The Different Kinds of Crazy

Why didn't you see my movie, dude?Martin Scorsese’s “Shutter Island” held on to the top spot at the box office over the weekend, pulling in another $22.2 million for a cumulative gross of $75.1 million. But close behind it were “Cop Out” and “The Crazies”, with $18.6 and $16.5 million, respectively.

I’m finding myself more and more troubled by the success of “Shutter Island” — not just because it’s Scorsese’s weakest picture since “Gangs of New York”, but also because it’s likely to enable Leonardo DiCaprio in his quest to use that ridiculous Bahstan accent in more movies.

And then there’s this: Craig Simpson finally identified the weird tugging I experienced at the back of my brain while watching “Shutter Island” — turns out we’d both seen it before, in a different but much more thematically successful configuration.

Spoilers abound, but if you’ve seen the film, you’ll want to check this out.

4 thoughts on “The Different Kinds of Crazy”

  1. What would improve Shutter Island more?
    Different director – Coen Bros? De Palma? (I know, that’s risky). Polanski? David Gordon Green? P.T. Anderson?
    Different lead – Matt Damon? Nick Cage? Shia Labeouf? Mos Def?
    Different writer – Kaufman? Whedon?
    Different editor – I’m guessing Thelma can’t convince Marty to turn in a 100 minute edit?

  2. This may sound facetious, but I honestly think M. Night Shyamalan could have made something that worked with the existing cast and crew.

    So much of “Shutter Island” feels like warmed-over Shyamalan anyway that the actual Shyamalan might have brought some much-needed tonal consistency to the project.

  3. Funny: Out of nowhere, I was thinking of Ambrose Bierce and “Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” just last week. Don’t know why. In Grade 3, we watched the short film version – was it from France? Can’t remember – and read the story. As the original “Twilight Zone” resurfaced in local channel expansions in the early ’80s, I got to see the film again. It was the only time Rod Serling ever outsourced/imported an episode.

  4. Ugh, my poor “Shutter Island”! I’ll accept a bad review, but negative comparisons with M. Night??? The indignities must stop!

    “Shutter island” is considerably deeper, more frightening and more visually splendorous than any of Shyamalan’s silly films. It is thematically richer than anything Night could dream. Scorsese grew up in the 50s, so he knows all about the lingering post-war guilt and trauma that lay beneath the surface.

    The link, on the other hand, was very interesting. I’ve never seen “The Ninth Configuration”, but I will admit “Shutter Island” brought this “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” eppy to mind:

    But these were the twisty sort of tales of madness that were common enough in the past, and Scorsese is certainly familiar with them. So, okay, it’s not the most original story around, but the handling was magnificent, and in the end I came away very moved by Teddy Daniels plight.

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