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“Shutter Island" - {Blu-ray}- (Wayne)
Wayne Klein
Studio: Paramount
Release Date:
Special Features:

Two Featurettes


A first rate psychological thriller from Martin Scorsese that recalls Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” as much as it does “The Snake Pit”, “Shutter Island” catches Scorsese in top form and continues to find that Scorsese and his favorite star (of the moment) Leonardo DiCaprio have truly found a groove as a team. Although a flawed suspense thriller the sustained mood and performances manage to make up for some of the structural flaws of the film. ***

While investigating the disappearance of a dangerous psychotic named Rachel who murdered her own children, Federal Marshalls Teddy Daniels (DiCaprio) and his new partner Chuck (Mark Ruffalo) at Ashecliffe a prison for the criminally insane run by Dr. Cawley (Ben Kingsley). Daniels has his own motivation for going to Ashecliff believing that the man who murdered his wife by the name of Laeddis is a prisoner on the island what’s more Daniels’ also believes that mind control experiments are occurring on the island and uses the excuse of the disappearance of the inmate to investigate what’s going on at the institution. Trapped on the island by a hurricane Daniels beings to suffer from delusions and trips down the stairs of his own sanity beginning to doubt himself, the reason he’s there and the motives of everyone on Shutter Island. As Daniels and his partner dig in deeper and deeper into the history of Shutter Island it’s clear that Cawley and Dr. Naehring (Max Von Sydow)WANT to prevent both men from leaving the island. ---

Image & Sound:

The atmospheric almost gothic cinematography by Robert Richardson nicely captures the textures and colors one might expect to see in a 1950’s suspense thriller while still retaining elements of a rich, dense looking modern film. There’s a nice contrast between the cold color scheme of the asylum itself and the warmer confines of the offices and living quarters. The transfer is so nice that there are scenes where you can see the dust modes floating in the light without a hint of compression artifacts. “Shutter Island” features a reference quality transfer. ***

Audio is equally impressive with a wonderfully rich, active DTS HD lossless transfer that captures every whisper of dialogue, every odd twisted piano chord that occurs during some of Daniel’s creepy dream sequences. Again, a reference quality audio track. ---

Special Features:

Seems like the bonus material must have escaped from “Shutter Island” as well; we get a couple of featurettes on the production of the movie “Behind the Shutters”, “Into the Lighthouse” which run about 40 minutes total. Sadly, we don’t get an audio commentary track from Scorsese or DiCaprio discussing the making of the film and, surprisingly, we don’t even get the original creepy trailer for the movie. I’m disappointed that Paramount didn’t go for broke with this edition as the folks that are currently BUYING Blu-rays are the converted and would be less than happy at facing a double dip. I smell a double dip on the way.

Final Words:

A terrific if slightly flawed film “Shutter Island” merits watching because of the masterful storytelling skills of Scorsese, the screenplay by author Dennis Lehane and the strong performances from the cast. “Shutter Island” may have been a project that didn’t originate with Scorsese but he makes the project his own with arresting visuals.


Copyright @ Teakwood Productions 2000
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