Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012


This week's movie rental was Unknown ...

a 2011 psychological thriller film directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, starring Liam Neeson, Diane Kruger, January Jones, Aidan Quinn, Bruno Ganz, and Frank Langella. The film is based on the 2003 French novel published in English as Out of My Head, by Didier Van Cauwelaert.

Roger Ebert gave the movie only two stars in his review. Here's part of it ...

[...] As the movie opens, we meet Dr. Martin Harris (Liam Neeson) and his wife, Elizabeth (January Jones), who are on a flight to a biotechnology conference in Berlin. I'm thinking all we need to know about biotechnology in a thriller is that it probably involves either genetically altered crops or dangerous plagues. Anyway, at the airport, Dr. Harris lets a guy load his luggage, and as the taxi leaves, we get a big shot of his briefcase, still on the luggage trolley.

So OK. Was this an accident? If I'm carrying a briefcase that contains a cure for world hunger or a formula of mass destruction, I'm not gonna leave it on the curb. Anyway, Dr. Harris and his wife get to the hotel, she starts to check in, he realizes his briefcase was left behind, and without telling her, he grabs another taxi to the airport. He tries to call her, but can't get a signal. Ever had that happen to you in Berlin?

A container falls off the truck in front of them, the taxi swerves and plunges through a bridge rail, Dr. Harris is knocked unconscious, but his life is saved by the quick actions of the driver, Gina (Diane Kruger). He's in a coma for four days. He pulls himself together and races to the hotel, only to find that his wife says she has never seen him before and is happily married to the "real" Dr. Martin Harris (Aidan Quinn). Now his ordeal beĀ­gins: How can he prove his real identity and understand the conspiracy that has taken control of his life? ....

Ebert thinks there are just too many coincidences to be believed in the story and I agree ... as Agent Fox Mulder once said to Scully, "If coincidences are just coincidences, why do they feel so contrived?" :) Having said that, though, it was interesting to see what Berlin was like (we did visit Germany on my one trip to Europe, but didn't stop in Berlin). Much of the movies takes place at the famous Hotel Adlon, the car accident takes place on the Oberbaum Bridge, a city landmark ...

... and another site shown is the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Museum Island ...

It's not a great film but it's entertaining enough if you like Liam Neeson or would like to see Berlin.


Anonymous Victor said...

Dear Crystal,

I think that I've been out to see more movies during the last year or two probably because I'm retarded... I mean retired now and I guess that's still not enough movies to compete with the likes of you and Roger Ebert but for what "IT" is worth, I would have given "Unknown" and "Frantic" more than two point for each one of them. I just showed my wife your blog clip and asked her how many points she would have given this film? Wait for "IT"! She said 10 and I a burst into laughter. After I told her why I was laughing she said don't laugh because that's one movie that I really enjoyed watching. Go figure women! You can't live with them and you can't live without them! She doesn't love me because she needs me, she needs me because she loves me.

I can almost hear one of Roger Ebert embryonic imaginary stem cells asking! Is your wife related to that blond Bosnian taxi driver?:)


11:02 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Victor,

It really was an ok movie, I guess :) I liked the Bosnian cab driver too - she was the woman in the National Treasure movies with Nicolas Cage.

5:32 PM  

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