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LOOPER ($36) is a thinking man's science fiction film laced with plenty of action movie finesse, as to give the movie the right amount of commercial appeal to attract a broader audience. And for my money, LOOPER is indeed a best of breed- a movie surely not to be missed. The premise of LOOPER is set in something of dystopian future, circa 2044, where economic collapse has allowed organized crime to attain a stronger grasp over society, while at the same time; a strange genetic mutation has given 10% of the human population mild telekinetic powers akin to entertaining parlor tricks. By the year 2074 time travel is invented; however, it is immediately outlawed. Of course, organized crime has managed to acquire the banned time travel technology... and use it for their own purposes. It would seem that by 2074, it has become impossible to dispose of bodies, so organized crime uses the time travel technology to eliminate individuals, by sending them back in time where a waiting mob assassin can do the job- and get rid of the evidence. These contracted assassins waiting in the past are called "loopers" and are paid with silver strapped to the backs of their time traveling targets. Of course, the downside to being a looper comes when the mob decides end a loopers contract, they are forced to close the loop, by assassinating their future selves- as a target sent back in time with gold strapped to their back, instead of silver.

LOOPER stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Joe Simmons, a Kansas based looper working for the local mob. When fellow looper Seth (Paul Dano) fails to close his loop and allows his future self to escape, the mob take swift and immediate action upon him. From this occurrence, we also learn that, in the future, someone known as "The Rainmaker" has taken over all of organized crime, and has begun closing all loops for his own unknown reasons. When Joe's next target arrives, he is sans the usual hood that would hide the identity of the victim. Seeing the face of his victim causes Joe to hesitate, as he recognizes the victim as his future self. This hesitation allows older Joe (Bruce Willis) to overpower his younger self...and make an escape. As it turns out, older Joe isn't just a man on the run; he is a man with a mission... he wants to kill "The Rainmaker" as a child, before the mobster rises to power, and begins his systematic elimination of all loopers. What follows is a very violent and messy time paradox that places old Joe at odds with his younger self, as well as the better men that they both could possibly become. The cast of LOOPER also features Emily Blunt, Noah Segan, Piper Perabo, Jeff Daniels, Pierce Gagnon, Qing Xu, Tracie Thoms and Frank Brennan.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has made LOOPER available on Blu-ray Disc in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. This is another terrific 1080p presentation from Sony. The picture appears wonderfully sharp and delivers an excellent level of fine; surface textures, imperfections in the actors’ skin and individual hairs are all clearly visible in close-up. Colors are attractive and natural, including the flesh tones. Saturation is realistic, never appearing overdone. Blacks are deep and whites are completely stable. Additionally, contrast is perfectly smooth. Shadow detail is very quite good and in perfect keeping with the simpler photographic stylings. A fine to modest level of film grain is present, which enhances the overall look of the presentation and adds an organic quality.

LOOPER is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. No surprises here, LOOPER sports an aggressively mixed action movie sound design that perfectly complements the film’s action movie trappings laid on top of the time traveling premise. All the outlying channels are exceedingly well utilized for sound effects, which zip, ricochet and explode all over the sound field. The sound of the film's futuristic hovering motorcycles pan nicely between channels, as do a number of the other sci-fi related effects. Thanks to the lossless encode, fidelity is truly excellent, with both the music and the sound effects benefiting. The bass channel is deep and provides plenty of percussive force for all the gunfire, occasional crashes and explosions. Dialogue is always crisp and easy to understand. No other language tracks have been included on the disc, but an English descriptive track is provided. Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the disc’s interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as some supplements. Starting things off is a running Audio Commentary with writer/director Rian Johnson, plus actors Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Emily Blunt. Featurettes and other programs include the following: The Future From The Beginning (eight minutes), The Science Of Time Travel (eight minutes) and Scoring Looper (sixteen minutes). Deleted Scenes With Optional Commentary, plus a Looper Animated Trailer close out the standard supplements. An authorization code is provided for an UltraViolet Digital Copy of the film, which is just a stream away.

As I stated above, LOOPER is indeed a best of breed- and a movie surely not to be missed. The Blu-ray presentation is excellent. Definitely recommended.


Looper (+ UltraViolet Digital Copy) [Blu-ray] (2012)


DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright 2013 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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