Here is a science fiction movie that started out great. Just reading the jacket cover got me going. An elementary school in 1959 buries a time capsule filled with drawings of children. In 2009, the time capsule gets unearthed and elementary students again get the letters from their counterparts, fifty years before. Fascinating. I’d like to do that.
Well, I sort of did, once. In 1981 I built houses in Fountain Hills, Arizona. The house on on 16411 E. Glenbrook has a full Sunday newspaper, the Arizona Republic, of some date in August 1981, with all sections, including the ads and inserts, in the wall of the master bedroom closet. It’s now 28 years later, and I am certain that paper still sits in the dark in that wall. One day somebody is going to remodel that house and open up that wall and find my little present dated 1981. But I digress.
A boy named Caleb, the son of an astrophysicist at MIT named John Koestler (Nicholas Cage), gets a different kind of drawing altogether. It contains only a long string of numbers, which turn out to be a code. I can’t tell you the content of the code, but it shakes up the boy, the father, their friends and their lives as they know it.
The movie races along at breakneck speed, with fantastic special effects, suspense that keeps you on the edge of your seat, and you wish you could live in the Victorian house that John and Caleb live in – you’ll see why.
The movie was fascinating to watch, suspenseful and exciting, until about the last 15 minutes, when it got outright hokey. This would have been 4 stars, but I can’t get over the ending, it just didn’t work for me. Ebert, for a change, gushed about this. See for yourself.
So if you’re willing to take that chance, go and enjoy.