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|Index||412 reviews in total|
David Norris(Matt Damon) a man running for senate, but is quickly
losing votes, due to an embarrassing incident. And just when he is
ready to settle on defeat, he meets Elise(Emily Blunt), a dancer he
befriends, and encourages him to keep running. David is smitten by her,
and another chance meeting with Elise again, starts to make David think
she could be the one for him. But some mysterious figures capture
David, they tell him, that they are controllers of fate, and say he
can't see Elise again. But will David obey or defy them?
Matt Damon and Emily Blunt are perfectly put together, as the forbidden lovers, they are so convincing, you instantly buy it. The rest of the cast are also good, so is Terrance Stamp. A well put together suspenseful supernatural love story. It's right up there with Inception.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
OK, I admit I went to see this film without reading anything about it first, but sometimes that's more fun......although not in this case. I was expecting some shadowy, high tech, time travelling, spacetime continuum policing bureau that was created in 1950's US (judging by the way they dress) that was attempting to foil or impose some dastardly plan with Matt Damon as the counterpoint to either of these. Instead it turned out to be a pseudo religious romantic tale and 'The Bureau' turned out to be angels from heaven keeping humanity on track. Oh dear. 'On track' for the films two lead protagonists means keeping them from becoming romantically involved. But guess what? Ta-daaaa. It's all just a test set by god ( the 'Chairman'). Er, that's it. The audience are supposed to be intrigued by the question of whether or not they really have free will (yaaaawn). There is some nice dialogue which is just as well as the small special effects budget was obviously blown on the angels' notepad effect which is shown gratuitously at every conceivable opportunity. Perhaps the producers son/daughter designed it. Think of this film as a large expensive firework that when ignited emits small puffs of smoke and some occasional sparks. Science fiction is not what it used to be.
Last year, I started 2010 with Martin Scorsese's fantastic Shutter
Island. Now 2011 has come, and I'm starting the cinematic year off with
The Adjustment Bureau. While I don't think it's a perfect movie, I will
say this much: It is a rock solid movie with thrills and intellect to
Matt Damon stars as David Norris, a New York congressman running for senate. After a huge loss, he has a chance encounter with a mysterious woman (Played by Emily Blunt), a woman who after another chance meeting is revealed to be named Elise. But unbeknownst to David, he was only supposed to meet her once, as part of a grand plan by an entity of black suited overseers. But David decides to challenge his destiny by pursuing Elise, but doing so is an action that could not only destroy his personal ambitions, but Elise's as well.
The screenplay by first time director George Nolfi is an interesting one, and delivers serious food for thought on the concept of challenging fate, and the consequences of one's actions and deviations. Nolfi proves he has talent as a director, as he not only keeps a firm grasp on characterization, stages the action sequences well, or knows when to let the cinematography by John Toll, or musical score by Thomas Newman do the storytelling, but he also never strays far from proper structure, tone, and pace.
The movie moves quickly, the conversations are interesting, and the ensemble cast, specifically that of Matt Damon and Emily Blunt's perfect chemistry, is terrific. It is worth noting that certain elements of the film can get confusing, and the ending is a bit anticlimactic, but I'd be lying to myself if I said I wasn't enthralled by those 100 minutes. Plus, I have to give praise to Kasia Walicka-Maimone for the film's inventive costumes.
It may not be perfect, but I'm very satisfied to have kicked off 2011 with The Adjustment Bureau.
I give it *** out of ****
When life gets a little off course, the guys from the Adjustment Bureau
step in to get it back on track, as they have been doing with humanity
since the cradle of civilization. Sometimes it's luck, sometimes it's
them, but you'll never know. The Adjustment Bureau is one of those
movies which treats science fiction like a business; Explanation comes
before imagination, and it has to map out its own set of rules. Call it
a realist fantasy if you will, like Stranger than Fiction.
The film is enjoyable in the moment but it's never a whole lot more enriching than than. The product feels kind of half baked, only somewhat romantic, only somewhat clever, only somewhat thrilling. Sometimes it actually come close to being funny in a self reflexive way.
For a movie that is largely about fate vs. chance, I have no doubt that the film makers would have thought it ironic to use such an ending as the one we get, but it is ironic in the wrong way. The last ten minutes form an insulting deus ex machina/ cheap shot, the kind that makes you want to wonder if the film was rushed in the making. Indeed, the Adjustment Bureau ends up feeling way shorter than it should be. It's a nifty movie to be sure, and arguably a nice movie, but it needs adjustment.
I really enjoyed this film. It is easy to understand, however, in some
places the plot dwells on the love story between Damon and Blunt, when
I would rather more see suspense and thrilling action. However, the
chemistry between Damon and Blunt was very good! I think the plot had
more potential (especially at the end), and it is not as complex as
Inception, and the plot does not have as much of a build up, which may
disappoint some people. Also, half way trough the film the element of
mystery is somewhat gone up until the very end, but overall, this is an
If you like: Matrix, Inception and other mind-benders, you'll like this!
I confess I liked this movie more than I expected to. While not being
exactly profound, it is at least thoughtful. That is, while there are
chase scenes and all, it never devolves into a mindless action flick,
there's still a story going on and some actual ideas involved. And if
it employs a ridiculously simplistic vision of history, at least it
employs a vision of history. And I can never be too unhappy with a
movie that comes down on the side of the Enlightenment!
But I confess that what I really liked was the romance. Chemistry is a funny thing, I guess, and I've seen reviews here which claimed that the two leads didn't have it. But that was not my experience. I definitely felt the two protagonists belonging together and was pulling for the romance throughout. Since I left the theater I keep thinking about sharing this film with my overseas girlfriend, so I guess that's pretty romantic. :)
A masterpiece? Maybe not. But I definitely felt it was two hours well spent, which is rare enough these days.
What if free will is just a myth; an idea that keeps us happy? What if everything in our lives was planned out for us, from the people we meet to whether we achieve greatness or not? These question race through your mind as you view The Adjustment Bureau. Based upon the short story "Adjustment Team" by Philip K. Dick, George Nolfi has written and directed one of the most thought provoking, imaginative and thrilling films of all time. The story follows politician David Norris (Matt Damon) whose life plan isn't adjusted at a small moment in time, leading to him discovering the truth behind everyone's "fate" and giving him a glimpse of his own future, a future he doesn't want. Pursued by the hatted agents of the Bureau, David must do everything he can to outrun and outsmart them to alter his plan and be with Elise (Emily Blunt), the woman he loves; the woman the Bureau is conspiring to keep him from being with. With a great cast that includes the likes of charismatic Matt Damon and delightful Emily Blunt leading the way, as well as Michael Kelly, Anthony Mackie, John Slattery and Terence Stamp, you have an assortment of believable characters. The chemistry between Damon and Blunt worked very well and you truly believed that these characters were meant to be in love with one another. I think that Nolfi definitely has delivered one of the more unique pieces of cinema in recent memory, but at times the pacing was a bit too slow and a lot of it built up to a climax that wasn't so well, climatic. Overall, though, it was a good film that takes you on a thrilling ride and leaves you thinking.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Hugo Award winning author Phillip K. Dick penned over 40 science
fiction novels and more than 120 short stories. Dick forged a career
out of writing about omnipotent corporations and dystopian governments
that manipulated people like puppets. Even if sci-fi does not share
shelf space with your mainstream literature, you should have heard
about him from a number of film adaptations released since his death
1982. For the record, Dick died in 1982, and Hollywood belatedly
appropriated his inventive output. Of course, "Blade Runner" (1982)
ranks as the most celebrated Dick adaptation. "Next" (2007) with
Nicolas Cage, "A Scanner Darkly" (2006) with Keanu Reeves, "Paycheck"
(2005) with Ben Affleck, "Minority Report"(2002) with Tom Cruise,
"Impostor" (2001) with Gary Sinise, "Screamers" (1995) with Peter
Weller, and "Total Recall" (1990) with Arnold Schwarzenegger followed
in the wake of "Blade Runner." The thing that most of these films have
in common is that they do little justice to his genius. Freshman
writer, producer, and director George Nolfi has done a splendid job
turning Dick's 1954 short story "Adjustment Team" into an entertaining
opus with Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, and Terence Stamp. If you shun
sci-fi thrillers because of the gadgetry, jargon, and far-out creatures
that dominate so many of these movies, "The Adjustment Bureau" may
appeal to you. Damon does not show up in a space suit and Blunt does
not cavort about in some futuristic coiffure. Nobody brandishes either
a laser gun or the neutralizer. Alien life forms neither invade Earth
nor enslave humanity.
Aside from the earlier Dick adaptation "Paycheck," "The Adjustment Bureau" qualifies as the least sci-fi looking epic that you will see. Nevertheless, it concerns a theme that obsessed Dick throughout his life: alternate realities sometimes referred to as simulacra. Damon plays Young, single, unruly Brooklyn-born politician George Norris christened 'the GQ Congressman.' Norris falls in love by a happy coincidence when he encounters a beautiful dancer in the men's room at the elite motel where he maintains his election campaign headquarters. Elise Sellas (Emily Blunt of "Gnomeo & Juliet") is hiding from motel security because she tried to crash a wedding. Norris struggles to organize his thoughts for a speech conceding his election to his opponent. Initially, he asks if anybody is in the restroom. This is the kind of rest room where the toilet stall doors resemble front doors. When he gets no response, Norris mulls over the wording of his speech. Elise surprises him at the last moment and steps out, and they strike up a conversation that leads to a kiss. No sooner have they concluded their lip-lock than David's long-suffering campaign manager Charlie Traynor (Michael Kelly of "Law Abiding Citizen") enters and catches a glimpse of Elise as she strolls out. Afterward, David concedes defeat with a speech about the absurd lengths that his campaign went to so that he would attract voters. He talks about the choice of shoes. The shoes have to look nice enough to attract the upper elite without alienating the middle class voters. Although he lost the election, David has proved so charismatic that he won't be overlooked during the next election.
Later, David and Elise meet again on a New York City Transit bus. As it turns out, a group of guys are monitoring everything that happens to David and Elise. They dress elegantly but unobtrusively in gray suits and ties. They tote around title books and like to haunt rooftops where they survey the city and make plans. Actually, they don't make plans. More appropriately, they follow plans. When they open their books to check the progress of their plans, we see what looks like a computer screen saver on paper with scribble-like lines and circles. They report to a superior who calls himself 'the Chairman of the Board.' No, the Chairman of the Board is not Frank Sinatra with a harp, a halo, and a hat. In fact, we never see the Chairman of the Board. Nevertheless, this 'Chairman of the Board' might be a supreme deity. Writer & director George Nolfi leaves this up to the imagination of each individual moviegoer. The problem is that the Chairman of the Board that orchestrates the moves that mankind makes wants neither of them to hook up.
Indeed, these many mysterious men in hats do their best to keep our hero and heroine apart. Initially, they succeed after the man-in-gray, Harry Mitchell (Will Smith lookalike Anthony Mackie of "Million Dollar Baby") takes a nap on a city bench and misses a rendezvous with Norris. When he misses colliding with Norris, Harry accidentally allows him to run into Elise on the city bus. The men in gray scramble to make-up for this error by getting to David's office where they try to erase everybody's mind. You can see all of this stuff in the trailer. They warn David that they will zap his mind if he does not play along with them. Specifically, they don't want him to meet Elise because she is destined to become America's greatest dancer. If they get together, he will destroy her career as well as sidetrack his own political aspirations. Predictably, the Damon protagonist refuses to be manipulated, even if these enigmatic gentlemen threaten to erase his mind. Sounds a bit like "Men in Black?" Nevertheless, he does everything within his power to thwart these people who would keep the woman of his dreams and he apart in this exciting romantic thriller. The closest movie to "The Adjustment Bureau" that seasoned sci-fi aficionados may recall is director Alex Proyas's second film, the neo-noir "Dark City" (1998) where aliens recreated an Earth-like environment and conducted endless experiments to understand the essence of humanity. Unlike "Dark City," "The Adjustment Bureau" prefers to be more cerebral than sci-fi.
I really didn't have high expectations for this movie when I saw the
trailer, but after seeing it I can now say it really did beat my
expectations. It's a clever sci-fi romance/thriller that is crafted
very well and intrigued me throughout the whole movie. It sort of
reminded me of movies like "The Butterfly Effect" and "Inception" a
bit, but I personally liked this movie a bit more than "The Butterfly
Effect". The movie is about trying to outrun fate or predestination and
also makes you think more about freewill and also has elements of love
and has a perfect blend of sci-fi and romance. The vibe and style has
been done before especially in other sci-fi movies, but the direction
of it all makes it worth while. The lighthearted aspect of this movie
is done right for a serious tone movie and I didn't really like Matt
Damon as a actor all that much but I enjoyed his performance in this.
His character was very likable and a ideal politician in this movie.
There is few parts that doesn't make sense, but overall the premise is
mostly cleverly done. Now I never read "Adjustment Team" by Philip K.
Dick this movie is adapted from, but judging by the film itself I
really enjoyed it and seemed like a very good adaptation. There is some
parts that seem to drag on sometimes and a bit slow. But overall almost
everything in this movie works and has a perfect blend of two main
elements. If your looking for tension you might be disappointed,
because the Adjustment Bureau isn't very intimidating in this and you
will see why. Despite some flaws, it's still a intriguing movie done
right and to anyone who is looking for a good date movie, this one is
worth checking out there is something for everyone.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Review for Adjustment Bureau On Saturday March 5, 2011 I decided to do
a double movie day and see two promising blockbusters. The first on my
list was the adjustment bureau, a drama I thought would be a mixture of
the matrix, inceptions, and a little bit of titanic drama. In a sense
that is what it is, but favored more of the romantic tale than anything
else. The movie opens up with an intro to Matt Damon's life up to this
point, which is done in a similar manner to most political based
movies. After the intro, the movie starts off a little slow, but the
plot is intriguing as the men in hats begin talking about plans and
looking at their agendas. Questions like what's in the book, what is
the importance to the matter, and why him are running through the brain
and you wonder what is specific about a few agents. Eventually things
get suspenseful and focused, but it all revolves around the romance
between Matt Damon and the girl. Within the suspense lies constant
situational comedy that keeps you laughing at the challenge Matt Damon
provides the bureau. The peak of suspense is reached towards the end of
the movie in my opinion, when we see Matt Damon take action.
So what are the high points of this movie? The first is the message that this movie brings about the challenges one can face when it comes to being in love. It's funny how many times love can blind people and result in nothing more than turmoil, anger, and misery. In this movie, Matt Damonis willing to do anything for the woman he loves, and makes decisions for her good. Their bond and relationship is constantly tested with things most relationships never have to face, and still they make sacrifices to be together. I know it's a movie, but still when one looks at the love they share, you can't help but feel empowered to make your relationship work.
A second message is about how life cannot be planned and requires one to take risks and carve a path of their own. This doesn't mean you should go out and break the law, destroy property, or do something radical, but instead shows that life really can't be planned out. Constant challenges will change the best laid out plans and the truth is you have to take a few risks and go down some uncertainties before you arrive at a life you will be happy about. It's scary and hard, just as portrayed in this movie, but with determination and courage you can overcome those challenges. Yet the challenge can be easier when you have a friend as loyal as the character Harry. People who will stick by you through and through, willing to sacrifice their own careers and reputations to help do something that is right, is a crucial factor that can help success come easier. The various scenes with Harry's conscience and his determination to either help or hurt is something I could relate to with my everyday life. Choices will come and challenge you're plans, but in the end you must do what is right for not only yourself but for other people as well. That's the message this movie conveys. Outside of that the acting is good, the pace mostly moderate with a few slow parts here and there. The story is good, and as I have already stated there are strong messages that can be learned if one keeps an open mind to the movie. Okay so what's bad or iffy about the movie? For one thing it's predictable from the foreshadowing that they do early on. You will see constant signs and hear constant messages that will tell you what is coming up. There are not really any big surprises that jump out at you except for a few scenes that can make you jump if you're the kind that startles easily. The next thing is that there is a strong religious theme in this movie that may or may not offend you. I'm not going to reveal much, but the movie can possibly suggest things of tyranny, cruelty, and mistakes in plans and that might get underneath some skins in the audience. One must again be careful and make sure that the messages I got are not misinterpreted to lead to total anarchy and disregard to rules or plans. Still some may be disappointed with the ending of the movie, thinking it's too rushed or too chopped up. Overall though I really enjoyed the movie and got a big lesson out of it. It's suspense makes it fun, its plot predictable yet enjoyable, the acting superb, and the pace just right for this kind of movie. Normally love stories bore me, but this one did not. In my opinion audiences who will like this movie are the following: Huge Matt Damon fans, romance and suspense lovers, and anybody who is looking for a quick film. Fans who will not like this: action lovers, chick flick comedy lovers, science fiction fans, or anybody who thinks it looks like Inception or the Matrix. Overall I give this movie an 8 or 8.5, and hopefully this review helps.
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