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Source Code DVD Release

Posted by: Matthew Turner 26/08/2011 @ 11:23
Subject: Film

Films seen so far this year: 301
Films seen in the last three weeks: The Taqwacores, Sansho the Bailiff, The Interrupters, The Little Mermaid, The Salt of Life, Four Days In Guantanamo, Turnout, One Day, Conan the Barbarian, Take Shelter, Drive, Tenebrae, The Debt, The Glee Concert Movie (3D), Villain, Page One: Inside the New York Times, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, The Inbetweeners Movie, Red State, Footloose, You Instead, 30 Minutes Or Less, Spy Kids: All The Time In The World, Slumber Party Massacre, Flesh for Frankenstein, Powder, The Awakening, R: Hit First, Hit Hardest (again), Final Destination 5, Sleeping Beauty, Soul Surfer, The Hedgehog, The Theatre Bizarre


From Page to Screen: One Day

Please note: the following blog post contains heavy SPOILERS for One Day and is only intended to be read if you've already read the novel or seen the film.

Cards on the table: David Nicholls' One Day is currently the only book I've read so far this year. It is also the only book that has ever made me cry (and I speak as somebody who did a literature degree). After I read it, it felt somehow wrong to start reading another book straight afterwards (I've spoken to a few people who felt the same way) and so I've yet to finish another book, despite normally reading around a book a month. Anyway, the point is that, like millions of others, I loved the book, so I was curious to see how faithful the film would be, since there's a long history of favourite books getting ruined in the translation to the big screen and it's very hard to think of successful examples. (I'd maybe go with Dangerous Liaisons and L.A. Confidential as my two personal favourites but I'd welcome further suggestions). However, it obviously helped that the book's author served as the film's screenwriter and adapted his own novel, but to me, that only makes my main quibble with the film that much more baffling.

Fans of the book were already puzzled by the poster (showing Sturgess and Hathaway kissing) because that's a fairly big spoiler for what is essentially the climactic moment of the book – you more or less spend the entire book waiting for that kiss and it's a wonderful moment when it arrives. The film, however, doesn't seem to understand that and actually has them kissing BEFORE that moment, i.e. they're already kissing before they accidentally run into Dexter's parents (the poster is taken from that kiss, not the later one), so Dexter running after Emma and kissing her again doesn't have anything like the same emotional impact in the film.

The other thing that interested me was that they cut the sub-plot where Emma cheats on Ian with an older teacher at her school (who would have been played by Jamie Sives, who gets a “thank you” credit at the end). It's understandable (it makes Emma less sympathetic), but it does have the knock-on effect of making Emma's character that much blander and less complex-slash-flawed or, dare I say it, normal. In fact, the film's main crime (at least as far as people who fell in love with Emma Morley are concerned) is that it has taken away the “dowdy Yorkshire lass” of the novel and replaced her with a standard Hollywood heroine (complete with “ugly” glasses), though I'd argue Hathaway's performance is actually pretty good.

Incidentally, fans of the book may want to check out Nicholls' website, which contains Spotify links to the mix-tape Emma makes for Dexter in the novel. 

Films I Am Dying To See: Hugo
I'm not going to say I wasn't previously aware of Hugo because it is, after all, Martin Scorsese's next film, so I knew that it was being filmed in England and that it had recently had its title shortened from The Invention of Hugo Cabret, which seems like a stupid move to me, because a) The Invention of Hugo Cabret is a great title and b) now it sounds like a Victor Hugo biopic and who wants to go and see that? (Title-shortening has become something of an annoying trend lately – at least three other upcoming movies have suffered the same fate - but that's a subject for another blog).

Anyway, so I knew the film was being made but I didn't have any idea what it was about until I saw the trailer last week. Now admittedly, from this trailer, you could be forgiven for thinking the entire film consists of The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas' Asa Butterfield being chased around a station by Sacha Baron Cohen and his comedy dog (note the trademark “dog reaction shot” at 1m48s), so they're definitely not giving too much away except, a) there's a mysterious machine and b) there's an impressive-looking bit with a steam train ploughing into said station.

The film also stars Chloe Moretz, who looks utterly adorable and seems destined to capture the hearts of young boys everywhere – I love her delivery of the line “Oh good, I love secrets!” at 1m12s. It also seems like she's doing a British accent, but I can't be sure. She also gets to utter the trailer's key line, describing the magical world that is somehow connected to the machine as like “Neverland and Treasure Island and Oz all wrapped into one.”

Other things to note:
1. the excellent cast includes the likes of Christopher Lee, Michael Pitt, Emily Mortimer and Richard Griffiths but only Ben Kingsley, Ray Winstone and Jude Law (who still gives me The Jude Law Fear but looks like he might be okay here) appear in the trailer, so I'm assuming there'll be a very different trailer at some point in the future. And

2. for some reason, at the 0m58 mark, Sacha Baron Cohen pushes past a man who looks exactly like Winston Churchill. Coincidence? Time will tell. Anyway, this looks rather wonderful, like Scorsese fused with Terry Gilliam and I'm very excited to see it. Opens here 2nd December, which means it's a very, very good bet for the London Film Festival.

Top 10 Films On Release This Week (as recommended by me):
It's all change this week with a record eight new entries into the top ten, although, to be fair, that's only because there hasn't been a blog for two weeks. The new entries include: essential trouble-defusing documentary The Interrupters, Planet of the Apes prequel (sort of) Rise of the Planet of the Apes, intelligent ape doc Project Nim (which really ought to be seen in a double bill with Rise of the Planet of the Apes), Italian old man comedy The Salt of Life, romantic based-on-the-best-selling-novel drama One Day (see above), excellent horror fivequel Final Destination 5, Susanne Bier's Best Foreign Film Oscar winner In A Better World and, happily, The Inbetweeners Movie, which is currently making insane amounts of money, suggesting that a sequel might actually happen after all.

It's all change interview-wise as well. This week you can read: an exclusive interview with John Michael McDonagh (writer-director of The Guard, which is also worthy of inclusion on the top ten and is basically in 11th place); an exclusive interview with Jason “Muscles” Momoa, star of Conan the Barbarian; a semi-exclusive interview with the four stars of The Inbetweeners; an exclusive interview with Bob Ingersoll, one of the chimp-handlers featured in Project Nim; press conference interviews with the stars and director of Cowboys & Aliens; and you can still read our semi-exclusive interview with the lovely Audrey Tautou, star of Beautiful Lies.

Come back next week for exclusive interviews with Weekender star Jack O'Connell, the director and stars of the excellent British horror flick Kill List (poised to wow them at FrightFest this weekend) and an exclusive interview with TrollHunter director Andre Ovredal.

1. The Interrupters
2. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
3. Project Nim
4. The Salt of Life
5. One Day
6. Final Destination 5
7. Captain America: The First Avenger
8. Arrietty
9. In A Better World
10. The Inbetweeners Movie

DVD of the Week: Source Code (out now, RRP online £10.99)
This week's DVD of the Week is Source Code, director Duncan Jones'
eagerly-anticipated follow-up to Moon. Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Colter Stevens, a helicopter pilot in Afghanistan who wakes up on a Chicago commuter train in another man's body, accompanied by a beautiful woman (Michelle Monaghan) who keeps calling him Sean. When the train explodes eight minutes later, Colter finds himself in another reality where he's questioned by an army officer (Vera Farmiga) before being sent back into Sean's body to relive the same eight minutes in order to find both the bomb and the bomber.

The performances (including Jeffrey Wright as the grumpy scientist behind the source code project) are excellent and keep an eye out for a crowd-pleasing voice cameo that tips the nod to one of the film's key influences (basically the film plays like Quantum Leap meets Groundhog Day with a dash of 24 thrown in for good measure). The cleverly written script has a lot of fun with the standard time-travel tropes but also delivers firmly on both the action sequences and the emotional element of the story as well as pulling off a couple of neat twists. In short, this is a thoroughly entertaining, superbly acted sci-fi thriller that delivers on every level thanks to a smartly written script and pacey direction from Duncan Jones. Highly recommended.

Extras include: an audio commentary with Duncan Jones, Jake Gyllenhaal and writer Ben Ripley; decent-lengthed Making Of separated into various Cast and Crew Insights; some edumacational featurettes on things like Many Worlds Theory and Quantum Physics; an interview with a real-life physics professor; two activatable trivia tracks (“Did You Know?” and “Tales of Time Travel”) and the trailer. No deleted scenes though.

You should also read our exclusive interview with Duncan Jones, in which he talks about the ending of the film.


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