"Shutter Island" pushed to February

The recently released trailer for Martin Scorsese’s next feature film “Shutter Island” has just become a teaser. Paramount Pictures announced a couple days ago that the film has moved from its October 2 release date all the way to February 19, 2010. Rabble rabble rabble.

Ever since “The Departed” kicked ass and snagged Oscar glory a few years ago, I placed “Shutter Island” on my list of films to keep an eye on. A Scorsese film once again starring Leonardo DiCaprio based on a Dennis Lehane (“Mystic River,” “Gone Baby Gone”) novel? A can’t miss film on credentials alone. In it, DiCaprio plays a U.S. Marshall assigned to investigate a the case of a missing patient at an insane asylum, which turns into a giant conspiracy involving himself. Although now knowing it’s more a supernatural horror thriller that won’t likely receive Oscar attention makes this news easier to take, it removes one of very few must-see fall movies from my list. In fact, it might’ve been the one I was looking forward to most.

The reasons are economic, which is understandable. Paramount certainly didn’t know a couple years ago when it was lining up for fall ’09 that the conditions would be the way they are. I haven’t done research, but I’m guessing they’re too stacked up, and to help a commercially weaker February, they planted one of its sure sellers. Let’s hope they didn’t just kill the buzz. 

Deny it if you want, but a large segment of your audience sees Martin and Leo’s name attached to a film in October and they think “Oscar — this is something I can’t miss.” Instead, “Shutter Island” will release amid the Oscar debate with the ceremony just two weeks later. Unless Oscar buzz in general gets people interesting in going to see good movies that don’t get nominated, there’s no boost factor for being in February. Considering the new ten-film Best Picture category, “Shutter Island” might have even had a chance of scoring a nomination.

Worst of all, still, is we have to wait for what will surely be a good film. I’m not expecting greatness from such a genre change for Scorsese, but this movie looked worth the high price of admission.


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