We tend to think about the future in terms of possibility. Assuming that we continue to advance as a species and don’t come down with a case of the apocalypse, the notion of “the future” is one where things that are not possible now become possible. Of course, in science fiction, this growth is usually far more drastic than it is in real life—we don’t drive flying cars, and all the cool tablets and phones we do have don’t necessarily work in the sexy ways that we imagined before their debut. Real progress is slow and boring, and big game changers like ereaders tend to coexist with whatever it was we assumed they would replace (like books). Given the way 2001: A Space Odyssey set expectations, 2001 must have been an extremely disappointing year.
Tag: Looper (1-7 of 7)
“Well, now I feel like I’ve seen the whole movie,” is an increasingly common complaint about movie trailers. Studios’ marketing strategy is frequently to lure viewers into the theater with a peek at a movie’s biggest fight sequence or most compelling twist, a promise of what people will see if they buy a ticket. But there are some trailers in recent years that have mastered the art of creating a sense of mystery and avoiding spoiling key surprise moments.
Speaking of spoilers, WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD for Oblivion, Looper, and Moon. READ FULL STORY
Just about every year, brilliant movies are utterly ignored by the Oscars. The Searchers, Groundhog Day, Breathless, King Kong, Casino Royale, Touch of Evil, Caddyshack, Mean Streets, The Big Lebowski — the Academy has a long history of overlooking comedies, action movies, horror flicks, hard-boiled genre pics, artsy foreign films, and documentaries that aren’t about World War II. This year, we’ll be taking a closer look at films that were too small, too weird, or perhaps simply too awesome for the Academy Awards. These are the Non-Nominees.
The Film: Looper, writer-director Rian Johnson’s head-twisty sci-fi tale of Joe, a mob assassin (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who kills marks sent back from the future — until one day his future self (played by Bruce Willis) zaps back from the past as Joe’s latest mark. Then things get really freaky. READ FULL STORY
The Oscar nominations were announced this morning, and while we all congratulate the lucky ones, we can also lament those left off the list. Let’s start with EW Entertainer of the Year Ben Affleck: Although Argo nabbed seven nods, including Best Picture, supporting actor Alan Arkin, and adapted screenplay, he didn’t make the director’s cut. Zero Dark Thirty helmer Kathryn Bigelow was also snubbed, despite the film’s five nominations — among them Best Picture, actress Jessica Chastain, and original screenplay. The directing category is always ripe for gripes when it doesn’t include those behind the year’s Best Picture noms (see also: Django Unchained‘s Quentin Tarantino and Les Miserables‘ Tom Hooper this year).
As for acting snubs, there’s The Sessions‘ John Hawkes, Arbitrage‘s Richard Gere, and Django‘s Leonardo DiCaprio — all of whom scored Golden Globes nominations. And our dream of seeing Matthew McConaughey recognized for Magic Mike has sadly gone unrealized.
Which snub have you dubbed the most egregious this morning? Feel free to tackle any category. (No screenplay nod for Perks of Being a Wallflower or Looper!)
Anyone who saw the eye-catching trailer for Looper knew that the movie was going to be a complicated sci-fi thriller. The futuristic noir stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis as the same man — a mob assassin named Joe — at different stages of his life. Young Joe winds up hunting Old Joe — so far, so twisty. But around the midpoint of Looper, things take a really crazy turn. I thought the movie never recovered from that turn; my esteemed colleague Adam B. Vary disagrees. That disagreement led to a very special episode of Entertainment Geekly, featuring an in-depth (and extremely SPOILER-y) conversation about the movie. Seriously, if you haven’t seen the movie yet, you definitely should before partaking of this episode. READ FULL STORY
Any attempt to explain time travel inevitably fails. The reason for this is simple: Time travel is impossible. And so, some of the worst scenes ever written by good writers feature characters fruitlessly attempting to describe the science of time travel. As a plot point, time travel is not interesting in itself; what’s interesting is how storytellers use time travel. And for most of the running time of Looper, writer-director Rian Johnson plays with the idea of time travel in all sorts of eccentric and interesting ways. He does this by explicitly having his characters state that the “how” doesn’t matter. Early in the movie, world-weary traveler from the future Jeff Daniels says, “This time travel s— fries your brain.” Later, fellow time-tourist Bruce Willis angrily explains why he doesn’t want to talk about the science of chrono-hopping: “If we start talking about it we’ll be here all day, making diagrams with straws!”
The Emmys are meant to honor the best of the best at the conclusion of a television season, but from a PopWatch Planner point of view, tonight’s ceremony, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, is the ideal kick-off for a week of much-anticipated television premieres. Now only do some old favorites return — Modern Family, Dancing With the Stars — but we finally get to peek at some of the most promising new shows. (I’m crossing my fingers for Last Resort.)
So you’ll forgive me if this week’s Planner is Boob Tube heavy, but for any true coach potato, this week is Christmas. Make sure your DVR is well-rested, because it will be put to the test every night. (Revenge versus Good Wife…?) These are the days that make Homer Simpson’s words resonate: “Television! Teacher, mother, secret lover.” Be not ashamed.
SUNDAY, SEPT. 23
The 64th Primetime Emmy Awards, ABC, 8 p.m.
Host Jimmy Kimmel has already promised viewers “the biggest prank ever pulled” when he takes the stage at the Nokia Theatre, and he’s also hinted that the event might serve as a reunion for the Handsome Men’s Club. Apparently, there are also awards to be handed out. Will Amy Poehler and Jon Hamm receive their first trophies?
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