Category Archives: time travel

Looper

Looper ~ This is one of those movies that’s hard to explain, and once you explain it, as complicated as it is, you go wow, that’s a great idea for a movie. Looper is like that, only then it turns everything upside down and plays with possibilities. Plus time travel. And it’s awesome.

Loopers are assassins sent into the past to dispose of targets from the future. Eventually their future selves are sent back, killed by themselves, whereupon they are retired and can live happily for thirty years until their loop is closed when they are sent to the past. Got it?

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is living the life of a looper, and everything is perfect until Bruce Willis, his older self, shows up, and escapes. That’s when all hell breaks loose. That’s when all the rules of time travel you thought you knew get turned in their ass.

Writer/director Rian Johnson has fun with this time travel twisting thriller, and puts both JGL and Willis through their paces. It’s full of shocks and surprises, and even Emily Blunt comes off looking good. If you think you know time travel, this will put your Terminator and Back to the Future philosophy to the test. Good stuff, worth watching.

Men in Black 3

Men in Black 3 ~ This movie beats the odds several ways. First it’s fun and entertaining, which for a sequel, let alone a second sequel, let alone a second sequel almost fifteen years after the original, and a decade after the lackluster first sequel. To be a good movie, and do well, against those odds is definitely an achievement.

The Men in Black concept is based on the brief and rarely seen Malibu Comics feature by Lowell Cunningham, which is in turn based on the ufology myth of the men in black from the government who cover up alien encounters. Through three movies now, Tommy Lee Jones as senior agent K and Will Smith as junior agent J have protected Earth from the scum of the universe as part of a top secret organization who do what you would expect them to do – kicking alien ass and erasing everyone’s memories of said ass-kicking.

The films have been successful mainly because of Jones and Smith’s almost perfect extreme buddy cop chemistry, as well as the sharp humor of the writing, and of course the cutting edge special effects. Even with all that, the first sequel was a weak entry almost ensuring MIB3 would not happen, but here we are.

The plot of Men in Black 3 bucks the odds even further, as it’s about time travel. The common thinking in Hollywood, even in scifi movies, is that time travel makes people’s heads hurt. Only when it is done well, like in the Back to the Future or Terminator series, does it come off successfully with mainstream audiences. MIB3 does it as well.

An alien villain, Boris the Animal (played by Jemaine Clement from HBO’s “Flight of the Conchords” although you’d never guess it), escapes prison and goes back in time to 1969 to kill K before he can put him in jail. K vanishes from the present, so J must go to 1969 to save him and put time right. And here’s where we hit the third odds-breaker. The younger K, played by Josh Brolin, is Will Smith’s partner for most of the movie. His impression of Tommy Lee Jones as K is dead on, and half the entertainment of the flick. The chemistry is intact despite a new actor in an old role.

This movie is so much fun, captures the spirit of the original, and covers new territory while being funny, exciting, and fresh. The only thing that could have made this better would have been a Will Smith theme song. Recommended. I wouldn’t have thought I would say this, but bring on Men in Black 4.