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Dreamcatcher (2003 – R)

March 16, 2009

Originally posted on October 29, 2003

Story

In Dreamcatcher, four young boys help rescue a seemingly retarded child from cruel bullies, and in so doing make a lifelong friend. Their new friend helps them grow closer than they ever imagined, and prepares them to save the world from alien invasion.

Story = 20

Cast

Morgan Freeman, Thomas Jane, Jason Lee, Damian Lewis, Timothy Olyphant, Tom Sizemore, Donnie Wahlberg, and Eric Keenleyside.  Wahlberg was unrecognizable, and is fast becoming one of my favorite actors with his impressive range.  I saw his name in the cast at the beginning of the movie, watched the film, and didn’t realize who played his character until perusing the cast again after the film.  Damian Lewis too continues to impress, and Jason Lee is just good fun.  Add to the mix the elder statesmen of the cast, Morgan Freeman, and you have a solid, total, acting performance.  Let’s just hope that Sizemore can truly overcome his addictions, and then return to acting with success after his jail time is served.

Cast = 20

Soundtrack/Score

Roy Orbison singing Blue Bayou, mentions of two classic TV theme songs (Scooby Doo and Mighty Mouse), and some “hit-the-spot” original score to add some extra tension and gusto.

Soundtrack/Score = 16

Quote/Catch Phrase

I have two for this film, well, really only one with a mention of another.  First, SSDD, or “Same shit, different day.”  This line is frequently used throughout the film, and is, in nearly all accounts, a true statement.  I also make mention of a Robert Frost poem that was alluded to in the film: “The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep.”  That line is found in the poem, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.

Quote/Catch Phrase = 18

Rewatchability

Another entertaining Stephen King cinematic adaptation.  It has elements of horror, science fiction, action, and mystery.  It does contain some graphic scenes.  If you don’t mind a bit of gore now and then, I certainly suggest this film.

Rewatchability = 16

Total Score = 90

Sounds about right to me.  I enjoyed it.  Jason Lee and Timothy Olyphant added the perfectly inserted comedic moments, and I am still surprised at Wahlberg’s range.  Who would of thought that a New Kid on the Block actually had talent?

(EDIT from 2009: I really don’t remember being this pleased with the film.  Maybe I should watch it again.)

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Tim permalink
    August 9, 2012 7:32 am

    I really love this film, and have probably watched it at least a dozen times over the years. It was amusing to see that you don’t remember being so pleased with the film and that you should perhaps watch it again… go do that because it’s time well spent (imho).

    The assorted levels of appeal within are elusive to attempt their description. It’s fair to say that Stephen King has a way about him when it comes to story-telling. My sister says this is a rare example of the movie outshining the book (or short story). The elusive elements that are entertaining to me (and presumably to you as well, at least at one prior point in time), are such that I would actually wager this film appeals to a limited audience. The film version may even have been done ‘too well for its own good’. That’s an odd thing to say of course and merits explanation…

    *spoiler alert*

    Since the four male protagonists share a psychic link throughout their lives, their growth into adulthood persists an extreme man-child context; and thusly they a) never completely abandon their reactionary child mindset , and b) tend to dwell on perverse concerns. Men… right? That part alone will impart a level of distaste with some viewership. If that detail eludes a viewer, they likely find the speech and mannerisms of those characters unrealistic and absurd.

    Also, and admittedly, some details of the military interaction will not entertain. There again, the unique combat units assembled to deal with alien incursions are indoctrinated with an evolved mind-set for combat success where none would otherwise exist. That also costs some viewership. Perhaps that was the reason for for the selection of young boys to begin with… hmm.

    Finally, there is the cinematic gore. The specific gore in Dreamcatchers is of an insidious nature. I actually like good gore and the few bits of it in this film actually turn out my my abdomen a bit. That is an excellent accolade from me, but for others it will only amount to distaste.

    All in all, those are reasons I posit that the film may have been done ‘too well’. I do intend to read the written story at some point, and all of Stephen King’s other work as well. There are few writers with such talent to infect the brain of their readership. Finally, special props to Thomas Jane, who I thought was very good in this and was brilliant in “The Mist” (same writer and director as ‘Shawshank’ btw).

    I really enjoyed this review of Dreamcatcher, and your closing edit-comment incited my reply.

    Cheers, -Tim

  2. August 10, 2012 12:11 am

    Thanks for the comment. Recently, I’ve really started to become a Thomas Jane fan. I just got a copy of Punisher (which I have yet to see), but will definitely give Dreamcatcher another go too.

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