Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Jeff Daniels
Directed by: Rian Johnson
Written by: Rian Johnson
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 AVC
Main Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HD MA
Studio: Endgame Entertainment
Blu-ray Release Date: December 31 2012
Runtime: 118 min
HTS Overall Score: 84
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=10374[/img]Joe (Gordon-Levitt) is a specialized assassin called a “Looper” working for a crime boss, Abe (Daniels) in the year 2044. In the year 2074 time travel has been developed and quickly banned, but the mob uses a secret time machine to send people they want dead back to the year 2044 to an awaiting Joe armed with a blunderbuss standing by a tarp on which the unlucky sap will appear. Once the hooded traveler appears Joe blasts them in the chest, collects his payment (silver bars attached to the victim’s back), and throws the body into an incinerator. Why go to all this trouble? Apparently as it was explained, in 2074 human bodies are somehow “tagged” making it nearly impossible to easily dispose of a body. As a Looper Joe lives a privileged life barhopping and constantly getting high with his Looper buddies. Life in 2044 is presented as a near dystopia with some technology obviously advanced (a stupid looking flying jet engine bike), and other technology, perhaps maybe to be nostalgic; the car Joe carelessly and radically drives around being a Mazda MX-3 (or Mazda Miata). In any case life is poor for the majority of the populous so being a Looper has its perks… until the mob decides to “close your loop”.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=10377[/img]During a routine planned kill Joe stands in his usual spot near a field ready to fire his blunderbuss, (why a blunderbuss?, it’s such an antiquated firearm, but it’s nostalgic and looks cool) when his instinct to quickly pull the trigger is interrupted when the person who appears isn’t hooded and looks him in the eyes with familiarity; the man turns out to be his future self. Joe’s hesitation causes his future self/old self (Willis) to get the better of him and knock him out and escape. Having your intended victim escape is the worst mistake you can make as a Looper and Joe is well aware of this and vows to his superior that he’ll correct the problem.
Looper is a hard movie to summarize; it’s complicated and deep and spans many genres like science-fiction, action, thriller and drama. It’s unique in its conceit and poses quite a few existential questions that linger as you exit the theater, unfortunately it gets confusing and contains a few significant plot holes, but what it most definitely isn’t, is boring. Despite the questions I had and momentarily periods of frustration because I really had no clue what I just saw actually meant or was, all of Looper’s 118 minutes are so entertaining and captivating. I could have sat through a 148 minute version of this movie with ease.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=10371[/img]The best thing about Looper is the main actors, Willis and Gordon-Levitt and their performances individually and while sharing the screen. After old Joe escapes young Joe starts to change, his mannerisms and facial contortions resemble old Joe and you don’t notice the transformation until well into the movie, and then you’re blown away by the portrayal and incarnation. Gordon-Levitt is an amazing actor and his performance in Looper is something to be rivaled and really appreciated. He puts just the right amount of emotion into scenes that call for it and simply put looks good on screen dressed in fine wares. Willis is just a natural as an actor and adjusts and fits into any role seamlessly. The chemistry between the two is great, especially when the situation gets tense.
The action in Looper is well spaced out, superbly choreographed, sometimes brutal and appreciably isn’t embellished, but comes across as realistic (to a point) and pretty honest. I like watching movie fights that are staged like they could actually happen. Violence done properly can really add a sense of fluidity to a movie and melds well the residual drama that follows.
R for strong violence, language, some sexuality/nudity and drug content.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=10376[/img]When Joe fires his blunderbuss for the first time by a wheat field in the opening scene the resulting sonic aftermath is realistically enveloping and impactful; it sounds like you were standing mere feet away from Joe. The entire 5.1 system immediately comes to life and from then on you know you’re in for truly aural treat. The sub-woofer plays a huge part in helping to deliver a distinct immersive sound every time a gun is fired. Gunshots are a highlight in Looper that you won’t forget. City sounds and background noises are very well structured. Vehicles in the future, some very similar to today’s vehicles, and some obviously more advanced sound great as they pass from one side of the screen to the other, employing excellent use of directional effects. Everyday simple sounds like glasses clinking, utensils being handled, doors opening and footsteps are crisp and clean. Dialogue even amongst the club music and powerful score is nicely prioritized and always distinguishable. It was a real pleasure to watch Looper because the attention paid to detail and the accurate representation of familiar surroundings and everything else provided for an awesome sonic experience. This is a high-end and memorable soundtrack.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=10373[/img]The not-so-great future presented in Looper is full of realistic pale shades and at times a toned down color palette that fittingly coincides with the dismal and depressing atmosphere. Texture on buildings and constructed sets is evident and high. Outdoor scenes, specifically those involving the executions are bright and the surrounding natural growth looks great. Darker scenes lit by a single overhanging source vary in detail, but on a whole outlines keep their form, characters are distinguishable and black levels rarely crush the entire image. Texture on clothing is appreciably high, which is a great thing because the costumes make an impact. Up-close facial features look superb with loads of detail in the smiles and frowns. Wrinkles and hair look perfect. It’s hard to faultless Looper in the video department; it is an excellent 1080p transfer that will stand the test of time.
-Audio Commentary with writer/director Rian Jhnson and actors Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Emily Blunt
-The Future from the Beginning
-The Science of Time Travel
-Looper Animated Trailer
-Previews: Parker, Premium Rush, Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning, Company of Heroes, Seven Psychopaths, Lockout
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=10375[/img]Looper is an action movie above all else with drama enhancing the story as the plot unfolds. It’s also smart, keeps you on your toes and keeps you thinking with the philosophical questions it poses concerning the future and morality. I had some issues with Looper on a few fronts, but I still highly recommend it for being something totally different, truly innovative and something fresh amidst so many stale horror and mindless action movies flooding the market.
Buy Looper on Blu-ray at Amazon
Recommendation: Buy It!
Watch the Official Trailer
Recommendation: Buy It!
Watch the Official Trailer