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|Index||258 reviews in total|
79 out of 87 people found the following review useful:
A big, fat 'wow', 6 January 2003
Author: wezzel from Belgium
For some, Stephen King is just a mere auteur of horror stories. If you look
closer, you'll see he is much more. Nearly all his stories are melancholic
tales about the loss of childhood innocence. With a paranormal twist, but
that really isn't the most important. I even think that Hearts in Atlantis
would have worked even better, if the whole paranormal thing would have been
left out. The most interesting aspects of the story are Bobby Garfield and
his relationship with his mother, girlfriend and Ted. Whenever Ted brought
up the low-men, my personal interest curve got a bit of a dip, but hey it's
a Stephen King movie, I guess we'll have to live with it.
As it is, Hearts in Atlantis remains a wonderful film. It's the kind of film where the scenes in the present are filmed in gloomy blue and grey tones, and all the flashbacks get a golden sepia treatment. Sure it's been done before, but rarely have the effects been of such a shattering beauty.
Anthony Hopkins, never shy of giving a bombastic performance, is remarkably soft-spoken in this one, though I doubt that he was really interested in this movie. The star of the show, however, is Anton Yelchin as Bobby Garfield. He looks like the young Elijah Wood, with the same angelic blue eyes, and he's truly captivating. He even has genuine chemistry with the girl that plays his love interest. A big fat wow' is in order here, let's hope he'll get the chance to exploit his talents further.
It's a shame this movie failed at the box-office, but then again so did The Shawshank Redemption. So let's all rent/buy this wonderful film, and boost that IMDb score.
I gave this one a 9/10.
59 out of 65 people found the following review useful:
"The kiss by which all others will be measured...", 11 September 2001
Author: cfisanick from Western Pennsylvania
Sure to be one of the best-loved films of this fall, "Hearts in Atlantis"
adapted from Stephen King's best seller mines a lot of familiar territory
from "Stand by Me," but that beloved film is a good model. In "Stand by
Me," it was a writer reflecting back on the childhood summer "when we
the body," here it's David Morse as a photographer remembering the summer
his eleventh year "when Ted the boarder moved upstairs." Downplaying
supernatural elements, this film slowly, but surely, builds to an
payoff every bit as moving as the end of Rob Reiner's gem.
This is a small, gentle film with lots of character development and period atmosphere. The tech credits such as production design and cinematography are superb and bring to life a time--1960--which, for some of us, was not that long ago. The child-actors are perfectly cast, and Anthony Hopkins as the mysterious stranger gives one of his best, most-heartfelt performances. (This guy could read USA Today weather forecasts aloud and make them sound like Shakespeare.) While others may have taken a radically different approach to the material, emphasizing action and suspense, I think screenwriter William ("Misery") Goldman and director Scott ("Shine," "Snow Falling on Cedars") Hicks ultimately hit the right notes. I will interested in seeing if this decidedly low-key approach strikes a box office chord with moviegoers frazzled by the big, dumb summer action films. If there's any fairness left in the world it will. It's that good.
43 out of 52 people found the following review useful:
Wouldn't've missed a minute of it., 16 March 2003
Author: D_n from Israel
To many, Stephan King is a well of horror, Lovecraftian chill that creeps
upon us in the dead of night. So when his fantasy of insight comes along,
they are struck blind, disappointed, let down by the mildness of the
Director Hicks, screenplay writer Goldman, and the superlative team of Mr. Hopkins and young Yelchin have brought alive this artist's touch of Mr. King, in a finely crafted, sensitive film that just departs from the four walls of our mundane reality. In many subtle touches throughout the film, we -- even those of us Constant Readers who would read Mr. King's laundry list if he published it -- are guided through Goldman's skillful adaptation of the original novel.
Better than the book? Worse? No, this humble viewer will just say that the film can stand on its own, if we are just willing to let our eyes be opened to what can be.
31 out of 34 people found the following review useful:
An all around great film!, 21 September 2001
Author: Ted (BlinkT182V@aol.com) from Illinois
What can I say, they've made another great Stephen King story into another great movie. Although it doesn't hurt to have the likes of Anthony Hopkins in your film to give it that stature and elegance. This film is one of those movies where you leave sad, but yet feeling good about everything, not many movies do this, some would include American Beauty and The Green Mile. The film is set in the backdrop of the 1960's where a strange man (Anthony Hopkins) moves into the apartment above a young boy and his mother. The boy quickly befriends the stranger and soon learns about the man's mysterious gift. I won't spoil anything for anyone because this is definitely a movie worth seeing and not knowing what happens before you go into it. Also I recommend reading the book, it is truly one of Stephen King's best.
36 out of 45 people found the following review useful:
A breath of fresh air, 29 September 2001
Author: TexMetal4JC from Texas
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Hearts in Atlantis is an interesting movie. For one, it is based upon a
story contained within a book named "Hearts in Atlantis" by Stephen King.
But the story is called "Low Men in Yellow Coats" and the story "Hearts in
Atlantis" has absolutely no bearing on the movie at all.
It's rather unfortunate actually, that the film makers couldn't find some way to incorporate all five of King's "Hearts in Atlantis" stories into the movie. But if they had to pick one - which they did, of course - "Low Men in Yellow Coats" is an excellent choice. And it makes for an excellent movie, but the book should be required reading.
Some of the complaints about the movie have been that the characters are not well developed. Perhaps they are, but as someone who's read the book, my mind filled in any gaps, so I couldn't say. In fact, knowing what was in the story did nothing but enrich this film. Because the movie was so close to the book, the background information supplied by King's plot filled in all the places the movie could not or would not go.
One bad aspect of the movie version however, is the elimination of all supernatural elements. Instead of making Anthony Hopkins' character a Breaker from the Dark Tower universe King has created, like Brautigan is in the book, he is a psychic sought by the FBI to root out communists (hey, this is 1960 after all). So the string is still intact: Of the more than 30 movies based on the work of Stephen King, not a single one even mentions the Dark Tower.
The movie itself is simply wonderful, especially after dealing with two weeks of absolute crap (The Musketeer and Glitter? Hmmm).
Anthony Hopkins has the pleasure of two Academy Award-worthy performances in 2001 (I don't care, Hannibal was still an excellent movie). His performance in Hearts is as understated as Hannibal was... well... Hannibal. He keeps to himself, stays quiet, and when he talks, he is close to divine. Hopkins continues to prove why he is one of the best actors of all time.
Anton Yelchin is simply amazing as little Bobby Garfield. He is the second coming of Haley Joel Osment, if not better than he. The plot is good if not great - although with the book already in mind, it assuredly makes any potential holes disappear - and the character development is superb. And isn't that a wonderful breath of fresh air after a summer's worth of movies that were cool, and some were even good, but overall brainless and similar.
For that alone, I give it a 10, even if it is perhaps closer to an 8 or a 9.
26 out of 27 people found the following review useful:
The wonders of youth viewed through a prism, 3 January 2003
Author: Craig McPherson from Montreal, Canada
There are two distinct dimensions to Stephen King's writing. On the one hand
he is most widely known as the horror meister who can churn out novels
quicker than most of us can go through toilet paper. Then there is the King
who knows when to leave the schlock behind and tell a good, character
This is the King who penned Hearts in Atlantis, along with similar captivating stories turned into film such as Stand By Me, The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile.
Told in flashback, it is the story of a young boy who is mentored by a psychically gifted border (Hopkins) with a shadowy past who is renting the upstairs room in his mother's house. He instructs the boy to be on the lookout for the "low men" who are persuing him. It tells the story of lives and loves lost in the fleeting wonder of youth. Filled with metaphor, this is a gem of a film. View it for the acting. View it for the cinematography. View it for the art direction. View it for the directing. But most of all, view it for the wonderful story that it is. It will captivate you and leave you wishing it would go on forever.
21 out of 25 people found the following review useful:
A nice study of character..., 21 January 2003
Author: Niceguy from Dallas, TX
Stephen King seems to work well with movies. HEARTS IN ATLANTIS represents
the latest adaptation from one of King's novels. Actually borrowing from
two stories, it introduces us to a young boy named Bobby Garfield who seems
to be living a semi-normal, although simple life. His day consists of
playing with his two best friends, Sully and Carol. His relationship with
Carol is on the fence of being romantic. Bobby's widowed mother is too
focused on her career to notice what's going on with her son. A strange man
named Ted Brautigan (Hopkins) comes to their small town looking for a place
to stay, and finds a vacant room within Bobby's house. Brautigan almost
immediately intrigues Bobby, offering the young boy a job simply reading the
newspaper out loud. As these two bond, Bobby notices his new friend has
some strange traits. Ted fears that mysterious men are looking for him.
It's not long before Bobby realizes that his new friend has some unique
capabilities, and begins to understand why others would be looking for him.
In the meantime, Bobby deals with his own desire for a dream bike, his need
to protect Carol from neighborhood bullies, and his confusion about his
mother's lack of finances despite her fancy dress collection. No one is
perfect in this story, just like in real life. Even the oddly endearing
Brautigan seems reluctant to expose his true roots.
HEARTS IN ATLANTIS is a simple tale that offers nothing new to audiences. It doesn't have the magic exhibited in THE GREEN MILE, or the emotional importance of THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, and although it's similar in feel to STAND BY ME, it doesn't seem to match the quaint aspects of that tale either. Where it succeeds is in it's ability to present the familiar aspects of the youth we've all experienced. Childhood memories are what make us who we are. This film helps us to remember those special times. While not all of us met a Ted Brautigan in our lives, we can all relate to the troubles Bobby faces, or even the victimization Carol endures by bullies. There are several familiar elements here, and that's why it works. Hopkins is appealing, as one would expect, but the film as a whole plays out in a very tame fashion. Scott Hicks (SHINE) has directed HEARTS with simplistic and appropriate fashion. He never assumes too much from the audience, which is an admirable quality for a director. What you walk away with is a understanding that youth can define you future, and memories can have a profound effect toward your outlook on life. Never judge a book by it's cover.
18 out of 21 people found the following review useful:
King, Hopkins Make For Resonant Film, 16 June 2005
Author: bigtommytahoe from United States
One of the many acting skills Anthony Hopkins possesses is the ability
to attract and disturb at the same time; he can charm you to no end
with sly smiles and unspoken allure. But all the while he's hiding
something unsettling that you can't ever quite figure out. In Hearts in
Atlantis, the latest of what by now must be a truly massive box set of
Stephen King film adaptations, Sir Anthony finds a writer perfectly
suited to these unique talents. What we see is a movie eerie and
enchanting, both in mood and in style -- a story that holds onto its
cards throughout, letting you see each of them slowly, one by one, and
only when absolutely necessary. In the end we find we have been held
captive by a stunningly memorable and powerful film.
The story begins as a retrospective: Robert Morse plays the older version of Bobby Garfield, the central character of this reminiscent story. It takes a recent tragedy to send the older Bobby unwittingly in the mind to his days as an 11-year-old in 1960. There we go to a place common to almost all of King's stories: rural New England, where Bobby lives with his mother (Hope Davis), and spends his innocent, aimless days with his two friends Sully (Will Rothhaar) and Carol (Mika Boorem). His father died when Bobby was only five, and his mother is so busy hopefully tending to a real estate career that she has little time to tend to her only child. To this point nothing is out of the ordinary; this childhood is deliberately portrayed with hazy, warm undertones, akin to the sense of youth so familiar to many who look back upon it.
Fairly early on we meet Ted Brautigan (Hopkins), a boarder who shows up quite suddenly on their porch, his belongings in grocery bags. He is clean, well-spoken, unobtrusive and generally a placid sort. But he is also an instant enigma: he is of unknown origin, means, and intent, and Bobby's mother quickly decides this is a man to be viewed with caution. Bobby, on the other hand, innocently curious --and most likely desperate for anything that could spell the boredom of his uneventful summer-- decides this a man worth knowing. They become close, Brautigan dispersing kennels of wisdom and even offering young Bobby a dollar a week and cold root beers to read him the newspaper daily. But Brautigan clearly has a special quality about him: he can sense things and see things that are not readily apparent to most others. Bobby seems to have this gift as well, though in a lees pronounced way, and through this they form a bond, one Bobby's mother slowly and begrudgingly affords him. She's suspicious of this man still, while we the viewers begin gradually to glean some of the mysteries of his past. I don't dare say what they are, but they do involve "the Low Men", people, Brautigan warns Bobby, who may some day come looking for him. He tells Bobby what signs to look for about town, gently using the boy as a scout of imminent danger. Bobby does not know who they are or what they represent. Neither do we, for a long time, but the key instrument of this story is to make it intentionally vague. We are not to be concerned about these details, but rather to know that Brautigan has experienced them, and will do whatever he can to shield Bobby and his youth from the corrupting darkness looming behind them.
Stephen King has been widely read as an author of horror and suspense, but his best works --like this one-- work on a much more insidious level, evoking a sense of foreboding and unknown that manages to inform everything that happens within. The makers of this film find great success emphasizing the shady murkiness of the story, and they still manage to keep things centered. The mysteries of Ted Brautigan find parallels in the wonders of youth: Bobby experiences his first kiss, naturally, encounters a menacing bully, and learns to view his mother in evolving ways...grown-up ways. This is really a story of innocence and maturity, of youth's purity and the dangers that lurk at its end. Bobby finds that end to a certain degree, but along the way finds friendship, knowledge, and a sense of the mysteries of adulthood that await him. Ted Brautigan is really more than a friend to Bobby; he is a guide, a protector, and a teacher. These two actors provide real, natural on screen chemistry in this film, and there is one delightful scene early on where Brautigan intensely relives for Bobby a glory day of Chicago Bears football lore. This is an actor who can take any available strengths of writing and magnify them for us viewers who watch him say them aloud. As a result Anthony Hopkins anchors this infectious little film to the ground while still allowing it to soar skyward when needed.
15 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
leaves you feeling that the story was cut short., 2 November 2002
Author: John Taylor (firstname.lastname@example.org) from Bedfordshire, England
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Having read the short story by Stephen King , the film is fairly true to the book and like the book it leaves you with a feeling of "that was good but is that it?" I have a theory that when King wrote the story he hoped it would lead to a novel but for some reason or another it was cut short much like the film and book. In the film you are left with no doubt that the Lowmen are real but in the film you never know if it is part of the boy's imagination or if they are police and the old man is on the run from them. The book also focuses on the Supernatural side of the story the film does not and i would suspect makes it feel quite slow for some viewer's. Hopkins is great as usual , as is the boy , Anton Yelchin and the latter has a great career ahead of him. One thing that does come from this is that i usually always enjoy Castle Rock productions is this is no different. 7 out of 10.
22 out of 37 people found the following review useful:
Very Intriguing & Haunting Story, 1 November 2006
Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
I don't care for "coming-of-age" movies but this is a mixture of that
along with a suspenseful story of an older man trying to keep his
anonymity. Anthony Hopkins plays the latter and is riveting, as always.
His character, "Ted Brautigan" is not an easy guy to figure out, but he
has to be mysterious in order to keep away from the bogey-man bad guys
called "low men." That sounds goofy but if you watch the film, you know
what I mean. The only things I didn't care for are the typical Liberal
bias with cheap shots against Richard Nixon, J. Edgar Hoover and the
FBI, all bad guys according to all liberal filmmakers. Also, some
paranormal baloney was inserted, and wasn't needed.
The kids - Anton Yelchin and Mika Bororem - are good, especially Yelchin, who has a far bigger role. It's nice to see a kid (Yelchin's character "Bobby Garfield," actually listening to an adult, as he does here.) The romance between the two kids is handled well, not sappy.
I very much enjoyed the cinematography. It's a wonderfully rich-colored film with a touch of film noir in spots with the cobbled street shots at night.
Finally, this was a film that moved me with it sadness.
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