Now, a new year has started, and a new semester. This semester is one in which I do not have classes on Fridays. That means I can do things like staying up late to watch Source Code and blog about it afterwards, and then probably read a few more pages of William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury before going to sleep. It also means that come Wednesday night, I treat my week like it's over already. This might cause me to be lazy and not keep up with my work, but so far, I've been surprisingly productive. We'll see how that keeps up. Okay now I'm gonna talk about interesting things.
I just got done watching this fantastic thriller from director Duncan Jones, whose 2009 debut, Moon, is also excellent. Jake Gyllenhaal plays Air Force Captain Colter Stevens, who is continually sent back in time to attempt to diffuse a bomb left somewhere on a Chicago commuter train. It plays like sci-fi Groundhog Day for a while, as Colter tries to decipher the mystery of why he is being sent back. But then it takes a few twists and turns and becomes almost an entirely different movie towards the end. Gyllenhaal is wonderful. We feel his character's confusion, pain, and humanity up until the final seconds of the movie. Jones packs more into his second feature's 93 minutes than any movie of recent memory for me. As I was watching it, about ten minutes into the movie I realized my phone was in a different room. I wanted to go get it, but I just couldn't pause the movie for even the 20 seconds it would have taken to retrieve my phone. Source Code is a dense, power-packed, emotional thrill ride. It's quite a whirlwind, but it's one I won't forget.
The Tree of Life
Source Code is a great action flick, and certainly one of the best of the past year. Having said that, I have to let Terrence Malick's latest masterpiece steal Source Code's thunder. There's a few more movies I should see before declaring one the best picture of 2011, but I highly doubt any movie will affect me in the way The Tree of Life has. There isn't much more I can say about this movie. The acting is superb. The cinematography is astounding; it's surely one of the most beautiful films ever made. The music fits perfectly, it's as epic and mind-blowing as the rest of the movie. But the direction... my god. Malick is operating on a different level here. The Tree of Life is the most ambitious movie that's ever been made. Malick has created something that's unlike any other piece of art I've ever experienced, in any medium. If you haven't seen it, you've got to. Find a way to see it, preferably on Blu-Ray on a very large screen with the volume up very loud. You might love it, you might hate it, but you'll come away having experienced something unlike anything else.