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Archive for the tag “sci-fi”

“Gravity” (2013) Review


Looking back, the last time I had been anticipating a movie as much as “Gravity” was probably almost a year and a half ago with “The Dark Knight Rises”. Between being a big sci-fi fan, having read reviews about the great visual presentation, and knowing Alfonso Cuaron (director of one of my favorite films, “Children of Men”) was directing, I don’t know how much higher my expectations could have been going into the theater. Despite these massive expectations, I was not ready for what I got with “Gravity” – a film that is a ground-breaking cinema experience and one of the best films I have seen in a long time.

While it’s easy to start by talking about the visual feast in “Gravity”, it is better to start by saying that “Gravity” is about more than just good looks… It is a film about survival. Space is a lonely and dangerous environment, one where Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney) and Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) find themselves trying to survive in after debris destroys their space shuttle. Outside of a few opening scenes, this is the main overarching plot of the film – two astronauts trying to find a way back to Earth. This may sound like a shallow plot, but Alfonso Cuaron has developed a lot of depth within such a seemingly narrow framework. Conversations between Kowalsky and Stone are well-written, and reveal a nice depth of character that connects the viewer to the film’s main characters. This, in turn, makes each twist the film takes more impactful, leaving you wondering what will happen next.

Story aside, the most awe-inspiring part of the film is easily the overall presentation. Sure, I heard the visuals were amazing and broke new ground for the cinema world. However, “Gravity” doesn’t seem to be content with raising the bar for visuals in a film – it wants to create a new idea of what you can expect from a film. From the zero gravity physics, to beautiful shots of space and Earth, to the incredible detail in the debris, “Gravity” is a sight to behold. I can easily say that it is the best looking film I have ever seen, hands down. Even with the major effects and visuals, what really pushes it to another level entirely is the little things. There is a striking attention to detail present in every single scene that makes every piece of the film feel as realistic as possible. In the words of George Clooney’s Matt Kowlasky, you really “can’t beat the view”.

Above all else, "Gravity" is the most visually stunning film I've ever scene. As George Clooney's character rightfully remarks, you really "can't beat the view".

Above all else, “Gravity” is the most visually stunning film I’ve ever scene. As George Clooney’s character rightfully remarks, you really “can’t beat the view”.

Speaking of visuals, it is necessary for me to touch on the 3D effects in the film. As you know, I have felt that 3D film-making was more a gimmick than anything, never adding anything to a film – at best you get a few interesting touches, at worst it takes away from the experience with poor use of background blurring and effects that make each quick camera movement jarring. In “Gravity”, however, the 3D is spot on, and enhances the visual experience enough that I would highly recommend seeing the film in 3D over 2D. Between these 3D effects and the overall visual presentation, “Gravity” is an incredible film that must be seen in theaters at least once.

Further adding to my praise for the film is its sound design. The soundtrack itself is perfectly ambient and unsettling at times, fitting right in with the challenges faced in and emptiness of space. Also, the clever use of volume and suppressed noises and music to mimic the vacuum of sound in space is a nice touch that draws the viewer into the setting. In particular, I have to give credit to the opening credits and scene, where the aforementioned items start the film nicely.

Lastly, it is necessary to give mention to both Clooney and Bullock for their roles in the film. Both play their parts wonderfully, with Bullock in particular turning in a tremendous performance as Dr. Ryan Stone. When you are tasked with being the only two characters on-screen for basically the entire film, you need to be able to turn in a special performance. This is exactly what Clooney and Bullock have done, and through Cuaron’s direction, the character interactions become entirely natural and the audience quickly connects with the two on-screen.

“Gravity” is not just good looks. It is a complete package. It has been a long time since I can remember leaving a film in awe, but “Gravity” did just that for me. It is a complete package – from visuals and sound, to plot and acting, “Gravity” is about as perfectly executed as they come. Don’t miss the chance to enjoy one of the most incredible experiences you can see in a theater, or even wait for it to come out on DVD/Blu-Ray. Do yourself a favor and experience “Gravity” in theaters, the way it is meant to be seen. You will not be sorry.

Final Score: 10/10


“Upstream Color” (2013) Review

Upstream Color cover


I have never seen a film like Upstream Color. Simple as that. Shane Carruth’s recent release is a film that can be described in many different ways – “experimental”, “art film”, “abstract” – however, no classification could really do it justice. Even in broad terms such as sci-fi or drama, Upstream Color cannot find a home. Be assured, you have never seen anything like Upstream Color – and I mean that in a good way.

If you’re familiar with Carruth through his first film, Primer, you know he has talent. Upstream Color has a similar, yet completely different style than that first release. While both films are highly complex, revealing most secrets upon repeated viewings, they differ in their approach. Primer was a rational, sci-fi story with a heavy emphasis on dialogue to push the story forward and make sense of the film’s logic. Upstream Color relies mostly on its audiovisual presentation to portray its story – there is much less of a focus on dialogue (with the last half-hour being nearly free of any spoken words) and more attention on ambient sounds, thematic imagery, and striking visuals. This focus allowed Carruth to create on of the most original films I’ve seen in a long while.

As far as plot goes, the less you know going into Upstream Color, the better. While I will avoid any major spoilers, I still recommend not reading ahead if you are definitely going to see this film in order to get the most out of the experience…..

Still there? Okay. The easiest way to give an idea of the plot of Upstream Color is to say that the film is about the life cycle of an organism, the players who continue the cycle, and those who are affected by it. This basis becomes much more elaborate as the film weaves many themes into its story and presents the viewer with a multi-layered puzzle that at times can be both simple and incredibly complex at the same time. As it stands, the film places the viewer as an inanimate object observing these natural cycles and people and forces you to put all the pieces together actively and pass your own judgement at times. The story may seem to be abstract nonsense to some (and those that don’t enjoy experimental film-making will surely dislike the film), but I assure you there is a coherent narrative here that allows for some personal interpretation.

The Sampler is just one piece in the cycle playing out in "Upstream Color", but he is certainly the most interesting and complex.

The Sampler is just one piece in the cycle playing out in “Upstream Color”, but he is certainly the most interesting and complex.

With this narrative in place, both sound design and cinematography take over and breathe life into the story. While it is often easy to look at the visuals and sound areas of a film separately, here it is not possible – the two are intertwined and integral to the experience. That being said, the overall presentation is absolutely stunning. From Carruth’s ambient soundtrack, to his adept editing, to the striking cinematography, the film amazes its audience in each and every scene. The only real negative for this piece of the film is the dialogue volume. For some reason (possibly due to the focus on ambient sounds and nature throughout the film), the volume of the dialogue in the film is too low. In one sense, this serves to put more of an emphasis on the aforementioned ambience – in another, it is maddening as the viewer has to struggle at times to make out some of the dialogue. Still, this is a small price to pay in the scope of the overall presentation.

Lastly, it is worth mentioning that both Amy Seimetz and Carruth himself (yes, he wrote, directed, did the soundtrack for, produced, and starred in his film) both did a great job with their roles. With little dialogue in parts of the film, the cast must speak through expressions and actions – something that the entire cast does a wonderful job of doing. The nuances in each performance really help bring the viewer further into each character’s mindset and perspective.

In conclusion, as I said before, you have never seen a film like Upstream Color. Still, you will be glad you saw Upstream Color (unless, of course, you are not a fan of experimental film-making). The presentation and plot of the film are stunning and highly original, and Carruth is surely someone of talent to keep an eye on in the film industry. While there may be some issues with the dialogue audio levels, this hardly detracts from what will be the most original film you’ll see all year. Even if you don’t understand exactly what you saw, I think you will  have a hard time saying you didn’t enjoy it.

Final Score: 9.0/10

Guillermo del Toro Is Back – “Pacific Rim” Opens July 12th

With how much I’ve been staying on top of movies this year, I have absolutely no idea how Pacific Rim flew under my radar. I mean, a sci-fi film with aliens and robots directed by Guillermo del Toro (whose “Pan’s Labyrinth” is my second favorite film ever) and Charlie Day of Its’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia fame is in it? How could I not know about this? Regardless, Pacific Rim looks pretty damn awesome. Knowing del Toro’s knack for imaginative visuals and stories, this should be an incredible film – well above your typical alien/robot films. If you enjoy sci-fi or have enjoyed any of del Toro’s previous works, put this film on your radar (as I have) and look for its release on July 12th.

9 Years Later, “Riddick” is Back

If you are familiar with the Riddick series of films, you know how long it has been since the second film The Chronicles of Riddick was released (about 9 years). After such a long wait, fans will be finally receive the next film in the series, simply titled Riddick, this Fall. Based on the short teaser trailer, it seems that, in the new entry, previous series director David Twohy will bring the spirit of both prior films and mesh them into one – there is the grand sci-fi adventure side of The Chronicles of Riddick combined with the tense, almost survival horror of Pitch Black. This combo should please fans of both films when Riddick releases on September 6th, and be an excellent continuation to a great series. Let’s just hope we don’t have to wait another 9 years for a potential next follow-up.

Can “Elysium” Reach the Heights of “District 9”?

District 9 has earned a spot in my collection of great science fiction films. It was showered with critical praise upon release and was a refreshing entry into the sci-fi genre. Now, director Neill Blomkamp is following-up his incredible first work with Elysium, a film revolving around a decrepite Earth and a space station paradise. As in District 9, Blomkamp has made a tension here between two groups, the group of priveliged humans living on the space station and those stuck on Earth – a class struggle instead of an interracial one. With Matt Damon starring, I have high hopes for another epic sci-fi tale. Judging by the trailer, Elysium seems to be even grander in scope and its views than District 9, with a buffet of striking visuals. The views of the ravaged Earth in the trailer look incredible, and I cannot wait to take another adventure with this talented director when Elysium releases August 9th.

“The Abyss” (1989) Review

The Abyss cover

James Cameron is considered to be a visionary director. He received praise for many of his works, from “Titanic” to “Avatar”, and is a huge name in the film industry. Personally, I am not a big fan of his. None of his films have really impressed me enough to make me agree with the praise they’ve gotten. “The Abyss” is another of Cameron’s films, though prior to the closing credits, I went in blind to his role in the film’s creation. Yet, when I did see those closing credits with Cameron’s name appearing as director, I wasn’t the least bit shocked. It felt like a Cameron film the whole way through.

“The Abyss” tells the tale of a deep-sea, industrial rig crew who happen to be utilized by the government to search for a sunken US submarine that is located close to their base of operations. Due to a fast-approaching hurricane, and urgency in the mission, a group of Navy Seals are sent to help with the crew’s efforts, as the US cannot get a full salvage crew together before the storm approaches. In classic sci-fi fashion, there is a startling discovery made during their salvage attempt, and a familiar story of conflict between crew and unknown and amongst crew plays out. It is easy to say a story is clichéd (and “The Abyss” is), but another thing entirely to say a film is entirely predictable. Throughtout the story, any sci-fi fan would note that it is easy to see exactly what will happen. All of the major conflicts and plot points are quickly discerned and never a surprise. Further, the plot itself isn’t really all that exciting. Sure, there are some decent moments, but overall, the plot is simply average – not to mention the ending, which manages to avoid the most intriguing question/conflict in the film and ends this story abruptly.

The same cannot be said for the visuals, however. In typical Cameron fashion, “The Abyss” has a great visual presentation. For a film that was made over 20 years ago, the underwater scenes are quite a show. I mean, sure, the film’s effects are dated in many repspects, but its visuals still manage to do a great job of bringing the viewer into the experience. That being said, visuals cannot make up for a mediocre plot (see “Avatar”).

Many of the visuals in "The Abyss" are impressive, especially when taking into account the fact that the film is more than 20 years old.

Many of the visuals in “The Abyss” are impressive, especially when taking into account the fact that the film is more than 20 years old.

Outside of the story and visuals, there are two other notes worth making with regards to “The Abyss”. First, the acting varies widely. On the whole, it is decent and gets the job done. Still, I wish some of the supporting cast had done a better job to make their characters more natural (some of the scenes just feel too stiff) and better complement the performance Ed Harris puts forth. Second, the soundtrack is your typical brass-infused “epic” soundtrack. At times, it is too pronounced, at others it is fitting, but nothing special.

“The Abyss” is certainly an entertaining journey, albeit one that feels very familiar. Its visual greatness may have been dated by time, but the film still looks great. The plot for this sci-fi adventure is average at best, however, with some poor/unrealistic science and a disappointing ending. In the end, “The Abyss” manages to be nothing more than an average-at-best sci-fi film. Major sci-fi fans may get some enjoyment out of it, while more casual movie fans should be able to overlook its more glaring flaws. For me, it just feels like another James Cameron film – heavy on striking visuals and clichéd story elements. Feel free to share your thoughts on the film and/or James Cameron in the comments.

Final Score: 5.0/10

“Binary Domain” Review

Binary Domain Cover

Having heard a great deal of praise for “Binary Domain”, I have been meaning to play through this supposed sleeper hit for a while now. Created by the same mind that produced both the “Yakuza” series, Toshihiro Nagoshi, and garnering comparisons to 2010’s sleeper hit “Vanquish”, this title had a lot to live up to in my mind. That being said, it far exceeded my expectations, and is well deserving of all of its hype.

The focus of “Binary Domain” is its clever sci-fi story. In the game world, the robotics industry has advanced to the point where it is possible to create “Hollow Children”, robots who look, feel, and believe they are human – as such, they are unable to be distinguished from normal humans. Robotics are a major industry though, due to the need to build upper levels of major cities and serve the elite members of society who live in the upper levels – the majority of cities are flooded due to global warming. You come in as a member of an agency tasked with enforcing the New Geneva Convention, which happens to put laws on robotics, including the banning of any technology regarding “Hollow Children”. To delve further into the story would blemish your experience in seeing the plot unfold. Quite simply, the plot is extremely intriguing. Through the many twists and turns, you and your team uncover many secrets surrounding this technology and the corporations behind it, and this results in some very unexpected conflicts and plot twists. Having played many (and I mean many) video games, I am used to the clichés of most standard genre plots. As such, when a game can keep me on the edge of my seat, and has a story that develops in so many unexpected ways, I am very pleased. “Binary Domain” accomplishes this and creates a great experience for the player to back it up.

This experience that supports the story keeps the player involved in the game world, and eager to continue playing, both to find out what happens in the story, and to see what challenge you can overcome next. “Binary Domain” does a nice job of adding a healthy dose of player choice in the game. There is a trust system in place where by different actions and responses to various dialogue affects each member of your squad’s trust in you. This comes in to play in the story, with certain characters choosing different paths depending on their trust in you, and in gameplay, with your teammates either choosing to obey or disregard your orders in battle. The system is a refreshing change from the standard, where you are forced to pick one of two or three outcomes to a situation, and instead places the pressure on you to act as you see fit, and having your AI allies react at certain (unknown) instances depending on their level of trust in you. In fact, the system is so well implicated that you may not even realize that a certain character’s trust is involved in a scene until you play through again differently, or look up various scene differences online.

The storyline in "Binary Domain" has a sci-fi basis, .....

The storyline in “Binary Domain” has a sci-fi basis, unexpected twists, and touches upon some heavy ethical subjects, creating one of the best shooter stories out there.

With character interaction an important part of “Binary Domain”, it is good to know that the game features some top-notch voice work. If you have experience with the “Yakuza” series (whose studio developed this title), you know they always ensure their voice acting is well done. “Binary Domain” is no exception, as every character, no matter how insignificant, is voiced professionally, and given some well-written dialogue as well. The rest of the sound department is great as well – the soundtrack is nicely fitting (varying from aggressive to calm tracks depending on the scene and battle intensity), the weapons sound great, and the effects for the robotic enemies are perfect.

The presentation in the graphical department is exceptional as well. Character models are intricately detailed, facial animations are great (even in gameplay), and the animations are well implemented and designed. For example, each robot you encounter can be dismantled in nearly any way, from taking out its legs, arms, head, or any combination of the above. Yet, no matter what you do, they will always animate themselves in a way to best be able to still fight – a robot will switch the hand its holding its gun in when it loses an arm, or will support itself with one arm after losing a leg. This attention to detail makes the battles intense and enhances the gameplay.

With the presentation out of the way, the last thing to mention is the gameplay itself. The game is set up like your usual third-person, cover shooter. Yet, where “Vanquish” is focused on fast-paced combat and style, “Binary Domain” is slower and more strategic. You are encouraged to take apart enemy robots in various ways, as the more parts that you destroy, the more credits you earn to upgrade your characters. This adds an RPG-style progression to the game as at each shop you can upgrade you or your teammates weapons (more damage, higher fire rate, etc) or purchase nano-machines that give stat boosts (more health, damage resistance, etc). The system works nicely, and there is always a nice sense of progression throughout the game. Back to the action, the game features a wide variety of enemy robots for you to dismantle, and some creative, intense boss fights.

The gameplay...

“Binary Domain” has a slew of crazy boss fights for you to tackle. Each one requires a different strategy, and it is a thrill taking down each one.

With all of these great aspects in the game, is there any downside? Well, there are a few minor setbacks, but nothing that comes close to marring the overall experience. For example, with the trust system, friendly fire causes a decrease in ally trust. There are times though that your allies seem content to walk right into your line of fire, then get mad that you shot them, when clearly they could have just stayed in cover. Also, movement is slightly sluggish which makes avoiding some boss attacks a little more difficult than it seems it should be. Last, cover is a little too sticky, and at times your character will stick to the wrong side of a barrier, putting themselves directly in harm’s way. Again, none of this is a major setback, and most is infrequent, but still it should be mentioned.

Overall, “Binary Domain” is one of the finest third-person shooters out there. It is a shame this game has gone largely overlooked, and any fan of action or shooter games (especially those who enjoy sci-fi) should pick this title up and enjoy a high-quality experience. With an intriguing story, great presentation, and solid gameplay, “Binary Domain” gets high praise from me.

Story: 9.5/10

Graphics: 9/10

Sound: 9.5/10

Gameplay: 8.5/10

Final Score: 9.0/10

“Another Earth” (2011) Review

When I say science fiction, what do you think of? Do you think of spaceships and far away universes? Or maybe movies with huge budgets and massive scopes? Maybe you just think of futuristic technology and extraterrestrial beings. But, I am sure very few, if any, think of modern day Earth and the tragedy in the decisions its inhabitants make. “Another Earth” takes this focus and paints a wonderful story with a backdrop of a new planet discovery, and in turn gives the viewer a lesson in how science fiction can become less about the extraterrestrial, advanced technology, and space travel, and more about how tragedy affects ordinary people and what it is to be oneself.

The plot itself is able to be introspective, emotional, and captivating, all while keeping you wondering what will happen next. Rhoda is a teenage girl whose guilt put’s a burden on the viewer, while John’s suffering can truly be felt. The interactions between the two feel completely real, while the interactions Rhoda has with the rest of the world bring us deeper into her promising-turned-tragic life. While the characters themselves fuel the story, the science fiction backdrop does much to further enhance the overall plot. At first, it may seem that the story about the “other Earth” is merely a parallel story to the main characters’ lives. However, as the film progresses, the two slowly intertwine and become one, with the “other Earth” story enhancing the main plot and acting symbolic as well. I will not spoil any plot details (as per my usual spoiler-free reviews), but here is an example of an open-ended ending done right. I did not expect it, yet when the film was over, I couldn’t think of a more fitting closure.

Though the plot itself was well designed, it could not have succeeded without a great performance from its lead, Brit Marling. She does more than just act the role, however. Through her performance, she seems to become Rhoda, bringing the character to life and making every part of her role feel fully believable; all the guilt and emotion feels real. There is a point at which Rhoda gives a monologue on a Russian cosmonaut – it is absolutely perfect.

“Another Earth” features many beautiful shots of Earth 2, a planet that becomes slowly entwined with the fates of our two main characters.

This particular scene is helped by some great sound design. The soundtrack itself is composed to nicely fit each section of the film. The sections on John have an appropriate classical approach, while the philosophical “other Earth” sections feature electronic, industrial undertones. The aforementioned monologue has a beautifully progressing sound design, where a knock slowly builds into something much more, capturing the story being told perfectly.

Adding to all of these pieces is some wonderful cinematography, full of intimate shots depicting each character’s emotional/mental state, and some evolving and recurring shots of the “Earth 2”. It may lack high-budget CGI and other such eye candy, but it more than makes up for it with its wonderfully filmed shots of Rhoda and “Earth 2” along with the slowly evolving story through the media of the other Earth.

Overall, “Another Earth” is an enthralling sci-fi drama, light on the over-the-top effects, and heavy on the plot and characters. There is one side-story I wish was explored a little deeper, but the film is easily one of the best sci-fi films I’ve ever seen. For any fan of sci-fi or drama, “Another Earth” is a wonderful film that will give you a new perspective on the sci-fi genre.

Final Score: 9.4/10

“Rise of the Planet of the Apes” (2012) Mini-Review

“Planet of the Apes” is a classic movie for many reasons. Having finally had a chance to see last year’s prequel, I hoped that the film would provide a decent background to the original plot. What I actually experienced was an entertaining, yet quite flawed film.

The Good:

  • Motion Capture – Andy Serkis is the best motion capture artist/actor in the business, hands down (for those unfamiliar, Serkis played Gollum in the “Lord of the Rings” series, along with major parts in the video games “Heavenly Sword” and “Enslaved”). His work in this movie is just another perfect example of his abilities, with the movement of the apes being natural and fluid.

The OK:

  • Plot – It’s hard to fault the plot for not having a surprising ending (after all, we know where the original movie picks up – speaking of which, there is a nice tie-in to the original which helps to make the plot more genuine). Overall, the story moves along nicely, and does keep your interest, providing some intense and also emotional moments. However, the first 15-20 minutes is extremely rushed, providing bare minimal backstory, which makes you feel somewhat disconnected from the characters.
  • Soundtrack – I don’t know where to put this section, but the soundtrack was unremarkable. It certainly didn’t detract from the movie, but I cannot remember a single moment of the soundtrack or where it played. Thus, I can’t really say whether it was good or bad (at least it didn’t distract me).

The Bad:

  • Plot (Part 2) – For all its good moments, the film has many inconsistencies and questionable parts in the plot. Why at some moments does Caesar seem like a genius ape, and then others seems to not understand the concept of glass or a wall? How does a random “circus orangutan” have a sign language vocabulary of a genetically-enhanced ape taught to sign for his whole life? This is also not to mention the disregard to how James Franco has a plethora of lab work and high-tech medical scans of an ape who has not been outside the house? This and many more questions arise and really take you out of the world at times. Further, the ending was questionable in how it really built into the original film. I don’t want to spoil anything, bu it seems that some major leaps need to be made to connect to the original film.

Short Summary: The film provides a servicable story that has many glaring flaws, but is redeemed by the exceptional motion capture work and well-done action sequences. Recommended for “Planet of the Apes” and sci-fi fans (with an ability to overlook flaws in story-telling).

Final Score: 6/10

“Looper” (2012) Review

I have to admit, I was somewhat biased going into the theater to see “Looper”. First off, I am a sucker for sci-fi films and also a big Joseph Gordon-Levitt fan. So, when I first saw the trailer, I immediately knew what I would be doing the weekend of September 28th. What could be better than a time travel story involving one of my favorite current actors? That’s when I saw the name Rian Johnson…. For those that don’t recognize the name, Rian Johnson teamed up with Joseph Gordon-Levitt once before for a modern-day noir film, “Brick”. If you have not had the chance to see this unique film, and think a high school, illicit drug-focused noir story sounds interesting, by all means, see that movie. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and could not wait to see what movie magic this duo could come up with next…. Back to “Looper”.

So, with my hopes sky high, I entered the theater and began my viewing. Let me say that what followed was one of the best, well-written sci-fi movies I have seen in a while. The story itself is quite clever, and not nearly what I was expecting. I found myself quickly tied up in multiple characters with different motives, all of which were important to the story and not thrown in for the sake of complexity. Further, I assumed the need for leniency in judging some plot points, as time travel movies are notorious for plot holes. Once again, the plot was done in such a smart way to avoid introducing holes and questions about how things happened the way they did. To go on further, I risk the possibility of revealing spoilers, and that would be a crime with this story.

Moving on, the cast was well-suited to their roles (minus obvious physical differences between Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis, and my inability to see Paul Dano and forget him dancing on stage to “Superfreak” a la “Little Miss Sunshine”).

Further, it is always a plus in my book when a child is cast that just naturally seems to fit the role he is playing, so much so that my fiance commented that he might give her nightmares (nice work kid). Combining the acting with the cinematography and set design, you are immediately absorbed in this futuristic world. The film introduces just enough background to make the setting fully believable, while avoiding unnecessarily bogging the viewer down with too much terminology and lore.

Lastly, to wrap-up, I will have to say that this movie had what I like to call a “Children of Men” moment. You know, that scene, where the majority of sound drops out to be overtaken by the cries of a baby, a battle is halted, and an entire building and street full of people quit from fighting to stare in awe at the two carrying the “miracle” child. Yeah, the first time I saw that scene (with the movie still being one of my all-time favorites), I sat with goosebumps, jaw (literally) dropped, and in amazement. Now, not to say that all “Children of Men” moments are as powerful, but they are those kind of scenes that really give you the chills (in a good way). The “Children of Men” moment in this movie is unexpected, but that just makes it all the better. You’ll know when it happens.

So, in review, “Looper” is one of my favorite movies so far this year (“Moonrise Kingdom” still sitting large at the top spot). It’s “Children of Men” moment may not be quite as moving as the one in “Beasts of the Southern Wild”, but the overall story and execution push it far above your standard sci-fi film, while the writing puts it ahead of other time travel films. I highly recommend this film to any sci-fi fan, and to anyone looking for something with a smart plot.

Final Rating: 9.1/10

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