January 28, 2015

Scrolling Headlines:

MASSPIRG urges McDonalds to stop purchasing meat raised with antibiotics -

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

How to avoid, treat and prevent Computer Vision Syndrome as a college student. -

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Narendra Modi and the US forge strengthening ties -

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

UMass receives research honor from the Carnegie Foundation -

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Islamophobia is a form of racism that needs to be stopped -

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Björk gets personal on breakup album, ‘Vulnicura’ -

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

UMass Dining nominated for Seafood Champion Award -

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Why UMass basketball isn’t a good brand of basketball -

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

BLOG: Joseph Widmar commits to UMass hockey -

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

BLOG: New York Jets name Marcel Shipp new running backs coach -

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A bond over basketball: Trey Davis and Zach Coleman’s friendship continues to grow at UMass -

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Inside the Park with Marky Mark: January 27, 2015 -

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Panda Bear remains confident, even in the face of ‘The Grim Reaper’ -

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Why I want to be a teacher -

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams wrap up third-place finishes at Dartmouth Invitational -

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

UMass’ College of Education to train Pakistani higher education administrators -

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Hao Luong shines for UMass men’s swimming and diving on Senior Day, prepares for end of college career -

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Police Log: Friday, Jan. 23, 2015 to Monday, Jan. 26, 2015 -

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Rachel Hilliard, Heather MacLean highlight solid performance from UMass women’s track and field -

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Hockey East: Eichel’s overtime goal pushes Boston University past Vermont -

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

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Gyllenhaal makes every second count in “Source Code”

Jake Gyllenhaal races against time in his newest film, “Source Code.” As a courageous soldier named Captain Colter Stevens, Gyllenhaal is on a mission to save the city of Chicago from a series of bombings. Through a program called the Source Code, Stevens is able to enter an alternate reality that allows him to go back in time to a train bombing in the place of a deceased passenger. He is given only eight minutes to find the bomb, disable the detonator and stop the bomber. Will he be able to save the passengers – and himself – before time runs out?

MCT

MCT

Through clever editing, director Duncan Jones immediately immerses the audience in the middle of the action. The audience’s confusion at what is occurring on screen mimics the confusion felt by Stevens within the film, allowing the audience to bond with the protagonist. This technique also engages viewers as it forces them to focus on the plot and attempt to put together the puzzle pieces themselves.

With the assistance of great graphics, Jones creates a frighteningly realistic world that captivates viewers. Jones plays on this technique by slowing down time during an explosion to show the individual reactions of the passengers. The striking emotional reactions of the passengers arouse a profound feeling of connection between viewers and the characters on screen.

In one of the closing scenes, Jones employs a freeze frame that effectively initiates heart-wrenching emotions in the viewer. The delay heightens the anticipation within the audience, as the scene could end either way. While he does not leave the ending open to interpretation, it may come as a surprise.

Jake Gyllenhaal shines as he switches between the role of the train passenger and soldier. His facial expressions effortlessly convey his emotions as he delves into the two characters; every emotion is felt by the audience.

As Stevens’ objective slowly changes throughout the film, the relationship between Stevens and Christina Warren (Michelle Monaghan), a passenger on the train, becomes increasingly more crucial to the plot. The chemistry between Gyllenhaal and Monaghan grounds this relationship, and the tension is palpable. As Stevens desperately tries to convince Warren that remaining on the train is not a good idea despite a lack of rational reasoning, the audience is drawn even more into the tale and the action as it unfolds.

According to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB), the film has some inconsistency. The bombing which Stevens is attempting to stop is planned to engulf two passing trains; however, in order to achieve this, the bomber would need to be looking at both of the trains. Yet, when the identity of the bomber is revealed, viewers can conclude this is not logically possible – the bomber departs from the train before the bombing and is not able to see both trains to plan the explosion in time. Despite the logical inconsistency, the bombing still goes off as planned. Although such an error should detract from the credibility of the director and the movie, the film remains interesting enough that this problem can be overlooked.

Prior to its release, “Source Code” was marketed as a traditional thriller with a rather subdued love story. However, the film shatters these expectations with unexpected twists and thought-provoking themes that throw this action flick beyond the formulaic tales within its genre.

The film contains an underlying criticism of the American military, giving the film some controversial undertones. This is mainly due to the role of the military within the film, as it engages in some activities that are ethically questionable in nature.

“Source Code” is a great action thriller the audience will want to see again and again; it also may take a few views to be able to put all of the clues together. The film’s carpe diem theme, emphasized by its main line, “make every second count,” begs the audience to waste no time in seeing the movie and appreciating every moment of the experience.

Malea Ritz can be reached at mritz@student.umass.edu.

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