Tuesday, May 3, 2011

2 Brief and Lazy 2011 Movie Reviews: Source Code and Jane Eyre

Source Code (2011)
Director - Duncan Jones
PG-13; 93 Min
Jake Gyllenhaal - Colter Stevens
Michelle Monaghan - Christina Warren
Vera Farmiga - Colleen Goodwin

I liked this movie because it was 93 minutes long and understood it didn't have enough substance to go a minute longer.  Maybe I've seen way too many movies (I have) but I knew within a few minutes of the opening scenes pretty much everything that was going on and pretty much where it was headed, but none of that mattered because the film is fun and shot well and you never find yourself looking at the time.  That's all good enough for me with this one.  Gyllenhaal, Monaghan and Farmiga all work well together.  Not going to give away much of anything since you will figure it all out quickly, but the movie is basically a sci fi/real life hybrid that explores ideas of what the brain may be capable of accomplishing. I almost passed on this one but, like The Adjustment Bureau, I am glad that nothing else was out when I wanted to see a movie. I say see it and enjoy it.

*** and 1/2 out of 5

Jane Eyre (2011)
Director - Cary Fukunaga
PG-13; 120 Min
Mia-Wasikowska - Jane Eyre
Michael Fassbender - Rochester
Judie Dench - Mrs. Fairfax

There have been multiple film adaptations of Charlotte Bronte's novel depicting a young woman exposed to a harsh childhood who becomes a governess to a wealthy man with a dark secret.  I have seen none of them.  I did read the novel many years ago - forced by some teacher or professor -and I remember liking parts of it but not enough to recall the entire thing all these years later.  So, if you haven't read the novel, no worries, this movie works very well if you go in with no knowledge at all.  Mia Wasikowska is the glue of the film and she is wonderful, depicting plain Jane who is probably as close to a feminist as you can find hundreds of years ago.  Her acting is superb in this film and it needs to be for us to stay interested.  Michael Fassbender as the wealthy Rochester is also excellent.  You may not know his name but he has an incredible role in one of my favorite films of recent years, Fish Tank, and was also in Inglourius Basterds.  As Mrs. Fairfax, the caretaker of the mansion which Jane comes to live and work at, Judy Dench is very capable and reliable.  This is a period piece shot with great cinematography and costume design and, though it may not appeal to a large population of younger males, was a very rewarding viewing experience.

**** out of 5

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