Looper


Looper

Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt engage in a staring contest to determine who picks up the check.

(2012) Science Fiction (Tri-Star) Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Paul Dano, Jeff Daniels, Noah Segan, Piper Perabo, Pierce Gagnon, Summer Qing, Tracie Thoms, Frank Brennan, Garret Dillahunt, Nick Gomez, Marcus Hester. Directed by Rian Johnson

 

They say time travel is impossible, that because of the nature of paradoxes travelling into the past would so change the future that you might cease to exist (at least in the way you did before you left the future) and because there are so many variables travelling into the future is likewise impossible. But if there were a way around it, human nature is such that we’d find a way to make it sordid and awful.

And that’s just what we do. In 2044, time travel hasn’t been invented yet but in 2074 it has – and has been outlawed. When something is outlawed, only outlaws then do it and that’s exactly the way it works. Because it is nearly impossible to get rid of bodies due to advances in tracking technology, crime syndicates who want to make someone disappear send them back to 2044 where there is an assassin waiting. These men are called Loopers; they put a shotgun blast into the chest of their assignments, then collect their payment in silver which has been draped over the back of the body. The corpse is incinerated and the Loopers have themselves a nice little party.

Considering that by 2044 the U.S. economy has pretty much tanked being a Looper is a pretty lucrative profession. Joe (Gordon-Levitt) is one and he’s a lot smarter than most. He hoards most of his silver, hiding it in a hidden compartment in his apartment. He spends time with Suzie (Perabo), a stripper who has a kid and a fairly practical attitude, while Joe wishes for something else.

What he gets is his best friend and fellow Looper Seth (Dano), terrified because he had botched his last hit. His target had turned out to be his future self from 30 years hence. All Loopers know that inevitably their last target will be themselves. It’s called “closing the loop” and is part of their contract. However, a lot of loops have been getting closed of late. It seems there’s a new boss in town in the future; he’s known only as the Rainmaker and his identity is a closely guarded secret. This much future Seth (Brennan) communicates to his younger self.

Joe reluctantly agrees to hide Seth and the big boss, Abe (Daniels) summons him to his office – at the point of a Gat (a powerful handgun that is useless in close range but a fearsome weapon farther away), wielded by Kid Blue (Segan), a young and unstable wanna-be gangsta. Abe himself is from the future and has used the Gats, as his Gat-wielding thugs are called, to take over the crime in the city. Abe convinces Joe to give up Seth, which he reluctantly does leaving both Seths to a gruesome fate.

This is all well and good until Joe gets a client to kill who turns out to be his own future self (Willis). Old Joe is wily and manages to use young Joe’s payment to protect himself from the shotgun blast and overpowers his younger self to get away.

Old Joe isn’t just motivated by self-preservation; the woman he married (Qing) in the future was accidentally murdered by the Rainmaker’s flunkies when they came to collect Old Joe. The wily old ex-Looper has discovered some information about when the Rainmaker was born and has figured out that he was born not far from the city in Kansas where Young Joe was based; and he has an idea of how to find him but he must go pretty far off the reservation beyond where his moral compass will send him.

In the meantime Young Joe is being stalked by Abe’s crew who are none too pleased that he failed to carry out his contract. Young Joe, having been injured in a gunfight takes refuge at the farm of Sara (Blunt), a comely young woman who is raising up the precocious young lad Cid (Gagnon) by herself. Still, the forces that are after Young Joe are implacable and there really isn’t a safe haven. He knows that he must find Old Joe before Old Joe finds him – and in the process stay out of the way of trigger-happy Kid Blue and all of Abe’s gang.

This is one of the smartest movies I’ve seen in quite awhile. Johnson wrote the film with Gordon-Levitt in mind and that’s a smart move in and of itself. Gordon-Levitt is the real deal; he’s a star in the making and he holds his own with Willis, who looks nothing like him in reality; Gordon-Levitt studied films of the young Bruce Willis and adopted his mannerisms and vocal patterns, not to mention wearing make-up prosthetics to make him appear a lot more like his co-star (there is one montage where we see the progression of Joe’s aging in which Gordon-Levitt and Willis have the same haircut and the resemblance is a little spooky).

Willis has always been a solid movie star, He’s always good in terms of being kind of a rumpled action hero. He doesn’t always play smart but he does play clever and that’s what he does here. Joe is more cunning than brilliant, more pragmatic than ruthless. He’s a character who is basically within the understanding of most of us – bad enough to do what he wants, good enough not to be a total jerk.

Blunt affects a fine Midwestern accent and is less the English rose that she usually is. Sara’s seen some hard times and has become hardened herself, but again, not so much that she’s a block of ice. She has some compassion and Joe helps her discover that – and, of course being a mom has a lot to do with it too.

The visuals are a mix of dilapidated 2012 and futuristic 2044 (some of the film was shot in Shanghai which looks like it’s been 2044 there for ten years) which makes it again relatable to the viewing audience. Yeah, there are cell phones in the movie that make it look like the iPhone 27.0 is worth camping out for but most of the vehicles and weapons are strictly early 21st century. There is an economic meltdown collapse going on, after all. Still, they do have hover-cycles so it’s not all bad. There is some gee-whiz stuff here.

Time travel flicks are generally among the hardest to make work simply because by their own nature they have complicated strictures. Rian Johnson, whose first film was the much-praised Brick has written a movie that succeeds both as a taut thriller and a sci-fi action film and does both while retaining a level of intelligence that is rare in American films.

REASONS TO GO: Intelligently written. Taut, well-made thriller and visually stunning.

REASONS TO STAY: Cid is a little too creepy in places.

FAMILY VALUES: There is a good deal of violence, a bit of sexuality and some drug use. Of course, there is a fair amount of foul language as well.

TRIVIAL PURSUIT: A set for the diner, built outside of Thibodaux, Louisiana was so realistic that locals were enquiring when the diner would be opening. The set withstood Hurricane Isaac which went through the area after production wrapped and is reportedly still there.

CRITICAL MASS: As of 10/13/12: Rotten Tomatoes: 93% positive reviews. Metacritic: 84/100. I think it’s safe to say the movie has been a ratings hit with the critics.

COMPARISON SHOPPING: Timecop

SHANGHAI LOVERS: Some of the movie’s financing came from China so scenes that were initially written for Paris were moved to Shanghai not just because of cost-effectiveness but because Shanghai’s Pudong district already looks futuristic and relatively little CGI was required to add additional buildings and vehicles to make it look like 2074.

FINAL RATING: 7/10

NEXT: Butter

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New Releases for the Week of September 28, 2012


September 28, 2012

HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA

(Columbia/Sony Animation) Starring the voices of Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg, Kevin James, Cee-Lo Green, Steve Buscemi, David Spade. Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky

In an effort to insulate his willful daughter Mavis from the world, Count Dracula decides to turn his castle into a hotel for monsters only. There, he and Mavis can hang out with Frankenstein and his bride, the Wolf Man, the Mummy, the Invisible Man and all of their friends. However when a human hiker stumbles into the Castle and Mavis takes a liking to him, all manner of chaos will ensue. However, I don’t know how eager I’d be to have Dracula as my father-in-law.

See the trailer here.

For more on the movie this is the website.

Release formats: Standard

Genre: Animated Feature

Rating: PG (for some rude humor, action and scary images)

Looper

(Tri-Star) Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Paul Dano. In the future time travel has been discovered but it’s illegal; so only criminals use it, to dispose of their “problems.” They send the people they want to whack back in time to the present day where an assassin – called a Looper – murders them and disposes of the body. Nice. Neat. But for one Looper, he is put in a very disconcerting situation when his assignment turns out to be his own future self. So would that be homicide or suicide?

See the trailer, an interview and a featurette here.

For more on the movie this is the website.

Release formats: Standard

Genre: Science Fiction

Rating: R (for strong violence, language, some sexuality/nudity and drug use)

OMG – Oh My God!

(Viacom18) Mithun Chakraborty, Paresh Rawal, Akshay Kumar, Poonam Jhawer. When an antique shopkeeper loses everything to a tornado, his faith in God wavers to the point where he makes it his mission to convince others of the non-existence of God. This leads to mayhem until he gets an unexpected visit from Lord Krishna himself.

See the trailer here.

For more on the movie this is the website.

Release formats: Standard

Genre: Bollywood

Rating: NR

Pitch Perfect

(Universal) Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow, Anna Camp, Rebel Wilson. A shy young girl who has just enrolled in college is roped into the a cappella group, even though she’d much rather listen to music than make it. However she resolves to take the group from their traditional arrangements to mash-ups of modern hits which might lead them to success at competitions. Or unfair comparisons to “Glee.”

See the trailer and featurettes here.

For more on the movie this is the website.

Release formats: Standard

Genre: Musical

Rating: PG-13 (for sexual material, language and drug references)

Robot & Frank

(Goldwyn) Frank Langella, Susan Sarandon, James Marsden, Liv Tyler. The concerned children of a retired thief are worried that he is unable to care for himself living alone. So against the old man’s wishes, his son buys him a robot that is programmed to improve his physical and mental health. The old man soon finds his life changing in some ways – and returning back to what it used to be in others.

See the trailer here.

For more on the movie this is the website.

Release formats: Standard

Genre: Science Fiction

Rating: PG-13 (for some language)

Solomon Kane

(Radius) James Purefoy, Max von Sydow, Pete Postlethwaite, Alice Krige. A soldier in the 16th century discovers his actions have damned his soul. He vows to redeem himself and refrain from violence for the remainder of his days, but when a supernatural threat descends upon the land, he discovers that his skills may be the only thing to save his home and people.

See the trailer, featurettes, a clip and a link to stream the full movie from Amazon here.

For more on the movie this is the website.

Release formats: Standard

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: R (for violence throughout)

Won’t Back Down

(20th Century Fox) Maggie Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Oscar Isaac, Holly Hunter. Two mothers, horrified at the state of education in their poverty-level neighborhood, resolve to improve the quality of the education in their area. Met with opposition from the city and education bureaucracy they find themselves forced to take the fight much further than they thought possible.

See the trailer here.

For more on the movie this is the website.

Release formats: Standard

Genre: Drama

Rating: PG (for thematic elements and language)

Four-Warned: September 2012


September 2012

Every month I’m going to look at every movie on the release schedule and try to assign them a numerical value corresponding to how anxious I am to see it. The lower the number, the more I want to see it. A one means I would walk through hell and high water to see it; a four means there’s no interest whatsoever. The numbers are not arrived at scientifically but they aren’t arbitrary either.

The numbers aren’t a reflection of the artistic merit of any of these films, but merely a reflection of my willingness to go to a movie theater and see it. The top four scores will be gathered as a means of reflecting the movies I’m anticipating the most; you may use that as a guide or not.

Each entry is broken down as follows:

NAME OF FILM (Studio) Genre A brief description of the plot. Release plans: Wide = Everywhere, Limited = In selected markets. RATING A brief comment

Keep in mind that release dates are extremely subject to change, even at this late date.

FOUR TO SEE
1. LOOPER (1.3)
2. DREDD (1.5)
3. TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE (1.6)
4. COLD LIGHT OF DAY (1.7)
TIE. RESIDENT EVIL: REDEMPTION (1.7)
TIE. COLD LIGHT OF DAY (1.7)

FOUR TO SEEK OUT (FILMS NOT IN WIDE RELEASE)
1. HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE (1.4)
2. THE OTHER DREAM TEAM (1.5)
3. BRANDED (1.6)
4. WAR OF THE BUTTONS (1.7)

RATING SYSTEM: 1) Must-see, 2) Should-see, 3) Perhaps-see, 4) Don’t-see

SEPTEMBER 5, 2012

FOR ELLEN (Tribeca) Genre: Drama. A wannabe rock star signs away custody to his six-year-old daughter in a divorce but isn’t sure he can walk away from her just yet. Release Strategy: New York City only. RATING: 2.7 Could be Paul Dano’s most affecting role yet.
GIRL MODEL (Cinereach) Genre: Documentary. A devastating look at young Russian teen models thrown into the meat grinder of the Japanese modeling scene. Release Strategy: New York City only. RATING: 2.2 A surprisingly powerful documentary that was screened at this year’s Florida Film Festival. My review can be read here.

SEPTEMBER 7, 2012

BACHELORETTE (Radius) Genre: Sex Comedy. An after-hours party by three bridesmaids on the eve of their friend’s wedding turns into something extraordinary. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 3.5 Looks kind of like a low-rent Bridesmaids.
BRANDED (Roadside Attractions) Genre: Science Fiction. In a dystopian future, a global corporate conspiracy uses subliminal advertising to keep the population docile. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 1.6 Looks amazing in a sort of William S. Burroughs meets H.P. Lovecraft kind of way.
THE COLD LIGHT OF DAY (Summit) Genre: Action. A young man vacationing with his family in Spain discovers that his father is a spy when his family is captured and held hostage in exchange for a briefcase his dad might have stolen. Release Strategy: Wide. RATING: 1.7 Bruce Willis and Sigourney Weaver face off; this is what dreams are made of.
DETROPIA (Loki Films) Genre: Documentary. The rise, fall and resurrection of a great American city – Detroit to you and me – is explored. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.1 While the movie looks at Detroit specifically, this is a microcosm of what all of America is going through.
THE EYE OF THE STORM (Sycamore) Genre: Comedy. The children of an Australian matriarch gather at her bedside as she lays dying, but even in her last days the force of her personality remains undimmed. Release Strategy: New York City/Los Angeles. RATING: 2.4 Looks rather droll, kind of an Aussie drawing room comedy.
HELLO, I MUST BE GOING (Oscilloscope Laboratories) Genre: Romantic Comedy. A newly divorced woman finds refuge in her parent’s home where she takes up a passionate affair with a 19-year-old actor. Release Strategy: New York City/Los Angeles. RATING: 2.7 Funny and sexy, you’d almost think it was French.
THE IN-BETWEENERS (Wrekin Hill) Genre: Sex Comedy. Four young British men holiday in Greece for the opportunity of sex, drinking and…oh, more sex. Maybe.. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.9 If you think American Pie would have been even better with a British accent, this one’s for you.
KEEP THE LIGHTS ON (Music Box) Genre: Drama. Explores the relationship of two gay men starting in the late ’90s and its evolution through turbulent times in the LBGT community. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.3 Looks powerful and effecting judging on the trailer.
RAAZ 3 (Fox Star) Genre: Supernatural Horror. A fading Bollywood star resorts to black magic to usurp the position of a young starlet and maintain her standing. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.6 Looks pretty durn scary!
TOYS IN THE ATTIC (Hannover House) Genre: Animated Feature. A group of courageous Cold War-era toys cross international boundaries to rescue one of their own. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.4 Sounds a lot like Toy Story but it’s got an imaginative world all its own.
THE WORDS (CBS) Genre: Drama. A struggling author finally gets the acclaim and fortune for his newest novel; but he didn’t write it and there is one person who knows who did. Release Strategy: Wide. RATING: 2.5 A terrific cast but some of the publicity features makes me think the filmmakers are a little too full of themselves.
[REC] 3: GENESIS (Magnet) Genre: Horror. An outbreak of a disease that turns wedding guests into flesh-eating zombie ruins a wedding. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 1.9 Somewhere, George A. Romero is smiling.

SEPTEMBER 12, 2012

FRANCINE (Factory 25) Genre: Drama. A female ex-con settling in a small town substitutes animals for human relationships, with tragic results. Release Strategy: New York City only. RATING: 3.3 No trailer but with Melissa Leo in the title role, that automatically makes it interesting to me.

SEPTEMBER 14, 2012

10 YEARS (Anchor Bay) Genre: Drama. A ten-year high school reunion sets the stage for a group of classmates to revert to the way they used to be in high school. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 3.1 An impressive young cast elevates this above standard The Big Chill wannabe fare.
ARBITRAGE (Roadside Attractions) Genre: Thriller. A billionaire hedge fund manager finds his professional and private lives falling apart. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 1.9 Saw this as part of Sundance USA earlier this year; you can read my review here.
BRAWLER (Self-Released) Genre: Action. Two brothers involved in the underground fight scene in New Orleans are set at each other’s throats when one sleeps with the other’s wife. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 3.6 Supposedly based on a true story but the trailer looks really cheesy.
FINDING NEMO 3D (Disney) Genre: Animated Feature. Clownfish Marlin goes looking for his son in an awe-inspiring undersea 3D world. Release Strategy: Wide (Standard, 3D) RATING: 3.8 Yet another Disney 3D cash grab.
LIBERAL ARTS (IFC) Genre: Comedy. A prodigal son returns to college to give a speech at his favorite professor’s retirement dinner only to fall for a comely co-ed. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.6 Terrific cast (Richard Jenkins, Elizabeth Olsen, Josh Radnor, Allison Janney) but kind of a been there done that plot.
THE MASTER (Weinstein) Genre: Drama. The right hand man of a charismatic leader of a faith-based intellectual organization begins to have doubts about his superior’s motives. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.0 From director Paul Thomas Anderson, who has some fascination with the subject.
RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION (Screen Gems) Genre: Horror. Alice takes the fight to the Umbrella Corporation while the T-Virus becomes a global pandemic. Release Strategy: Wide (Standard, 3D, IMAX 3D). RATING: 1.7 The last one might have been the best of the series; this one could be better.
STEP UP TO THE PLATE (CinemaGuild) Genre: Documentary. Legendary master chef Michel Bras passes his 3 Michelin star rated restaurant to his son Sebastian, which doesn’t prove to be as easy as you might think. Release Strategy: New York City only. RATING: 2.6 I haven’t yet seen a foodie documentary that has really knocked my socks off.
STOLEN (Millennium) Genre: Action. A master thief trying to go straight must come up with $10 million or his kidnapped daughter will die. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 3.1 The trailer looked pretty…well, standard.
THE TROUBLE WITH THE TRUTH (Winning Edge) Genre: Drama. A divorced jazz musician finds he has feelings for is ex on the eve of their daughter’s wedding. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.0 The trailer is quite intriguing; sounds like some real insight to love, loss and adult relationships.

SEPTEMBER 19, 2012

TEARS OF GAZA (Self-Released) Genre: Documentary. A Norwegian documentarian, moved by the 2008 Gaza bombings, takes raw footage from amateur cameramen and cell phones and weaves it into a compelling story as it examines the effects of the Israeli military action on the civilians of the area. Release Strategy: New York City only. RATING: 2.2 War is easy from an armchair; seeing what becomes of those caught in the crossfire is a whole other story.

SEPTEMBER 21, 2012

17 GIRLS (Strand) Genre: Drama. A group of 17 girls in a small French fishing village decide to get pregnant at the same time. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.7 Based on an incident that happened here in the States.
ABOUT CHERRY (IFC) Genre: Drama. A young girl with a difficult home life is about to graduate high school but winds up supporting herself through making porn movies instead. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 3.1 Looks with an unflinching eye at why young women do porn; I wonder if it’s lurid for its own sake or if it has a legitimate story to tell.
BACKWARDS (Required Viewing) Genre: Sports Drama. A driven female rower who quit the sport after not making the Olympic team returns to her high school alma mater to coach the same sport she just left. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 3.8 Kind of predictable looking judging on the trailer.
DIANA VREELAND: THE EYE HAS TO TRAVEL (Goldwyn) Genre: Documentary. This is the life of a woman whose stints as editor at Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue helped define fashion through the 20th century all the way until now. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 3.9 Again, I have no interest whatsoever in fashion; someone with a better understanding of it will like this more.
DREDD 3D (Lionsgate) Genre: Science Fiction. In a future when cops are called Judges because they dispense justice (including execution) on the spot, a Judge takes on a corrupt drug lord who is waging war against Mega City One. Release Strategy: Wide (Standard, 3D). RATING: 1.5 One of the great comic books of all time may be getting the movie version it deserves.
HEAD GAMES (Variance) Genre: Documentary. Examines the epidemic of concussion in American sports from youth sports to the professionals and it’s devastating impact on the lives of those afflicted by them. Release Strategy: New York City/Los Angeles. RATING: 2.3 From the director of Hoop Dreams and based on a book from former WWE wrestler and college football star Chris Nowinski comes this chilling look at an injury that destroys lives.
HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET (Relativity) Genre: Horror. A mom and her teenage daughter move into a home next door to one where a massacre took place; and of course the daughter falls for the sole survivor of the tragedy. Release Strategy: Wide. RATING: 2.6 Stars Jennifer Lawrence which is going to put a lot of butts into seats.
HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE (Sundance Selects) Genre: Documentary. The story of how a group of activists with little to no scientific training helped virtually eradicate AIDS as a death sentence. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 1.4 The trailer is moving and awe-inspiring. Proof that change is possible if we are willing to fight for it.
MY UNCLE RAFAEL (Slater Brothers) Genre: Family Comedy. A reality TV producer inserts a faux Armenian uncle into the home of a dysfunctional family. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 3.6 It just looks…umm, unconvincing.
THE OTHER SON (Cohen Media Group) Genre: Drama. An Israeli and a Palestinian discover they were switched at birth. Release Strategy: New York City only. RATING: 3.4 o trailer available as of this writing so can’t really comment on what the film looks like.
THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER (Summit) Genre: Teen Drama. A group of shy outcasts band together in high school to form lasting friendships in spite of all the challenges that growing up throws at them. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 3.2 Based on the Stephen Chbosky best-seller.
THREE STARS (First Run) Genre: Documentary. The daily lives of ten chefs, all of whom have been honored with three Michelin stars at their restaurants. Release Strategy: New York City only. RATING: 3.1 Sounds intriguing but again, no trailer.
TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE (Warner Brothers) Genre: Sports Drama. An aging baseball scout losing his eyesight must rely on his daughter to help him evaluate one last prospect. Release Strategy: Wide. RATING: 1.6 Clint Eastwood is starring in it? That’s all I need to hear.
UNCONDITIONAL (Harbinger) Genre: Faith Drama. A best-selling children’s author finds her faith sorely tested when her husband is murdered. Release Strategy: New York City only. RATING: 4.0 Inspired by true events, I’m told.
WAR OF THE BUTTONS (Weinstein) Genre: Drama. Two rival gangs from neighboring French villages must band together to save a Jewish girl from the Nazis. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 1.7 Courage comes in all shapes and sizes.
YOU MAY NOT KISS THE BRIDE (Freestyle) Genre: Romantic Comedy. A pet photographer is forced to marry a mob daughter but when she’s kidnapped on their honeymoon finds himself in the line of fire. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.5 Could go either way; might be funny, might be forced.

SEPTEMBER 26, 2012

THE WAITING ROOM (International Film Circuit) Genre: Documentary. One day in the life of a struggling inner city Oakland hospital. Release Strategy: New York City only. RATING: 2.1 Looks powerful and moving. Why isn’t this playing in the Bay Area?

SEPTEMBER 28, 2012

THE BARRENS (Anchor Bay) Genre: Horror. A man taking his family on a camping trip may be losing his mind – or he may be actually being stalked by the infamous Jersey Devil. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.6 Kind of cliché but “True Blood” fan fave Stephen Moyer stars and it may well be a lot better than it sounds.
BRINGING UP BOBBY (Self-Released) Genre: Drama. A career con artist must choose between giving up her son or giving him up for a chance at a better life for them both. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.4 Written and directed by actress Famke Jansen and starring Milla Jovovich – actually the trailer looked pretty intriguing.
THE HOLE (Big Air) Genre: Horror. Some teens find a bottomless hole in their basement which once uncovered unleashes the most disturbing of nightmares. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.9 Joe Dante previously directed Gremlins and The Howling and this kind of fits right in with that level of horror.
HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA (Columbia) Genre: Animated Feature. Into a hotel for monsters run by Count Dracula and his daughter who chafes at his over-protectiveness comes the most scary creature of all – a human. Release Strategy: Wide. RATING: 2.3 Looks about as fun as any animated feature so far this year.
LOOPER (Tri-Star) Genre: Science Fiction. In the future, the mob will use time travel to send people they want to erase to assassins called Loopers which works really well until one Looper is given his future self to kill. Release Strategy: Wide. RATING: 1.3 A really intriguing premise for a movie.
THE OTHER DREAM TEAM (The Film Arcade) Genre: Sports Documentary. The improbable story of the Lithuanian Olympic basketball team, which went from being part of the Soviet Union to being sentimental favorites and underdog overachievers. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 1.5 Looks like the kind of movie that will bring a smile to your heart.
SOLOMON KANE (Radius) Genre: Fantasy. A damned 16th century soldier vows to live a life of peace to offset his cruel actions but when a darkness threatens the world he must once more take arms. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.1 Looks spectacular but has been sitting on the shelf for years which doesn’t inspire confidence.
WON’T BACK DOWN (20th Century Fox) Genre: Drama. A single mom takes it upon herself to improve the educational system in her poverty-stricken area on behalf of her child who is unable to read. Release Strategy: Wide. RATING: 2.3 Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis, two of the strongest actresses working today, star.

SCHEDULED TO BE REVIEWED HERE AS NEW RELEASES
The Words, Resident Evil: Retribution, Dredd 3D, End of Watch, Trouble With the Curve, Hotel Transylvania, Looper, Won’t Back Down.