Shutter Island: a master at work

February 19, 2010 at 8:56 pm (Movies, Reviews)

I find it extremely comforting to head into a theater to see a movie directed by a brilliant, accomplished director. That sense of certainty, that conviction you’re gonna see something great – because even in their bad days, these directors still pull off something above average.

Martin Scorsese is one of these directors, and Shutter Island is the clear result of a master at work. Every frame is stocked with the confidence of a director who is well on top of his game, and completely aware of it. Sure, it helps having a great story, a great cast (yes Leo, you too) and a great DP to work with, but I am sure, even with all these elements in place, few directors would’ve pulled it off so successfully.

I’m sure you know the trailer and the idea behind the story – a US marshal heads to an asylum on a remote island to investigate the disappearance of a woman, only to find a secret bigger and darker than he had imagined. I’m not gonna say anything else about it, spoilers would kill this flick (and I’m actually glad this film is among the few whose trailer didn’t give important things away). I’ll just mention this: the flick is not a horror-thriller, as it’s mistakenly labeled by some websites. It’s a creepy psychological thriller. With an emphasis on creepy. And psychological. And boy, is it thrilling.

I loved the setting and atmosphere, and I guess I already mentioned the fantastic cinematography. The story is also solid throughout, and it keeps you guessing. And, despite somewhat sensing the big twist somewhere down the line, it all plays out beautifully and ends with a final fantastic scene that fucks with your mind and literally demands a second viewing.

Shutter Island is, by far, the best film of these first two months of 2010. Why its release date has been pushed back, thus missing the award season, is beyond me. Many feared it was a quality issue. Let me put your minds at ease: it’s not. And I’m really glad most critics agree. Now it’s up to the audience to help this great flick become a box-office hit. Make sure you’re also contributing, because trust me, it’s well worth it.

9.5 / 10

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In my playlist #6

February 10, 2010 at 5:35 pm (Music, YouTube)

It’s been a while since I’ve let you know what I’ve been listening to lately, so here are some suggestions…

Them Crooked Vultures – Elephants

30 Seconds to Mars – Kings and Queens

Rishloo – Downhill

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The Saints, football’s World Champions

February 8, 2010 at 12:18 pm (Sports)

Last night, the New Orleans Saints won Superbowl XLIV, defeating the Indianapolis Colts and becoming the World Champions for the first time in their history. Here’s the story, in pictures.

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Oscar nominees announced

February 2, 2010 at 3:48 pm (Movies)

The Oscar nominees have been announced a couple of hours ago, you can check the list over here. No big shocks so far. As expected, Avatar got a bunch of them – 9 – mostly for the technical categories. I was pleasantly surprised that the obviously superior movie, The Hurt Locker, also got 9 noms. My favorite flick of the year, Inglourious Basterds, is also going strong, with 8 nominees.

Maybe among the few actual surprises were the nomination of The Blind Side for Best Movie (seriously?? I know they expanded the list to 10, but I didn’t see this coming), the snubbing of Melanie Laurent in favor of Maggie Gyllenhaal for Best Supporting Actress, and the fact that Matt Damon was nominated for the wrong movie (The Informant!, anyone???).

Now let’s just wait and hope they won’t repeat the Golden Globes mistake of going with the flow and giving all the awards to Avatar simply because it’s a Jim Cameron crowd-pleaser, and actually reward the better films. If they won’t, well, I will probably lose interest in the Oscars once and for all.

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