Film InformationSource Code (Ultra HD) (2011)
Director: Duncan Jones // Lionsgate // 93 minutes // Rating: PG-13
Reviewed by: Matt Brighton | May 7th, 2018
Plot: What’s it about?
Movies about time travel, in any way, shape or form, have always intrigued me. I don’t think there’s any one person on the face of this planet who wouldn’t love to go back in time, knowing what they know now and perhaps do something differently. Unfortunately, as of this writing, that’s only possible in the realm of television and movies. So we’ll all have to keep plugging along and doing the best we can the first time around. But what if…we could go back and change something. Something like prohibiting a bomb going off and killing innocents? What if we could go back to Sept. 10, 2001? The possibilities, as I’m sure you’re aware, are endless.
We meet Capt. Colton Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal). He’s sitting on a train, unaware of his surroundings. He takes a quick inventory of what’s around him and then, a few minutes later, BOOM! He then awakens inside a military pod of some sort and is being questioned by Colleen Goodwin (Vera Farmiga), an Air Force officer. Colton learns that he’s part of an experiment (that he evidently volunteered for) in which he can be sent back in time (in this case, earlier that same day) and “beamed” into someone else’s body. He’s got 8 minutes to try and stop a bomb from going off and is to prohibit the person responsible so that the city of Chicago doesn’t end up destroyed. It takes Colton a few “tries” if you will, to get the hang of it, but before long he’s located the bomb. His real obstacle is to find the person responsible. So after interrogating every suspect, he finally zeroes in on what could be “the one.” Now another problem for Colton is that he rather likes the woman he first sees (Michelle Monaghan). Colton has to stop the bomb from going off, save the day (world) and see if he can get the girl as well. All in a day’s work? Hardly.
There are a few nuances here and there that really prohibited me from telling what “Source Code” is all about. Suffice it to say that the concept is intriguing, but hardly original. I’m reminded of various “time travel” movies like “Groundhog Day” to “50 First Dates” to “DÃ©jÃ Vu.” It’s a funny thing to mess with time and as the butterfly effect has taught us, one little thing could have disastrous consequences in the future. Still, we can’t help but root for Colton on his mission. “Source Code” is a tightly-wound thriller with a very intriguing concept. Written by Ben Ripley and directed by Duncan Jones (“Moon”), the film received very positive reviews. At 93 minutes it’s a bit on the short side, but I think that works here. There’s only a certain amount of times that we can see the same scene and still be entertained. Just remember, this is still science-fiction.
Video: How does it look?
Source Code has a very unique look and feel to it, and that might be why Lionsgate decided to give this on the “4K treatment.” In this case, I think that worked in its favor. The movie centered around an experiment that was in its initial stages. Maybe the bit of grain that’s associated with the 1.78:1 HEVC 4K transfer is a testament to that in that it’s not the final product. Or maybe I’m totally off base. Still, detail is razor sharp – just look at the facial hair of Jake Gyllenhall, you can see nearly every individual hair. The scenes that don’t take place in the train, take place in a dark pod. We get a very good-looking contrast here, the whiteness of his face against the cold, metallic walls. A nice effort.
Audio: How does it sound?
There are three levels to my house and the main viewing room is on the middle floor. Source Code finds the DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray replaced with a Dolby Atmos mix that packs quite the punch. We see and hear a train blow up on about five different occasions. Two of those literally make the room shake. Dialogue is strong and has no loss and the surrounds do their part to ensure a very robust soundtrack. What really made these scenes work were the LFE. Most movies of this genre will have good sound and this is certainly no exception. No complaints here in the least. Oh, back to the levels in my place…there were people on each floor when I was watching this and I was joined by them from above and below after the first scene. If that doesn’t tell you anything about how good the sound is, nothing will.
Supplements: What are the extras?
The same supplements from the 2011 Blu-ray are present here. Nothing new has been added.
- Audio commentary – Director Duncan Jones, writer Ben Ripley and actor Jake Gyllenhaal collaborate on this track that tells of some of the obstacles they had to overcome for the shoot, some of the technical merits of the film and a bit more.
- 5 Crazy Details You Might Have Missed – A picture-in-picture feature entitled “Access: Source Code” in which get some insight with some “expert” opinions on time travel, some information about the shoot, little tidbits about the film and everything in between. If you’re one of those, like me, you don’t like seeing this stuff while the movie plays so these can be played individually as well.
The Bottom Line
It’s been a while since I’ve seen the film and it’s a bit of a head-scratcher as to why this was given “the call” to 4K. I assume there must be some sort of marketing reason for it. That said, the Ultra HD does offer an upgrade in picture and sound, so if this is one of your personal favorites – it now looks and sounds better than it did on Blu-ray.