Looper Movie Review

Looper Movie Review with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis In 2072, when the mob wants to get rid of someone, the target is sent 30 years into the past, where a hired gun awaits. Someone like Joe, who one day learns the mob wants to ‘close the loop’ by transporting back Joe’s future self.
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Looper is as close to perfection as a movie can get. This will certainly be one of the most one-sided movie reviews I have ever written. Spoilers are included in a separate section at the bottom with fair warning.

Looper, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt, is an extremely well-rounded sci-fi/action/drama movie that takes place in the future. What impressed me the most about Looper, was how director/writer Rian Johnson was able to incorporate time travel in a way that is easy-to-follow. I have seen many movies fail at this in the past; either trying to explain how it works and failing miserably, or ignoring how it works completely leaving enormous plot holes. Instead, the movie is “self-aware” with the actors acknowledging that time travel is complex, spending some time explaining the basics of the premise and then moving on.

Amazingly, Looper manages to avoid almost every sci-fi cliché in the book, adding to its self-awareness. One thing that I would consider a common cliché is assuming too much of the future. If there is one thing we look back and laugh at, it is old sci-fi movies that assumed that we would be all living in hover cities with flying cars, or things of that nature. Looper portrays a much more realistic future with a number of advancements but nothing completely out to lunch. Of course, sci-fi purists may actually think this is a problem, perhaps to them the more far-fetched the future the better, however I most certainly prefer writers that don’t take every liberty available to them.

The plot was highly unique and thoroughly enthralling, however it was the acting and the character development that was the biggest draw. Instead of the movie revolving entirely around a single character or two, Looper introduces a number of characters that are followed throughout the movie. Flawless acting helps sell these well-developed characters and bring the movie together like few others. Emily Blunt’s performance stood out in particular, despite a smaller role than Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Bruce Willis was probably the weakest acting piece but his style served a pivotal role for his character. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, on the other hand, shattered my expectations of him. It is now clear to me that he will be a strong A-list actor that we can expect to see much more often.

In summary, the movie was flawless. See this movie.

It there anything after the credits? No, there are no extra scenes at the end of Looper.

** Warning: Spoilers below**

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There is one thing that is throwing me for a loop (hahaha, I’m soooo funny): the movie very delicately touched on how time travel works and explained everything well, except for at the very end. How is it possible that Joe is trying to kill Cid because someone turned him bad in the future and yet it was Joe himself that killed said. Hard to explain, but I’ll try again:

How would Joe not know that he was the one that killed Cid’s mother causing him to turn into the future killer that he is?

I welcome any theories in the comments below.

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Rise of the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

rise-of-the-planet-of-the-apes-movie-review An origin story set in present day San Francisco, where man’s own experiments with genetic engineering lead to the development of intelligence in apes and the onset of a war for supremacy.

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Despite being a movie fanatic, I often find myself being very cynical with certain movie ideas. Although I had not seen any of the original Planet of the Apes franchise, the concept always seemed very cheesy to me. It seemed like a concept that they would not be able to get by with today. As such, I did not have high expectations for the movie but I must say, I was blown out of the water. The realistic modern take on the concept made the story believable and engaging in ways that the original franchise likely did not.

To put it into perspective, you may remember a time when comics, cartoons and movies were almost entirely held in fantasy. There were many loopholes in logic but it was “okay” because it was pure fantasy. In cinema today there is a much greater emphasis on realism – even when the movie is based in fantasy. Personally, I love it.

I think the best examples of this are the original Batman movies (everything before Batman: Begins & The Dark Knight). Most people would agree that those original movies were quite cheesy and lacked the serious and realistic focus of the new iterations by Christopher Nolan. In his take on the Batman franchise, characters are well-developed and their back-stories explained well. Nolan focused less on the superhero aspect of the movie and more on the story itself and it pays off big time. It is always effective to increase believability for an audience – we can believe in a Bruce Wayne, someone who has access to a lot of resources – it’s a lot harder to believe in Superman. But that’s enough about Batman.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes combines these somewhat indescribable characteristics that make it a very compelling movie. They pulled off a “smart animal movie” in a way I did not think possible. You will feel sorrow, anger and happiness – for an ape. So watch the movie and enjoy.

P.s. stick around at the end of the movie – there is a surprise ending that is sure to please.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Movie Review

pirates-of-the-caribbean-on-stranger-tides-review Jack Sparrow and Barbossa embark on a quest to find the elusive fountain of youth, only to discover that Blackbeard and his daughter are after it too.

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The 4th movie, in what may people wrongly believed to be a trilogy, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides was surprisingly quite good. My expectations for the movie were very low going into it as there have been few instances of franchises that can make it this far without completely selling themselves out into misery. This movie was unnecessary in terms of adding to the on-going plot of the franchise, however, it now seems clear to me that Disney wants to continue Pirates as an on-going series of somewhat unrelated adventures. At the end they even create the opportunity to make a 5th.

I am okay with this for 2 reasons:

1. It doesn’t seem like a complete money grab. Sometimes a franchise will sell its rights to the highest bidder so you end up with a product made by a random 3rd party. In this case though, the integrity has been largely maintained. Although some of the actors no longer return (namely, the lovely Keira Knightley and her male counterpart Orlando Bloom) Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush do and they are able to keep the originality alive.

2. The franchise now seems to be taking a turn towards somewhat un-related yet epic adventures. This is okay with me because it largely resembles a James Bond-style approach to a franchise. Instead of trying to continue to build a story-line outwards (or, now very frequently, backwards with prequels) you can create a series of “mini-stories”. This approach is very effective for big-budget Hollywood movies. Much more effective than trying to force an on-going story line for a large number of sequels and prequels.

All in all, the movie was very fun and I hope to see at least a couple more Pirates movies. As long as they keep Depp at the helm and maintain the series integrity by creating epic short stories, you will always find me in the theatres watching them.

Fast Five Movie Review

fast-five-movie-review Dominic and his crew find themselves on the wrong side of the law once again as they try to switch lanes between a ruthless drug lord and a relentless federal agent.

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I am going to keep this movie review very short. There are only a few things you need to know about Fast Five.

1. This movie is by-far the best of the series

2. It has some of the best action sequences I have seen in a long time

3. It has “heist movie” elements which are amazing (particularly if you like heist movies)

4. The story is nothing special but the movie is thoroughly entertaining and an absolute must-see

Mindless but mind-blowing entertainment

If you were getting bored of the “Fast” series, do not worry. Although the movie contains many common elements of its predecessors, it also introduces a number of new elements. Introducing heist components works well with the successful series and fans of movies like The Italian Job will enjoy the style of this movie.

The acting leaves a lot to be desired but remains bearable – even pretty good at times. Re-introducing old cast members adds to the experience and nostalgia. The support casts serves as one of the strongest points for the movie.

Although many of the action scenes remain over-the-top, their entertainment value cannot be denied. The stunts and effects in Fast Five are among Hollywood’s best. Few straight-up action movies are worthy of a 5 star rating but Fast Five earns it for its improvement over its predecessors, its heist-movie elements and its ultimate entertainment value.

Oh, and stay after the credits. Trust me. – D. Michaelangelo

Once you’ve seen the movie, come on back and we’ll chat about the ending.

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I could not believe what happened after the credits!!! Letty is alive??? Although I will miss the series, I was excited for this movie because it was a nice ending/wrap-up. Unfortunately it looks like they will be continue to milk the series (either that or the Letty thing completely throws off the neat ending). I am a fan of tidy endings. What do you think?