Friday, June 11, 2010

The Dead Zone. A-

Stephen King novels almost always make great movies, partly because he's a great storyteller and partly because his books are pretty easy to adapt. They're so simple to read it's almost like they're already screenplays. I personally don't read his work because I think his stories are meant to be seen on film (and also because I'm specific about the genres I read). So of course I'll always watch any movie based off his novels and 90% of the time I'll love it. The Mist, 1408, Pet Cemetery, The Shining, Carrie... Oh yeah. Well, you can add The Dead Zone to that list. This is another David Cronenberg movie and it's a very effective thriller about a man with psychic powers. The more I see of David Cronenberg the more I like. He has a way of communicating human ideas through bizarre events-something that lacks in nearly all monster and horror movies. He's also great at creating scenes and images that stick with you. There's not a specific plot to Dead Zone. It's really more of a character-driven story of a man recovering from a terrible accident and trying to deal with his psychic abilities. Christopher Walken plays Johnny, a teacher who gets in a car accident and then goes into a coma. Five years later he wakes up having lost everything. He can barely walk, he can't teach, and his girlfriend at the time of the crash has now married another man. For reasons unknown, Johnny now possesses the ability to see someone's past and future simply by touching their hand. This could set up for some big plot involving government crimes or something. But instead the move focuses on Johnny and his dilemmas. The best part of the movie was the acting of Christopher Walken. Wow, seeing him in The Deer Hunter and now this, I've come to realize he really is one of the great actors in American cinema. He's great because he's able to convey so many different feelings and emotions so effortlessly. And really he's just a natural talent with a face and a voice that's meant for the movies.

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