With his good looks, Liev Schreiber (TV's Ray Donovan) seems born to play an astronaut. In Magnet Releasing's The Last Days on Mars, he finally gets the chance. As chief systems officer Vincent Campbell, he's part of Aurora's six-month mission on the red planet with only 19 hours left to go before heading home. What could go wrong?
According to The Slumber Party Massacre, young women love to have group sleepovers so fun that the girls don't have the good sense to leave the house when their party is crashed by the arrival of a drill-wielding serial killer.
We vilify people for bad behavior in real life, yet celebrate it in our entertainment, particularly on the small screen. When the results are as strong as the current crop, all new (or new-ish) to DVD and/or Blu-ray, why question the disconnect?
Prior to his Spider-Man trilogy, director Sam Raimi cut his superhero-movie teeth on 1990's Darkman, a character of his own creation. Although it's clearly not the most polished of his works, the summer sleeper plays even better as the years tick by. Look no further than Shout! Factory's colorful re-release on Blu-ray.
Someday, celebrity cyclist Lance Armstrong may regret hiring Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney to document his 2009 "comeback," but I doubt it. As The Armstrong Lie demonstrates time and again for two mostly gripping hours, the athlete is still unable to tell the whole truth and nothing but.
Hurray for movies with ideas. In Looper, writer-director Rian
Johnson crams in so many, it initially looks as if this sci-fi actioner
might collapse under the weight of them all. Dystopian society, time
travel, telekinesis, gangland killings — there are a lot of ground rules
to keep track of here, much of them conveyed through the wobbly device
of a narrator.
But then something remarkable happens: Looper plays fair with its own mind-bending construct. Balancing muscular action with the intellectual approximation of an M.C. Escher drawing, Johnson delivers on the considerable promise of his previous films, Brick and The Brothers Bloom.
We start in 2044, where time travel is about 30 years away, but still figures prominently in the lives of “loopers,” assassins hired by a futuristic crime syndicate to kill and dispose of targeted baddies transported from the future.
It’s an insidiously efficient system: A looper waits in the middle of nowhere for a hooded victim to materialize from thin air, only to promptly blast the poor bastard to smithereens. And when it’s time to clear up loose ends, the looper is sent his future older self to kill.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (The Dark Knight Rises) is Joe, a looper who makes the costly mistake of failing to whack his older self (Bruce Willis, The Expendables 2) when he is supposed to. But old Joe arrives in 2044 with his own agenda to stop a certain future from taking shape, a quest that eventually involves a tough single mom (Emily Blunt, The Five-Year Engagement) living in a farmhouse.
Looperis fiercely inventive, buoyed by strong performances and an intriguingly complex screenplay. In the rarified air of great time-travel flicks, it deserves a place alongside The Terminator, Back to the Future and 12 Monkeys.