Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Looper (2012)

Directed by Rian Johnson
Written by Rian Johnson
Starring Joseph Gorden-Levitt, Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt

This film was interesting. What’s not to love about back to the future, Star trek, somewhere in time, or the lighthouse? Really they all have lots to offer the viewer. The magic of movies is time travel in more ways then one.

A film can transport you back in time to the early 1900s like in the film ‘There will be Blood’ making each view image a harsher life and reality. A film can push you forward in to the future where cyber warfare and laser guns are comment place and everything is new. Film can even bring us back to an earlier time in our lives where we recall childhood dreams and fantasies.

Looper doesn’t really do any of that but its still fun to watch. The best part of this film about closing the time loop is when Bruce Willis the future self of Gorden-Levitt says “if we talk about this will be here all day.” Or something to that effect. And that is so wonderful to take that attitude with time travel. It’s not very explainable.

The film revolves around this problem of the future self attacking the present self and ruining his life. Even saying it now makes everyone’s head spin….

No Rating. Honorable mention. This film was something to see. I recommend it as a rental. 

Taken 2 (2012)

Directed by Olivier Megaton
Written by Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen
Starring Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace & Famke Janssen

Did you see the first taken? If so the, you’ll enjoy this one too.

Liam Neeson was born in 1952 (quick math) he’s getting old. But the filmmakers of Taken 2 Megaton, knows what he’s doing because its hardly noticeable. Yes, in a few of the scenes Neeson looks stiff and off balance but that’s just flavor for the character. “He’s tired of the BS” and the film makes a great action movie for the aging action movie goer.

Maggie Grace does a wonderful job of being a recovering victim of kidnapping. She plays a girl coming of age in a world locked down by her controlling father. This film captures a good connection between a father who is trying to protect his daughter and a young girl becoming an adult. The film doesn’t capitalize on this relationship but the portrait is solid. Come to think of is, nothing about this story is wrong or confusing. All the motivation and plot points are there and focused on properly

So what goes wrong? Well, nothing exactly. The film just doesn’t have enough. The story slowly goes along fine but it’s just a repeat of what we have already seen. The mystery isn’t really there. So the audience losses its interest quickly even though everything is done right.

Bottom 5. Not a movie to see in the theatre. Just rent it if you want to see it. You’ll be disappointed if you pay more then a few dollars. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Argo (2012)


Directed by Ben Affleck
Written by Chris Terrio Joshuah Bearman (article)
Starring Ben Affleck, John Goodman & Bryan Cranston

Argo is the name of a fake movie this movie (same name) is all about. As you can image, a movie about a movie is always unsettling in one way or another.

Ben Affleck stars and directs this film and is well know for his other projects he’s directed like ‘The Town’ & ‘Gone baby, gone.’ This film stays in that line of directing and plot ark. Ben Affleck has been cultivating through his directing that has become a very dependable voice. In other words, when you hear Affleck is directing you know what your going to get…

So what are you getting when you buy a ticket to Argo? The story is a glamorized historical event that took place in the 70’s that may or may not have anything to do with our current situation in the Middle East. Having said that, this film does an amazing job of cultivating a interest in the history of American foreign policy.

This film has the potential to be a groundbreaking film like the acclaimed ‘All the Presidents Men’ or ‘The Manchurian Candidate’ but something about it feels forced. The film proposes that the CIA would send a team of agents posing as a Hollywood film crew because it’s the only option to hide in plain sight. The problem with this idea is that it’s just not true.

No rating. It’s an enjoyable film with all the excitement of escape. Affleck does all the right things and makes all the right decisions as a director. It’s just not a compelling tail. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Cloud Atlas (2012)

Directed by Tom Tykwer, Any Wachawski
Written by David Michell, Lana Wachowski
Starring Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, & Hugh Grant

This is an amazing film. For anyone looking to be awakened, if only for a few minutes in the theatre, this film will give you chills. It’s the kind of film that is hinting at a larger Truth that is hard to perceive or keep in focus. Directed by the same people responsible for the Matrix (and the matrix Sequiles) expectations where perplexing at best.

Tom Hanks has been a beloved character actor for a good 30 or 40 years now and nothing makes an audience member happier then when they see a familiar face. Interestingly enough Hanks plays so many different characters in this film you’ll get that wonderful feeling several times throughout the movie. All the actors are recycled so you making connections within the several different story lines that might have been hard to discern otherwise.  

Everything about this film is well done. Hanks, Berry, Grant & all the others all operate at the highest performance level here. The cinematography is majestically diverse in each story. The movie flows at an interesting pass that some people may fall asleep while others are on the edge of their seat.

The overarching story is more like a collection of life experiences. Each story has a compelling and rich story line that revolves around oppression and the rising up of the weak. A line that is mentioned a few times in the film speaks to the theme of the story “the weak are meat and the strong shall eat.” as bone chilling as that may be the film creates a safe place to explore the idea of oppression and the security of our spirit life.

Top 5. If you see one film before Christmas this year… Go see this one.