Gobbledygeek episode 91, “Real Darko,” is available for listening or download right here.
It’s Geek Challenge time! Paul has challenged AJ to Real Genius, and in turn, AJ has challenged Paul to Donnie Darko. Our two challenges this time may seem wildly different in terms of plot and tone, but they’re really not that dissimilar: Both take place in the ’80s, both are centered around “extraordinary” young men, both feature schools which are important to the story, and both ensure that Tears for Fears will keep receiving those royalty checks for a good long while. As far as the boys’ discussion is concerned, things are going pretty well until they’re not. Plus, Paul and AJ rave about the Game of Thrones season premiere.
Next week: It’s real! The Cabin in the Woods exists!
(Show notes for “Real Darko.”)
Source Code, the new film from director Duncan Jones, is a compelling blend of old-fashioned science fiction, classic ticking clock thriller, and new age theophilosophical what if.
Army Captain Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) has had his consciousness plugged into the memory remains of a man who died in a train bombing this morning. He has eight minutes to scour the dead man’s final thoughts for clues to who planted the bomb in order to prevent an even larger bomb being detonated later. The problem is the experience of being inserted into this “source code” simulation is disorienting, and it takes several attempts, each one ultimately ending in Colter “dying” himself in the explosion, for the Captain to find his footing and start his investigation effectively.
So the old-fashioned sci-fi obviously comes from the fantastical technology that allows a man to be transported into the memories of a dead man, and to move about freely within that memory world. The ticking clock aspect of the story, equally obviously, comes from the eight minute window in which to search for a mad bomber. Though the train Colter is riding on is only a flashback of a train, and it has already been destroyed, the knowledge that back in the real world the bomber remains at large and is planning to detonate a much larger bomb in the middle of Chicago keeps ratcheting up the tension with every failed attempt.
As for the theophilosophical element…?