Tag Archives: Rian Johnson

Knives Out Trailer: Rian Johnson Returns With A Star-Studded Whodunit

Lionsgate has released the first trailer for the new thriller Knives Out. Rian Johnson returns with a great assembled cast in a movie that promises to pay tribute to masterminds Agatha Christie and Alfred Hitchcock with his own modern-day murder-mystery.

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What We Know So Far: Star Wars Episode VIII Casting and Rumors

While J.J. Abrams and company have been keeping a tight lid on The Force Awakens, releasing information in a very careful and calculated way, Star Wars fans have recently been treated to some interesting news and rumors surrounding the as of yet untitled Star Wars Episode VIII, currently slated for release in May 2017.

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Grizzly Review: Looper

There’s a moment in the beginning of the movie when the old Tri-Star logo popped up on-screen. Upon viewing that, (along with the approval head nod of Kronner who was sitting next to me), I knew this was going to be a satisfying experience. The hype machine has been building on the Rian Johnson written and directed flick starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, so it could have been a giant letdown after what seemed to be a lackluster summer in terms of enjoyable movies with substance. Luckily, the 118 minute time bender is exactly what the doctor ordered. This movie kicked my ass (in a good way) and all I want is another go around in order to get that wondrous feeling back again.

Looper follows Joe (JGL) as a hitman/junkie trying to save up his money and skip town to live it up in France. He’s good at this job, but he knows there are certain…expectations when it comes to his future. You see kids, in the future, time travel is used by the mob to dispose of bodies. They send the targets/victims to the past where the Loopers, the hitmen from the past, shoot them as soon as they appear. The Loopers also collect their fair share of silver for each of these hits. Not bad for loitering in a random spot waiting for a target to appear out of nowhere to shoot at. However, because of the danger in the future of what these Loopers know, there comes a point and time where the Loopers will have their loop “closed”. Basically that means that once your contract is up, you have 30 years before your future self is sent back to be blunder-bussed as well. It’s a harsh price to pay but at least they pay you handsomely in gold and drugs so you can get over it quite quickly. Unless you’re Bruce Willis of course.

That’s right, Bruce Willis shows up and he’s the older version of Joe. When Young Joe sees Old Joe, he ends up making the fatal mistake of letting his ‘Loop’ escape. Old Joe doesn’t want to die and he’s on the mission to take down the guy closing the loops in the future: The Rainmaker. Young Joe is more like, eff that, I want my life in France (or China, depending on whose advice he takes), so now he’s charged with making sure his life proceeds as scheduled instead of be ruined by his future self. Still following? Hopefully I did an okay job because reading that back gave me a headache. Let’s just break it down by saying the story is great and it makes sense enough when you watch it all unfold on-screen as opposed to having some reviewer telling it to you secondhand. It does remind of Inception (starring JGL as well) in terms of the levels/timelines that it juggles, but the writing still keeps the pacing good without being bogged down by exposition. It does not insult the viewer, nor does it baby them at the same time.

It also might seem like familiar ground because it terms of the look, the style of writing and plot, it reminds me a lot like Brick. Obviously it should because it had both JGL and Rian Johnson behind that awesome movie. But the way that the camera moves and pans, it’s such a beautiful motion and nothing seems forced. The director throws small details in each shot that caught my attention, yet without distracting the viewer from the main action. He also does a terrific job of showing off his vision of this future while still allowing his actors to take their moments to shine, thus showing a trust between the director and his actors that one wouldn’t expect from a time travel/sci-fi flick. On that note, the look reminds more of an indie flick than a big budget action one. The movie does share special effects and lens flare (which apparently is a must for Sci-Fi flicks nowadays) but it builds as more a character drama, in everyone finding their ambitions and the true nature of what drives them. There are a few wonderful images of tantrums gone wrong that come off as frightening involving a kid that stuck with me. The build up and pacing is amazing and I can’t gush anymore about Johnson’s eye and creativity. As a lower budget flick, there are a few moments where the effects struggle to match up to what we are used to coming from these types of movies, but that is such a minor point, it really only bears mentioning considering the glut of 200 million dollar action flicks that have zero watchability because the story sucks underneath the guise of pretty effects.

The cast is superb and it begins with JGL. Effin’. Amazing. It’s to the point where if Premium Rush came out now, I would go check it out. The fact that he shows up as a different character each time and is able to inhabit different personalities and emotional aspects to where he cannot be pigeonholed into any stereotype really shows how much he has grown and matured into one of the better actors of our generation. Obviously, everyone wants to talk about how he looks like Bruce Willis. Well folks, he doesn’t just look like Bruce Willis, he IS Bruce Willis.

They manage make him look like a younger clone of him and it is not distracting to the viewer. JGL melts into Joe to where it never becomes an issue and you fully buy into him looking a bit like his older counterpart. Bruce Willis is also great as Old Joe as he still has that punk mentality that JGL shows yet is a damaged man trying to find a remedy to his sins, sometimes by the committing the most foul means possible. Emily Blunt is great as a woman protecting her interests that takes Young Joe in when they cross paths. Jeff Daniels is awesome as Abe, the boss of the Loopers in the current time, who is from the future who deals out orders and comments to his soldiers to make sure it sticks in his subjects’ (and the audience’s) minds.  Everyone’s wonderful more or less.

My advice: Watch it. I loved the movie and I’m curious what Rian Johnson will be involved with next. He is able to build a story that does not patronize his audience and yet gives it weight in order to have it linger on their minds well after leaving the theater. JGL is also a movie star now. Give him whatever he wants, he can not do wrong. Unless he’s dressing up as a girl on an SNL sketch. That I could’ve lived without.

4.5/5

Does Justice League Have a Director? Hint: He Was the Bomb in Phantoms, Yo.

According to Variety via Fandango, it looks like Warner Bros. has approached Ben Affleck to direct the Justice League movie. Affleck is a hot property in the directing pool due to his critical and commercial successes with Gone Baby Gone and The Town. Argo is also shaping up to be a film to be reckoned with considering the early buzz, and since he has made Warner Bros. some money with his films, they have sent him the Will Beale (Gangster Squad) script to see if he’d be willing to guide DC’s finest to the promised land achieved by The Avengers, aka, a vault full of cash.

The movie is scheduled to be launched at the earliest around 2015 so that would put it into direct competition with The Avengers 2 movie, which just announced Joss Whedon returning as director and writer. Ben Affleck apparently makes it known that he wants to act in the films that he directs so you might also see him don a costume if this comes true. He has been circling another project called Replay, which is also being developed by Warner as well, but they have been working on that for the last decade so this might be his next project. Only thing that might get in the way would be his long-term commitment because 2015 is a long ways away and he would be tied up until then most likely developing the story and filming. I don’t know how he can get the time off from Fashionable Male during this time.

He’s come a long way from the back of a Volkswagon

I can understand the misgivings of Ben Affleck as the director of this movie. First off, he’s not Christopher Nolan, let’s get that out of the way. Second, it’s Ben freakin’ Affleck. He was the dominatrix Daredevil and that might ruin any street cred with the comic book crowd. The reputation might not be there for him to tackle this movie with that awkward fight scene with Elektra (Jennifer Garner) on people’s minds. Third, this would only be his fourth movie and unlike Joss Whedon, he does not appear to have a deep understanding of fanboys and the comic book universe. Can he handle the massive size of this project when he is considered a neophyte to the directing game? He is basically one of the more random choices out there to grab on to. However, I liked Gone Baby Gone and I loved The Town (partially because the Boston accent is fun to imitate) and I feel that he can definitely handle the characters and the scope of this movie based off of those flicks. Now, I absolutely do NOT want him to act in it but not because I think he is a bad actor (quite the opposite actually), but he should concentrate on delivering on all the characters and not just his own. I think he would be a great choice but I honestly don’t think he’ll do it. 3 years is a long time for someone to dedicate for the movie. Granted, I don’t know who else would at this point but just for discussion purposes, maybe Looper director Rian Johnson? He has about the same experience as Affleck behind the camera and handled Bruce Willis and potential DC staple Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Looper. Granted, as I wrote that, he also did Brick, which I loved and also with JGL so maybe he should revive that detective feel and go with Batman. Boom. Discuss.

Looper: New Trailer Looks Amazing

Nerd Alert! It’s a time travel film and it looks great. This latest trailer is going to make you wet yourself with excitement. This film for me came out of nowhere, and I liked that because it was pleasant surprise. Current Release date for Looper is the 28th of September.

It’s Bruce vs. young Bruce. Ok not exactly but that’s kind of the story and I love it, what I like mainly is that it’s surprisingly unique for a time travel film. Joseph Gordon-Levitt who always does well is exceeding himself in this trailer as a full on sci-fi action guy. Bruce Willis does what he does best in action films (hope he does as in ‘12 Monkeys’). Emily Blunt is a girlfriend or something; I think I saw her levitating a lighter in that trailer so that’s something. I have no idea here’s the plot.

In a futuristic gangland, a 25 year-old killer named Joseph Simmons (Gordon-Levitt) works for a Mafia company in Kansas City in the year 2042 as a “Looper”, where he kills and disposes of people who are sent by their employers known as “Gat Men” from their corporate headquarters in Shanghai from the year 2072. Loopers, like himself, are used as foot soldiers and are well paid on the terms that all hostages must never escape, including Loopers themselves. Gat Men are New York Accent-sounding men who are hired by a Southern Accented Godfather, who is portrayed by Jeff Daniels, who are being used as sentries, and each Gat Man has been given complete authority and responsibility in controlling their own group of Loopers. When one target arrives however he recognizes the 55 year-old victim (Willis) as himself and hesitates, allowing his older self to escape. The resulting failure of his job causes the Gat Men to come after him, forcing him to fight for his life as he hunts his older self.

The film combines strong corporate influences for dealing with criminal organizations, technology for the time-travel machine itself, as well as film noir, due to the film’s dark, gritty, and bloody plot.

Now we have some pictures as well to keep you happy till September