I actually saw this movie in theaters way back in June, but because of the minor depression period that took place after my knee surgery I never got around to finishing this review after writing just one paragraph haha. Thought I’d get to it this winter break, so here it is.
Wes Anderson is one of those love him or hate him directors. Either you will find his particular quirky style of writing and directing charming and endearing or grating and irritating. I fall into the former rather than the latter, I absolutely love Wes Anderson. I’ve loved everything I’ve seen from him so far (Rushmore, The Royal Tenembaums, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, and Fantastic Mr. Fox) and Moonrise Kingdom seems to be Wes Anderson at his most Wes Andersonian haha.
Moonrise Kingdom is a quaint story about adolescent love between two kids who feel like outsiders among their peers. What I loved about this movie is that it made a romance between these two kids feel real and (amazingly) not stupid. The two child actors, Jared Gilman and Kara Heyward, are phenomenal in this film. You really believe their love and that’s what the entire movie centers upon.
The adult actors are on point in this film as well. You’ve got Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, and Jason Schwartzman all doing their usual shtick and doing it very well. Bruce Willis has gotten a lot of flack over the years as an actor (how many movies has this guy played a cop? Including this one lol), but he turns in nice, more subtle performance this time around. He’s had one hell of a year with both this and Looper in 2012. Ed Norton also plays a character that we’re usually not used to seeing him play as the goofy camp counselor. Hard to believe this is the same guy who was in Fight Club and American History X, but that’s the brilliance of Norton.
My biggest knock against this film is that it doesn’t feel like Wes Anderson has evolved or grown as a filmmaker at all. He sticks to his usual off kilter tendencies and characters. Moonrise Kingdom feels like he took all the best elements of his previous movies and packed them together into this singular film. It’s a great film, but it doesn’t feel like Anderson has tried to expand his wheelhouse at all.
Moonrise Kingdom is a movie that you’re either going to “get” or not “get.” Anderson has a particular style that puts off some moviegoers. If you haven’t liked that many of Anderson’s previous work then I’m not too sure you’d go for this one either. However, if you’re a big Wes Anderson fan or not very familiar with his work, definitely give Moonrise Kingdom a shot because there’s a very good chance it will win your heart by the end.
If you need more explanation, then please keep reading. Otherwise, I suggest you stop what you’re doing and go see Looper in theaters NOW.
You have absolutely no idea how hyped I was for this movie! My expectations were through the roof because Rian Johnson (Brick, The Brothers Bloom) is one of my favorite directors working today. The concept of this film sounded so damn cool and then the glowing reviews came in comparing Looper to sci-fi classics like Blade Runner and The Terminator. I cannot tell you how freakin’ high my expectations were! And Looper not only MATCHED my expectations, it EXCEEDED them!
I already thought Rian Johnson was a talented director, but this movie cements his status in my mind as being one of the best directors of his generation. You can tell that Rian Johnson has a passion and love for movies and movie making. He did it, I don’t know how but Johnson managed to make a new sci-fi classic that is an original work and not an adaptation of another property, not a sequel, not a prequel, just pure cinema brilliance emanating from one genius filmmaker. I’ve seen some people make the comparison that Johnson is the American version of Christopher Nolan, but FUCK THAT! In my opinion that is a disservice to Rian Johnson because he is the ONLY Rian Johnson.
Johnson crafts several tour de force sequences of cinema that made my spine chill. I won’t say them here but I can think of at least 5-6 scenes that stay with me and in my mind after the film. Most movies are lucky if they get ONE of those kind of sequences. The world of Looper feels so fully realized and there are so many little details packed within the frame. You notice small minute details that add to the world so much.
The time travel aspect doesn’t completely work on a technical level, but as Johnson said himself, the time travel is really more so a set up for the rest of the film rather than the entire point of the movie (similar to The Terminator). Regardless, the movie does have a set of time travel mechanics that are intriguing.
Joseph Gordon Levitt continues his winning streak and continues to put in excellent work. The way he mimics Bruce Willis’s mannerisms is great. This is also the first time I’ve thought Bruce Willis was good in a role in a while (besides Moonrise Kingdom earlier this year of course). Emily Blunt! I think she’s finally done with her contractually obligated movies and starting to pick her own films again because man she is SO GOOD in this movie! It was also startling how well she developed a southern accent considering she’s British, well done!
I have a feeling that Rian Johnson is going to be one of the best directors of this generation and one to watch for decades to come. I’m a little hesitant to call Looper an instant classic, but I have a feeling that this is a film that will stay within the film community’s consciousness for a long time. Whatever you do, DO NOT miss this movie in theaters!
I just saw Looper and WHOA… It not only met my exceedingly high expectations, it SURPASSED it! That is one of the best movies I have seen in a long, longgggggg time, and I watch A LOT of freakin’ movies lol. Please do yourself a favor and catch it in theaters because you don’t want to miss this one, trust me!
Rian Johnson is the best
‘Looper’ Trailer - The new film from Rian Johnson
In the futuristic action thriller Looper, time travel will be invented - but it will be illegal and only available on the black market. When the mob wants to get rid of someone, they will send their target 30 years into the past, where a “looper” - a hired gun, like Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) - is waiting to mop up. Joe is getting rich and life is good… until the day the mob decides to “close the loop,” sending back Joe’s future self (Bruce Willis) for assassination. The film is written and directed by Rian Johnson and also stars Emily Blunt, Paul Dano, and Jeff Daniels. Ram Bergman and James D. Stern produce.
RIan Johnson just won the internet today…and 30 years from now.
First teaser trailer for Rian Johnson’s Looper! RIAN JOHNSON IS THE FUCKING MAN!!!
Expendables 2 lands Bruce & Arnie
Brucie will be the main villain, Arnie to have “substantial role”…
Read more and express sequel-related outrage here.
I still don’t know how I feel about this… (But I do know that I will see it as soon as it comes out and have a very strong opinion afterward.)
I don’t really know anyone who was clamoring for an Expendables 2, but the Bruce / Arnold / Sly scene in the first was the best part for me. Expendables was decent enough but the action direction was awful, huge step back for Stallone as a director after Rambo 4. The cast they’ve assembled so far looks absolutely ridiculous, and if they get Donnie Yen like they said they were trying to? I can’t even imagine the amounts of bad assery that will go down!
Yes! Yes! Yes!
Rian Johnson has started shooting Looper, his time travel Sci-Fi film. His first film Brick, was shot on a 500,000 dollar budget (and still looked better than a lot of crap that comes out these days). It was an interesting homage to noir but the twist is that it’s set in high school. It even has a stellar performance from Joseph Gordon Levitt before he really made it big. The Brothers Bloom should have been his big release with names like Mark Ruffalo, Adrien Brody, and Rachel Weisz. It didn’t do as well with critics and unfortunately didn’t do enough business to garner a wider release. I really loved the movie though and it showed what Rian Johnson could do with a higher budget and flexed his skills as a director in a different genre.
I love how diverse his filmography is turning out to be. First he did Brick, which was a noir homage, then he did The Brothers Bloom, which is a con film, and now he’s doing Looper, a sci-fi movie. Can’t wait to see how this turns out because this definitely has to be his biggest and most mainstream release yet. Brick and The Brothers Bloom never got that wide of a release, hopefully with star power like Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon Levitt on call, this movie will get a wide release and hopefully it’s just as brilliant as his first two films.
Paul Dano joins Rian Johnson’s Looper? So we’ve got Rian Johnson directing and the cast includes Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Emily Blunt, and now Paul Dano to boot? Oh for fuck’s sake this movie is going to be AWESOME!
If you haven’t seen Rian Johnson’s first two films, Brick or The Brothers Bloom, I implore you to go seek those films. Brick is on Netflix watch instantly and The Brothers Bloom is out on DVD/Blu-ray. Y’all were sleeping on The Brothers Bloom though! Used to be 5 on DVD, 7 on Blu-ray (yes SEVEN!) at Best Buy.