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Shutter Island

Discussion in 'Film, Video, Television and Theatre' started by 753C, Feb 8, 2010.

  1. 753C

    753C Active Member

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    Some people's stories seem to translate well to film. I think Dennis Lehaney may be one of those.
    I just saw a preview for Shutter Island which I read last year. Leo DiCaprio strarring and Martin Scorcese directing. Looks pretty good. The story was quite interesting.
    "Mystic River" is one of my all time favorites and I also quite enjoyed "Gone Baby, Gone" both adaptations of Lehane novels, so I am looking forward to this one.
    Anyone else a fan of Lehane's books/movies?
     
  2. Sofia

    Sofia New Member

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    I am. I loved Shutter Island and am really looking forward to the movie. Gone Baby Gone is one I watch over and over.
     
  3. 753C

    753C Active Member

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    I just watched Gone Baby Gone the other night and then turned of the DVD and the preview for Shutter Island was showing. Ha! That's what prompted the post.
    Anyhow, I think I like Ben Afleck better as a director than an actor. He did a really great job with that one.
     
  4. csigirl

    csigirl New Member

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    I just picked up this book on the weekend, I didn't even realize that the movie was based on a book until I saw it on the shelf. I'm reading it now, I'll let you know how I like it.
     
  5. pontalba

    pontalba Well-Known Member

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    We just saw Shutter Island at the theatre, and had to pick the book up on the way home. :D I can't wait to compare. DiCaprio was excellent, as was the whole cast.
     
  6. beer good

    beer good Well-Known Member

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    The thing you hear going into this film, from every other reviewer or person who's seen it or read the book, is "It's hard to talk about it without spoiling you..." Well, this is going to have ever so slight spoilers.

    Old joke: Three lunatics come before the board of doctors at a mental hospital. In order to prove that they are sane enough to release into society, they need to present one correct fact about a topic, chosen at random. The doctors pick the topic: "Spiders."
    Lunatic 1 says: "Spiders have eight legs." That's correct. Off he goes.
    Lunatic 2 says: "Spiders build webs." That's correct too, he's a free man.
    Lunatic 3 captures a spider. He pulls its legs off, then puts it down on the table and tells it to run. When it doesn't move, he looks at the doctors and proudly announces: "Spiders can't hear without legs!"

    Within 5 minutes, Scorsese is tossing very obvious (some might say too obvious, but there's a point to that) clues our way that there's something wrong on Shutter Island. Apart from the flashbacks suffered by our hero, which in and of themselves are nothing out of the ordinary considering what he's quickly established to have gone through, there's something... off about everything. Or rather the exact opposite: it's all a little too on, a little too clear, a little too easy. A woman has disappeared from a high-security mental institution; what's happened to her? Who knows the true story? He plays beautifully on our preconceptions of what should happen in a story like this - and even what did happen in reality back then. Of course there's something creepy about old Bedlam-style mental hospitals (the chief doctor even comments on how they Don't Do That Anymore, just so we know they do.) Of course the German doctor has to have a Nazi past (how could he not?). Of course there's a conspiracy of commie-hunters (it's the 1950s, after all). Of course the missing woman can't simply have disappeared without a trace (people just don't do that).
    (Edward Daniels is a much more believable name than Andrew Laeddis, isn't it?)

    The greatness in Shutter Island isn't so much in the payoff - I'm still not sure it's not a bit of a cheat - but in the way Scorsese keeps us guessing while pretending he's not. He pits the gorgeously shot and acted 40s/50s noir drama against the 90s/00s subversions his audience has learned to expect, and then keeps dancing around it, alternating between exaggerating his story to the point of outright horror - which is only to be expected, considering the setting - and presenting hints so subtly that we keep wondering: What if there isn't a twist, just harsh reality? What if all the perfect suits and the creepy asylum and the Mengele-light doctor (what is this, von Sydow's sixth career revival?) and the conspiracy really are just... a really well-done, and quite horriffic, period piece? And however much the ending irks me on some level, the achievement here isn't in the answer the movie gives, but in the ones it forces us to answer ourselves. Which version do we want to be true? There's only one boat leaving Shutter Island, and we may need to prove that we know fact from fiction before Scorsese lets us leave.

    (Oh, and spiders really do have their ears on their legs.)

    :star4: +.
     
  7. pontalba

    pontalba Well-Known Member

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    Great review Beergood, I finished the book last night and was pleased at how closely the film seemed to follow the book.
    I totally agree with your remark...
    I was shaking my head at the end, thinking....was that nod real...? :)

    I did appreciate that his past was so well alluded to in the film, but the background in the book [of course] was so much more thorough.
     
  8. 753C

    753C Active Member

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    BeerGood,
    I always enjoy your reviews...
    Anyhow, I know the ending having read the book, but now I am even more excited to go see the film. One of LeHane's strengths is setting the mood. So far, this has translated really well to film and it sounds like this one will be the same.
     
  9. Peder

    Peder Well-Known Member

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    This was a film that I enjoyed watching, even though it didn't clarify for me until after I was driving home and had some points explained to me. I call it a masterful piece of writing and plotting. And I still wonder which parts I believe and how it all worked so smoothly.
     
  10. pontalba

    pontalba Well-Known Member

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    /chuckle/
     
  11. The Butcher

    The Butcher New Member

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    My brother read the book,he said it was a great book.

    So I am expecting a lot out of this movie,but from what people tell me it is very freaky.
     
  12. Fed_Da_Man

    Fed_Da_Man New Member

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    I don't understand why people think this way. What's so bad about a director taking the source material and altering it in an interesting way?
     
  13. pontalba

    pontalba Well-Known Member

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    There is something to what you are saying, however, if it is altered in a substantial way, it wouldn't be the same story. So should not have the same title. Although that is, for the most part what the James Bond films have done. Excluding Casino Royale.

    For example, we recently went to see the film The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, I've read the whole series and loved it. This film, based on the first book was excellent IMO, but there were a few inconsistencies. They did not make any difference [to me], or alter the basic story line. Granted I read the book last year and only saw the film a few weeks ago, but to my recollection, the differences were minor. That's ok. If a director makes major plot changes however, that should be off the table. Or as I have said, call it something else. Calling a substantially different story by the name of a popular book [for example] would be not fair.
     
  14. AlexisAyrth

    AlexisAyrth New Member

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    Shutter Island-- BAH BAH BAH BAH

    If you've seen it you'll understand.
     
  15. Hope Anderson

    Hope Anderson New Member

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    In the last few years, this story line has been used way too many times! By the half way point you've got the ending figured out.
     
  16. tammie tackett

    tammie tackett Member

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    I read the book and it creep me out so bad i had to watch the movie
     

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