Saturday, August 13, 2011

Source Code's (2011) Big Red Button

Ok, I'll admit, I had a set-back. I took on too much "assigned" reading and then had a fit of impulse Kindle buying that led to a Heyer glom. So, um, goals? What goals? My horse and I continue to progress in our training but I've pretty much been ignoring all else.... But now let's dust off those goals again and get going... but first...

Since we know I'll watch Jake Gyllenhaal pretty much no matter what it should come as no surprise that I gave Source Code another try after not liking it in the theatre. Even with the lowered expectations I lost interest at about the same spot and had all the same questions at the end. I think the most disappointing aspect of the movie is how well it starts off and how badly it ends. But, whatever, we're here to talk about the Big Red Button.

**If you haven't seen Source Code here's your SPOILER warning. Also, if you haven't seen The Matrix Revolutions here's your SPOILER warning (yeah, I get that that seems weird but it's going to come up).**

The Big Red Button in Source Code is located on a control panel that is positioned at about waist height in a room with a poorly guarded (from humans and bacteria) soldier whose brain is linked with a computer, or similar. The entire operation is, it can be inferred, the source of several people's livelihood and quite an expensive endeavor. I'm talking millions of dollars and wo/man-hours here. Big bucks!!! So much money! Please understand how much money is at stake here. Now that you have envisioned a big pile of money, let's think about the Big Red Button again. It's on a control panel. The panel is about waist high. It is not shielded by a plastic cover. From this information you might think to yourself, Oh this must be a button that calls emergency personnel. Well, that's a good idea! It should be easily accessible and obvious to the eye. Yes, very good design here of an emergency button. But wait! It's actually a kill switch. Yeah! It kills the only fucking soldier that has been found to be compatible with source code. Besides the fact that it exists AT ALL it exists in a locale that an untimely stumble might lead to its being depressed! What????? Are you kidding me?

Apropos of nothing, I was thinking of the final battle in The Matrix Revolutions earlier today.  Much like the Big Red Button, the design of the fighting machines the soldiers controlled for shooting lots of bullets was nonsensical. I could make a list but it's mostly the 15th Century Coal Delivery-like technology that always struck me. If you've seen The Matrix you know the kinds of technology available to our rebel fighters (if you haven't seen it then this will make no sense anyway), and yet they chose to employ unarmored youth and hand carts to supply ammo to the fighting machines. The carts, by the way, had to pushed across a platform riddled with cords, spent casings, fighting machines, detritus, flexible piping, etc. What???? Are you kidding me???


  1. Excellent point, Rachel, for both of your observations regarding SOURCE CODE and THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS. The latter represents a series I admire, but it has diminishing returns as one moves through it.

    I didn't know you were a Jake Gyllenhaal fan. What timing! Yesterday, I started a mini-film fest, of sorts. It is a Jake G./time-travel set:
    • The Prince of Persia - The Sands of Time
    • Donnie Darko
    • Source Code
    The first was to placate my daughter because I refused to take her when it came out -- she did see it, though, with her brother. The second (DD) is to finally satisfy my curiosity of the film, one I've yet to see (all based on Joe Maddrey's appreciation of it). And of course, you know I already admire SC (plus my kids want to see it).

    And I see you already have THE DAY OF THE JACKAL on your reading list. I'm about to start it on audiobook, too, before re-watching the film adaptation. Cool.

    Thanks, Rachel.

  2. Hey Michael,

    Excellent point on the matrix as a series.

    Oh my gosh!!! I am so excited for the JG series. I've seen all those movies (ok, yeah, I've seen all his movies so this isn't a surprise) and even remember DD taking on cult status shortly after it hit video. Can't wait to read 'em!

    I've never seen THE DAY OF THE JACKAL so I'm putting it on my queue!

  3. *snerk*
    I'm not sure if this was your intention, but now that I've read your most reasonable design concerns, I'm even more eager to watch 'Source Code'.

    After being mondo impressed with the first Matrix, (well - most of it, and I was willing to forgive all the 'huh?' moments because of creativity of the rest) I so totally gave up on 2 and 3 that I do't think I even paid attention to what was going on in the battle scene. And that one I'm definitely NOT going to watch again.

    Hey, what did you think of PoP? There was a whole lot of ridonkulousness, but I loved the ostrich races, that she actually smacked him so hard he passed out (not because I condone violence, but because he totally underestimated her and had it coming) and I just really like Jake.

    One of the stupidest things? In Persian, his name meant "Give me" or "hand me".

  4. Hey Maya - I think, with lowered expectations, Source Code ought to work out quite well for you. :)

    While I didn't give up on the matrix series I can certainly understand your position.

    PoP... so many thoughts. Trying to be brief: of course I love JG because he's an awesome actor and HAWT!!!! I think it was a great adaptation of the video game. It irks me no end how white-washed the whole thing was (again, this problem runs rampant in the video game). I realize JG is part-Jewish so at least he has some access to ME descent but the other principles did not. However, more ME features are to be found in those who get to serve or die. Seriously! It's 2011! Why aren't we past this? I thought the blonde brother was a fantastic character. Very interesting dynamic with everyone around him and well-acted. I thought the brothers had better chemistry than did the principle female lead with JG.

    It seems his name would have been better to be "i take" since he was a thief.

    Off topic - I still have not got back to you on goodreads re TTW but I have no forgotten. I thought your points were v. good and I look forward to finally answering with my own... you know, whenever that ends up happening. :)

  5. The key to enjoying Source Code is "willing suspension of disbelief." Just watch Jake...

  6. "just watch jake..."