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By Malice Intended for Planet Ill

Shutter Island is based on the 2003 novel of the same name by Dennis Lehane. In 1954, U.S. Marshalls Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo) are sent to an institution for the criminally insane to investigate the mysterious disappearance of an inmate. The consummately professional chief administrator Dr. John Cawley (Ben Kingsley) is initially cooperative but appears to be hiding something. Teddy Daniels’search for the truth uncovers a vast tapestry of conspiracies that threaten to tear the fabric of his sanity apart. Each stone unturned brings him closer to a reality that he may not be ready to face.

Shutter Island reveals yet another side to Martin Scorcese as an artist. Over the past couple of decades he has evolved into a different filmmaker. On the surface, his output over the past twenty years is more conventional. Further inspection reveals a director who has gradually become more calculated with each film he makes. Scorcese films have always been decidedly visceral affairs that dazzle the senses more than the intellect. Shutter Island shamelessly toys with its audience in a way that earlier Scorcese films do not.

Shutter Island oozes impenetrable atmosphere. The story takes place during a seemingly endless rainstorm. The skies seem permanently overcast. The clouds prevent even a ray of sunlight from peaking through. Robert Richardson’s cinematography evokes the thrillers and horror films of classic Hollywood and enhances the foreboding mood. The images onscreen are at once picturesque and hopelessly dreary. The images are crisp and sharp, yet seem as weathered and worn as the buildings and landscapes. This fits in with the film’s theme of mental and physical deterioration.

The cast is uniformly excellent. Not one performance falls flat as each actor gives more than is required. As Teddy Daniels, Leonardo DiCaprio seems to have found a new level of depth as a performer. He is vulnerable, but never weak. Confused, yet determined. He is as precise as a marksman, finding just the right note to play every scene required of him. Mark Ruffalo is great as the loyal yet weary Chuck Aule. The ever dependable Ben Kingsley gives Dr. John Cawley an air of gentle professionalism that makes us a bit uneasy. Like Teddy Daniels, we are never sure of where we stand with him.

The film’s ending will be the cause of much debate. While not satisfying in the conventional sense, it doesn’t feel contrived or forced. It plays by the rules laid out by the film that preceded it and makes sense from a character standpoint if not a logical one. It raises just as many questions as it answers and helps the themes of the Shutter Island to linger in the mind. Easy answers and neat resolutions will not be found here.

Shutter Island’s greatest strength nearly proves to be its undoing. The film concentrates so much on generating mood and atmosphere that it occasionally meanders. The narrative focus gets lost in the second and third acts. We are not quite sure where this is all leading, and it becomes obvious that this may not be by design. The storytelling seems less than sure handed at points and the film lags as a result. The structure is also hampered by the running time. The flashback sequences, beautifully rendered though they maybe, are one too many.

Shutter Island isn’t as streamlined or as cohesive as it needs to be, yet it is undeniably effective. It mesmerizes the viewer despite its shortcomings. As it moves to its closing moments, its oppressive mood has settled deep into our subconscious without us realizing. We know we are being manipulated, yet we go along anyway. Patient and thoughtful viewers should find subsequent viewings rewarding. Shutter Island is an unusual yet welcome addition to the Scorcese catalog. 3.5 out of 5

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This comic has a weird storyline, and mature themes that I think would translate well on the big screen. Here’s the science:

The Maxx is an American comic book and animation character created by Sam Kieth and published originally monthly by Image Comics and now collected in trade paperback collections from DC Comic’s Wildstorm imprint. The comic book spawned an animated series that aired on the MTV network. The first appearance of The Maxx was in Comico Primer #5 published in 1982 under the story “Max The Hare”

The series follows the adventures of the titular hero in the real world and in an alternate reality, referred to as The Outback. In the real world the Maxx is a vagrant while in the Outback he is the protector of the Jungle Queen. The Jungle Queen is similar to the Maxx in that she also exists in the real world as Julie Winters, a freelance social worker who often bails the Maxx out of jail. While the Maxx is aware of the Outback, Julie is not, though it is integral to the story of both the Maxx and Julie.

One day, after Julie stops her car to help a man in the street, she is beaten, raped, and left to die. To cope, she hides in what is referred to as her ‘Outback’ (a primeval landscape situated entirely in her subconscious, where she has control). In The Outback, she becomes “The Leopard Queen”, an all-powerful goddess. She spends so much time dwelling in her Outback that the real world and The Outback gradually become unstable.

One night, she accidentally hits a homeless man with her car. Remembering what happened the last time she stopped to help someone, she covers the unconscious body with trash, but in doing so she unintentionally opens a link to the Outback. After Julie leaves, a lampshade in the trash (which had brushed the Outback) expands over the man’s body, becoming a mask that costumes him and links him to Julie.

The series begins three years later, and the reader is not initially aware of the deep interconnections between the characters; they are slowly revealed over the course of the series. The homeless man does not remember anything about himself, only that Julie is important to him somehow. He doesn’t even know his own name (he now calls himself The Maxx) or what he looks like under his mask.

Mr. Gone, a serial killer and rapist with a telepathic link to Julie and extensive knowledge of and access to people’s various Outbacks, starts phoning Julie. She thinks he is merely an obscene phone caller, and ignores him. Eventually, The Maxx gets in Gone’s way by “protecting” Julie, so Gone tries to kill him. The Maxx fights him in both The Outback and the real world. In the meantime, Julie leaves Maxx and wanders the countryside, sleeping with any man she meets.

Eventually, Mr. Gone makes Julie see the truth about her past, and reveals to her how The Maxx came to be. A twist is revealed by Gone to a secondary character who is killed: the fact that Gone first met Julie when she was a child. She knew him as “uncle Artie”, a friend of her father’s. Gone’s tall tales about a visit to Australia helped shape Julie’s outback. As Julie begins healing herself and The Outback, the series follows Sarah, a depressed teenager whose mother sends her to Julie for counseling. Sarah is often in conflict with her mother, who disciplines her so she won’t grow up to be like her father, eventually revealed to be none other than Mr. Gone.

After the conclusion of the first storyline, the action leaps forward from 1995 (the then-present) to the year 2005. Julie and Dave (the former Maxx) having vanished, the action focuses on Sara (as she now spells her name) and a giant, murderous yellow slug from her Outback, Iago. Iago has a list of people to kill, and it turns out that Julie and Sara are both on it. Sara is hounded by a homeless man named Norbert whom she soon realizes is her Maxx. Sara has constant confrontations with Mr. Gone, who is repentant of his past crimes. Nevertheless, he is visited by three special agents intent on taking him in, but he turns them into bugs. Later, after finally reading a diary he leaves for her that reveals his tragic life and origin story, Sara eventually feels sympathy for and a connection to her father. She also begins developing a strange power that she may be inheriting from Mr. Gone.

Julie and Dave return to the story after Julie is attacked by Iago and loses some fingers. It turns out that Julie abandoned her son, Mark, to keep him safe from Iago. She tries to have Dave tell Mark that she’s dead so he’ll stop asking around for her, but Mark doesn’t believe him. Sara, Dave, Norbert, Mark, and Mr. Gone band together to rescue Julie from Iago, who snatches Julie into Sara’s outback. Norbert cuts Iago open, apparently defeating him, but Julie has already escaped. Norbert and Iago are never heard from again.

Mr. Gone soon reveals that time is unraveling for the group, which now includes Glorie, one of Mr. Gone’s past victims who now has a friendly relationship with him. Gone returns Dave’s Maxx power to him. Sara returns as a giant isz/pink fairy/football (depending on who’s looking at her). Mark has an odd dream about eccentric kidnappers. Each member of the group begins to disappear from reality to be reborn in another. Before Gone can disappear, the three agents from before (now humanoid but with bug heads) return and kill him, as he expected. Mark is the last to disappear.

In Julie’s outback, Gone is reunited with Sara, who is now a child again. The Maxx considers attacking Gone, but the Jungle Queen says to leave him be, because even evil deserves a place to rest.

In the new reality, Gone is a school teacher and Dave is a janitor at his school. Julie and Mark are still mother and son, but seem to live in better conditions. All the principal characters now lead completely different lives, yet retain a small part of their connection to the Outback and to each other. –Source


Brooke Bailey is a super hot hip hop model and reality tv star who is originally from Los Angeles, CA. After a few music videos she was one of the first to cast for the show MTV Punk’d. Brooke has featured in a V.S.O.P commercial with Snoop Dogg and the Bishop. She’s also graced the stage of the 2006 B.E.T. awards with Busta Rhymes as one of his Touch me girls for his hit song.

Brooke Bailey’s days are pretty simple. She wakes up and works out and she enjoys running. Brooke is single. She dates but admits that maintaining a relationship isn’t easy. She has a beautiful face and fantastic body, just like fellow Reality Stars, Brittanya O’Campo, and Kim Kardashian!