Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Source Code (Rhoades)

“Source Code” Lets Jake Visit the Past 

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

Blame it on Einstein, although the concept of time travel has been used in fiction since the 19th Century. Traveling to the future is theoretically possible based on time dilation due to velocity (according to the Special Theory of Relativity) as well as gravitational time dilation (according to the General Theory of Relativity). However, scientists are not sure the laws of physics would allow for backwards time travel.
The term “Time Machine” was introduced by H. G. Wells’ in his 1895 novel of the same name. In “Source Code” – the new techno-thriller that’s dazzling audiences at the Tropic Cinema – a computer program is used as the time machine.
      In order to identify the bomber of a Chicago commuter train, a decorated airman (Jake Gyllenhaal) is sent back to the train just before it explodes in order to find the bad guy. He wakes up in a strange body because the experimental program known as Source Code enables him to enter another man’s consciousness during the last 8 minutes of his life.
     The government’s assignment is clear: Go into the body of one of the commuters just before he’s killed, then get back with the information on whodunit. Problem is, our airman meets a pretty girl on the train (Michelle Monaghan) whom he wants to save. But that’s not allowed.
     You guessed it. He goes back again, sort of a technological Groundhog Day, where he repeats the past, looking for a way to thwart the events that have already happened.
    Can you change the past? That’s the core of the movie’s plot.
    Jake Gyllenhaal is well on his way to becoming an action hero after his turn as the swashbuckling “Prince of Persia.” But his greatest critical success was “Brokeback Mountain,” which garnered him an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor. Acting since the age of ten, Gyllenhaal comes from a Hollywood family – his dad a director, his mom a screenwriter, and his sister the Oscar-nominated actress Maggie Gyllenhaal.
Here you also have Vera Farmiga, who was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in “Up in the Air.” And Jeffrey Wright, a Golden Globe winner for Best Supporting Actor in “Angels in America.”
Will you find “Source Code” exciting? Don’t take my word for it. Michael Shields (my co-host on the weekly Film on Friday radio show) got an advance screening of “Source Code” at the South by Southwest Film Festival. “It was the Opening Night film for SXSW at the 1200 seat Paramount Theatre,” he reports. “From director Duncan Jones, the son of David Bowie, this big(er) budget flick has suspense and multiple romantic angles as past, present, and future collide. A satisfying hold-on-to-your-train-seat-ride as we find out to what lengths we will go to stay dead or alive.
    As for me, if I had a time machine, I’d go back and see it again.
[from Solares Hill] 

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