[box cover]

Premonition

Considering how problematic time-travel stories are to concoct, one wonders why screenwriters keep attempting it. Is the challenge — the idea that maybe, this time, it won't be utterly preposterous? Or is it ego on the part of the writer, a deeply held conviction that they can succeed where so many others have failed? For whatever reasons that it made it into production and onto neighborhood movie screens, Premonition (2007) is yet another film about someone unstuck in time which promises a ripping good puzzle and then stumbles over it own illogical plot contrivances. Sandra Bullock (who also played with the time-space continuum in 2006's The Lake House) plays Linda Hanson, a blandly appealing housewife and mother who loses her husband, Jim (Julian McMahon) to a car accident, only to wake up the next morning to find that he's still alive. At first she thinks that she must have had an exceptionally vivid dream but, after another night's sleep, she awakens to find a house full of mourners and her daughter's face a mass of scars. What's happening? Is she crazy? The Lithium bottle on her bathroom sink would indicate that, yes, that's a possibility. But with each successive day turning out to be a different day than the one that it should be, poor Linda resorts to drawing a chart to figure out where in time different things are happening, have happened, and will happen. Which is an intriguing premise, actually, but Premonition is so badly plotted out that one wishes screenwriter Bill Kelly had made a similar chart of his own to help Linda make less stupid choices — we're way ahead of her almost every step of the way, and watching her stumble three steps behind what a smart person would do is frustrating. Director Mennan Yapo attacks the material as if it's more a serious drama than the schlocky thriller that it actually is, and he even manages to waste the marvelous Peter Stormare, casting him as a creepy psychiatrist who turns out to be nothing more than a minor, fourth-string character. The story's ending, unsurprisingly, is dumb and frustrating and maudlin all at the same time, the result of one last completely unbelievable choice made by Bullock's logic-challenged character. When the highlight of a film is the unintentional hilarity of a severed head rolling out of a casket because the pallbearers dropped the coffin, you know you're sloshing in the shallow end of the cinematic pool.

Sony's DVD release of Premonition offers a solid anamorphic transfer (2.40:1) with clean DD 5.1 audio track (English or French, with optional French, or Spanish subtitles). Extras include a yawn-inducing commentary track with Bullock and Yapo — Bullock is pleasant and remembers having a good time on the film, while Yapo explains his camera angles. Five deleted scenes are offered, all excised for pacing, with optional director commentary. Also on board are two "making-of" featurettes, the standard-issue "Glimpses of the Future: Making Premonition" (15 min.) and slightly meatier "Bringing Order to Chaos" (30 min.), plus the requisite gag-reel of on-set hijinx. Keep-case.
—Dawn Taylor



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