May 062018
 

Despite only having a relatively short 94-minute running time, Source Code is a far more impactful film than others that are a good 40-50 minutes longer, the reason in part is the efficiency of director Duncan Jones.

 

 

Source Code
(2011)

Genre(s): Suspense/Thriller, Science Fiction
Summit Entertainment | PG13 – 94 min. – $21.99 | May 8, 2018

Date Published: 05/06/2018 | Author: The Movieman


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by: Duncan Jones
Writer(s): Ben Ripley (written by)
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga, Jeffrey Wright
DISC INFO:
Features: Commentary, Featurette, Access Source Code
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: 4K, Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (Dolby Atmos), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 2160p/Widescreen 1.78
Dynamic Range: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Subtitles: English SDH, English, Spanish
Codecs: HEVC / H.265
Region(s): A, B, C

** The screen captures come from the Blu-ray thus do not reflect the 4K source. **


THE MOVIE — 4.0/5


Note: This review does contain minor spoilers which could point some key plot points. Also to note, this is my original review from 2011.

Director Duncan Jones’ Source Code is one of the most ingenious films of early 2011, a film that is efficient in its storytelling and character development which shows you can make a sci-fi/thriller without the unnecessary padding others tend of have.

The movie starkly opens where we meet Colter Stevens (JAKE GYLLENHAAL) as he wakes up on a passenger train sitting across beautiful Christina Warren (MICHELLE MONAGHAN) but he has no idea who she is as she calls him by a different name: Sean Fentriss. He’s quite confused and after roaming about the train, he sees his reflection in the lavatory mirror and really begins to freak out. But before he knows it, the train blows up and he awakes in some sort of capsule with a woman, Goodwin (VERA FARMIGA), speaking to him via a monitor.

Obviously he’s really confused but believes this is some sort of simulation/game and she explains to him that he must find the bomb and the bomber and he’s sent back where everything that happened before happens once again. The bomb explodes (again) and he’s back in the capsule where Goodwin, and the commander of the operation (JEFFREY WRIGHT), is getting a tad annoyed with the lack of info Stevens is providing. So, they provide some more info, Stevens is sent back once again, this time he finds the bomb, so on and so forth.

Eventually they reveal to him this is not a simulation but is in fact a new project called Source Code in which a person’s synapses can be connected with those departed, and can go in and find key pieces of information, in this case finding the terrorist who they somehow know is set to launch an even larger device that will kill millions. Through his numerous tries, he begins to see something in Christina and tries to save her from the explosion only to learn she cannot be saved. So, through trial and error, he discovers key pieces of info and discovers something else in a clever twist which I’ll leave you to find out.

The film itself is pretty clever and while this is marketed as a sci-fi actioner, there’s a heart behind it. As I said at the beginning, Duncan Jones is efficient with his storytelling, so much that we get to know Stevens fairly quickly and are with him on his journey all the way.

The cast for the film meanwhile is also efficient in that you don’t get a whole lot of character development but through one or two key lines of dialogue allows just enough for you to care about every one of them that you hang on their every word and on their every action. While I give props to Vera Farmiga, Jeffrey Wright – a great actor in a thankless role where he has to explain the Source Code – and Michelle Monaghan, it is Jake Gyllenhaal who carries the film. He has the right balance of charisma/charm, drama and a bit of slyness and when combined with the twist, you really feel for his character.

This is Duncan Jones’s first foray into the more mainstream realm after a sci-fi short film entitled Whistle and 2009’s critically acclaimed Moon starring Sam Rockwell, often compared with Kubrick’s classic, 2001: A Space Odyssey. It’s not a big leap that a studio would offer the director’s chair to Jones for Source Code as it seems to explore some of the same ideas, character-wise anyway, of Moon. Sure, it’s not an ambitious movie but the story is easy for general audience members to comprehend/accept but still enough of a independent ideals that probably made the story interesting for Jones to direct.

The film was written by Ben Ripley and the only reason I bring him up is because he was the writer behind a couple of gems including Species III and Species: The Awakening so it is interesting to see what can be done when you get some talent behind the camera because the story here is well developed.

Source Code is a combination of Quantum Leap, 24 and Groundhog Day. I highly recommend, though admittedly the third act isn’t exactly what one might expect from a Hollywood picture (of course some would argue the ending itself is).

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.5/5


This release comes with a glossy slip cover and inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy.

Audio Commentary – Director Duncan Jones, Star Jake Gyllenhaal and Writer Ben Ripley sit down for a low key, professional commentary track providing information on how the project came about, the characters, other actors, etc.

5 Crazy Details You Might Have Missed (2:01; 4K) is similar to the exclusive featurette that were on Knowing and Push and is merely trivia.

Access: Source Code – This contains many of the features available separately on the DVD and while it’s an interesting idea, I would’ve just preferred being able to watch them via the features sub-menu (much in the same way Warner allows you to watch their Focus Point features separately as well). There are a couple items not available on DVD such as “Expert Intel” and “Tales of Time Travel”. (Blu-ray Disc Only)

 


VIDEO – 4.75/5


Summit releases Source Code onto the 4K UHD format presented in its original 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio and a 2160p high-definition transfer. The original Blu-ray was already good looking and this just takes it to the next level with sharp detail, particularly the many close-up shots of Gyllenhaal’s face and colors are generally bright thanks to a boost from the HDR (this also comes with Dolby Vision for those TVs).

AUDIO – 4.75/5


Also getting an upgrade is the audio going from DTS-HD MA 5.1 to the newer Dolby Atmos codec. There is a nice improvement to this track showcasing both crisp and clean dialogue along with fine depth during the multiple explosions as well as some of the smaller things like when Colter Stevens is inside his “capsule” and you can discern the echoes inside that small space.

 


OVERALL – 4.5/5


Despite only having a relatively short 94-minute running time, Source Code is a far more impactful film than others that are a good 40-50 minutes longer, the reason in part is the efficiency of director Duncan Jones who jumps in to the mainstream after the success of indie hit Moon and makes a splash. The 4K video and audio transfers are both top notch but the features are on the disappointing side when the individual featurettes are still only available on the DVD…

 

 

 

 

Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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