With 4K UHD still being relatively new, one of my favorite thing to do is guess why certain catalog titles are getting the upgrade. Some are seemingly completely random (The Legend of Hercules for example). Lionsgate is king of releasing catalog titles, and with this latest release of Source Code, I was given another chance to posit my guesses. However, this time it wasn’t very difficult.
Source Code is a 2011 thriller starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, and Vera Farmiga. It was directed by Duncan Jones, who brought us Warcraft, Mute, and Moon, among other films.
So why was this movie being upgraded to 4K unsurprising? Well, once you hear the synopsis I’m sure you’ll understand.
Gyllenhaal plays Colter Stevens, a marine who wakes up on a train confused about his whereabouts. However, he quickly discovers that he is not who he thinks he is. He is in the body of someone else. Eight minutes later, the train blows up and suddenly he awakes in a chamber of some sort, disoriented.
Colter is informed that he is participating in an experimental military program and has been activated to re-enact the last eight minutes of another person’s life in order to discover who bombed the train. Until he discovers who doesn’t belong on the train, he can’t prevent a dirty bomb from going off and killing millions.
So, in short, this is like a Groundhogs Day version of The Commuter (a man trying to find a suspect on a train). Yea, no wonder they chose this one. Oh, and did I mention that Vera Farmiga is in BOTH Source Code and The Commuter?
Enough comparing this to other films. Source Code released several years before The Commuter anyway.
The film topped out at $54 million for the box office, which is respectable, given it’s $32 million dollar budget. It comes as no surprise that this film was successful, as it is well done in my opinion. Duncan Jones has a bit of a style to him and if you like other films he’s done (especially Moon), then you are likely to enjoy this as well.
Jake Gyllenhaal does a great job of portraying Colter living through another person’s final moments, and he does so several times. We watch him as he wakes up on the train and tries several methods to try and find the subject. At first, he does what I imagine anyone would do, he has a little bit of fun with his situation. However, the gravity of the situation quickly snaps him back into military mode and he gets down to business finding the perp.
This film isn’t going to change anyone’s life or anything, but it does build tension fairly well and Gyllenhaal is great in his role. I wish they had talked a bit more about the science involved in this experimental tech, because the way they talk about it in this film is a bit weak, and seems like more of a caricature than anything else. But I guess that is the price you pay.
Visually, this film looks great on 4K, but I’m not entirely convinced it needed the treatment. The Blu-ray release already looks great, and for the most part, the only noticeable differences are in some slight color optimizations and better shadow detail.
On a more positive note, the audio quality is definitely worth an upgrade if you have an Atmos setup. With this bump in format, overhead sounds will help immerse you in the film. Specifically, this double-decker train makes you actually feel like there are people above you talking on the train. It’s pretty great.
With only two special features on the 4K disc, there isn’t a lot to go through. However, 5 Crazy Details You Might Have Missed is new to this set.
- 5 Crazy Details You Might Have Missed
- Audio Commentary with Duncan Jones, Ben Phillips, and Jake Gyllenhaal
Source Code 4K UHD Final Thoughts:
I had seen Source Code a couple of years back but had forgotten a lot about it. It was actually really cool to see this one after reviewing The Commuter. Thanks to these two, I now want to have a movie marathon with films that take place on trains, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to make that happen soon.
Fans of the thriller genre who are looking to make use of their 4K TVs should definitely consider this film, especially since it is pretty reasonably priced.
Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgment or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.