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Discussion in 'Movies' started by spshultz, Nov 22, 2010.
This doesn't look half bad.
Yes it does look interesting. Ground Hog Day as a thriller? Instead of a whole day over and over, it's just 8 minutes. After watching the trailer, I know I'd sure want to save Christina.
I'm so looking forward to this one ever since I saw "Moon" on blu-ray. Huge Duncan Jones fan now.
With a tagline of "Groundhog Day meets Quantum Leap", director Duncan Jones's next effort is "Source Code". Jake Gyllenhaal is Colter Stevens, a military helicopter pilot involved in the Source Code project, which somehow allows Colter to go back and relive the last 8 minutes of someone's life before they died, and this happened on a train heading for Chicago, but the train explodes on the outskirts of town. The project is tasked with trying to find the bomber through the source code simulations that Colter undergoes repeatedly through the film, but through each iteration, he is able to piece information quicker and more effectively. Michelle Monaghan plays Christina, the train passenger that Colter is directly involved with, though at a burgeoning point in their acquaintance.
The film itself is pretty entertaining through most of its running time, but the ending is a head-scratcher, almost too optimistic for my tastes. I was taken by the divergent paths each iteration into the source code, it seemed almost too much of a reach within the confines of such simulations, but it's a movie, and I went with it willingly.
I give it 2.75 stars, or a grade of B-.
I liked this film quite a bit. It was energetic and occasionally quite potent. I think it hits an emotional peak a few minutes before it ends. But it is very effectively directed and Gyllenhall is quite good.
I agree with your thoughts about this film, especially about the ending. Anyhow, a fine film in which I give it a solid "B" grade.
Did either one or both of you like The Adjustment Bureau? I would like to know to be able to understand whether I might agree with your review here.
I did like Moon....
"Groundhog Day meets Quantum Leap": the voice of his father is in fact Scott Bakula. Didn't recognize it myself, but my friend spotted that at the end of the cast credits.
When he leaps back, you could see (more and more) bits of Christina at the mirror bean sculpture, so I was expecting the "happy" ending. Don't know the movie-quantum-physics explanation, but whatever.
I thought Adjustment Bureau was OK too. More chemistry between Matt and Emily in that one. Neither really wowed me though.
Ah! It was Bakula! I can't believe I didn't hear about that until just now. Great nod. A great film too. A prime example of how a film can surprise you if the marketing team restrains itself from feeding you every plot point in the promotion.
I definitely want to see this, there just aren't many smart sci-fi films these days, although Moon certainly falls into that category.
Now I just need to convince the wife that she wants to see it too. . .
I liked "The Adjustment Bureau" better. There was more chemistry and the relationship was more believable.
It just seemed nonsensical to me in "Source Code" that Colter was more determined from the outset to save Christina, a woman he didn't even know, than to save the City. If he'd do his job, he'd save everyone...unless the message is that only pretty girls deserve to live, even if they're total strangers.
It also seemed kind of creepy to me that now apparently Colter gets to continue living his life in the body of Sean Fentress? What happened to Fentress in the new "reality"? Is he the only one that ended up dead (though his body lives on with a new "soul")? Seems like it would be hard to explain to anyone who actually knows Fentress why he looks the same but has a completely different personality and is no longer qualified to do his job (teacher). Unless Colter and Fentress are somehow merged together in a single body and have the skills/knowledge of both?
I thought it was Colter's conscience in Sean's body at the end, but a friend suggested that it was actually Sean back in his own body at that point.
Source Code was a surprisingly decent sci-fi movie. It's no classic, but was competent, smart, and enjoyable. Certainly worth watching at home, if not in the theater.
The problem with this sort of movie, for me at least, is that I need to see some previews and reviews to be sure it's worth watching; but watching it realize it would be far better experience had I gone in knowing nothing at all. Ah well. Rare's the movie that demands being seen cold, and I can go in without expectations.
What I found most fresh about Source Code was its optimism, its positive outlook on the human spirit. Most modern sci-fi is bleak -- think The Matrix or District 9. Source Code has a positive verve to its main character.
But as the ending closed, I wondered if it went too far; if it should have ended five minutes sooner.
I don't understand the charges by many critics that the science is ludicrous. Is it science we can apply today? No. Is the source code of the movie what we use the term source code for in the real world? No. But it's internally consistent; except for the flashes as he's yanked out, it all fits together beautifully. It establishes its rules, what's known and unknown, and operates within those parameters for the remainder of the film.
I liked "The Adjustment Bureau" better too, but I think this is probably the better constructed movie. The think you have to keep in mind about Colter Stevens getting to continue living his life in Sean Fentress's body is that Fentress was dead all ready. The only thing Capt. Stevens stole from him was the last eight minutes of his life. If Capt. Stevens hadn't leaped into Fentress's body, the events in that quantum iteration would have played out identically to the one Capt. Stevens was from. You're differently right about the logistical hurdles that would arise. If Capt. Stevens was smart, he'd pick up with Christina and move to a different part of the country where nobody knows Colter Stevens or Sean Fentress, and start fresh.
I thought the ending was perfect. It's the final clue explaining how the Source Code works. I for one would have been disappointed if they didn't delve into the implications of the technology, which is that this quantum iteration is a completely different universe than the one where Capt. Goodwin is being detained for gross insubordination and murder. And of course all of the other iterations exist as well, though Capt. Steven's failures for the most part didn't leave them any worse off than before. The one iteration he changed for the worse was the one where he identified Derek Frost and tipped him off, leading to him detonating the dirty bomb prematurely. But since that would have happened in every iteration without the source code, it's pretty much a wash anyhow.
I've not read any reviews so not seen critics of the science. But Source Code is strongly of the multiverse tradition. The science is preposterous only in that it occurs in 2011, instead of 2511. But, so? It's a good story, self consistent as noted. My criticism of the ending is it's sentimentality. It was a positive movie; refreshing. But the ending felt a little strong -- a bit of the need to wrap it up with a bow on top. But I also would have enjoyed the ending where, in fact, there is nothing to it: It's not a full universe. It's interesting how trimming a few minutes from the movie leaves it no less coherent but completely reinterpreted. One other niggle, because I'm distracted by tedious practicalities: how does this guy get along in this work inhabiting someone else's body? He doesn't know where his home is. He's a professor, but won't know his subject, his students, his colleagues, his lecture hall's location. Unfortunately, in twelve hours, after the euphoria of his new romance, his life begins falling apart. But I'm being tedious. It was a good movie and recommend it without reservation.
Trailer is looking very interesting. I like this trailer.