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Grab Bag Review: ‘Dream House’ – Constant Gardener Overtaken By Weeds, Loses License To Kill

I admit it. I’m a sucker for a good movie poster. Why else would I have a 27×40” of an emotional Mel Gibson sitting curbside with a beaver puppet on his forearm, hanging on my wall at work?

Dream House has a great poster. Whoever designed it loves The Shining, and has a damn good palette for color to boot.

Couple the poster with the fact that the last horror movie involving Naomi Watts was the remake of Funny Games, which I adored, despite the fact that it caused me to lose credibility with nearly every neighbor I recommended it to (I still stand by my assertion: every member of that cast carved out brilliant, criminally underrated performances. Michael Pitt and Tim Roth at the top of their game).

So here I am, blocking out the 6% approval rating by the other guys that I happened to catch wind of, ready to go against the grain and embrace everything about this film. After all, I am the perfect candidate to like it: I think Craig is by far the best Bond, I love Naomi Watts in a role like this, and Rachel Weisz is that girl we all know that simply can do no wrong. And dammit that poster is amazing.

Plain and simple, this movie was not good.

Exhibit A: The movie was not screened by critics first. This is the equivalent of telling all of your closest friends- the ones you look to for support and validation- you are getting married, but not revealing the bride until the day of the wedding, in hopes they will just smile and approve, too uncomfortable to say anything else.

Exhibit B: Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, and (no joke) the director Jim Sheridan were so embarrassed by the final version of this film, they flat out refused to do press for it.
Craig’s character creates a new persona in order to cope with the grief of his family’s. A trip to a psych ward leads him to discover this fact. In the end his conscience is wiped clean enough to write a book under his real name. Will Atenton is Peter Ward. Oops…spoiler alert!

Oh, wait…if you read Grab Bag Cinema, you are already too intelligent to see this movie, let alone not have it figured out in the first five minutes. This makes Shutter Island looked primed for Criterion.

½ bag

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