100 movies: Looper

100 movies of 2012

[yellow_box]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![/yellow_box]

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…

120+ movies: Winter’s Bone

120+ Movies of 2011, Annual Movie Challenge

My goal of 120 films watched this year isn’t looking like something I can get to. I’ve got just about a month to watch 30 films. Erm. Yeah, even with the Christmas season, somehow I don’t think this will happen! How on EARTH did I manage it last year?!

Winter's BoneWinter’s Bone (27/11/11)

An unflinching Ozark Mountain girl hacks through dangerous social terrain as she hunts down her drug-dealing father while trying to keep her family intact.

Winter’s Bone is a good film. Though it’s not exactly enjoyable to watch. It’s bloody depressing! Watching a 17 year old girl look after her entire family while trying to deal with a whole heap of those unsavory lot while trying to find her father.

Jennifer Lawrence is great in the film. She’s got the entire film on her shoulders and she does a brilliant job. She’s one determined teenager.

Why did I only give this film a 3/5? I thought it was a good film, it just lacked something for me. A great performance from Jennifer Lawrence wasn’t quite enough. Needed something else. I don’t know what it is though! If I think of it I’ll let you know.
Rating: 3/5

Read on to see the entire list of movies seen this year so far:

100 movies: Milk, Jesse James, Rendition & The Reader

100 movies of 2010

I’ve been a little bit poorly the last few days. Good thing? I relaxed, recouped and watched a few movies. Sadly, I had no movies that were what I wanted to watch – brainless, action and unthinky. The only movies I had were big dramas that are all fairly intense. They all required a certain amount of attention. Oh well!

Milk (26/02/10)
The true story of Harvey Milk, brilliantly portrayed by Sean Penn. Loved the movie very much. Everyone in it was brilliant, though Sean Penn did blow me away. So convincing in this role – couldn’t imagine any other actor in the role. A part of American history that I knew nothing of, so I felt that I walked away (figuratively) from the movie a little better educated.
Rating: 5/5

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (27/02/10)
Another ‘based on true story’ type of movie. I seemed to be watching a lot of those movies this year. While I did enjoy this one, it didn’t amaze me like I thought it would. Don’t get me wrong I did really enjoy it and everyone’s performance in it was brilliant, I just felt that it dragged. I usually love a good long movie. Length of movies doesn’t usually phase me. Only when it doesn’t feel like the movie is long for me. This movie felt long to me. Casey Affleck lifted this movie for me. He was brilliant!
Rating: 3/5

Rendition (27/02/10)
A good ol’ political drama. I think this is the first movie I’ve seen where Jake Gyllenhaal was playing an adult! Well, someone close to his own age. Though I didn’t think he did very much throughout the movie, except look a bit moody. It was a good enough political drama, though I didn’t feel the tension. Or any kind of real feeling to any one character. The saving grace was the bit of a twist in the movie time line that happened towards the end of the movie. Didn’t expect it but fully appreciated it!
Rating: 3/5

The Reader (28/02/10)
Amazing movie. I had no expectations from this movie other thank I knew I was meant to think Kate Winslet was amazing in it. And she was. Very beautifully told story with a really good performance to the actor who played young Michael.
Rating: 4/5

Read more to see the full list of movies I’ve seen so far this year.