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Jacket [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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A war veteran returns home suffering through periodic bouts of amnesia. He recovers from one such bout to discover that he is being charged with the murder of a police officer. At the trial, he is found not guilty by reason of insanity and he's sent to an asylum where a doctor experiments with a risky treatment involving drugs, a strait jacket and a morgue drawer. The treatment causes him to see into the future and his untimely death. Now, he has to work out the future murder plot before the time runs out on his life.
When you put on The Jacket, prepare for a head-trip into fragmented reality. Coproducer Steven Soderbergh might have fared better with this mind-bender than British director John Maybury (who indulges an excess of heavy-handed "style"), but it's intriguing enough to hold your attention as Gulf War veteran Jack Starks (Adrian Brody) sustains a head-wound that results in amnesia and fragmented timelines. One involves Jack's apparent killing of a policeman, after which he's institutionalized and subjected to straight-jacketed experiments in sensory isolation (with Kris Kristofferson as the doctor in charge); the other is a possible future involving a nihilistic waitress (Keira Knightley) with connections to his past, and the discovery that Jack will die in four days if he can't solve the brain-teasing puzzle he's fallen into. The Jacket aspires to the cleverness of Memento and falls short of that target, but Brody gives this exercise in desperate disorientation a certain gravitas that keeps you watching as his tormenting visions begin to unravel. Jennifer Jason Leigh, Brad Renfro and Kelly Lynch make the most of their small supporting roles. --Jeff Shannon, Amazomn.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
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Jack Starks (Brody) is serving in the Gulf War when he suffers a bullet wound to the head. Making a recovery but suffering with amnesia, he returns to Vermont. But an incident out on the snowy road will see Jack accused of murder and placed in an asylum. Here he is pumped full of drugs by a well meaning doctor (Kristofferson) and after being fitted with a straight-jacket, he's then placed into mortuary body chamber to hopefully aid his mental welfare.......
The Jacket is an odd film in many ways, most pertinent is that it is easy to pigeonhole in terms of genre familiarity, yet still have a freshness in how it goes about unravelling its time travelling mystery. There have been a number of dramatic-come-weird time travelling movies brought to the screen over the decades, some edgy and great, while others have been known to have some sci-fi purists spitting feathers. In more modern day cinema we have seen prior to The Jacket's release, 12 Monkeys, The Butterfly Effect, Donnie Darko and Jacobs Ladder, and post it there has been Déjà Vu and Source Code. While we can comfortably add Primer and Memento into this interesting group of films. The question is, is The Jacket worth the interest of the film fan after a bit of time travelling weirdness?
Well it has some problems, main one being that in spite of it gnawing away at the grey matter, the plot is simple and telegraphs the finale some way before it arrives: sadly tying things up too neatly after blurring our perceptions of Jack Stark's current state of mind. In fact, calling it a conventional murder mystery wrapped around one mans possible time travelling psychosis isn't far off the mark. But it does have the power to unnerve, weaving a tale that pulses with paranoia, self doubt and that thick atmospheric air that begs the question on what is real and what isn't? Maybury and Deming give it a smart muted colour sheen, cleverly reinforcing emotional states of characters, and the cast, led by a smartly reigned in performance from Brody, all give good value for money.
The journey undertaken by Jack marks this out as a must see for fans of similar filmed treatments, the final destination, sadly, not so. 7/10
gave this film a good bashing.
Ok; not quite as good as frequency, Jacobs ladder or source code, but considering the obvious budget, not too surprising. Nevertheless it's an engaging story, finely acted by the ever watchable Brody. Thoroughly enjoyed this and surely, being entertained is the object. Well recommended.
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