Dan Movie Reviews

Went to the Arclight with Matt to see Dreamcatcher. There has been a bunch of piracy going on in Hollywood lately, and so they made us put all our electronics (cellphones, PDAs, etc.) back in the car. While in this case the car was in the garage next to the movie theater, I can see how this can be a big problem in the future – with some screenings in Westwood, I park south of Wilshire Blvd., about a 10 minute walk away from the theaters. Hmm.

Anyways, on to the film. Based on the novel by Stephen King, the story basically involves four men who when they were kids, were endowed with a special gift of telepathy by a mentally handicapped boy who they had saved. Now, in the woods in Maine for a little bonding, they find themselves in the middle of an alien invasion of sorts, starting with a creature that (ala Alien) gestates inside of you, and then comes a burstin’ out your rear. Pleasant. And it has really sharp nasty teeth. But that’s just the pet of the main alien creature, who takes over one of the guys, and is making a run for the Quabbin Reservoir in Massachusetts, where it can contaminate the water and infest the world. Or something like that. Meanwhile, the military is involved in trying to contain it, and there are nice pretry explosions and stuff. Whee!

Sadly, like almost every Stephen King film adaptation since Misery, the film sputters out of control in the 3rd act. Until that point, it’s going in a rather straight-forward direction, until King got tired with his idea around page 827, and then realized he needed to quicky wrap it all up. Ah well. It’s like “It” meets “Outbreak” meets “The Thing”.

The visual effects (courtesty of Industrial Light and Magic) are top notch. Just excellent. And the creature design by Crash McCreery (of Stan Winston Studios fame) is rather good. The score by James Newton Howard was not as good as Signs, but worked really well in a few sequences, and I’m sure would make a good listen on a soundtrack.

Tagged onto the end of the print (after the end titles), was the Square USA CGI-rendered short film “Final Flight of the Osiris”, as part of the Animatrix. It was very very cool. Is it worth going to Dreamcatcher to see this short film? Depends on how much of a fan you really are. Either way, seeing it on the big screen was a treat, and Square has certainly come a long way since Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. And yes, Don Davis‘ score for the short film rocked.