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DVD Shopping Bag: Looper Blu-ray

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DVD Shopping Bag: Looper Blu-ray

Sci-Fi Perfect or nearly Perfect?

By Robert T. Trate     January 01, 2013
Source: Mania.com

 

Thanks to Sony, I received an early Christmas gift as Rian Johnson’s Looper arrived a few days early. After interviewing both Johnson and the film’s star (see here), Joseph Gordon-Levitt, I was anxious to see this film. It is a film that involves a hitman who uses a time machine to eradicate targets from the future. Now before you think this is a revisit of Timecop (1994), rest assured it is not. Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Joe doesn’t jump from one time to another erasing people from existence. In fact, his job is basically to dispose of the “hit” in the present after it was captured and sent back to him. A perfect solution in getting rid of an unwanted corpse. There is a catch of course, as there always is. 


Joe’s job is to basically kill the target and burn the body. It’s a low level job that rewards an incredible amount of money. Joe will work as a “Looper” until the day he will close his own loop. When that day arrives, he will kill his older self. Joe will then be paid in gold and receive the next 30 years to live out his life. Joe has been saving his money and learning French as he plans to leave America. Everything is going according to plan until several of his Looper cronies start closing their own loops one by one. Joe’s closest associate, Seth (Paul Dano), has second thoughts on closing his own loop and Seth’s older self escapes. What Seth learns and shares with Joe is that a new boss, The Rainmaker, has taken over and all the Loopers are being put out to pasture. Naturally, Joe is next in line. However, his older self, played by Bruce Willis, has a something to live for and escapes Joe’s sights.


Much like Rian Johnson’s Brick (2005), Looper establishes its own world and dialogue very quickly. In the realm of science fiction (a first for Johnson) this works in spades. Johnson isn’t concerned with showing how much money was spent in futuristic vehicles and weapons. Much like the original Star Wars, they are what they are: everyday tools to get the job done. A gun is called a gat. The hitman that uses a gat is called a Gat and so fourth. Johnson develops his characters quickly and gets the story moving. It is nearly perfect or might be depending on your story preference. 


In the Joe’s quest to bring his older self in, he discovers that Old Joe has come back in an attempt to kill The Rainmaker as a child. Thus, saving his own present and young Joe’s future. The reasons, I won’t reveal in as to not spoil anything for those of you that haven’t seen the film. Now, many critics have sighted the originality of Looper and that it is/ was one of the best Sci-Fi films of 2012. After watching it, I have to cry foul. I found much of the plot to be in the same realm of James Cameron’s Terminator (1984). Only this time, it was to kill a gangster instead of saving the leader of the future. So Rian Johnson turned the Terminator story around, big deal. 


The other key to plot is so brushed over that by the time Emily Blunt’s Sara character is introduced, one goes “oh, yeah, they did mention that, didn’t they?” To further elaborate, in the future, 10 percent of the population is born with telekinetic powers. It is not a world of superheroes, just a world where people perform stupid parlor tricks... or will it be?


As time travel movies go, Rian Johnson nails it home, much in the same way that George Pal did with the original Time Machine (1960). One could even say it is as smart as Frequency (2000) when it comes to the ripple effects. I found myself loving every minute of the ride until the true villain and Old Joe’s intentions were revealed. After that, it did feel slightly cheapened. In a world where every movie that comes out is based on a pre-existing property, a film like Looper is a breath of fresh air. However, when softer plot points are brushed over and then turn out to be key, I still have to wonder if a film like this is Sci-Fi perfect. Perhaps this is as close as we are going to get these days. 



***The releases for New Years Day 2013 are a bit thin, much like last week. A release day on a holiday in never a good thing. Next week the DVD Shopping Bag will be back in full force, or as much as the studios will allow. 

 

 

ACTION / ADVENTURE / KUNG FU/ THRILLERS / WESTERNS

Cosmopolis Starring Paul Giamatti and Robert Pattinson

Cosmopolis [Blu-ray] Starring Paul Giamatti and Robert Pattinson

Doctor Zhivago Starring Hans Matheson and Sam Neill

Dead by Sunset Starring Ken Olin

Flight into Nowhere Starring James Burke, Dick Purcell and Jack Holt

Kingdom of Gladiators Starring Maurizio Corigliano

Loved Walked In Starring Denis Leary, Terence Stamp and Michael Badalucco

ANIME

Mardock Scramble: Second Combustion [Blu-ray]

Mardock Scramble: Second Combustion

COMEDY AND LOVE Mania Style

The Three Stooges (Rare Treasures from the Columbia Pictures Vault) Starring Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Curly Howard

HORROR

Friday the 13th 1-4

Overtime [Blu-ray] (2013) Starring Al Snow, John Wells, Sebrina Siegel and Erica Goldsmith

Overtime Starring Al Snow, John Wells, Sebrina Siegel and Erica Goldsmith

Red Lights (DVD/BD/Digital Combo) [Blu-ray] Starring Cillian Murphy, Sigourney Weaver, Elizabeth Olsen

War of the Dead Starring Andrew Tiernan, Mikko Leppilampi and Samuel Vauramo

War of the Dead [Blu-ray] Starring Andrew Tiernan, Mikko Leppilampi and Samuel Vauramo

TV LAND

Trial & Retribution Set 6 Starring David Hayman

 

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 7 of 7
1 
snew929 1/1/2013 1:11:23 PM

Hmm not sure I agree, but ok.

 

Not every film has to be a mind blowing, life changing event.  Looper to me was very original.  The basic plot we have seen before, but this grew into something different than Terminator (which imho was really just an action filmed dressed up like Sci Fi). 

I know you guys are critics, but sometimes its okay just to like a film because it makes you think.

redhairs99 1/1/2013 4:33:49 PM

I saw Looper last week at a second run cheap theater.  Thought it was fantastic!  Just don't think too much on the time travel aspect and how what happens effects the future, etc.  Like most that deal with time travel, it'll just make your brain hurt and potentially ruin a fun film going experience.

I'm disappointed to see Cosmopolis coming out on DVD already.  I didn't realize it had come out in theaters yet. I really like David Cronenberg's style of filmmaking and remembered looking forward to this movie when I first saw a trailer for it.  Don't really have high hopes for it now that I see it's coming to DVD so quickly.  Maybe I'll be surprised though.

jayinvincible 1/1/2013 4:53:37 PM

 Saw Looper the other day and was highly impressed. I do find the fact that it is a sci-fi movie that isn't linked to a current property refreshing. Just like you I liked the fact that they didn't try to beautify the movie or technically explain time travel or other plot points and instead stuck with just telling a good story.

XeroWarp 1/1/2013 5:09:44 PM
  1.  I liked Looper and totally don't think any incest was involved in the filming of this movie.
Wiseguy 1/2/2013 5:34:50 AM

I have Looper as one of my top 5 films of the year. I thought it was very clever even if the plot isn't as original as people suppose. I so tire of that call, "original", I think just about everything nowadays has a derivative to some degree. I hate when that's used in a contumelious manner in what otherwise is a fine piece of work, but hey that's me.

 

InnerSanctum 1/2/2013 9:32:17 AM

 Looper was what it was supposed to be...good fun at the movies.  I didn't expect it to be earth shattering, but enjoyed it without feeling the need to compare it to past time travel movies.  

InnerSanctum 1/2/2013 9:33:12 AM

 BTW, can someone give Looper a nod for doing practical make up to make Levitt look like Willis?  I thought that was rather cool myself.  

1 

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