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Dennis Quaid plays a heroic firefighter who was killed trying to rescue a runaway from a burning warehouse during the days of the Amazing Mets' World Series victory in October 1969. Jim Caviezel ("The Thin Red Line") plays his son, now a cop, thirty years later. Through some quirk of physics involving abnormal solar activity and the Aurora Borealis, the two make contact with each other across the 30-year span over a ham radio. The son is able to prevent his father's death, but changing the past also turns out to have unexpected consequences with which the two must deal.
The film really works on all levels with good action sequences and suspense, a nice dose of humor and some very touching exchanges between father and son. It explores the "what if" scenario of one's being presented with the opportunity to change an event in the past and the way in which those affected must deal with the consequences in a very intelligent and thought-provoking manner.
The acting is uniformly strong, with Quaid very appealing as the courageous firefighter and loving father who has an almost-childlike love for baseball (he even pulls off a Brooklyn accent nicely!); Caviezel is equally good as the present day version of Quaid's character's son. Caviezel brings a subtle sadness to the character, a quality one might expect from someone whose life hasn't quite worked out quite as well as it might have, possibly due to a void created by the absence of his father. One of the strongest aspects of Caviezel's performance was a subtle shift in personality following the changing of events in the past (a change which left him with memories both of his father's death and of time spent with his father in the intervening years).
I have a good feeling about this film and think it has a chance to be a real surprise hit. It's certainly one of the best films of the year thus far.
When I first saw the preview for Frequency, I thought that the idea of a son talking to a his deceased father over a radio was original and interesting. I didn't think, however, that the film would be very good. I was wrong though. The movie is packed with action, mystery, twists, and emotion. The love between the father and son is so real, as are the characters themselves.
Frequency uses remarkable use of film's ability to stretch out moments of time and intercut between different events. And as far as timing goes, this movie has stopwatch-precision. As a result, it can produce tears, outbursts of laughter, or dropping jaws in the audience.
I think the ending of the movie could be improved, but I still highly recommend seeing this film. As long as you don't worry too much about the plausibility of the time-lapse details, you'll enjoy it. After all, it's entertainment in its finest form.
The movie opens with the introduction of the Sullivan family. Frank (Dennis Quaid) is a heroic New York firefighter, and escapes a harrowing situation to return home to his wife and his 6-year-old son John. It's an exciting time in New York, as the 'Miracle Mets' have made the World Series. Frank is a ham radio user, and a strange disturbance in the sky (solar flares, I believe. I never took astronomy) in the sky has really increased the range of his radio. "I'm reaching people I've never reached before", he says. Flash forward to 1999, when young John has grown up into a 36-year-old NY homicide detective (James Caviezel) with relational problems (and possibly a drinking problem as well). We learn his father died several years earlier in a warehouse fire, and it's obvious that John has never really gotten over it. He ends up setting up the old ham radio (did I mention that the solar flares are back?), and contacts a fellow New Yorker named Frank. It certainly won't ruin any big surprise when I tell you that it's his father Frank--in 1969. After recovering from his astonishment and convincing his father who he really is (his knowledge of the 1969 World Series proves quite helpful), they begin a series of nightly conversations. Unfortunately, their conversations change the past--and the future--in very dangerous ways. A serial killer who should only have 3 victims suddenly has more, and John must use his knowledge of the crimes (30 years old to him) to guide his dad in a 1969 pursuit of the killer. And the chase is on. Will they stop the killer? Will the solar flares last long enough for them to finish their plan? Will anyone in 1999 or 1969 believe them?
That lengthy 'plot summary' really didn't ruin any of the suspense--or come close to explaining the whole story. So, it goes without saying that the story is pretty convoluted and involved. But it's not hard to follow, and the movie grabbed me and kept me interested throughout. Granted, you will need to use a serious amount of 'suspension of disbelief'. If you get hung up on "there's no way they could be talking to each other" or "changes in the past wouldn't immediately appear in the future--they would have already happened and would have been there all along", you'll do 2 things: (1) you'll give yourself a headache, and (2) you'll miss out on a very entertaining film. The reason I gave this more stars than last week's "U-571"? I cared about the characters, and I found "Frequency" much more entertaining. Also, the story was quite original--with great use of the Miracle Mets and the 1969 World Series throughout.
Speaking of the characters--Quaid and Caviezel both do great work. Their conversations via radio are very touching and authentic (once you accept the general premise, of course). Although Quaid is a 'movie star', don't let that fool you--he's a very good (and probably underrated) actor. Just watch him as Doc Holliday in "Wyatt Earp" (1994), Remy McSwain in "The Big Easy" (1987), or Gordo Cooper in "The Right Stuff" (1983) if you don't believe me. And Caviezel's a real up-and-comer (1998's "The Thin Red Line"). He does a great job as a grieving son who is reunited (in a way) with his father, but watches his joy dissipate in the face of the mess he's created. He also believably portrays a character who has memories of the way things were, but is now bombarded with 'new' memories of the way things have become. The other characters are definitely secondary, but Elizabeth Mitchell as wife/mom Julia, and Andre Braugher (TV's "Homicide", 1998's "City of Angels", and 1989's "Glory") as Frank's policeman friend Satch are both solid.
This film has some decent action/suspense scenes, and 1999 John's radio conversation with his buddy Gordo (in 1969) is very funny. There have certainly been better action/suspense/serial killer movies (the action scenes weren't amazing, the story has some holes, and I thought the ending was a little cheesy), but the heart of the film is the relationship between Frank and John. I bought into that relationship fully, and that's why I liked this film as much as I did. And that's why I definitely recommend seeing "Frequency".
This really is a film not to be missed. Fans of thrillers, sci-fi and action will all be pleased with this film.
The young guy is played by Jim Caviel and his dad is played by Dennis Quaid. Both are excellent and likable guys, as they usually are in the films they play. They talk to each other through an old ham radio. Through it, the son helps save his dad and mom's life on a few occasions and catch a serial-killer in the process. Well, you have to see it because explaining it just makes it sound silly. It's not; it's a fine movie and great escapist entertainment. Once you get into this story, it is impossible to put down. For New York City folks, and fans of the New York Mets, I would imagine this movie has added sentimentality.
Frequency is heartily recommended to those who don't need head twisting cinema before they can proclaim a film to be worthy of their time. Yes some things of course defy logic here, this is after all a fantasy led film. But with so many interesting themes going on amongst the cross time molded core, Frequency rises above any charge of being merely popcorn fodder. Smart, warm and exciting, see this one if you can. 7.5/10
It' 1999. Jim Caviezel stars as John Sullivan, a detective whose life is falling apart. Recently, he has split up from his girlfriend, he and his police partner Satch (Andre Braugher), are unable to solve a serial murder case that has been reopened due to the discovery of skeletal remains of a past victim. The thirty year anniversary of the death of his firefighter father (Dennis Quaid), is also approaching. John is beginning to sink in a pit of despair.
One night John stumbles upon his dad's old ham radio. He makes an effort to get the machine to power up once again. When he does and begins conversations with another operator, however, he realizes the person he is communicating with is his long dead father. Somehow, due to the presence of the Northern Lights, John is able to transmit back in time to 1969 and literally alter the course of his existence.
The concept of time traveling communication may seem far-fetched to some, and "Frequency" is a little hard to grasp at times, especially when the film never directly explains why the father and son are able to talk with each other through time. Notwithstanding, the production works as a science fiction thriller with supernatural overtones. While the filmmakers do succeed in convincingly constructing "Frequency," most audiences might have to leave logic at the theater entrance before viewing it.
"Frequency" is a well-structured motion picture; the movie is focused throughout. Although its story changes pace at different periods, for the most part the audience can follow along with the characters. This is a movie with a complicated and challenging story. Because of the film's complexity, we are enormously involved, if slightly confused. Screenwriter Tobias Emmerich links original and fresh feeling material here. Gregory Hoblit produces the right amount of action and suspense, combined with gentle emotions, to generate a film we have not seen before.
Dennis Quaid and James Caviezel are the perfect choices for the principal characters. Quaid performs with intriguing tension and appropriate receptivity. Caviezel dazzles with intricacy and dexterity. Offering refined supporting roles are Andre Braugher ("City of Angels", "Get on the Bus") and Noah Emmerich ("The Truman Show") who furnishes some light-hearted material as John's best friend.
Director Gregory Hoblit ("Fallen," "Primal Fear") clearly executes topics on screen. This film is overflowing with ideas and contains enough plot for a television series. However, "Frequency" is not without flaws. Sullivan's chaotic life is only vaguely portrayed. Although we do care for the character, more development would increase the relationship between the audience and he. Some of the make-up effects depicting age differences were disgraceful. Andre Braugher appeared as if his make up artists were straight out of junior high, slapping too much pancake cream plaster on him. The film's contrived climax concludes with a formalistic fight instead of continuing its battle of wits.
Despite a few unacceptable external problems, internally this is a very effective production. As a whole, "Frequency" contains a very encompassing story and places interesting characters in engaging circumstances. The movie is definitely worthy of recognition, but do not view it unless you plan on thoroughly discussing it afterwards.
But in those cases, the film is a story apart from your perception of it. Here now we have a story where your reinvention of what you know changes the story from the perspective of both you the viewer and the hero in the film. And it doesn't just happen at the end, but all through the last half. A new high in self-reference and experimentation with the role of the viewer in the narrative.
Worth seeing for this step in the evolution of the art.
It is closer to myth/fairytale then SF, and it's premise may turn off some audience. It also starts slow and at some points it's better to not reason about its events.
Nonetheless, it's very well told movie with great suspense, heartwarming moments and some unexpected turns.
It also has subtle hints about an importance of a proximity and about how we take many things for granted, while they may in fact change in any moment.
You will probably not remember its plot, but you may feel good about it for quite long time.
I remember when it came out (having a real "thing" for the whole concept of time travel and the "butterfly effect") saying to myself that it was a must-see movie. I didn't see it at the theater, did not see it on PPV or DVD and I don't think I even tried to watch it on the movie channels, that is, until last month.
I love Dennis Quaid in almost anything he's ever acted. As a matter of fact, I dig most of the actors that were in this movie, but let me just tell you, it was a thrill of quantum impossibility, banking on the general lack of education about and understanding of the aurora Borealis in the first place, when the bad guy took a shotgun blast to the chest and John looks up to see his aged father standing there. I was absolutely stunned to silence.
I realize it's not a blockbuster by any means, but when I can leave a movie happy and content with my "happily ever after" ending, it makes me feel like the writers and directors and producers and actors earned their keep.
Frank Sullivan an amazing veteran firefighter enjoys watching the thrills of the 'Mazin Mets in the 1969 World Series with his wife Julia (Elizabeth Mitchell) and his son, John. In a flash forward to 1999, John (Jim Caviezel) a 36-year old detective who gave up baseball when his father died in The 1969 Baxton fire. After his neighbor Gordo (Noah Emmerich) and his son force John to set-up his father's old ham radio, John discovers that he can talk to Frank. He eventually warns his dad about the Baxton fire and thus, his father survives. The result of the change causes the Nightingale serial murderer (Shawn Doyle) to target Julia as his next victim. Frank and John have to work together to change the past in order to save the future.
The story, similar to Back To the Future, is incredible. It grabs a hold of you and keeps you on the edge of your seat while it twists and turns you around. The characters are real and inspiring. The acting is superb. There's romance, comedy, action and sci-fi; something for everyone. It's a great film and shows us what heroes are made of. Another legendary performance from Dennis Quaid.
John Sullivan (Jim Caviezel) is a homicide detective who comes across his father's old hamm radio. He makes a friend only to find that friend is actually his father (Dennis Quaid) 30 years ago, the same year that he died. After some convincing that it's all real, John explains to his father, a firefighter, that he dies trying to save someone on one particular job. When John saves his father's life, however, it alters the future and all of a sudden the Nightengale murders John has been researching become a bit personal.
The premise is unscratchable. A father and son speaking to each other through some strange time discrepancy, working together for a second chance for their family that was devastated by the accident. Caviezel and Quaid are great actors and they sell it well, even in their talk of of the 1969 Mets. It's a great father and son film, to say the very least about it.
The mystery element is nothing completely original and special, but for what this movie is really about, it doesn't particularly matter. This is just a really well-executed movie that understands what kind of film it is and doesn't try to go beyond that.
Dennis Quaid and Jim Caviezel both deliver great, spirited performances. I always notice more and more flaws in Quaid's New York accent in repeat viewings, but his acting is terrific nonetheless. Andre Braugher gives another strong performance as Satch. And the actor who plays the villain is quite creepy.
I would expect that after seeing the movie a couple times, the ending would no longer make me cry, but the ending STILL chokes me up! As a matter of fact, I'm about to cry just thinking about it. I'm by no means a fan of country music, but I felt Garth Brooks' song beautifully fit the film's tone.
Tired of seeing movie's with the same plots and the same outcomes? I promise that won't be the case when you watch "Frequency." Sure, some elements of plot may be hard to swallow, since they range from a little far-fetched to very far-fetched, but at least the writer showed great imagination. That's more than I can say for most of the Hollywood screenwriters out there.
My score: 9 (out of 10)
Jim Caviezel and Dennis Quaid are extremely believable as a son and his long-dead father. Caviezel's character cried when he first talked to his father that had been dead for thirty years. I cried, too, as he so believably yearned to be with his dad.
Another great thing about this movie is how intriguing the action sequences are. Not only are the usual chase scenes exciting, but the interesting psychological aspects of the movie also work extremely well.
If you have not seen Frequency, please do so, it is an excellent movie and I doubt you will regret seeing it. Although seeing it in a theater is the ideal place, the DVD is almost the same. You should enjoy this movie, it is a true classic, and I know I will never tire of watching it.
This is a good sci-fi thriller that is like a father and son movie. Dennis Quaid and James Caviezel's performances are great, including others.
I like how the time effects used in this film in which two people in two different time periods (reminds me of The Lake House), changing things in the past which changes the present and creating more problems.
This film has mystery, action, thrills, and emotion between the father and son. It has great performances and is a good sci-fi thriller. If you like these kinds of films, watch it.
Let me preface this review by saying this film is loaded with anachronisms and time travel flaws, if we assume time to be logical. These holes were glaringly obvious. But if I disregard these things and just look at how well the film entertained me, it is definitely one of the better time travel films out there.
Dennis Quaid is the father, Jesus is the son. Perhaps that makes Quaid God, but I think that might be a stretch. He is Joseph at best. Initially, the goal is to save the father from dying in a fire... but once that goal is accomplished, why not do more? Save more lives, maybe read off some winning lottery numbers. The plot shifts drastically about a third of the way in, but then gets actually better.
The best parts of this movie are the father tracking down a killer, trying to stop him before he kills nurses (thus gaining himself the nickname the Nightingale Killer). Using facts from the crime after the fact, he is easily able to know where and when the killer will strike. The film then becomes an interesting detective story as well as a heart-warming family tale. (Some of the family stuff is a bit hard to believe... way too much love going on here.)
Look close (not too close) and you will see a young Michael Cera as Gordo Junior. This is three years before Cera broke out with "Arrested Development" (and went on to much bigger things from there), though he had done previous acting roles by this point in things you probably never saw.
Of course this film is recommended. If you are too much of a stick-in-the-butt and you can only focus on the flaws, you will be frustrated with this film. But, come on! Sometimes fantasy is just fantasy. Why let science ruin a good story?
Det.JOhn Sullivan(Jim CAviezel,who,regardless of what you think of he personally,NEVER over or under plays his characters in film,and this movie is one of the best showcases of his talents) stumbles upon a old ham radio in his folks' house that he now lives in since his mother retired. He finds out that not only does the radio work,but that he can communicate with his father Frank(Dennis Quaid,here excellent), a NYC fireman who's been dead for over thirty years. NAturally skeptical at first,when Sullivan discovers that he can communicate through time to his dad,he figures a way to save his father from the way he dies(which happens to be on the job,rescuing someone from a burning building). The joy of bringing back his dad from an unfortunate fate unleashes another terrible fate,this time to his loving mother(a warmly beautiful and sympathetic Elizabeth Mitchell),and now Sullivan has to again team with his dad,through space and time,to correct that outcome as well.
A stirring supporting performance by Andre Braugher(one of my faves from TV's "HOmicide")as a longtime family friend of the Sullivans,mixed with a deft script and alert,capable direction by Gregory Hoblitt,is able to make this film into something a little more than a sci-fi/fantasy tale OR a murder/thriller suspense caper. It is one of those rare films that is as good to see on a big screen for main price or as a cheap rent! Contrivances aside,I really got my money's worth watching this movie and highly recommend it!