Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Movie Review: "Dreamcatcher" (2003)

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Director: Lawrence Kasdan
Year: 2003
Rating: R
Running Time: 2 hours, 14 minutes

A group of longtime friends with extraordinaire extrasensory gifts get together for their traditional weekend at a secluded cabin. Once there, they begin to encounter people infected with parasitic aliens that are a threat to mankind. Now, they are finally realizing why they were given these special powers. 

"Dreamcatcher" is directed by Lawrence Kasdan, who has directed films like "The Big Chill" and "The Accidental Tourist." He also helped write the screenplay along with William Goldman. It is based on the Stephen King novel of the same name. It stars Thomas Jane, Damian Lewis, Jason Lee, and Timothy Olyphant, who plays four longtime friends Henry, Jonesy, Beaver, and Pete. These four friends were each given special ESP-like powers as kids. They never knew why they were given these abilities, but they are about to find out on their annual trip up to an isolated cabin in Maine. Their vacation starts out like any other until they encounter a few people who have been infected by some sort of parasitic aliens, which could threaten the entire world if they are allowed to spread.

"Dreamcatcher" is a movie that feels like one thing at the beginning, but morphs into something entirely different by the end of it. We enjoyed this movie at first. We were somewhat intrigued by the special gifts found within this friend group and were interested to know how they got their abilities. We even remained on board when the first "shit weasel" burst forth from its victim's asshole. Shortly after this point, the military begins to quarantine the snowy Maine town, and the movie just falls apart. We lost interest fast after this point, and not even Morgan Freeman and his fabulous eyebrows and luscious voice could save it.

The pacing in "Dreamcatcher" is absolutely dreadful. We even felt bored at times, and it doesn't help that this movie is over two hours long. The audience will certainly feel every second of its run time. There's absolutely no need for it to be as long as it is. On top of this, we weren't taken in by most the acting because none of it feels natural at all. Jason Lee's "serious" acting is downright terrible. Donnie Wahlberg is almost unrecognizable as the group's special friend Duddits, primarily due to good makeup work, costuming, and Wahlberg's emaciated appearance. The rest of the performances are flat out bad. Damian Lewis pulls double duty at one point, and both of his performances are goofy. Morgan Freeman is far too good a project of this level of (literal) crappiness, but this has been the case with many of his later-in-life career choices. The biggest problem by far is the film's lack of focus. The plot doesn't make much sense. There are a couple of good gory, creepy moments early on, as well as a couple of WTF?! ones, but once those moments pass, the tension dies out and the film is left spinning its wheels, going nowhere in the process.

Many of Stephen King's books have been adapted into movies. Some are incredible and iconic, and others are simply mediocre. "Dreamcatcher" is not even average. It is full of bizarre choices with an even more bizarre premise. We don't recommend this one in the slightest.

My Rating: 3.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 4/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 30%
Do we recommend this movie:  No.

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