Author Archives: btdgreg
Every so often, you see a band live and everything snaps into focus.
Looper takes place in a dystopian near future. In 2044, poverty and crime are rampant, and control of everything has been taken over by gangsters. Time travel doesn’t exist yet, but it will three decades later, and it will be highly illegal, not well understood, and only used by criminals. Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is so-called “looper,” an very specialized assasin (executioner, really) whose job it is to go to a pre-established location at a given time, and execute hog-tied, gagged and hooded persons that are zapped back from 30-years in the future as soon as they arrive in the present. The looper then disposes of the body and collects his reward, bars of silver that are sent back with the person to be executed. At some point, every looper knows that the crime bosses in the future may decide to “close the loop” by sending the looper’s future self back to be killed. For this special killing, the looper is rewarded in gold bars and released from any further obligations or duties. All of this is revealed in the movie’s first few minutes–much of it through voice-over exposition–so when Joe find himself staring at his future self (Bruce Willis), it’s not at all a surprise, but entirely expected. (If you’ve seen the Looper trailer, you know this is coming, but this is really all premise, not spoiler.) But, when it does happen, something’s gone awry. Old Joe isn’t bound, gagged and hooded as expected, and this gives him just enough time to cold-cock his younger self, escape his fate, and begin pursuit of his own future-changing agenda in the past/present. Mayhem, needless to say, ensues.
Pretty self-explanatory: five songs featuring whistling and/or handclaps.
This one is also fairly easy if you think about it: 5 train songs. Maybe not as easy as rain, but not hard either. A personal aside: this post was inspired by a marathon session of Mexican Train dominoes played by our family on Sunday to celebrate the start of summer vacation.
This one is also fairly easy. Five songs about rain. Go.
This one is relatively easy. Name one song each from five different acts: solo, duo, trio, four-piece and five-piece. For bonus points, try to come up with songs (or at least performances), where all the music is played by the number of individuals indicated.
Joss Whedon, the reigning alpha-geek of pop-culture storytellers has succeeded in a task that seemed nearly impossible: he’s created a superhero movie with seven different comic-book heroes that is hugely entertaining, mostly comprehensible, and provides a satisfying pay-off to the promises made by each of the previous movies.
The rules: name five songs that you love, but that you can’t recall hearing even once in the last three years.
The secret to gift giving is empathy. The perfect gift will feel like it was picked out with great care, as if telepathically (or empathically, I suppose) for the person who receives it. Every now and then, I come across a movie that, when I watch it, feels like the filmmaker has given me a gift, a movie that was carefully crafted to appeal to my own individual sensibilities and sense of humor.
These are the kinds of movies that help define a movie lover. The adolescent version of you will screen the movies for prospective girlfriends or boyfriends as a pass/fail litmus test.
The movies discussed in this post are not universally lauded by critics or massively popular. Some of them are polarizing. But (for whatever reason) they mean a lot personally.