Wednesday, September 26, 2012

In the Looper?

    Joseph Gordon Levitt is quickly becoming a bigger name. Inception, The Dark Knight Rises, and now Looper. The time travel thing has been a science fiction staple for years. It is a concept that people love, but it can also become very complex when we start to consider possible outcomes. The idea of going back in time to alter the future never seems to get old in Hollywood and Looper is the latest attempt.
    In the future the mob rules and illegal time travel is there new way of eliminating problems. Problems meaning people. Loopers are guys who, for a few bars of silver, literally blow away returning marks with a large shotgun type weapon called a "blunderbuss." They work until their contracts are cancelled and their future selves are sent back for elimination. They are awarded with gold bars and thirty more years of life. JGL plays a drug addicted looper who has some issues. He wants to save enough money to go to Paris. He's in love with a stripper, and is pretty good at his job. Eventually ,after trying to help a fellow looper, his own contract is cancelled. He meets his future self and has to hunt him down. Easier said than done because his future self is bent on killing the future mob boss while he is still a boy. The older version believes that doing this creates a better future. Throw in the fact that some people are born telekinetic and you have Looper.
   The concept is actually kind of cool. You have to pay attention. JGL seems to get better with every movie. He and Bruce Willis are an interesting paring. I don't think they really look alike, but there is enough resemblance to make the film work. It's an interesting movie considering both of them are right in their beliefs. You never really know what repercussions your actions will cause and the movie plays off of that.

  I liked Bruce Willis. He is starting to show his age, but he still carries the swagger for this type of role. I guess not everything can be Die Hard. He is ruthless when he needs to be, but still maintains the level of humanity. Jeff Daniels is great as the looper boss. He is so awesome on The Newsroom and you can tell he took this gig just to have some fun. I was also very cool with the over all concept of the film. The little boy was adorable. He reminded me of Ray from Jerry Maguire. The telekinetic effects were good for the limited budget.

 The film was missing a more dynamic follow up cast. I wasn't impressed with Emily Blunt. It just felt like this simply wasn't her type of movie. She didn't come across as believable to me and I'm sure some will disagree. I wasn't impressed with Piper Perabo either. She never really seemed to look comfortable in her stripper role. She bares a lot, but I wasn't buying into it. I feel the two biggest problems were pretty obvious. The first was the futuristic world. It seemed too small. The world in Total Recall looked better that this. It was too Children Of The Corn and it should have been more Blade Runner. Hell, I'd settle for Minority Report. The over all look was lacking.  The second major flaw was a villain. Jeff Daniels is cool, but not a menacing villain. When one is being hunted the audience should be afraid of the hunter, but that doesn't happen here.

   Looper is better than most would expect. It can get a little confusing, but it also is a little entertaining. I wouldn't call it a blockbuster, but it certainly isn't "lackluster."

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Shouldn't we take a closer look?

   It's an election year, which I must admit really scares me. This is not a rant about who you should vote for. I am not gonna to preach to you about who I am going to vote for. I program a radio station and talk on the air. I don't believe it qualifies me to make those types of important choices for you.
   I guess I am worried because I am not sure anyone has really taken a look at this country that was once such an amazing place to be. I'm not a hater, but I am scared to death that we have looked away from our real problems for far too long. I spend my afternoons trying to make you forget about life for awhile, but sometimes it needs to be looked at and corrected.
   I always said that I would never be one of those people who said, "when I was younger things were much better," but they were. The attitudes in this country are all wrong. We have some how lost touch with reality or worse we are living in a new one. Either way it is a bad path to be on.
  The 90's were not the best decade in the world because of technology and the Internet boom. They were the best because people were happier. People treated each other better. Music was great. Beyond great! I made less than a third of the money I make now and yet somehow I could always go places and do things. Sure I sponged off of my parents a bit, but I still didn't worry about whether or not I could pay my bills.
   The biggest difference between then and now was the attitudes of people. Mainly the young. People generally liked each other. I know what you're saying, "there were riots in L.A." Yep there were, but we were quick to say that it was wrong. We learned a lesson. We were told "NO!"and we listened. I am not sure when it started, but somehow we all got greedy. We started worrying about what our neighbor had and decided we had to have more and better. The need to want more isn't bad, but when it dominates our existence, it's a real problem.
    I learned that I had to work for things. It took a while, but I learned. The one great and bad thing about my job is the interaction with all walks of life. I see kids today that don't learn values. They have somehow come to believe that they are owed something. The word "NO," is not part of their vocab. Parents want to be friends instead of parents. I have no kids. I THANK GOD for that.
    Let's talk about God for a minute. We used to be, " One Nation Under God." We are now a country petrified of prayer until tragedy strikes. I mean no offense, but the people who wear their Christianity on their sleeves seem to be more judgemental than the rest and it never used to be that way. Christianity was never an excuse to avoid people you don't like. News flash...Jesus hung with the lowest class of people. Some of you all might want to learn that.
   We no longer pray in school for fear of offending people. Whether your religious or not, when prayer was in school, there was far less violence. Let's talk about schools. Kids are being beaten, bullied, and ridiculed for trying to figure out who they are. We certainly haven't learned much from the school tragedies that have rocked this nation. We will see another. Promise. When you walk through the malls and schools you can see people judging each other by how they look. I am guilty. I am sure you are too. Parents do not seem to teach their kids to be thankful for what they have and to not throw it in the face of others. Shameful it is.
 It's not the kids fault. Look at what they watch? They are force fed that he or she who has the most and best toys wins. It's not the case. They worship celebrities who beat their significant others and think drug rehab and D.U.I.'s are par for the course. They think that their parents are perfect and they aren't. I don't think any one's are. They seem to think that they don't have to earn respect because they are not taught otherwise.
  We are taught so many different ways of parenting that who knows which is the right way. This country is so far from fixed, but we are constantly trying to tell our neighbor how to decorate their house before we have even decorated our own. It's a metaphor. Figure it out.
   It's an election year and a scary one. This country used to be the home of dreams and now what has it become? The people will vote based on celebrity endorsements and because they hear a speech they like.  We spend our time living the materialistic life under the guise of helping others. Why can't we just be honest enough to say it's ourselves we are helping? We simply turn off the things we don't like and we hide from the issues that we can't deal with.
  The 90's were not perfect. Times like those will probably never come back. Everything is viral in seconds and privacy is hard to come by. Speaking your mind is bold, but often times done for attention and not cause. We have seen dark times, but never truly learned from those trials. Homes are still hard to attain and gasoline is at an all time high again. We borrow, beg, and sometimes steal. We are never satisfied and apparently are too stupid to realize that greed is what got us here. Admiration has become envy and materialism is the new way of life.  Our young don't listen to the word "NO," but we keep telling them yes.
  We raised minimum wage and everything else along with it. We used to be a "melting pot," but now it's such a crime to be a little different. I am not sure what the next thirty years will be like, but it certainly needs some improvement over now. If this truly is the America that was founded on hard work and dreams, can't we do better than this?