Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Mostly Related to Shutter Island

So Saturday night saw me venturing into Springfield for a late showing of Shutter Island, that new Scorsese film with Leo D - the trailers for which, by the way, mercifully reveal very little plot - and I've got to say the experience has only become more impressive in retrospect. I don't want give anything away, but I would like to comment on both the film's score and cinematography. Exciting post, huh?

First off, I'm not sure whether I'm a huge Scorsese fan, because I've only seen, like, three of his movies, so I'm definitely not an SOA or anything (that being a handy acronym for Scorsese Ouvre Authority [thank you]). However, this one had me hooked from frame one. The score alone is worth the price of admission. Much like The Shining, this bad boy's got music imported from all reaches of history, but mostly employs somber, ominous, creepy-as-hell horn compositions to further enhance its sense of all-out dread. I actually found myself counting numerous nods to The Shining throughout, because aside from the music, Scorsese's roving cinematography, meditations on the nature of sanity, and visual motifs (read: axed children) all harken back to Kubrick's own dread-soaked opus. And that's not a bad thing, because I loves me my Shining.

Lots of people are probably going to discourage friends from seeing this movie because of its ending. "The ending, man," I can imagine them saying, "it's totally a cop-out. Man." Do not listen to these people. They are idiots. Even if the ending has been done before (which it has[-ish]... many times), it's the masterful crafting of Shutter Island as a whole that makes it soar where others crash and burn. Pay close attention to the film's first half hour and then return to it immediately after viewing. Do you see? Do you?! Dammit, why not?

Just kidding, I'm sure you're all bright enough. But seriously, the first fifteen minutes aren't going to be hard to recall in that they're unforgettable (I was gleefully bouncing in my seat throughout) and VERY effectively establish a pace, a tone, and a level of 'holy crap' that the rest of the movie never shies away from attempting to live up to. I'd be lying if I said reels 2-9 were as mind-grape-blowingly awesome as reel 1, but that should by no means be a discouragement. If anything, it should encourage you to get to the theater early so you don't miss out.

Anyway, this is running a bit long. Final thoughts? Leo D is da man. And Patricia Clarkson (though she'll always be Six Feet Under's crazy Aunt Sarah to me) rules in her brief role as - oh, but even that would be revealing too much. Also, Ben Kingsley is starting to get on my nerves. I know he's like acting putty, but he needs to take on a role that doesn't rely on charisma alone to get the job done. Plus, with him involved I kept being all, "scary... creepy... exciting... oh, Ben Kingsley smoking a corncob pipe. Meh." But this is a small potato in an otherwise very beefy stew. Go! Watch! Then get back to me.

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