47 of 53 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2003
I completely disagree with the majority of the reviewers who didn't like this movie. I was held in suspense during the entire movie right up until the end. Many have found fault with certain "impossibilities" or logical flaws in the movie, but come on if you're going to watch a movie about telepathy and aliens how can you possibly start picking apart minute flaws? How can you accept an alien attack and mental telepathy yet complain about an alien British accent. Give me a break. Obviously the purpose of the British accent was to differentiate between Jonesy and Mr. Gray. A little weird maybe but give the director some slack. It seems like too many reviewers spent the entire time looking for flaws instead of letting themselves become wrapped up in the movie.
I thought the blizzard setting added a nice eerie, doom foreboding touch to a very suspenseful movie. I really enjoyed the way that the suspense was slowly, patiently and convincingly built throughout. When Jonesy found the lost hunter/farter you could feel that something was going to go wrong. Later when the car flipped, you really knew things were getting bad. The aliens coming out of the toilet and munching on the fingers and later body of the "glasses guy" made me jump.
I also felt that the film's use of flashbacks was a great technique for heightening the interest and filling in prior knowledge. The flashbacks were much more interesting than say just coming out from the beginning and explaining the clairvoyant aspects of the 4 main characters, and Duddys. As the plot progressed we began to fully understand what their powers were and how they came to possess them. The military portion/concept was perhaps a little clunky but necessary for the advancement of the plot. The plot was so interesting that I was able to forgive the slight clunkiness. The 4 characters were likable which made me want to root for them, and find out exactly what the connection between their telepathy and the alien invasion was. I even liked the ending. Step on the worm, and end the flick. No cheesy wrap-ups of the plot, no dragging it out. Basically I was thoroughly entertained during the entire movie probably because I came into the movie with a suspension of disbelief. With this kind of movie how could you not? If you can't have suspension of disbelief for science fiction/fantasy/horror maybe you should pick another film genre.
55 of 64 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2006
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
There's just a cozy feeling to it. It's a constantly white-out snowing, Stephen King style, humor mixed with gore, great movie. And, I even like the story. Okay, it's not Great-Great, but really good. Especially when you have to stay inside (snow, flu, broken leg etc.).
Regardless, it's definitely worth a look. I never met anyone who just hated it. And if you don't love it, you'll probably just be glad to have seen it and move on to your next scary/funny, sunday/rainy movie.
But again, this is one of my favorite movies for some strange reason. Everybody's got a few of those, so I know you'll understand.
AND, you might want to buy it now, they're not producing this edition anymore and I already can't find it in a retail store.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
From what we've heard, quite a bit of Stephen King's DREAMCATCHER was lost in the translation from the page to the screen; but not having read it, we were free to enjoy the movie as a creature feature involving, among other things, slimy, toothy worms that issue forth, in a crescendo of blood and gas, from their victims' recta. There hasn't been this much tension generated in an `Aliens Have Come To Take Our Planet' movie since HOWARD THE DUCK! (Although we had to wonder what director Lawrence Kasdan - who made such high-toned dramas as THE BIG CHILL and THE ACCIDENTAL TOURIST - was thinking about as he set up the scene with the alien in the toilet.)
Get ready for Bad Movie delirium as four friends (Thomas Jane, Jason Lee, Damian Lewis, and Timothy Olyphant) head up to a remote cabin in snowy Derry, Maine, as they've done every year for the last twenty years. The area, it so happens, is under paramilitary quarantine; rogue commander Morgan Freeman is trying to isolate and destroy a vicious race of galactic visitors, though decades of E.T. hunting have left him a few pennies short of a dollar. This is a heartening return to villainy for Freeman - let's not forget his breakthrough role as a heartless pimp in 1987's STREET SMART. But 1987 was a long time ago, and Freeman, working against dozens of noble past performances, just seems more irritable than usual.
The four guys have telepathic gifts, passed on to them by Donnie Wahlberg, a mentally challenged kid they once saved from bullies. (Don't ask). Sometimes these gifts manifest themselves in interesting forms, as when Damian Lewis "calls" Thomas Jane on a handgun borrowed from ambivalent soldier Tom Sizemore. In what immediately became one of our all-time favorite mainstream forays into the surreal, the gun actually rings, and Jane chats away into it. And if you want first-class deadpan comedic genius, check out Sizemore's blandly inflected response after the call is done: "Give me back my gun."
We also enjoyed Jason Lee's nervous-tic characterization as Beaver, who scoops peanut butter out of the jar with his finger and is never without a toothpick between his teeth; while sitting on that toilet lid to keep the alien confined, Lee must reach perilously to the floor for one of the few spilled toothpicks not floating in anal gore. Call us crude - but you just have to LOVE a scene of suspense built around fallen toothpicks and a toilet monster.
It all eventually collapses under a barrage of exposition. Perhaps King's book explains why the alien who takes over Lewis's body is known as Mr. Gray and speaks like John Cleese, or what happens to all the alien-infected people quarantined in Derry, or why the recesses of Lewis's mind look like an overstuffed library archive (complete with X-rated fantasies filed by year).
Adaptations of Stephen King novels are often more MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE than CARRIE - but despite King's convoluted original, what's most insane about this awesomely cack-handed crazy salad, is that seasoned screenwriters like William Goldman (MISERY) and Kasdan are responsible. In fact, the more we think about this loud, confusing, cheesily enjoyable movie, the more we have to read King's book. (Just please don't tell us it doesn't have any toilet monsters.)
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2003
This is hands down the best movie I have seen in a long time, and I'm shocked to find such a plethora of negative reviews! I am a gigantic sci-fi/horror/alien fan, and am usually hyper-critical of plot tightness, dialogue, special effects, etc. Perhaps my immense enjoyment of this film had something to do with the fact that I was expecting nothing going into it...I had vaguely heard of the book/movie, but had no idea what it was about and no idea what anyone else thought of it. I can understand why some people who had read the book may have been let down, but you have to remember that it's impossible to translate EVERYTHING into a movie. That's why there are two separate formats, and that's why they should be viewed as two separate entities. I can tell you that from the completely objective standpoint of a sci-fi lover who went in with no expectations, this movie is AMAZING!!!
I thought the combination of character development, eerie foreboding, metaphoric imagery, suspenseful fighting, awesome special effects, and flat-out gross monster action was perfect! In particular, the acting of the characters Jonesy and Duddits was incredible. Yeah it was kind-of funny that Mr. Gray had a high-society british accent, but to me the "why" of it didn't really matter. I just enjoyed the golem-esque banter inside Jonesy's head, and thought the circular "memory warehouse" was an unbelieveably cool idea. I found that there was just the right amount of plot left up to your imagination, and just the right amount was very solidly explained. I'm also very glad that the director chose to not use the "original ending," as the one he used was much more satisfying.
I can't think of a single loose end that the story didn't tie up, as my boyfriend and I spent hours discussing the film afterwards and really could detect no flaws whotsoever. That's saying a lot from two people who spend alot of time watching these types of movies. I don't think I've ever been so moved to go out and buy a DVD the DAY AFTER renting a film, and I could go on and on about how brilliant it is. If you've got a brain in you, give this film a try.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
So, I'm originally from New England but I've been gone for a while. And I see a new SK film, about the area. Gotta check it out, right? So while sitting in a hotel a million miles from home, predisposed to depression and boredome, I do the pay per movie thing and settle in.
I'm not quite sure what to make of it. I's funny, yes, and a little gross, yes, and strange and creepy... there's a road trip and a bunch of other stuff that just never shows up in these sorts of movies. So I let it settle in my mind for a while (a year) before I decide that hey, I think I liked that movie.
That's my usual reaction to a cult movie; so I'm guessing that the previous reviewer was right and this is going to be one of those "just the geeks ma'am" movies.
I can completely understand why a lot of people hated it, but I liked it. Something about the mental library/warehouse, and the phone call... the whole thing turns out great.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 10, 2007
Seems to chop up the story from the Stephen King novel it is based off of, but don't they always? Four friends who were bonded at childhood by a special friend who called himself "Duddits" go to an annual cabin for a hunting and camping excursion. Suddenly animals in the forest are running for their lives, and a hunter making strange sounds has come to their camp. Rick McCarthy seems to be ill, but this guy and his belching is the least of their concerns. A destiny is revealed, as Duddits link to the realization of an alien force is about to come true. Snowy Mountains and psychological wars will be waged, and Morgan Freeman plays the captain of a specialized yet somewhat rogue military force that has overtaken the entire area. There is a lot going on so pay attention, because you might miss the entire point. The film doesn't do a great job of showing Duddits ultimate connection with everything, but it works okay. Tom Sizemore also stars as Owen, a member of the military group who realizes that one of the captured hunters (played by Thomas Jane) seems to be able to read his mind, and also seems to be showing him that his commander is out of control. The entire human race hangs in the balance! Gory weasel like creatures and of course, Aliens with BIG eyes abound. Jason Lee and Timothy Olyphant also star. Entertaining Science Fiction type movie that is kind of fun.
15 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2005
Dreamcatcher's first half is the best. It has the character interaction that is trademark of King's writing and the cast was chosen (and performed) well. The second half was "science fiction neat," offering an action-based, and clearly established backstory (barely discussed) to the conflict between the invaders and the government, but it disrupts the psychological and personal mood set up in the first half. Ultimately, the fun/neat science fiction portion fails to deliver its apex in the way that you are lead to expect as it quickly ducks back into being a more psychological and personal story about the core people.
- Poor resolution between character conflicts in the military side. Even Sizemore complained about that in some behind the scenes stuff (i'm trying not to spoil).
- Science fiction moments that are more a really well done tease than a complete offering to science fiction fans.
- Not really scarey, but that's not a requirement for everyone.
- Morgan Freeman and Tom Sizemore in what is a nice reversal of their usual type casting (i hate typecasting and love to see people turn on theirs and applaud casting agents and directors who choose to do so).
- Great visual effects
- Humor and horror combined well as often with King's material and the cast involved.
- Fantastic cast.
- The science fiction tease that hints at a HUGE and ongoing back story, which makes the overall film feel bigger than it really is. A three or four hour miniseries might have covered this better. i am getting the book, just in curiosity.
- A great score. The music combines creepy, science fiction and fairytale in an unobtrusive manner at moments (and i didn't notice much more than the excellent theme, so i count that as a good score if it leaves me remembering liking it... sort of).
- Beautiful cinematography, in my opinion. Visual effects moments mix well with the lovely snow landscape.
Overall, if you enjoy horror and science fiction crossovers that aren't outright tricks (like Event Horizon), and if you're a relatively forgiving film enthusiast who does not expect everything to meet your ideals, this movie will entertain and amuse you and maybe find a space on your shelf for future reviewing. i'm struggling with the idea of buying it myself. i seem to have a knack for liking the underdogs. The ones with great elements but which fail to maintain or deliver throughout. It seems to be my trademark...
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2009
Someone at my local movie group suggested this movie be re-titled "Earth Versus the Arse-Monsters". The idea was that such a stupid title would give the movie an appropriate cheesy B-grade air, allowing us to enjoy it on a so-bad-it's-almost-good basis. A movie called 'Dreamcatcher' based on a novel by someone the calibre of Stephen King just makes it all seem too serious.
I think the big problem with this movie is that it's full of ideas that don't translate that well to the screen. For example, the "memory warehouse" works alot better as an abstact thought from a book. Seeing them depict an actual warehouse filled with physical memories that the character searches through comes across as silly instead of mysterious. Likewise, the concept of aliens breeding inside people's intestines could be horrific or disturbing, but actually seeing people exploding blood and flatulence from their backsides is just corny.
It doesn't help that there were some very strange artistic decisions made here. Why the toothpick on the floor? Why the gun-telephone?? Why does Jonesy talk like a demented English butler when possessed?? What's with the eyebrows? There are just too many of these unintentionally funny moments that distract us. Likewise, the random gore, the often cheesy dialogue, and the cliched characterisation are more suited to a teen slasher flick than the supposedly serious movie this tries to be.
To me, it appears the filmakers were uncertain whether to remain loyal to King's deeper, intellectual story or just go for a straight thriller/horror flick. In the end 'Dreamcatcher' doesn't really do either. It's too unintentionally silly and corny to take seriously, but too po-faced and self-conscious to be enjoyed as a mindless popcorn slasher. The fact that it can't appeal to either audience is obviously why it flopped. Perhaps it might have been better in a different format, but I feel 'Dreamcatcher' is one of those books that just doesn't work on the big screen. It should have been left alone.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Dreamcatcher almost gives 'Lifeforce' a run for its money in the greatest unintentional comedy ever made stakes. I had to rewind whole chunks of the movie to check my eyes weren't deceiving me: oh, if only I hadn't had the flu the one week it played over here - to have seen this one with an audience! After a solid opening its descent into insanity is so rapid and so unashamed that you could never mistake it for a good film but still end up loving it more than many an undisputed classic because it's just so much fun. At times you even find yourself wondering if Lawrence Kasdan made it as a drunken dare. If so, all I can say is get that man another dozen drinks, and fast!
This fantastic (in every sense) movie has everything - Ripleys and s**tweasels, Damian Lewis doing a comedy English accent whenever he's possessed by the alien 'Mr Grey', Morgan Freeman with crazy giant white eyebrows that even David Hemmings would have envied waxing lyrical about John Wayne's gun, Tom Sizemore seeing those aliens long before the effects boys put them in the picture, a s**tweasel trying to bite Timothy Olyphant's dick off, the toilet scene from hell and more farting in a single motion picture since Blazing Saddles. The only thing that was missing was the gratuitous nudity from Mathilda May, but hey, maybe they're holding that back for the sequel. I am truly content to live in a world where multinational corporations spend tens of millions of dollars on such films. Definitely the most joyful and entertaining film I've seen this year.
The DVD extras are nothing to write home about, but do watch out for one great outtake at the end of the deleted scenes section.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 2006
The movie is incredibly entertaining...unfortunately, for all the wrong reasons. The upside: the s***weasels (I'll resist the temptation to overanalyze their startling similarity to vaginas with teeth) were fabulous--nifty puppetwork. The acting...oh dear. Morgan Freeman was horribly miscast as Curtis, and the miscasting was exacerbated by shaping his hair into an odd white pseudo-crewcut and giving him bushy white eyebrows that looked like leftovers from a high school costume room. Freeman is a gifted and nuanced actor as well as a most effective villain (he was absolutely chilling as a pimp in Street Smart, and gave Christian Slater a run for his money in 2004's Hard Rain), but between the laughably bad script and the eyebrows, he got lost.
As Jonesy, Damien Lewis had the unique chance to battle himself once possessed by Mr. Gray (I'm completely skipping any attempt at plot synopsis since it's been done thoroughly and well by others who have posted). He did so by speaking in an American accent as Jonesy (as well he should, Jonesy being from Maine and all) and portraying Mr. Gray in this ridiculous Masterpiece Theatre British accent that sounded bizarrely like Baby Stewie from The Family Guy. What should have been skin-crawlingly creepy was simply laughable. I suppose it is to his credit that his American accent was good enough to render his English accent (he was born in London!) unconvincing. And the ending, which I will not give away, was the most truncated, ridiculous, unsatisfying thing I've ever seen. "I Duddits!" indeed.