Shutter Island (2010)

Directed By: Martin Scorsese

Screenplay By: Laeta Kalogridis

Cinematography By: Robert Richardson

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo & Ben Kingsley

Runtime 138 minutes

I am so glad I have finally been able to rewatch this film. As I say a lot, the way we receive movies is largely due to our expectations. Sometimes this falls on marketing for a misleading advertising campaign and sometimes this falls on us for wanting a movie to be something it is not. When I first saw Shutter Island in theaters I could not appreciate this movie for what it was because I wanted it to be something it wasn’t. I was looking for a detective ghost story and that is not what Shutter Island is. What Shutter Island is is a profoundly beautiful film about a shattered man who has a whole island of people trying to help him find himself.

The beautiful irony of Shutter Island, which was not lost on me this time around is that wonderful idea that Leo’s character is looking for himself. This is and isn’t a spoiler. The reason it is not is because the movie is undeniably more impactful when you know this going into it. Every gesture, every look, every comment that people make to or away from Teddy Daniels (Leo’s character) has so much more meaning because you, along with everyone else on the island, knows what is going on. That was the tragic flaw of this movie for a modern audience. It seemed to them, us, me at the time that we were being dealt a shady hand. That the movie wasn’t being honest or straight forward with us. That ultimately there had to be more because it couldn’t have been as simple as the characters were telling us it was. But it is that simple and therefore utterly complex and compelling.

I’m telling you, this movie is beautiful and heart-breaking and a tremendous testament to Martin Scorsese. Go rewatch this movie and be amazed.

God Bless America

Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993)

Directed By – Steven Zaillian

Screenplay By – Steven Zaillian

Cinematography By – Conrad L. Hall

Starring Max Pomeranc, Joe Mantegna, Ben Kingsley & Laurence Fishburne

109 min.

Searching for Bobby Fischer was a very good movie, hell it probably was excellent, but I didn’t necessarily love it. The beginning is full of fun and promise, a seven-year-old kids turns out to be a chess prodigy, but it too quickly becomes a family drama and the reality behind what it means to be a prodigy in the competitive sport that is chess.

The acting in this movie is spectacular and the young Max Pomeranc is astounding. Joe Mantegna give the best performance I’ve seen from him and Ben Kingsley is perfect, but again this movie just takes the fun out of what is going on, of course that is the point of the story. However, whenever Laurence Fishburne is on screen an instant sense of fun is dispersed. He isn’t on screen for very much of this movie but when he is this movie is at its best.

Searching for Bobby Fischer is a movie that deserves to be seen. It will give you insight into a genius most of us will never know and into a world of competitive chess that most of us will never explore.

God Bless America