Projections - Movie Reviews



Once again it seems that Hollywood lacks the ability to translate a Stephen King novel to the big screen.

Dreamcatcher has all the making of a great science fiction story plus the added dimension of a thriller.  Director Lawrence Kasdan never really explains much of what happens or even gives enough clues to guess as to the cause and most importantly does not give you a single character you care about.  It is impossible to enjoy a film if you do not like or hate or even both any character or characters.

The story revolves around four men who have been friends since childhood and who as a result of a chance meeting with yet another boy develop the power to read each others minds and other unexplained abilities.  These four men meet at a remote cabin as they have for many years to celebrate the now man who gave them the powers and the lives they now lead.  This year the wilderness offers a surprise in the form of aliens trying to take over the world and a special military force sent to eliminate them.

Much of what happens here has been done before and done better including the alien breaking free of its human host through his stomach (much too Alien like).  Add in the fact that the military commander has seen and done too much of this type of wholesale killing of both alien and human and soon the subplot even falls apart.  Though the aliens can take over a human body while allowing the human host to live is interesting and at times comical, you'd first have to care that the human lives or dies.  Not the case here.

With the cast of Timothy Olyphant, Donnie Wahlberg, Morgan Freeman, Thomas Jane, Jason Lee, Damian Lewis and Tom Sizemore you would think more could have developed.  Cast the blame not on the actors (we all need a paycheck) but on screen writers William Goldman and Lawrence Kasdan, the director Lawrence Kasdan and producer Charles Okun.  In the attempt to appeal to too wide an audience they have failed to entertain the sci-fi crowd, the horror crowd and even the thriller crowd.  All that Dreamcatcher does is honestly bore you; never rising to challenge; never offering a single great visual; only going where far too many movies have gone before and doing it badly.

A bright note: this film does have the short The Final Flight of the Osiris.  This is the ten minute short based on The Matrix.  While nothing more than pure visual entertainment it is the only thing you will see on screen actually worth watching.  This short showcases the state of animation with flair and a boldness that Dreamcatcher could have used.


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