I am now 31. Although my actual birthday was on Friday, that didn’t stop the less scrupulous members of Team MM getting a bunch of free shots from the Pink Taco barmaids this weekend. The first one tasted like a bucket of sugar concentrated into a shot glass. The second tasted like paint stripper. I intended to only become Partially Inebriated before the film, with regard to my new advanced age and the summary maturity and restraint that comes with it, but as it turned out circumstance forced me to become Fully Inebriated.
Duncan Jones, AKA Zowie Bowie, AKA David Bowie’s son, has a reputation as a sort of up-and-coming sci-fi director to watch out for. Purely out of respect of David Bowie and the fact that Moon was a half-decent little film, I’m willing to go along with this. I wish he’d get his old man to be in his films, though. You can’t beat a David Bowie cameo to make your film more interesting.
Source Code is about Jake Gyllenhaal repeatedly re-living the final 8 minutes of a train heading into Chicago that suffers a terrorist bombing attack, so he can pass along information about the culprit. He takes over the body of a random guy on the train and everyone else sees him as that guy, including himself when he looks in a mirror. This process is explained with about 20 seconds of hand-waving about how “the human mind survives for 8 minutes after death and the process is called going into the Source Code”, but before you can even say “that’s not remotely what source code means”, it’s never mentioned again for the rest of the film.
If you have ever seen Quantum Leap, you will notice that it shares certain similarities with this film, i.e. the entire concept. I actually have a television show pitch that is also similar to Quantum Leap that I will now outline, in case any television producers happen to be reading this blog and want to make my vision a reality.
QUANTUM ROCK (Nick Locking 2011)
In Quantum Rock, we find ourselves in the grim future of 2012, where tragic circumstances have conspired to create a world where all popular music is absolutely crap, completely saturated with past-it stars of the 1960s and 1970s, still doggedly pursuing musical greatness despite their talent having long since faded. A grossly overweight Jimi Hendrix clumsily mashes his chubby fingers against his guitar strings, producing sad echoes of his previous work. Buddy Holly craps out another 70 minutes of complete dreck, chasing his glory days.
To combat this problem, the US Government in association with the RIAA assembles a crack team of operatives whose mission is to go back in time and assassinate key musical figures before they start to completely embarrass themselves and ruin popular music.
Episode One: JOHN LENNON, 1980. After successfully completing his mission, Agent Chapman is captured by local agents and must go into deep cover as a crazy wierdo for the next 32 years. He is given a very large medal.
Episode Two: MAMA CASS, 1974. The team go undercover as the USA’s leading ham sandwich chefs in a dangerous do-or-die mission.
Episode Three: JIM MORRISON, 1971. An error in the timejump equipment has the team arrive years too late, but HQ orders them to proceed with the mission regardless and improvise as best they can.
Episode Four: RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS, 1994. The team fails its first mission. Downer episode.
I honestly think it writes itself. My email address is at the top of the page if anyone wants to offer me a highly lucrative deal to develop this valuable property. Best act fast to avoid the rush.
So in Source Code, it turns out Jake Gyllenhaal is dead the whole time, and his guts are being held in with a bit of plastic, but it turns out to be ok because he gets to stay in one of the bubble realities created by the Source Code Machine and bang the girl after beating up a terrorist and phoning his dad. He pretends to be someone else when he talks to his dad, as his dad knows he is dead - this makes little sense. Even if he looked totally different, why not just lay it all out for his dad and explain that he’s still alive? Also, the guy who he is inhabiting in this reality just got FUCKED, because now Donnie Darko gets to bang the girl he was just about to make a move on, and also he no longer exists.
Theorising that one could travel within his own lifetime, Team Margarita Movie stepped into the Pink Taco accelerator and vanished… they woke to find themselves trapped in The SCALE Scale!
S - Story: Oh, it’s not bad, I suppose. It’s kind of a neat 70s-era Philip K. Dick-ish sci-fi story, but not one of the really good ones. 6.
C - Comedy: Donnie Darko getting hit by a train is a laugh. 4.
A - Awesomeness: Very little despite multiple train explosions. 5.
L - Ladies: There are two women in the film, the pretty brunette leading lady and a military woman. They’re ok. 6.
E - Et Cetera. Jake Gyllenhaal’s dad, who only appears on the phone, is played by SCOTT BAKULA, AKA DR. SAM BECKETT FROM QUANTUM LEAP. AUTOMATIC 10.