems I had with this movie, the ending basically makes up for it. The quality of the acting was also commendable; Leo was good as always, and Jackie Earl Haley was also good in his small role.

Grade: B-


3 Responses to “Shutter Island: even Scorsese has his off days (an off day for him is still a B-)”

  1. rish_m February 27, 2010 at 12:18 am #

    The fact that Clash of the Titans (pretty much my favorite childhood film) is being remade makes me mad. I’ve avoided reading or watching anything from or about it, since it would probably ruin my day.

    I’m only mildly interested in Shutter Island, which seems weird, since Scorsese’s last few movies have been fantastic. I’ve always admired Leo as an actor, and it looks atmospheric as hell, but, “eh,” goes my movie-watching id.

  2. kevvolchok February 27, 2010 at 12:11 pm #

    I’m want to see this film but you know…I won’t even allow myself to get excited because most films that I think look promising end up disappointing me. usually, the films I enjoy are the ones few people talk about.

  3. Sadako February 28, 2010 at 11:13 am #

    Aw, too bad it sucked. I still kind of wanna see it b/c I love bad horror. It’s fun to snark. Great review!

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