on April 26, 2016
Source Code has a story based on a time loop presented as a puzzle, like Edge of Tomorrow, except on a much shorter loop and no preamble to establish the premise. You're in the thick of the action from the start and details get filled in along the way. It is a finely acted, taut thriller coming in at a svelte 87 minutes to end credits. The film's brevity and occasional claustrophobic feeling limit its scope but it's a fun, mainstream sci-fi that will entertain most. Jake Gyllenhaal was a great choice for the lead as is the rest of the cast.
Special Features include commentary and "Access: Source Code", where features such as trivia, interviews and other information are presented as you watch the film.
The film is rated PG-13. There is some violence, disturbing scenes and coarse language but nothing too severe. However, I imagine some viewers might experience a panicky, trapped feeling, especially in the early going.
Source Code arrives at blu ray with AVC 1080p 1.78:1 encode. The video is glistened with details, like the close-up details of Gyllenhaal's face. Pores are clearly visible, as is every piece of hero-stubble adorning his face. The aerial scene of Chicago was also full of details, with crisp images. Overall, a very enjoyable video presentation. (4.5/5)
The English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 tracks have great directional audio that draws one into the illusion of the film. Ambient train sounds, announcements, explosions, and every other sound complete the illusion of being there with Captain Stevens. Thankfully, the soundtrack rarely, if ever, interferes with audibility of dialogue. (4/5)
Source Code has a budget of $32 million, but did make $123 million worldwide.
The PA system at the Glenbrook station announces a train destined for Skokie, north of Chicago. The train is repeatedly shown approaching Chicago from the south, making it impossible to get to Skokie from Glenbrook.
Source Code is expertly crafted and executed. It's a proficient thriller that packs in its complicated tale into a brisk 93 minutes. It doesn't require you to shut off your brain to enjoy it, either. This is a thinking man's thriller full of action, suspense, and smart science fiction. It was also nice to see our own Russell Peters in the film, acting as a comedian, of course. Highly recommended.
on July 27, 2011
Take a Groudhog Day chassis, fit it with a Twelve Monkeys interior, then drop a 24 engine into that bad boy, and you'll come up with something that looks a lot like Source Code; a sleek thriller that fires on all cylinders without hammering you with unnecessary bombast. In the driver's seat is one Duncan Jones who previously helmed the excellent Moon.
In Source Code, Captain Colter Stevens, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, finds himself on a train headed for Chicago. He does not know how he got there or who the young lady seated before him, talking, might be. He is told, however, that there is a bomb on the train. He is not expected to defuse the bomb or otherwise halt what he is assured is an inevitable explosion. Rather, he has eight minutes to figure out the identity of the bomber. If he fails, millions could die.
Source Code, along with the recent and equally good Adjustment Bureau, is a sci-fi film in which the high concept is treated as secondary, and the film is all the stronger for it. Instead of spending countless scenes expounding on their nifty new toy, the filmmakers focus on the characters and on simply telling a good story. These are movies that not only make you widen your eyes appreciatively, not only utter the requisite oohs and aahs, they also give you a sense of satisfaction, in having shared in the story rather simply than having been entertained.
I loved Moon, enjoyed Source Code, and look forward to more from Duncan Jones. I also look forward to more movies that entertain without sacrificing story and character, movies like Source Code and The Adjustment Bureau, movies worth watching.
on August 15, 2011
Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) wakes up on a train; a beautiful woman sits opposite him telling him she has taken his advice, but Colter does not know her. He rushes into the bathroom to throw some cold water on his face and when he sees his reflection in the bathroom mirror, he doesn't recognize the face staring back at him. Within a few minutes, the train explodes and everyone on board is killed, except for Colter Stevens. Stevens then finds himself trapped in what looks to be a crashed military plane. A woman in an Air Force officer's uniform speaks to him through a console, asking him if he remembers who he is, and more importantly, if he remembers his mission.
'This is not time travel. This is time re-assignment.' (Dr. Rutledge, Jeffrey Wright)
Colter is reliving the last 8 minutes of Sean Fentress' life. Sean was killed with everyone else on a Chicago train that morning. These people are dead. This has happened and according to Colter's supervisors, cannot be changed. Colter Stevens cannot save these people.
"Any soldier I've ever served with would say that one death is service enough." (Colter Stevens)
A terrorist was responsible for the bomb and has threatened to set off another dirty bomb in a highly populated area of Chicago. Colter must relive the last 8 minutes of Sean's life, again and again, until he finds the bomber so that the second explosion can be stopped. In short, Colter must change the past to save the future.
Is it just me, or whenever you see a train in a suspenseful movie, do you think Hitchcock? The movie begins with a sweeping aerial shot of Chicago and some very Hitch-style music in the background. The director may get a bit of a criticism for this. It seems these days, everyone borrows from Hitchcock. I think if you are going to be influenced by someone, why not be influenced by the great auteur? Especially if you are given a script where a lot of the action takes place on a train. As a filmmaker, you must be practically compelled to give a nod to Hitchcock. See it not as rip'off but as a homage.
'It's the same train but different.' (Colter Stevens)
When you have repeat scenarios in a movie, they can seem dull and repetitive, and it is very hard to show the same set-up over and over again while managing to make it fresh and interesting. However, Source Code Director, Duncan Jones, and writer, Ben Ripley, have used humour and character to make the film seem fresh and interesting, and have also kept the running time to just over 90 minutes, so that the repeat scenario is not too laboured
In a quirky aside, Duncan Jones, the director, must really love Chesney Hawkes. In Moon, Duncan Jones' directorial debut, he used the One and Only, - Chesney Hawkes one-hit-wonder- as the alarm music, and in this film, he uses the song as Christina Warren's (Michelle Monaghan) ringtone for an ex-boyfriend. You would think the son of David Bowie would have more high-brow musical tastes. However, this song does fit on both occasions and hammers home what the director is trying to say ' if the song makes it into his third film, this might just be his trademark. Also, near the beginning of the movie, I noticed that Jake Gyllenhaal looks in the mirror and sees another face staring back at him. This screams Quantum Leap. So, it was nice to see the director acknowledging this by giving Scott Bakula a brief, but important, cameo. I like directors making little personal touches like this, it gives something for us movie geeks to talk about and it suggests to me that a director is not just making a film for a paycheck but it is more a labour of love.
The cast are all superb: Michelle Monaghan gives warmth and a personality to a character that is basically incidental; Jeffrey Wright is suitably callous as an 'end justifies the means' villain; and Vera Farmiga plays Colleen Goodwin, with just the right amount of stoic pathos to make you like her. But above all, Jake Gyllenhaal shines in this movie. He is beginning to garner a reputation as an actor whose movies are a cut above the rest of the usual tripe that floods the cinemas. Prince of Persia is, of course, the exception that proves the rule.
Throughout the movie a sense of doom hangs over Colter Stevens and everyone else on the train. However, the movie does not end as you would expect, and after it is over, you will either love the ending or hate it. Some people will think it is too complicated and others will blast it for being a bit of a cop-out. It is an ending that will pique your interest and give you a chance to develop your own theory as to what actually happened. It is not Inception complicated, as some people are claiming. You may need a second watch to really grasp what was going on, but that would be about it.
'Everything's gonna' be okay.' Christina Warren (Michelle Monaghan)
If you like a bit of J.J. Abrams Fringe, you will like Source Code. If you have a doctorate in physics, you may scoff at the idea of it, but as far as I am concerned, Source Code ticks all the boxes as Sci-Fi actioners go. It doesn't take itself too seriously. It has wit, personality, breath-taking action sequences and an ending that you will probably want to chat to your friends about. What more do you want? Grab yourself some popcorn, suspend your disbelief, then sit back, relax and enjoy.
Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) wakes up to find himself in the middle of a conversation with a beautiful woman (Michelle Monaghan) he finds himself on a commuter train to Chicago. 8 min. later he is dispatched by an explosive. Once again he wakes up to find himself disoriented and being interrogated by an Air Force officer (Vera Farmiga). It seems that he has a mission and will relive those same 8 min. over again until he completes the objective. However Colter may have objectives of his own. As the story unfolds with Colter and the people he interacts with get closer to both objectives we go along for the ride.
As you know there are several movies out there with the same theme is time or the essence of time being allowed to change over again so that you can right your mistakes. This movie of course is one of them. It may not be set apart from a lot of other movies that you seem with similar themes; however it is excellent in both visuals and story setting. You will not be disappointed in taking the time to view this movie.
Describing this film as a blend of Groundhog Day, The Matrix and Quantum Leap (which it mostly is, basically) does not come near to doing justice to this excellent film. Duncan Jones (a.k.a. Zowie Bowie) directs the taut action and handles the time paradox/ parallel reality jiggery-pokery with a Christopher Nolan'esque assuredness with never a dull or sloppy moment, constant action and plenty of the aforementioned jiggery-pokery. Yes, of course the pseudo-science is silly and there are some gaping holes in the logic, but does that matter? No; it's a great rollercoaster of a sci-fi thriller - excellently acted with a twisty-turny plot, lots of action, attention to detail and generally hugely entertaining without the common Hollywood failing for the need to disengage ones higher cognitive functions before it can be enjoyed.
on October 14, 2012
Fascinating story that starts off with confusion, and unravels after time. Interesting premise with some elements of modern physics theory about multiple universes. Fresh story from that perspective.
As another reviewer notes, it does remind the watcher of Ground Hog day - with a more serious spin and equally happy ending.
Nice circularity that the writer put on the movie (which you will understand at the end if you watch it ;-)).
Exciting movie. Great fresh perspective.
Source Code (Thriller, Sci-Fi)
Directed by Duncan Jones
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Vera Farmiga, Michelle Monaghan and Jeffrey Wright
Summit Entertainment | 2011 | 93 min | Rated PG-13 | Released Jul 26, 2011
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Video resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
English SDH, Spanish
Single 50GB Blu-ray Disc
Bonus View (PiP)
The Movie 4/5
Director Duncan Jones has had an impressive start to his career. Moon (2009) saw Sam Rockwell turn in a very good performance and Source Code has built on that success. Jones has attracted a wonderful cast and the $32 million budget allows for a more spectacular presentation. Moon reminded me of older classics such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, but Source Code feels like a modern story.
The movie is a thriller with a strong science fiction element, but it also plays like a mystery. The opening scene shows Captain Colter Stevens (Gyllenhaal) on a train in Chicago. When he sees his reflection in the window of the train, it's not him. Christina (Monaghan), the woman in the opposite seat, calls him Sean. A few minutes later we see the train explode and Stevens wakes up alone in a chamber of some kind.
Jones shows us everything from the viewpoint of Stevens, so we only gradually come to understand the situation. Stevens is part of an experimental project which enables him to inhabit the body of somebody else. The project is led by Dr. Rutledge (Wright) and Colleen Goodwin (Farmiga).
They can only communicate with Stevens by using a camera and a computer screen. He's told that he must find out where the bomb is and uncover the person responsible for planting it. He can't avoid the explosion, but the information could prevent a future disaster involving the bomber. He can only inhabit the body of Sean for eight minutes at a time. So we see Stevens trying to gather information. Each time the train explodes, the pattern resets and he tries again. It's like a blend of Groundhog Day and Quantum Leap.
We have a race against the clock to prevent further terrorism and that keeps us on the edge of our seats. There's also the chance of romance between Sean and Christina, as well as great special effects. Comedian Russell Peters provides most of the comic relief. This package has plenty to keep us hooked. At the outset I expected one of the twists to be that Sean turns out to be the bomber, but I was wrong. Couldn't Stevens simply take over the body of the bomber on his next visit once he found out who it was, or does the technology only allow you to access people who are "compatible" with you?
Put yourself in that position for a moment. If you were a train passenger tasked with uncovering the identity of a bomber, how would you proceed? Would you be polite to total strangers as you questioned them? How about contacting the guard and explaining the situation? Whatever course of action you choose, the train will explode in eight minutes (unless you locate and disarm the bomb). That allows Jones to break the established rules somewhat. If the pattern resets each time, he can do anything. Sean can be rude, engage in criminal activity, or follow incredibly dangerous courses of action. He could even kill or be killed. That makes the movie less predictable than most.
I won't reveal what does happen, but hopefully I've described the situation well enough for you to know whether you'll like the movie.
The movie raises some serious themes such as how the line between right and wrong can become blurred. In a sense it also deals with the issue of slavery, just as Moon did.
Jones has produced another interesting idea and turned it into a thrilling story. The four main actors turned in good performances and the whole thing worked well for me. I'm a fan of the whole Groundhog Day concept and enjoy Run Lola Run for the same reason. There have also been episodes of The X-Files and Star Trek Next Generation dealing with the same concept.
Video Quality 4.5/5
I detected slight aliasing on a couple of overhead shots of the city, but it's only there for a second or two. Colors look bright and clear, although red tint is slightly enhanced in facial shots. Detail is strong throughout, especially in close-ups. This is a pleasing transfer and exactly what you would expect from a recent release.
Audio Quality 4.5/5
There's a lot going on in Source Code and the English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track handles everything well. The explosions carry real weight and the ambient effects, such as coffee spilling, are easy to detect. The dialogue is clear throughout and the score adds to the atmosphere of the movie.
Special Features 2.5/5
Audio Commentary with Director Duncan Jones, Writer James Ripley and Actor Jake Gyllenhaal.
Access Source Code - A PiP feature including comments from cast and crew as well as trivia and expert comments on time travel. While the navigation was a little annoying, the features offer plenty of information once accessed.
I don't think it matters whether the plot is airtight; it's a piece of entertainment. This is a movie that can be enjoyed as an action thriller, but it could attract others due to the science fiction or romantic elements. For those that like to think, the science fiction elements definitely provide food for thought. I enjoyed Source Code in the theater and am happy to finally have it in my collection. The Blu-ray presentation is worthy of the excellent story.
Overall score 4/5
on October 29, 2014
Bon film de fiction! J'ai aimé le fait d'aller dans le temps afin de modifier le passé! Mission difficile pour ce jeune combattant pris au piège pour survivre et redécouvrir l'amour dans ce passé inexistant!
on December 15, 2012
This is a good movie. I really enjoyed watching it at the movies and again at home. Glad I bought it. I will watch it again.