Review: Shutter Island

Review: Shutter Island

‘Shutter Island’ Scorsese’s latest masterpiece is a film starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, and Ben Kingsley, based on the novel by Dennis Lehane.

Set on Shutter Island in Boston Harbor, 1954, the film begins with two Federal Marshals on a boat, heading to Ashecliffe Hospital to assist in finding an escaped patient. Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) is paired up with a new partner Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo) whose been sent to the department from Seattle.

They arrive on Shutter Island just as a storm is approaching and meet with Dr. Cawley (Kinglsey) the chief administrator of Ashecliffe. Daniels immediately senses that he is being lied to, that the people their interviewing are hiding something, and that there is something terrible happening at this hospital.

Throughout the film, we flashback to Daniels in the service, a soldier in WWII, as well as to dream sequences with Daniels late wife. Daniel’s character is haunted by the horror he witnessed at Dachau, a concentration camp, as well surreal scenes of Daniel’s dead wife, who died in an apartment fire. Due to what he saw at Dachau, Daniels feels that this is what is happening on Shutter Island. He’s seen what horror man is capable of, and he’s there to stop it.

The mood of Shutter Island is haunting. I had an uncomfortable feeling from start to finish. It wasn’t a scary film per-say but the mood was tense, you felt an uneasy weight on your shoulders that you couldn’t shake because of what was being played out on the screen. The music (from longtime collaborator Robbie Robertson) only added to the films haunting atmosphere. Honestly, the music as Daniels and Aule arrive to the island will give me nightmares the rest of this week.

As far as the acting goes, DiCaprio has become quite comfortable with his Boston accent, and nothing really stood out as overly ridiculous as is normally the case (maybe I’m biased because I’m from Boston). His performance was the best I’ve seen in all his collaborations with Scorsese. Everyone shined, from the background patients up. Mark Ruffalo continues to be one of my favorite actors to this day. He has this presence that makes him stand out in everything he pops up in.

‘Shutter Island’ was tightly crafted and extremely fine tuned, nothing felt out of place, and despite its 138 minute runtime, I never felt it drag, not once. The story was tight, the script was tight. The editing was absolutely perfect.

The movie has been received with mixed feelings, critics and audiences seem to be either completely loving it, or completely hating it. I definitely feel like its going to be one of those films that will get its complete respect decades from now. Will it be remembered by Oscar season next year? I really hope so, because I really do believe it was that good.

Scorsese Picks ‘Invention’

Scorsese Picks ‘Invention’

Scorsese has announced his next film, an adaptation of ‘The Invention of Hugo Cabret,’ to begin lensing in June.

The book tells the story of a child orphan, who was working to fix a Mechanical Man. After his death, Hugo, attempts to complete is fathers work in a 1930s Parisian train station. Written by Brian Selznick the childrens book has won numerous awards, including the 2008 Caldecott Medal, and a finalist for a National Book Award.

Scorsese has a lot of films in different stages of development, like ‘Silence,’ ‘Wolf of Wall Street,’ and a Sinatra biopic, but ‘Invention’ will definitely be his next project.

It sounds like a very interesting story, and I can’t wait to see Scorsese’s vision of this interesting illustrated story. Perhaps this will be the first film Scorsese makes that is for all audiences, now that is something I’m interested in seeing.

Fellow Filmmakers Call For Polanski Release

A group of filmmakers are calling for the release of Roman Polanski.  Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese and David Lynch are among the directors who signed a petition asking for the release of director Roman Polanski.  Polanski was arrested this past weekend in Switzerland in connection with the 1977 rape charge that led to his fleeing the US.  Those signing the petition were also incensed that Polanski was arrested on his way to attend the Zurich Film Festival.

In other Polanski news, his most recent movie, “The Ghost,” starring Pierce Brosnan and Ewan McGregor  has been put on hold.  The movie, based on the Robert Harris novel about an investigative reporter looking into the past of the British PM, was in post production with just the sound mix and scoring remaining to be done.  However, nothing will happen with the movie until Polanski’s legal situation is cleared up.

So, for the time being, the only thing we’ll see from this movie is a short, 15 second trailer.  Check it out below.

‘Shutter Island’ Release Date Moves to February 2010

In a move that’ll destroy ‘Shutter Islands’ chances this Oscar season, Paramount has delayed the release to Febuary 2010. Everyone and their mother just let out a collective ‘wtf.’

The online word is that Paramount can’t afford the money to market the film leading up to its release, and that DiCaprio wouldn’t be available to promote the film.

I’m sorry, you can’t come up with the money to sell a film directed by Oscar winning director Martin Scorsese, based on a book written by the guy behind Mystic River?? This is mind boggling. Especially since the film didn’t even have a tiny bit of competition the weekend it was being released.

Whatever Paramount, so now I have to wait even longer to see a movie I’ve been waiting over a year for, its not like my rant will change it.

Shutter Island Trailer

Shutter Island Trailer

The trailer for Martin Scorsese’s new Boston-based thriller ‘Shutter Island’ was posted over at today! My first reaction, looks frightening, and awesome. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, and Ben Kingsley, and is based on the novel by Dennis Lehane. Check out the trailer, and feel free to talk about what you think in the comments!

Scorsese Taking on Sinatra

The title sentence alone should send Sinatra fans through the roof with excitement.  According to the Hollywood Reporter, Universal Pictures has accquired the rights to a Sinatra script written by “Field of Dreams” scribe Phil Alden Robinson.

The deal comes after years of negotiating with the Sinatra estate.  Apparently, the major sticking point was how to tell the story and how much of the story to tell.  Scorsese had reportedly been working with “Goodfellas” co-writer Nick Pileggi for over a decade on a script about Dean Martin.  How that script is impacted by this deal remains to be seen.  (At one point, the rumor was Tom Hanks would play Dino.)

No one has been cast thus far as the iconic singer.  Ray Liotta, (who of course rose to fame as Henry Hill in Scorsese’s “Goodfellas,”) played Mr. Sinatra in a 1998 HBO movie.

Scorsese To Tackle “Silence” Next?

Variety is reporting that Martin Scorsese is wrapping post production on “Shutter Island,” and is eying his next project.

“Silence,” which Scorsese has been developing for some time, seems to be the next one on his slate.  Daniel Day-Lewis and Benecio del Toro are said to be interested in the project.

“Silence,” is based on  the Shusaku Endo novel, about two Jesuit priests in the 17th century, facing violence and persecution as they travel to Japan to try and spread Christianity.

Frequent Scorsese collaborator Jay Cocks is writing the script.  Production is set to begin in New Zealand later this year. -Sam

Nichols to Direct Mamet’s Rewrite of ‘High & Low’

Nichols to Direct Mamet’s Rewrite of ‘High & Low’


In some of the most exciting remake news I’ve heard in a while, Miramax has announced that Mike Nichols, (‘Closer,’ ‘Charlie Wilson’s War,’ and, oh yeah, ‘The Graduate,’) will helm a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s crime thriller ‘High and Low.’  The script is written by David Mamet, (‘Spartan,’ ‘House of Games,’ and, oh yeah, ‘Glengarry Glen Ross,’ who finished the draft at the behest of Martin Scorsese several years ago.  The script ended up shelved after a deal couldn’t be worked out with Kurosawa’s estate.

The movie is about the kidnapping of the wrong child.  (Instead of grabbing the child of a rich businessman, the kidnappers grab the businessman’s driver’s son.)

I’m excited about this one.

DVD Review: Shine a Light

Shine a LightI’ve never seen the ‘Stones in Concert, not sure if I’ll ever get to, but I seriously walked away from this film feeling like I’d legitimately gone to a very rare, very small, personal show with the Rolling Stones. [Read more…]

HBO Greenlights 3 Pilots

HBO has some of the best original programming on television, so I was look forward to new pilots coming from the pay cabler.

The projects include “Boardwalk Express,” that tells the story of the birth of organized crime in Atlantic City, circa 1920s. The show is exec produced by Martin Scorsese, ‘Sopranos’ alum Terence Winter, and “Entourage” team Mark Wahlberg and Steve Levinson.

Other projects greenlit include a new half-hour comedy called “Washingtonienne,” based on the novel by Jessica Cutler. The show will be about the main characters sex life with real life political figures in D.C. Sarah Jessica Parker is exec producing.

And finally, an hourlong drama about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

I don’t know about you, but Boardwalk Express sounds pretty freakin awesome.