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Old October 3 2012, 10:39 PM   #46
Unwrapped
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Re: Looper - Grade, Review, Discuss, ect.

Something I wondered about the TKs: if Cid could represent their maximum potential, assuming his adult self has control over his abilities, why is that Seth and other TKs in the present day don't actually do something useful with their gift? I mean, suppose Seth didn't rely exclusively on his gun because he could smack a quarter through a target's brain with enough force to kill them?
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Old October 3 2012, 11:13 PM   #47
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Re: Looper - Grade, Review, Discuss, ect.

Looper

My Grade: B- (Above Average on the poll.)

---------------------------

Time travel movies are like a night of drinking, it's fun at the time but later on you end up with a terrible headache trying to figure out just how the heck these things work! "Looper" both tries to wave away the science of it, how paradoxes work and so forth but it still creates them which makes elements of the movie not work.

The year is 2044 and time travel has not yet been invented but it will be invented within the next few years and when it is it's instantly outlawed. The only people who seem to have access to it are people in organized crime. Struggling in a world where it's a lot tougher to kill someone, dispose of a body and to get away with it organized crime groups send their hits back to a Kansas farm in 2044 where men called "Loopers" instantly kill them with a blunderbuss (which we go back to using.... for some reason) and then incinerate the body without a trace. The bodies arrive with a load of silver strapped to them for payment.

Loopers are the high-paid hit-men of this "present" in a world of a crumbling economy, over population, high unemployment and shoddy futuristic technology where cars are made "solar powered" by literally bolting solar panels to decades old cars.

Loopers, unfortuantely, live with the knowledge that they're going to kill themselves at some point. A Looper's loop is closed when a sent-back body has gold strapped to them, an indication a Looper has just killed his future self. Failure to kill your future self puts a present-day hit on you and your futureself which is nothing short of terrifying.

Our main character "Joe" is one of these Loopers looking forward to "closing his loop", taking his money, and living out the rest of his life in Paris, but this all falls apart when his future self knocks him out and runs away, sending Joe after his older self in order to "close his loop" and prevent the wrath of his bosses.

Older Joe has his own agenda, namely to get back at the men who'll eventually send him back in time to be killed, along with older motivations. The movie doesn't take the "closed loop" idea of time travel is clearly shows us the past can be changed. In a fun montage we see what would have happened to Joe when he "got his gold package", killed him, retired, and spent the next 30-40 years of his life aging from Joseph Gordon Levitt to Bruce Willis with a Zorg-ian combover to Bruce Willis, where he's captured by the future thugs, sent back in time, where he... escapes.

You're now permanently cross-eyed and we haven't even touched on how memories and thoughts work, sending you older self a message by scaring your arm, etc.

Young Joe intends to stop Old Joe's mission as the two men work through the movie basically as enemies on a different agenda. Bruce Willis is looking for John Connor, Joseph is hooking up with Emily Blunt who has the wild idea of growing sugarcane in freaking Kansas to protect her and her kid (a potential mark for Willis.)

The movie also presents in it that a percentage of the population have mild telekinetic powers in this future, "I thought we'd finally get super heroes. Instead all we get are guys floating quarters over their hand trying to pick up chicks."

It doesn't present us with an overly futuristic future, still ground-based cars, the closest to a "flying vehicle" we get is something similar to the motorcycle used by the traffic cop in "Star Trek (2009)." Though we do see realistically futuristic personal technology like phones and such. The future is also presented as nearly dystopian.

The movie presents a lot of good, fun, ideas but most of the time it just feels long and tiresome. When JGL gets on the farm the movie nearly grinds to a halt until Willis shows up. The TK thing adds very little, what it does add could've been done in a more... "mundane" way. The time travel paradoxes can also make one dizzy.

It's a good movie with a solid cast and on reflection I enjoyed it more than I thought when I came out of the theater last night, but I think it could have used some more time in the editing room and maybe the cast's supply of Valium cut back.

Probably a good movie for a rental, don't see it as being one to see in the theater.
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Old October 3 2012, 11:59 PM   #48
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Re: Looper - Grade, Review, Discuss, ect.

Undead wrote: View Post
Something I wondered about the TKs: if Cid could represent their maximum potential, assuming his adult self has control over his abilities, why is that Seth and other TKs in the present day don't actually do something useful with their gift? I mean, suppose Seth didn't rely exclusively on his gun because he could smack a quarter through a target's brain with enough force to kill them?
Pretty clearly the present TKs don't have anywhere near that kind of power. Cid is a quantum leap forward.
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Old October 4 2012, 02:05 PM   #49
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Re: Looper - Grade, Review, Discuss, ect.

Circus Peanut wrote: View Post
Looper

My Grade: B- (Above Average on the poll.)

---------------------------

Time travel movies are like a night of drinking, it's fun at the time but later on you end up with a terrible headache trying to figure out just how the heck these things work! "Looper" both tries to wave away the science of it, how paradoxes work and so forth but it still creates them which makes elements of the movie not work.

The year is 2044 and time travel has not yet been invented but it will be invented within the next few years and when it is it's instantly outlawed. The only people who seem to have access to it are people in organized crime. Struggling in a world where it's a lot tougher to kill someone, dispose of a body and to get away with it organized crime groups send their hits back to a Kansas farm in 2044 where men called "Loopers" instantly kill them with a blunderbuss (which we go back to using.... for some reason) and then incinerate the body without a trace. The bodies arrive with a load of silver strapped to them for payment.

Loopers are the high-paid hit-men of this "present" in a world of a crumbling economy, over population, high unemployment and shoddy futuristic technology where cars are made "solar powered" by literally bolting solar panels to decades old cars.

Loopers, unfortuantely, live with the knowledge that they're going to kill themselves at some point. A Looper's loop is closed when a sent-back body has gold strapped to them, an indication a Looper has just killed his future self. Failure to kill your future self puts a present-day hit on you and your futureself which is nothing short of terrifying.

Our main character "Joe" is one of these Loopers looking forward to "closing his loop", taking his money, and living out the rest of his life in Paris, but this all falls apart when his future self knocks him out and runs away, sending Joe after his older self in order to "close his loop" and prevent the wrath of his bosses.

Older Joe has his own agenda, namely to get back at the men who'll eventually send him back in time to be killed, along with older motivations. The movie doesn't take the "closed loop" idea of time travel is clearly shows us the past can be changed. In a fun montage we see what would have happened to Joe when he "got his gold package", killed him, retired, and spent the next 30-40 years of his life aging from Joseph Gordon Levitt to Bruce Willis with a Zorg-ian combover to Bruce Willis, where he's captured by the future thugs, sent back in time, where he... escapes.

You're now permanently cross-eyed and we haven't even touched on how memories and thoughts work, sending you older self a message by scaring your arm, etc.

Young Joe intends to stop Old Joe's mission as the two men work through the movie basically as enemies on a different agenda. Bruce Willis is looking for John Connor, Joseph is hooking up with Emily Blunt who has the wild idea of growing sugarcane in freaking Kansas to protect her and her kid (a potential mark for Willis.)

The movie also presents in it that a percentage of the population have mild telekinetic powers in this future, "I thought we'd finally get super heroes. Instead all we get are guys floating quarters over their hand trying to pick up chicks."

It doesn't present us with an overly futuristic future, still ground-based cars, the closest to a "flying vehicle" we get is something similar to the motorcycle used by the traffic cop in "Star Trek (2009)." Though we do see realistically futuristic personal technology like phones and such. The future is also presented as nearly dystopian.

The movie presents a lot of good, fun, ideas but most of the time it just feels long and tiresome. When JGL gets on the farm the movie nearly grinds to a halt until Willis shows up. The TK thing adds very little, what it does add could've been done in a more... "mundane" way. The time travel paradoxes can also make one dizzy.

It's a good movie with a solid cast and on reflection I enjoyed it more than I thought when I came out of the theater last night, but I think it could have used some more time in the editing room and maybe the cast's supply of Valium cut back.

Probably a good movie for a rental, don't see it as being one to see in the theater.
You spent almost your entire "review" summarizing the film and then basically saying you found it mediocre.

I give your review 1.7/10.
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Old October 4 2012, 02:54 PM   #50
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Re: Looper - Grade, Review, Discuss, ect.

Ghostavo Fring wrote: View Post
Circus Peanut wrote: View Post
Probably a good movie for a rental, don't see it as being one to see in the theater.
You spent almost your entire "review" summarizing the film and then basically saying you found it mediocre.
Yeah, if "above average" movies aren't worth seeing in the theatre, then what, we're supposed to go to the movies only, like, once a year (at best)?
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Old October 4 2012, 03:10 PM   #51
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Re: Looper - Grade, Review, Discuss, ect.

Mach5 wrote: View Post
Ghostavo Fring wrote: View Post
Circus Peanut wrote: View Post
Probably a good movie for a rental, don't see it as being one to see in the theater.
You spent almost your entire "review" summarizing the film and then basically saying you found it mediocre.
Yeah, if "above average" movies aren't worth seeing in the theatre, then what, we're supposed to go to the movies only, like, once a year (at best)?
maybe he scores like boxing, 10 or 9, any other score is a disaster
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Old October 4 2012, 04:10 PM   #52
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Re: Looper - Grade, Review, Discuss, ect.

Mach5 wrote: View Post
Ghostavo Fring wrote: View Post
Circus Peanut wrote: View Post
Probably a good movie for a rental, don't see it as being one to see in the theater.
You spent almost your entire "review" summarizing the film and then basically saying you found it mediocre.
Yeah, if "above average" movies aren't worth seeing in the theatre, then what, we're supposed to go to the movies only, like, once a year (at best)?
The movie became more interesting on reflection but I'm still not sure I'd say it's a movie I'd recommend rushing out to see right away. It's worth seeing, yes, but there's other ways of seeing movies than rushing to the megaplex.
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Old October 4 2012, 04:54 PM   #53
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Re: Looper - Grade, Review, Discuss, ect.

What is so odd to me is that it is the kind of film that does have a really interesting core to it, and it has me thinking that it existed originally(and would have worked better) as a short subject but was then expanded to feature length by the powers that be. The core of the story is the very premise of Loopers and their role in criminal society and how the main character encounters himself... and that dilemma not only serves as the high-concept pitch for the film itself, but would serve as the entirety of the story (and it would be all that was needed) if it was a short subject. Now it's been padded, TKs were added, and instead of just being an interesting future detail, the idea of the TK plays an important part in the climax despite hardly being mentioned for over an hour of screentime. When the film's Terminator plot takes over (which plot which, mind you, is not altogether uninteresting) it seems to take away from the allure of the original high concept pitch. Looper as a short subject would have been a tighter and more probing affair had they stuck to their guns.
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Old October 4 2012, 05:39 PM   #54
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Re: Looper - Grade, Review, Discuss, ect.

Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote: View Post
What is so odd to me is that it is the kind of film that does have a really interesting core to it, and it has me thinking that it existed originally(and would have worked better) as a short subject but was then expanded to feature length by the powers that be. The core of the story is the very premise of Loopers and their role in criminal society and how the main character encounters himself... and that dilemma not only serves as the high-concept pitch for the film itself, but would serve as the entirety of the story (and it would be all that was needed) if it was a short subject. Now it's been padded, TKs were added, and instead of just being an interesting future detail, the idea of the TK plays an important part in the climax despite hardly being mentioned for over an hour of screentime. When the film's Terminator plot takes over (which plot which, mind you, is not altogether uninteresting) it seems to take away from the allure of the original high concept pitch. Looper as a short subject would have been a tighter and more probing affair had they stuck to their guns.
Um, no. It's obvious that the loopers themselves are a plot element introduced to set up the central themes and conflicts: about family, about how your choices shape you, about how to let go of the past (or even the future.)

The looper concept is just setup for the real drama, which is between Sara, Cid, Young Joe, and Old Joe.

It sounds like you wanted a high-concept sci-fi thriller that was about loopers but with a completely different narrative thrust. Well, that's not the film the director made.
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Old October 4 2012, 08:29 PM   #55
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I disagree. I bet almost any amount of money that the idea of loopers and a guy meeting and having to kill himself was the core of the story that he came p with first, and all that other stuff padded out his scant screenplay.
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Old October 4 2012, 08:37 PM   #56
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Re: Looper - Grade, Review, Discuss, ect.

Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote: View Post
I disagree. I bet almost any amount of money that the idea of loopers and a guy meeting and having to kill himself was the core of the story that he came p with first, and all that other stuff padded out his scant screenplay.
Then you would be wrong, because the writer/director (Rian Johnson) comes out and says so:

With this one, it seemed, I feel, a little more… It’s there in the movie, and I think it’s probably… It’s not like it’s a complicated text. The themes are right there on the surface. But it has to do with—having said that, I’ll now just spew it on the table in a couple of malformed sentences—it has to do with violence, and the fundamental question of approaching the world’s problems by finding the right person and killing them, vs. by raising our children right, I guess. That’s what was on my mind when I started really developing it. Hopefully it gets to something.
Link

He also makes it clear that this was an independent film, and its contents were not dictated by a studio. He got to make the film he wanted, and he's pretty clear on what it's about.

Good thing you didn't bet any real money.
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Old October 4 2012, 09:04 PM   #57
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The citations you cited made me less convinced. I just can't imagine that this particular story started form a guy looking at a blank piece of paper and starting with the idea that this story he will write will be about violence and raising our children right, etc. No, don't be naive. The "high concept" of the loopers, time travel, and them having to off their future selves, was obviously the core idea that he came up with first, despite what citations you can site until you are blue in the face.
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Old October 4 2012, 09:11 PM   #58
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Re: Looper - Grade, Review, Discuss, ect.

Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote: View Post
The citations you cited made me less convinced. I just can't imagine that this particular story started form a guy looking at a blank piece of paper and starting with the idea that this story he will write will be about violence and raising our children right, etc. No, don't be naive. The "high concept" of the loopers, time travel, and them having to off their future selves, was obviously the core idea that he came up with first, despite what citations you can site until you are blue in the face.
Translation: "I've been proven wrong by the writer-director's own words, but I can't admit it, because this is the Internet and every discussion is a contest to be won!"

Your retraction is accepted.
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Old October 4 2012, 09:29 PM   #59
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Re: Looper - Grade, Review, Discuss, ect.

I don't care what the director said in his own words. If the film is truly about what he said it was about, the trailers wouldn't be dwelling on the high-concept looper hook. I am a writer and know a little bit about how ideas often form. I'm not saying I know for sure, but my gut instinct - and an honest evaluation of the film we were given - has brought me to the conclusion. It;s one thing to cite whatever you want for the sake of defending a viewpoint, but it's another thing altogether to allow yourself to be honest and clear your mind and consider what was really there.

I use the same argument with the Dark Knight Rises the people that praise it to the level of the Dark Knight are simply not being honest with themselves. They can't buy Bruce being able to function as Batman with no cartilage is leg in a superhero film that attempts to be at all realistic. They don't like the plotholes (such as how Bruce got back into the city) or the mysterious science (punching a broken back to heal it, et) in a film series that was more grounded in story, drama, and morality. I wish those people were honest with themselves and wouldn't blindly praise something that clearly doesn't merit accolades.
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Old October 4 2012, 10:12 PM   #60
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Re: Looper - Grade, Review, Discuss, ect.

Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote: View Post
If the film is truly about what he said it was about, the trailers wouldn't be dwelling on the high-concept looper hook.
Not expressing an opinion on the larger issue one way or another, but that's clearly neither here nor there. Film advertising tells you nothing about the creative process behind it, and are frequently rather misleading; including with this one, which hides many key plot elements.
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