Four childhood friends, Jonesy, Beaver, Pete and Henry all share a special secret. Each year, they take a trip into Maine woods. This year is different. A blizzard occurs, and they recover a man found wandering around. Unbeknownst to them,this wandering individual isn't the only being to be found. Now they must act fast to stop the outbreak developing and to prevent the world from its doomWritten by
The flashback scene where the boys first meet Duddits is the barrens from the Stephen King film It (1990), which also takes place in Derry. See more »
When the lighter fluid on the floor is ignited, the heads on the matches lying in it don't ignite, revealing that they aren't real matches. See more »
Bingo... Did you say bingo like the game in church basements?
Well there's trim there.
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The Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow logos are covered in snow, while the Castle Rock Entertainment lighthouse beams its light across a lake covered in snow. See more »
SPOILER: The DVD contains the original ending, in which Duddits defeats the alien using a special power, but is NOT revealed to be an alien. He then succumbs to his leukemia and dies. Jonesy and Henry then visit his gravesite in the final scene and sing "Blue Bayou." See more »
If there's any upside to the recent advent of DVDs adding audio-commentaries and documentaries to movies no one wanted to see in the first place, it's this; One can, perhaps, glean what went wrong with a movie that seemed to have so much going for it. In this case, with Dreamcatcher, that premise is put to the ultimate use.
It's quite telling that the Dreamcatcher DVD has included an interview with Stephen King after he has seen the rough cut of the film. First of all, King has little to say about the actual movie and more on his motivation on writing the book (the car accident in '99). His only bon mot seems to be a throw away comment that "it's very good." Yet, even with this slight endorsement from "The King" one is dumbfounded that he isn't cracking the camera lense with a pipe in pure, irrational vengence for making such a prime embarrassment out of his novel.
But no, here's King making a statement, which in itself by even agreeing to be seen associated with this free-wheeling catastrophe, is a sort of endoresment. So this tells me that somehow, somewhere at the sourse, there had to be something wrong in the batter. I think it's also valuable to note that King also DID NOT endorse the Kubrick version of The Shining, but rather, put his seal of approval on the later tv-movie version starring Stephen Weber. While Webers performance was admirable in this retooling, I don't think anyones making the mistake of replacing Jack Nicholson on their AFI lists.
So, here was have King wanting to fashion a sort of Stand By Me meets B-movie monster flick. Along comes Kasdan...who one would assume would rather retool this premise and find a way to keep all the monsters inside the characters heads and play out the movie in a therapists office (which, aptly, the movie actually does at the top. ) From there all resemblence to a Lawrence Kadan movie ends.
Which, once again, brings me back to the DVD. Kasdan tells how William Goldman took a pass at the script (not 'passed' which I'm sure alot of folks now wish they had)and alluded that he wanted to remove alot of the 'bigger aspects' of the script. One can only dream, pardon the pun, of what that film could have been. Kasdan continues to say that he put all those elements back cause he wanted to "Do something different." Well, he suceeded. The feeling is of a director who knows the exact nuance and fringes of character, behavior with a strong sense of dialogue and development who then careens off-the-road into a territory of the unknown where the boundaries of taste, believability and ridiculousness match that off only Ed Wood.
There was first, some sense that perhaps this production went south when Kasdan had wrapped the shooting and then lost all restraint in the post-production CGI effort. Maybe, just maybe, he farmed out the creature effects to a company and they muscled him into believing these were good ideas. But, alas, no. If there's only one scene that shatters that notion it's where Thomas Jane has a psychic conversation with Damian Lewis and he uses the gun handle as a psychic telephone. One wonders if/ how they kept a straight face through the shooting of that sequence and whether Tom Sizemore walked off the set to put a gun to his own head.
Which leads to, onceagain, to how did you have so many elemnts and go so wrong?It seems like Kasdan wasn't interested in making a an M. Night Shyamalan film...he WANTED the overblown sci-fi. It's simply a case of overcompensation, trying 'too hard' to escape those elemnts that you excel in It's akin to Morgan Freeman's performance in that you expect that usual astute, complex performance and instead he sheels you with bland, cliche military bravado with an occasional "Bucko" thrown in to remind you he's tried and true american.
There were fleeting moments through-out DC that I pondered some metaphor for communism. The recurring 'red' infection, the possession of the mind, the overblown americana and internment camps at the military base. But decided mid-way that the movie, if trying for such an outdated metaphor, wasn't worth the analysis.
All in all, it must be said that all these words wouldn't be put down about such a traesty if it didn't enrage people who were being led along into thinking this was gonna be a good movie. The cast of non-superstar, yet more ably talented movie regulars, in Tim Olyphant (GO, Gone in Sixty Seconds), Jason Lee (Mumford, Chasing Amy) Damian Lewis (Band of Brothers) and Thomas Jane (The Last Time I Committed Suicide, Boogie Nights)heralds in a touching, subtle and character driven opening...the Kasdan tease to lure you inot thinking this was revamp of The Big Chill. Rounded out by Morgan Freeman and Tom Sizemore one wonders if this ready-to-be-stars cast wasn't scribbling down oscar acceptance notes during shooting breaks. Now they're probably getting e-mail barrages begging thme to show up for the Raspberries.
Still, I'm haunted by the idea theres a version of William Goldmans script sitting out there...perhaps in a toilet with it's lid down popping up frantically to get out and attack this arena thats been sprayed with bloody crap. Maybe on the next dvd release, eh? What could have been.
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