There are many great questions faced by mankind. Why are we here? What is the meaning of life? What will become of us? But none more important than….will Deadshirt Music Editor Julian Ames like it? Each month, foremost Julianologists Mike Pfeiffer and Max Robinson will wrestle with this important query, with Julian Ames as Judge, Julian and Executioner. This is …But Will Julian Like it?
Max: Deadshirt’s doing a whole month of Stephen King shit. Mike and I, like all emotionally stunted young men, *love* King.
Mike: It’s literally part of our origin story. We met in a Horror Fiction class in college when we realized we owned the same Marvel Comics t-shirt except one of us bought it from the children’s section.
Max: Mike recited the plot of The Stand at length then fell asleep at his desk. It was some real Star Trek (2009) origin shit. But since becoming roommates, we’ve rewatched the movie version of a DECIDEDLY LESSER King work, 2003’s Dreamcatcher.
Mike: Dreamcatcher is one of those movies where all the Good On Paper stuff in the world just doesn’t congeal into ambrosia salad. Lawrence “Star Wars and Indiana Jones” Kasdan directed a cast of future television stars, Morgan Freeman, and Brody from Mallrats in a horror story that’s like a sci-fi Stand by Me. It’s like dumping caviar, steak, and pizza in a blender and drinking it.
Max: Mike and I watched D-Catch at least twice a year. I can’t really explain it. I think I’m so into it because it’s like a really one of a kind monument to failure.
Mike: Too true, it’s a statue of a train wreck …But Will Julian Like It?
THE SUBJECT: Stephen King’s Dreamcatcher (2003, Dir. Lawrence Kasdan)
Julian: I know next to nothing about Dreamcatcher; I’ve never read the book or anything. I think I tried looking up the synopsis on Wikipedia once but my brain rejected it. The only things I do know, I heard second-hand from one of Mike and Max’s annual viewings, and they are:
- Aliens… I think
- Morgan Freeman’s got crazy eyebrows
- (Guys do I have to list 3? That’s all I’ve got. Mike: Rule of 3, bitch!) I don’t know, it’s a pretty goopy movie, right? Let’s go with “Lots of Goop.”
Anyway I haven’t seen too many Stephen King-based movies; my most recent two are The Shining and Maximum Overdrive. I wonder where Dreamcatcher is going to fit on that incredibly large spectrum.
Max: I think Julian’s just going to be really confused by Dreamcatcher more than anything. I think I’ve seen this movie four times and I still don’t fucking understand what happens, Mike.
Mike: It’s the oldest story in the world, Max. Four childhood friends are trying to see a picture of a pussy in an old warehouse and save a special needs child who helps them stop an alien invasion as adults after giving them psychic powers. Morgan Freeman and Tom Sizemore show up as part of a government coverup team when the Alien Threat materializes right by the Boys’ yearly cabin retreat spot, and Timothy Olyphant is in this before he got his teeth de-fucked. Do you need Buzzfeed to make you chart??
Max: Mainly I just want to know what does and does not cross “the Curtis Line,” a rhetorical device referred to by Morgan Freeman’s Wise Grandfather Owl evil general character but never really explained.
Mike: To my understanding it’s something like “George is getting upset!” but delivered with the mellifluous charm of the man who believed in Andy Dufresne. I’ve done my best to divine what rests on either side of the Curtis Line, based on our knowledge of Morgan Freeman, Alien Hunter.
Mike: The four friends (Timothy Olyphant, Thomas Jane, Damian Lewis, Brody from Mallrats) also spend a lot of time in the movie placing events and people on some sort of impenetrable “Fucker” scale based on a lifetime of friendship slang. For example, having sex with a woman? That’s a “Fuckerow.” But being unable to maintain an erection — “Fuckeroo.” It’s exactly as entertaining as hearing four people do a Dane Cook routine.
Max: Everyone in this movie tried really hard to make something good out of “Stephen King gets Morphine in the hospital.” The result is that you have Morgan Freeman delivering booming monologues about aliens that SHOULD sound cool but just sound like weird SyFy original movie nonsense. We already mentioned that a key plot device is Donnie Wahlberg playing a character that is literally “cancer-ridden Simple Jack,” right?
Mike: One of the 20th century’s best known and most influential writers believes that the two founts of magic in this broken world are black people and the mentally disabled.
Max: And Duddits doesn’t even get cool naked lady art like Scatman Crouthers did in The Shining! Just Scooby Doo bullshit!
Mike: Did Stephen King ghostwrite the Cuba Gooding Jr. classic Radio? If there’s a twenty minute scene in there of Ed Harris telling Radio not to eat a turd like there is in Dreamcatcher, then maybe.
Max: I think what I love about Dreamcatcher is how it’s a Stephen King movie where they keep in all the trademark extraneous gross details that most King adaptations wisely sidestep. Like every other chapter of a standard King paperback has some character describing in detail how they diarrhea’ed in their shorts or yarked on It’s shoes. Dreamcatcher spares no expense letting you know what’s up with our heroes and their alien-filled buttholes.
Mike: This is maybe the most damning evidence about Dreamcatcher as something Julian will not like: Dreamcatcher fucking annihilates buttholes every chance it gets. If you watched Alien and were like “yeah the chestburster was scary but is there a way this could obliterate someone’s sphincter after twenty minutes of farting, that’s cinema,” then, buddy, someone heard your prayers. An intern slaved over the monster referred to ONSCREEN BY OSCAR WINNER MORGAN FREEMAN as a “Shitweasel.”
Max: This is truly the flip side of Julian’s historic love of butts. Dreamcatcher might genuinely unsettle our sweet Astoria prince.
Mike: I predict Julian will do that thing where he puts his hands on his head and smokily goes “whaaaaaat” and turns to us like an animatronic, but that Julian will not like it.
Max: I predict that Julian will not like it but that he’ll have a fun time watching it with his friends. FUCK MY LIFE UP, DUDDITS!
Mike: So, how much did it soothe your mind when a rectal eel obliterated Brody from Mallrats?
Julian: First of all, I believe his name is Earl… second, nah man that was a real fuckeroo. (Fuckerow?) Anyway, I can see why y’all watch this yearly in conjunction with consuming an insane amount of alcohol.
Max: Julian, please wiggle your index finger and describe the experience of watching Dreamcatcher in three words or less.
Julian: “Oobie doobie doo.” This felt oddly like two different movies to me. The cabin bros vacation ruined by an alien invasion was one, and the secret military coverup another. It felt like they only met tangentially, but to be fair I fell asleep toward the end so…
Max: Wait hang on, do you remember when Marky Mark’s blind mole rat brother turned into Star Wars fan-fave Amanaman and uh….wait, what the hell does happen at the end of that movie?
Mike: Well, they cut the post-credits scene where Morgan Freeman buys a pool and throws his tickets to the premiere in the garbage.
Julian: Anyway, why was Damian Lewis a lead like ten years before Homeland? No, I didn’t like it!
Mike: In a way, watching Dreamcatcher is our own annual trip to a cabin the woods with friends where we get trashed and talk like morons, anal damage may vary. As predicted, Julian did not like the movie, although I don’t remember him going “whaaaat.” Max?
Max: This is a pretty cut and dried But Will Julian Like It? One point each to the beautiful boys, bringing us to a current score of 2-2. Thanks for joining us and remember to tip your local Duddits.
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