Run time 116 minutes.
Not for children.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt in “Looper.”

I generally like time warp movies. To give this one credit, it is ingenious, but entirely too cold-bloodedly violent. Written and directed by Rian Johnson it is set inKansasin the year 2044. The idea is that time travel has been invented but it is illegal and only used by the mob. When the mob wants to get rid of someone they send that person 30 years into the past (to 2044) where a “Looper” dispatches him and dumps his body.

Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a Looper who discovers that one of the people he is required to kill (Bruce Willis) is actually Joe himself (called letting theLooprun). This sends Joe’s life into a tailspin, especially when Bruce lets him in on what happens and why he’s there.

As I said, this is ingenious, one of the better crafted time warp stories I’ve seen. But recent movies paint the future as dark and depressing. There seems to be no joy in the future. Joe lives in a mechanized apartment that looks like a slum, even though he’s well paid for what he does. Apparently modern film makers don’t hold out much hope for the future.

The movie picks up when Emily Blunt appears. She’s a mother of a strange son who lives alone on a farm surrounded by corn stalks. While Willis and Gordon-Levitt give fine performances, the one who really makes the movie come alive is Blunt.

Although like most films directed by the writer this runs far too long, there are some interesting dialogues, especially those between Joe now and Joe in the future. Paul Dano makes a short, but effective appearance as a Looper who refuses to let his loop run. The creation of life in 2044, while bleak, does look futuristic but distinctly unappealing.

Pitch Perfect

Run time 113 minutes.
Not for children.

Anna Kendrick in “Pitch Perfect.”

This is a musical that is more annoying than entertaining. Starring Anna Kendrick and Brittany Snow, it’s the story of a bunch of freshmen in college, misfits who attend college but devote every waking moment to an a cappella singing contest.

Like Glee, the film encourages sexual promiscuity by making light of it. Since the film is obviously aimed at teenaged girls (it’s unlikely anybody older than 15 could be entertained by this), it is irresponsible to show young people having sex willy-nilly without consequences. The way Glee and movies like this wink their collective eyes at teenaged sexual promiscuity is deplorable.

The setup scenes are ludicrous, featuring a campus where the various singing teams hang around the campus as groups, breaking out into song with the least possible provocation. Some of the characters are equally ludicrous. One, in particular, is an Asian girl who speaks with such a low voice that basically all she does is move her lips. I guess this is intended to be funny when it is only irritating. There are a couple of vomiting scenes that are more disgusting than funny.

The movie is supposed to be about singing and music but there are only a couple of production numbers that are worth watching. In fact, the most entertaining song was a short rendition of the Miley Cyrus 2009 hit, “Party in theUSA” (written by Jessie J, Dr. Luke, and Claude Kelley). Alas, it was not only far too short, the way it was presented, the girls singing it on a bus on the way to a performance competition, made no sense.

Brittany Snow’s character as the group leader was so over-the-top, it led the list of annoyances, although Kendrick’s character and performance weren’t far behind. Those deficiencies should properly be laid at the feet of director Jason Moore, though, than blaming the two actresses. It’s hard to believe, at least it is for me, but this is based on a book by Mickey Rapkin. A whole book on this? There isn’t enough story here to make a half hour sitcom. How could somebody write a whole book on this? Can you spell “flimsy premise?”

Read more reviews at www.tonymedley.com. 

Views All Time
Views All Time
Views Today
Views Today

About Author

At the Movies

Comments are closed.