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Old September 28 2012, 04:52 AM   #1
JD
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Looper - Grade, Review, Discuss, ect.

Looper comes out tomorrow, so I figured it was close enough to start the review thread. This one looks intriguing and has been getting really good reviews, so I'm hopefully going to see it tomorrow.
Description:
In the futuristic action thriller Looper, time travel will be invented - but it will be illegal and only available on the black market. When the mob wants to get rid of someone, they will send their target 30 years into the past, where a "looper" - a hired gun, like Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) - is waiting to mop up. Joe is getting rich and life is good... until the day the mob decides to "close the loop," sending back Joe's future self (Bruce Willis) for assassination.

Director/Writer: Rian Johnson
Cast:
Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Joe
Bruce Willis as Old Joe
Emily Blunt as Sara
Paul Dano as Seth
Piper Perabo as Suzie
Noah Sagan as Kid Blue
Jeff Daniels as Abe

Trailer
Metacritic score: 85/100 (34 positive/0 mixed/ 0 negative)
Rotten Tomatoes: Certified Fresh 92% (112 Fresh/10 Rotten)
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Old September 28 2012, 02:15 PM   #2
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Re: Looper - Grade, Review, Discuss, ect.

The overwhelmingly positive reviews got my expectations too high, and the movie didn't end up meeting them. It was still fun, and the movie was quite interesting up through the diner scene, but nothing after that was really too surprising. It actually seemed like they were teasing some big twist to come in the third act, but it never came.

Also, not to be too nitpicky on this, but the time travel logic doesn't actually work (unlike, say, Twelve Monkeys or the first Terminator movie).
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Old September 28 2012, 02:58 PM   #3
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Re: Looper - Grade, Review, Discuss, ect.

Grade: A- or Excellent

SPOILERS ahead, you know this if you're in the Review thread but it bears repeating.
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!!!!-SPOILERS--SPOILERS--SPOILERS--SPOILERS--SPOILERS-!!!!

Marketing wants you to think this film is merely about young Joe(JGL) versus old Joe(Willis) in a fight for survival. Maybe you even think, "It's like a team up, first they fight then join forces". YOU.ARE.SO.WRONG.

So the film in it's exposition explains what a Looper is, how their guns(Blunderbusses) got their name and other details about the future. The boilerplate angle you may hear about this movie is that old axiom, "If you could go back in time and kill Hitler as a baby/kid, would you be able to do it?"

So with that angle said the real theme of the film though is Love. Not a romantic one but one of connectedness, most all main characters show the theme at some point.

The future is riddled with mystery as they don't explain the full socio-econmics of it but clues are laying around for you to guess. Overpopulation, areas you may not want to be in, like France, cause something unfortunate occurs(plague, natural disaster, nuke?), an energy crisis(all cars are equipped with solar panels). Due to an unknown event it's caused 10% of the population to develop a mutation of Telekinesis. The mention of "mega-cities" is important cause one particular crime boss has risen up and taken control of FIVE of them...by himself, with no men. They never say how many mega-cities there are. This is said in an impressive manner to drive home how tough that would be. Most crime bosses were content to use Loopers to kill off rivals. This new boss, the Rainmaker, though starts retiring Loopers at a high rate. If you are retired it means the older you is sent back in time to your present and you off him. Even if you don't know it's you the payment in gold vs silver is your clue.

It's here where the ole time travel thing gets wonky. Joe gets retired at some point cause old Joe pops up but young Joe knows to be on the look out cause he's put together something isn't right with so many Loopers being retired en masse + his friend let his older version escape and we witnessed the fall out of that. Old Joe falls in love in his 50's, marries and is living life when future hired thugs come to grab him for assassination but Joe the younger. During this the love of his life is shot and killed. It's here Joe puts his plan(emergency/fallback?) into motion cause he suspected this day would come. He's going to not get killed by his younger self...find The Rainmaker as a child...and kill him/her.

I've typed a lot of detail already but it's not all of it and I don't intend to spoil every aspect. Suffice to say that yes Joe the younger has an escort "regular" hooker he likes. Turns out she has a girl that is a potential "Rainmaker" and old Joe ends up seeking her out. Not till he finds the house does he realize the unfortunate connection. He has 3 potential targets. Two boys, one girl. As you watch the movie it's not tough to guess that Sid, the little boy at the farmhouse is Rainmaker. Emily Blunt plays his mother and I felt that she showed both strength and determination very well in this movie. Along with how her own vulnerabilities and needs were addressed. That's the least spoiler thing I can say. It's the events and evolving relationships on that farm that are important though. Cause without them the actions of Joe the younger and his narration of those wouldn't be important otherwise.

It's a really good movie but I do have some time travel things I couldn't quite connect, hence my minus in the grade. It's a well done screenplay imo to a concept that could easily be glossed over and dismissed. My minus is also cause I thought it was a little too open ended. I want to know if Joe the Younger had a positive change on the past that is reflected in the future...we don't know that answer.

The kid who plays SID, future Rainmaker, is going to blow you away. Just like in Sixth Sense Bruce Willis ends up working with a great child talent. This film should be at least a contender for Best Original Screenplay imo
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Old September 28 2012, 10:41 PM   #4
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Re: Looper - Grade, Review, Discuss, ect.

I did get to see it this morning, and I loved it. It's a very interesting concept, that features some amazing performances, and is very well written and directed. It's not a big special effects extravaganza, but what is there is just enough to help build a very believable world for the story to take place. The performances from the entire cast were absolutely outstanding, with the three leads, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, and Emily Blunt, and the kid who play's Blunt's son doing an especially good job. I think the kid could easily go down in sci-fi history as one of the great creepy kids.
The story is also great, with some very interesting moments that really make you wonder. This was one where I wasn't exactly sure how is was going to end, and for me that is a very good thing. The directing and writing were outstanding, Rian Johnson is definitely going to be somebody to keep an eye on.
My Rating: Excellent.
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Old September 29 2012, 12:07 AM   #5
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Re: Looper - Grade, Review, Discuss, ect.

I just saw it, and I really really don't know what to make of it. Maybe its because I came up with a twist in the 3rd act which never came? I was positive OldJoe would kill Sid/The Kid/"Rainmaker" and would disappear into the future/nothingness, but that so would young Joe, and that Sid was not in fact the rainmaker, but the person who invents time travel. Maybe the bit where he's tinkering with the toy frogs is just a misdirect that I latched on too, but I was hoping for something a little more meaty for the third act. I mean, what we got wasn't bad, but...I dunno. Seemed like it was a bit empty. I can't tell you why, I just feel like something is missing. So for that I can't rate it, because tomorrow i'll either love it or hate it. At the moment, I'm just not sure. :/
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Old September 29 2012, 01:27 AM   #6
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Re: Looper - Grade, Review, Discuss, ect.

Average. Although there's nothing I can point to and say "I didn't like that" I'm not really all that impressed either. The movie starts off interesting, then loses something in the middle and has a really anti-climatic ending. The film also has shades of Terminator, what with a time travelling assassin systematically killing everyone who falls under a certain criteria in the hopes of changing the future

The revelation that the kid on the farm was the "Rainmaker" was too obvious. I kept expecting some sort of special revelation about Abe, like he was actually an older version of the show-off henchman but nothing ever came.

I don't get the ending. So Joseph Gordon-Levitt Joe shoots himself and Bruce Willis Joe ceases to exist and since Cid doesn't witness his mother killed he will presumably grow up normally and not become the feared mob boss known as the Rainmaker. However, in the original timeline JGL Joe killed Willis Joe right away when he arrived back in time, therefore there was no one around to hunt Cid. Presumably his mother never dies, or is killed some other way and Cid still grew up and became the Rainmaker. Won't that happen anyway? Or is the point that Joe won't have to deal with all the pain and suffering the Rainmaker will inflict on him?

While an interesting concept the movie loses something in the execution. Or maybe it's just because I went in expecting an action movie when it is in fact a character piece?
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Old September 29 2012, 08:48 AM   #7
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Re: Looper - Grade, Review, Discuss, ect.

So... having seen commercials for this over the past few months I thought there was little chance I would go see it. It looked really stupid. Then I checked metacritic and it actually seemed to be getting a really positive response and a reputation as a smart movie. So I figured, what the heck!

In the end though, I don't really get it. The whole Looper concept makes even less sense than I thought it did from the commercials. Why would they make 'finishing your loop' part of your contract? Why wouldn't they just send your ass back to another assassin that doesn't know you? Why does a telekinetic god need to send people back in time to be killed? There was a brief explanation that I don't think I quite caught.... it's too easy to track bodies in the future? Or something? If murdering people in the future is so hard, why did they shoot the chinese wife? If they can get away with shooting people and just need a place to dispose the body, why don't they send the bodies back in time pre-killed? Would seem to be a great way to avoid loose loops...

The rules of altering the timeline were really goofy as well... With the carving notes into people's arms and all that. You chop off a dude's legs and he's still there in a position that requires him to have legs for the past 30 years but without his legs? What?

Oh, and can anyone explain to me what the deal was with the mom character hanging out on the porch and pantomiming having a smoke?
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Old September 29 2012, 01:48 PM   #8
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Re: Looper - Grade, Review, Discuss, ect.

Yoda wrote: View Post
There was a brief explanation that I don't think I quite caught.... it's too easy to track bodies in the future? Or something? If murdering people in the future is so hard, why did they shoot the chinese wife? If they can get away with shooting people and just need a place to dispose the body, why don't they send the bodies back in time pre-killed? Would seem to be a great way to avoid loose loops...
That's where I began having problems, too. Though after thinking it over for a while, my guess is that the mob figured that with Joe's wife dead and Joe missing, the authorities would assume Joe killed her and not investigate things further. Still a bit of a stretch though.

And the Loopers just throw the bodies in an incinerator, why can't the mob do that? Okay, maybe it might raise some red flags when the body's tag stops transmitting, but that happens anyway when they get sent back in time.

And if the Looper has to be killed in the future to prevent them from squealing about the time travel, why are the people sent back as recentally as thirty years? Going back say sixty years and you have less of a chance of your Loopers still being alive in the present day. Especially considering the kind of lifestyles they seem to live. I suppose it's possible the time machine could have limitations and they can only go back thirty years, but it wouldn't have hurt to throw in one line saying so.
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Old September 29 2012, 02:44 PM   #9
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Re: Looper - Grade, Review, Discuss, ect.

Also, can I just point out the tagline in that poster for the film, "Hunted by your Future. Haunted by your past." makes no sense and has zero relevance to the plot? OldJoe was certainly not hunting YoungJoe, the complete opposite. And Old Joe wasn't haunted by his past, if anything he was trying to make sure it happened exactly the same way.

In the end I've gone for average. After sleeping on it, the end didn't have much weight too it for my liking, The rainmaker in the future was just there and we never saw his true horror, and the whole thing was essentially a predestination paradox which makes no sense because the paradox was "fixed" before it ever happened in a way, so yeah.

Pointless complexity gives the illusion of substance to a pretty wafer thin love story between JGL and Emily Blunt. It's OK, but I wouldn't call it this generations Blade Runner like I've seen people say. If anything, it's annoying average.
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Old September 29 2012, 03:59 PM   #10
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Re: Looper - Grade, Review, Discuss, ect.

Is Joseph Gordon-Levitt the love child of John Travolta and Kirk Cameron?
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Old September 29 2012, 05:38 PM   #11
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Re: Looper - Grade, Review, Discuss, ect.

I found Looper to be kind of underwhelming. I liked the actors in it, but the story was all over the place. Why don't they interrogate the victims to pumped them for future info and get rich? In the future where time travel is illegal the mob is more worried about being found with dead bodies than with a time machine. Any decent prosecutor and investigator will put two and two together and have them convicted of murder with the time machine as the murder weapon.

I also thought that entire telekinetic plotline to be unnecessary and it took away from the premise of the film. They could've shown more of how evil that kid will grow up to become.
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Old September 30 2012, 01:39 AM   #12
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Re: Looper - Grade, Review, Discuss, ect.

I haven't decided yet if I want to see this. The premise sounds interesting, but it seems like even most of the positive reviews (surprisingly a lot, considering) mention problems with the second half of the film and some of the plot elements.
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Old September 30 2012, 01:53 AM   #13
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Re: Looper - Grade, Review, Discuss, ect.

Unicron wrote: View Post
I haven't decided yet if I want to see this. The premise sounds interesting, but it seems like even most of the positive reviews (surprisingly a lot, considering) mention problems with the second half of the film and some of the plot elements.
Depends on how analytical and how willing to suspend disbelief you are. I went to see the movie on a lark this afternoon with no knowledge of its premise -and hence no expectations- and was blown away. Came into this thread hoping to see similar sentiments, but it seems either I'm easily impressed, or we Trekkers are a tough-to-please bunch.

Anyway, I loved it.
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Old September 30 2012, 03:03 AM   #14
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Re: Looper - Grade, Review, Discuss, ect.

Star Wolf wrote: View Post
Is Joseph Gordon-Levitt the love child of John Travolta and Kirk Cameron?

I'm still trying to figure out if it was intentional or not for JGL to not resemble Young Bruce Willis

Or maybe they wanted him to look like young Joe(Most likely)
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Old September 30 2012, 03:04 AM   #15
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Trek4Ever wrote: View Post
I also thought that entire telekinetic plotline to be unnecessary and it took away from the premise of the film. They could've shown more of how evil that kid will grow up to become.
You know, I forgot about the telekinetic stuff from the beginning, so that when Emily Blunt ran into her safe when the kid began having his freak out I was all "what the hell?" Then later on, when we find out she's telekinetic I was all, "oh right, there are telekinetic characters in this movie. The kid must have some sort of uber telekinetic abilities."

The telekinetic stuff was far too subtle. So much so that I forgot about it when it became relevant to the plot and it ended up seeming like something out of left field when it is in fact a logical plot development.
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