100 movies: Looper

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100 movies of 2012
Every year I set myself a target, usually of about 100, of films to watch. These are new films. Not new, new films. But films that are new to me. Any time I’ve seen a new one, I post a bit of a brain dump of my thoughts on the film here. Enjoy!

LooperLooper (28/09/12)

Finally. The end of September rolls around and one of my most anticipated films of the year is finally out – Looper is here! It’s all I could have hoped for. And the best thing? The more I think about it, the more I realise how much of an excellent film it just is. It’s one of those films that the more you think about it after you see the film, the more you really appreciated it.

So we’ve got a film set in yet another dystopian future but Looper never falls into the trap of other sci-fi films set in so-called dystopian futures. Where crime’s abundant and somewhat more sophisticated and worse than you could imagine. People aren’t doing great. And the world keeps turning. With Looper you’re given an insight to this future but it’s used to tell the story. Rather than just being the backdrop for the film.

I’m not going to let on anything about this film. It just wouldn’t be fair. What I will say is that this film didn’t go anywhere near where I imagined it would go. Sure I was expecting some time-travelling, Joseph Gordon-Levitt channelling Bruce Willis on an uncanny level and a beautiful looking film thanks to Rian Johnson. But the story itself? It’s a thinking person’s sci-fi film. And it’s just been so long since we’ve had a truly intelligent sci-fi film. Well, I guess Prometheus wasn’t too long ago. But Looper just feels like it fits in a different category.

It’s been a couple of days since I saw this film and yet I’m still finding it hard figuring out what exactly it was about this film that’s really captured my imagination and is still making me think about it. It raises questions. Questions that I feel I can’t really say here without risk of spoiling Looper. Something I don’t want to do.

While occasionally the film stops skipping through quite rapidly and almost comes to a stop to concentrate on a single moment, those moments are worth it. Pulling you further into the film and the characters making the story one heck of a great sci-fi flick.

All the players are excellent. Like I said above, Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s performance is excellent. His speech and physical presence is transformed. While it was a bit jarring at times. 90% of the time it was just uncanny. It’s interesting because JGL’s character, Joe, is not the most likeable of characters. And yet it’s not a hindrance for the film. More the opposite.

Great sci-fi film. Scratch that. Great, intelligent sci-fi film. Rian Johnson, please make more!

(Just wish the marketing for the film was a bit better. For one thing, the photoshopped Bruce Willis on the poster is awful – his head is too big. And whoever chose to use the quote “This decade’s The Matrix.” needs to rewatch Looper and never use such a phrase again.)
Rating: 5/5

Read on to see all the films watched this year…

75 Films so far this year

  1. The Tourist 1/5 (02/01/12)
  2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 5/5 (03/01/12)
  3. World’s Greatest Dad 2/5 (14/01/12)
  4. Haywire 3/5 (19/01/12)
  5. Dead Snow 3/5 (20/01/12)
  6. The Artist 5/5 (21/01/12)
  7. Priest 2/5 (05/02/12)
  8. The Muppets 5/5 (15/02/12)
  9. Faster 4/5 (19/02/12)
  10. Chronicle 4/5 (22/02/12)
  11. Safe House 4/5 (24/02/12)
  12. Reservoir Dogs 4/5 (25/02/12)
  13. This Means War 4/5 (02/03/12)
  14. The Royal Tenenbaums 3/5 (03/03/12)
  15. Reign of Fire 3/5 (04/03/12)
  16. Dear John 2/5 (04/03/12)
  17. Road to Perdition 5/5 (05/03/12)
  18. The Three Musketeers 3/5 (06/03/12)
  19. The Eagle 2/5 (10/03/12)
  20. Everybody’s Fine 2/5 (14/03/12)
  21. Frankenstein 4/5 (15/03/12)
  22. Love and Other Drugs 2/5 (15/03/12)
  23. You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger 2/5 (17/03/12)
  24. The Big Lebowski 5/5 (18/03/12)
  25. The Hunger Games 3/5 (23/03/12)
  26. Headhunters 4/5 (07/04/12)
  27. Super 1/5 (07/04/12)
  28. The Cabin in the Woods 5/5 (13/04/12)
  29. Watchmen 4/5 (14/04/12)
  30. The Hurt Locker 3/5 (21/04/12)
  31. Avengers Assemble 5/5 (26/04/12)
  32. 22 Bullets 2/5 (28/04/12)
  33. Bad Teacher 1/5 (29/04/12)
  34. Red Riding Hood 1/5 (04/05/12)
  35. A Perfect Getaway 4/5 (05/05/12)
  36. Ca$h 1/5 (13/05/12)
  37. Kung Fu Panda 2 3/5 (14/05/12)
  38. Everything Must Go 2/5 (24/05/12)
  39. New York, I Love You 2/5 (25/05/12)
  40. Beginners 4/5 (26/05/12)
  41. Prometheus 4/5 (03/06/12)
  42. The Tree of Life 2/5 (04/06/12)
  43. The Lovely Bones 3/5 (05/06/12)
  44. Snow White and the Huntsman 3/5 (06/06/12)
  45. The Devil’s Backbone 4/5 (07/06/12)
  46. Britain in a Day 5/5 (11/06/12)
  47. The French Connection 4/5 (15/06/12)
  48. Insomnia 3/5 (16/06/12)
  49. Rebel Without a Cause 4/5 (22/06/12)
  50. A Lonely Place to Die 3/5 (26/06/12)
  51. Killer Joe 3/5 (29/06/12)
  52. The Amazing Spider-Man 4/5 (03/07/12)
  53. Raising Arizona 4/5 (04/07/12)
  54. Horrible Bosses 4/5 (06/07/12)
  55. Broadcast News 3/5 (07/07/12)
  56. We Need to Talk About Kevin 4/5 (07/07/12)
  57. Miller’s Crossing 4/5 (18/07/12)
  58. The Dark Knight Rises 5/5 (20/07/12)
  59. 21 Jump Street 5/5 (29/07/12)
  60. The Mystery Team 3/5 (07/08/12)
  61. The Help 4/5 (11/08/12)
  62. The Bourne Legacy 3/5 (13/08/12)
  63. The Expendables 2 4/5 (17/08/12)
  64. Brave 5/5 (19/08/12)
  65. Dracula 3/5 (19/08/12)
  66. The Woman in Black 3/5 (24/08/12)
  67. The Mummy 4/5 (28/08/12)
  68. Lawless 3/5 (30/08/12)
  69. Real Steel 2/5 (31/08/12)
  70. [REC] 3 Genesis 2/5 (04/09/12)
  71. Take Shelter 4/5 (15/09/12)
  72. Dredd 3D 3/5 (19/09/12)
  73. The Apartment 5/5 (23/09/12)
  74. Young Frankenstein 5/5 (25/09/12)
  75. Looper 5/5 (28/09/12)


  1. I haven’t really had a problem with the marketing, but I’ll admit I haven’t paid much attention to the posters. But I’m glad this is getting such great reviews all over; it’s sounded like an interesting movie from the beginning, so it’s good to hear it lives up to its potential. Going to have to try and get myself to the movie theatre for this one.

  2. Great review! I just posted mine as well. It seems that we share a lot of the same thoughts. I didn’t quite give it a five but it still ranks high on my list of the year’s best. Also you’re exactly right, This is a much better movie than the matrix!

    • I’m going to head over and take a read of yours!

      This is in a different league to The Matrix. Not that I don’t think it’s a great film. But it’s just so different.

  3. This is a very good film indeed. Not quite as stellar as 5/5 but definitely a solid sci-fi thriller that have a great lead cast. JGL just keeps getting better and better and Willis, well he’s still very much bad ass!

    • It’s very much JGL’s year, isn’t it? Still got Lincoln to come. I am wondering whether he’s a real person. He almost seems to be too god damn awesome!

  4. Why have I not heard of this film until now? It sounds like just my sort of thing and I would surely have remembered if any of the marketing had come my way. Someone is doing a very lack lustre job of promoting this. Thank heavens for Jaina 🙂

    • It’s been flying fairly below radar. Though there are posters everywhere for it now. Definitely urge you to see this film. It’s brill!

  5. Really can’t wait for this one, so many excellent reviews in blogosphere! Glad you enjoyed the movie and Levitt is slowly becoming one of the biggest starts nowadays, isn’t him? I’m glad, he seems like such a sweet and likable person.

    • JGL is frigging amazing. I’m almost convinced he’s not actually real he’s just too awesome!

      Hopefully you’ll get to see this one soon, Sati!

  6. I had too high expectations. Silly as I was bound to be disappointed. But would still give it 4/5. Just wasn’t up there with T1 and T2 and the Back to the Future films for me. Agree that JGL was brilliant though. Really nailed it. And some of the scenes were instant classics.

    • It’s almost in the same vein as T1 in terms of time travelling films but not quite. It’s funny. Immediately after I’d stepped out of the cinema, I think I would have given this a 3 or 4 out of 5. But the more I thought about it, the more I realised I really got sucked into it and loved it. The fact that I spent a lot of time thinking about it was probably a give away!

  7. Boom. There you go. 5/5. Very nice. Very Nice.

    I agree wholeheartedly. Definitely a thinking persons action film, definitely doesnt fall into the typical dystopian future movie traps… you make a lot of excellent points, I coulndt agree more.

    I’m rooting for Rian Johnson, too. Hopes his next one kicks just as much ass as his first three!

    Must be a problem with the marketing over there Jaina, I dont remember any of that from over here. LOL

    • Rian Johnson is one to keep an eye on. Seriously. Dude does amazing work on Brick, then he gave us 2 of the most memorable Breaking Bad eps and now Looper? I’m going to make a placard with his name and stick it outside my house, on my driveway.

  8. Good review Jaina. This cast all do great with what they’re given and the script kept me intrigued, but there was just an emotional-level of this flick that never hit me. I cared for some of these characters, but even when I did care for them, it wasn’t ever to the point of where I was scared for their lives hanging in the balance. Still, a great movie to watch and one that will have you wondering just what the hell is going on with it’s future.

    • The characters were a bit … well, unsympathetic, right? I think that’s why I really enjoyed Emily Blunt’s character in the film. She was the heart for me. The one that stuck everything together.

  9. Great movie indeed. Original, smart and unique which makes it all the more surprising it got made. Loved it!

    • Tell me about it! I can count on one hand all the films I genuinely think are insightful and intelligent that have come out this year. Looper is one of them.

  10. Just glossing over your review since I haven’t seen it yet, but very happy to see 5/5 here! Looking forward to catching it this weekend.

  11. Whoa full score. I didn’t expect much from this one, but seeing everyone’s high scores make me think twice! This is really JGL’s year, I guess

  12. I really enjoyed this movie a lot too. Glad you did. Man, how awesome of a job they did with this. Gordon-Levitt as Willis. Willis as Gordon-Levitt. Jeff Daniels was quite good at being bad. the performances were so well done.

    nice review

    • Jeff Daniels was a great bit of support casting. Love it when they fill all the roles with strong performers.

  13. Rian Johnson is a top filmmaker. I really enjoyed The Brothers Bloom so I know I’m going to enjoy this. I just better hurry up and get to the cinema!

  14. Yaaaaay! Jaina liked it!

    Glad you dug it as much as I did. Nice write up, friend! Rian Johnson is one cool dude.

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