A self-described audio-visual geek who made over 90 short films by the time he left film school, director Rian Johnson spent years struggling to make his first film before finally cobbling together en...
For a movie involving assassination by way of time traveling to the past, setting the theatrical release date in the future seems a bit odd. Why set Looper for September 28, 2012 when you could prove the point of the movie so much more effectively if you released it sometime back in 1995? I heard that September was pretty good for movies.
Anyway, the film stars Bruce Willis and Joesph Gordon-Levitt as assassins who use time travel to kill their targets. Actually, they get their assignments from the future when their targets commit a crime. Kinda like a reverse Minority Report. Sort of. But instead of Spielberg it’s the guy who did Brick. Sounds good to me.
The fact that Rian Johnson is making a new film is more than enough to get me excited The fact that it stars Joseph Gordon Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt and Paul Dano makes it a virtual must-see. Now, straight outta Cannes (where footage was screened to drum up sales interest among distributors) comes the very first image from the sci-fi actioner Looper.
The image has Bruce Willis doing what Bruce Willis is known far-and-wide for: shooting shit up. Check out the picture below, and get ready for a time-traveling, ass-kicking, intelligent flick that should hit theaters sometime next year.
Garret Dillahunt, an actor that we honestly only remember because of his bodacious name, has landed two roles in two fairly impressive movies. Not a bad way to start off 2011 (it’s May already? Whoops). First up, he’ll have what he describes as a “cameo” in Andrew Dominik’s Cogan’s Trade. Dillahunt has worked with Dominik before on The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and the re-teaming should be excellent. His second gig is the slightly more high-profile Looper from Brick director Rian Johnson. Dillahunt (seriously, this is the most fun name to say ever. Diiiiillllllllllahuuuuuuunt) joins the impressive cast of Jospeh Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, Paul Dano, and Bruce Willis. Not a bad start for Dillahunt (it’s still May? Holy crap!)
I was sold on Rian Johnson's filmmaking abilities as soon as I saw Brick, his 2005 neo-noir that starred Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a high school PI investigating the mysterious death of his ex-girlfriend. The speedy deliver of the whip-smart dialogue was nothing short of amazing and much credit must go to Johnson, who scripted the picture as well. As soon as I heard he'd be reuniting with JGL on Looper, his biggest film to date, I was ecstatic. The addition of performers like Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt and Paul Dano only strengthened my confidence in the promising project and now there's even more reason to be excited as Variety reports that a handful of talents have just signed up for the film.
According to the source, Piper Perabo, Jeff Daniels and Noah Segan have joined the cast of the science fiction actioner, which centers on a group of killers who send bodies of their victims back in time, with China as the centerpiece of the storyline. Ram Bergman, who produced both of Johnson's past works, is back in the fold as is Endgame Entertainment's James D. Stern, who financed and produced the directors 2008 film The Brothers Bloom.
We won't see Looper until sometime in 2012 as it gears up to shoot by the end of this month, but if I could buy my ticket today, I would. This is going to be one of the smarter sci-fi films in recent memory, especially since Primer's Shane Carruth has signed up to design the time travel special effects for the project. If you missed that cerebral piece of cinema, you need to head back to 2004 so you can say you saw it in its....prime. Sorry, it was too easy...
Paul Dano, the veritable actor from such acclaimed films as Little Miss Sunshine, There Will Be Blood, and The Girl Next Door, is in talks to join the sci-fi film Looper. The film comes from Rian Johnson, the acclaimed director of Brick and The Brothers Bloom. The film follows a group of hitmen who get their targets from THE FUTURE. An interesting twist and considering the talent of the director, Dano, and the other cast members (Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Emily Blunt), this could be a really good movie. Like really good. Gordon-Levitt was really amazing in Brick and Blunt and Dano are two of the best young actors around.
But you know what would make this movie even better? If it were about Fruit Loops addicted teens. Sure you might like the hitmen with assignments from the future, but what if they were addicted to the Loops?
Or what if it were about a world ravaged by Lupus and it was up to the Loopers to cure the whole world?
Ooh! If they wanted to get a little cross promotion stuff going on, they could make it about life size Hot Wheels and Dano is the first person to attempt to make it around “The Loop.”
Those are silly though. Want something more dramatic? Looper is the name of the family dog and its up to the youngest son to donate his blood marrow to save the dog. And his parents are about to be divorced.
Alas, these are too main stream. We need something striking and avant garde and indie. How about its the same thirty second loop of film but varied slightly throughout the four hour run time? Each different viewing makes us question whether or not there are alternate realities all around us and parallel universes exist, I swear!
Look, I’m sure this film will be awesome. But let’s not confine ourselves to the standard “I’m a hitman and I got this assignment from the future” angle. We have a box here, let’s think outside of it.
1. This Weekend's Box Office Determines Our Future.
The stakes could not be higher: the future of our country. Okay, that may be overstating it. But here's how I see the various scenarios playing out:
If The Expendables Finishes First
Biggest Winner: Jason Statham, who still has twenty years left on his action career.
Biggest Loser: The guys who thought this would be a good date night.
Future Impact: The Expendables 2, featuring Steven Seagal and Jean Claude Van Damme as the bad guys. Cameos from Vin Diesel and The Rock.
If Eat Pray Love Finishes First
Biggest Winner: Tourism. Who else is up for a year off?
Biggest Loser: Oprah and the women who thought this would be a good date night.
Future Impact: An Eat Pray Love sequel in 3-D! The food and lovin' come right out at ya!
If Scott Pilgrim Finishes First
Biggest Winner: We, the people.
Biggest Loser: Fans of movies without CGI flourishes.
Future Impact: It's not going to happen. But if it did it could possibly send a message to the studios about innovation and creativity having merit. So yeah, don't hold your breath.
2. Put Mesrine: Killer Instinct On Your Radar.
There's a French film headed your way in the form of a limited release next weekend, it's the dramatic rendering of Jacques Mesrine, a hardened criminal from the '60s and '70s that terrorized France, Canada, and the United States. I hadn't heard of Monsier Mesrine before I headed into the theater, but yowsers, he's on my radar now. The film starts a bit slow, and there are parts that are formulaic, but it ends in a flurry, and it's only part one of two. This guy did so much damage he requires over four hours of narrative! To be clear, he was a monster. But the story is fascinating, especially if you go in cold. Between this and Un Prophète French cinema is on a violent roll.
3. Was Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore The Worst Idea of the Year?
It's been a banner year for terrible ideas. Consider:
Still, you have to hand it to Warner Bros., they waited nine years to bring the sequel to the big screen. Think of the implications of that, the kids who saw it when they were nine years old are now eighteen. Do you think they rushed out to catch this one on summer break after graduating from high school? It's as if they completely missed what gives a sequel an advantage: familiarity. When you wait nine years you’re clearly hoping for a whole new crop of youngsters to see your movie. But then why make a sequel? See? It’s a riddle wrapped inside an enigma stuffed inside a bad idea. Could this have been a money laundering scheme? Where did the $85 million go? How did they spend that much? I have so many questions about Cats & Dogs 2 but I know it will never be heard from again. Could we get the people behind Who Killed The Electric Car? or An Inconvenient Truth to do some investigative reporting on this one? I could see a documentary on this weighty topic sweeping though Sundance. My ideas for potential titles on said documentary include Setting Money on Fire and The Sequel That Wasn’t.
4. Rian Johnson's Looper Will Be Just Like if Jumper Was a Good Movie!
I've found much to love in Rian's first two films, Brick and Brothers Bloom. These are clever films, though painfully underrated; I highly recommend renting either of them. Brick shows off early (vintage) Joseph Gordon-Levitt, it's noir meets the drama of high school. Brothers Bloom is all about the con game -- Rachel Weisz, Adrien Brody, and Mark Ruffalo provide both laughs and poignancy. You can't put a price on poignant, can you?
Now where was I? Ah, yes, the promise of Looper. The plot looks like this:Set in a near future where time-travel allows a group of hired guns (called Loopers) to eliminate the targets of their crime-lord employers from the future, will begin shooting in January.
My one worry would be that Bruce Willis' assassin character will be too close to his work in Lucky Number Slevin and the time travel aspect definitely brings up images of Twelve Monkeys. But I'm willing to take that chance because Rian Johnson is going to win one of those Best Director statues one day, and I want to get in on the ground floor of his fandom. Plus, the concept of time travel assassins remains compelling, no matter how much Hayden Christensen and company booted the last attempt.
On that note, I hope you all have a great weekend, full of very little time travel! Check out last week's Movie Musings here
Laremy is the lead critic and senior producer for a website named Film.com. He's also available on Twitter.
Anyone who has seen writer-director Rian Johnson's brilliant debut feature - the scandalous high-school-set neo-noir Brick - knows that he is a player to keep an eye on in the future. Since releasing his sophomore effort, the con-man comedy The Brothers Bloom, the filmmaker has kept his fans interested in his developing sci-fi action flick Looper via social media tools like Twitter when news about the project's progress slowed down in between casting Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Wills, but today The Playlist reports that he's finally got something solid to talk about.
Via Production Weekly, the source claims that the film, which is set in a near future where time-travel allows a group of hired guns (called Loopers) to eliminate the targets of their crime-lord employers from the future, will begin shooting in January. The project is not currently set up at a studio, so there won't likely be an official announcement to clarify the scoop, but with knowledge of both JGL and Willis' schedules, it appears that January presents a window of opportunity for both actors to work.
I've been very excited about Looper since it was first announced. After watching Brick a dozen times or so, I realized that it had become one of my absolute favorites of the last decade and I'd jump at the chance to see the film's director and star working together again. Willis' involvement has me particularly enthused, as the $20 million man doesn't need to take any and every role that comes along (although given the quality of his recent films, it's starting to seem like he does). The Cop Out star has been particularly vocal about his love for Looper's smart script, calling it "unbelievable" and "really dark" in interviews. Hearing that he's as excited about making the film as I am to see it has me all giddy.
We'll let you know when this new development is confirmed, and we'll keep you up to date on the production as it casts up in the next few months before it's now-scheduled start date.
Source: The Playlist
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Indie prince Joseph Gordon-Levitt may finally be heading into commercial territory. After the surprise success of (500) Days of Summer and an pivotal role in the super-secretive Inception (due in theaters this July), the actor is ready to take the lead on two new action films.
The Hollywood Reporter has a scoop linking the 29 year old actor to Premium Rush, David Koepp's chase thriller about a bike messenger on the run from a crooked cop after he picks up an important package that the dirty officer will kill for. The film is set up at Columbia Pictures with Gavin Polone (Zombieland) producing.
He could very well segue into Rian Johnson's sci-fi thriller Looper right after. The film is set during a future in which time travel has been invented, with operatives sent back to the present to assassinate criminals. He'll will play a man sent back to kill himself. Gordon-Levitt and Johnson previously collaborated on the masterfully crafted neo-noir Brick.
For fans of the former child actor, this is a big deal and a potentially career changing move for a guy who started out as a teen alien on TV's 3rd Rock From The Sun. Stepping into the spotlight with these two potentially blockbuster films could make Gordon-Levitt the household name he deserves to be.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT?
Throughout a troubled childhood in which they moved from one foster home to another tightly-bonded brothers Stephen and Bloom lived out their lives and fantasies in the elaborate stories Stephen created. But when a grown-up Bloom decides to leave his false lifestyle behind he agrees to just one more game:
an elaborate con that his brother convinces him will hit paydirt. Together they invade the world of Penelope a daffy heiress who agrees to bankroll a (phony) million-dollar “deal” and joins them and their con-in-law a wacky Japanese explosives expert named Bang Bang on a cruise ship headed to Greece. But as this oddball quartet roams the globe Stephen’s elaborate plan becomes complicated by sinister characters unforeseen dangers and the blossoming of a genuine romance between Bloom and Penelope.
WHO’S IN IT?
It’s a superlative cast that makes The Brothers Bloom's complex caper work as beautifully as it does. Crucial to the intricate mix is Rachel Weisz as the loopy adventure-seeking Penelope. Not particularly known for lighter fare this Oscar winner (The Constant Gardener) proves as adept as any great screen comedienne in defining this sweet but trippy character. She provides a delightful anchor for the others particularly Adrien Brody’s (The Pianist) Bloom who understandably falls head-over-heels for his “mark.” Brody’s droopy eyes and hangdog expression are the perfect counterbalance to Weisz’s irresistible brio. As Stephen Mark Ruffalo offers a mixture of bravado and daring creating a three-dimensional portrait of a classic manipulator whose ideas are careening out of control. Seemingly channeling a combo of Harpo Marx and Raymond Teller Oscar nominee Rinko Kikuchi’s (Babel) nearly silent turn as the weirdly maniacal Bang Bang is consistently hilarious an inspired casting choice for a wonderful talent who speaks little English in real life. Also adding layers of darkness to the light-hearted con are Maximilian Schell (Judgment at Nuremberg) as a wicked mentor and Robbie Coltrane (the Harry Potter films) as the mysterious Curator.
In his blazingly inventive debut the high school noir thriller Brick writer/director Rian Johnson proved he had a strong ear for adapting a classic movie format in a quirky contemporary fashion. Using a Dirty Rotten Scoundrels/Sting–style background this time out he not only creates a clever new cinematic con game but spices it up with some wildly amusing screwball comedy on top of an emotional and engaging look at the unbreakable bond of two brothers at a crucial intersection in their lives. The glamorous European locations and spot-on casting add flavor and style to Johnson’s very accomplished and supremely sophisticated sophomore effort. The film’s opening sequence which chronicles the brothers’ chaotic childhood and sets up the underlying theme of family ties is also inspired.
As with many flicks of this genre things have a tendency to get convoluted which could frustrate some audiences not into the minutia of the “con.” Also Johnson’s dazzling but highly stylized dialogue somewhat reminiscent of the kind of thing Wes Anderson (The Darjeeling Limited The Life Aquatic) does so well is probably an acquired taste and could grate on the nerves if you can’t get on the filmmaker’s wavelength. Can you say “quirky?”
A GOOD RULE TO LIVE BY?
In one of Bang Bang’s rare lines she offers this memorable tidbit of life advice: “When you’re done with something blow it up.” This girl has clearly seen too many summer movies!
NETFLIX OR MULTIPLEX?
If you’re looking for something different during blockbuster May this is more than worth a trip to the cinema.
Clive Owen's new movie Children of Men has joined the Oscars race after leading the pack at the influential Austin Film Critics Association Awards.
The movie missed out on the Best Film prize, which went to 9/11 dramatization United 93, but it was named among the 10 best films of 2006, and claimed three major honors.
Alfonso Cuaron was named Best Director and the Mexican filmmaker and his four co-screenwriters also grabbed the award for Best Adapted Screenplay. Emmanuel Lubezki won Best Cinematography for his innovative camera work in the film.
Meanwhile, The Departed swept both the lead and supporting male acting categories--Oscars favorite Leonardo DiCaprio was named Best Actor while Jack Nicholson took home the Best Supporting Actor prize for his acclaimed role as a seedy gang boss.
Mexican moviemaker Guillermo Del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth was also a double winner--for Best Foreign Film and Best Original Screenplay.
Teenager Ellen Page was the surprise winner of the Austin critics' Best Actress honor for her role as a precocious girl who traps an Internet child predator in Hard Candy.
Babel star Rinko Kikuchi was named Best Supporting Actress for her role as a Japanese mute in the acclaimed Brad Pitt drama.
Dreamgirls star Jennifer Hudson, a red-hot Oscars favorite, was named Breakthrough Artist, while Brick writer/director Rian Johnson won the prize for Best First Film.
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Directed Rachel Weisz, Adrien Brody, and Mark Ruffalo in "The Brothers Bloom"; also wrote
Helmed and wrote the sci-fi action feature "Looper," starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis
Made feature writing and directorial debut with crime drama "Brick," starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Raised in San Clemente, CA
Wrote and directed the short film "Evil Demon Golfball from Hell!!!"
A self-described audio-visual geek who made over 90 short films by the time he left film school, director Rian Johnson spent years struggling to make his first film before finally cobbling together enough money to make the stylish teen-centric film noir, "Brick" (2005). Hardboiled by way of Dashiell Hammett, "Brick" was a hit at the Sundance Film Festival and announced Johnson as a fresh new voice in independent film. From there, he diversified his talents, directing music videos for bands like The Mountain Goats, and helming episodes of "Breaking Bad" (A&E, 2008-2013) and "Terriers" (FX, 2010). He went on to direct his second feature, "The Brothers Bloom" (2009), which failed to live up to the precedent he set with his breakthrough film. But he did earn considerable acclaim for his third film, "Looper" (2012), a dark and gritty sci-fi thriller that proved Johnson was a significant filmmaker with a bright future.