“Shutter Island” Poll Results

23 06 2010

Guess you all didn’t buy it.

In my Oscar Moment about “Shutter Island,” I suggested that Martin Scorsese’s latest might have an outside shot at a Best Picture nomination.

Some people saw it as a possibility, like Dan the Man, who said, “I can see this, but yet, it was released early on in the year, and Oscars tend to look past that, but you may have something going here.”  Dreher Bear added, “It’s the Oscars, anything is possible.”

Others, ultimately the majority, disagreed.  Dave Diggler took the strongest pose against it, saying, “Shutter Island has no chance either at the Oscars or the BAFTAS.”  The Pompous Film Snob, Frank Mengarelli, added, “…no way near best picture, director, or actor – and to be honest, I don’t think it deserves it.”

But apparently, I wasn’t too crazy.  Five people thought it had no chance, and four people didn’t discount it as a possibility.  So you never know.  Just saying.

Oscar Moment: “Shutter Island”

8 06 2010

Martin Scorsese’s “Shutter Island” hits stores today.  While in theaters, the movie garnered pretty good reviews and made a nice sum at the box office on some pretty nice legs.  But could it get any serious Oscar nominations like Best Picture even though it was released in February?

It’s 67% on Rotten Tomatoes isn’t exactly stellar and would definitely put it in the longshot category with a field of five nominees.  But we live in a new era of Best Picture, and there are ten nominees now.  67% was good enough to make the cut last year, as “The Blind Side” showed us.  61% was even good enough in 2008 when “The Reader” slipped into a field of five.  And although scores are a little less accurate for older movies, “Out of Africa” won Best Picture in 1985 and now has a 61% fresh rating.

So based on its critical standing, a nomination is not completely out of the question.  But what about looking at “Shutter Island” financially?  It’s $127 million take is impressive for a February release, and it will surely help to keep the movie ingrained somewhere in the back of the minds of voters.  More importantly, the money helps to establish it as a fan favorite as well.  Many suspected that the move to 10 Best Picture nominees was to include more populist and mainstream movies, a suspicion that was vindicated when half of the nominees earned over $100 million dollars.  The money is probably what got “The Blind Side” into the race, a movie that had been little more than a blip on the radar during the season.

Although “Shutter Island” is much more Academy-friendly than “The Blind Side,” it did not meet the expectations many people have of a movie that bears the name of Martin Scorsese.  According to Rotten Tomatoes, it is his lowest-rated movie since “Boxcar Bertha” nearly 4o years ago (in the pre-“Taxi Driver” era).  This is where the box office performance and good reception by the fans will help.  It did a good job of keeping an audience, staying in the top 10 for a tremendous seven weeks and having an average drop of about 40% per weekend.

Speaking of Scorsese, it will be interesting to see how the Academy treats him now that they have finally given him the long overdue trophy.  They used to love nominating him but never awarding him.  Now, it’s a new chapter for Scorsese and the Oscars with new rules.  After giving Clint Eastwood his due for “Million Dollar Baby,” the Academy has been flaky on the director ever since.  He was nominated for Best Director in 2006 for “Letters from Iwo Jima” but found no love for “Gran Torino” and little for “Changeling” and “Invictus” in the years afterwards.  So will Scorsese still be lauded for the follow-up to his Oscar-winning work like Eastwood was, or will the Academy fast-forward to the snubbing stage?

I’m also wondering if Leonardo DiCaprio has a chance at Best Actor.  He has three nominations dating back to 1993 and no wins to show for them.  He is one of the finest actors of our generation, and his collaborations with Scorsese have raised his acting to great heights.  DiCaprio has received one nomination for a Scorsese movie to date, “The Aviator” in 2004, and maybe it’s time to make it two.

I can see “Shutter Island” being the “Inglourious Basterds” of 2010.  Both have respected pedigrees, made respectable sums, and did respectably with critics (while “Basterds” scored an 88% on Rotten Tomatoes, initial reception at Cannes was not quite so favorable).  Few people thought Tarantino’s film would have much success in awards season, but it was just a movie that everyone really liked and could agree on.  Its inclusion didn’t offend many people because it wasn’t a very polarizing choice.  “Shutter Island” could easily follow in its footsteps.

REVIEW: Shutter Island

27 02 2010

Shutter Island” is director Martin Scorsese’s first movie since he floored the Academy (as well as one semi-notable movie blogger) with “The Departed,” which only serves to set the bar sky-high to clear.  It would take another modern classic to surpass “The Departed,” and this isn’t that.  However, this is high-octane, heart-pumping Hollywood entertainment that delivers the chills and thrills.

Keep in mind, though, this is Scorsese we are talking about here.  “Shutter Island” is no Michael Bay movie.  It succeeds largely because of that unique Scorsese vision which has been the driving force behind two of my all-time favorite movies.  It’s important to know that he isn’t trying to make a “Taxi Driver” out of Dennis Lehane’s novel; this is an homage to the classic horror films of Hitchcock and the like.  If you get déjà vu at all, it will probably more to “The Shining” than to “GoodFellas.”

The movie explores the line between insanity and reality as two federal marshals (Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo) investigate the disappearance of a patient at an asylum.  As Teddy Daniels’ (DiCaprio) observations progress, we come to two important realizations.  The first is that Teddy has something more on his mind than merely investigating a missing patient.  The second, and by far the most important, is that there is something more than just lingering seasickness affecting Teddy’s mind.

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Random Factoid #206

19 02 2010

Today marks the release of “Shutter Island,” the first movie in 2010 that I actually have an active interest in seeing.

Today is also February 19th.  I thought to myself that this was pretty late for the first interesting movie of the year to come out.

So I consulted my ticket collection at the first movies I saw in a given year released in that year.  The latest recorded day that I have seen my first movie of a given year was “Wild Hogs” on March 11, 2007.  Every other year, I had seen a new release in January.

Could this year top 2007?  Hopefully not, because I really want to see “Shutter Island.”  But depending on how my history research paper and musical rehearsal go, it could be a photo finish…

Shameless Advertisement #9 – February

1 02 2010

For better or for worse, February is here.  It’s now out with 2009 and in with 2010 (save “Avatar” and a few big Oscar movies).

It’s not a particularly dense month for releases.  Whenever I was making my February preview post, I noticed that it took significantly less time to write.

Yet the readers have spoken up and still found something they want to see.  One person voted for “A Prophet,” a finalist for the  Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.  Another voted for “Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief,” which wins my vote for the most verbose title of the year.

But by the widest margin ever, the most anticipated movie of February 2010 is…

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What To Look Forward To in … February 2010

7 01 2010

We’re still in some hazy territory in the month of February, but the new decade looks to give this month some much needed energy.  Fueled by two movies originally scheduled for release in 2009, I might actually drop a good amount of change at the movies in February (not just on repeat viewings of Oscar nominees).

February 5

Put “The Notebook” in front of anything and you are guaranteed a flock of screaming girls coming with boyfriends in tow.  Put wildly popular model/actor Channing Tatum in the poster and you can add some more girls aside from the hopeless romantics.  “Dear John” has just that: a super sweet story from author Nicholas Sparks and girl eye candy Tatum.  Thankfully for the guys, the filmmakers cast Amanda Seyfried (“Jennifer’s Body”), who isn’t so bad on the eyes either.

I’m a little weary to endorse “From Paris with Love,” another John Travolta villain movie.  He’s only good at playing subtle ones (“Pulp Fiction”) with the exception of “Face/Off.”  2009’s “The Taking of Pelham 123” was a disaster mainly because of Travolta and his villainy established only by constantly dropping the F-bomb.  Potential redemption here?  I’ll need positive word of mouth before I watch Travolta go evil again.

February 12

“Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief” is the name given to the film adaptation of Rick Riordan’s kids novel “The Lightning Thief.” Clearly Fox is setting up a franchise with the title, and they picked the right place to stake the claim. I read the book in seventh grade, and it is the real deal. I even got a chance to have lunch with the author, Riordan, who is one of the neatest people I have ever met. Whether they ruin it or not is yet to be known, but the movie is being helmed by Chris Columbus, the man who got the “Harry Potter” series flying. That has to count for something.

If Pierce Brosnan isn’t a big enough star to draw you to the aforementioned movie, you should find solace in “Valentine’s Day,” which features just about every romantic comedy actor ever. Literally, I can’t even list all of the stars of the movie here. The post would just be too darn big. Garry Marshall, director of “Pretty Woman” and “The Princess Diaries,” is in charge here, so I find some comfort in that. But if the movie flops, this will be a high-profile disappointment.

Sorry girls, the werewolf in “The Wolfman” is not played by Taylor Lautner. Academy Award-winning actor Benicio del Toro metamorphasizes in Victorian England into the hairy beast when the moon is ripe.  This werewolf is not based on cheeky teen lit but on the 1941 horror classic.  And this adaptation is rated R for “bloody horror violence and gore.”  Get ready for some intense clawing.

A big winner at Cannes and a contender for the Best Foreign Film at this year’s Academy Awards, “A Prophet” is a foreign film that may be worth a look.

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