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Dreamcatcher (2003)

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Plot Summary:
"Four boyhood pals in Derry, Maine, get together for a pilgrimage to their favorite deep-woods cabin, Hole in the Wall. They've all got midlife crises: clownish Beav has love problems; the intellectual shrink, Henry, is slowly succumbing to the siren song of suicide; Pete is losing a war with beer; Jonesy has had weird premonitions ever since he got hit by a car. Having arrived at Hole in the Wall they meet a mysterious stranger and all hell breaks loose."

Review by
Steven Davies
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Review Date: 24 May 2004 My Rating: out of 5


Now here's a movie I had been avoiding for some time. Imp a huge fan of Stephen King but movie or TV adaptations of his books or stories can either be border on absolute genius or the utterly ridiculous. Dreamcatcher seems to be somewhere in between.

I enjoyed Damian Lewis and Donnie Wahlberg in Spielberg's recent TV epic Band of Brothers and so was keen to see what they both had to offer here. Shamelessly Wahlberg was underused greatly in this picture so don't expect to see him until very late on. Here he plays Douglas Cavell, or Duddits as he is more affectionately known.

The story revolves around four friends who perform a heroic act and save young Duddits from a group of bullies. And in return Duddits gives them each of them a gift. And they are changed forever. These gifts weren't unwanted knitted jumpers or socks but special psychic abilities, to read each other's minds, to see things that others didn't. Years later the four friends meet up in the Maine woods for a hunting trip.

The trailer and other ads for this film makes the plot almost indecipherable. It really felt the need to promote the Dreamcatcher itself when I didn't see the need for it to be in the movie at all. It's just another one of those symbiotic knick-knacks that has too much focus around it.

So I didn't really know what to expect. But if you really want to know its about an attempted alien invasion. Yeah, Langolierian worm creatures and comical looking aliens are what its all about!

Like most King adaptations the film although weird and uneven at times still holds the viewers attention enough to want to know what the hell is happening. It seems to have that confusing element that always frustrates viewers into just giving up with it half way through. Not me though, I was desperate to know why Damien Lewis's schizo character had to have the aliens voice with a British accent.

All in all it's not too bad. If I had to choose a comparison King adaptation it's probably on par with 'Needful Things'. The performances are not too shabby, but the Morgan Freeman character was a pointless one. There's blood, laughs, confusion and utter defiance but there's a slew of other King movies referenced throughout this movie so have fun spotting them all!

Reviewer: Ryan McDonald @horrorasylum
Location:Sydney, Australia
Review Date: 14 November 2003 My Rating: out of 5

Oy, where to begin with this little crap weasel?

I enjoy a good stupid film as much as the next guy, but usually they tend to have some fun about them, not this one though. It's a turgid, uninvolving mess.

Based on a Stephen King novel (not the death knell many believe it to be, if you ask me), the film is kinda sorta about four friends from Maine who all share a link with an idiot savant named Duddits who may have special powers and may indeed have given those powers to his childhood saviors. Maybe. I dunno. Then it seems the grown-up friends stumble upon a deadly plague whereby aliens gestate in the stomachs of humans only to burst out in the least appetising place possible.

And then looney army guy Morgan Freeman and his more ambiguous upstart Tom Sizemore turn up with plans to nuke everything. Welcome to Hell, folks. I mean, Crap Weasels? And I'm actually editing that, their real names are even less charming.

Whether it is Stephen King who has lost his mind (I have not read the book) or director Lawrence Kasdan, working with increasingly infuriating screenwriter William Goldman, I'm unsure. All I know is that this is the worst kind of bad movie, the kind that features aliens called Crap Weasels, and yet takes them utterly seriously.

This is the weirdest and goofiest end of the world scenario since 'Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy', only less fun. Badly acted, especially by Damian Lewis as one of the most unfortunate of the four buddies, but even Morgan Freeman is awful here and Jason Lee's character is a complete moron. Sizemore is fine but wasted in an underwritten role.

Good-looking, but empty-headed and ultra-serious monstrosity. You really know you're watching a bad film when it revolves around characters called crap weasels.

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