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The Adjustment Bureau

A 2011 movie directed by George Nolfi.

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Help! Call 911 for a script doctor!

  • Jun 2, 2011
Rating:
-4
If you go to Fort Morgan Colorado, you will find the grave of master essayist Philip K Dick. If you listen carefully enough beyond the wind blowing through the trees, you'll hear a faint whizzing sound of his body spinning in his casket faster than a tumble drier. I can only hope they have Prozac in the afterlife so he can find some solace in how Hollywood is destroying everything he's ever written. Maybe he can have a chat with Richard Matheson, whose books also get routinely crapped all over.

Saying that "The Adjustment Bureau" is based on Philip K Dick's story is like saying this review is based on "A Midsummer Night's Dream" - the filmmakers have attached his name to gain some credibility in the cinematic equivalent of identity theft. But actually everything that's interesting in the original has been replaced by a cliched love story and some utterly laughable hat issues.

The plot: "Two lovers, split by prank-loving destiny, get back together thanks to a hat."

The film features a quasi-government department called The Adjustment Bureau that's a little CIA and a little DMV where everyone dresses like it's still the 1950s. They can freeze time, screw with your future, and offer useful pieces of foreshadowing like "Yeah, water is the only thing that messes up our kick-ass superpowers. And a weak script."

It really shoots for the moon on the romance subplot but never allows us to care for the characters. And that's surprising since Matt Damon is in the lead and clearly paying the rent. It's like finding Meryl Streep on a Shake Weight commercial. And then there's token Brit Emily Blunt, who is now officially in 25% of all films made in Hollywood. She's terrible. There's also the guy from Mad Men which is probably where the 1950s wardrobe idea came from.

Anyway, it's all about hats. There's even a line at the end that's said seriously: "Don't trust anyone in a hat." It's like they read my mind. I have since decided to write a poem about The Adjustment Bureau to sum up my thoughts:

Popcorn waits, soda in hand;
Wallet lightened for Damon's rent.
Lights darkened, cell phone silenced
Blunt screeches across the screen,
Unnoticed.

Pip Dick's soul sighs again,
Popcorn grows cold, soda warms.
Thai curry waits nearby for old Bes
As hats are traded for plot
Adjusted.
 

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June 09, 2011
Hah, love the poem. Nice review!
 
June 04, 2011
Good observations, never thought of looking at one of Dick's stories again specifically that one...that is a great catch about Matheson's books, what happened to the movies on them? LOL!! where my hat at?
 
1
More The Adjustment Bureau reviews
review by . March 05, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
There is NO Fate But What You Make....But Do We Need Adjustment?
There’s something very familiar and yet it proves to be quite pleasing to the viewer when director/scripter George Nolfi takes on the movie adaptation of Philip Dick’s short story called “The Adjustment Team” and makes it “The Adjustment Bureau”. It has been wrongfully labeled as a sci-fi film, since it is anything but. It has strong themes of spirituality and of existentialism wrapped around romance, paranoia and mystery. Not really sure, it’s almost …
review by . March 17, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
It wasn’t until the middle of February in 2010 that I found my first 5/5 worthy film in Martin Scorsese’s “Shutter Island”, a heart pounding, gut-wrenching, brilliantly performed thriller that left my jaw on the floor and set a huge standard for the rest of the year, ending up as my #4 favorite by December. As February came and went and so did forgettable films like “I Am Number Four”, my hopes were starting to wane in general for 2011 in general when it came …
review by . July 09, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
*** out of ****     Whenever I discover that a new Philip K. Dick novel is being adapted into a film, I can't help but be skeptical. Most of the time, I just sit down somewhere and let out a big sigh. This is not to say that I detest the Philip K. Dick-based films; a couple of them are very, very good. It's not particularly hard to get a basic understanding of what the writer had in mind when he wrote the story, especially in K. Dick's case. "The Adjustment Bureau" is the latest …
review by . June 25, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Other than the Bourne films and Good Will Hunting, I am not much of a Matt Damon fan and the trailers for this film reminded me of "The Forgotten" which was terrible. Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised in how much I liked this film. It is kind of a more serious version of Looking for Mr. Jordan with a little bit of special effects thrown in. Damon is a young hotshot who seems destined to win the election for New York Senator. On the eve of the election he does something stupid which …
review by . May 02, 2011
Like Rango, ever since I saw a trailer for this with True Grit I had very high hopes for this movie. In some ways, this movie satisfied my expectations, but in some ways, it didn't. To put it in plain speech, The Adjustment Bureau was not the science fiction epic I thought it was going to be, but it was an entertaining and interesting movie with two strong lead performances and an interesting premise. Like the critics said, it did have some trouble maintaining a consistent tone, seeing as it …
review by . March 15, 2011
Like Rango, ever since I saw a trailer for this with True Grit I had very high hopes for this movie. In some ways, this movie satisfied my expectations, but in some ways, it didn't. To put it in plain speech, The Adjustment Bureau was not the science fiction epic I thought it was going to be, but it was an entertaining and interesting movie with two strong lead performances and an interesting premise. Like the critics said, it did have some trouble maintaining a consistent tone, seeing as it …
review by . March 05, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         The Adjustment Bureau, adapted from Philip K. Dick’s short story “Adjustment Team,” is the most engrossing, intelligent, and stimulating science fiction fable since Knowing, a gem that I personally believe was not given its dues. It takes one of the oldest and most unknowable of humanity’s spiritual quandaries – fate vs. free will – and applies it to a simple but brilliantly executed love story. The result is …
review by . March 03, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
The Adjustment Bureau - The Two Jews On Film Think This One Needs Adjusting
Do we control our destiny or do unseen forces manipulate us? That is the question 'The Adjustment Bureau' asks. The film is based losely on a short story by Philip K. Dick and is directed and written by George Nolfi (co-writer of The Bourne Ultimatium).      Matt Damon plays ambitious New York politician, David Norris. David's just about to become the next Senator from New York, when a photo of him mooning a group of people, is brought to light. David loses the election …
review by . March 11, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
The Adjustment Bureau Makes You Really Think
When you say adjustment bureau, you have to ask yourself what do you mean the movie or the actual collection agency. There is an actual agency that goes after the big boys such as banks, auto dealers, finance companies and any other professional types. But, in this case we are talking about taking time out of our busy schedule to go to the matinee to see the movie Called Adjustment Bureau  starring Matt Damon. You know him, he is the star to all of the Borne Identity Movies. He is the perfect …
review by . March 04, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Avoid this Fate
THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU   Written and Directed by George Nolfi   Starring Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Anthony Mackie, Jack Slattery and Terence Stamp       David Norris: If I’m not supposed to be with her, why do I feel this way?       If you knew that being with you meant that the person you love would never realize his or her dreams, would you walk away from them?  If you wanted to, would you even be capable?  As …
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Wiki

The story is loosely based on the Philip K. Dick short story "Adjustment Team", and features a smooth-talking congressman whose political future is thrown in doubt by uncontrollable events and the arrival of a mysterious ballerina in his life.

Matt Damon plays David Norris, a former Fordham University basketball player and charismatic United States Congressman who seems destined for national political stardom. He meets a beautiful ballet dancer named Elise Sellas, played by Blunt, only to find that strange circumstances keep them from becoming romantically involved. Norris discovers forces are at work to keep them apart, and he peels the layers to find out why. The action takes place in various places in Manhattan.

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Details

Director: George Nolfi
Genre: Romance, Thriller
Release Date: 4 March 2011 (USA)
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Philip K. Dick, George Nolfi
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