Jonesy, Henry, Pete and Beaver. Twenty years ago they were just kids in a small town in Maine - kids who found the courage to respond heroically to childhood cruelty. In saving a strange boy named Duddits, they unexpectedly gained a fifth friend at the center of their circle. Even more unexpected were the uncanny powers he conveyed to...
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Jonesy, Henry, Pete and Beaver. Twenty years ago they were just kids in a small town in Maine - kids who found the courage to respond heroically to childhood cruelty. In saving a strange boy named Duddits, they unexpectedly gained a fifth friend at the center of their circle. Even more unexpected were the uncanny powers he conveyed to them, bonding them all beyond ordinary friendship. Now the four are men with separate lives and separate problems, haunted by the memory of heroism, with powers that are more of a burden than a gift. When a shocking accident almost claims one of them, they don't at first recognize the return of the eeriness that is somehow linked to Duddits. But when they reunite for their annual visit to a hunting cabin in the north woods, anticipating only the warmth and humor that nourishes them, they are overtaken by a gathering doom. First comes a stranger, a lost hunter unaware of the terrible contagion he bears. On his heels is a blizzard, a vicious storm in which something much more ominous moves--a deadly alien force that will consume some of the foursome and force those who make it to the end of the road to once again summon their forgotten strength--and confront an unparalleled horror.
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Based on the Stephen King novel, Dreamcatcher mixes friendship, a blizzard, powers of telepathy and military forces to try and stop an alien invasion.
Before the main feature begins, audiences are treated to an added bonus--The Flight of the Osiris, a really cool $5 million computer-animated short film created by Matrix writer-director brothers Andy and Larry Wachowski that connects the story to the next installment The Matrix Reloaded. Taking place after The Matrix left off, it's a wild ride showing one rebel ship trying to fight off the evil machines--and unfortunately losing the battle. Done in the animated futuristic style of last year's Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, the film will certainly whet Matrix fans' appetites. Moving on....As with any good King tale, Dreamcatcher begins with relationships. This time the action centers on four best friends--the agreeable Jonsey (Damian Lewis), the tortured Henry (Thomas Jane), the flippant Beaver (Jason Lee) and the lovelorn Pete (Timothy Olyphant)--who, as kids 20 years ago, saved a mentally challenged kid named Duddits (Donnie Wahlberg) from some bullies and somehow were bestowed with uncanny powers of telepathy by the eerie little kid that bonded them all beyond ordinary friendship. Now, as adults, they feel burdened by their powers, but soon find out how glad they are they still have them. When the guys head to a hunting cabin in the woods for their annual blowing-off-steam session, the happy reunion is cut short by a deadly alien force, which has invaded their snowy surroundings. While the U.S. military, lead by Colonel Abraham Curtis (Morgan Freeman) and Capt. Owen Underhill (Tom Sizemore), quarantines the area to get rid of the infectious alien presence known as the ''Ripley'' (named after the main character in Alien), the foursome are haplessly drawn into the aliens' evil plan, finding themselves once again inexplicably linked to their old friend, the now cancer-stricken Duddits. It's a race against time to stop the invasion, but the four men use all their strength to stand together--one last time.
The natural rapport and strong bond between the four main characters needs to be believable to make Dreamcatcher palatable. Fortunately, the actors playing them live up to the task, and when they are all on screen at one time, it works; unfortunately, scenes featuring all of them are few and far between. The British Lewis, who was so damn good in HBO's Band of Brothers as leader Richard Winters, gets his first starring role in a feature film and brings the same level of quiet intensity to his Jonesy as he did to Brothers. Olyphant (Go) and Jane (The Sweetest Thing) play Pete and Henry like they've been lifelong pals offscreen, while Wahlberg is almost unrecognizable as Duddits, proving he can get rid of those good looks and put in a nice performance. And finally, Jason Lee, who's been suppressing his witty, sarcastic self far too long in stinkers such as A Guy Thing, steals the show as the curse-word lovin'--and incredibly brave--Beaver. The plot line revolving around Freeman's and Sizemore's characters is far less interesting, with Freeman turning in his usual steady performance but somehow missing the mark as Curtis, a military man who has seen way too much.
The talent behind Dreamcatcher is clearly evident. Director/co-writer Lawrence Kasdan and co-writer William Goldman do a wonderful job setting up the action, with the quick back and forth dialogue between the four men. It gives you an immediate intimacy with the main characters, something King likes to do in his writing as well. Kasdan also uses interesting imagery of a large and dusty library that represents the inside of Jonesy's mind, where he hangs out and shuffles old boxes full of memories around to make room for new ones. When the alien takes over Jonesy's body, Kasdan frames the action by showing Jonesy trapped inside this library, watchi
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