Martin Scorsese’s latest potboiler bears the unmistakable markings of a classic film noir. Cigarette smoke hangs heavy in the air and tendrils about the characters, almost taking on a life of its own. Dream sequences become engulfed in flames and smoke. The camera lingers on one character taking a drag off of a cigarette and inhaling the smoke directly into his nostrils.
The smoke is so pervasive that I kept thinking there has to be a reason for it, beyond atmosphere. My conclusion is that the smoke is an allegorical symbol for “smoke and mirrors”, quite apropo because on Shutter Island, nothing is as it appears.
Leonardo DiCaprio (with a thick Boston accent) plays Teddy Daniels, a U.S. Marshal who has been summoned to the mysterious Shutter Island, a foreboding chunk of land surrounded by rocky precipices. This makes the island ideal for housing dangerous and severely disturbed psychiatric patients. The movie takes place in 1954, when psychiatric patients were routinely given lobotomies, and other “treatments” were inflicted that are considered unethical and inhumane today.
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With President’s Day weekend behind us it’s now time to think about some late Valentine’s Day presents. In case you want to pick up something extra for your valentine or you completely forgot to get something at all, a great movie on Blu-ray or DVD makes a perfect gift. Fortunately, there’s some new ones coming out this week just in time.
Among this week’s selection we’re interested in are new to Blu-ray movies such as Law Abiding Citizen, Halo Legends, the Dirty Harry Collection, Contempt, Akira Kurosawa’s Ran and debut of TV series Barnaby Jones and the latest installment of Cannon. Also, Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas (pictured above with Joe Pesci, Ray Liotta and Robert De Niro) gets the 20th Anniversary treatment with a new Blu-ray release.
Black Dynamite ~ Michael Jai White (Blu-ray and DVD)
Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever ~ Michael Bowen, Rider Strong (Blu-ray and DVD)
Contempt ~ Brigitte Bardot, Jack Palance, Fritz Lang (Blu-ray)
Dirty Harry Collection (Dirty Harry / Magnum Force / The Enforcer / Sudden Impact / The Dead Pool) ~ Clint Eastwood (Blu-ray and DVD)
Goodfellas (20th Anniversary Edition) ~ Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci (Blu-ray)
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I’ll admit it, when I worked at Barnes & Noble a few years ago, I used to read on the clock when there were no customers around and no books to put away. My favorite book that I read that year was a kid’s book called The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. The story is about a boy who lives in a train station and stumbles upon a mysterious robot, which he labors tirelessly to repair.
The book is so magical, because it blends illustrations with an incredibly detailed story, and I could see it all in front of me as I read. I couldn’t help thinking just how great this book would translate to the screen. Better news couldn’t be coming out of that front, as Martin Scorsese has officially signed on to direct the adaptation for film.
The film is set to take place in 1930′s Paris, which is good considering how well Scorsese worked with period pieces such as The Aviator and Gangs of New York. The film is being fast-tracked for a June 1 production date, with such mega producers as Graham King (The Departed), Tim Headington (Edge of Darkness) and even Johnny Depp’s production company Infinitum Nihil.
We can expect to see plenty more from the project, with productions starting up in 6 months. In the meantime, you can catch Martin Scorsese’s next film, Shutter Island in theaters on February 19th.
The 67th annual Golden Globes awards took place last night, and Avatar walked away top honors of Best Picture and Best Director, fueling speculation that it is gaining momentum going into the Oscar nomination race. Avatar and Crazy Heart picked up two awards each, but there were no lopsided wins this year.
Critical darling The Hurt Locker was shut out and went home empty handed. The Hurt Locker has been cleaning up top honors at Critic Circle awards nationwide. Up in the Air was nominated for six awards, but only won for Best Screenplay.
Veteran actors Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep won acting awards, and delivered particularly elegant and classy acceptance speeches.
On the television side, Dexter fared well, with John Lithgow and Michael C. Hall both winning acting awards. HBO’s film Grey Gardens won two awards as well. Mad Men won for Best Television Series, Drama and freshman series Glee won for best Television Series, Comedy or Musical.
A complete list of winners follows. Also, be sure to check out our photo gallery of all the winners after the jump.
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Every so often as you begin to read a book, something in the back of your mind starts to whisper, “I’ve been here before.” The whispering started for me at the beginning of chapter 2 of Dennis Lehane’s Shutter Island and remained a nagging little voice for much of the book’s first half.
It’s 1954 and Deputy U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels has been dispatched, along with his new partner Chuck Aule, to Ashecliffe, a federal prison hospital for the criminally insane on Shutter Island. Their mission is to locate a missing murderess, Rachel Solando, who has apparently managed to escape from a locked and carefully guarded cell. She is homicidally violent and cannot be allowed to reach the mainland.
While most of the patients in Ashecliffe are dangerous, Rachel is off the chart. After landing on the dock, the marshals are disarmed (A mental hospital, remember?) and taken to see Dr. John Cawley, the hospital’s chief of staff. They are told that the entire island has been searched and Rachel is nowhere to be found. They are also told that, even if she tried to get to the mainland, she would never be able to make the 11-mile swim without drowning.
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