Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Adjustment Bureau

In beginning to compose my review of this movie, my writing became a discussion of the source material and the genre from which it came. The film is based on a short story by Phillip K Dick, The Adjustment Team. As this is a movie blog and I would gather people read these posts for movie subject matter, I've included the futuristic-dystopian topic toward the end of this post. I apologize if it is too random.

One of my favorite movie composers, Thomas Newman (American Beauty, Shawshank, Little Women, Meet Joe Black -- he has 83 entries as composer on imdb) did the music for the film. I actually wish I had noticed the score more. For some reason I did not observe it as well as I usually do. There was one song choice at an important moment that was a little heavy-handed for me, but I leave that to debate with those who have seen the movie. This is certainly a film I do not want to reveal anything additional about. Last post I talked about how the medium in which one watches a movie can affect not only the experience of watching the flick, but also how it affects expectations. This was a movie that I instantly knew I wanted to see the first time I saw the trailer. When the film was released, the reviews were alright, they seemed about an average of a B. This helped settle my expectations. It was 7th at the box office in its second week of release this past weekend. Seems like a lot of the folks I know have seen it and enjoyed it. Can't recall how many positive status updates I've seen about the Adjustment Bureau. I am among them, I truly enjoyed it and liked it. I make a point of not disclosing plot points and for this movie in particular, I really don't want to say much. If you like Matt Damon and Emily Blunt and the trailer interested you, I think you will be entertained. And also Matt Damon is so yummy.
As mentioned above, the movie is based on a Phillip K Dick short story. The executive producing credit for Isa Dick Hackett, is legit. She is one of Dick's two daughters, the both of whom have a production company for the adaptations of their father's work. Maybe its because of Jon Stewart's cameo as himself in the movie, but seeing that name on the big screen during the closing credits made me think of the inside flap of America the book.

I read the short story the Adjustment Team online. The movie takes the premise of the story and truly develops it into a much more fully realized world. The filmmakers, including writer-director-producer George Nolfi, deserve major credit for expanding on the idea of the story and bringing great deep to it.

My ramblings...
Matt Damon's Phillip K Dick movie, is much stronger and much deeper than Ben Affleck's. Though, I did like 2003's Paycheck. Of course, I am partial to both the Bostonians pictures. Paycheck also features Michael C Hall, post Six Feet Under, pre Dexter. Also, I love the future/dystopian genre. I think its based in growing up on Back to the Future movies. Then reading Invitation to the Game in junior high and in high school Fahrenheit 451. I tried to read Catch-22 after I watched Clockwork Orange, but could not even make sense of it. This makes me realize that I have never read 1984 and should really get on that. My favorites: Terminator, 1 and 2, AI, THX 1138, Minority Report and Blade Runner. The last two are also based on Philip K Dick stories. I also must mention WALL-E in this conversation for its commentary on what the future may look like. It is scary that the films and books produced decades ago, would no longer take place in the future, they take place in present time. The Adjustment Bureau is a much more philosophical than a scary look at the future; there is a spiritual, religious component that debates free will. Though not futuristic or dystopian, I feel a connection between The Adjustment Bureau and Contact. For me its the exploration of spirituality and faith, and the question of if we alone in the universe and on our own. And worm holes mean time travel and time travel brings it all Back to the Future.

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