I had a very interesting and illuminating weekend at the movies.
On Friday, I went to see Source Code which I found to be an entertaining and thought-provoking action-adventure ride, even though I left the theater thinking that the ending was somewhat nonsensical. Our community member Brian Mills has since written his take on the last few minutes of the film and I must say that I find his explanation very compelling. (I am including Brian’s note at the end of this blog so you can see the film first if you so desire and we don’t give anything away here.)
Prior to Source Code, however, I saw previews of 6 summer films that literally had me shaking my head in numb disbelief and checking my pulse to make sure I had not somehow crossed into a weird and altered state.
No such luck.
The 6 films were:
Hangover 2 which looks exactly like the original but relocated to Thailand.
Fast 5. This is the 5th in the Fast and Furious series. Vin Diesel (who was paid $15 million for his efforts) hasn’t aged at all. Enough said.
A remake of The 3 Musketeers,which I assume was produced just in case the other 14 film versions of the same story managed to miss something.
A remake of Arthur, the classic 1981 film with Dudley Moore and Sir John Gielgud (in a role which won him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor). This time around, Russell Brand plays the Dudley Moore role and Helen Mirren (say it ain’t so Helen!) plays the Gielgud role. Russell Brand. Really? Mr. Brand was great fun in a supporting role in Forgetting Sarah Marshall but didn’t Get Him To The Greek prove in a somewhat resounding manner that Mr. Brand is not quite up to carrying a film on his own shoulders? Particularly a classic comedy that many of us still remember with great fondness? With all due respect to the late and wonderful Dudley Moore’s hilarious portrayal (and the sober truth that alcoholism is a serious addiction), it’s enough to make one want a drink…or ten.
By now, in the theater, I’m holding on to my armrests and what’s left of my sanity.
Next up, Thor, wherein the god Thor takes on human form to save the world from various monsters and calamities, ably abetted by….Natalie Portman? (After an Academy Award for Black Swan, say it ain’t so, Natalie!)
Lastly, Priest, wherein the hero of a graphic novel attempts to save the world from various monsters and calamities, ably abetted by….Christopher Plummer in, by the way, the worst headdress regalia one can possibly imagine. (Say it ain’t so, Mr. Robinson, uh, Christopher!)
2 sequels, 2 remakes, and 2 disaster-to-the-human- race films.
In other words, a typical summer line-up from The New Hollywood.
On Saturday, hope sprang eternal and, undeterred, we set out again and actually found a truly wonderful, character-based film that will be the subject of an upcoming blog.
As I always say (to the utter chagrin and dismay of my ever-patient wife)….even a blind squirrel finds an acorn every once in a while.
Brian Mills explanation of the ending of Source Code:
The last 5 or should I say 8 minutes of SOURCE CODE some are finding baffling…but really there is a clue when we see Jake Gyllanhaal looking at the mammoth sculpture of Cloud Gate as it reflects and distorts the world, a metaphor for what has happened to Jake’s character. There is also a fitting duality that the Code has not worked for him as they had planned and he has chosen a parallel life.