Tag Archives: Emily Blunt

Looper (2012)

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.

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The Wolfman (2010)

When it comes to the golden age of cinema, I haven’t seen nearly as many films as I probably need to.  If I’m being honest, I’ve probably seen ten or twenty films made prior to 1950, and Lon Chaney Jr.’s 1941 The Wolf Man is not among those.  So my frame of reference as far as this remake is limited.  I would like to be able to compare not only the story, but the style as well, as it seems that some of the most striking visuals found in the first few generations of film-making came in the horror genre.  But alas, I’m a film buff charlatan and my top five movies were made in the last twenty years.  Still, it’s not impossible to glean something from the general style of the times, and Joe Johnston‘s 2010 The Wolfman remake does seem relatively beholden to its roots.  There’s a struggle here in trying to update while simultaneously trying not to, and it’s in this struggle that the film staggers.  It’s like watching a graphic designer put together the Mona Lisa in Adobe Illustrator.  The pieces are there, but the final product feels inexplicably wrong.

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