Stephen King is like no other writer in that his books are tailored for the possibility of big-screen transition. And Hollywood always comes knocking. The movie biz sinks its teeth into King’s most recent silver screen offering Dreamcatcher.
The movie is not motion picture genius, but its DVD comes equipped with surprisingly good quality extras. With the majority of new DVD releases either over-compensating with lackluster supplements or not offering much besides the bland director commentary, Dreamcatcher offers a good number of exceptional extras.
Dreamcatcher opened last winter, failing to make a presence at the box office. Since 1976, King’s books have been the basis for more than 30 films and winners of numerous prizes, but have also been the subjects of a fair share of theater bombs.
Unlike the majority of King adaptations, Dreamcatcher is both well acted and impressively directed, but the story itself is rather lacking due to the under -developed script. Written after King’s near fatal car accident, Dreamcatcher is a complex read that contains layers of subplots and mind-numbingly dumb occurrences.
Morgan Freeman, Jason Lee and Thomas Jane deliver noteworthy performances and add an authenticity normally absent from other King-based films. The movie tries to remain faithful to the novel by exploring all of the various subplots including: a tale of four friends reuniting, a rampaging virus and an alien invasion. The focus of the film is the friendship between Pete (Timothy Olyphant), Henry (Jane), Beaver (Lee) and Jonesy (Damian Lewis) and the strange powers each of them acquired in their childhood. A horrific entity has put their bond to the test and the only way to survive is by banding together.
While movies like Thinner, Cujo and Sleepwalkers were good stories, their film versions suffered due to poor execution, encompassing everything from poor acting, to inconsistent screenplays and even wrong choices in direction.
However, films such as Carrie, The Shining and It were stunning examples of great direction and decent acting, but the theatrical versions failed to capture the sheer brilliance of their paperback counterparts.
Dreamcatcher doesn’t have an audio commentary, but instead a three-part interview: “DreamWriter,” a short interview with King, “DreamMakers,” a comprehensive look at the film’s production, and “DreamWeavers,” a feature about the film’s special effects.
The disc also contains four deleted scenes and the original ending. The unused scenes have good character bits, but inclusion into the movie’s unusually long 134-minute runtime would have caused the film to drag.
The original ending, while inferior to the film’s official ending, still manages to wrap up the seemingly bizarre journey through King’s Dreamcatcher nicely. Rounding out the special features is the usual promotional material, including the film’s theatrical trailer and a cast and crew filmography.
The movie may be a bit hard to swallow, but it’s packaged with decent extras worthy of a Friday night rental.