I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Source Code

tn_sourcecodeSOURCE CODE is a fun thriller with a clever sci-fi premise: what if for some reason they remade GROUNDHOG’S DAY as a DE JA VU type thriller, and instead of Bill Murray it’s the guy who looks like the guy who used to play Spider-man and instead of having one day to cover the weather he has 8 minutes to figure out who planted a bomb on a train? That would be kinda cool, right?

Jake Gyllenhaal plays the guy, an army helicopter pilot in Afghanistan who suddenly finds himself in another dude’s body on a train in Chicago talking to a gal (Michelle Monaghan) he never met. Some minor incidents happen (guy knocks over papers, other guy forgets wallet, etc.), the train blows up, he finds himself disoriented in some kind of cockpit talking to Vera Farmiga (ORPHAN) and Jeffrey Wright (SHAFT remake) on a monitor.

They’re avoiding telling him the details, but somehow he’s being sent into this simulation of a real incident from earlier in the day and they need him to figure out who this bomber is before the motherfucker (or motherfuckette) detonates a dirty bomb in Chicago. If he could do it by switching faces with John Travolta I’m sure he’d do it but in this case it’s the reliving 8 minutes approach that’s gonna work. So Jake keeps getting sent back in to relive and relive those 8 minutes, doing it different each time, questioning people, snooping around for clues.

mp_sourcecodeSince there’s no real consequences other than having to start over he doesn’t mind punching dudes out, throwing their shit on the ground and yelling at them, fun stuff like that. He does not use it for a ZAPPED type scenario of looking at boobs or anything like that. And he doesn’t climb on top of the train to re-enact scenes from UNDER SIEGE 2: DARK TERRITORY. I guess Gyllenhaal looks more like a Bogosian than a Seagal anyway.

The director is Duncan Jones, the guy who did MOON. This is sort of like his bigger budget Hollywood payin’ the bills movie that probly made more money just during the time I was sitting watching it than MOON has made to date. I wonder if INCEPTION has made it easy to sell this kind of crazy thriller concepts like this? People will say “it’s like GROUNDHOG DAY meets such-and-such” and mean it as a bad thing, but it’s a good premise I think. It’s got the ratcheting tension as he goes through it each time adding new information, trying a new thing – can he really get off the train? What happens if he doesn’t blow up? Isn’t it obvious that this dark-skinned guy he’s harassing is innocent? etc.

The repetitious story is what makes it fun. It becomes kind of a game or a puzzle that you play along with him, thinking what you would try to do or who on the train you think it might be. Also it has kind of a cool structural trick that his missions lead to a goal of figuring out who the bomber is, but that’s not the climax of the movie. When he reaches that goal he then chooses his own ultimate goal, and that’s what the end of the movie’s about.

I mean yeah, it’s like GROUNDHOG DAY but in this version of the story he doesn’t get the Sonny and Cher song, he doesn’t meet Ned Ryerson, he gets coffee spilled on his shoe instead of stepping in a puddle, he does get to fall in love but man it’s more difficult when you only got 8 minutes. Sometimes taking a shit takes longer than that. This is a cool idea for a suspense thriller.

But if you expect Mr. Jones to bring a MOON level of artistry to his Tony Scott movie I’m afraid it’s not gonna happen. MOON was a movie with a real strong mood and atmosphere, this is well made but the feel of it is just your standard slick movie, nothing more or less. That’s not the worst crime in the world but SOURCE CODE does seem to be headed toward a brick wall from the very beginning, and if you got a lot of faith in the director you think “wow, he knows he’s headed for that brick wall, but he’s not slowing down, in fact he just did a side-wheelie for no reason, I wonder what kind of ingenious trick he has up his sleeve to land this thing!?”

I mean after all this is a guy who’s falling in love with an 8 minute memory of a woman that died earlier today. This is going nowhere happy, right? Unless they kinda cheat or something. Hmmm.

Well, let’s just say in my opinion it’s not the most satisfying or convincing solution to this caper. It didn’t kill the movie for me, but it at least stabbed it in the thigh a couple times. This is not an outsider filmatist elevating a mainstream movie, it’s a mainstream movie elevating an outsider filmatist’s career. But that could be a good thing too. He’s got some chops, he’s got some smarts, although maybe less than we thought. It’s not as stupid-preposterous as THE HAPPENING, but then again it’s not as ballsy-preposterous as KNOWING. It’s just clever with sprinklings of questionable. Not too shabby, not the exact right amount of shabbiness, but somewhere around there, you know. Medium shabbiness.
The End. Unless you’ve already seen it, in that case I got a little more for you down here.
.
.

.

.

SPOILERTRONIC END DISCUSSION ZONE:

Yeah, I thought the ending was stretching it too much. I guess in retrospect I can see what they were going for, and they deliberately left the details of the technology unexplained, but I don’t know if I can buy that a computer creates an alternate dimension that your consciousness can go to when you die. I mean does this computer have to keep running? What if the power goes out, where does his ghost go then? Doesn’t seem to make much sense to me.

The one positive thing about where it ends up is that it kind of retro-actively fixed some earlier problems I had with the movie. It bothered me that he kept trying to do shit like make phone calls and things outside of the train, as if that would mean anything. I kept thinking come on buddy, do you not understand what you’re doing here? Because they explained it to you at the same time they explained it to me. But I guess in the end it turns out he was right, he is living in a new alternate dimension so he does have a Bizarro dad he can call. It does have meaning and consequences. So when he seemed like he was being an idiot he was actually being a pioneer.

The real problem with comparing SOURCE CODE to GROUNDHOG DAY though is that that’s a really fuckin good movie and although I enjoyed this one it doesn’t have as much substance. See, SOURCE CODE has a cute feel-good type deal where he wants to make everybody on the train happy because he realizes, or has a religious faith in the idea that what happens in these 8 minutes actually does have consequences on a larger world. This is actually the opposite of what I found so moving last time I watched GROUNDHOG DAY, the part where he starts dedicating his day to trying to save the life of a sick homeless guy. In SOURCE CODE you’re good to people because you know it will have an effect on your life and other people’s lives. In GROUNDHOG DAY you know that being good to people makes no difference, and you do it anyway, because that’s what you want to do. In SOURCE CODE you’re being nice, in GROUNDHOG DAY you’re truly a good person. It’s subtle but if you think about it it’s a totally different philosophy. You can’t knock what Jake is doing there, but compared to what Bill is doing you could argue there is a selfish motivation there, or a guilt motivation, that’s not there at all for Bill.

Oh shit, I think I might be turning Buddhist!

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

This entry was posted on Monday, April 4th, 2011 at 2:33 am and is filed under Reviews, Science Fiction and Space Shit, Thriller. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

82 Responses to “Source Code”

  1. “He does not use it for a ZAPPED type scenario of looking at boobs or anything like that.”

    that’s what I would be doing lol

    anyway I contemplated seeing this, but I was kinda busy this weekend so I decided to wait for blu ray

    on a side note, I still haven’t seen Moon and it’s been on my to do list since it came out on blu ray

  2. This guy has a good career in front of him. He clearly has staked out hard science fiction as his corner of the world: old “Twilight Zone” episode style science fiction. Which we need more of today. He has a bachelor’s in philosophy and was going for his PhD in philosophy when he switched up to film school.

    The best part though, is he doesn’t even need Hollywood’s money. If his idea is crazy enough, and the Hollywood suits pass, his dad can just bankroll the whole thing. Treat us to some real “2001” type shit. Heck, I want to see his next movie STAR his dad. Just realized something… anyone else see “Basquiat” in the ’90s? With Jeffrey Wright and David Bowie? I see the invisible hand of Ziggy Stardust at work in the casting here.

  3. If they had just ended it with that last freze frame, I would have walked out of the theater totally satisfied by the movie. But then they kept going on and on and you could practically hear the air coming out of the movie as it staggered towards its last moments. Disappointing, but still a very good movie.

  4. The weird part about the ending that threw me is SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS Gyllenhaal makes this big deal about saving all the passengers on the train, and then figures out a way to live a new life in this alternate dimension where the passengers didn’t die, but…. what about the dude who’s body he took over? What happens to him? Is he just dead now? Is it cool for Gyllenhaal to just usurp his life like that? They kinda just gloss over that detail in order to give the movie a happy ending, although they do show the guy’s reflection at the end so it’s not like they entirely ignore it. I can’t tell if it’s a nice subversive touch, or a cop out.

    I agree with Brendan that it goes on like 2 beats too long at the end. Perfectly satisfying, even touching ending with the whole freeze frame thing, but then they felt the need to tack on 5 minutes of nonsense.

  5. No Vern review could ever convince me to waste my time with this movie.

  6. insert name here

    April 4th, 2011 at 9:29 am

    I don’t now if you’re Buddhist Vern, but you may have some affinities with Immanuel Kant who reasoned that true morality is non-utilitarian and that moral acts are good in and of themselves. He denoted an ethical system based around the Catagorical Imperative, a form of universal law derived from a priori reason.

  7. SPOILERS Yeah, actually Vern now that I think about it, you’re not giving Gyllenhaal enough credit at the end of the movie. He’s not just making those people happy, he also just saved their lives. The point is, the whole movie Wright & Farmiga keep telling him not to worry about saving the people, they aren’t real, they’re already dead, etc. But he refuses to believe them, and he turns out to be right: it’s an alternate universe, not just a simulation. So although he has some self-serving motivation for some of it, he’s a hero for going back in and stopping the bombing.

    Of course, there’s still the matter of stealing the poor schoolteacher’s life…

  8. Dan- I had the exact same thought walking out of the theater. One of the more unwittingly fucked up happy endings in recent years.

  9. Spoliers and such…

    Now that he lives in a computer, can Jake Gyllenhaal do kung fu and shit?

  10. So, GROUNDHOG DAY: PORT OF CALL QUANTUM LEAP?
    Going to see it tomorrow probably. What I find interesting about the story is it’s about a guy using technology to assume the identity of someone else, in order to achieve a goal through trial and error, learning from each attempt and recognising patterns in order to succeed eventually. Which is pretty much how a video game works, but I doubt many critics will be mentioning that as “like a video game” is typically a derogatory statement and often more about the superficial elements that make up a film(e.g. fighting cgi monsters/robots is like a video game, despite any number of films/books/tv shows/comics that also depict such things).

    STARGATE did a pretty funny take on the goofing off using a timeloop in one episode:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1U1jSGib-NA

  11. Hey Dan, I had the same thoughts. I felt so bad for the Sean guy. Then I just tried to justify to myself using Quantum Leap logic. Like the episode where Dr. Beckett leaped into Lee Harvey Oswald and their consciousnesses were merging. I figured the same happened to Colter and alternate Sean eventually. Either that or Colter’s consciousness just dispersed altogether after a while since there was already a Colter in that reality and for that I used the Timecop “same matter can’t occupy same space” logic even if consciousness is NOT really matter.

    I wish they had gone more into the science of the movie universe but I still dug this alot. It’s probably the most inventive sci-fi I’ve seen since Never Let Me Go and Tron Legacy last year. Despite some predictability (I called the main revelation way before it was revealed) it succeeds where the best sci-fi always should which is not on the spectacle but on a visceral, psychological and emotional level.

    Well structured and paced, Jones is a very polished yet still raw director with his style on this. It’s an interesting juxtaposition and if you ask me between this and Moon son of Bowie is now 2 for 2. Some nice performances by Gylleenhaal, Monaghan (great chemistry with Jake G), Farmiga and the always awesome Jeffrey Wright.

    To the uninitiated I’d say to best prepare yourself for this think of 12 Monkeys and then think of what would happen if that movie had a baby with any of the Bourne movies. Then that offspring will go on to date the child of Groundhog Day and Robocop and the result of their tryst is Source Code.

  12. I think it gets even more screwed up if you realise that the ending is basically saying that every time he “relived” the teachers last 8 minutes, he was living an alternate dimension. So essentially there are now multiple alternate dimensions that consist of stuff like:

    “a history teacher going crazy and punching people just before the train he is on blows up”
    “a history teacher going crazy and assaulting an asian man before getting run over by a train”

    I assume that is what they were implying anyway, it wasn’t so much a computer program he was in, but literally being jacked into an alternate reality.

    And as you folks have already pointed out, he’s taken over this history teachers life in another alternate dimension.

    Other than that I enjoyed it, I liked the concept, I liked how the played with it, I like Jake, he’s a sympathetic lead, I agree that perhaps it makes narrative sense (at least in the hints set up throughout the film) for the ending they do have, but emotionally it would have much more impacted if it ended at the freeze frame. As well as not introducing the “wait, the more I think about it, the more fucked up it seems” feeling that the current ending leads to.

  13. Napoleon Dynamite

    April 4th, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    I own Groundhog Day on DVD and have never watched it. Ever!

    I also own Pan’s Labyrinth, Enter The Void and Let The Right One In and haven’t been able to sit though them (I always fall asleep, always) although I really do want to finish them.

    Anybody got a problem with that?

  14. You guys are all over this one, and I can’t disagree with anything already posted. I’m not impressed with Duncan Jones’s auteurness so far, but I’m very happy with his choice of scripts, even if SOURCE CODE’s philosophical or sci-fi legacy doesn’t withstand much critical scrutiny.

    Jeffrey Wright was outstanding in this one. I’m glad he was able to play an antagonist who isn’t a bad guy. He might deceive & downplay morality issues, but he saved lives. He was a more interesting yet more grounded Ozymandias type, and his voice & line delivery is hypnotic.

    CPT Stevens is kind of a slow-witted asshole the first few times he has to have everything explained to him by Goodwin & Dr. Rutledge, so I’m not sure if I should be more insulted by his confusion possibly representing or reflecting the assumed stupidity of the audience or by a US Army helo pilot being such a selfish prick after being told repeatedly that his urgent task is to follow orders to save lives.

    I gathered from the shitty stock footage flashback sequence that Stevens was maybe a Kiowa OH-58D pilot, which would indicate that he ranked high in his flight class, better than the guys & gals who get assigned AH-64 Apaches and not as good as AH-6 Little Bird pilots who would be in 160th SOAR, but his being a commissioned officer rather than a Warrant officer could have something to do with that.

    Flying CCA ops (and maybe MEDEVAC pilot in certain OEs) is probably tied with EOD tech as the most dangerous non-18 series job in the Army, and I’ve always had to maintain comms with these various combat specialists during deployments short & long, so personally I can’t stand working with those bitchasses who are always trying to call home & chat with the parents or whatever. It’s unprofessional.

    Ultimately he found his inner-NCO and went above & beyond to accomplish the mission, though, (spoiler) so I guess that was pretty good for a schoolteacher. At least he didn’t go on a series of 8-minute long boobwatching sessions.

  15. Off topic Main Man, but I gotta ask, exactly what is the nature of your video “hook up”? Been searchin in daylight with a flashlight for “A Bittersweet Life” and came up with a donut on all fronts.

  16. having David Bowie for a dad must be fun

    anyway prepare for me to blow your minds with my half baked conspiracy theory

    Duncan Jones first movie was called Moon and around the same time it came out there was a video game on the DS called Moon that was about an astronaut on a Moonbase

    now with this movie Source Code, there’s also a DS game called Flower Sun and Rain about a guy stuck in a time loop on an island trying to prevent a bomb from going off

    coincidence? someone better see if Duncan has a DS in his possession

  17. SPOILERS, Here’s my take:

    The first 8 times he goes back didn’t change enough to matter. Train still blew up and everyone still died so no one knew about Jake punching dudes out.

    I’m not a parallel timeline kind of guy. I believe his ninth attempt changed the one and only reality, to the point that Dr. Rutlidge and Goodwyn never even tried the source code experiment. Goodwyn only knows what Colter texted her from the cell phone. Colter’s body is still hooked up and will be tried for another source code one day.

    Sean is dead. There’s no free lunch, Sean got screwed, but he would’ve died anyway so he sacrificed so Colter could live again.

    As for how can the changes take effect if the new reality doesn’t activate source code? That’s metaphysics for you. Erased actions still take effect.

    I do think the philosophy of “make these the best 8 minutes ever” is the Groundhog Day philosophy. He was making those people happy whether his plan worked or not. I think the final twist, that it actually worked, is an additional payoff but doesn’t in any way invalidate the spiritual goodness of making those 8 minutes great for their own sake.

  18. Vern – I saw SOURCE CODE and it quite frankly was a much much much more worthwhile movie to watch than SUCKER PUNCH. Worth the $7.50 more so too.

    Also worth a 1000+ word review than the other, but just IMO if you ask me.

    (I could also talk box-office since Vern and others seem to think its all I care about. I won’t except I would be giddy if a better movie makes more than the other. There I said it.)

    ~Certainly was better than Jake’s last picture PRINCE OF PERSIA. Now that was a shit burger w/ Fries.

  19. Jake’s last movie was Love and Other Drugs, equally shitty but at least had Anne Hathaway’s boobies. That’s the professional film critic term we use.

  20. Rogue4 – I have a region free DVD player and we have a place here that rents imports, which is how I saw that one. I checked though and they also had a region 0 copy from a somewhat iffy company called Red Sun. It looks like they’re going for pretty high prices used so it must be hard to come by now. Maybe since I SAW THE DEVIL is playing in theaters now it will help to get a legit American release.

    RRA – if there’s a thousand words to say about this movie then why don’t you have anything to say besides you like it better than SUCKER PUNCH? I say SUCKER PUNCH is more flawed but also way more interesting in its filmmaking, in its content, in its failure, and in its reactions. There’s alot to say and discuss there even up to the subject of “I don’t get what happened at the end.” In fact I started kind of a followup piece on the debate surrounding that movie but I decided to ditch it. I’ve had alot of good discussions and arguments about SUCKER PUNCH but my conversations about SOURCE CODE so far are pretty much limited to “pretty good. Yeah, didn’t like the ending. Yeah, not as good as MOON. Pretty good though.” I told one guy “I haven’t seen DE JA VU but I bet it’s at least as good as DE JA VU.”

  21. The ending is odd. It simultaneously undermines the vague sci-fi exposition re: the process we are fed earlier (justifying some of the boundary-stretching the movie took with it declared premise), and (in my opinion) seriously undercuts the emotional resonance of the end for a rosy, cheaply-sentimental conclusion.

    It makes the rest of the movie better in retrospect if you’re a nitpicker, but destroys the weight of the initial, apparent conclusion with a desperate lurch at the cheap seats.

  22. Here’s my badass ending that hopefully will be in the deleted scenes of the home release:  After suggesting that Stevens may be the only compatible Source Coder, Dr. Rutledge secludes himself & makes a quiet phone call to a mysterious someone who outranks him.  Then the movie continues as we saw it.  Then at the very end the mysterious someone is introduced via a shadowy over the shoulder shot in which we also see a glimpse of Dr. Rutledge’s personnel file (so as to connect the 2 and recall that brief quiet phone call).  Then there’s a slow pan, THE PRESTIGE or UNISOL: REGEN style (spoiler), to a big room full of dead soldiers in vats of liquid hooked up to ungodly medical tubes etc..  

    THE END. . . ?

  23. Well, so long as we’re coming up with endings, I think a better one might have been if after the freeze frame moment, the camera panned back and Gyllenhaal was no longer there, it had turned back into the schoolteacher. So Gyllenhaal dies when Farmiga pulls the plug, but he has his perfect moment of happiness or whatever. And then you can still have the ending where bizarro-Farmiga gets the e-mail and realizes they are in an alternate dimension, etc etc, it would just take a little bit of sap off the ending (while still being touching) and solve the dilemma of Gyllenhaal stealing the schoolteacher’s life.

  24. Or maybe ^that^ already happened after the end credits rolled.  I didn’t stick around that long, sorry Ziggy Stardust, Jr..

    RRA, I feel like the 2 movies have been equally worth my mullah. That should probably be moolah. Has interaction with Islam infiltrated my slang for even the most materialistic, capitalistic ideas I cherish? Inshallah. Where was I? Oh yeah, so it’s weird, though, b/c I didn’t much enjoy SUCKER PUNCH while I was watching it, but it ended up provoking a lot of interesting questions, and I enjoyed SOURCE CODE while watching, but it might be weakening in retrospect.

  25. I would very much like to go see SUCKER PUNCH three or four more times with three or four different girls.

    If you can’t say the same thing about SOURCE CODE, SUCKER PUNCH wins.

  26. Just got back from it, and I thought it was pretty good too, and the ending is a little fucked up for the reasons given. I also liked that Scott Bakula got a cameo in it too!
    Mouth- “Jeffrey Wright was outstanding in this one. I’m glad he was able to play an antagonist who isn’t a bad guy. He might deceive & downplay morality issues, but he saved lives. He was a more interesting yet more grounded Ozymandias type, and his voice & line delivery is hypnotic. ”
    Yeah, but the reasoning is kind of fucked up in a weird way, because to justify the Source Code’s use, there has to specifically be ONE incident where people die for them to have a way to use it, and a SECOND connected forthcoming incident for there to be a point in using it, so the guy is kinda going around HOPING for something bad to happen and he even says with a bit of relish at one point that “the right crisis” will eventually occur where the SC can prove its value. And come to think about it, how did they even KNOW a second bombing was being planned, given the nature of how it was all being carried out? I doubt there’s intelligence that was suggesting it, since they knew fuck all about the bomber and

    SPOILERS

    he didn’t seem to have those sorts of ties. He was just a lone nut who could construct a nuclear device for batshit reasons, because Occam’s Razor never applies to plots like this.

    “CPT Stevens is kind of a slow-witted asshole the first few times he has to have everything explained to him by Goodwin & Dr. Rutledge, so I’m not sure if I should be more insulted by his confusion possibly representing or reflecting the assumed stupidity of the audience or by a US Army helo pilot being such a selfish prick after being told repeatedly that his urgent task is to follow orders to save lives. ”
    I think I can forgive his initial cognitive difficulties given he was working with an incomplete brain.

    Dan-“But he refuses to believe them, and he turns out to be right: it’s an alternate universe, not just a simulation.”
    Actually, Wright does say at one point not that it’s a simulation, but that it’s a parrallel timeline, and Stevens can only affect THAT, and not THEIR timeline. So his attitude isn’t “There’s nothing you can do, you can’t save those people”, but “You can only save the people over THERE, not those over here, so fuck ’em. Concentrate on this timeline”. He seemed to be telling him he couldn’t change anything just to distract him from that and focus on the mission.

    I was also kinda distracted by a few details in the film that I thought were going to lead to something. Like, why does Wright have a crutch? It’s pretty distracting, and we know he hasn’t got it from being in the military or anything, so I kept expecting it be part of his backstory and why he created the Source Code, but it’s not really brought up again after his intro. Also, Christina’s ex phoning her at the start of each cycle, I initially thought “oh, Stevens is going to Source Code into that guy later and try to warn her”, but it was just a red herring.

    Griff-“coincidence? someone better see if Duncan has a DS in his possession”
    Actually, he is a confirmed gamer, and it turns out the part where Stevens jumps off the train and takes a pretty bad tumble was inspired by doing the same out of a car in the GTA Games.

    END SPOILERS

    And what was up with that woman who spilled the coffee? Did you notice that she only ever apologised for doing it to Christina, but never to Sean/Colter? Manners cost nothing, bitch. Or should there be a short prequel that establishes that Sean Fentress farted in her face when walking past her seat or something?

  27. Stu,

    Yes, but I believe Wright also claims that the alternate universe is temporary, only lasts 8 minutes and that the people in the SC are just “shadows” (or something like that). He tells them that the people are essentially not real and that his actions in the SC world don’t matter. The implication being that Wright & co. doesn’t realize that it’s actually a whole separate alternate reality, which is why Farmiga is so shocked by the Gyllenhaal’s e-mail at the end.

  28. That jump from the train was dope. They can do anything with computers these days, eh? Or did they go RED TROUSERS style and have some poor stuntman actually do it?

  29. I took a couple of younger relatives to see PRINCE OF PERSIA. I was kind of dreading it but I ended up quite enjoying it. I’d certainly say it’s the best (though not my favourite) video game movie to date, which in overall movie terms puts it about on par with…I dunno, THE ROCKETEER.

    Should be seeing SOURCE CODE this weekend and looking forward to it very much (so I didn’t read too much of the review, sorry buddy)

  30. SPOILERS

    Interesting point I just read on the whole “Does Colter kill Sean by stealing his life?” paradox: if the alternate reality doesn’t exist until Colter enters it, then Sean never “really” existed in that world in the first place. The implication is that when Colter is sent into the source code, it creates a tangent universe. In essence, that universe begins with Colter occupying Sean; Sean was never autonomous in that world. So poor Sean dies in the explosion on earth prime (or whatever you want to call it), and in all branching universes created by the source code his consciousness never really existed.

    Makes Colter’s actions seem a little less evil at the end. Your thoughts, everyone?

  31. Vern – Don’t get angry. Remember your moto? Don’t strive for whats just in front of you, strive for excellence! Make The Body proud! Be Chris Jericho, not Rob Conway. Of course you usually do on both counts (make Mr. Body proud/be Jericho) but we all need reminders of our heights.

    Besides I believe Mouth (w/o a 1000 words) explained the difference best perhaps regarding CODE and PUNCH in quality and discussion. Train wrecks can be more fascinating than a good Audi. He didn’t strive for excellence there in nailing the reality that I couldn’t. He fucked it.

    I’m sorry Vern, I love you man but your whole fixation/defense of Snyder even when you rip him up….even admiring his existence even if alot of it does make you frown….borders on a bromance crush. But hey nothing with that, since you and I share similar mancrushes on Eastwood and Willis. But this one, I gotta throw down my cards because I just don’t get it. Sorry mate, but I just respectfully don’t. But again, who’s expecting two people to agree on everything? I’m sure you’re still annoyed from when I naggingly e-mailed you about reviewing DOOMSDAY…which we know what happened next.

    Shit happens. So can we truce and move on?

    Mouth – No but it means you’re the new star of the new reboot/remake/update movie THE IRANIAN CANDIDATE, coming next summer. War hero politician brainwashed by Tehran? I smell money. To be directed by Zach Snyder.

  32. Ace Mac Ashbrook

    April 5th, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    Jake Gyllenhaal, the new keanu reeves. Just what we need, another block of wood.

  33. I can’t buy the alternate universe theory. Even in Back to the Future II, when Doc explains how evil 1985 was created parallel to their 1985. I think there’s one timeline. Evil 1985 replaced their 1985 until they went back and fixed it, then cool 1985 replaced evil 1985 again. It’s all fictional theory but I think it says a lot about how our brains work.

    I think there’s only one timeline in Source Code. Dr. Rutledge’s theory made theoretical sense but it was ultimately proven wrong. We’re still only looking at one timeline that changes, but Sean is dead. Actually Duncan Jones even said that, maybe fecetiously, but it’s out there.

  34. Fred,

    Then SPOILERS how is Farmiga able to pull the plug on Gyllenhaal in the future? If it’s one timeline, then at that point Gyllenhaal has already stopped the explosion from happening, hence preventing the need to use source code, hence completely erasing his and Farmiga’s interactions from history. It has to be an alternate universe because her actions in the original universe effect what happens in the duplicate universe.

    If there’s only one universe like you say, then that would create a paradox: how could Gyllenhaal be in the teacher’s body if the train never exploded and the source code people never sent him back? That’s the whole reason the alternate dimension theory was applied to time travel stories, because otherwise everything would contradict itself.

  35. Yeah, creation of alternate realities are an actual scientific theory to explain how time travel could work without causing paradoxes. You CAN kill you grandfather in the past, it’d just bring about a new universe the consequences of that occur in.

  36. I disagree, RRA. I have from the beginning thought Snyder was a talented but flawed director. He made a flawed but interesting movie that I wrote about. I only have to defend him alot because so many of you boys bring him up in threads that have nothing to do with him (like SOURCE CODE).

    I think it’s usually CJ that brings him up though.

  37. Dan, I believe that the actions of the erased present still count. It’s like when you tape over a VHS tape. Let’s say you tape over Raiders of the Lost Ark with an episode of Small Wonder. When Small Wonder ends, Raiders is still going on from about the point of the Cairo market chase. It doesn’t stop happening just because they erased the first act.

    SPOILERS STILL:

    Alternate universes just seems like less cool of a story to me. If each change creates an alternate universe, that means the hero isn’t actually doing much other than creating one new timeline out of an infinite sample of possibilities. It’s only dramatic to me if he’s actually impacting the very timeline we live in. Like Marty McFly did when he taught George to stand up for himself. I’d hate to think there was still a wussy George floating around somewhere.

    Again, not trying to change anyone’s mind. This is just an explanation of how I think.

  38. Hey, so did anybody else come out of the movie with the feeling that Earth Prime was already an alternate universe where Jake had prevented a disaster and had e-mailed Vera Farmiga asking her to tell him that everything would be alright and had already called his dad and made some sort of peace with him and was already occupying some poor dude’s life? I felt pretty confident that it hadn’t already happened more than once, but it kind of seemed to me that she was doing a decent job of telling him that everything would be alright and his dad already seemed to have found some peace, so I got suspicious that this wasn’t the first disaster that had been prevented by the source code without anybody getting to know it had been prevented. Just food for thought.

  39. Ace Mac Ashbrook

    April 6th, 2011 at 1:00 am

    I’ll go by the Back To The Future time travel rule, not the Doctor Who rule.

    Only because I’d rather be in a Delorean and not a wooden phone box.

  40. OK, I just came from seeing this movie, and here’s Paul’s take. Fasten your seatbelts.

    First off, I gotta say this: if you want to enjoy this movie at its best, watch ONLY the first ten minutes. It’s a gradual but definite downhill slope from there, people. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still enjoyable until about thirty minutes or so before the end, and watchable until the last ten minutes or so, at which point it jumps the shark. I’d recommend seeing it. Just set your expectations appropriately.

    I mean, what happened? It starts intriguing, smart, intelligent, and then just starts to lose it. The dialogue is realistic early on and then just gets ropier and ropier, with some real howlers at the end (I mean, “I’m going to save the world”? Really? REALLY?) The obvious plot holes start from the second “jump” and keep going from there.

    I think the ending’s been discussed enough, but I gotta point out this one. Is Sean / whateverisnameis a complete moron? He literally watches the criminal setting up his own alibi the very first time he “jumps”, and it doesn’t register until a ridiculously long time later on. Dude, I’d tried to avoid all spoilers about this one, and I realised why A Certain Person had acted A Certain Way about fifteen minutes into the damn movie. Even given that the guy is hardly in a good emotional state, how the fuck does it take him that long to realise what’s so bleedin’ obvious?

    The central premise of the movie doesn’t exactly seem to make much sense either (a snapshot of Sean’s brain reveals a van, the inside of which he couldn’t possibly have seen, now filled with explosives?) but I could live with that. The parallel-dimensions-of-a-dead-guy’s-brain thing at the end, though, was flat-out retarded. Yeah, I get Vern’s points, and I get most of yours. I won’t join the debate because frankly the whole thing is a little too dumb to warrant arguing over, to me.

    But setting aside the minor point of the guy BEING DEAD, what the hell was Michelle Monaghan doing during all of this? She’s been with this guy a fuck lot longer than eight minutes and she’s like “Wow, you’re a whole different person. Plus you gave away all our cash to a complete stranger and dragged me away from an important meeting. How delightfully quirky and free-spirited of you!”

    This will probably make more money than “The Adjustment Bureau” because it’s got a cooler name and a trailer with explosions in it. But it really doesn’t deserve to. Both of them are vaguely sci-fi-leaning films that take place in the present and involve shadowy organisations that try to benevolently influence the majority at the expense of the minority. But the love story in “The Adjustment Bureau” is beautifully written and acted, even if the sci-fi bits are ropey. In this one, one of the characters is far too stupid, the other far too accepting, to be believable, plus the sci-fi bits are even more ropey.

    Or in other words, when it comes to present-day sci-fi adventures featuring handsome leading men in problematic relationships with women who may or may not be real, Inception > Adjustment Bureau > Source Code. I still liked a lot of this, but I don’t expect to be re-watching it when it comes out on DVD.

  41. Alright, that was too long. So let me condense it into two points.

    1) In “The Adjustment Bureau”, even though the bureau itself didn’t really make sense in terms of how it operated, I really felt for the two central characters and wanted them to overcome the obstacles that were being put in their way so that they could be together. Did ANYBODY feel this about the two central characters in “Source Code”?

    2) The bomb is triggered by TWO PHONES? Seriously, what the FUCK? Did the bomber specifically plan for the eventuality of coming across a guy who had so little time to examine the bomb and remove ONE phone that he wouldn’t take the thirty seconds or so it needed to look for a SECOND one?

    And come to that, if you have a freaking NUCLEAR WEAPON in your van, why the hell are you going to risk your whole plan by blowing up a train? At least in 24 Season 4, where the same thing happened, it was explained by the fact that the train contained a key witness who could’ve identified the terrorists. What’s this idiot’s excuse?

  42. Hey hey don’t go knocking Keanu now. I always have to step on toes when people start bashing the guy. I feel he’s very underrated and he comes across very down to earth off camera. I never heard anybody who met him person say that he was a complete asswipe like I’ve heard of many other movie stars.

    The muthafucker gave us movies generally considered classics with Die Hard on a bus, Point Break, The Matrix (the sequels DON’T exist), My Own Private Idaho and for me personally A Scanner Darkly and the Bill & Ted flicks.

    I mean despite the fact that he gave one of the most hilariously awful performances of all times in Coppola’s vanity project he still has managed to display great range throughout his career. From Parenthood to River’s Edge to The Gift and his work as the Dog Boy in Alex Winter’s Freaked. Besides EVERYBODY including Hopkins sucked in Bram Stoker’s Dracula except for Gary Oldman. He and Winona did suck the most though but considering she’s one of my first crushes and again I find Keanu to be a likeable dude I tolerate the dreadfulness of their work there.

    I seriously think the guy catches too much flack on the net. There have been far worse actors with an equal amount of success in hollywood. Far worse.

  43. I meant to say at the end that Jake G isn’t one of them though. I’m not a big fan at all but I have enjoyed some of his movies and have found his performances interesting in them.

  44. Whoa, chief. Let’s not start badmouthing Coppola’s BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA based on the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker. Some of us think that movie is totally badass.

  45. Nah it’s not based on that type of criticism, not at all I never even read the novel believe it or not. I’m more into Lovecraft, James Ellroy and Phillip K. Dick literature anyway. It was just as a movie outside of the amazing production design, my sweet Winona looking righteous and the incredible turn by Oldman that movie is pretty damn “blah”. I mean I felt this way since the first time I ever saw it back in ’92 and I was 9 back then. I can’t revisit that movie without feeling ho hum about it afterwards. Still if I ever did find it in a $5 bill I’d certainly buy cause I remember liking Renfield a lot too.

  46. LOL I meant $5 bin, damn pint of Guinness is not helping me type all that coherently.

  47. re: the ending of SOURCE CODE. It seems like most of us agreed that the ending goes on a few beats too long and kinda kills the power of the finale a bit. From an interview with director Duncan Jones:

    “It’s good for me to know whether it works for people, because it was a hang-up I had with the original romantic ending, and I couldn’t let it go. The ending that we have is because I insisted. I just felt that this is a question too far that we leave at the end here. I really want to have at least something addressed and this is one of the things I wanted to deal with. I think it’s all very well to leave it on a romantic note, but there’s so many questions left and if you leave it purely as a romantic ending, it’s as if none of that matters, and it does matter and that’s what makes the premise interesting. So at least let me remind the audience that the repercussions of his actions are that there is another Colter Stevens now alive who doesn’t get sent on the mission.”

    If I’m understanding that correctly, it sounds like it originally ended around the point most of us thought was the more natural endpoint, and Jones is to blame for the extra nonsense.

    http://www.avclub.com/articles/duncan-jones,54252/

  48. “Whoa, chief. Let’s not start badmouthing Coppola’s BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA based on the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker. Some of us think that movie is totally badass.”
    Why did they bother attaching the BRAM STOKER name to it if they were going to add all that extra bullshit that wasn’t in the book(manwolf Dracula rape, Monica Bellucci blowing Keanu, the Vlad the Impaler stuff)?

  49. gotta second the defense of Keanu. Point Break and Scanner Darkly redeem him all on their own. Plus don’t forget Dangerous Liaisons, where he is used perfectly, stretching his range to play a clueless idiot.

    Also I really love Johnny Mnemonic.

  50. Lemme repeat my point about Monaghan’s character again, since it probably got lost in wall-of-text-itis from above.

    So the ending features her, after spending a lot more than eight minutes with her new (and improved?) boyfriend, walking happily through the streets with him after abandoning her plans, her money, and apparently her perception of him being ABSOLUTELY STARK RAVING BONKERS.

    To repeat what I said above, her attitude can be summarised like this: “Wow, you’re a whole different person. Plus you gave away all our cash to a complete stranger and dragged me away from an important meeting. How delightfully quirky and free-spirited of you!”

    Did this not bother anybody else? Or was it just one more bit of stupidity in the well of dumb that the movie seemed to have fallen into by that time?

  51. Paul,

    The teacher wasn’t her boyfriend, if I remember, right? He was just a friend, someone she shared the morning commute with. Her boyfriend kept calling on the phone, as I recall.

  52. That guy was her ex because she says something like “I thought it was bad enough when we were together”. Sean was just a friend.
    “Plus you gave away all our cash to a complete stranger and dragged me away from an important meeting.”
    It can’t have been THAT important. She did say that she’d signed up for some course somewhere, and was going to go to India or some shit. But otherwise, yeah, pretty weird decision. Never mind how Sean’s relatives and friends are going to react when they see him and he doesn’t recognise them.

  53. Gilmore – Yeah Johnny Nmenonic was always pretty cool with me for just having Dolph channeling a psychotic homeless religious fanatic alone. That was one of his most inspired performances and when it comes to Dolph that says a lot cause he has had a lot of inspired performances IMO. I also always view it as an unofficial Matrix prequel.

  54. I’m not one of those who worship at the church of GROUNDHOG DAY. It’s a funny movie, but it becames phoney when it tries to be more then just a funny movie. And doing good does ultimately end up being a good thing for the Bill Murray character, he finally breaks the time loop curse because in one of those repeated days, he acts all selfless and nice guy. So, yeah, being good does have consequences. I just thik it’s phoney that it took him to stop being an asshole and became good to end his purgatory. It’s just one of those Holywood moralizing bullshit which i just don’t take easily.

    As for SOURCE CODE, i want to watch it. Duncan Jones gained a lot of good will from me thanks to MOON to last a whole decade. Besides, he has the coolest dad ever.

  55. BR Baraka, Duncan Jones didn’t use his dad’s money to make his first movie. In fact, he goes aroud calling himself Duncan Jones and not by his real name, Zowie Bowie, deliberatly so that he doesn’t have to have his father’s connection (Jones is actually his father’s real last name, but few people know that). He wants to be his own man. MOON was done mostly on the strenghts of his connections due to his background work as a commercials director.

    And though David Bowie is far more rich then any of us will ever be combined, still Bowie is hardly the richest guy in the business. His net worth was claculated at about 50 million dollars. It’s a lot of money, but compared to many other well know artists, sportsman and filmmakers, he’s hardly in the top 50.

    I think Duncan jones can have a long career making smaller budget movies. But making connections and working for Holywood wouldn’t be a too bad a thing either. It did wonders for Christopher Nolan’s career.

    So, maybe, Sourse Code is Duncan Jones’ INSOMNIA, a foot on the Holywood door and the start of better things to come. In this era of mediocre hacks like Michael Bay and JJ Abrams making their godawful movies, it’s good to know that really talented guys like Duncan Jones are looming on.

  56. “a guy using technology to assume the identity of someone else, in order to achieve a goal through trial and error, learning from each attempt and recognising patterns in order to succeed eventually.”

    You just perfectily described a scientist, Stu. And your first though was a gamer? Weird.

  57. How does a scientist “assume the identity of someone else”?

  58. Stu, well, they have such things in their names as Doctor and PhD. None were born with those in their names. Scientists are like superheroes, through achievements from science they gained a new name and a new identity as Masters Of Cool Stuff To Know.

  59. I still think Gamer is more appropriate, especially given how he treated it as a simulation at first.

  60. Well, you are at an advantage since you already watched the movie and i haven’t, so i’ll take your word for it. Besides, Duncan Jones is something of a geek himself, i’m sure he knows what being a gamer is.

  61. Vern, i would defend Zack Snyder as a flawed but interesting filmmaker if his only movie he had made was DAWN OF THE DEAD. But he then made 300 and WATCHMEN and whatnot. And those two movies destroyed any good will i had about him. It was a destruction of pure Michael Bay epic proportions. I now see Snyder as an emasculated version of Michael Bay, only not as terrible, because nobody is.

  62. Okay, sounds good.

  63. AsimovLives – If Paul W.S Anderson had not made DEATH RACE, I´d make you eat those words that nobody is as terrible as Michael Bay.

  64. Sheesh, you guys. Call Michael Bay and Paul whatever his middle initials are Anderson the worst directors ever, but I’m sure you never saw a film by Helmut Dietl! (Who probably isn’t even “the worst” either, but he is still worse than Bay and Anderson and that without directing one single Hollywood movie!)

  65. What about Uwe Boll?

  66. Stu…

    *Stunned silence…*

    We don’t mention Uwe Boll in these parts. Leave now.

  67. I’m not going to feed into the fear that gives him his power. I’ll saw his name as much as I like. He’s not fucking Lord Voldemort!

  68. Give Boll some credit. His technical skills have been steadily improving over the past few years. Unfortunately that means his movies have gone from bad in a funny way, to bad in a boring way, to just mediocre.

    Anyway, regarding the whole pointless, unwinnable argument about the worst director ever, do you think the fact that Michael Bay spends $300M on his terrible films make him worse than some equally mercenary director who spends peanuts on an even more inept film? I don’t know.

  69. I wonder what would happen if the ghost of Ed Wood possessed Michael Bay. $300m worth of stock footage instead of fx?

  70. Jareth Cutestory

    April 11th, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    Stu: We talk about horsefucking more than we talk about Dr. Boll. That has to tell you something.

    Also, would Ed Wood’s possession of Michael Bay include all the cross-dressing? I’d pay to see that.

  71. The “worst director in the world” discussion might be unwinnable, but it’s not totally uninteresting. We all tend to blame the director when we don’t like his latest movie, but that doesn’t nescessarily mean that he IS a bad director. And that goes for people like Anderson, Boll and Bay too. They might be the movie worlds equivalent to burger flippers, but hey, sometimes I like a big, fat greasy burger or two. And some of their burgers are quite tasty. I’m much more angry with people who used to run award winning restaurants, and then became lazy hot dog vendors over night; Michael Winner, Martin Brest, J. Lee Thompson, John Landis etc, etc. Besides, we all know that if we are throwing names around there’s no one worse than Irwin Allen. With all the talent and money he had at his disposal when he was making The Swarm, it’s a crime against humanity what he eventually came up with. A crime which he should have been prosecuted at the International Criminal Court in Haag for.

  72. I’m shocked by you bitter ass cynics. I thought it was terse, economic filmmaking at its best: at each moment the movie is revealing, exploring, building momentum. Maybe the most awesome “sci-fi” I’ve seen since Children of Men. It reveals just how vapid and superficial was that Inception thing. It has a rather sentimental ending that is totally earned, and in context, I found it quite profound.

    sniff, I will go grab my Source Code teddy bear and cry myself to sleep.

    ps cool unity of theme between this and Moon, despite different writers. Jones indeed has good taste in screenplay.

  73. You guys know why nobody is worst then Bay? Because Bay makes this 160 million/200 million dollars movies and they still come out terrible beyond description. With that money, there is absolutly no excuse for a movie to came out that type of awful. And yet Bay does it again and again and again.

    Nobody is wost then Bay, no matter who are your favorite bad director to kick around. All of them pale in comparison to the awfulness that is Bay. Bay is the bottom of hackdom that many tried but failed to reached.

  74. I saw this today and I quite liked it. Very intelligent and restrained for a movie with so many explosions. Plus, how many films can you name that end with an emotional climax rather than a big chase?

    However, in my interpretation of the ending, I don’t think there is an issue with “what happened to Sean?”

    See, a new parallel universe is created the moment Donnie Darko takes over Sean. In this new universe Sean never existed. Sean is not eliminated so much as Sean never existed. This goes back to that theory of, “prove the universe didn’t just begin, In Media Res, 30 seconds ago and that all of your thoughts and memories are artificial.” You can’t.

    Well, in this new alternate universe, the world DID in fact begin 30 seconds ago, In Media Res and everyone IS preloaded with artificial histories and memories. The only thing that changed is Darko entering the world in a different body.

    Make sense?

  75. Yeah, my read on the whole alternate dimension thing is that they were created in the moment that he jumped back in time. He lives them out for 8 minutes and then gets pulled back to his original timeline. And the reason for him existing past the 8 minute mark the final time he goes through it is Goodwin pulling the plug on him so there’s no body for him to get back to so he continues on in that alternate timeline, which of course has another Stevens, which he tells Goodwin to try to help do the same thing he did the next time they use him.

    Another point, aside from Stevens taking over this random teacher’s life (who was going to die anyway if he hadn’t taken it over), is that the Goodwin in the original timeline is still in that timeline and left holding the bag of having disconnected him. She’s going to get arrested and court martialed for destroying an important project. And presumably the same will happen if she tries to help out the Stevens in this alternate timeline. So really, things are going to be all right for Stevens. Just not for Goodwin, who acts in a moment of selflessness and is going to get punished for it in any timeline.

    And can we stop arguing who is the worst director ever? The worst ones are the ones who don’t even get the basics of storytelling or framing, whose “films” never even get released since no one in their right mind would spend money trying to release them. People who basically get backers who are never going to see a penny from their investment. At least frame the argument in a way that it is worst director who has movies in wide release and has made a certain amount of money from those said movies. Let’s not forget Paul WS Anderson and Michael Bay and their ilk do enable studios to make money from their films despite their lack of coherence or quality and that’s why they can continue to make movies and have money thrown at them. Uwe Boll is a more unique case since he makes use of German tex shelter laws to get financing and is basically self-producing the films rather than having a studio come up with the money. And he manages to do well enough to keep doing it.

  76. Has anyone else seen the trailer to BloodRayne 3: The Third Reich yet? So ridiculous and awful and yet so truly Uwe Boll.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_XJk3a2KQs

    I still wonder why any video game company would sell the rights to make a movie from their game to him. You would think that the damage to their intellectual property would override financial considerations.

  77. You gotta say something for Boll’s recent creativity, however.

    He wanted to make Bloodrayne 3, but it was too expensive to build all the sets, get the costumes, ect. ect. for the film. So, to amortize the costs, he made Bloodrayne 3, then used most of the same script to make this film, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faASWINSgJY&NR=1&feature=fvwp. It looks like they filmed both movies at the same time, filming takes of one immediately after filming takes of the other.

    And since that still wasn’t enough he also made, um…er…this…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFco4FlZkQk

    I mean, while I think that all three films are grotesque exploitation of the lowest level, I kinda admire the business acumen of finding a way to shoot three movies at once using only two scripts and one group of sets and costumes.

  78. Oh. My. God.

    I am literally speechless.

  79. because you liked it, because it’s unbelievably awesome right?

  80. I have no idea whether the scenes shown in that second trailer are somehow going to prove much better in the context of the movie, which might have something important to say. For some reason, I imagine Mr Boll telling his crew and actors about the movie in a way that is reminiscent of the “art film” director in A Serbian Film.

  81. NIGHTCRAWLER (pseudo-review). Damn!, there’s nowhere else to place this.

    Jake Gyllenhaal adds another notch to his growing pantheon of conflicted, wound-up movie weirdos with this one. If you’ve seen the TV spots you know the basic premise— he’s a freelance cameraman tracking down violent crimes impromptu, to film & sell them to network news stations. It’s set in L.A.

    (some SPOILERS ahead):

    It starts out presenting him as a jobless grifter who stumbles into this subculture of “nightcrawlers” (Bill Paxton, in an underused role, is the guy he learns the trade from, although he’s not a mentor). But Jake’s character is ambitious, he’s at first a bit pedantic, then pedantic to the point of laser precision, and gradually his sociopathic tendencies come to the fore.

    Interestingly, he emphasizes along the way how much he’s learned about this new endeavor (and other things) through the Internet, in lieu of formal education. Google is the new Oh Captain, My Captain!

    He takes on an employee, this little dweeb who serves as his lackey/navigator enroute to crime scenes. I almost felt sorry for the punk, but of course he’s annoying and fairly stupid, so fuck him. The strong survive, the weak perish, etc. Basic Darwinism.

    About halfway through the movie, Rene Russo (who plays a semi-lowly TV producer whom he’s been selling his early coups to) asks him “Where are you going with this?”, and I thought the same thing. Up until then, it was quite tepid.

    Then, rather like Travolta’s character in BLOW OUT, he finds himself caught up in an episode that he can’t easily extricate himself from. That particular set piece, and the one that results from him following it through, are what really kick this movie into high gear. And the end results are a stark commentary on what local TV news has devolved into.

    One of those movies that nearly lost me halfway through, then came back hard and clear in the end. Definitely worth a look.

  82. Finally caught the final chapter of the Jake Gyllenhall time-travel trilogy. Not as hypnotic and atmospheric as Donnie Darko, but a hell of a lot better than the mean-spirited garbage of Prince of Persia. I think I agree with most of the people here that it goes on for a few beats too long and the “freeze-frame” ending, while more unconventional and possibly downbeat, works better than the real ending. I’m not sure whether I liked this more or less than Edge of Tomorrow, which had a stronger love interest and lead performance but also shit the bed at the end. To see something that creative end in the old “stick the bomb in the hole/Death Star/mother ship” was such a disappointment.

    SPOILER: Did anyone expect the villian and his ridiculous USA box/bomb to be an inside man? Possibly working for Wright? That would explain alot of plot holes like how the hell do they know nothing about him yet know he’s going to have a second attack, but I guess that would nudge this into Truther territory. As is, it seems like a weird copy of *SPOILER* Flight Plan’s villain, complete with Baby Peter Sarsgaard and Arab red herrings, etc…

    Note: Gyllenhall’s Southpaw costar Rachel McAdams inexplicably plays the wife/girlfriend of a time-traveler in About Time, The Time Traveler’s Wife, and Midnight in Paris. Hopefully they can reunite on one more of these.

Leave a Reply





XHTML: You can use: <a href="" title=""> <img src=""> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <b> <i> <strike> <em> <strong>