In My Humble Opinion: I liked this movie better when it was called Olympus Has Fallen, and I liked Olympus Has Fallen better when it was called Die Hard. That being said, I shouldn’t complain too much because at least Hollywood is realizing it can take the concept of a movie made previously and not necessarily remake the original movie, just give it a new title and have it be a stand alone film. Of course on that note, Channing Tatum’s outfit seems strikingly similar to Bruce Willis’ in Die Hard wouldn’t you say haha. Enjoy!
In My Humble Opinion: The movie Looper promised to deliver so much but unfortunately ended up letting me down in the end. Maybe it was all the hype surrounding the movie, but for once I’m going to ignore all that hype and good reviews, go out on a limb and say that the movie itself didn’t live up to either. That being said, I will admit the concept of the movie was interesting. I’m always a fan of the time travel genre and have reached a point where I accept that any movie dealing with said genre is going to have parts that are not only confusing, but make you question the validity of what has transpired in the first place. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a Looper whose job is to kill people who are sent back in time by the mob. (I won’t get into all the details or we’d be here all day) All loopers will eventually one day close their loop by killing their future selves. This might sound like a bad deal, but when a looper “closes his loop” he’s given a gold pay-day and sets out with the knowledge that he has the next 30 years of his life to live it up with the pay-day he’s just been given. Well apparently there is a new threat in the future named The Rainmaker (no it’s not Matt Damon) that is closing all the loops. Bruce Willis voluntarily comes back in time after his wife is killed to stop The Rainmaker from ever coming into existence, since he feels The Rainmaker is responsible for his wife’s death. Anyway, like I said the concept of the movie was a fresh take on the genre and the movie itself started off strong. There were a few things however that really kind of bothered me throughout the movie. I’ll start off small and build from there
1. The makers of the movie didn’t feel that Joseph Gordon-Levitt looked enough like a younger Bruce Willis so they had make-up artists create prosthetics so that Joseph Gordon-Levitt would look more like a younger Bruce Willis. Really? We’re already dealing with a time travel plot and a telekinetic subplot (this revolves around The Rainmaker) so my suspension of disbelief is already in full throttle. Asking me to believe that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a younger Bruce Willis wouldn’t be too hard for me to believe…so you can drop the weird-looking prosthetics.
2. Like I said, the first part of the movie was pretty exciting. Joseph Gordon-Levitt offers up a narration of how the world has changed, time travel has been invented, a certain amount of the population are now telekinetic, etc. The first half of the movie really was strong and I thought it was going in a good direction. But when Joseph Gordon-Levitt gets to the farmhouse it’s just downhill from there. The way they have Joseph Gordon-Levitt reveal himself to Emily Blunt is ridiculous. She and her son live on a farm out in the middle of nowhere. It’s night-time and Emily Blunt runs out with a shotgun to investigate a noise in the fields…suspension builds and she can’t bring herself to shoot whatever is coming towards her. Joseph Gordon-Levitt decides to reveal himself, come out and protect her from…wait for it…a deaf-mute that is traveling the farmlands looking for money. Again, really? In the middle of nowhere, there is this Lenny-esque deaf-mute out looking for George and his rabbits or something. Surely with the creativity lended to the overall plot a better way of having these two characters meet could have been arranged. Not to mention, I still don’t understand Emily Blunt chopping away at that big ass tree stump on the farm?
3. The ending…I was really expecting a lot more. It’s that feeling you get now when you watch an M. Night Shyamalan movie and are waiting for that “holy shit” twist or reveal at the end. It’s also that feeling you get now when you watch an M. Night Shyamalan movie and once that “holy shit” twist or reveal is shown, you say to yourself, “Really…that’s it? I was expecting so much more.” I won’t give away the entire ending because if you haven’t seen the movie I don’t want to ruin it for you, but seriously I wasn’t exactly blown away when I watched it. I’m sure there are those of you out there that will argue about the ending and that it makes you think back to earlier in the movie and brings up this or that, but for me it really was underwhelming.
All this being said, Rian Johnson had a fresh idea for the overall plot of the movie, which is rare nowadays. I would only recommend that in the future he focus more clearly on the main plot of the movie as opposed to trying to prove how creative he can be. In doing so, he offers no real characters that you pull for as a viewer. Even the main character Joseph Gordon-Levitt portrays isn’t someone you can really identify with. Anyway, hopefully Rian Johnson gives it a try on another Science Fiction movie because the genre could use creative people such as Rian Johnson.
In My Humble Opinion: After I re-watched the film the other day, I was reminded as to how truly impressive Sin City is. The film which was released in 2005 remains a visionary extravaganza that brings Frank Miller’s graphic novel series to life. That being said, did anyone else notice the strong similarities between the characters Marv and Hartigan? I have not read the graphic novel series, so if there is some sort of connection between the two characters in the graphic novel that was left out of the film, I apologize for my ignorance.
The characters Hartigan, played by the perfectly cranky and aging Bruce Willis and Marv, portrayed by the bullish and beefy Mickey Rourke not only have similarities when it comes to appearance and characterization but storyline as well. Side Note: Mickey Rourke, who critics say had his “comeback” with The Wrestler, should have received far more praise for his portrayal of the gladiator born in the wrong century Marv. Both characters have a strong resolve to handle situations in their own way, consequences be damned. The two characters are nothing much to look at when it comes to handsomeness, seem to visit the same barber, and have a shared love for long trench coats. Hartigan relies on a newly prescribed drug for his Angina while Marv is dependent on his own medication to help with his “confusion” (his ailment is never clearly revealed). The characters mirror each other when it comes to protecting and avenging the women they love and have a connection/admiration for another character in the movie, Nancy played by the stunning Jessica Alba.
The storylines involving the two characters; Marv’s The Hard Goodbye and Hartigan’s The Yellow Bastard 1 & 2, have splendid similarities as well. Don’t get me wrong, the two stories stand alone and could each be made into their own feature-length film, but there are resemblances between the two. Marv’s love Goldie is killed off and the viewer is treated to him charismatically torturing his way to the top in order to find those responsible. Hartigan’s love Nancy is kidnapped by Nick Stahl’s Yellow Bastard and must be saved by the relentless protector, Hartigan himself. Both characters show uncommon dedication to their respective women, willing to do anything for them and battle some pretty peculiar villains in their pursuits. There are two scenes in each storyline that seem to mirror one another as well. Each character reaches a point in his own storyline where he must approach a family farm on the outskirts of Basin City (in both instances, it’s the same farm). Two extremely similar scenes depict the characters running stealthily through the snowy woods with their trench coats flapping in the cold winter air. SPOILER ALERT…The two stories end with each character succeeding in their pursuits but at the cost of their own lives, harkening back to each handling things in his own way, consequences be damned.
All in all, every character in Sin City is absorbing and the film is still a remarkable piece of cinema. I for one cannot wait for the sequel A Dame To Kill For in 2013.
In My Humble Opinion: As much as I like the Die Hard franchise, I think it’s finally time to put John McClane to bed and let the character…Die Hard. I think that when it comes to action franchises, Die Hard has done pretty well. When the first one came out in 1988 it went on to gross over 140 million dollars. I know that doesn’t sound like a lot now a days but back then, that was pretty good haul. The original has gone on to spawn 4 sequels; Die Hard 2 (Die Harder), Die Hard with a Vengeance, Live Free or Die Hard, and now A Good Day to Die Hard. So far the franchise has grossed over 1.1 billion, and in my opinion the movies are still pretty decent with regards to watchability. That being said, I will comment that the most recent, Live Free or Die Hard was the weakest one of the franchise…so far anyway (we’ll have to see how A Good Day To Die Hard is). I mean if you have to edit John McClane’s signature line of, “Yippie ki-yay Motherfucker” just so that you can get a PG-13 rating and hopefully draw in more viewers, the franchise is already making a turn for the worst. If that’s any indication as to where the franchise is heading, I would rather the powers that be just quit while they are ahead and call it a day. I’d hate to see the franchise slowly descend into mediocrity like some other franchises have done (Rocky and Rambo spring to mind). I’ve posted the teaser trailer below for your viewing pleasure or displeasure, depending on where you stand.