Thursday, February 18, 2010

Scorcese's take on Lehane's SHUTTER ISLAND

As I noted late last year, there were four major book-to-film adaptations coming out over the New Zealand summer, that fell (at least somewhat) into the crime or thriller category; Alice Sebold's THE LOVELY BONES, Stieg Larsson's THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, Arthur Conan Doyle's SHERLOCK HOLMES, and Dennis Lehane's SHUTTER ISLAND.

Today, the last of the four opens in New Zealand cinemas. From Oscar®-winning director Martin Scorsese, Shutter Island is the story of two U.S. marshals, Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo), who in 1954 are summoned to a remote and barren island off the coast of Massachusetts to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a murderess from the island's fortress-like hospital for the criminally insane.

SHUTTER ISLAND is the third Lehane novel to be brought to the big screen, following acclaimed adaptations of MYSTIC RIVER and GONE BABY GONE. You can watch the trailer HERE. From the trailer, the film looks worth seeing.

The first local reviews were on the two early-morning TV shows here today; TVONE's Breakfast and TV3's Sunrise. TVONE reviewer Joanna Hunkin gave the film a glowing review, although she said it would not be for everyone. She thought Scorcese showed a great touch for detail, period accuracy, and tension - although there was a fair bit more 'horror' than she expected. "Almost a homage to Hitchcock... quite brilliant," she says. She did note however that one of her companions thought the ending was too obvious, while the other thought it was too unclear and complicated (whereas she, like Goldilocks (my words, not hers), thought it was just right). So you can't please everyone. Hunkin gave Shutter Island (the film) 5 stars. You can watch the clip of her review here. Interestingly, she didn't once mention that it was based on a book. Oh well.

I haven't seen the TV3 review by Film3 reviewer Kate Rodger yet (I've been trying to watch it online this morning, but I am having troubles with their website). If you have Flash 10.0 however, you should be able to view her review, here.

The reviewer Darren Bevan has also posted his review of the film (I guess all the media reviewers were there at their screening last night), giving it 8 out of 10. He says: "Shutter Island is a moody, enigmatic return from Scorsese - and it's great to see him tackle something slightly different - and he brings to it echoes of the Shining and pulp B movies. It's quite a thrilling ride and while there are a few lulls and the film feels a little long at the end, Shutter Island is a film with a compelling mystery wrapped up in it which will keep you onboard until the credits roll." You can read Bevan's full review here.

Have you seen Scorcese's Shutter Island? Or read Lehane's book? If so, what did you think? If not, are you intending to head along and see it?

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