Mar 262003
 
Authors: Eric Todd Patton

Set in the middle of winter in the frozen northeast, four friends experience a phenomena that has haunted man for years and only now comes within inches of destroying the world.

With an impressive cast including Jason Lee, Morgan Freeman and Tom Sizemore, and an incredibly effective advertising campaign that helped to produce sold-out showings all weekend long, this film carried an initial promise that few films over the course of a year hold. And what happened to that promise? It was never delivered upon; instead it was exploded into a red dust along with everything else in the film.

“Dreamcatcher” was actually entertaining for about the first 35 or 40 minutes. Stephen King has a way of presenting an interesting and often enticing situation and then utterly blowing it about half-way through the story or film (ie. “Hearts In Atlantis.”) This begins with four friends with an unusual and supernatural bond that was given to them as a gift. They meet up together at their cabin for the twentieth year in a row, but while out hunting they encounter a mysterious man who seems to have an odd ailment and suddenly their lives are thrown into a catastrophic mess.

While Beaver (Lee) and Jonesy (played by Damien Lewis) deal with the ailing man, Henry (played by Thomas Jane) and Pete (played by Timothy Olyphant) need to deal with being stranded with a mysterious woman nine miles from the cabin. And while that is happening, Sizemore and Freeman work for a branch of the military that deals with cleaning up intergalactic mishaps on Earth.

Now you are probably wondering, what else does the audience need? Well, how about worm like creatures that protrude out the asses of its victims and large, slimy gargantuan-headed aliens that burst into red dust? We all get that, too. And from here the film plunges itself into the ridiculousness of trite monster films.

The acting and the casting were perfect. I enjoyed everything about the film up until we actually saw the creatures. After that I felt as if I were at an old fifties drive-in watching a cheesy Vincent Price horror flick. It continually and perpetually got worse. Even with the great appearance of New Kid Donnie Walhberg as the ‘out of this world’ friend Duddits, the film plummeted … imagine that.

In the film “Adapatation” they discuss the art of screenwriting and how you should try to “wow them in the end.” It does not need to be a big “wow” but at least something that helps us enjoy everything we have just seen. This film does the opposite. As they discuss Duddits and “supernatural” friendship everyone shares with him one would expect a firm and pleasing “wow” that helps justify all action in the film, but instead with the later appearance of Duddits, I wanted to throw things at the screen. I would only recommend going to see this film to people I do not like, so unless you hear differently from me, do not waste your time or your money.

Starring: Morgan Freeman, Jason Lee, Tom Sizemore, Timothy Olyphant, Damien Lewis.

Directed By: Lawrence Kadsan.

Written By: Lawrence Kadsan, Academy Award winner William Goldman and Stephen King.

What You Need To Know: Plunges itself into the ridiculousness of trite monster films.

FINAL GRADE: D-

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

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