dir. Duncan Jones
Okay. So. Jake Gyllenhaal is just taking your average garden-variety nap (BTW, where is the nap garden and when can I visit?) on his usual morning commute because he is all tuckered out from his super-mundane life and definitely nothing at all strange or Quantum Leap–related is about to happen. At all. For sure. Or at least that’s what the opening of Source Code (the movie, not the boring shit that websites are made of) WANTS you to think, suckers! But you just got conned!!! Classic short con. What actually happens is that Jack Jellyballs wakes up from what seems like a totally mundane nap, only instead of rubbing his eyes like a sleepy baby bear and getting back to the crossword puzzle, he starts screaming like a fucking freak. He’s all, “Say whaaaat?” and some chick (Michelle “Andie MacDowell” Monaghan) is all, “Oh hey, Sean,” and he goes, “Who’s Sean? I’m Jank Jimmyjohns, from the ARMY?” And everyone on the train laughs in his face, but not for long, because then all of them explode to death. Oops, try again, Jar-Jar Junglebuns!
Next scene: Jill Jantyhose wakes up, AGAIN, confused and strangely unexploded, strapped inside a weird metal space-pod. A woman on a screen asks if he has completed his mission, and he’s like, “LOOK, LADY, I AM FROM THE ARMY AND I NEED SOME ANSWERS BECAUSE OF THE ARMY.” Turns out, a terrorist blew up a Chicago commuter train that morning and is threatening to blow up all of Chicago that afternoon, plus give everyone polio or something. But LUCKILY, using SCIENCE—or maybe Hulu Plus, I can’t remember—they were able to download the last eight minutes of this Sean dude’s memories and then stream them directly into Jurr Hyurrdydurr’s brain-hole (Scott Bakula was busy [ha-ha, no he wasn’t]). His mission is to go back and live those eight minutes over and over again until he can figure out who the bomber is and save Chicago (smart money’s on Ned Ryerson).
This movie is terrific, but not as good as Groundhog Day.
dir. Neil Burger
Bradley Cooper is a dumb loser who finds a magic pill that makes his brain huge and reminds him to get a haircut. Then, using his haircut, he makes eleventy frillion dollars, but then the pills start making him die (either from taking them or from not taking them—the movie can’t decide). Also, there’s some guy who chases him around sometimes, but that guy turns out to not even be important or scary at the end. Then Robert De Niro is like, “Guess what, Bradley Cooper? I gotcha magic pills and now you have to work for me at my company that provides excellent benefits and also we get along great so really there’s very little at stake here! Or else you DIE!” And B-Coop’s like, “Psych, De Niro, because thanks to my giant brain I figured out how to NOT die, and those pills are stupid now. STUFFED.” This movie is terrible, but kind of impressive when you learn that director Neil Burger is an actual sentient hamburger named Neil.
This article has been updated since its original publication.