Sunday, March 13, 2011
After the last couple months, I have come to a realization. We might be seeing a resurgence of the scifi genre. Gone are the days of "Flash Gordon" and every movie that made "Mystery Science Theater 3000" so funny. Sure there will always be misses in the scifi genre, but there have been more quality films made in this genre lately. Some possible reasons for this is that the plot of the films are getting smarter; the actors attached to the films are better; and the special effects compliment the story better than ever. I still enter these movies with more skepticism than I probably should, but that makes it more fun when I walk out impressed.
With the "Source Code", we finally have the big budget follow up from Duncan Jones who gave us "Moon" a couple years ago. With the bigger budget comes some bigger profile actors including Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan and Vera Farmiga. Usually the acting in scifi can be laughable, but that cannot be said about "Source Code". Jake Gyllenhaal plays Colter Stevens who is a helicopter pilot that is working with a different branch of the military as part of an experimental project attempting to gain information about a plot to bring Chicago to rubble. The beautiful Christina (Michelle Monaghan) provides the grounding counterbalance to Colter Stevens and the on screen chemistry is well done. The other balance needed by Colter Stevens is provided by Goodwin (Vera Farmiga) appears too much through a video screen and gives the movie a video game feel. I would have liked a different use for her part of the story. Having noticed that Russell Peters was included in the cast peaked my interest because he is one of my favorite comedians. However, his role is not very significant and outside of the major cast there is not much to speak of from the supporting roles. However, like most scifi films the technical skills of a movie are being tested. In "Source Code" the sound mixing was slightly above average, but it is the editing that makes the movie work.
Without giving away too much of the story I do want to say that it was very familiar to me having read the graphic novel "Ronin" from Frank Miller and the book "The 13th Hour" from Richard Doetsch. Having read these two books there were aspects of the movie that were rather predictable, but the movie is still original and a quality offering that should be seen by everyone and has earned 3 Quacks (could even see it going up to 4 Quacks if you like SciFi).
(screening date 3/13/11, release date 4/1/11, location Regal Gallery Place 14)