Saturday, April 9, 2011

"Source Code" and "The Adjustment Bureau"

I saw this film last week as I also happen to be a huge fan of SciFi movies.  I prefer more outlandish kinds of SciFi films such as "Blade Runner" "Alien" "Star Wars" and "2001: A Space Odyssey," but this is still a pretty good one.  Set in a not too distant future and starring Jake Gyllenhaal ("Zodiac" "Brokeback Mountain"), Michelle Monaghan ("The Bourne Supremacy" "Gone Baby Gone") and Vera Farmiga ("The Departed" "Up in the Air"), "Source Code" is a kind of time-travel movie.  Now sometimes time-travel movies make my brain hurt, but this one is simpler than most and involves just three or four characters which makes it easier to follow.  I won't try to describe the story for you as I think it loses something when written in black and white, and this is a very good film with lots of heart and it deserves to be seen without much prior knowledge of the story.  Jake Gyllenhaal is excellent in the lead role and the chemistry between he and Michelle Monaghan gives the film much of its success and appeal.  I recommend this film for everyone, SciFi film lovers and regular film lovers alike, as it is easily accessible and quite an enjoyable way to spend an evening.  

This is another film that I saw recently, as again, it has the feeling of a SciFi film.  However, this film was a disappointment.  "The Adjustment Bureau" starring Matt Damon ("Good Will Hunting" "The Talented Mr. Ripley") and Emily Blunt ("The Devil Wears Prada" "Sunshine Cleaning") is based upon a Philip K. Dick short story called Adjustment Team.  Philip K. Dick stories usually turn into fabulous SciFi movies such as "Blade Runner", "A Scanner Darkly", "Total Recall" and "Minority Report", however this one is not.  It is a good film with fine performances from Matt Damon and Emily Blunt but I have some reservations about it.  The chemistry between Matt Damon and Emily Blunt is believable, and it gives the film a much needed sense of urgency, but I found it hard to believe that Emily Blunt's character would do what she did.  She seems to be an independent, forthright person who has this man appearing, disappearing and reappearing in her life, sometimes after several years, who she eventually blindly follows into a very dangerous situation simply because he asks her to.  It did not ring true to me and it even seemed a little silly.  I feel as if the romance of the story overshadowed what the author was originally trying to convey.  This could have been a gritty film about big brother and the existence of human free will but instead it is a nice safe film about the bonds of love.  They missed the mark here and missed an opportunity to make another great Philip K. Dick film.  


  1. I saw both films too, and generally enjoyed them. Not great cinema, but solid entertainment. I almost laughed during Adjustment Bureau, when the transition title said "Three years later," or "ten months later." The characters had chemistry, but that's an awfully long time between encounters. Source Code has a "happy" ending, except when you stop to realize that the teacher character named Sean appears to be erased out of existence.

  2. Have you noticed the many similarities between Source Code and The Adjustment Bureau?
    In the former, a guy tries to save a girl from time. In the latter, a guy tries to save a girl from fate. In the former, a guy tries to save a girl from time and is stopped by an obstacle (Rutledge). In the latter, a guy tries to save a girl from fate and is stopped by an obstacle (Thompson). In the former, the guy is helped by someone who works for the obstacle (Goodwill). In the latter, the guy is helped by someone who works for the obstacle (Mitchell). Even, at the end of Source Code, the guy asks the girl "do you believe in fate?". In both films, the ending creates a new reality. Odd...

    even the posters are similar: someone running from something...