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Shutter Island -- Old stinky lamb shank in Martin Scorsese's new Asian sauce. [User Review]


Shutter Island is like slow cooked lamb shanks. Its got the interesting (to some) sauce and right texture, and spices, but unfortunately the lamb shanks itself is tough or maybe stinky off.

The setup of the movie was in 1954, yes, so conveniently there is no mobile phone, no helicopters and no surveillance cameras. A federal Marshal arrived Shutter Island with his partner to investigate the missing case of a dangerous psychiatric female patient. As his investigation progressed further his personal background and traumatic past unfolded, and he realised that this was more than just a missing patient he was confronting.

All the plot line aside, (nothing more than the pre-view trailer is telling) Shutter Island is not a movie made with Oscar in mind. The movie has some very good color and cinematography, and some good blue screens, some effective thrilling moments, and very comfortable story pace. The story is well told, if not too slow at the end bit. Ben Kingsley’s frozen wicked face worked very well with the movie and used plenty times throughout the movie. All in all, well presented lamb shanks, plenty meat, well cooked, spicy and chilly.

Then, what is wrong?

First, the plot line is old old old and overly overly overly used. We all know about beating the dead horse, but with Shutter Island it felt like horse jerky now but our Martin is still beating it. Sorry Martin, but do we really running that low on the story choice? The psychiatric delusion and one twist story taking audience for a ride is really, kindda jerky now. Since the ‘Silence of Lamb’ we had a boom of psychiatric thrillers and then we had Identity, Hide and Seek, Secret Window, and that soap soap fight club, and a whole bucket of other ones without A class celebrities in it too. We had the rise and the fall of mr Shyamalan, so even your average movie goers these days know where Shutter Island is going 10, 15 min into the movie. Sure the movie was trying to offer some twist, but what is the point watching and knowing exactly where the movie is going to be about for the next 20 min? well, maybe there are still some points for someone.

It was obvious that Martin Scorsese enjoyed his success copying Asian movie market. After 2006, a sorry copy of Hongkong’s Infernal Affairs got him an Oscar, our Martin was deeply inspired and realised that the only way to out-number 50 Cent (won Oscar for music soundtrack on Oscar 2006), is to copy more of the Asian movie market. All the thrilling and scary scenes in Shutter Island seemed copied from Japanese horror movies, the girl with white powdered face, eyes open corpse, and a lot more. Obviously, if you not familiar with that line in your local DVD rental shop, you might be just as pleased and spiked just like when you first saw ‘the Departed’ knowing nothing about the ‘Infernal affairs’. But if you by any chance know half handful of the Jap Horrors, just the well known ones will do, you will go like, what? This is Martin Scorsese? …. Yeah, of course.

The music was heavy and rigid. Especially the beginning of the movie, making me feel that I was watching some thing made by David Lynch. But of course that is not true, cos who else will use Leonardo DiCaprio to counter act Ben Kingsley and Max von Sydow, and Emily Mortimer? I am sorry, but Leonardo hasn’t done much to impress me lately, including whatever happened on that Island. He is not the right choice to act as someone who has traumatic past, deeply disturbed mental status, blood rushing crazy. He can do ‘angry’ or ‘sad’ at finger clips, but if that is all an actor can do then I am disappointed. Once again he was out-acted by almost every one else in the movie, including the young white powdered girl with only 2 lines.

I finished the movie with very funny feeling lingering in my mouth. Martin Scorsese used to be a gold coated name but if he keep working with DiCaprio producing these smelly meat dishes he soon will be put in the ‘end of life’ basket and turn up on the late night talk shows. Shutter Island might not be a bad movie, it might actually be a good one for someone who don’t know what Lamb Shanks taste like; but it is just not something we should get from Martin. And oh, there are other cheaper and better actors even in hollywood.

Source of the Bitter: Que

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