Saturday, December 12, 2009

"Passengers" compares well to "Jacob's Ladder"


Recently airline emergency performance has been in the headlines for both good (the Hudson River forced landing in January 2009) and bad (the Northwest Airlines overflight beyond Minneapolis recently, due to pilot inattention).

So the 2008 mystery “Passenger” from Tri-Star and Starz/Overture, directed by Rodrigo Garcia (DGC) and written by Ronnie Christensen caught my attention when it popped up on Netflix. A plane crashes on a beach near Vancouver, and a pretty therapist Claire (Anne Hathaway) shows up at the hospital to provide counseling to a few survivors, including businessman/artist Eric (Patrick Wilson). Yes, the predictable romance develops. But slowly, the other participants in the group start disappearing, and there seems to be real contradiction in the evidence about how the crash happened. The pilot seems not to have been at his duty station, leaving the duties to the co-pilot.

Remember the 1990 film “Jacob’s Ladder”, directed by Adrian Lyne, also from TriStar. A Vietnam veteran finds himself chased by demons in a world that doesn’t quite look right.

I sometimes wonder if, when you die, you get caught in a dream that just doesn’t end. Time is only a dimension; one can just stop moving in it.

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