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Can Bitter Balcony decipher Source Code?

Bitter, Bitter Balcony, Movie Review, Source Code 2011Ben RipleyDuncan JonesJake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan Bitter,Bitterometer,meter Source Code(2011)

In one of the pleasant surprises of 2011, Duncan Jones (son of David Bowie), after gathering praise for his space oddity “Moon,” pivots one of the sleeker Sci-Fi films in recent memory with the mind-bending “Source Code.” In this sinuous tale, Air Force pilot Colter Stevens(Jake Gyllenhaal) must succeed in an urgent mission to unmask a terrorist, whose bomb claimed many innocent lives during a train ride, among them the breathtakingly sweet Christina (Michelle Monaghan). Colter must unravel the culprit in hopes to prevent a potential massive attack on the Greater Chicago area.

In order to return to the scene of the atrocity, Colter has been subjected to Source Code, a memory simulation system that has him incarnating the image of Christina’s new boyfriend. Due to the program’s parameters, Colter only has eight minutes of the late man’s recollections every time he tries to expose the truth inside the complex device.

Adding to Colter’s already stressful predicament, he learns about his own existence, piecing the facts from the mission’s control operator, officer Goodwin (Vera Farmiga). However, Source Code’s creator, the dubious Dr. Rutledge (Jeffrey Wright), holds the key to Colter’s fate, but his own agenda to prove Source Code’s value might increase the dismay of the already desperate soldier.

“Source Code” is Duncan Jones’ first mainstream film, departing from the more esoteric puzzle “Moon” was. In this thriller, Jones incorporates fragments of “12 Monkeys” and “The Manchurian Candidate” to the Hitchcock- inspired suspense, bringing a crowd pleasing appeal to counter the intricate rules that guide writer Ben Ripley’s many worlds theory-based script.

While not as fascinating as Christopher Nolan’s “Inception” or as strange as Shane Carruth’s “Primer,” “Source Code’s” classical narrative is a neatly woven yarn that carefully unveils the complexities underneath. While fans of “Moon” might find this opinion blasphemous, I feel Jones is clearer in his direction and purpose in his sophomore effort than he was on his artsy yet shallow debut.

Jake Gyllenhaal, who’s a capable actor but hasn’t found a vehicle that’s catapulted him to superstardom, shows his leading man skills with an anxious yet controlled performance as Colter. Hopefully at some point Gyllenhaal might reach the level of Leonardo DiCaprio in terms of popularity, but at least with “Source Code,” he adds to a strong collection of films like “Zodiac,” “Jarhead,” “Brokeback Mountain,” and the cult favorite “Donnie Darko” to his repertoire. Maybe a sequel to “Bubble Boy” might do it…

As for his co-stars, Vera Farmiga is good as the tough officer with a heart in Goodwin, Michelle Monaghan provides credibility as the girl next door in Christina, while the awesome Jeffrey Wright cringes and stomps his way as the spooky mad scientist Dr. Rutledge. For some reason Wright’s creepy gestures and low tone voice finds shades of Peter Lorre, minus the lazy eye. Ultimately, “Source Code” is definitely worth storing in your memory bank.


Official website:
Source Code

Source Code2011Ben RipleyDuncan JonesJake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan  Source Code2011Ben RipleyDuncan JonesJake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan  Source Code2011Ben RipleyDuncan JonesJake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan  Source Code2011Ben RipleyDuncan JonesJake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan  Source Code2011Ben RipleyDuncan JonesJake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan 

Directed by: Duncan Jones
Written by: Ben Ripley
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan

Source of the Bitter: John Rojas

Comments, rants and other stuffs below
John Rojas on Tue, 09/20/2011 - 4:32pm

The movie caught me by surprise. I liked it better than I thought I would. Also, I feel Jake Gyle...(I give up trying to write his name) has done some good movies and is a decent actor.

annbee on Mon, 09/19/2011 - 8:36pm

I'm dubious about this one. I mean 'Source Code' makes me think of actual programming for one. Also the last thing I saw Jake in was Prince of Persia so my faith in his acting and choices is very limited.

JAS on Mon, 09/19/2011 - 8:46pm

John seems to be impressed. I think that's enough to get me to watch it.

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