Time travel, Monsters &... Scientology?
Sep 28, 2012 / 4:00 pm
Greetings movie lovers, it's time to take a peek at what the cinema has in store for us this weekend.
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.
I have been looking forward to Looper for quite some time now and I'm super excited that it's finally arriving in theaters this weekend. The third feature film from writer/director Rian Johnson (who previously made the excellent Brick and The Brothers Bloom) looks to be his most ambitious one yet and certainly on a grander scale.
I love intelligently done science fiction stories about time travel and I'm hoping that it doesn't get too overly convoluted and leave the viewers scratching their heads trying to figure out what is going on. Based on the advance buzz this film is receiving however, I'm confident that Johnson has knocked this one out of the park and created an action packed, exhilarating mind trip of a movie.
I'm always fascinated by the paradox of time travel and the questions many ask like, what would happen if I went back in time and killed Hitler? How would altering the course of history affect and change the future? What if I met my past self - would reality implode? It will be interesting to see how these questions and many others are answered.
Besides Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Looper also features a great supporting cast that includes Emily Blunt, Jeff Daniels, Paul Dano and Piper Perabo.
For those that are hungry for an original, thought provoking science fiction action film, Looper should be your destination film this week. It has the potential to be a real blockbuster.
Welcome to the Hotel Transylvania, Dracula's lavish five-stake resort, where monsters and their families can live it up, free to be the monsters they are without humans to bother them. On one special weekend, Dracula has invited some of the world's most famous monsters - Frankenstein and his bride, the Mummy, the Invisible Man, a family of werewolves, and more - to celebrate his daughter Mavis's 118th birthday. For Drac, catering to all of these legendary monsters is no problem - but his world could come crashing down when one ordinary guy stumbles on the hotel and takes a shine to Mavis.
This sounds like a neat idea by combining a bunch of classic horror film characters into a lighthearted animated romp for kids in order to grab audiences both young and old, but I wonder if it will really work. Based on what I've seen of it, it appears to be nothing but juvenile, slapstick humour that is sure to delight children everywhere but leave adults weary and wishing for more.
Even the voice cast is filled with comic actors that I personally don't care for such as Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Kevin James and David Spade. Some people love those guys and that's fine, you'll probably want to check out this fun family film then. I prefer my animated films to be a little more clever though and not just a frantic series of chaotic mayhem.
It's being released by Sony's animation department (Open Season, Surf's Up, The Smurfs) and it's directed by Genndy Tartakovsky (Samurai Jack, Star Wars: Clone Wars).
I hope I'm wrong about Hotel Transylvania and that it turns out to be a highly entertaining family film for young and old alike. At the very least parents can use this film as a baby sitter while they go check out Looper instead.
A striking portrait of drifters and seekers in post World War II America, Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master unfolds the journey of a Navel veteran (Joaquin Phoenix) who arrives home from war unsettled and uncertain of his future - until he is tantalized by "The Cause" and its charismatic leader (Philip Seymour Hoffman).
Now this looks like the type of film that I can really sink my teeth into. I'm a huge fan of Paul Thomas Anderson and I believe that he is one of the best directors working in film today. Five years ago he made an absolute masterpiece in There Will Be Blood, and his previous brilliant works include Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch-Drunk Love and Hard Eight. He likes to challenge and engage his audience intellectually rather than create movies for the masses so therefore his films may not carry the broad appeal that big Hollywood studio films do.
I for one am salivating at the idea of seeing this story that is obviously a thinly veiled stab at the Church of Scientology. Despite reports to the contrary, it's apparent that Anderson based Hoffman's character on L. Ron Hubbard, who founded the belief system in 1952, the same year the movie takes place in.
Not one to shy away from controversy, Anderson screened the film months in advance for actor Tom Cruise, his friend and outspoken Scientologist, who had some issues with parts of the film. Officials of the church, who reportedly heard from Cruise, "hit the roof" when they learned of a scene which suggests the belief system was a product of the leader's imagination and that he was just making it up as he goes along. I wonder what Katie Holmes will think of this film... hmmm.
Also featuring Amy Adams, Laura Dern and newcomer Ambyr Childers, The Master looks like another dazzling piece of cinema from PTA. Already garnering early Oscar buzz, this is sure to be one of the best films of the year.
Challenge your mind and seek out The Master.
Won't Back Down
Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis play two determined mothers, one a teacher, who will stop at nothing to transform their children's failing inner city school. Facing a powerful and entrenched bureaucracy, they risk everything to make a difference in the education and future of their children.
This is clearly being framed as an inspirational tale of overcoming adversity and fighting the flaws of the system and hopefully it will work as such and not be an overly simplified, pedestrian, dumbed-down commentary on important socio-political issues.
My level of interest for this picture is pretty low but it might appeal to those looking for a drama that deals with problems that are making headlines today. Yup, the education system stinks and needs changing - we get it.
If this topic interests you then check out Won't Back Down.
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