Friday, April 1, 2011

Source Code

(SPOILER ALERT)  I had the opportunity to attend the Black Carpet Premiere event for Source Code, so I was able to get a sneak peak at the film before opening day.  I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised.  After seeing trailers, I was not overly excited to see the film and just assumed it was going to be another Hollywood action blockbuster that you see once and that's it.  I was a bit too judgmental.

The first change of heart I had is when I saw that Duncan Jones (Director of Moon) was directing the film.  This immediately change my pre-judgement.  We are talking about a guy who wrote and directed an amazing mind blowing film, which was low budget, and made an absolutely incredible film.  Now he had a bit beefier studio backing him up (Summit Entertainment) on an interesting story plot.

I was able to speak with Duncan Jones at the premiere and he said that Jake Gyllenhaal brought him the script (written by Ben Ripley) and said he was in.  Once Jones heard that, he said "I'm in" (see the video of my interviews below).

Source Code Black Carpet Premiere

Marquis Movies | Myspace Video

Gyllenhaal (Captain Colter Stevens) plays the role of a military captain who has been commissioned to take on a special mission using a new technology known as "Source Code", which is a program that is able to recreate 8 minutes of someones memory and allow someone to be placed back in that memory.

Steven's mission is to find a terrorist who is known to have blown up a train and is threatening the entire city of Chicago.  By doing so, he must re-enter Source Code again and again until he is able to put the pieces of together, while at the same time managing a little love affair that is taking place with Michelle Monaghan (Christina Warren).  In the process of the mission, Stevens struggles with the notion of what is reality and what is simply "code" of a program.

Duncan Jones does an amazing job of telling the story and providing some really great cinematic shots.  It can be a difficult task to keep viewers engaged, when showing the same 8 minutes over and over again and Jones does this fantastically.

Gyllenhaal did a great job playing the part and really portraying the type of real emotions that would be present in a situation as in the movie.  There is definitely romantic chemistry between the two as well with some subtle comedic relief that keeps things fresh.

Personally, I found Jeffrey Wright's role (Dr. Rutledge) less to be desired, which surprised me, because I enjoy him in other movies.  I just never truly believed him in his character and always felt that "your acting" feeling that a good acting performance doesn't leave you with.

Visually, the movie is very stimulating, with plenty of explosions and wonderful camera pans.  The movie itself should be a hit in the box office, because of its wide appeal it should have on audiences.  It appeals to the independent film fan because of the cinematic display that Duncan Jones puts on, while also delivers a feast for those blockbuster appetites of big explosions and CGI that viewers are demanding nowadays.

 Movie Influences:
Deja Vu

Run Lola Run

Groundhog's Day

Thursday, March 24, 2011


First off, the trailer was compelling.  We have heard all noodled the idea around.  We only use around 12% (many not even that much!) of our brain, what if we used the entire thing.  Anytime, a concept that you have considered since you were young is portrayed in a movie, there is always a cool buzz that goes along with it.  That buzz ended about an hour into the movie.

The movie started out with potential.  Bradley Cooper plays the part of an unhygienic writer (Eddie Morra) who is struggling finding the words to begin his new book.  While sulking after just having his girlfriend broke up with him, Morra bumps into an old friend (ex-wife's brother to be exact) who has a drink with him and gives him a pill that he claims is able to have him use 100% of his brain.  After some reluctance and doubt, Mora finally decides to pop the pill and from hill the movie begins to crash.

First off, this may not bug some people, but for me, it does.  Considering that we currently use approximately 10-12% of our brain and we were able to open up 100% usage somehow, I would expect there to be much more we could do besides being able to read quickly and remember old memories.  This would be almost 10 times the power we have currently, which in my mind, would be pretty incredible.  In fact, I believe the movie, Phenomenon, more accurately portrays what to expect if we could use more of the brain.  Like I said, this may not bother you, but it bothered me.

There are far too many plot holes the turn up the last hour of the movie, but to sum it all up, lets just say I left the movie firstly, not really even knowing how it ended, and secondly, still wondering how about five different events were able to happen.

For the most part, I am sure there will be plenty of people who are entertained by Limitless.  Americans have become so easily entertained and stimulated that making movies nowadays does not take much creativity (see Transformers).  For me, it was a movie with potential, that failed miserably due to shallow writing and serious plot holes.  To give credit where it is due, I was actually impressed with some of the directing in cinematography, especially at the beginning.  However, that was all overshadowed by the bad story line.  I'm sure Bradley Cooper will have more success with Hangover 2.

Movie Influences:


The Mask

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Lincoln Lawyer

I know, I know, Matthew McConaughey, must be a cheesy chick flick with several shirtless Matt scenes right?  Well if you are a fan of the usual McConnaughey genre of movie than you may be disappointed with his newest movie, The Lincoln Lawyer.

McConaughey (Mick Haller) plays the part of a "street lawyer" who makes a living by finding flaws in the judicial system to set his clients (mostly criminals) free.  He's a swindler, dealer, deceiver and takes pride in being the bad guy lawyer, but he is good at what he does.

It was refreshing seeing McConaughey take on a role like this and really bring back some of his root acting skills that we haven't seen in a while.  Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of classic Matthew cliches, but overall I was impressed with his performance and never once gagged throughout the movie, which is something I haven't been able to say about one of his movies in a long time.

Ryan Phillippe (Louis Roulet) plays the role of one of Haller's clients who is charged for attempted rape and assault, but who claims to be innocent.

From there the movie then takes you on a roller coaster while you try to figure out who is guilty and who is innocent.  There are plenty of twists and turns and some unexpected surprises, while still keeping a solid story line.

William H. Macy was my favorite, who plays the role of a long haired, hippy like investigator who helps dig up Haller's dirt.  He plays the role perfectly, as he always does, and captures the part.

Overall, this is a movie worth seeing.  If you spent your money on Limitless or BattleLA, I am sorry.  You could have made the same investment in a movie that would entertain you exponentially more.  I never thought I'd say it, but Matthew McConaughey is back!

Movie Influences:

The Rainmaker

A Civil Action

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