“Hearts in Atlantis” is not much of a movie as it is more of a tool to aspiring filmmakers. The biggest thing that you’ll get out of this movie is that if your movie sucks, as long as there’s a studio behind it and one of the world’s favorite actors in it, then you’ll never have to work another day in your life. “Hearts in Atlantis” follows this rule to the letter.
First off I’ve got to tell you I’m feeling a lot of pressure while writing this review. I’m a huge Anthony Hopkins fan and I’m talking past that Hannibal Lecter phase (anybody here seen “Audrey Rose” or the “Elephant Man”?) but not even he could save this movie. There’s also pressure that it’s directed Scott Hicks who gave us “Shine” only a few years ago. I’m sure since it’s produced by the mother of all monopolies, there’s someone watching me type this and soon they’ll be at my front door. But enough about Hollywood hitmen, let me explain why I hate this movie.
The story starts off with Bobby Garfield (Morse) receiving word that a childhood friend of his has past away. Yeah I know, it’s sad. When he arrives to the memorial service he also hears that another childhood friend and first kiss (Boorem) has also passed away. He decides to drive around his old neighborhood and goes to his old house, which now looks like the Freddy Krueger dream house, and sets us up for the perfect trip down memory lane. Now were taken back to the summer when Bobby (Yelchin) turned eleven. For the audience this appeared to be the most important time of Bobby’s life since they packed in every damned detail that every young child experiences in their life. The first kiss, the first fight, the creepy old man, the hideaway in the woods, buying your first bike, the battle against your parents, your first handjob (just kidding)… everything was there. And it was still s**t.
Back to the point. Anthony Hopkins plays Teddy Brautigan, the creepy old man that moves in upstairs over the summer. Over the summer Ted plays father to Bobby, teaching him things about the world and showing him things that he would never see otherwise. Oh yeah, did I mention that Teddy has a “special gift” (again back to the first handjob) which allows people to see things that are happening to other people at that time. Pretty creepy isn’t it? Not really.
From beginning to end, this movie is lacking and it hurts me to say that. There is a great cast behind this movie, Anton Yelchin handles himself very well with this being his first film, but there is just so much crap on the screen that it’s hard to wipe it away to see these guys in action. It hurts my head to know that William Goldman of “Misery” fame couldn’t pull a better screenplay out of that noggin of his. Also, I don’t know if anybody saw Scott Hicks last film “Snow Falling On Cedars”; I know I did and it just shows me that Scott Hicks’ career is going in one direction… down.
I’d have to say that the reason I hate this movie so much (besides the fact that it sucked) is that there was so much behind it and it still was a bland. I hate it because I know that the entire free world is still going to pay to see it making it a blockbuster hit. It doesn’t deserve it. I’ve seen “Stand by Me”, I’ve seen “My Girl” and I’ve seen “The Shining” and this movie is all that rolled together in one nice s**t sandwich. I want old school Stephen King movies back. Give me “Creepshow 3” or another “Cat’s Eye” anything.
The only saving grace this film has was it gave me this scene I envisioned in my head where Anthony Hopkins character reaches out and starts eating little Bobby and then wears his face. For that I am truly grateful because without that, this could quite possibly be one of the worst films I have ever seen.