The DiCaprio Configuration

Have you ever really looked at your hands, man?My latest MSN DVD column is up, taking a second look at Martin Scorsese’s “Shutter Island” — a film I didn’t really enjoy very much the first time around, but was happy to get lost in during a second viewing on Blu-ray.

Seriously, in an ideal universe, this would be playing non-stop as a reference disc in every Best Buy and Future Shop. It’s the most film-like BD transfer I’ve seen in months, and 1080p/24 does wonders for those saturated colors and deep blacks Robert Richardson loves so much.

So, yeah. Great disc; moderate shame about the movie …

One thought on “The DiCaprio Configuration”

  1. I think a lot of the reaction to Shutter Island was negatively affected by the way the studio promoted it as a Shymalan-style plot twist thriller. I mean, honestly, I called the twist ending from the trailers. Really, it’s first and foremost a character study about a man whose mind is failing him. Most of Lehane’s novels are about guilt. This one is specifically about how far a man will go to deny and suppress the guilt he’s feeling, and the reasons why he’s feeling it (whether deserved or not).

    If you can approach it from that point of view, rather than as a “mystery” (that isn’t particularly mysterious), the story has greater resonance when you know all along what the character is really doing. I think it will only play better with repeat viewings.

    And, quite frankly, this is the first movie where I’ve ever really “bought” DiCaprio in an adult role. In most of his previous films, even Gangs of New York and The Departed (and especially The Aviator, where he was gravely miscast), he’s felt like a boy playing dress-up in adult clothes. For some reason, this one finally sold me. For me, this was easily his best performance since Gilbert Grape.

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