Home Entertainment Review: Dreamcatcher

Dreamcatcher (Lawrence Kasdan, 2003) – Sometimes you just have to embrace the ridiculous in a movie and just let it take you a long for the ride.  I can’t in good conscience call Dreamcatcher a good film, but there is something about batshit earnestness that you can’t help but admire.

Jonsey, Henry, Beaver and Pete (Damian Lewis, Thomas Jane, Timothy Olyphant & Jason Lee) are bound together by more than their lifelong friendship, but by the special powers that they all acquired one fateful day when they were young while taking care of their special friend Duddits (Donnie Wahlberg).  Now years later, a horrific parasitic alien entity is forcing them to put it all on the line to stop a military madman (Morgan Freeman) hell bent on violence and mayhem from destroying the world and the parasites at the same time.

Dreamcatcher

It’s important to understand that Stephen King wrote the novel the film was based on while recovering from his serious road accident, and was probably on some pretty heavy duty pain killers. The movie plays like that from beginning to end. Co-writer and director Lawrence Kasdan, in what is his only venture into what could be called ‘pure horror,’ crafts a gonzo ride down the rabbit hole with this story of alien invasion, friendship and adventure.  It’s reasonably well done and well shot, but it’s a terrible story devoid of almost any logic.  The script crazy and very over the top.  It’s the kind of spellbinding insanity can’t look away from him. As long as you don’t take it too seriously, ignore some of the goofy plot points, it’s generic pastiche pacing, and questionable casting, you’ll probably have a blast.

This was Jane’s first pre-Punnisher shot at being a big screen leading man and the biggest break British actor Lewis had before Homeland.  Both men chew the scenery with the then more-seasoned Olyphant and Lee get relegated to comedic relief status (even though Lewis is inarguably funnier than any of them).  Freeman seems to be enjoying acting crazy. How crazy? Tom Sizemore is the military guy who has to stop him. As for Wahlberg… I dunno.

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It’s fucking nuts. The Blu-Ray looks great, though! Special features include some behind the scenes featurettes, deleted scenes and a teaser trailer. (Dave Voigt)

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