It’s that time of year again where the quality of movies increases exponentially as the contenders for Academy Awards hit the theaters (if only for a limited engagement). Normally, I’d try to see as many of these movies as I could, but these movies tend to be incredibly long. You should get extra credit if you can make an Oscar-worthy film under two hours.
I’ve been slacking on this one and hope I can still catch it in theaters. I’m glad Ben Affleck has turned his career around from Daredevil killer to great director (Gone Baby Gone, The Town). This movie appears to star every character actor in Hollywood except for William H. Macy and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Time travel movies are always tricky. The writer and director has to establish the rules that their cinematic universe is adhering to. Some of these films are constrained by the limits they set for themselves. Others bend, break or find loopholes which leave the viewer spending way too much time wondering if they cheated. Early in Looper, Rian Johnson’s latest film, Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is sitting across from an older version of himself from 30 years into the future (Bruce Willis). Joe asks how any of this is possible regarding him interacting with himself and older Joe, not wanting to get into it replies: “I don’t want to spend all day making diagrams with straws.” Johnson is letting us know that the time travel mechanics aren’t what’s important. It was a means to an end for this story.
After the credits rolled, I wondered aloud if The Dark Knight Rises was even better than The Dark Knight. I walked into this movie expecting to be entertained but also mildly disappointed. The Dark Knight was probably the pinnacle of comic book movies. I don’t even like to call it a comic book movie. I prefer “crime thriller using characters originated in a comic book.” It really deserves it’s own category. To prepare for the final part of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy, I re-watched the first two Batman films. I realized I may have thought too highly of The Dark Knight (TDK) and not highly enough of Batman Begins. As amazing as Heath Ledger’s performance as The Joker was and as intense an experience watching that film was, there were some things that bothered me that I may have ignored in my previous viewings. The movie went a little downhill after the Joker was defeated (truth be told, it should have ended there). While The Dark Knight Rises (TDKR) definitely had it’s flaws, I think it was a more consistent film from start to finish.
Despite having movies I have been anticipating for years, this looks like a pretty lame year for summer tentpole films. This year, “summer” starts on March 4th. I don’t imagine that I’ll be seeing a lot of movies this summer but I am definitely going to try and see these five.
Even though Spider-Man 3 was pretty bad, I still hate how quickly they rebooted it (I know there are legal reasons they needed to do it but still). I think Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone (as Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy respectively) are well cast and appreciate that they are going back to the mechanical web shooters (which highlights Parker’s intelligence) but tying Parker’s parents into the origin and that horrible suit have me shaking my head. All I know if J. Jonah Jameson appears in the sequels, they better get J.K. Simmons back.
I’ve been a fan of director Rian Johnson since his debut film, Brick. Although I didn’t love his follow-up, The Brothers Bloom, as much, I still thought it was a pretty good film.
In his latest flick, Looper, Johnson reunites with his Brick star Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Gordon-Levitt plays Joe, a hitman for a mob in the future. The mob sends people back to the past for Joe to kill until the person sent back is his future self (Bruce WIllis). Hijinks ensue.
Is this the best movie I’ve ever seen about dreaming? No. That’s still Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Is this the best heist movie I’ve ever seen? No. That’s still Heat. Is this even the best movie I’ve seen this year? Nope. Toy Story 3 is still number one in my book. But this is easily the most ambitious movie I’ve seen in the last few years and for that, I loved it.
Actually, as I sat down to write this, I found myself in two places: how I felt as the credits rolled and how I feel now that I’ve slept on it and have thought about it.
I really tried to enjoy this movie but Adult Sean kept preventing Childhood Sean from doing so.
For example, I couldn’t get past the bad acting, the corny script, the bad CGI and the fact that Snake Eyes had lips (?!?). Something so simple as “Snake Eyes wears a mask that has no lips and they couldn’t let it slide.
Also, why was Joseph Gordon-Levitt even in this movie? I’m pretty sure they didn’t use his voice (or didn’t need to) and he only had two scenes. What a waste of a good actor. Also why did they combine Cobra Commander and Dr. Mindbender?