Jake Vs. Patrick: Battle of the Studs Part II
Following my recent Trashy Friday mega viewings, I tried a Trashy Monday and hit pay-dirt!
Jake Gyllenhaal and Patrick Wilson both had starring films released this week. Both films are trash but one cost a lot of money and one didn't. One is fairly entertaining and one is garbage.
Consider the Source
Source Code stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a memory-impaired man who runs into a pretty girl who keeps calling him by a different name. When Gyllenhaal looks into the train's bathroom mirror he suddenly sees another face. Soon the train is blown up by an unknown terrorist and Gyllenhaal finds himself trapped in some military base being interrogated by a female officer.
The gist of this silly film is that Gyllenhaal must relieve the 8 minutes before the disaster in order to tell the military who the villain is. This sets up a series of Groundhog Day revisions of the last 8 minutes before the train gets blown up, wherein Gyllenhaal tries to solve the crime.
At only 93 minutes the film is never boring and most of the action in each of the scenes is pretty fun. Plus, Gyllenhaal is totally sexy with his three day beard and hang dog look. He has to carry this film even more than some of his recent efforts and I must say he does it rather well. Gyllenhaal has talent and looks but is in real need of career advice. After the ghastly Prince of Persia, the dull Love and Other Drugs and now this action turkey, someone needs to propel Gyllenhaal into some decent first rate films.
The Source Code made money but it is still a clunker. The film seriously wastes the talents of Vera Farmiga (The Departed) and Jeffrey Wright (Angels In America) as the military duo who have their way with Gyllenhaal. (Sadly, not the way you think!) And Michelle Monnahan is fairly perky even though she has to say the same silly lines in each of Jake's various time trips. One big plus in the film is the sexy Michael Arden in a part we can't discuss for spoiler reasons. Arden, whose musical talents were on display in revivals of Pippin and Big River is a totally sexy and compelling actor. He has played a number of gay roles but has not yet publicly stated his sexual orientation. Here's hoping!
If you are in the mood for some mindless entertainment, go see Source Code— if only to see the sexy Jake and Michael. And yes, they have a scene with handcuffs!
Insidious Is Just That
There couldn't be a better title for this crappy horror movie than Insidious. I only went to see it because Patrick Wilson has the starring role as the poor father of a child who might be the catalyst for various hauntings and other ghostly behavior in a middle class house. In my review of Morning Glory, I spent some time talking about Wilson and his need for some first rate roles. Trust me, Insidious is not what I had in mind. Appearing in such low budget trash might pay some bills, but Wilson needs a quick career boost. After starring on stage in the musicals Oklahoma and The Full Monty, and then in the acclaimed TV production of Angels In America, Wilson appeared to be on his way to stardom. But appearances in crud like The Alamo and now this new low have all but derailed a once promising career. Wilson is a sexy, handsome, well built hunk who is also a fine singer and actor. He should be doing first rate films with top directors. If not, he should be back on Broadway doing musicals that gave him his first fame.
So Jake Gyllenhaal wins the battle of the studs this time, but only because his movie had some money and first rate talent in it. Wilson barely survives Insidious.
Since both of these actors need a career boost, how about a Broadway revival of Bent with the two of them? Now that is a project with real promise of sexual tension. And please, we want more of Michael Arden too!