Source Code Directed by: Duncan Jones Written by: Ben Ripley (screenplay) Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Vera Farmiga, Michelle Monaghan, and Jeffrey Wright
Duncan Jones made noticeable ripples in the independent film landscape back in 2009 with Moon. The main source of its appeal was that it was a low budget sci-fi film with idealism burning at its core instead of special effects and an actor (Sam Rockwell) that brought enough gravity to make you care.
When a filmmaker makes a splash on the indie scene they are sometimes rewarded with a mainstream money-maker. Take a look at Marc Webb, the director of another 2009 indie film, (500) Days of Summer, who is now at the helm of the Spiderman reboot. Jones landed a less lucrative big budget enterprise, but one with a unique vision that is suited to his taste.
His upcoming role in Duncan Jones’ second film Source Code is just around the corner and sounds similar to a few too many movies we have seen before like the recent The Adjustment Bureau. With trust in Jones, who brilliantly crafted 2009’s Moon, the movie may be a big hit for Gyllenhaal following his series of duds like Brothers, Prince of Persia and Love and Other Drugs.
Gyllenhaal broke out after his role in October Sky, landing him a role as the iconic Donnie Darko. In his early years he played the mysterious, troubled boy in transition with subtle angst that defined his generation so well. Gyllenhaal has only had one real commercial hit with the doomsday dud The Day After Tomorrow, and instead has found himself success in mid-budget films that allow him to capitalize on his ability to be the desired lead or play on his boyish masculinity like Jarhead, Brokeback Mountain and Zodiac. With only really a decade of acting under his belt, Gyllenhaal has managed to star in a handful of great films.
Donnie Darko– It is easily Gyllenhaal’s most iconic and recognizable role of his career. The cult film was initially slated for direct-to-video before being picked up at the last minute. Even so, the film was a commercial flop until a few years later when it picked up on the DVD market; especially given Gyllenhaal began breaking out with bigger, more mainstream films. Darko is a great, small science fiction film with a twist ending mainstream audiences crave. Gyllenhaal begins all his career staples here, playing the troubled boy dealing with pressures of the world.
Sure, there will be plenty of crap released this year just like any other. We all have another delightful Transformers installment to look forward to in the summer, and the coming winter months are when Hollywood dumps its crap that wouldn’t make money during prime Christmas season. So, while the award contenders from last year and the buzz-kills duke it out in January and February, here are our picks for what to watch for the rest of the year.
The Tree of Life (May 27)– Terrence Malick has made some of the most visually stunning movies ever to grace the screen. Film-wise, he hasn’t made as many as other auteurs his age, but his mark is no less indelible. With The Tree of Life, he will most likely twist audience expectation for what a “summer blockbuster” with A-list stars is. Brad Pitt and Sean Penn are headlining in this tale about a young boy in the 50s who “witnesses the loss of innocence.” The hypnotic trailer is almost as vague as that description, but infinitely more beautiful. It draws you in without ruining it.
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (December 21)- Fresh off his hot streak with The Social Network, David Fincher attempts to Americanize the already explosively popular book series and its Swedish film adaptations. It will be hard for him to do worse than the original Dragon Tattoo movie, which captured the atmosphere but gutted the story of Stieg Larssonn’s original. The story, about a hacker and a disgraced journalist teaming up to hunt down a serial killer, is the perfect fit for Fincher. Here’s hoping Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara are also up for the dark twists and brooding revelations.