Fellow Movie Lovers
There is still time to enter the contest; March 5th is the last entry date. Please one ballot per person; this is not a political election!
Many of us have had a secret craving for an occasional horror/thriller flick. It is a phenomenon that I have never truly grasped; attraction, repulsion; the titillating effect of fear, the electric jolt of shock?
Over the years my cravings have dissipated but resting in the movie halls of horror are a few worth mentioning. The first Halloween (1978) was the most terrifying film I had ever experienced, after a twenty year hiatus Halloween was usurped by The Blair Witch Project (1999) so viscerally real, because the evil remains invisible. But what finally cured me of this passion for horror films was Wolf Creek (2005) an Australian film so frightening, the violence, so genuinely gruesome that I decided never to put myself through that horrifying nightmare again. I have skipped all the vampire movies; the concept of true love resulting in taking a chunk from your soul mate’s neck and living for eternity in a sunless world is unappetizing, but does eliminate the threat of skin cancer.
Rules and resolutions are oftentimes broken and the lure of Leonardo DiCaprio brought me to Shutter Island. Directed by Martin Scorsese, based on the 2003 book by Dennis Lehane (author of Mystic River) it is, with the exception of Dicaprio, at best an average film. Saved from eventual obscurity by the genius that is Leonardo; who at thirty- five, still in the embryonic stage of his career, is the greatest method actor the screen as yet to witness (this includes Marlon Brando). I have been a devoted follower of this talented man since his brilliant performance in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? (1993), nominated in the best supporting actor category; and who could ever forget the doomed Jack Dawson in Titanic (1996); or his dynamic portrayal of the chameleon Frank Abagnale,Jr. in the all time favorite Catch Me if You Can(2002); he garnished a second academy award nomination for capturing the essence of the enigmatic Howard Hughes in The Aviator (2004); as Danny Archer in Blood Diamond (2006) he shines as the powerfully driven hero on a seismic mission, he conquers the South African accent and carves another academy nomination on his acting belt.
In Shutter Island he is federal Marshall, Teddy Daniels, investigating with his partner Chuck (played by a thinner, handsomer Mark Ruffalo, The Brothers Bloom) a missing inmate in the asylum for the criminally insane. The set works because it was filmed in an abandoned mental institution in Medfield, Mass.; perfect touch of creepiness and claustrophobia haunting its sinuous corridors.
If you have not read the book (Scorsese religiously adheres to the plot); the last half hour was entertaining due solely to the magic of DiCaprio’s characterization. This is a flawed gem in his theatrical crown; but so far from completion, the richest jewels have yet to be mined.
TWO &1/2 STARS (OUT OF FIVE)