Thursday, March 31, 2011

Review: Source Code

Grade: A-

Captain Colter Stevens is a soldier in the US military, buy he suddenly wakes up on a train in Chicago. Not knowing what is going on, he starts asking a passenger next to him who has been talking to him what is going on. The woman, Christina, is confused by his actions and keeps calling him Sean Fentress. When he goes to the restroom on the train and looks in the mirror, the refletion he sees is not himself. While he is trying to figure out what is happening, the train explodes and he then wakes up in a capsule with two people communicating to him on a video screen. He discovers that he is in a device known as the Source Code that allows him to live the last 8 minutes of a persons life. He is tasked by his observers to find out who on the train was the bomber in order to help prevent a larger bombing later that day in the city and in order to do that, he has to keep living the same 8 minutes over and over again.

Source Code is the latest movie directed by Duncan Jones (Moon) and he did a really great job with it. This movie is a really fun and exciting sci-fi thriller. One of the more interesting things to look for in the movie, are the subtle differences in those 8 minutes every time Capt. Stevens goes back into the body of Sean Fentress. It is very exciting to see how he goes about trying to complete his objective. There is also a really great and interesting side story line that takes place in between his “jumps” where he interacts with the people in charge of the Source Code. There are a couple of really great twists and turns throughout the movie and I really enjoyed the ending. This movie really manages to keep you on the edge of your seat the whole time.

Jake Gyllenhaal (Love and Other Drugs, Jarhead) plays the lead role of Capt. Colter Stevens. Gyllenhaal was really great in this movie. His performance was everything I could have hoped for in this movie. He really managed to hit all the right notes in this movie and really made it what it is. Michelle Monaghan (Due Date, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) plays Christina, a close friend of Sean Fentress. Monaghan was really enjoyable in this movie as well. She managed to handle all the different things that her character had to do very well, from falling in love with Gyllenhaal’s character to being outraged at him for harassing people on the train. Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air, The Departed) plays Colleen Goodwin, an Air Force officer who is in charge of the Source Code mission. She was fantastic in this movie and was a very sympathetic character as well. Jeffrey Wright (W., Casino Royale) plays the role of Dr. Rutledge, the creator of the source code. He did a great job with his role and was a lot of fun to watch in this movie.

If you like interesting, reality altering sci-fi movies, then Source Code is for you. It is a great and extremely exciting movie to watch. The story is great and it is a really fun and original story. I love sci-fi movies like this. I strongly recommend getting out to see this one.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Review: The Lincoln Lawyer

Grade: A-

Mick Haller is one of the best defensive lawyers in California, and he likes to conduct a lot of his business from the back of his Lincoln town car. One day, a friend of his, points a high profile client his way. The client is Louis Roulet, a member of an extremely wealthy family involved in real estate. Roulet is accused of beating up a prostitute and attempting to kill her. He swears that he didn’t do it and is willing to cooperate in anyway in order to get off. However, the more Haller digs into the case and Roulet’s past, the more of the truth he fins out. Before he knows it, his life and the lives all his family and friends are in danger.

The Lincoln Lawyer is a surprisingly good movie. It is very well written and the acting was fantastic. The movie kept going at a really great pace. It has little bits of humor scattered throughout that really help the movie. The suspense in the movie is great and it really keeps you on the edge of your seat. It’s really great and keeps you wondering how it all is going to play out. The only complaint that I really had about this movie is the camera work. In many of the scenes they decided to have handheld camera work but it seemed like whoever was holding the camera has Parkinson’s. I mean, the camera was shaking so badly at times that I was getting dizzy, and I survived Cloverfield with no problems.

The movie stars Matthew McConaughey (Tropic Thunder, Reign of Fire) as Mick Haller. McConaughey was, surprisingly, really good in this movie. It’s too bad that it took him this long to evolve as an actor like this, but he was, dare I say, impressive. Also, this movie managed to achieve the impossible, Matthew McConaughey managed to keep his shirt on for (most of) the movie. Ryan Phillippe (MacGruber, Cruel Intentions) plays the role of Louis Roulet. Phillippe has been doing a great job the last couple years trying to revitalize his acting career and this performance may just finally do that for him. He was absolutely fantastic in this movie and truly terrifying at times. (Marisa Tomei (The Wrestler, Cyrus) plays Maggie McPherson, Mick’s ex-wife and mother of their child. She was really good in the movie as well. I really like Tomei and she keeps doing really great work. William H. Macy (Thank You for Smoking, Fargo) plays Frank Levin, an investigator who works with Haller. This guy is a crazy good actor and I enjoy him in every movie I see him in, and this movie is no exception. The movie also features performances by Josh Lucas, John Leguizamo, Michael Pena, Bob Gunton, Frances Fisher, Bryan Cranston, Laurence Mason and many others.

The Lincoln Lawyer is a really great and well made (for the most part) movie. It is a lot of fun to watch and the suspense is great. I would like to state that I really appreciate movies like this. The Lincoln Lawyer could have easily been modified slightly and edited down to a PG-13 rating, but instead, the filmmakers decided to make the movie more realistic and they went with an R rating.

Great quote: “I checked the list of people I trust and your name ain’t on it.”

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Review: Sucker Punch

Grade: A

One day, a young girl’s mother dies, leaving her and her sister under the control of their wicked stepfather. In an attempt to protect her sister, she accidently shoots her while trying to shoot her stepfather. He takes her to a mental institute where he makes a deal with an attendant to have her lobotomized. As a coping mechanism, Baby Doll begins to escape into an alternate reality where her and the other girls are dancers being forced to work for an evil man. When she dances, she escapes into yet another alternate reality where she and four other girls are an elite fighting squad. Together, the five girls devise an elaborate plan in order to escape the facility.

Sucker Punch is the latest movie from director Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen) and is the first movie that he’s made based on his own original story. As much as I loved Inception, I can’t help but feel that this is what that movie could have/should have been. It does in fact involve a dream world within a dream world. Their reality is a horrible, hellish nightmare of a place in the mental asylum. The first dream world isn’t much better, but rather than being random girls in an asylum, they are dancers and stage performers who just so happen to be held captive by and evil man who makes them dance for his customers. But the second dream world is where things get interesting. It is loaded with giant demon samurai, huge fire-breathing dragons, steam powered Nazi zombies and deadly robots. It is an incredibly visually stunning movie, as are most of Snyders movies. The dream world is a beautiful place and the people that occupy it are great. Sucker Punch is almost everything I could have wanted out of a movie like this.

Emily Browning (The Uninvited, A Series of Unfortunate Events) plays the main role of Baby Doll. Browning did a really great job with this role and was a lot of fun to watch in the movie. Abbie Cornish (Limitless, Bright Star) plays Sweet Pea. She was great in the movie and really kicked some serious butt too. Jena Malone (The Messenger, The Ruins) plays the role of Rocket. Malone was very enjoyable as her character was full of optimism and spunk. Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical, Beastly) plays the role od Blondie. I am not usually a fan of Hudgens, in fact usually I think she’s pretty awful, but she was actually really good in this movie and quite entertaining. Jamie Chung (Grown Ups, Sorority Row) plays Amber in the movie. She did a pretty good job in the movie as well and in the Nazi zombie scene was a lot of fun. The movie also features Carla Gugino, Oscar Isaac, Scott Glenn, Jon Hamm and more.

If you are a fan of Zack Snyder’s other movies or simply if the premise of this movie intrigues you, I strongly recommend heading out to the theater and watching Sucker Punch. It is a fun ride of a movie and the visuals are amazing and beautiful. My only complaints that I have with this movie are that it would have been better if it were rated R (I hate PG-13 violence) and that the ending isn’t quite the “Sucker Punch” they were trying to make it out to be. The ending is still good, it’s just not great like I was hoping for. Other than that, this is a completely entertaining movie.

Great quote: “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”

Review: Red State

Grade: A+

In a middle America town, the Cooper family is a well known media circus of a family that run a fundamentalist church called the Five Points Church and protest at people’s funerals. The entire family, which is the entire congregation of the church, lives in a compound in an area known as Coopers Dell. One day, a trio of high school boys receive an invitation from a woman online to have sex with her. The three of them end up wondering into Coopers Dell in order to meet up with the woman. When they show up, things take a horrible turn as they boys end up drugged and taken captive by the Cooper family who have a much more devious plan to strike the fear of God into people than anybody knows.

I would just like to start off by saying that I am going to keep this review spoiler free, I won’t put anymore information in this review than I had before I went to see this movie. Red State is the latest from writer/director Kevin Smith (Clerks, Dogma); however, this movie is absolutely nothing like anything he’s done before. To start, it is not a comedy, it’s a horror movie, in a way. One thing I kept hearing after it played at Sundance is that “Red State doesn’t know what kind of movie it wants to be.” Well, I completely disagree, Kevin Smith knew exactly what he wanted Red State to be, which is a wild ride. It starts off sounding and looking like a teen-sex comedy but it quickly takes a dark turn. But then, even after that, it makes a few more major tonal and thematic shifts. To sum it up generally, the three major parts of the movie are sex, religion and politics, the three things that you aren’t supposed to talk about in polite conversation. Overall, I would definitely say that the movie is unsettling, it really makes you form your own opinions and makes you chose how you’re going to feel about what is happening.

Red State also doesn’t look like anything that Kevin Smith has ever done. It is an amazingly shot movie and it looks downright beautiful at times. I really enjoyed the look of this movie, it really helped the overall feel of the movie. It would switch from nice steady cam shots to really well done hand-held shots to help amplify what was happening on screen. This is probably the best looking movie that Kevin Smith has made. It’s especially awe-inspiring considering the extremely low budget that the movie was made on.

Michael Parks (Planet Terror, From Dusk Till Dawn) plays the role of Abin Cooper, the head of the family and leader of the Five Points Church. Parks is absolutely amazing in this movie. His performance as Abin is absolutely incredible and very disturbing. He hit all the notes of this role just right. I haven’t seen a performance like this in a while, I would say Oscar worthy, but the academy will ignore this movie. He gives a sermon at one point in the movie which is just incredible to listen to him speak the way he does, again, awe-inspiring and yet deeply disturbing at the same time. Melissa Leo (The Fighter, Conviction) plays the role of Sara Cooper. Leo is absolutely amazing in this movie. I enjoyed her performance in this movie and thought that it was better than her performance in The Fighter, just great. John Goodman (In the Electric Mist, Speed Racer) plays the role of Joseph Keenan, an ATF agent. Goodman was just fantastic in this movie. He gave a great, raw and sometimes funny performance. The movie features amazing performances by everybody in the movie, which includes Michael Angarano, Nicholas Braun, Kyle Gallner, Stephen Root, Kerry Bishe, Ralph Garman, Kevin Pollak and many more.

Red State is a superb movie that is unlike anything I have ever seen before. It will make you laugh and it’ll leave you shaken. It is extremely well written and shot and deals with some subjects that not many people are willing to tackle these days. It is a bold movie to say the least and is an absolute must see. Just an overall incredibly made movie. I loved every second of Red State and I really hope that people get out to see this movie.

Great quote: “People do strange things when they feel entitled. They do even stranger things when they believe.”

Red State is available on demand now! For more information on that click here.
Res State will be in theaters one night only in select theaters on Spetember 25, for more information click here.
Red State will be available on DVD and Blu-ray October 18!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Review: Rango

Grade: A

Rango is an ordinary chameleon living in a cage where he attempts to spice up his life by pretending to live out adventures in his confined space. However, one day, when his cage is in the back of a truck that’s driving across the desert, an accident occurs and his cage falls off the truck setting him free. It’s a hot day and all he wants is some water, he comes across an armadillo who points him in the direction of a small town called Dirt. When he gets there, he makes up a heroic back story and becomes an instant hero to the town. However, the town has real problems to deal with, mainly that their water supply has been stolen. The town’s people look to the hapless Rango to find the lost water and save the town.

Rango is a great and extremely funny animated western movie. It is a lot of fun and all of the characters are great. The animation is really great and makes for an absolutely beautiful movie. The jokes keep on coming and it makes for one of the best western movies I’ve seen in a long time. However, I would like to state that even though this movie was aimed at kids, it is far from being a kid’s movie. Many of the themes, events and jokes in the movie are rather adult in nature. There are tons of references to things that kids won’t understand and won’t for a while, like The Man with No Name movies and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas for starters. There are lots of guns, gun play and mild violence in the movie as well as plenty of smoking, drinking and some mild language. I absolutely loved this movie but I would be afraid to take young children to the movie for fear that they might have nightmares or something after, there are some pretty scary characters in the movie, namely a giant rattlesnake with a machine gun for a tail.

Johnny Depp (The Tourist, Public Enemies) does the voice of the titular character, Rango. Depp is great and absolutely hilarious with this role, really making the character his own. The movie was clearly made for Johnny Depp because there are a lot of references to his movies and overall personality. The movie also features the voice work of Isla Fisher, Ned Beatty, Abigail Breslin, Alfred Molina, Bill Nighy, Stephen Root, Harry Dean Stanton, Ray Winstone, Timothy Olyphant and many others.

Rango is a great movie and one of the best westerns to come out in the last decade. It is a very funny movie but I really do have to emphasize that, while kids may enjoy the movie to a point, it’s not really a kid’s movie and most kids won’t fully understand it. But the action is great, the jokes are hilarious and the story is fantastic.

Great quote: “If you want to find water, first you’ve got to find dirt.”

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Review: Paul

Grade: A+

Graeme and Clive are two comic book/sci-fi nerds on vacation in California from London, England. The two are in San Diego for ComiCon where they got to meet one of their favorite writers. Then, the two decide to hit the road in an RV in order to visit some of the most famous supernatural sites and the sites of some famous UFO sightings. Along the way, a car crashes in front of them on the road. That is when they encounter Paul, a foul-mouthed, cigarette-smoking alien. Paul begs the two to help him escape some danger that he’s in and drive him to Wyoming, where he can be picked up some of his own kind. Meanwhile, a mysterious government agent, accompanied by two dimwitted new agents, track down Paul in an attempt to retrieve him for experimentation.

Paul is written by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost and is easily one of the funniest and best movies I have seen in a very long time. This movie had my sides splitting from start to finish, simply genius. To start, the movie has non-stop references to classic sci-fi movies like Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Star Wars, E.T. and many, many others. It is basically one big love letter to Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. I would love to go into all the great things that made me fall in love with this movie, but I don’t want to spoil anything for you. In general, the writing is just fantastic and has some of the best and most creative swearing I have ever heard. Really, just every aspect of the movie was 100% enjoyable, fantastic and extremely funny.

Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead, Star Trek) plays Graeme, a comic book artist. Pegg was absolutely hilarious, as he always is. He kept the movie going at a great pace and kept pumping out great jokes throughout. Nick Frost (Hot Fuzz, The Boat That Rocked) plays Clive, a science fiction writer. Frost was great too and was really enjoyable and funny. Pegg and Frost work so perfectly together and write such great and funny movies, I hope they make some more movies together soon. Seth Rogen (The Green Hornet, Zack and Miri Make a Porno) does the voice of Paul. Rogen was a perfect choice for the voice of this particular alien. His voice really helps make the character that much funnier. Jason Bateman (The Switch, Extract) plays Agent Zoil. Bateman was great in this movie and despite his character being very intense, he was still very funny. Paul has a cast that is loaded with many extremely funny people including Kristen Wiig, David Koechner, Jane Lynch, Bill Hader, Jeffery Tambor, Sigourney Weaver and keep an ear out for Spielberg himself.

Paul is the perfect comedy for any sci-fi fan. This is one of the funniest movies I think I’ve ever seen. Every second of this movie is enjoyable. I am definitely going to be going to see this movie again, and soon. I absolutely loved this movie, Paul really spoke to my (not so) inner nerd, and I hope many others will love it as well. This is the next E.T., but funny.

Great quote: “Was that Klingon? You psychotic nerd!”

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Review: Howl

Grade: A

In the early 1950’s, beat poet Allen Ginsberg wrote a four part poem called Howl. When the poem is published, it is criticized by some people as being obscene for its language and strong sexual themes throughout. The publisher is brought to trial and the discussion begins as to whether or not the poem is actually obscene, what makes it literature and is the poem valid. While the trial is going on, Allen Ginsberg himself answers some questions about his poem.

I have a strong passion for the subject matter of Howl, so I thought I’d write a quick review about it and try to convince as many people to see it as possible, as it is a really good movie as well. Howl is an interesting movie as it could almost be a documentary, except for the fact that there are actors portraying all the people. It states very clearly at the beginning of the movie that every word spoken is accounted for and was actually spoken by the people speaking them in the movie. The movie has three different parts to it: first, the obscenity trial surrounding the poem Howl, second, an interview with Ginsberg wherein he discusses the different parts of the poem and third, a surreal animation of the poem and its themes.

So first I would like to discuss the trial aspect of the movie. I am a huge proponent of free speech, so much so that even though I despise the Phelps family and everything that they stand for, I applaud them for recently winning their Supreme Court case involving their freedom to spout their hate wherever they want. In my opinion, the obscenity trial that surrounded the poem was obscene itself. The fact that there were people who were trying to say that the poem was nothing but filth and can’t even be considered literature simply because it had some words in it that some people don’t like and because it discusses sexually very frankly, is crazy to me.

Second, the interview with Allen Ginsberg where he discusses the meanings of his poem and his inspiration behind it is really interesting to watch. James Franco (127 Hours, Milk) portrays Ginsberg in the movie and he does a wonderful job. Franco does a great job with the role and his performance reciting Ginsberg’s words as he describes why he wrote the poem and what it’s all about is fantastic.

But this all brings me to what I considered to be the best part of the movie, Franco, as Ginsberg, reciting Howl in a great theatrical manner while we watch a beautifully animated interpretation of the poem. The animation is apparently inspired by drawings that Ginsberg drew himself. The animation is beautiful and mesmerizing. I really found this part of the movie to be the most interesting part and really makes the movie worth watching.

The movie also features performances by Jon Hamm, Mary Louise Parker, Jeff Daniels, David Strathairn, Bob Balaban and more.

If you are a supporter of free speech, you need to see this movie. If you are a fan of Allen Ginsberg, his work and/or the poem Howl, this movie is a must see. If you like great animation, this movie is a must see. Howl is a great movie that completely flew under everybody’s radar and I can’t recommend it enough.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Review: Battle: Los Angeles

Grade: A

Early one summer morning in Los Angeles, a report comes in that a large cluster of meteors is heading toward Earth and will enter the Earth’s atmosphere within 24 hours. They are supposed to crash into the ocean just outside of several large cities around the world. The U.S. Marines scramble together in order to help with any possible flooding that may occur after the meteors hit the ocean. However, when they enter the atmosphere, the meteors slow down before hitting the water. Then, an army of armored aliens began an attack on Los Angeles, killing everything in site. A group of marines, led my Staff Sergeant Michael Nantz, are charged with the task of going behind enemy lines in order to rescue a group of civilians trapped in a police station. Along the way, the group tries to figure out a way to take down the alien invaders.

I’m going to get right to the point, Battle: Los Angeles is the best alien invasion movie to come out in a long time, maybe since Independence Day. Yes, I can admit that the alien invasion story line has been used many times over the last several years, but what this movie does with that tried and true formula seems fresh and really interesting. To start, I like the fact that this movie really focuses on one group of people and keeps the story interesting. Thankfully, the movie gets most of the character development out of the way at the beginning of the movie so we don’t have another Independence Day like story where the aliens attack then nothing happens for the next hour of the movie while we focus on the characters. The aliens are somewhat different from previous movies like this and their motivation is simple. Overall, the story actually holds strong and the characters are written well enough that you grow close to them quickly and are on the edge of your seat cheering them on throughout the movie. The movie is gritty and feels like a war movie, which technically it is, just with a different enemy.

Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight, Thank You For Smoking) plays the role of SSgt. Michael Nantz, a Marine with a troubled past who was about to retire when the attack started. Eckhart is great and really pulls this role off well. He is a great actor and he definitely helps make this movie what it is. Michelle Rodriguez (Machete, Avatar) plays the role of TSgt. Elena Santos, an Air Force soldier who was part of a group trying to find the best way to bring down the aliens. Rodriguez did a pretty good job in this movie and was very enjoyable. The movie also features Bridget Moynahan, Ramon Rodriguez, Ne-Yo, Noel Fisher, Cory Hardrict and many more.

If you love sci-fi and alien invasion movies, then Battle: Los Angeles is the movie for you. It is a great and fresh take on an old formula. The action is great, the suspense is intense and the story is a blast to watch. It is an extremely fun and enjoyable movie to watch and it gets rid of the bad taste that the atrocious Skyline left in your mouth (if you were unfortunate to watch it).

P.S. I would just like to say that movies like Battle: Los Angeles are the reason that I despise the MPAA and there incoherent standards. Once again, the MPAA seems to be ok with showing people dies horrible and violent deaths but since there is no sex or language, it's perfectly ok for kids to see. Here seems to be the MPAA's views: "Well if Timmy sees a bunch of soldiers and other people shot by mysterious weapons, crushed by vehicles and blown up, no problem. However, if Timmy sees a boob or hears the word 'fuck' he will commit horrible crimes against humanity!"

Monday, March 7, 2011

Review: Take Me Home Tonight

Grade: A

Matt Franklin recently graduated from MIT and is currently working at Suncoast Video until he figures out what he wants to do with his life. Suddenly, one day, his high school crush, Tori Frederking, walks into the store, in order to impress her he tells her that he is a banker at Goldman-Sachs. It works and she invites him to a big Labor Day party that a fellow former classmate is throwing. Along with his twin sister Wendy, who is in a serious relationship with the party’s host, and their mutual best friend Barry, who just lost his job as a car salesman, the three set out to have the night of their lives. Matt goes on a wild ride for the pursuit of the girl of his dreams, the brilliant Wendy becomes engaged to her vapid boyfriend and Barry gets into some drugs to try to relax.

Take Me Home Tonight is a great and funny movie about 20-somethings who aren’t quite sure what to do with their lives. I just found out that this movie was shot almost 4 years ago and it has taken this long for it to be released. I honestly don’t get why, the movie is genuinely funny and enjoyable and there aren’t enough movies out there like this. Topher Grace did a fantastic job coming up with the story for this movie. I love movies like this because I relate to them and can connect with them on more of a personal level and I know that there are many other people out there like me. Also, instead of parodying the 80’s in the way that Austin Powers parodies the 60’s, Take Me Home Tonight is a wonderful love note to the 80’s and everything about them, especially the music. The soundtrack to this movie is one of the best soundtracks of any movie. With songs like Motley Crue’s “Kickstart My Heart”, Men With Hats’ “The Safety Dance”, INSX’s “What You Need” and many more, it is great to just listen and sing along. My only complaint about this movie is that it is titled Take Me Home Tonight but yet the Eddie Money song is nowhere to be heard throughout, oh well.

Topher Grace (Predators, Spiderman 3) plays the lead role of Matt Franklin, a recent MIT graduate with no direction in life. Grace was absolutely great in this movie. I like him a lot and I keep hoping he does more but he is extremely enjoyable in this movie. He has perfect delivery of his lines, he is hilarious and just plain fun to watch in this movie. Teresa Palmer (Sorcerer’s Apprentice, I Am Number Four) plays the role of Tori Frederking, Matt’s dream girl. While she hasn’t done much yet, I have enjoyed everything I’ve seen Palmer in so far, I really think that her career will take off soon and this movie proves it. She is great in this and can be really funny too. Anna Faris (Observe and Report, Just Friends) plays Wendy, Matt’s twin sister. Faris is always funny and enjoyable and this movie is no exception. Dan Fogler (Fanboys, Taking Woodstock) plays Barry, the mutual best friend of Matt and Wendy. Fogler is great and extremely funny in this movie, especially during his “dance off” scene. The movie also features performances by Michael Biehn, Chris Pratt, Michelle Trachtenberg, Demetri Martin, Lucy Punch, Michael Ian Black, Bob Odenkirk and many others.

I absolutely loved this movie and can’t wait to watch it again someday. It has a great storyline, great characters and is really really funny. The music is fantastic and seriously, who doesn’t love the 80’s. I can’t recommend this movie enough, it is an extremely enjoyable movie and one of the best comedies to come out in a while. The movie’s tagline is very accurate Best. Night. Ever.

Also, if you haven’t seen the Atomic Tom “Don’t You Want Me” music video made for this movie, do yourself a favor and click here.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Review: The Adjustment Bureau

Grade: A

David Norris just lost his bid to be a senator for New York. Just before giving his concession speech, he meets Elise, a woman like he’s never met before. A couple days later, he is unknowingly being followed by a mysterious man. This man is tasked with making sure that Norris doesn’t catch a bus, which he fails to do. This leads to Norris running into Elise again and shortly after that, he heads to work where he discovers something he was not meant to see. He learns that there is an agency run by a person known simply as “The Chairman” who controls the fate of all the people in the world. They have plans for everyone and they help make sure that they stay on that plan. David has deviated from his plan and they will stop at nothing to get him back on track, but David doesn’t want to follow their plan.

The Adjustment Bureau is a very interesting movie that takes a different look at fate and religion. The concept is simple, do we control our own destiny or is it all planned out? Who makes sure that we stay on that plan? What if “god” and “angels” weren’t so much all powerful beings sitting on clouds but rather were essentially run like a government agency? The movie is based on a short story by Phillip K. Dick (Minority Report, A Scanner Darkly) and it shows that he was an amazing sci-fi writer. The story of this movie is very intriguing and an absolute blast to watch. I went into this movie not expecting much and I ended up really loving this movie. The characters are all great, the story is interesting and it all keeps you completely gripped throughout. It has a very interesting view on fate and religion and free will. The love story that ties it all together keeps you rooting for David and Elise through the whole movie. Also, if someone was running for senate and they gave the speech that Norris does at the beginning of the movie, they would totally have my vote.

Matt Damon (True Grit, Invictus) plays the lead role of David Norris, a man getting ready to run for the Senate a second time. I really like Damon and all that he has done so far and he is fantastic in this movie. He plays this character so well that, like I mentioned before, you really root for him and hope that his defiance of “the agency” works out for the best. Emily Blunt (The Wolfman, Sunshine Cleaning) plays the role of Elise, a ballerina with a free spirit. I’ve liked some of the movies that she has been in but Blunt is really great in Adjustment Bureau and I can’t wait to see more from her. John Slattery (Charlie Wilson’s War, Reservation Road) plays the role of Richardson, the leader of the team of agents that look after David. Slattery is great in this movie, really enjoyable in this role, his character isn’t necessarily bad, he’s just determined to get his job done. Terrence Stamp (Valkyrie, Yes Man) plays the role of Thompson, a man brought in from the agency to do everything in his power to stop David. Stamp is really great in this role and he does have a touch of evil in him. Anthony Mackie (Eagle Eye, The Hurt Locker) plays Harry, an agent who eventually decides to help David. Mackie was great in this movie, he was very enjoyable.

If you like sci-fi and this kind of story interests you, I highly recommend seeing this movie. Hell, if you’re usually not that into sci-fi I have to recommend this movie. It tells a great story about the power of free will and the love story is actually really enjoyable. I loved this movie and will probably watch it again.