“All boundaries are conventions, waiting to be transcended. One may transcend any convention, if only one can first conceive of doing so. Moments like this, I can feel your heart beating as clearly as I feel my own, and I know that separation is an illusion. My life extends far beyond the limitations of me.”
– Robert Frobisher, Cloud Atlas
Film still © 2012 – Cloud Atlas Productions, X-Filme Creative Pool, Anarchos Pictures
I love Halloween. I love the dressing up, and I love horror movies – good horror movies, not just violence and things jumping out at you to startle you. This Halloween I’ve been thinking about one of my favorite horror movies, “The Haunting” (the 1963 version, not that other one I’ll choose to ignore).
When I was little, this image was terrifying….
I would stare at my ceiling after I went to bed and I could swear I could hear mumbling.
All truly good horror movies don’t just scare you while you’re watching them. The good movies continue to scare you long after you’ve turned the TV off, and you’ve gone on with the rest of your day/week. The good ones don’t need blood, gore, and monsters. For me, horror is banging on the walls, voices, and that feeling of dread. Horror is “The Haunting”.
And, of course, metal spiral staircases.
Film stills © 1963 – Argyle Enterprises, MGM
“Do you still insist that this is all poppycock?”
“That’s not exactly the word I had in mind.”
-“Time After Time”
I love a good time travel movie. As a Sci-Fi fan, it’s hard to go wrong with time-travel (although I’m sure it has been done). So, when I first saw trailers for “Looper” I was excited. “Looper” is about an assassin, living in the year 2044. His targets are sent to him from 30 years in the future, where time travel exists, although it is banned. He kills them, making clean up easy since his targets don’t exist in his time, and there is nothing for the police to find in the future. When his contract is up, his last target sent to him is himself. It becomes even more complicated when Joe (Gordon-Levitt) accidentally lets his future self escape, and has to hunt him down (while also being hunted down by the mob that hired him).
When I first saw the trailer for “Looper”, I was intrigued to see more of the make-up job they did on Joseph Gordon-Levitt to make him look more like Bruce Willis. It was quite bizarre at first to see him with a totally different nose and eyebrows, but after a while I adjusted and it really does help you imagine him to be the character. It makes him look a bit harsher, and you stop seeing the softer face of Gordon-Levitt, and you see the face of a killer (not that Bruce Willis is a killer – I don’t really see Bruce Willis necessarily in the face of Gordon-Levitt, even with the make-up job).
The movie itself has fun with the idea of time-travel, and has a couple new takes on the idea – and originality is always good when it comes to messing with the timeline. As always, I don’t like to give away too much plot. I enjoy seeing movies without knowing too much about them, so I try to stick to that when talking about it. However, there is one amazing scene in the beginning which really plays with the idea of time. Time for one “Spoiler”, even though it takes place in the beginning of the movie – or close to the beginning. After one of Joe’s friends lets his future self escape, the mob needs to hunt him down. Of course, they can’t kill him in the present (that would mess up the timeline too much), so they need to persuade his older self to come to them “willingly”. How do you do that? By chopping of pieces of his younger self of course. The audience gets to watch as this older man watches parts of himself disappear as he tries to stop the mob. By the time he makes it he is missing both legs, most of his arms, his nose…it’s disturbing. But it’s also one of the more original ideas I’ve seen – and by far my favorite part of the movie.
“Looper” does have a lot of action, most of which is gun fights. There is some telekinesis, but I’d rather leave that for those who go watch the movie. Movies like this usually need a lot of action (especially when you have Bruce Willis as one of the primary characters), because you get a larger audience with action.
Thankfully, even with all the action, the plot does not lack. Not that it couldn’t have been better (there are many better time travel movies out there), but it was still a great story. Between the action scenes, the audiences begins to understand, pity, and sometimes even relate to, these two Joes; the same person but so very different. You have the conflict of the younger, who wants to enjoy his wealth and youth, and the older, who is wise because of the past but lost and desperately trying to hold onto it. You understand both of these men, but are torn during the movie by who you think is “right”. A great action movie, but also the potential for an even better movie underneath. “Looper” could have been a much deeper and richer plot, if filmmakers are willing to take risks and have less action.
Although, I have to admit, the action is definetly worth it when Bruce Willis walks into a room presenting P90s, full on Teal’c style from “Stargate: SG1”.
“Looper”: All Film stills © 2012 – DMG Entertainment, Endgame Entertainment
“Captain, Captain, Captain… save your strength. These people have sworn to live and die at my command two hundred years before you were born.”
-Khan, “Wrath of Khan”
Film stills © 1982 – Paramount Pictures
“We didn’t need dialogue. We had faces!”
Film stills © 1950 – Paramount Pictures
Film stills © 1989 – Hemdale Films
Stuck at home with a cold, I decided to peruse Netflix to see what random movies I could find to watch. Something that stood out was “Chattahoochee”. The plot looked interesting, and with a cast of Gary Oldman and Dennis Hopper, I thought it was worth a watch. I wasn’t disappointed.
At the beginning I wasn’t quite sure where the story was going. I had read the plot (badly written on Netflix) and that was all. I was given the impression that Oldman’s character, a Korean war vet, would focus more on his wartime experiences – the beginning focus a lot on that. However, it seems like that isn’t very important to the story as a whole (a little misleading, but my only criticism).
After a shooting rampage in his peaceful neighborhood, Oldman’s character, Foley, is sent to a mental institution called Chattahoochee. It is here that the story unfolds. Oldman, who is sane, begins to take notice of the injustices done to the inmates in Chattahoochee. With the help of other sane ‘patients’ like Benson (Hopper’s character) he is able to smuggle out records of abuses to his sister.
I don’t know why I had never heard of this film before. It was amazing, and gives you hope at the end that not all injustices go unnoticed. Foley, who has no reason to care about those he is living with in Chattahoochee and has a array of issues of his own, puts his issues aside to help them. Oldman is, as usual, and amazing actor and you really want Foley to win in the end. The large number of ‘extras’ who play the other patients are equally important and amazing in their acting ability.
According to the introduction, this movie is based on a true story (as so many movies are). I don’t know how much of it is really true (the real life mental hospital was investigated on abuse charges) but to me that’s not the point. The feeling towards mental patient in many ways is true, and that seems to be the main point of the plot.
Overall, I think “Chattahoochee” is quite a good film, which has seemed to have slipped through the cracks. I hope I am wrong in this assumption (I watch a lot of movies, but that doesn’t mean I know about them all).