MOVIE REVIEW: LOOPER (2012)

Running time: 1 hour, 58 minutes
Cast: Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt
Director: Rian Johnson

Looper is an action-packed sci-fi film set in the year 2074. Time travel has been invented, declared illegal, and then adopted by organized crime groups. These groups use time travel to go into the future and find people they want to kill. Then they bring those people back to the present to be killed by loopers. If a crime group wants to stop working with a looper, they’ll find the looper’s future self, bring him back, and have him killed by his present self.

This sounds tricky at first, but the movie does a great job at explaining the time travel situation without going overboard or getting too specific about how this all works. In fact, the time travel is actually secondary to the main story itself, which is about a looper named Joe who missed his chance to kill his future self- Old Joe- and now must track him down.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt has been on fire for the past couple of years. He’s working a lot and he’s joining some awesome movies. For Looper he clearly studied Willis’ speech patterns and he wears colored contacts and facial prosthetics to resemble Willis. Gordon-Levitt’s performance is rock-solid and he’s a great match for the seasoned action star Willis.

In fact, I’m surprised to say that every actor in this movie carried his or her own weight. I can’t think of one dull moment, and I found Looper to be very engaging and focused. There’s a few heart-wrenching scenes involving future selves living out the consequences of decisions made by their younger selves. That’s food for thought after the movie is over, though. If you’re looking for a philosophical discussion you won’t find it in this movie, but you will find some great acting and fun action scenes with a little sci-fi thrown in to mix it all up.

Did you see Looper? What did you think about it?

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MOVIE REVIEW: FRANKENWEENIE (2012)

Running time: 1 hour, 27 minutes
Voice Cast: Charlie Tahan, Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau, Winona Ryder
Director: Tim Burton

 

I recently saw Frankenweenie in 2D and I must admit that I wasn’t too impressed with it.

Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie is a full-length, stop motion, black-and-white remake of his 1984 live action short film with the same name. It’s about young Victor Frankenstein and his beloved dog Sparky that dies in a car accident. Victor actually pays attention in class and learns about muscles and electrical impulses. He takes Sparky’s body from the cemetery and brings it home, where he revives the body during a lightning storm. As Victor’s family, neighbors, and classmates learn that Sparky is alive, Victor learns a few lessons about death, science, and what happens when people use knowledge to do bad things.

I have two thoughts about this movie:

1) It should’ve remained a short film.

About an hour into the movie I was already getting burned out. I felt Burton was thinking of ways to lengthen the run time of the film so he decided to add some filler scenes featuring forgettable characters (ex: the scenes with the Mayor and scenes with Victor’s classmates). I also think the ending of the movie was dragged out to include some action scenes that weren’t needed.

My favorite character is the teacher, Mr. Rzykruski, who is very creepy but extremely intelligent and encourages Victor to “love” science and not just “do” science-y stuff.

The 1984 short film was 30 minutes, and I think if Tim Burton wanted the remake to work he should’ve hit the hour-long mark and called it a day.

2) Not too kid-friendly…

I don’t have kids, but throughout the movie I kept thinking ‘I wouldn’t bring my small child to see this.’ Maybe it’s because in the row behind me there was a small child whimpering and crying out. The emotions were very strong in this movie- especially the grief that Victor felt when his dog died. And when Sparky was brought back to life his body looked sewn together, and at some points a piece of his body would fall off. I can’t imagine young children reacting well to that, and I think they would be terrified towards the end of the movie when a few pets were brought back to life as larger and creepier versions of themselves. I think 10 or 11 year-olds may be able to handle it, otherwise you’ll have a whimpering kid in the seat next to you.

I’m not a huge fan of this movie and I probably won’t watch it again. As I mentioned, I think this movie has too much filler and it seems Tim Burton only remade it so he can add another stop motion film to his resume. It’s probably best to wait for this movie to appear on Netflix or at Redbox if you really want to see it.


AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM REVIEW!

Sorry for the late review, work was crazy this week 🙂

I won’t post recaps or spoilers for the season two episodes. This is a show that really needs to be seen and not simply read about. I will post reviews though!

This season premiere features new actors and returning actors in a whole new set up. In the present day we have the super sexy newlyweds Leo and Teresa aka The Lovers (Adam Levine and Jenna Dewan-Tatum) exploring an abandoned insane asylum. These two have sex and make out in various creepy rooms throughout the asylum but they soon find themselves running for their lives.

Flashback to 1964 and we see a frightening and active Briarcliff Manor that is run with an iron fist by Sister Jude (Miss Jessica Lange). A nosy journalist (Sarah Paulson) comes to Briarcliff to expose the alleged abuse of its inmates and she comes across the timid Sister Mary Eunice (Lily Rabe) and her secret, nightly routine. Sister Jude and Dr. Arthur Arden (James Cronwell) clash over his use of torture to find the ‘madness’ that he believes lives in every human being. One of Dr. Arden’s victims is Kit Walker (Evan Peters) who is accused of being the serial killer ‘Bloody Face’. Kit denies the claim and he finds kindness in the fellow inmate Grace (Lizzie Brocheré).We’re also introduced to the sex-crazed Shelly (Chloe Sevigny) but it’s not clear what her involvement will be. And we also see that Sister Jude has a sexy, freaky side during her dinner with Monsignor Timothy Howard (Joseph Fiennes).

I left out a few details because you really need to see it to understand how this story all ties together in the first episode.

The creep factor is HIGH so far. I think insane asylums are already creepy, so it creates a very haunting atmosphere for the characters. Jessica Lange is very commanding and overbearing as Sister Jude, and I think she will be a constant favorite throughout the season. Also, episode 2 promises to reveal a horrific secret that she is hiding.

There’s a couple of torture scenes here, and these scenes definitely leave a mark even though they are brief and don’t show any gore. The intensity of the show increases when the show goes back to the present day to show the terror that The Lovers are experiencing.

Overall, this season premiere starts off very strong and keeps the scares going until the end. I can’t wait to see what happens next week!

Did you watch the season premiere of American Horror Story: Asylum? What did you think?


SONS OF ANARCHY TEE!

Howdy folks! I finally have a Sons of Anarchy t-shirt! I got it from Teefury. Every day this site features a different $10 t-shirt, and this is one I picked up. Now I’m on the hunt for a shirt that reads ‘SAMCRO’. I found a few online, but not in a women’s size.


SCANDAL SEASON 2 EPISODE 2 RECAP

Another week, another episode. Here we go!

This week Olivia Pope & Associates tackle the death of Pastor Marvin Drake. Mrs. Drake reported her husband missing and Olivia and her team found him naked and dead on top of his mistress, Anna. He’s a big boy too, and the whole team moved him from the hotel room where he died with Anna and placed him (fully clothed) in his bed at home with his distraught wife. The wife agreed to say that he came to bed late and when she woke up he was dead.

Throughout the episode Anna threatens to reveal the affair and the son that it produced if her demands aren’t met. Olivia sets her straight and tells her that as the mistress, what she really wants is to be a part of the Pastor’s legacy- after all, she did spend 15 years with him- but it’s the wife who is officially and rightfully part of her husband’s life. Anna agrees to $6 million and an invitation to the funeral. It was very, very interesting to see Olivia reason with another mistress.

Speaking of which, President Fitz and Olivia start having late night phone conversations. Fitz calls her from his office while she’s in bed. Is it just me, or is this a really bad idea? Why would the President call his mistress from his freaking office? I have a feeling someone is watching that phone line.

David, the U.S. attorney, is still fuming about his case against Quinn/Lindsay being struck down. His boss notices the anger and forces him to take a vacation. David goes home and focuses his energy on finding a connection between Quinn, Olivia, the judge who threw out the case, and anything else that he can grab onto.

Mellie makes it clear that she has forgiven Fitz for his relationship with Olivia, and she asks him to forgive her for trying to force his hand on the Sudan controversy.

I’m getting worried about Abby because she clearly does not like what’s going on. Whenever the team is confronted with a problem Olivia disappears and then comes back and simply says ‘It’s handled.’ Abby wants to know how Olivia is getting breaks in these seemingly impossible situations, and now her frustration is mounting because she isn’t getting any answers from Olivia.

I think the Quinn / Lindsay storyline will go along for the entire season, but in the upcoming episodes we’ll probably see Fitz get confronted for calling Olivia late at night. I think Abby and Olivia are going to have a very dramatic confrontation soon, and poor Cyrus always seems overworked but I can’t wait to see the next obstacle that he tackles with President Fitz.

What do you think about Episode 2? Any thoughts about what will happen in Episode 3?