Source Code (Duncan Jones, 2011)

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flyonthewall2983
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Re: Trailers for Upcoming Films

#1 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sat Nov 20, 2010 12:12 am

Source Code, Duncan Jones' follow-up to Moon.

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mfunk9786
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Re: Trailers for Upcoming Films

#2 Post by mfunk9786 » Sat Nov 20, 2010 1:08 am

Oof, what a convoluted mess. Could we bring the conversation back around to Natalie Portman's ass, please?

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Markson
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Re: Trailers for Upcoming Films

#3 Post by Markson » Sat Nov 20, 2010 4:55 pm

Looks like a cross between Groundhog Day and Inception, and less interesting than either.

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Re: Trailers for Upcoming Films

#4 Post by mfunk9786 » Sat Nov 20, 2010 4:59 pm

I was thinking the same thing, with a dash of Minority Report thrown in for good(?) measure.

Moon was an intriguing and well made but overwrought film, and this one looks like it has left out the "intriguing."

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knives
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Re: Trailers for Upcoming Films

#5 Post by knives » Sat Nov 20, 2010 5:01 pm

Shouldn't we give him the benefit of the doubt after the expert job he did on Moon. It's probably either a difficult film to cut a trailer for or they're trying to sell to as something (Inception) it's not.

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Re: Trailers for Upcoming Films

#6 Post by mfunk9786 » Sat Nov 20, 2010 5:04 pm

I like Moon quite a bit, but this film was written by the scribe behind a couple of Species sequels, and hell, even the one-sentence synopsis sounds exhausting (and like it is a film written by Donald Kaufman):
A sci-fi story centered on a soldier who wakes up in the body of a commuter who witnesses a train explosion.
Yikes.

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domino harvey
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Re: Trailers for Upcoming Films

#7 Post by domino harvey » Sat Nov 20, 2010 5:05 pm

I don't understand how this plot as presented in the trailer works at all

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Markson
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Re: Trailers for Upcoming Films

#8 Post by Markson » Sat Nov 20, 2010 5:08 pm

knives wrote:Shouldn't we give him the benefit of the doubt after the expert job he did on Moon. It's probably either a difficult film to cut a trailer for or they're trying to sell to as something (Inception) it's not.
Moon wasn't perfect for me, but I'd still call it a promising debut for Jones. I'm (cautiously) hoping you're right.

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Murdoch
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Re: Trailers for Upcoming Films

#9 Post by Murdoch » Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:07 pm

Moon succeeded largely because it had Rockwell's performance to elevate it above its mere genre conventions, and it was a character study so the performance was really all it needed to be marginally successful. This one looks like a remake of Tony Scott's Deja Vu and more plot-oriented than Moon so I can't say I have much interest since the plot of Moon I thought its weakest feature.

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Re: Trailers for Upcoming Films

#10 Post by tajmahal » Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:59 pm

domino harvey wrote:I don't understand how this plot as presented in the trailer works at all
I'll wager that
SpoilerShow
the terrorist is the girl. that will be the 'shocking' twist.

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domino harvey
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Re: Trailers for Upcoming Films

#11 Post by domino harvey » Sat Nov 20, 2010 7:03 pm

SpoilerShow
Or that the guy he's in is?
I guess the biggest part I don't understand is how he can save a girl from dying in a memory? I mean, if that's even what's happening, which who knows

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truefaux
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Re: Trailers for Upcoming Films

#12 Post by truefaux » Fri Mar 04, 2011 12:31 am

flyonthewall2983 wrote:Source Code, Duncan Jones' follow-up to Moon.
looks like bruckheimer's la extrême jetée

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James Mills
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Re: Trailers for Upcoming Films

#13 Post by James Mills » Fri Mar 04, 2011 5:25 pm

truefaux wrote:
flyonthewall2983 wrote:Source Code, Duncan Jones' follow-up to Moon.
looks like bruckheimer's la extrême jetée
Ugh, unfortunately I agree.

Jones taking on this kind of project so soon worries me that he'll end up going down the same path that Richard Kelly did...

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Re: Trailers for Upcoming Films

#14 Post by mfunk9786 » Fri Mar 04, 2011 5:36 pm

Richard Kelly's second film was a self-conceived operatic auteur work. A shitty one, sure; but I don't see how Source Code compares to that.

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Re: Trailers for Upcoming Films

#15 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:04 pm

Duncan has alluded to the fact that he did this in part to finance a project he had a hard time funding.

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James Mills
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Re: Trailers for Upcoming Films

#16 Post by James Mills » Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:12 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:Richard Kelly's second film was a self-conceived operatic auteur work. A shitty one, sure; but I don't see how Source Code compares to that.
Wow, I had no idea Kelly had written Southland Tales... and just imagine, he must have chose that cast himself (what may be the all time worst with The Rock, Gellar, and Stifler)

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Re: Trailers for Upcoming Films

#17 Post by swo17 » Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:50 pm

The film doesn't completely work but the best thing about it actually is the casting, shades of Adam Sandler in Punch-Drunk Love. Sean William Scott at least gives the performance of his life.

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Re: Trailers for Upcoming Films

#18 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:27 pm

Rock really isn't a bad actor, but I'll admit he's made quite a few foul choices. The Rundown would probably make my short-list for best action movie of the 00's, mostly because of his chemistry with Scott.

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Source Code (Duncan Jones, 2011)

#19 Post by mfunk9786 » Fri Jun 17, 2011 8:56 pm

Source Code,
domino harvey wrote:I fear, is going to be one of those brilliant little films that I end up liking a great deal more than even its vocal supporters.
By the way, this review isn't going to seem nearly as enthusiastic as I am about the film, because I don't really care for spoiler tagging unless I really have to, and a lot of the plot of this film would have to be tagged, so I'm going to make some very general observations.

I didn't go into this film expecting much. While Moon had a lot to like, its plot was at once too slow-moving and overflowing with too many ideas. Source Code, however, comes out of nowhere from a largely unknown screenwriter to be Jones' perfect project, the opposite of a sophomore slump. Without saying too much, it's a lusciously shot 21st century Hitchcock/Twilight Zone homage that succeeds in nearly everything it sets out to do. The scenes on the train are exciting without being over-the-top and "oh, come on" ridiculous, and the scenes off the train are boosted by a great performance by Vera Farmiga (and a rare one in which she does not show her butt in some way, shape, or form!). Seeing the exchanges between her understanding doe eyes and Gyllenhaal's blue jumbo marbles brings what could otherwise be time-padding into another level entirely. Speaking of Gyllenhaal, he plays the man-who-knew-too-much role as well here as he did in Zodiac, while Michelle Monaghan and Jeffrey Wright turn in solid supporting roles without all that much to do. The ending is a cop-out, sure; but I'm willing to forgive the film for it, as there is an absolutely perfect endpoint about five minutes prior (I think it's pretty obvious what I'm referring to) that I will just accept as my personal denouement. If you haven't seen this film yet, do so - much like last year's Buried, it caught me completely off guard by being a rare modern example of a classically sparse suspense film. Without an extra hour of Nolan-y bloat. On a train, no less!

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Brian C
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Re: Source Code (Duncan Jones, 2011)

#20 Post by Brian C » Sat Jun 18, 2011 12:21 am

I thought it was OK. It's reasonably intelligent as far as it goes, and I appreciated all the second unit shots of downtown Chicago, but there were two nagging things that kept me from being enthusiastic about it:

1) I actually thought it was a really unattractive film, especially in the digital effects work. I'm surprised to see you say that it's "lusciously shot". The few outdoor scenes are really flat, and the train scenes look even more drab than our Metra trains (faithfully represented in the film, to its credit) are in real life. And I thought the lighting of a lot of the CGI didn't quite fit in with the live action - for instance, there's a scene on a train platform, with a CGI train behind the characters (why couldn't they use a real train, I wonder?). The train just looks weird, because it's lit differently than the characters on the plaform.

2) This doesn't seem like it ought to be a particularly demanding role for Gyllenhaal, and yet he struggles with it a great deal. Between this and the abominable Love and Other Drugs ... I've never thought of him as a great actor by any means, but he seems to be backsliding, playing everything so broadly that he's practically intolerable. I just don't see any genuine emotion in his performance here, just a lot of awkward bluster, as if he's trying to force the charisma to come from somewhere. He looks especially ridiculous next to Monaghan, who in general throughout her career has been underrated and underused.

I think Jones is an interesting director, but this one's faded pretty quickly.

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Re: Source Code (Duncan Jones, 2011)

#21 Post by mfunk9786 » Sat Jun 18, 2011 12:48 am

I think this film smartly uses the sleek, stark high definition look of a lot of modern action films to much more success than most studio films being cranked out. As for your comments regarding the CGI, I think I've always been more willing than most to forgive a film for awkward CGI work if the material has me entranced, as it did here. I certainly noticed the issues (most obvious was the smear-y fire and explosion work) but I didn't let it take me out of my state of mind. As for Gyllenhaal, I couldn't disagree more... he plays the part with all the appropriate half-sleepy confusion that I would expect from it if I'd read it on the page. While the script is guilty of some occasionally cringeworthy dialogue (the stand-up comedy bet, anyone?), I was yet again impressed enough with the plot and the overall restraint of the scripted conversation to let those moments roll off my back. While I respect the fact that you had issues with the film, I can't say that I am capable of getting behind them.

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Re: Source Code (Duncan Jones, 2011)

#22 Post by karmajuice » Sat Jun 18, 2011 3:40 am

(and a rare one in which she does not show her butt in some way, shape, or form!)
The film's primary flaw.

I thought this was a pretty solid effort, even if the roles played out rather predictably and the ending couldn't decide when to end.

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Re: Source Code (Duncan Jones, 2011)

#23 Post by Finch » Sat Jun 18, 2011 5:01 am

I thought Moon was a promising debut and I was very pleasantly surprised by Source Code after the awful trailer did its best to temper my expectations. I was thinking of the movie as a very good feature-length episode of The Twilight Zone as well and don't really have much to add to what mfunk has said, except that Vera Famiga gave the best performance of the very capable supporting cast, and I'm hoping that her debut as director gets a UK release.

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Re: Source Code (Duncan Jones, 2011)

#24 Post by colinr0380 » Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:08 pm

I've finally gotten around to watching Source Code (after buying the US disc from Finch a few months ago!) and would have the same generally positive reaction as given in the rest of the thread. I was thinking of it as a merging of Twelve Monkeys (for the early sections of Gyllenhall in his capsule being pushed around through television screens by uncaring controllers) and, rather than Groundhog Day, the excellent short film starring Kurtwood Smith, 12:01, a film which tackled repitition of events and a limited time span (a lunch hour there, rather than eight minutes in this film) from a dramatic rather than comedic perspective.

Spoilers ahead:

I did though have problems with the pacing of the first hour or so of the film. I suppose that the main reason why Colter is treated so brusquely at the start by the controllers (Vera Farmiga and Jeffrey Wright) is to prevent him becoming distressed at realising that he has been delcared dead and that this might cause the link into the consciousness of the man who died in the train, Sean Fentriss, to potentially be broken. Unfortunately at the start this comes over as sheer bloody mindedness on the part of the controllers, not only by telling Colter where he is but also in not briefing him on his mission thoroughly enough to let him perform the task that they have set for him, and continuing to thrust him without warning back into the eight minute cycle of events. Vera Farmiga's character Goodwin, who acts as Colter's contact, talks a lot at the beginning of the film of there not being enough time, but annoyingly the lack of explanations causes many extra needless trips back to the train as Colter has to figure out exactly what he is meant to do there!

It actually reminded me a lot of video games like the recent Demon Souls where it is almost totally impossible to get through a level on the first time through, with not enough time alloted for the character to perform actions in a naturally occurring manner. It instead becomes more about learning the routines or patrol patterns or, as in Source Code, going immediately to the locker to pick up the torch to lever open the door of the guard's office and then to also lever open the door of the cupboard holding the gun. Or going directly to the bomb and removing the mobile phone trigger device without having to be nervous of that causing the explosion, because you'd already done it without incident on a previous play-through. Only having that kind of foreknowledge gives enough time to perform all the actions and even then you have to be very organised to make sure that they are all performed in the correct order without any mistakes or omissions (such as forgetting to disarm the backup mobile phone trigger!)

However, while it did feel as if the first hour or so was kind of padding out the story to feature length (it seemed apparent from very early on that the bomber would have been the person dropping his wallet and leaving the train when it stopped at the station, although Colter has to attack a couple of other passengers to reach that possibility himself), luckily the last half hour made up for a lot of the spinning wheels of earlier on.

The way that Colter is forced into the eight minute cycle again and again, something which plays a lot like rather cruel torture in the first hour of the film, results in the rather obvious split between the controllers - Goodwin as the employee torn between carrying out her duty and sympathy to Colter's situation, and Rutledge as the creator more concerned with his project than the people he is using to make it work. This develops into the idea of Colter wanting to be allowed the chance to save everyone on the train despite having fulfilled his mission and while he notes that it is a different reality, not his previous one, which he is too late to affect. I particularly liked the way that this section gets into the ethics of wanting to die in the old reality and that it is at least decent to let someone do so after giving them the best chance at fulfilment and sense of completion in their activities rather than simply cutting them off after they have been of all the practical use that they can be or wiping their memories so they can be used again. The film has quite a heavy military focus and this part feels as if it gets quite nicely into the treatment of troops as more than just interchangable parts that can be swapped in and out, but as being able to play an important role for themselves if they are given the opportunity to do so.

However I was left with one big question from the film, one that I am not entirely sure whether I was meant to be left with or not. While others have mentioned the film feeling like a Twilight Zone episode in comments above, the television influence seems much more to be Quantum Leap (and I was excited to note in the end credits that Scott Bakula is actually in Source Code in a significant role, albeit only as a voice on a telephone, as Colter's father, which would only serve to strengthen the connection). Of course in Quantum Leap Sam jumps into people's bodies, deals with their problems and then jumps out of them again after having straightened their lives out for them. However in the last jump in Source Code Colter has taken over Sean's body, saves everyone on the train and lives on in this new reality as Sean. To all intents and purposes there are now two Colters in this parallel universe, one in Sean Fentresses body and one in the military lab.

But the big question I was left with was that while Colter may have been given a new lease of life in Sean's body (it does not look likely that he will 'Quantum Leap' out of it again, since his body in the other reality was allowed to die, severing the connection), what has happened to Sean's consciousness? Has Colter saved everybody, including himself, but that meant sacrificing Sean in order to make room for Colter's own consciousness? Of course Sean would have died anyway if the train had exploded but it seems as if the film has not really considered this aspect, especially since Sean is not particularly fleshed out that much, instead left as a rather empty shell of a character.

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Re: Source Code (Duncan Jones, 2011)

#25 Post by zedz » Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:38 pm

It seems to me that the answer (not very satisfactory, I know), is that Sean's consciousness has been bumped into oblivion as collateral damage - which I assume is what would have happened with every other iteration of those eight minutes, since all of them represent alternative realities. Though I'm sure we're not supposed to think about this.

I found Source Code one of the best of the recent round of life-as-a-video-game movies (Inception et al.), but thought Gantz was better. The first movie (Trailer) at least, which, even more than Source Code, explores the emotional cost of the multiple-lives / multiple-deaths concept. The second is hamstrung by having to try and explain everything and ends up taking way too many liberties with the very slick world it had conjured up in the first film (but does have the saving grace of a really fantastic set-piece battle in the subway).

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