• Mon. Apr 15th, 2024

Movie Curiosities

The online diary of an aspiring movie nerd

Shutter Island

ByCuriosity Inc.

Feb 21, 2010

With most movies, there’s a lot of room for personal opinion and interpretation. What one might consider satire, another might consider silly. “Inventive” cinematography could be construed as a visual mess. A pick for best of the year could possibly be considered a muddled mess (*coughSynecdochecough*). But not here.

Let there be no doubt that this is an objectively well-made movie. It’s just a simple statement of fact. The cinematography is gorgeous, the casting and acting are pitch-perfect, the screenplay is wonderful, the editing is amazing, the sound design (except for the score, which goes a bit over-the-top in places) is extraordinary… I could go on and on. From top to bottom and start to finish, this is a superlative example of filmmaking. Yes, it is a bit long, but the pacing is so damned effective at holding tension through every second of running time that you most likely won’t notice.

Having said that, I won’t be watching this again anytime soon. Make no mistake, this is a movie that absolutely demands to be viewed multiple times. The problem is that this is not a movie to be watched passively. It absolutely requires attention to be paid at every instant, resulting in a movie that is very mentally taxing to watch. It’ll probably be better on Blu-Ray, anyhow.

You’ll notice that I haven’t commented on the story yet. That’s because you really are better off going in knowing as little as possible. Spoiling this movie to any degree should be absolutely criminal. This movie deals with strategically placed clues and misdirection in a way that would make M. Night Shyamalan piss himself. Even if you’ve read the book or seen the movie before and you know exactly what’s going to happen, you just have to sit in awe of the story Scorcese weaves.

On the subject of thematic depth, I’ll only say that the movie raises some interesting notions about science and the power it has, but then leaves the matter entirely open to interpretation.

The bottom line is that if you consider yourself a film geek in any capacity, you owe it to yourself to see this movie. If you’ve already seen it, see it again. But if you’re interested in lighter and more passive fare, stay away from this one.

By Curiosity Inc.

I hold a B.S. in Bioinformatics, the only one from Pacific University's Class of '09. I was the stage-hand-in-chief of my high school drama department and I'm a bass drummer for the Last Regiment of Syncopated Drummers. I dabble in video games and I'm still pretty good at DDR. My primary hobby is going online for upcoming movie news. I am a movie buff, a movie nerd, whatever you want to call it. Comic books are another hobby, but I'm not talking about Superman or Spider-Man or those books that number in the triple-digits. I'm talking about Watchmen, Preacher, Sandman, etc. Self-contained, dramatic, intellectual stories that couldn't be accomplished in any other medium. I'm a proud son of Oregon, born and raised here. I've been just about everywhere in North and Central America and I love it right here.

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