It’s a small fraternity of directors that have taken on the formidable task of helming a time travel movie. Between the potential for audience alienation that comes with heavy duty science fiction, and the third rail of time travel physics, it’s a wonder the group isn’t even smaller—which it is, when you amend the qualification to successful time travel movies. Measuring success in a time travel movie means measuring the success of the explanation of time travel alongside all the other stuff that a movie has to do well. It means walking a tightrope; a tightrope that Director Rian Johnson describes thusly, “On one hand, the sci-fi nerd in me feels there’s a danger not explaining [the time travel], because it can look like plot holes. On the other hand, the story guy in me is like, ‘You know why that’s there, and that’s not what’s important to the story.'” This is the central dilemma for Looper as a film, this balance between saying too much and not saying enough. Because while Johnson spends much of the film’s duration astounding the audience with an exceptional grasp of storytelling and world-building, his ambivalence about the film’s central device ends up blurring the whole.
Tag Archives: Bruce Willis
There’s a particular sect of artists of which Wes Anderson is almost certainly a member. A group of individual creatives defined almost exclusively by their style, while their substance grudgingly takes a backseat. This “style-first” aggregate often bears long-lasting fruit, as consumers have no trouble making quick reads on the group members’ products, and establish their obsessive fandom at the earliest possible stages of a career. Artists like Andy Warhol, David Bowie, Andy Kaufman, Dave Eggers, Nicki Minaj, et al, laid the foundation of their careers with a style that, at first glance, is primarily distinct for its “newness.” Certainly the question of content is raised, though only after plenty of gushing conversations about the artist’s “distinctive voice.” This has always been the dilemma for Wes Anderson, a director known universally for his visual style. Because while audiences spend countless hours discussing the color palettes and the symmetry and the fluid sets, a collection of wonderfully human characters parades right by them.
As my friend Preston put it, “I have been waiting for a movie like this.” It’s been awhile since I saw a film that felt as flawless as this one. The story develops appropriately, and certainly feels like Pulp Fiction, but, as much as the characters don’t need to be accountable as real people, I would dare to say that it excels past Tarantino’s best film. The three stories that develop in the film mix horrific violence with dark humor and translate to some of the best noir I’ve ever seen. Aside from how great the story was, as well as the characters (Mickey Rourke, Clive Owen, and Bruce Willis are all phenomenal) the film looks amazing! Every shot is a masterpiece, and the colors give each character their own personality. I think what it comes down to is that movies like this are the next step in film. Yes we can make movies that look visually stunning, but when we are able to do that in a way that only lends itself to the story, and in no way has to hold it up, that’s the true compilation of technology and great writing