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DREAMCATCHER (**)

Movie Review by:
Larry "Bocepheus" Evans
Directed by:
Lawrence Kasdan
Written by:
William Goldman, Lawrence Kasdan, Stephen King. Based on a novel by Stephen King.
Starring:
Morgan Freeman, Thomas Jane, Jason Lee,
Running time:
126 minutes
Released:
3/21//03
Rated R for violence, gore and language
"...thirty minutes of good stuff surrounded by an hour and forty minutes of crap"
The film adaptation of Stephen Kingís Dreamcatcher introduces a new monster to the genre-the shit weasel and that somehow seems appropriate for the overlong film.

The film mixes in psychic ability with goofy 50ís science fiction elements and an old fashioned war movie. It seems that four life time friends (who have been given psychic abilities by a retarded friend that they saved from bullies) will have to save the world from another in a long series of alien invasions. The first friend we meet is Thomas (61*) Jane, a psychiatrist prepared to kill himself before a phone call from Damian (Band of Brothers) Lewis, a guidance counselor. Lewis is warned of danger by Jason (Stealing Harvard) Lee just before a masterfully staged accident that we think kills Lewis but doesnít. We jump ahead six months and see the four together at a cabin in the woods. The fourth character is car salesman Timothy (Go) Oliphant who we see use his ability to find a lost pair if keys and freak out the woman who loses them.

After some male bonding that introduces parts of the story needed to keep it going (a memory library where Lewis has to hide in later when he is possessed and how they met Dudditz, the Donny Wahlberg) we get the bunch splitting up so the action can start. While Jane and Oliphant are in town getting supplies Lewis and Lee are out hunting. The hunters come across a man almost frostbitten to death with a terrible gas problem. The two get him warm and fed before he goes off to the can and we prepare for the introduction of the shit weasel. We donít see it right away since it comes out of the hunter as heís on the can. Lee traps it in the toilet while Lewis goes off to find duct tape (yes, it does have a million uses). Of course, it gets out and kills Lee before Lewis tries to get away from it only to be taken over when the alien behind all this gets all red misty and enters his system and the results of that have him talking in a silly English accent and calling himself Mister Grey. Meanwhile, the hunterís companion is squatting in the road so she can cause Jane and Oliphant to crash leading to the birth of another shit weasel much later.

Morgan Freemanís character is every lunatic military man weíve ever seen in a science fiction movie. He looks like an older, black version of Mr. Freeze with this box haircut and gloriously bushy white eyebrows. The unit he commands has the assignment of alien hunting. Tom Sizemore arrives to join the unit (and listen to the awful dialogue Freeman is saddled with) and take over the job of killing aliens. Freeman has the whole town quarantined as they study whatís happening to the citizenry (most of which have these red splotches on their bodies signaling the possible birth of new shit weasels) and is way out there where the busses donít run at this stage of his career.

Since Lewis is partially possessed (he is able to see what Grey is doing but canít stop most of it) Jane has to carry much (hell, all) of the action. He gets back to the cabin and in a most effective scene discovers what has happened and that the shit weasels lay eggs that hatch guppy version able to quietly enter your body. From looking at him here we can see him playing the Punisher relatively well after dying his hair.

There is another effective scene showing Freeman and company discovering and destroying the crash site of the aliens. Itís about at this point that you realize director Kasdan is tossing you these scenes to distract you from the shakiness of the plot. These are a bunch of little alarm clocks that serve the purpose of waking you up and slow down the part of your brain that goes, ďWait, if this happens then how?Ē

It all comes down to a big ass showdown involving all the characters that have survived up to this point. You get Sizemore, Freeman (in a helicopter trying to kill Sizemore), Jane, Lewis and Wahlberg (saddled with makeup so bad most of the audience I saw it with laughed whenever he appeared on screen) at a reservoir trying not to get any more embarrassed. They tell us that if one guppy gets into the water supply then the whole world will be infected. We get Grey and another alien (only the really enfeebled wonít guess who the other alien is) beating the crap out of each other while the guppy slowly moves towards the water before the movie ends and we try to shake off the cobwebs so we can get out of the theater.

This movie is massively dumb. Freemanís nuts but heís commanding a unit that has enough firepower to flatten Maine. We donít know why Grey has an English accent. We donít know how one of the characters came to be an alien. We donít know what the aliens want. We donít know how they get into our bodies and why they come out of our asses when they are fully grown. What we get is part of a book but itís the part that doesnít explain anything that happens when a camera isnít turned on. William Goldman and Lawrence Kasdan know better or once did. Do you know what the best part of Dreamcatcher is? Itís the Matrix short in front of it, all seven or so minutes of it. After that itís about thirty minutes of good stuff surrounded by an hour and forty minutes of crap.

DREAMCATCHER © 2003 Warner Brothers Film
All Rights Reserved

Review © 2009 Alternate Reality, Inc.

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