Double Feature

July 2022 - If you've ever hoped for a do-over or wished for more time, then you're just like me. But what would happen if those opportunities came to pass? Here are two movies that try to answer the question.

In 2006, Denzel Washington travelled through time to save hundreds of people, including one very pretty woman, from dying at the hands of a mad bomber. Washington did it by starring in a PG-13 movie called Déjà Vu. Paula Patton (Swing Vote) plays the pretty woman and Jim Caviezel (The Passion of the Christ) is the bad guy. Val Kilmer and Bruce Greenwood play good guys.

The film is set in post-Katrina New Orleans. Washington stars as ATF agent Doug Carlin. When a ferry blows up with hundreds of people and dozens of vehicles on board, Carlin is on the case. He quickly realizes that the explosion was no accident and that a woman found dead near the blast was a separate victim of whoever blew up the ferry. FBI agent Val Kilmer is also on the case. In a show of inter-agency cooperation, he asks Carlin to join his special task force.

What makes Kilmer's group so special is its ability to play with time. The group uses satellites and other newfangled technology to basically spy on people and witness events that happened four days ago. So, Carlin and co. look in the past for a suspect that they can track down in the future.

Overall review: Liked it. The movie held my interest and, as far as I can tell, it stayed true to the logic set up by the premise. The performances are fine, and the action is good. Next time Déjà Vu comes around, give it a look.

Also worth a look is Primer. This PG-13 drama from 2004 was written, directed and produced by Shane Carruth, who also stars in the movie. It won the award for best drama at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival.

Carruth plays Aaron, a husband and father who works at a local electronics company. In his spare time, Aaron, his friend Abe, and a couple other guys tinker around in Aaron's garage. They have a few patents but nothing that's going to make them rich.

Aaron and Abe start working on a project of their own. It works, but they don't know what to do with it. Then, they discover that it can be used as a sort of time-travel machine. Aaron and Abe make use of the time to fiddle with the stock market and make loads of money.

The problem is that the machine creates "doubles," so there is more than one Abe and more than one Aaron. The bigger problem seems to be that these doubles have minds of their own, and they're thinking of ways to exploit the technology for their own purposes.

Overall Review: Ehhh, it was OK. Interesting concept, but kind of hard to follow. You kind of assume that the movie follows the original Aaron and Abe, but that may not be the case. I did enjoy watching actors that I'd never seen before. I'll look for more work from this guy, I think.