Shutter Island

The night started off at a local bar with a couple friends. I ordered a vodka gimlet. I'm not usually a big cocktail drinker but this particular bar has amazing ice. A slightly rough texture. Filtered water. Seems extra cold. Then we headed off to dinner. There were three of us. We drank some wine. Over dinner I suggested we all take a trip to Shutter Island at 11:15PM. But I was on my own with that idea. Surprisingly, I motivated by my lonesome and got there just in time (near sold-out theater). I asked some scrotum to move his coat so I could sit in a decent seat. He gruff mumbled at my request and did up an overly dramatic reorganization of his coat and bag. I was like, 'Easy dude. Full theater. Don't be a wang.' Anyway I was boozy primed and ready to take a voyage to see some twisty Scorsese whateveryness! Popcorn on lap. Dasani (straight from the swamp) water in hand! All prepared for the journey! Off it shoved...

The movie starts on up and I'm instantly reminded that I'm permanently whatevery about Leotardo DuCaprio. Since Titanic that dude hasn't convinced me of anything. He's not a bad actor-- but he never can escape his stardom. He never disappears. Add in the wallpaperesque Mark Ruffleso to this green/gray 50's dreamscape and within 10 minutes I was hit with the hard reality that at some point during this flick I was definitely going to be dead asleep. In my wined up state it was a fact. I made it about 25 minutes before I had my first nod-off head-snap. To try and rally, I stuffed more popcorn in my face and chugged (gross) Dasani -- over-riding my brain to stay conscious. I used to activity of debating if I was witnessing something very good or something very bad to keep my mind from wandering away. I couldn't decide. Goodish? Baddish? Either way, for a while I was digging the eerie limbo vibe of it all...

But sleep kept calling to me. Like a musak Siren on the rocks. The sleepycall kept telling me I wouldn't miss anything if I nodded off for a few. It called me out on the fact that I wasn't emotionally involved anyway. And my involvement was decreasing. Plus, I couldn't escape being distracted by staring at Leo's sodium bloated scrunch face. Sure, it's always nice to see Ben Kingsley (who when push comes to shove might be the best of them all everywhere. ref. Sexy Beast)-- but as the movie slushed along I just felt like I was on a boat I didn't want to be on. The whole ship swayed in this soggy rainstorm and it made me drowsy and seasick. It all became so inescapably underwhelming. The constant yammering about stray clues. The waterlogged soundtrack. The parade of half-sane half-crazy mental patients, cheesed flashbacks and dead children. Eventually the dreary aimlessness swamped my boat and I was swept over the side. Asleep...zzzz.

When I woke up with a jolt-- the first thing I noticed was nothing had really changed. If there was anything to miss-- I missed it. But I wasn't concerned. How long was I out for? I dunno. 5 minutes? 25 minutes? 30 seconds? It didn't matter. I didn't care. The movie was half-conscious and I was in total sync with it! I threw some popcorn in my mouth for a taste of reality. It tasted like salt. I put the whole bag on the floor and doused my tongue with Dasani. I looked at my watch. An hour fifteen to go! My head swirled on my neck as I tried to prevent the merging of unconsciousnesses. But the sleepy waves kept banging at my shores. And this movie offered no defense. It didn't struggle. It dared me to sleep on it. It threw no liferaft. It just whispered, 'Join us on the other side...' I dozed and woke and dozed and woke a half-dozen times...

Maybe it's not fair to write a review for a movie I barely stayed awake for-- but I don't think it would have affected my attitude toward this flick. Wine or no-wine. Morning matinee or late-night. I feel like I would have fallen asleep on this movie no matter what. It's like Ambien theater. But honestly, I do feel like this is an actual accomplishment of this movie. The dreamlike quality invites deep sleep in a very comfortable way. It's almost like a form of interactivity. Everyone on screen is drifting in and out of reality-- and so was I. A totally unique experience in semi-conscious movie watching. Just make sure you wake up in time for the last 20 minutes--  because it's really the only time the movie insists on your attention. And it conveniently answers any vague questions before splintering away in a mist..

Three Good Things About this Movie

- The supporting cast stepped this movie up.
- There was fresh tone of deadened dread.
- There's always a fun aspect to imagining Marty popping along behind the scenes.

Three Bad Things About this Movie

- It was like playing a ball game without a ball.
- The soundtrack was desperate.
- It may redeem itself as a story but never does as a movie.

All in all, it's a movie to see when there's nothing to see and you don't feel like watching anything anyway. Of all the stories in the world-- this one called out to Scorsese?! (Btw I actually read the book back in the day (well... half of it)-- right after the halfway mark I didn't care where the book was going or if what was really happening or not happening. So this movie stayed true to the book). And in the end, sleep or no sleep, this movie just disappears before your eyes-- it evaporates... which may have been the wanted effect. Perhaps it was all a snoozy little trick performed by a flashy little man. But no, I don't need to see how it was done-- nor do I want to see it again...


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