Thursday, March 11, 2010

Shutter Island

At this point in his career, Martin Scorsese could film a few pages from the Yellow Pages and it would still be worth watching. The man is simply one of the best directors working today -- or any day -- and he seems to have an instinctive, innate talent for keeping people entertained, in suspense, and enthralled. Even when his films don't have much of a story, which is most of the time.

Raging Bull is a film about a degenerate, loudmouthed thug whose only real character arc is that he gets fat at the end. But it's a brilliant movie because Scorsese's direction was flawless.

Goodfellas (one of my all time favorite movies) is little more than a series of vignettes chronicling the lives of a few mobsters. There's no real story structure, nor do any of the characters in this one change either. Some just get whacked. But still, brilliant.

Casino was just Goodfellas... in a Casino. 

The Aviator is a film that meticulously documented the life of Howard Hughes in the years before he actually turned interesting.

I never had any idea what was happening at any given moment of Gangs of New York, but I enjoyed every minute of it, all three hundred and fifty thousand of them. (It was kind of a long movie.)

And then we have Shutter Island, which is a taut, suspenseful, engaging thriller that is so well acted and directed than by the end you're willing to forgive the film for making little sense, for breaking its own rules, and for having most of the twists and turns be cheats and cop-outs. I won't say much more than that, since the unraveling of the plot is central to the suspense of the story, but I will say that I wasn't blown away by an ending I felt to be a cliched letdown. But, again, this film was so much fun to watch that it will stand the test of time as one of Scorsese's classics.

Go check it out. And don't be scared by the trailers if you think it's some big horror film. It's quite creepy in a few places, but it's more of a thriller than any kind of horror by any stretch of the imagination.

1 comment:

Justin Garrett Blum said...

I saw that this past weekend. Quite enjoyed it, actually. It's a rare film that I'm still thinking about after I leave the theater, and for the rest of the day. I didn't think there was anything really cliche about it, right up through Leo's final line, which leaves you wondering.