Saturday 19 Apr

Holy Ghost People

Holy Ghost People examines two sisters whose bond is torn — but by what? After her sibling has been missing for more than a year, Charlotte (Emma Greenwell, TV's Shameless) intends to find out.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

No Holds Barred

RLJ Entertainment's new Blu-ray for No Holds Barred begins with what seems like dozens of trailers for movies starring pro wrestlers from the WWE talent pool. Each flick went direct to home video, but once upon a time — aka 1989 — one had to go to the multiplex to catch such a spectacle.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Knights of Badassdom

In 2008, the third act of the guy comedy Role Models used LARPing — live-action role-playing, that is — as a backdrop for our protagonists' lessons learned. Today, Knights of Badassdom extends that half-hour into a full feature, to the point where viewers are left not smiling, but exhausted. 
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Switched on

Not everything on television has to appeal to mass audiences. In fact, with the further fractioning of viewership thanks to alternatives like Netflix and VOD, more series can afford to become more niche. Here are five examples of shows both past and present — and new to DVD and/or Blu-ray — that encompass some of the more outrageous ideas ever to go beyond boardroom discussion.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Confession of Murder

Seventeen years after slaying 10 women and getting away with it, the charismatic serial killer Du-sok (Park Si-hoo) comes clean with a Confession of Murder, in this 2012 South Korean crime thriller. He does so by publishing a book that dishes all the grisly details.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Movies · Thriller · Source Code

Source Code

Can’t save the world in eight minutes? Try, try again, posits ‘Source Code,’ a mind-bender that keeps you guessing.

Doug Bentin April 6th, 2011

In order to enjoy “Source Code” to its fullest, stay alert — not always a necessity with thrillers. This time, if you snooze, you lose.

On a commuter train heading into Chicago, a young man jolts awake in the middle of a conversation with his girlfriend, Christina (Michelle Monaghan, “Due Date”), and clearly has no idea who she is, where he is or how he got there.

He excuses himself to the restroom and doesn’t recognize the face in the mirror. A bomb goes off, blowing the train and its passengers to hell and gone. He wakes up again in a small chamber with the face of female Army officer Goodwin (Vera Farmiga, “Orphan”) looking at him via monitor.

He learns he is really Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal, “Love and Other Drugs”), an Army helicopter pilot stationed in Afghanistan, and — pay no attention to the scientific explanations, because life is too short to attempt figuring them out — he is part of Project Source Code, which allows his mind to enter the body of a Chicago teacher eight minutes before the bomb explodes.

This gives him 480 seconds to find the bomber. If detonation occurs before his mission is complete, he will be sent back to the train for another eight minutes of searching. The hope is that he discovers the identity of the terrorist so a second bombing, this time nuclear in nature, can be prevented in downtown Chicago.

Colter is told that he cannot change the events of history, and that the train must explode no matter what he does, which complicates his efforts, because after several eight-minute passages, he begins to fall in love with Christina. Goodwin develops sympathy for his situation, although the man responsible for Project Source Code (Jeffrey Wright, “Cadillac Records”) may not be trustworthy.

The suspense mounts with what appears at first to be every visit to the past, as Colter learns a little more each time and eliminates passengers from suspicion, one by one. What seems to be an inevitable ending gets complicated when we realize that Colter isn’t really time-traveling, but actually creating a new alternate reality each round.

I know it sounds confusing, but it’s all a lot easier to figure out in a 90-minute film than in a 500word review. Just lean back, grab the armrests and go along with the theoretical science.

Directed by Duncan Jones (“Moon”) and written by Ben Ripley (“Species: The Awakening”), “Source Code” is a terrific thriller with an outstanding cast and an ending you probably won’t see coming. Gyllenhaal more than makes up for his last two disappointments, while Farmiga builds on her recent successes.

If you’ve grown more than weary of the pap “sci-fi” of Spielberg and Lucas, give this one a try.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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