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Mike’s Maddening Movie Meme:

Shutter Island – 9 out of 21 Stars

“If Martin Scorsese weren’t aware of himself as a great filmmaker, he could never have made a movie as bad as “Shutter Island.”

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle

I couldn’t agree more. This long, ponderous, meandering schlock was particularly disappointing because I’m having to critique Martin Scorsese so harshly, but I’ve no choice. There were some fine sections, but overall, quite pedestrian for such a deft director.

The Opening sequence was apparently an homage to the cryptic, stilted dialogue of 40’s & 50’s noir. I was somewhat irritated at first, but it thankfully evaporated once they landed on Shutter Isle. I did appreciate the look and excellent camera work throughout, but the rest of the editing was apparently phoned in – this thing was way too long. The ending, though decent and uncompromising, could have been shortened by ten minutes. 

You’d think with the excellent casting – except for perennial, effeminate teenager Leonardo DiCaprio (whom I general like), but c’mon – the guy looks like he’s 19 year old – they’re telling me he’s a hard-boiled, U.S. Marshall from Beantown in the 50’s?!?!  Mark Ruffalo, though not the stellar performance of several years ago in “You Can Count On Me”, was his normal solid self.  Ben Kingsley and Max Von Sydow have been around for many years and this film certainly shows why (as has Ted Devine of Monk/Silence Of The Lambs fame).  I also nominated Emily Mortimer in my latest “Cutie of the Week” category (don’t ask me why, she just seemed attractive to me – that’s how “Cutie of the Week” often works out).

So — with all these professional and overall, positive elements how could I be disappointed? Well, frankly, besides the obnoxious soundtrack and extra 30 minutes of footage forcing  me to look at my watch several times (and one other thing, I really am bugged by automobiles in movies looking like they just came out of a detail shop) – I was expecting more from this Hitchcock-esque, yet un-creepy tome (though the frontal-lobotomy spike was very cool touch). Some indicated Scorsese was being “subtle” in this movie. I’m thinking, more edge-of-your-seat boring.

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