Hypable TIFF Movie Review: ‘Looper’

2:00 pm EDT, September 8, 2012

Time travel has always been a popular device in science fiction storytelling and the new thriller Looper uses it to great effect. It lays out a future society in the year 2074 where bridging the gap between the past and present is possible but also highly illegal. Writer-director Rian Johnson (Brick, The Brothers Bloom) balances heavy ideas in his most accomplished feature to date but also manages to be complex without being alienating, the toughest nut to crack in time travel stories.

As the film begins we learn the initial setup, criminal organizations have monopolized time travel in 2074 and when they want someone dead, they don’t run the risk of killing them in their own backyard. Instead, they transport these unwanted souls thirty years into the past, where an assassin, or looper as they’re called, is waiting to fire the kill shot as soon as they appear. Sending targets from the present to be killed in the past erases all traces of the crime, “closing the loop” as the film puts it. Our protagonist Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is one such looper and he’s skilled at his job. He doesn’t ask questions, loves to live the good life and is starting to save up for the future.

But when the future literally comes knocking on Joe’s next assignment, he sees that his next target is his future self from 2074 (played by Bruce Willis). The decision of whether or not to pull the trigger sets off a chain reaction of events that are among the most daring and thought-provoking in recent memory. This is when Looper slowly starts showing its layers and revealing that this is a science-fiction headtrip in blockbuster clothing.

The idea of killing your future self is chilling enough but to be put in a cat-and-mouse game with past and present versions of the same man raises questions of morality and curiosity that writer-director Johnson is more than eager to explore. Looper has fun toying with these ideas and pursing the “what if’s” of time travel essentially making this a thinking man’s action movie. The supporting cast of Emily Blunt, Jeff Daniels and Paul Dano is another hint that this is not your ordinary studio film.

Credit is also due to Gordon-Levitt who continues to impress with his string of subdued and introverted performances. While many may point to the fact that he and Bruce Willis are playing the same character and look nothing alike, that shouldn’t matter. If you’re too busy staring at makeup and prosthetics to notice the thrill ride in front of you, you’re obviously in the wrong movie.

Grade: A

Rated: R (for strong violence, language, some sexuality/nudity and drug content)

Looper opens in theaters on September 28, 2012 and was screened as the Opening Night film at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival.

‘Galavant’ cast thank fans for #MoreGalavant campaign

"So just dance, dance, dance."

4:30 pm EDT, May 25, 2016

Galavant may have been axed over on ABC, but the fans refuse to stop the beat — and the cast are getting down to it!

There’s nothing worse than seeing your favorite show cut off in its prime, but if there’s one thing that fans do best in moments of crushing adversity, that’s come together and use their voices in a cacophony. And Galavant fans? They want a third season of their little show that could and are campaigning for it to return.

That campaign has not escaped the notice of the cast, who came together to thank the fans in a video that you can’t help but move your feet to — and the rest of your body.

“It warms the cockles of my heart to see everything you’re doing to save our beautiful little show,” Timothy Odmunson says, at the top of the video — right before it launches into Justin Timberlake’s newest hit, “Can’t Stop The Feeling,” and we’re treated to a montage of familiar and brand-new footage from Galavant’s stars.

#MoreGalavant "Can't Stop The Feeling" from #MoreGalavant on Vimeo.

Karen David (Princess Isabella), who has also been vocal on social media about the #MoreGalavant campaign, leads the charge — and has printed out everyone’s contributions so far. But don’t worry, she planted a tree to make up for all the paper that was used. Also shaking their tush is Genevieve Allenbury, who played the Queen of Valencia throughout Galavant’s two season run.

Other familiar faces from the cast include Robert Lindsay, Ben Presley, Mallory Jansen, Vinnie Jones, and Muzz Khan. Not to mention the titular hero, Joshua Sasse.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Galavant without some cameos — and this thank you video is no exception to that. Making their debut are Billy Boyd (of Lord of the Rings fame), holding a sign that proclaims, “You can’t eat this Hobbit!” and Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill, with his own “Galavanterrific” sign.

And, what better way to close out the video than with an appearance from Weird Al. “Well, that should definitely do it,” he proclaims. “I can’t imagine any network not picking up this show now that it’s a hashtag campaign. Feel the power of the hashtag!”

So, Galavant fans, get signing and start dancing. And here’s hoping Tad Cooper breathes fire again — be it on the stage, or screen.

This week’s twist on Game of Thrones was one for the show’s history books, and now the fans and creators are acting on their emotions.

Sunday’s Game of Thrones found Hodor dying (dammit Bran) as he held back the army of wights by holding the door. A significant death like this one naturally became a big topic of conversation online, with fans coming up with adorable yet depressing tributes to Hodor.

For example, viewers have been creating Hodor doorstoppers:

http://dingoutback.tumblr.com/post/144816075382/in-loving-memory

http://blamethejunglr.tumblr.com/post/144886498478/i-got-a-new-doorstop-i-use-humor-to-hide-how

http://goldbloodedbabe.tumblr.com/post/144872654401

http://2ndperiod.tumblr.com/post/144838798471/brb-crying

Interestingly, we couldn’t find any Hodor doorstoppers for sale on Etsy. Get on that, people!

Others have added Hodor to the ‘hold door’ button in their local elevator

http://elvenanomaly.tumblr.com/post/144878433573/too-soon-man-too-soon

http://evilregal1203.tumblr.com/post/144864651270/this-just-happened-on-the-elevator-at-work-no

http://bbcmuggle.tumblr.com/post/144871947631/someone-put-this-on-the-elevator-at-work-today

https://deadpools-girlfriend.tumblr.com/post/144865560259

On last night’s ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live,’ showrunners DB Weiss and David Benioff ‘apologized’ for killing Hodor — but not for the reason you think:

Related: After Hodor, who will die next on ‘Thrones’?

Starz has decided that their original programming can compete with the other hot shows airing on Sunday nights.

Network CEO Chris Albrecht has told THR that they are planning on moving all of their original shows including Outlander, Ash Vs Evil Dead, and Black Sails — which currently air on Saturdays — to Sundays. The move will begin July 17 with the Starz series Power. Outlander will likely not move to Sundays until next season.

“Sundays are a prestige night and we feel our shows are definitely going to be very competitive, not just in viewership but in the attention-getting business on Sundays,” Albrecht said to THR, “So it made sense to move.”

Outlander and Starz’s other original series will be going up against tough competition, including AMC’s The Walking Dead and HBO’s Game of Thrones. Albrecht says part of the reason he wanted to move the shows was to make sure they were part of the watercooler talk on Monday mornings.

THR notes that Showtime’s original series typically get DVR’d, “growing 214 percent [in viewership] during the course of a week.” This would suggest that a lot of people aren’t sitting in front of a TV on Saturdays and want to watch the shows on a different day of the week. So, moving their programming to Sundays may not impact overall viewership numbers much.

Starz recently overtook Showtime as the second-most subscribed to cable channel. HBO still sits at number one, though all three are facing tough competition from Netflix.