Just Push Play: DVD Review of "Premonition"

Jorge’s take: 3 Stars

Premonition is that weird feeling you get that something bad is about to happen. For most of us it’s just a vibe that we can’t describe in detail. For others, like Sandra Bullock in said movie, it’s very specific, right down to the day, time and location.

Can we do anything about our premonitions? The answer to that is not as important to this movie as much as whether we’ we want to. It is a question, or perhaps a challenge, to choose what is most important to us.

That’s what makes this movie a great psychological thriller. Forget whatever skepticism you may have about all that psycho mumbo jumbo because the focus of “Premonition” is about a woman who seeks to understand her backsliding husband, and in turn, comes to understand herself. Only a talented actress like Bullock could have executed a tough role. She makes you feel what she feels.

“Premonition” is much like “Déjà vu.” You start to feel that you can almost predict what will happen next and how it might conclude. And if you have aggressive and self-initiated characters, as Denzel Washington role played in “Déjà vu,” then you know they will try to prevent the natural course of events. The obvious question is, Can you really change fate?

Each movie has a different answer. “Premonition” doesn’t bank on its clever use of time switching; rather, it focuses on uncovering the truth and discovering responsibility. If it wasn’t for those themes, then my premonition of the movie’s ending would have spoiled it.

Mike’s take: 3 1/2 Stars

I almost had this film pegged as a rip-off from nearly a dozen different episodes of “Alfred Hitchcock Present.”

If you recall the old black-and-while TV series, the premise of so many dealt with twisted views of perception or dark realms of psychosis and human defects.

“Premonition” follows along the well-tread path of Hitchcock, but actually goes one better. Sandra Bullock takes charge of her insane situation and fights the madness where in a typical suspense genre piece; the protagonist might otherwise sink deeper into the abyss of insanity.

This “turn of the screw” – as Henry James had once authored – makes a classic suspense tale all the more entertaining.

I thought the ending was brilliant because it seemed just predictable enough to be completely unpredictable. In other words, the conclusion left the viewer thinking of a variety of outcomes, that it is hard to really know what will actually happen until it unfolds on screen.

For not being a Bullock fan, her screen presence in nearly every shot of the film is an extraordinary example of her acting range. Get her away from “chick flicks,” and she can really act.

The DVD extras are as interesting as the film. The documentary really highlights the director and screenwriter’s attempt to revive the suspense genre, and the frustrations of the actors having to shoot a non-sequential film in sequential order.

By this, I mean the actors shot scene by scene in order as it appears in the film. This is particularly hard to do in “Premonition” because time is out of whack, and jumps from a Wednesday to a Monday to a Saturday, and so forth.

Apparently, this type of shooting frustrated the actors in a good way, because they were able to use that emotion in their performances. The gag reel is also fun, seeing the actors let loose and having behind-the scenes fun while shooting a dark and serious film.