June 26, 2012

Two Movies: The Adjustment Bureau and Shutter Island

I saw two movies this week. I liked both of them. But in both cases I was, um, doing laundry, so take these reviews with a grain of wine salt.

(photo from Amazon.com)

The Adjustment Bureau (Netflix link)- You know who I love to watch run, and especially in a business suit? Matt Damon. You know who's basically Zooey Deschanel but not quite so EVERYWHERE, and, bonus, has a name spelled a way I don't have to look up every time? Emily Blunt.

Perhaps those two tests are not enough to persuade you. Never mind, I have more! Do you love the kind of sci fi where everyone's suddenly frozen in time except Our Guy, who is turning around alarmed and mystified, giving you a nice long interesting look at the frozen people? And where there's some other guy who seems to be OUTSIDE REALITY and is consulting a notebook that tells him everything that's happening and going to happen next, because there are people BEHIND THE SCENES of the universe? And where the stakes might be DEATH but there still isn't a whole lot of blood or yuck?

But do you ALSO love a cute family-man-type in a suit being all EARNEST and FUNNY to a woman? So, like, you kind of loved The Matrix, but did it have to be so DARK and DEPRESSING and SOOTY and GROSS, and could Neo and Trinity have acted a little more like they were in love rather than having ulcers, and would you have preferred them to smile at the end? Then I think you will like this movie.


(photo from Amazon.com)



Shutter Island (Netflix link)- I'm more hesitant to come right out and recommend this one, because if I had known what it was like BEFORE I watched it, I would never have watched it. And yet I liked it enough that I'm going to read the book. And yet I still wish I hadn't seen certain images, which are the sort that involve children and/or death camps. So I think what I wish is that I'd read the book instead. But now that I HAVE seen the movie, I'm GLAD I saw it before reading the book, because I'd rather take in the more detailed version of the story when I DO know what's going on. So. I don't know what to tell you. Maybe skip the whole thing, maybe get the movie and then read the book like I am.

Netflix recommended this to me after I lost my mind over Inception. Netflix was all, "Oh, WE getcha! You like Leonardo DiCaprio, tons of water symbolism, and crazy dead wife dreams/hallucinations!"---so Shutter Island was the obvious choice. But Inception was about, like, dream travel (and I'm more keen to see Tom Hardy and Joseph Gordon-Levitt), whereas Shutter Island was the old "who's REALLY crazy here?" plotline with the usual batch of creepy twists, combined with what I THINK was supposed to be a New England accent. (Why DO an accent, when it's not even needed? DISTRACTING.)

12 comments:

Jessica said...

I really like Shutter Island. As I told you, it scared the daylights out of me the first time through, but now I like to rewatch it as once you know what's going on it's not so scary. (I don't like the wife parts, though.) My husband loves it, hence the often rewatching.

I want to see the Adjustment Bureau. I wonder if it's on Amazon prime? We cancelled our Netflix subscription.

StephLove said...

I hardly ever watch movies. I just got around to Pan's Labyrinth, which I liked even though by the time I finished it in little bits and pieces it was 3 days overdue. I can't stay up much longer than my kids is the problem.

Life of a Doctor's Wife said...

I have seen both of these movies (loved one, loathed the other) and I adore your reviews. They are perfect.

Superjules said...

My mom rented Shutter Island on Netflix and recommended that I watch it and let her if it was good. So I watched it BY MYSELF, in the DARK, at my parents' DARK AND CREAKY AND CAVERNOUS HOUSE. I was scared silly, but couldn't turn it off and then I was traumatized. I still start shrieking whenever someone mentions that movie.

Judith said...

I didn't even KNOW about the Damon-Blunt movie. Thanks! I enjoy watching them both a great deal, so this should be great.

Have you seen »Young Victoria«? Emily Blunt plays the young Victoria of England. Gorgeous movie, and a sweet love story, too. And some political intrigue, but not too much. I highly recommend it.

Tess said...

I read Shutter Island and I really liked it. I like Dennis Lehane, even though his books have wicked depressing themes.

Shelly said...

I read Shutter Island, too, and haven't seen the movie. The book is really good. I'll second Tess' recommendation of Dennis Lehane in general. Everything I've read by him has been really good. I'm working my way through his Kenzie/Genaro novels right now. Great characters, but definitely depressing themes.

nicole said...

Third voice saying Dennis Lehane books are great. They are dark in a lot of ways, but his characters are really interesting, especially in the Kenzie/Gennaro series (Gone, Baby, Gone is the most well-known of the books as it is a movie). His historical period piece, The Given Day, is also very good. I have read Shutter Island but not seen the movie. It is one of those I want to watch, but Husband is not really interested, and I don't really have time to watch a movie by myself. We both enjoyed the Adjustment Bureau. I am a fan of Matt Damon.

Laura Diniwilk said...

These both sound like they would be enjoyable for both J and I. I think he may have watched Shutter Island without me, but I never even heard of the Emily Blunt one so that might be a good pick for this weekend. Thanks for the recommendations!

Holly said...

I'm kind of sad you hadn't read Shutter Island before watching the movie. I just finished the book a couple of weeks ago, and the movie finally popped up in my queue on Saturday. I REALLY liked the book. I, too, cringe at child death stuff, esp in those circumstances. But in the book - ohmygoodness, when you finally get to the point at the lighthouse and it's "WHAT?!!? That's what's going on?!" I had nooooooo idea it was coming. Perhaps because the book was long enough? And you didn't have the visual cues like in the movie?

Bibliomama said...

One more vote for "get yourself mind-wiped so you can read Shutter Island without knowing the end". I loved the book so much I haven't been able to make myself watch the movie. I liked The Adjustment Bureau (I think I like any movie based on a Philip K. Dick short story).

NellaBean said...

Apropos of, well, not much, I love Emily Blunt in Wild Target SO much.