Rants, Raves, & Random Thoughts

Shameless self-promotion of my writing skills or lack there of.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Movie Review

We watched Awake the other day. It was a superb little diversion for the evening. Full of twists, turns and more “oh, I didn’t see that coming” moments than you can shake a stick at, this movie quite simply…RAWKED. All kidding aside, the plot was engaging, the characters believable and the acting a fine display of showmanship. The idea behind the premise scares the dickens out of me, but this isn’t a scary movie. Having said that, I challenge you to watch it without having at least one audible gasp. This is a thriller at its best. I will likely add this to my personal collection.


Writer/director Joby Harold's debut feature, AWAKE, is an unsettling thriller that highlights a deeply troubling medical problem. "Anesthetic awareness" is a rare but dangerously prevalent condition that affects nearly 30,000 individuals a year, in which patients who have been put under anesthesia before surgery remain paralyzed while still being aware of their present situation.

AWAKE tells the story of Clayton Beresford Jr. (Hayden Christensen), a successful young businessman who lives under the roof of his overbearing mother, Lilith (Lena Olin). Afraid to expose his engagement to Lilith's beautiful assistant, Sam Lockwood (Jessica Alba), Clayton decides to do so when he realizes that, thanks to a rare heart condition, he might not live much longer.

His best friend and personal surgeon, Jack Harper (Terrence Howard), supports his decision to take the plunge, and also advises him to get a much-needed heart transplant as soon as a donor is found. After he marries Sam, a donor arrives, but when Clayton is put under to receive the complicated surgery, he is shocked to discover that he's still cognizant of everything that is happening to him.

As he fights through the pain to hear the doctors' voices, the more he learns about his best friend and his new wife, adding further trauma to an already horrendous situation. Featuring standout performances from the film's principal cast (Christensen, Alba, Howard), as well as its supporting players (Olin, Fisher Stevens, Christopher McDonald), AWAKE is a tense journey through the mind of an innocent man who's on the verge of losing his lease on life.

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Oh, and I simply must throw in a gratuitous photo of Jessica Alba…

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At 4:37 AM, Blogger G-Man said...

Good God Almighty!!

How perfect is She?

That was an awesome review James, one that actually make me go out and rent it...Thanks.

Don't forget your 55 tomorrow....G

At 4:43 AM, Blogger James Goodman, Author said...

lol, yep... smoking! :D No problem. I'm happy to be of service. Enjoy the flick.

It's typed and ready, Galen. :D I'm all about the Friday 55s. :D

At 8:44 AM, Blogger lime said...

eeesh, i've had surgery when the anesthesia didn't work and i could feel everything from first incision to last suture, but it was with an epidural not with general where i was supposed to be knocked out. *shudders at that idea.

so you're saying hayden christensen shows more range that a piece of plywood? because i thought he was awfully wooden in everything else i have ever seen.

At 9:34 AM, Blogger James Goodman, Author said...

Exactly, Lime. Makes me count my stars that it hasn't happen to me with as many surgeries as I've had to undergo. :D

I'll admit that he wasn't the shine through actor on the show, but with the cast to support him, he did a bang up job. :D

At 10:02 AM, Blogger Kelly Kirch said...

Jessica has nothin' on me. *snort*

I saw a news program about this kind of thing and have often wondered if the reason I have night terrors for months after surgery are because I was awake and my subconscious remembers. I don't know the answer to that but I find my reaction suspicious.

Then it begs the question: Is it really torture if the victim doesn't remember when it's all over???

Yes, but then, no maybe not...

At 10:48 AM, Blogger Akelamalu said...

This is the reason I insisted on staying away when I had my knee replacement surgery - so I could tell them if I felt anything!

At 5:10 PM, Blogger Donnetta Lee said...

Oh, now, I used to look just like that. Let's see, how many years ago? Well, I did! (My nose just grew a few inches.)

Nice review, James. I have trouble with dental anesthetics. Have had entire procedures done with the tooth "wide awake." I don't know if I should see the movie or not!


At 6:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hiya... blog surfing and found you.

Loved that movie... didn't see anything coming either... and I normally have things figured out in the first 5 minutes then start to annoy my family and friends by telling them what's going to happen right before it does.

Nice blog.

At 8:47 PM, Blogger jillie said...

Jessica is a hottie no doubt about that. Oooohhhh...I love that Spoon song! I'm going to have to visit iTunes right now ;o)

I will have my 55 up in the a.m.

At 5:32 AM, Blogger James Goodman, Author said...

that is suspicious, Kelly. I'm one of those unfortunate souls who comes out from under anesthesia swinging and seriously pissed off, then... I feel really sheepish. I guess everyone reacts differently.

Good plan, AK. :D

Oh, think I'd rather be awake for regular surgey than to have anything done in mouth and feel it, Donnetta. I shutter just thinking about it.

Thanks for stopping by, Alaina. I'm the same way, my normally hates watching these sorts of movies with me, because I figure everything out early on. :D

Yeah, Jillie... Spoon rocks. I have several of their songs on my ipod. :D

At 6:21 AM, Blogger Kelly Kirch said...

James, maybe you were awake too. Maybe your unconscious put in the fight or flight reaction but as the paralytic worked, you couldn't protect yourself.

So back to the question right? Is it torture if you don't remember?

Many of the reported cases discuss the two types of anesthesia. One paralyses so you don't move, the other knocks you out. They are finding the knock out doesn't work on everyone while the paralytic does. As a result, you cannot move or make noise to tell the doctor that you are actually wide awake.

Another is that the knock out stuff wears off, you feel everything, then you go back under when you heart rate tips off the anesthetist that you are coming around. YOu are put back under and forget the surgery as a result of medication. But you did feel it, only your subconscious is aware. Scary stuff.

At 7:34 AM, Blogger James Goodman, Author said...

You're probably right, it would definately explain the aggression.

To me torture is more about the phsycological effect than the actual physical abuse, so I would think that if you can't remember the event, then I personally wouldn't call it torture.

And yep... scary stuff indeed. :D

At 11:21 AM, Blogger snowelf said...

James, that's great! I was really curious about this movie and it's good to know you enjoyed it. I will throw it on my Netflix list. :)



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