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April 11th, 2011

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01:34 pm - Musings on Source Code
We saw Source Code yesterday, and all really liked it. When I first saw the trailer late last year, I assumed that this would be an incredibly stupid movie. I revised my opinion when I saw that it was directed by Duncan Jones, who last year released the brilliant, but impressively depressing film Moon. I then assumed that it would be a very good but also really depressing film. It managed to be both very good and not depressing. What was most interesting about it was how well it held together. This is exactly the sort of film & premise that is normally made in a remarkably haphazard and slipshod manner, where the writer and director care far more about building tension, tugging on viewer emotions, and flashy effects than about creating a film that hangs together after you think about it for more than 3 seconds. Source Code managed to hold together well enough to be worth discussing from a conceptual level, and while the technology involved is Hollywood nonsense, it is nonsense that is treated in a consistent and thoughtful manner. Handling an unlikely or impossible premise in this manner is one of the better definitions of SF that I've read, and so I would consider it to be an SF film.

One of the more interesting aspects of the film was how the technology was viewed. Clearly, it's fairly horrific – Captain Colter Stevens is in a ghastly position, both physically and mentally. However, the device not merely ultimately helps him, it saves a great many lives. I found this ambiguity far more interesting than the standard Hollywood technophobia.
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful

(7 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:April 11th, 2011 08:47 pm (UTC)
Actually, I'd say he was in a reasonably decent position, physically and mentally, considering his medical state. He's in an awful *legal* position, or possibly he's in a position of helplessness with no significant recourse (assuming that what they're doing was, in fact, declared to be legal).
[User Picture]
Date:April 11th, 2011 09:11 pm (UTC)
My reading of the situation was that he was legally dead and thus remarkably helpless.
[User Picture]
Date:April 11th, 2011 09:52 pm (UTC)
Ah, thank you for the clarification; I didn't realize Source Code was directed by Duncan Jones. I might have to go see it while it's still in theaters.
[User Picture]
Date:April 12th, 2011 02:54 am (UTC)
Some interesting observations here:

And yes, I liked that the tech itself wasn't seen as being wrong and evil, even though the way they were treating him definitely was.
Date:April 12th, 2011 09:52 pm (UTC)
Great read! I wish you could follow up to this topic

Date:April 15th, 2011 04:39 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]
Date:May 3rd, 2011 10:12 am (UTC)
This was the LJ post that made me finally decide to see "Source Code" today. I enjoyed it immensely!

(Partially because I've been to Chicago recently and recognized some famous landmarks, such as the Cloud Gate sculpture.)

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