in Atlantis” is a film about a fatherless boy (Anton Yelchin as Bobby
Garfield), his friends and family growing up in Connecticut in the
1950’s. That was a time
of great music, social innocence but lots of cold war paranoia.
Bobby’s simple childhood is changed forever in many ways
after a mysterious stranger ( Anthony Hopkins as Ted Brautigan) moves
into the second floor apartment.
Brautigan has limited physical sight, but Bobby soon discovers
that Brautigan has great intuition, and a kindly way.
The film shows us how much fun it was to be a kid in the 50’s; lets
us know that some men are kind and others are not; lets us revisit our
first romance; provides the standard Steven King- style sadistic
childhood bully; and teases us with the possibility of uncommon power
in the hands of common people. All
of those things make the movie interesting to watch.
Carnivals, rock and roll, vintage TV, light romance, boogie
men, old cars – the good old days wrapped up in an interesting
premise. Good color, good
acting, solid dialog, good camera work.
What more could you
How about a meaning? I
don’t mind seeing a movie that is just plain old entertaining.
But I hate leaving a theater and thinking, “OK that was good
but what was the point?” Don’t
get me wrong, I have an imagination, and I don’t need someone to
spell out the moral of the story to me.
At the end of “Hearts of Atlantis” you will know what was
going on, and understand the authors’ anti-establishment
implications – that’s fine, predictable, but fine.
But a significant portion of the film shows Bobby all grown up
(David Morse plays the grown up Bobby) and we are told about
the fates of some of his childhood friends, but none of the adults.
Why? I really do not see the point.
While it is interesting it seems pointless, as does the whole
movie. I enjoyed it, but
it is too shallow.
I think it is interesting that the ads for “Hearts in Atlantis”
say it is from the “author of the Green Mile.”
Why don’t they mention Stephen King by name? Are they afraid
that it is going to sound like a horror film?
The “Green Mile”, “Shawshank Redemption”, “Stand By
Me” and now, “Hearts in Atlantis” are all King films without the
horror. They all
have very tender moments and not horror at all.
I also find it interesting to note that William Goldman is listed as
the screenwriter. Goldman
has a number of novels to his credit (“Temple of Gold” was one of
my favorite novels as a teenager and “Marathon Man” is a classic.)
and many screenplays (“Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” is the
most famous I think, though “Soldier in the Rain” was one of my
favorites.) Goldman has often been used as a script doctor – coming
in to save bad screenplays at the last minute, often uncredited.
Mostly Goldman knows how to write movies American audiences seem to
enjoy, just like King writes novels we purchase in the millions.
They make an interesting team.
They first worked together in “Misery” and will work
together again in “Dreamcatcher” to be released in 2002.
No one writes about kids better than King and
Goldman, and no one is as good at making movies audiences enjoy.
The problem is, while they seem to have found the formula for
pleasing audiences, most of the films are lightweight – like
“Heart in Atlantis”.
Ironically, though I enjoy Stephen King and William Goldman – two
great story tellers - “Hearts of Atlantis” fell flat because there
is just not enough of a story.
( 2 1/2 out of 4 pops )
about this film with other Popkorn Junkies