Jump to content
JulyDiaz

Episode 146 - Dreamcatcher

Recommended Posts

 

"Stand by Me" and"Dreamcatcher" both address that everyone in a circle of friends has their strengths and weaknesses, but friendship unites them despite the flaws, and combines their strengths as a team to overcome bullies, military badguys, and even tremendously powerful alien invaders. You see the same thing in Marvel Avengers, X-Men, Justice League, PowerRangers, the Seven Samurai, the Three Musketeers, and almost any story where two or more characters work together for a common goal. Literature 101...

 

It's the point of the dreamcatcher scene -- they aren't 5 separate dreamcatchers (plural) but united as one single dreamcatcher -- all for one, one for all -- and probably why the title is "Dreamcatcher" (singular).

 

Okay, okay. You can drop the charade now, MoFuzz. Or should I say...

 

 

MR. KING!!!!

 

soa-bachman-21.jpg

 

 

But seriously, if what you're describing is "Literature 101," then as it pertains to the movie (since not everyone here has read the book), what we're talking about is a Remedial Summer Reading Course as taught by an apathetic substitute teacher with a nasty Quaalude habit.

 

Sure, some of what you're describing is in the film...as soft, cliched pencil drawings found in an "Artist's" trash bin. However, aside from the flashbacks, they do not "combine their strengths to overcome bullies." In fact, almost as soon as they arrive at the cabin, they are immediately separated. Shit, two of them die well before the climax! I mean, how exactly do they relate to each other as individuals? Aside from maybe Jonesy and Thomas Jane's character, I have no idea. We know they're friends, but only because the movie tells us they are, and as someone who has passed Literature 101, I can tell you that's a big no-no.

 

And honestly, as evidenced in the movie only, what exactly is Beaver's "strength?" He knows the lyrics to "Blue Bayou?" As someone who has read the book (admittedly--just once, years ago) I don't think I ever came up with a satisfactory answer to that question. I think the best I ever came up with was "superhuman empathy." But that's certainly not apparent in the movie where the man is all liability.

 

The fact is, this movie feels--at best--like a first draft published and optioned for film based solely on the author's name and bankability. Nothing more.

 

However, I am curious, and maybe you know. Is SSDD a "redrum" reference? When we first meet Beaver, he is writing it on the frosted glass of a phone booth. From our initial perspective, we are reading it as "DDSS." When spoken phonetically, is "DDSS" supposed to read as "Duddits?"

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

Omission:

 

If the endgame of the toothed vagina alien was to get into the water supply, why didn't it just swim down the toilet? Clearly it had no problem with diving down into a culvert/reservoir thingy so why is trapping it in a toilet and effective way of containing it?

 

An isolated cabin like this probably only has well water and a septic tank, basically a closed system, not connected to a public water or sewage infrastructure. The well might be part of a public aquifer, but that may not be enough to accomplish the mission.

 

Also this is a movie based on a work of fiction... :)

Share this post


Link to post

 

An isolated cabin like this probably only has well water and a septic tank, basically a closed system, not connected to a public water or sewage infrastructure. The well might be part of a public aquifer, but that may not be enough to accomplish the mission.

 

Also this is a movie based on a work of fiction... :)

 

I'll go you one further -- Homeland actually TELLS Beaver that the shitweasel now had "nowhere to go but the septic tank." So, definitely a closed system.

Share this post


Link to post

I'm glad they mentioned the toothpick bathroom scene, but come on, where's the peanut butter??

 

QUESTION: I get that Jonesy walks with a limp because of the car accident, but why does he also limp when he's within his memory warehouse??

 

To your last point, YES. I wondered the same thing! That's insane. Corporeal injuries shouldn't apply in mental spaces.

 

To your first, it occurs to me that maybe they put that in to set up that Beaver doesn't give a FUCK about germs, and that's why the bathroom floor-tile (without the assblood) isn't a deterrent to the Beav.

 

It's a stretch, but not as high-stakes as the one from that toilet seat to that tile.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Best guests ever. Jessica Mckenna is my fave female guest. Wish she was more successful seems like a pretty cool person

Share this post


Link to post

Hey guys—

 

So, this is my defense of Dreamcatcher. The novel, not the movie. I’m an apologist, I guess. I’ve read it twice and never had a problem with it. And both times, like most King novels, the ending is very shaky.

 

However, the ending of the book at the very least makes more sense than the movie’s ending. For starters, Duddits is not an alien in the book — there is a quick moment when one of the characters towards the end muses whether he could be such a thing but that’s it. Duddits’ death in the book, if memory serves, is far less dramatic. As the movie informs us as well, when we meet him as an adult, he’s extremely ill with cancer, and at the end of the book he just succumbs to his illness, having held on just long enough to protect his friends. FYI, the books ending, like a lot of King novels, takes place on what I can only describe as a metaphysical plain of existence (e.g., Under the Dome’s novel’s ending, which included, spoilers, aliens). Jonesy and Henry are mentally connected to Mr. Gray and it’s Duddits that’s holding the “reality” together. Again, very shaky stuff, but that’s King. Also, I don’t remember anything about pillows.

 

Regarding what makes the characters broken, it’s kind of the Dead Zone effect. In that story, Johnny received psychic visions and it tore his life apart — that’s the beauty of that novel in the way it presents a reality of someone who is psychic and how that would make them interact with the real world. That’s the characters of Dreamcatcher: they’re given this power when they’re kids and they don’t understand it but they accept it as kids do. But as they grow older and the adult world bears down on them, all of their relationships suffer — except with each other. In the novel, the hunting trip is implied as something they did a lot in their youth but that it’s currently like a crutch to all of them.

 

So, what’s a Dreamcatcher? My understanding was always that the four characters were essentially “bound” together from their childhood by Duddits as if in the web of a dreamcatcher, which is Duddits himself: the thing that binds them together and serves to protect them. They protected and befriended him and sharing his gifts was his way of communicating friendship — in the novel it is alluded to that he could take it away at will if he ever felt hurt by one of the characters. Duddits himself is very psychic and it is implied in the story that he saw the events of the novel coming, even if he didn’t quite understand them completely. Again, like Johnny Smith (Dead Zone), the psychic powers of this story work like image flashes: the characters can see a set of images and sometimes make connections to what they mean, but not always.

 

The memory warehouse isn’t quite so literal in the novel and King uses it abstractly. It’s an indirect effect from Duddits’ gift — again, as Duddits is the dreamcatcher, it’s a metaphysical field that protects Jonesy from being completely consumed by Mr. Gray. The novel explains that Mr. Gray has “infected” many beings and is puzzled why he can’t completely get rid of Jonesy’s presence. This leads to much frustration and irrational decisions on Mr. Gray’s part.

 

There’s also a lot more cancer symbolism in the novel that the movie glazed over. All of the animals running in the beginning at the cabin, in the novel closer attention is paid to the substance on their skin, which is called Ripley (a direct reference to Alien). If it’s growing on you, it’s not a good thing at all (i.e., cancer).

 

But to me the best example of how the movie got everything wrong is Beaver. When I heard Jason Lee was going to play the character, I was excited — he looked, talked and acted like the Beaver in the novel already! And yet, everything in the movie is wrong. Beaver talks very peculiar in the novel, and that’s explicitly stated by his friends, who refer to his silly one-liners as “Beav-isms.” In the movie, the Beav-isms are delivered like hollow exposition that sets up nothing. Beaver was the heart of the novel and when he died, it was gut-wrenching. In the movie, he’s literally too dumb to live.

 

Stephen King is a confounding person. He’s disavowed many of his novels over the years, including The Tommyknockers, and has even mentioned that he thinks all of The Dark Tower books need a rewrite. As a fan, it’s very jarring to hear him talk about his own work. Especially considering that these days, he continues with shoehorning in old characters into his new books. You guys mentioned in the episode regarding the IT/Derry references — in the novel 11/22/63, there’s a scene where the main character stumbles across Bev and Richie, now in their teens, dancing with each other.

 

The man can’t help himself but we all still love him!

 

Hopefully that clarifies a lot of things but I understand there’s a lot in the movie that’s baffling, a lot of it even to me.

 

Again, I can only defend the novel, not the movie. Thanks guys for another great episode. As always, can’t wait for more!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

 

To your first, it occurs to me that maybe they put that in to set up that Beaver doesn't give a FUCK about germs, and that's why the bathroom floor-tile (without the assblood) isn't a deterrent to the Beav.

 

It's a stretch, but not as high-stakes as the one from that toilet seat to that tile.

That's actually an interesting connection. If it could have more set-up, I might be able to believe it. Did young Beaver do anything gross? I can't remember if he was the first one down the sewer drain, but that would seem fitting. I was honestly hoping they'd all fall in and get trapped.

Share this post


Link to post

Omission:

 

Gotta say, I'm more than a little disappointed that Curtis failed to mention the subplot in the novel wherein Jonesy slows Mr. Gray down during the chase by thinking really hard about bacon sandwiches, which makes Mr. Gray eat raw bacon and then get the trots; Jonesy has to explain to him how to use the bathroom. I feel like the poo motif was a bit scattershot in the movie and, had this sequence been included, the film would have been more cohesive overall and probably would have been a box-office winner.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

So here is the biggest thing that bugs me about this movie:

 

By the end it's alluded to (maybe even outright stated) that the whole point of the "dreamcatcher" metaphor was that Duddits had brought these boys together and given them powers, so that they could eventually save the world. The five of them bonded together were like the dreamcatcher that hung in their cabin, able to capture the nightmare presented by Mr. Grey.

 

Here's my question: WERE they, though? How useful were any of these four other guys? Jason Lee dies before he uses any of his powers to stop the monster, so he's useless. Timothy Olyphant only uses his power to point Mr. Grey to the reservoir, and then he's also killed, so that's not much help either. Damian Lewis' contribution is to get possessed by Mr. Grey and provide him with a convenient vehicle for escaping the forest, which means everyone probably would have been better off without him ever coming into contact with the aliens. Sure, he is able to hide out in his "mind palace" and avoid death, but in the end did that actually stop Mr. Grey from doing anything? Doesn't seem like it. Thomas Jane does more to help the cause than anyone else, since he uses his telepathic connection to find Duddits and bring him to Grey's location . . .and even he doesn't do THAT much work, because Tom Sizemore does all the driving, and then Duddits does the actual dirty work!

 

Duddits, next time cut out the middlemen, call a cab, and just go kill the bad guy yourself. As a bonus, you'd have spared your buddies their untimely deaths and/or crippling injuries.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I couldn't tell if the audience's intended reaction is supposed to be "haha, that student really stuck it to that snotty teacher!" Or "that student sure has terrible taste".

 

My theory is that the blonde witch was echoing the opinions of of Renny Harlin who thinks that Dreamcatcher is an amazing movie or book.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Someone in the episode mentioned that Olyphant's drunken speech to the dead woman seemed like it was a reshoot, done for the benefit of the audience who were probably lost by this point. This almost had to have been the case if Dudits wasn't supposed to have been an alien until the second version of the movie ending was shot. Paul even mentioned that in neither the book ending nor the original movie ending was Dudits supposed to have been an alien. I would bet that after the movie was assembled, someone said "Look, we have to add SOMEthing to help the audience understand what's supposed to be happening. And Dudits turning into an alien is going to seem a little too left-field unless we try to set it up in some way."

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

I have a question for the Maine people: What is the difference between a fuckerow and a fuckeree? It doesn't seem like it's grammatical gender, nor like a superior/subordinate relationship so what is it?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I have a question for the Maine people: What is the difference between a fuckerow and a fuckeree? It doesn't seem like it's grammatical gender, nor like a superior/subordinate relationship so what is it?

Best I can tell is one is a great night of sex, while the other is something awful similar to what would happen to Jim from American Pie.

Share this post


Link to post

I also enjoyed the fact that Duddits decided to dress himself in full Boston Red Sox regalia in going off to defeat Mr. Grey. I have to assume this was something Donnie Walhberg insisted on doing, perhaps as a kind of good luck charm for his favorite baseball team.

 

When the Red Sox finally broke their curse and won the World Series the following year, I'd like to imagine that Donnie raised his fists and let out a hearty "I Duddits!"

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I have a suggestion for any of the aliens who read this forum ... if you are going to invade the planet you need to think big, instead of targeting the municipal water supply for America's 10th largest city, try getting into the great lakes, lots of big open landing areas near the lake Superior end and a dozen metropolitan cites all on one waterway. Oh, and remember before you try to gut me with an eel thing ... I'm trying to help.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

The problem I have with this movie is the one I have with most alien movies. The aliens have the technology to travel through space but are somehow stymied by what appear to be regular helicopters. Also if the aliens can psychically alter how humans see them then why not just make the Blue Unit guys see them as a heard of deer or something else non-threatening that belongs on Earth?

 

I am also starting to believe that Stranger Things was a (spiritual?) prequel to Dreamcatcher.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

The problem I have with this movie is the one I have with most alien movies. The aliens have the technology to travel through space but are somehow stymied by what appear to be regular helicopters.

 

...or why these hyper-advanced spaceships keep crashing on earth? Doh!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Cameron H... please just call me Richard Bachman. ;)

 

Also just briefly addressing the question people keep raising about the "powers" each guy has, and how they don't seem to provide much protection, and two of the guys get killed off, etc.

 

It's a battle, it's a mission. There are casualties. Soldiers/Fuckaroos die.

 

People who've grown up on recent blockbuster/franchise movies are too used to NOBODY ever dying along the way, because it would prevent a sequel, or it's in the actor's contract to not die, or in some cases even to lose a fight (Rock vs Vin Diesel f'rinstance). Also, each character in today's movies has an exact special thing they can do to "win the day." But also, folks are used to Iron Man or Superman being able to do anything they want, at will, to trump any adversary. Boring...

 

Something like Game of Thrones isn't afraid of characters failing and dying along the way as they're outmatched or have bad luck. There's some actual "skin in the game" and stakes to be won or lost. In Dreamcatcher, these guys are thrown into something, some win, some lose, but they're there to do what they can in the situation. That's where drama comes from.

 

Gandalf could probably have just destroyed the ring himself, but where's the fun in that?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Cameron H... please just call me Richard Bachman. ;)/>/>

 

GIF--Approve-Approval-Like-Likes-Awesome-Nice-one-Good-one-thumbs-up-Ty-Burrell-Phil-Dunphy-Modern-Family-GIF.gif

 

Good one! :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Cameron H... please just call me Richard Bachman. ;)

 

Also just briefly addressing the question people keep raising about the "powers" each guy has, and how they don't seem to provide much protection, and two of the guys get killed off, etc.

 

It's a battle, it's a mission. There are casualties. Soldiers/Fuckaroos die.

 

People who've grown up on recent blockbuster/franchise movies are too used to NOBODY ever dying along the way, because it would prevent a sequel, or it's in the actor's contract to not die, or in some cases even to lose a fight (Rock vs Vin Diesel f'rinstance). Also, each character in today's movies has an exact special thing they can do to "win the day." But also, folks are used to Iron Man or Superman being able to do anything they want, at will, to trump any adversary. Boring...

 

Something like Game of Thrones isn't afraid of characters failing and dying along the way as they're outmatched or have bad luck. There's some actual "skin in the game" and stakes to be won or lost. In Dreamcatcher, these guys are thrown into something, some win, some lose, but they're there to do what they can in the situation. That's where drama comes from.

 

Gandalf could probably have just destroyed the ring himself, but where's the fun in that?

That's what I always loved about King's books is that he is willing to sacrifice most anyone in his books if it makes sense. Deaf mute with a heart of gold in The Stand - blow his ass up. Kid who ends up in an alternate western/Arthurian universe of the Dark Tower - kill him, bring him back from the dead, and kill his ass again. Asthmatic kid who originally saved the day in It - have the villain learn from his mistake in the first fight and then slaughter the now adult asthmatic when he tries the same shit. The feeling of real stakes is what makes a story really good, which is why I was sort of bummed by the end of the Harry Potter series because JK Rowling was a real wimp when it came to killing actually important characters and the ones she did kill has now led her to come out and say ad nauseam that she wished that she hadn't. Since you the reader knew that they really weren't going to kill any of the big three in that series, the stakes weren't as high as they could have been.

Share this post


Link to post

Y'know, considering these jokers have had twenty some years to hone their talents, they really don't seem to understand even the basic mechanics of their powers. For example, when they first arrive at the cabin, Henry and Jonesy are having a hushed, furtive conversation outside. And just before Jonesy reveals to Henry that he thinks Duddits lured him into traffic the night he got hit, he takes a long minute to make sure neither Pete or Beaver are eavesdropping, because, of course. I mean, it's not like the other two telepaths can just, like, I don't know, read what's on his mind or something.

 

So, here they are, four guys who don't seem to have any control over these powers they probably don't deserve, so you'd think they'd at least learn subtlety, but no. In two decades, they couldn't be bothered to keep their shit low key. Whether it's aggressively staring down a military officer in the middle of a snowy internment camp or creeping out a realtor on the way to the sale of her life, nobody ever makes any attempt at being not creepy.

 

Let's take the Pete and Realtor situation. She comes in asking if he can make a new set of keys. He slips and uses her name.* She then asks, "Did I tell you my name?" Instead of being cool about it and saying something like, "Yeah, but you're upset. You may have forgotten. Don't worry about it" he swerves off the highway and takes the first exit to North Creeperton, suggesting, "Uh...I guessed." Um...that's really weird, dude, like, really weird. But okay, she really needs her keys. We'll overlook it. So, he leaves his job in the middle of the day, and they go to a convenience store. Fine. That's kind of nice. He then goes over her story with her. Cool. Nothing wrong there. Then he draws attention to his magic, swirling finger. "It helps me think." Dude, she might not have even noticed had you not said anything, but now her focus is squarely on your pervy, twirling finger. Then, he corrects her story and tells her, "And you bought a candy bar. A Mars bar."

 

picard_doublefacepalm.gif

 

WHA--? WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU EVEN DOING???

 

All you did is make yourself come off as a fucking stalker. Was pointing out the candy bar really necessary? You may think it's cute, but you have to know, since you can fucking read minds, that you just came off as the creepiest creep to ever creep out of North Creeperton. However, your mind reading tells you can still achieve the ultimate fuckarow. So you then point out which car is hers and then extort her into a date by withholding her keys unless she submits to go on a date with you. ARRRRRRGGGH!!!!!!

 

And, as she speeds away, and he stands dejectedly in the rain, all he can say is, "Another fuckarow."

 

Hey, Pete. Come closer. You've had these powers for two thirds of your goddamn life, let's start to learn how to live with them, shall we? How about next time you try this?

 

Trish: I lost my keys.

 

Pete: I'll help you find them, Trish.

 

Trish: Did I tell you my name..?

 

Pete: Yup.

 

Trish: Oh...huh, weird. Anyway, you can help?

 

Pete: Sure can.

 

[Pete gets keys immediately and hands them to her.]

 

Pete: Here you go.

 

Trish: Oh, wow! You're a life saver.

 

Pete: Aw, shucks. It was nothing.

 

Trish: How can I ever repay you?

 

Pete: Not necessary, Trish. I was happy to help. But, if you'd like to meet up later, I would really enjoy getting to know you better.

 

Trish: Hmmm, I don't usually go out with guys I just met, but you seem like a really nice guy and didn't come off like a creep at all. Sure. That sounds lovely.

 

You're welcome, Pete. Now try not to get your dick bitten off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*So...how did he mind read her name? Is she always thinking about it?

 

You know what? She probably was. I imagine someone who is so dumb as to not look on the ground directly beside her car for her keys first, is probably the type of person who needs to be constantly reminding themselves who they are.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post

"Don't try to strike everybody out. Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic."

-- Crash Davis, "Bull Durham"

 

 

The same goes for home runs, invincibility, and every character being a perfectly trained wizard instead of a human fuck-up being.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

 

The same goes for home runs, invincibility, and every character being a perfectly trained wizard instead of a human fuck-up being.

 

While I get what you're saying, I'd say there is a pretty significant difference between being "flawed" and being a "fuck-up." Flaws can be interesting, but if you're a fuck up as a grown ass adult, you're just obnoxious. That's my problem with the characters in this movie: they're boring, stick figures that I have no desire to be around longer than absolutely necessary. Given an extraordinary situation, a good writer can make a hero out of an ordinary person. Just because they aren't flawless, comic book supermen, doesn't make them any more relatable. It just makes them more insufferable.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

While I get what you're saying, I'd say there is a pretty significant difference between being "flawed" and being a "fuck-up." Flaws can be interesting, but if you're a fuck up as a grown ass adult, you're just obnoxious. That's my problem with the characters in this movie: they're boring, stick figures that I have no desire to be around longer than absolutely necessary. Given an extraordinary situation, a good writer can make a hero out of an ordinary person. Just because they aren't flawless, comic book supermen, doesn't make them any more relatable. It just makes them more insufferable.

Totally in agreement here. I didn't expect that all or any of the characters would make it through the movie alive, however, the fact that these powers that could make them unique, memorable, or mildly useful, don't ever have that effect, doesn't quite make the cut as a good character flaw.

 

Also agreeing with the issue of them apparently not honing their skills or learning how to keep their powers on the low-down. When they first get the powers as kids, they are accidentally reading each others minds. Yet when Beaver is on the toilet, he's looking for a sign that Jonesy is still looking for the tape. I would think that having telepathy would be quite useful there, even if Jonesy is still unable to get back to the cabin in time to assist Beaver. It just would make more sense. The use of and effectiveness of their powers is way too sporadic for their 20 years of possible experience.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×