Release Date: December 25, 2003

What did you say you did for a living with this Bill guy?

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Paycheck is yet another Philip K. Dick adaptation, this time helmed by John Woo. Affleck plays Michael Jennings, a brilliant reverse engineer who receives an offer from an old friend, Rethrick (played by Aaron Eckhart, who just had what is now the Affleck role of hired hand super-geek in The Core). This man is a media tycoon in the Bill Gates mold (honestly, what movie villain isn't these days?) looking to get Jennings to handle an unusual research project. In exchange for his help, a huge payday will await Michael at completion which will make him rich beyond his wildest dreams.

After agreeing to take the job, Jennings wakes up one day to discover that his employer has erased parts of his memory as a security measure...and that three years have lapsed. When he goes to pick up his paycheck, he finds a signed release authorizing the company to replace his monetary payment with a bag of 19 seemingly random objects. He then struggles to piece together his past with the few clues that he has.

While the description bears more than a passing similarity to another Phillip K. Dick movie, Total Recall, the producers of the project are quick to point out the key difference. No fantasies are hard-coded into a person's head. Instead, pieces of data the human mind already possesses (i.e. memories) may only be deleted. Basically, Paycheck is Memento with a $100 million budget.

Coming off of her star turn in Kill Bill, Uma Thurman is cast here as an enigmatic woman who claims to have shared more than a few romantic moments with Jennings during his black period of memory loss. Together, they work to unravel the mystery of what happened to him during the past three years along with why he gave up a massive paycheck in exchange for 19 clues to his past.

No matter the outcome of Paycheck, considering the similarities to Arnold's role in Total Recall, we can if nothing else look forward to the Bennifer gubernatorial campain of 2020. (Dan Krovich and David Mumpower/BOP)

Vital statistics for Paycheck
Main Cast Ben Affleck, Uma Thurman, Aaron Eckhart
Supporting Cast Colm Feore, Paul Giamatti, Michael C. Hall, Ivana Milicevic, Kathryn Morris, Joe Morton, Krista Allen, John Cassini, Fulvio Cecere, Michelle Harrison, Emily Holmes
Director John Woo
Screenwriter Dean Georgaris
Distributor Paramount
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site
Rating PG-13
Running Time 110 minutes
Screen Count 2,762
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture

Comparison films for Paycheck
Adjusted Opening
Total BO
Adjusted Total
Daredevil 2/14/0345.03 45.03 3471 12974.00 12974.0 102.54 102.54 2.28
Minority Report 6/21/0235.68 37.09 3001 11889.00 11889.0 132.01 137.25 3.70
Sum of All Fears, The 5/31/0231.18 32.41 3183 9795.00 9795.0 118.47 123.17 3.80
Windtalkers 6/14/0214.52 15.09 2898 5010.00 5010.0 40.91 42.53 2.82



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