Failing miserably at the box-office, Stephen King’s “DREAMCATCHER” is getting another chance to win its rightly deserved fans with its release on dvd. Based upon King’s novel, and adapted by William Goldman, the story focuses on four friends who’ve always been there for one another, and only grown closer since one life-changing experience surrounding the rescue of a boy victimized by bullies when they were children.
While the story is set in the present, it also skillfully, jumps into the past as well as into the sub-conscious of one of its characters(A device too complicated to explain, but ultimately effective) The four friends are vacationing together in a winter cabin when a man, apparently sick, stumbles to their door, wanting help. The audience knows there’s something amiss, and soon enough we find out that this man has been taken over by a unique kind of infection, wherein he’s host to alien snake-fish-like things that literally come out of his a--!
There’s a lot of grossness to the film, but it’s scary and effective! Director Lawrence Kasdan has proven his talent many times before and his sensibility helps make an otherwise unbelievable tale, believable. He also classes up a film that could easily have come across as droll. William Goldman is still one of the best writers in the business, but can only work so many miracles with King’s material. Even he couldn’t make “HEARTS IN ATLANTIS” worthwhile, but he manages to make the variety of complex plots and subplots to “DREAMCATCHER” captivating from beginning to end.
“DREAMCATCHER” blends action, drama and horror together with great skill. However, it’s mostly a horror film. One of the most startling scenes occurs when one of the four friends first sees film’s villain for the first time. It’s so well crafted and chilling that it leaves the viewer as completely speechless and terrified as the victim!
WARNER BROS. has preserved the film’s original 2.35:1 aspect ratio with 16:9 enhancement. It looks magnificent! The image is well balanced in every scene, and there’s incredible, almost flawless detail! Contrast is excellent, offering deep blacks and grays.
WARNER BROS. has presented a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. This is an aggressive mix, filled with atmospheric and directional/panning effects! It’s the kind one wants to show off! There are plenty of bass effects as well, and is certain to give a subwoofer a workout! The music, while often subtle, is effective and well complimented.
Surprisingly, there isn’t a commentary with either Kasdan or Goldman. However, there are some brief featurettes. There’s a brief interview with King, following his first viewing of the film’s rough cut. It apparently has been changed since! “DREAMMAKERS: A JOURNEY THROUGH PRODUCTION” offers interviews with cast and crew. While it’s great to see and hear Kasdan and Goldman, it still makes one wish for a commentary with these two even more!
“DREAMWEAVERS” THE VISUAL EFFECTS OF DREAMCATCHER” is a brief but entertaining look at some of the film’s special effects accomplishments, mostly CGI.
There are about 13 minutes of deleted scenes and the film’s original ending. All are presented without 16:9 enhancement, and the image isn’t nearly as sharp as the rest of the film. While none of the deleted hurt the film by their excision, they do add a bit to character development. The original ending isn’t different from the new one, except for a short epilogue.