Friday, February 18, 2011
Tuesday's PFS sneak preview was Liam Neeson's new action flick Unknown. And I'm really going to make this a short post because almost anything I say about this film will be a spoiler alert.
Neeson plays Dr. Martin Harris, a botanist just arrived in Berlin for a summit. He's accompanied by his exquisite young wife, Elizabeth, played by my girl crush, January Jones. Upon arriving at the hotel, Dr. Harris realizes his briefcase is not with the rest of the luggage and leaves his wife to check in, while he grabs a cab back to the airport. The cab gets into an accident while heading to the airport and Dr. Harris wakes up in a Berlin hospital having been in a comma for 4 days. Even having arrived at the hospital without ID, it's odd no one has come looking for him. After all, isn't a hospital the first place you look when someone is missing? Yet neither his wife, nor anyone from the summit, has made any inquiries on his behalf. Why? Because as far as they know he hasn't been missing.
This is the kind of movie I recommend seeing opening week before you read too many reviews or hear too much talk. In terms of action, it's good, nothing new - car crashes, bombs, fights scenes with blades and broken glass. Neeson can really mix it up for a man of his age. But the thrill of the film is trying to figure out whether it's a SciFi mystery, a game, a dream, mental illness, a misunderstanding? It's interesting to see the pieces unfold.
The movie did get me to thinking about other films that deal in memory loss and head injuries, and really there's quite a lot of them:
Memento - A man, suffering from short-term memory loss, uses notes and tattoos to hunt for the man he thinks killed his wife.
Sliding Doors - In the timeline in which she misses the train, she then hails a taxi instead but a man tries to snatch her handbag. Helen hits her head in the scuffle and goes to hospital.
The Look Out - While driving with his headlights off down a country highway, Chris Pratt (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), his girlfriend Kelly (Laura Vandervoort) and two friends crash into a stalled combine on the road. Chris and Kelly survive, but the other two do not. Chris' injuries include brain damage that affects his short-term memory in the form similar to anterograde amnesia.
I Am the Cheese - Adam rediscovers that Grey attempts to kill him and his family, instantly killing his mother, injuring his father, and giving Adam a concussion which causes amnesia.
Overboard - Rich bitch Joanna hires country carpenter Dean to build a closet on her yacht. When the two don't see eye-to-eye, Dean is left unpaid while Joanna sets sail. The following day, Joanna is fished out of the sea, after falling overboard, suffering from amnesia.
The Manchurian Candidate - is a political thriller novel about the son of a prominent US political family who has been brainwashed into being an unwitting assassin for the Communist Party.
Desperately Seeking Susan - A bored suburban housewife, seeking adventure to her life, accidentally gets hit on the head, wakes up with amnesia, and is mistaken for a free-spirited New York City drifter named Susan.
And I know there's more. Feel free to make comments about others.
Also found an interview where Neeson talks about his real life bout with slight amnesia - "It was quite frightening, actually," Neeson recalled. "I was about 16 or 17 and it was actually a fight I won on points. And I remember coming out and my father saying, 'Get your clothes on,' and I remember thinking, 'Clothes? What do you mean clothes?' 'Dressing room,' they were alien words to me," he explained. "And after about three minutes, I gradually came back and thought, 'Whoops, I don't like this, I better get out of this game.' " - By Kara Warner MTV.
I'm going to end this with just a random observation about the movie that doesn't have any potential for spoiling the plot- Diane Kruger plays the cab drive, and I've never seen anyone where a wool winter hat so well.