5 Things You Need to Know: LOOPER

When I see a movie in theaters, I will write the five things you need to know about it.

5 Things You Need to Know About… 

LOOPER

1. Although Joseph Gordon-Levitt gets top acting billing on both Looper and Premium Rush, his best, most compelling, and most significant performance of 2012 thus far (Lincoln opens November 16) was as John Blake in The Dark Knight Rises.  Looper is the most “Joseph Gordon-Levitt” movie of the bunch, but the movie that least stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt (the difference is striking on screen – kudos to the makeup artists).

2. Looper is a brainy, creative concept executed quite well, but it is awfully cold emotionally.  Johnson does not ask us to care about much (especially JGL’s protagonist Joe or his Bruce Willis future self) and we don’t.  Zach Baron, Grantland’s cinematrician says it so well: “This is all smart and postmodern and thrilling, but at the same time, Looper is never more than smart and postmodern and thrilling — there’s no moment of transport, no unself-conscious moment of release.” 

3. Emily Blunt’s character, Sarah, may make some choices that challenge our sense of earned motivation, but her performance is a revelation and my favorite of the film.  Her interview with Colin Bertram has some incredible nuggets particularly about how she signed on after reading twenty pages of the script, well before her character was introduced.

4. Sometime in his career, Rian Johnson will have a moment as film director when the moviegoing world will converge on his work and recognize him as a transcendent auteur.  Looper is not this moment, but it was a valiant attempt.  Emily Blunt on what may makes Rian so special: “Best director I have been lucky enough to work with, I think. His material is so strong and so unique, rife with originality…Nothing he does feels derivative of what you have seen, yet he has seen every movie under the sun. So I think that is very inspiring to work with someone like that. He’s such a humble, sweet person yet he seems to have quite a dark imagination to be able to create these incredible, complex movies.”  He will be one to look out for.

5. Looper is a film and it appears that Rian Johnson seems to strive to make films (see: Brick).

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