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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film:


Extras:


Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

86






Studio and Year: Paramount - 2010
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 137 minutes
Genre: Thriller

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French/Spanish/Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Williams, Emily Mortimer, Max Von Sydow, Patricia Clarkson
Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Written by: Laeta Kalogridis based on the novel by Dennis Lehane
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: June 8, 2010







"Which would be worse, to live as a monster or die a good man?"



Film Synopsis:


When U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels (DiCaprio) arrives at the asylum for the criminally insane on Shutter Island, what starts as a routine investigation quickly takes a sinister turn. As the investigation unfolds and Teddy uncovers more shocking and terrifying truths about the island, he learns there are some places that never let you go.



My Take:


Shutter Island is an engaging psychological mystery-thriller based on the novel of the same name by Dennis Lehane. It begins with what appears to be a mystery surrounding the disappearance of a female patient named Rachel Solando at a secluded island based mental hospital near Boston in 1954. Two federal marshals respond to the hospital to investigate and begin trying to unravel the mystery. What we see as they delve further into the details is that there may be more going here than meets the eye. Lead Marshal Teddy Daniels (DiCaprio) and his brand new partner Chuck Aule (Ruffalo) begin to suspect that the staff may be hiding something which arouses their suspicions of a conspiracy designed to cloud the fact that there may be a dark secret that revolves around patient # 67.

As Teddy learns more he begins to experience delusions that are manifested and co-mingled with regard to the death of his wife, the case, and his presence on Shutter Island. His focus shifts when he suspects that the man responsible for his wife’s death may be housed with the facility’s worst patients in Ward C and decides to seek him out. As he becomes increasingly more paranoid Teddy becomes concerned about what may be happening to patients that are sent to the lighthouse for “treatment”. His behavior puts him at odds with the staff and ultimately his partner Chuck. Things come to a boiling point when Teddy makes a startling discovery with respect to the disappearance of Rachel Solando. This begins his dissent deep into the rabbit hole where he will find that what he thought wasn’t, what he thinks isn’t and that the truth about Shutter Island is anything but.

I saw Shutter Island in the theater back in February during its theatrical run and had a lukewarm reaction to its oblique storyline which I found a bit frustrating. Watching it again during this review I found that I enjoyed it quite a bit more as I was able to discern many of the small intricacies contained in its interwoven narrative. My wife and daughter both read the book and after seeing the film seemed to get more out of it than I did. I can now see some of what they alluded to in terms of the understanding of what is going on and perhaps why. I don’t mean to imply that it is necessary to see the film more than once to enjoy it however I do feel that a second viewing allows a better connection to the story and understanding of some of the things that occur. Writer Dennis Lehane’s decision to frame the story during the paranoid political frenzy of the McCarthy era seems right on the money based upon thematic elements faced by its primary character in Teddy. The dynamic among the characters in relationship to him is intriguing, especially in light of what happens later. I found this to be a visually engrossing film as well and loved the cinematography. Teddy’s dream sequence is incredibly powerful thanks to the superb blend of color and special effects.

Leonardo DiCaprio and director Martin Scorsese work well together and this is no exception. He gives a riveting performance which is a big reason why I feel this works so well. The remainder of the cast is well placed and features supporting roles by Ben Kingsley and Mark Ruffalo along with smaller but integral parts filled by Michelle Williams, Emily Mortimer, Patricia Clarkson, and Jackie Earl Haley all of whom make the most of their moments onscreen. This film contains a few well spun twists and a strong ending that I didn’t see coming. I loved its final moment and the literal interpretation that I gleaned from it this time that I didn’t the first time I saw it. Martin Scorsese is a master filmmaker that knows how to engage us especially in character driven stories. This film takes us on a memorable and evocative journey to a place where one man will find the answer to the question, what is the secret of Shutter Island? Great stuff indeed..



Parental Guide:


The rating is for disturbing violent content, language and some nudity.





AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


Audio: 84


  • Dynamics:

  • Low frequency extension:

  • Surround Sound presentation:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Dialogue Reproduction:





Video: 88



  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction:

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression:

Shutter Island comes to Blu-ray Disc from Paramount featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 28 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.5 mbps.

This film’s source elements don’t lend themselves to overly vibrant, high gloss video but I was very pleased with the results. Images tend to lean toward darker color schemes, and grittier textures that provided the look that the filmmakers were striving for. This was done to good effect in my opinion. Shadow delineation is quite good and revealing of subtle details within dark backgrounds and low lighting sequences which gave those scenes better visual depth. Good contrast and black levels allowed scenes containing mixed content to look dynamic with punchy dark highlights. Detail was rendered quite well with crisp textures and definitive resolution that brought forth subtle nuance within images onscreen. Colors were limited to darker tones with occasional splashes of vivid hues which stood out nicely against the film’s predominantly dark tone. Grain is intact and appears to be faithfully preserved.

I wouldn’t classify it as an aggressive soundtrack but DTS-HD Master Audio’s higher resolution brought out the best in it. Dialogue was centrally focused and lucid with distinguishable intonation and requisite clarity. Subtle nuance and low level detail under the audio’s surface was audible and supremely articulated. I loved the subtly expressive and audible breadth of the cello and violins as part of the musical crescendo as tension/suspense mounts. Surround activity wasn’t abundant however the entire surround platform was utilized to enrich musicality and render effective directional/spatial effects that enhanced dimension and generated a stable and occasionally immersive sound field. Dynamic range was excellent with robust low frequency effects that appropriately augmented the recording’s elements and sounded great.



Bonus Features:

  • (HD) Behind the shutters – 17 minute making of featurette

  • (HD) Into the lighthouse – 21 minute featurette



Final Thoughts:


Shutter Island is a film based upon the novel of the same name by Dennis Lehane, the author that brought us Mystic River and Gone baby gone two other novels that were successfully adapted to film. Directed by Martin Scorsese this is a powerful character driven mystery thriller that leaves you spellbound as it weaves an intricate web of questions surrounding a remote island psychiatric hospital visited by two U.S. Marshals in response to a missing patient. As the details slowly unfold Marshal Teddy Daniels undergoes a metamorphosis that reaches beyond the scope of his investigation and encapsulates him in a state of paranoia and fear. Before it is over Teddy will come to learn the truth about Shutter Island but will it be the answer he was seeking? Shutter Island comes to Blu-ray Disc from Paramount featuring a strong and faithful high definition video presentation, excellent lossless surround sound and an average (disappointing) bonus features package that offers insights into the production as told by the cast/crew. Shutter Island on Blu-ray has found a place in my collection and deserves serious consideration for a place in yours as well. Highly recommended.















Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:



JVC DLA-RS20 1080p High Definition Front Projector (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)

Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen

Anthem AVM50v THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor

Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier

Oppo BDP-83 Universal disc/Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Oppo 970HD universal disc DVD Player (480i HDMI)

Philips TSU9400 Pro Series Touch Panel Remote Control

Canton "Ergo" Series speakers

Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers

SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)

APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector

Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator

Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling

Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
 

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Nice review, Ralph.


I really want to see this movie even though the reviews have been very mixed for it. It's Scorsese and that's usually good enough for me.


I think that I have figured out the big surprise ending just from reading descriptions of the movie. So, I have to rent it to see if I'm correct.
 

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When i first saw this with my gf back in Feb, the beginning was a bit confusing but as the movie kept on it started to unfold and at the end it all made sense. This is actually pretty good because it kept the audience really thinking as to what's going to happen next.


The ending was kind of interesting though.


Collect!


Cheers
 

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I caught this one in the theaters as well. It was well done but it wasn't what I expected. From the previews I expected a scary horror movie but got a thriller instead.


I figured once it was over that I would need to see it again to pick up on the details.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMMHouston /forum/post/18717283


I caught this one in the theaters as well. It was well done but it wasn't what I expected. From the previews I expected a scary horror movie but got a thriller instead.


I figured once it was over that I would need to see it again to pick up on the details.

+1. Nice review Ralph, look forward to seeing it again.
 

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I'm a big Scorsese fan but this movie was a huge disappointment. I'm not really blaming Marty though because I blame the source material. But then I blame Marty for picking this project though. I'm not one to normally try and guess the twist at the beginning of the movie too deeply but this one was so blatantly obvious I was flabbergasted that it turned out this way. I thought it was well crafted but the predictable ending ruined it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite Dan /forum/post/18718317


I'm a big Scorsese fan but this movie was a huge disappointment. I'm not really blaming Marty though because I blame the source material. But then I blame Marty for picking this project though. I'm not one to normally try and guess the twist at the beginning of the movie too deeply but this one was so blatantly obvious I was flabbergasted that it turned out this way. I thought it was well crafted but the predictable ending ruined it.

Greetings,


Sorry to hear that Dan..



Regards,
 

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I read the book and thought it was fantastic. Looking forward to seeing the film now and I'm sure I will add it to my collection.
 

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Thanks for the review Ralph,


Cant wait to see this Movie, unfortunately its not officially released Here in Aus untill the 17th
..


Cheers...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite Dan /forum/post/18718317


I'm a big Scorsese fan but this movie was a huge disappointment. I'm not really blaming Marty though because I blame the source material. But then I blame Marty for picking this project though. I'm not one to normally try and guess the twist at the beginning of the movie too deeply but this one was so blatantly obvious I was flabbergasted that it turned out this way. I thought it was well crafted but the predictable ending ruined it.

Same, maybe I'll go back and watch it again. With so much hype behind it, I had high expectations that just could not be met.
 

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I get tired of seeing the same old faces in movie after movie. What's Gandhi doing in this movie? DiCaprio disappeared beneath the icy waters following the sinking of the Titanic, did he not? What's he doing here in this movie - after that? I would find it a whole lot easier to get immersed in the plot of a movie if I did not have to deal with altogether too familiar faces in unfamiliar roles. Ticket prices could be a whole lot lower too, if lesser known actors were cast in these films.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SillyConVal /forum/post/18734422


I get tired of seeing the same old faces in movie after movie. What's Gandhi doing in this movie? DiCaprio disappeared beneath the icy waters following the sinking of the Titanic, did he not? What's he doing here in this movie - after that? I would find it a whole lot easier to get immersed in the plot of a movie if I did not have to deal with altogether too familiar faces in unfamiliar roles. Ticket prices could be a whole lot lower too, if lesser known actors were cast in these films.

Hmmm....I'm goign to take it a step further....next time they want to use the same actors in a major film, they should save themselves MILLIONS and hire SillyConVal, Summa, and RALPH POTTS for the starring roles!!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite Dan /forum/post/18718317


I'm a big Scorsese fan but this movie was a huge disappointment. I'm not really blaming Marty though because I blame the source material. But then I blame Marty for picking this project though. I'm not one to normally try and guess the twist at the beginning of the movie too deeply but this one was so blatantly obvious I was flabbergasted that it turned out this way. I thought it was well crafted but the predictable ending ruined it.

I 100% agree. I thought it wasn't really ending the way that it was because it was too predictable and too easy.. but then it really ended that way. What a downer.
 

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Ralph... My man.... I did enjoy the sound on this one. BUT (i know your not suppose to start a sentence with a conjuction), we have all seen this movie before. Can anyone say "A Beautiful Mind" This movie in my opinion was a week attempt at that same theme.


-Alan
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ox1216 /forum/post/18765719


Ralph... My man.... I did enjoy the sound on this one. BUT (i know your not suppose to start a sentence with a conjuction), we have all seen this movie before. Can anyone say "A Beautiful Mind" This movie in my opinion was a week attempt at that same theme.


-Alan

Same theme that went in a totally different direction....particularly the ending of the film...choosing to live as a good man or a monster indeed.
 
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