Looper is frackin’ awesome!

And it proves that originality still exists in Hollywood–whew! I was getting worried.  Not only is Looper original and brilliantly constructed, it is one of the BEST sci-fi films, involving time travel, that I’ve seen in a long time.  It joins the ranks of Primer and 12 Monkeys, (in my opinion) and brings Writer/Director Rian Johnson‘s score sheet of awesome to 3 out of 3 .

Time travel can be tricky because there are so many variables and little inconsistencies that, like a loose thread in a sweater, can unravel the entire premise and narrative.  Although I am sure that some are searching and can find those threads, overall Looper clears the most difficult hurdles and delivers an intelligent, tight, action filled story that relies more on character exploration than convoluted space-time continuum plot points.

You guys know already that I will not divulge anything about the narrative (no summaries here to spoil the unexpected :)), but I will tell you why I loved it.

Let’s start with the story.  Like I mentioned it tackles time travel in an original way and creates a futuristic world that feels organic and plausible–from cars and weapons, from drugs to lifestyles, it all feels right.  What Johnson does extremely well is focus on the human factor, instead of anything else and at its heart Looper plays out as a morality tale about what extremes a person will go to, to protect the ones they love.  I loved that no one was the clear hero–all the players in this story were damaged and tainted–and yet, we are able to find the humanity in all of them.

(Badass Mondo Poster)

The awesome story was played out by a pitch-perfect cast.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt continues to confirm my ongoing love affair with him! 😀  Since Brick (Johnson’s début film) and Mysterious Skin, I have been on the JGL fan wagon and have yet to be disappointed in a performance.  This kid has some major talent and this role highlights this in a big way.  Then there is Mr. Bruce Willis–the one and only.  Willis is a badass.  We all know this.  And I love when we see him tackle a role that allows his badassness to be enhanced and magnified and yet shows his vulnerable side too.  (Damn.  They are both so awesome! It’s crazy how much JGL channels Willis and the make-up is sick!)

 

 

 

Emily Blunt is almost unrecognizable in a role that is a departure from anything I’ve ever seen her play and she nails it.  She is strong, yet fragile and you can help but root for her.  Then there is Pierce Gagnon–at merely 5 years old (at time of filming)–this kid is incredible!  I have not been this impressed with a child actor since little baby Dakota Fanning in Trapped.  WOW!  That is all I can say because his character is amazing to discover without any prior set-up.

Okay.  Story? Brilliant.  Acting? Top-notch.  Music? Perfect.  Make-up and Effects? Super cool.  I think that about does it.  Go watch it!  You are in for a hell of a ride!

Also, let us remind Hollywood that we want to see NEW ideas on-screen.  It is possible and when it happens, we must support original and awesome content.

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The Expendables 2 is 200% of ridiculous fun!!

This poster says it ALL!!  Big Guns. Big Dudes. Big Explosions. Yes. I am Capitalizing Everything Because IT’S BIG.  😀  The Expendable 2 : Back for War is exactly what you would expect and it’s a blast, if you’re willing to embrace the madness.

Like the first one, this is not meant to be anything but a testosterone joy ride. There is not much to review. Plot? Razor thin–it’s personal this time (that’s the tagline I would apply).  Acting?  Do they have to? C’mon they’re kicking ass and taking names…they don’t have time to act.  Direction? Point. Shoot. Blow shit up!

Here are some thoughts. I will have to admit to being happy to see Arnold “back” 😀 –I love him!  Chuck Norris had the funniest joke in the movie. Jean-Claude Van Damme played a nice baddie. Jason Statham is a bad SOB and had some of the coolest fight sequences. Sylvester Stallone still got it.  Dolph Lundgren is whack. Girl Power–Nan Yu is awesome–who seem to replace Jet Li (sadness). And Bruce Willis? Anytime, anyplace. 😀  It did get a bit one-liner happy towards the end, but hey…shit was happening and what else would they say?

Yup.  That’s about it.  If you can handle the mayhem…go for it!  It will be a fun ride.

Moonrise Kingdom may just be Wes Anderson’s Masterpiece.

Wes Anderson is quirky and unique.  That is what I love about him and Moonrise Kingdom seems to be the perfect accumulation of all of Anderson’s style and talent.  While I was watching it I could not help but feel happy.  It is brilliant!  Funny, touching, silly and poignant.  Right now, it is my favorite film of 2012 (so far).

Let’s start with the story written by Anderson and Roman Coppola.  It centers around two special 12-year-old kids and their struggle to find themselves and love while running away from a New England island town.  Appropriately, it is set in 1965 and there are real risks and dangers involved–even if it is presented in a zany sort of way–and that elevates the stakes.  The narrative moves quickly and keeps you engrossed from start to finish.   As always, there are so truly affecting lines thrown in, among all the craziness, that make you nod with agreement and understanding.

Anderson’s direction is a thing of beauty.  Honestly.  Some of the sequences are masterful–blended together seamlessly and able to create greater impact.  It is 100% Anderson.  From voice over to side swipes.  Awesome.  There is a bit of magic in this one.

Now for the cast.  WOW!  The two stand outs are the 12-year-old leads.  Thousands tried out and the perfect pair was chosen.  In their début, Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward, knock it out of the park!  I am impressed and will be watching their careers rise–because it will happen.   They’re both natural and have a charisma that shines on-screen.  It must have intimidated them to be surrounded by some incredible talent–Edward Norton (fantastic)–Bruce Willis (melancholy perfection)–Bill Murray (DUH! Awesome)–Frances McDormand (lovely)–Tilda Swinton (great)–and Jason Schwartzman (hilarious).   I can only imagine how crazy and wonderful that must have been for these two young kids!

Yes.  I can go on and on.  But, as you know–I want you to go out and experience it yourself.  Even if you usually do not enjoy Anderson’s films–try this one–you may be surprised how much you will enjoy it.  Hopefully, it will make you happy too!

 

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