Welcome to the movies at PS News.
Each week, PS News's film critic Victor Rebikoff will highlight the latest offerings from the silver screen and share his expert commentary for our information and guidance.
Director: Martin Scorsese, Paramount Pictures, Rated MA, 138 mins
Based on Dennis Lehane’s startling novel and adapted to the screen by Laeta Kalogridis, Shutter Island takes place in 1954 in a maximum security asylum for the criminally insane.
The film once again brings together Leonardo DiCaprio and academy award winning director Martin Scorsese (who worked together on The Departed) in what can best be described as a psychological thriller.
In the opening scenes US marshals Teddy Daniels (DiCaprio) and Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo, The Brother’s Bloom) are seen arriving on Shutter Island to investigate a female inmate’s apparent disappearance.
Instead they are greeted by an unusually large number of guards whose attitudes appear to be immediately suspect.
Furthermore, while interrogating the superiors of the asylum, Dr John Cawley (Ben Kingsley, Ghandi) and Dr Jeremiah Naehring (Max Von Sydow), Daniels begins to suffer a series of hallucinations of his war-time experience including the traumatic death of his wife Dolores (Michelle Williams) whose spirit continuously appears and warns him to leave Shutter Island.
Between Daniel's hallucinations and what is transpiring on the island, it becomes somewhat gruelling to try to understand what is actually occurring in Daniel's head.
Even though there is intrigue and suspense that holds your attention throughout the movie, Shutter Island challenges the viewer psychologically as the plot takes you down so many different paths with nothing really making sense until the final twenty minutes of this lengthy production.
Having assembled a great cast to play each of the designated characters- with performances by DiCaprio and Kingsley being particularly impressive- there is no doubt that Scorsese has set out to make a truly suspenseful thriller but in the end it is questionable whether the complex and unnerving storyline will appeal to everyone’s taste or can even measure up to Scorsese’s award winning direction of The Departed. In fact to some in the audience this latest high powered drama from Scorsese may appear as a mind bending experience that is quite disturbing and where everything that takes place is not what it seems.
VIC'S VERDICT: 3 ½ Rubber Stamps
Release Date: 17 March
Director: Roland Emerich, Columbia Pictures, Rated M, 158 mins
Sony’s highly anticipated DVD is a thrilling blockbuster from the ‘Master of Disaster’ himself, Roland Emerich, who was responsible for such successes as The Day After Tomorrow and Independence Day.
Due to some amazing special effects, Emmerich’s 2012 is an epic adventure that follows the struggle of some of the survivors of a global catastrophe that brings massive climatic changes to the world- which as the movie depicts was predicted thousands of years ago by the ancient Mayans.
It is Adrian Helmsley (Chiwetel Ejiofor), an American scientist who first learns in 2009 that the planet is overheating, alerting the White House and the President (played by Lethal Weapon star Danny Glover) of the impending doomsday scenario.
Helmsley suggests they use the time remaining to prepare for the doomsday scenario by building a number of huge ‘arks’.
One person who stumbles onto the truth is leading character and writer Jackson Curtis (John Cusack) who goes to great lengths to get his ex-wife and children to safety.
Emmerich is a truly great director who through the eyes of the Curtis family allows the viewer to fully experience what is going on and to become fully immersed in what is actually happening to humankind.
He always draws out solid performances from his assembled cast of acknowledged actors and his action sequences are of the quality that is pure entertainment and create images that deliver a sense of dread and excitement.
With such a fascinating storyline and so much action and excitement, 2012 is a must in any home movie collection.
The release has some extra features, and the Blu-ray edition includes an alternate ending to this exciting blockbuster.
VIC'S VERDICT: 4 Rubber Stamps
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