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"LOOPER" (R) HHH
JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT, BRUCE WILLIS, EMILY BLUNT
Don't spend too much time trying to think through all the time-travel contradictions here. It'll just make your head hurt.
Instead, enjoy the action, performances and a story that explores what people might do if they have a chance for a do-over at life.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the young "looper," a person whose job it is to kill people sent back from the future, where apparently it's tougher to commit murder and dispose of a body.
In a rough and tumble world, his character doesn't seem to have much trouble pulling the trigger on his big blunderbuss when the hooded folks from the future arrive.
At least he doesn't until the fellow from the future is an older him, played by Bruce Willis.
The film really feels like two different movies, with a sci-fi beginning that deals with the grim future and all the time-travel stuff. It morphs into a very different segment when the young looper heads out into the hinterlands, meeting a young woman (Emily Blunt) and her son, who has immense psychic power.
It's here the story turns, as the idea of nature vs. nurture comes to center stage, with the young looper forced to decide what he holds dear.
There are holes in the plot here and there, and Gordon-Levitt looks a little odd wearing a fake nose to enhance his resemblance to Willis.
But this movie has a unique power and pace, with enough action and story twists to keep things moving.
Gordon-Levitt continues to impress, both Willis and Blunt are as strong as they typically are and there's a cool twist at the end that most won't see coming.
It's all enough to make you hope this whole looper "kill future problems in the past" thing never comes to pass.
Rated R for violence, language, sexuality/nudity, drug content. 119 min. [MC, PV, RA]
"HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA" (PG) HH
ADAM SANDLER, KEVIN JAMES, ANDY SAMBERG
While it's certainly nothing deep, this tale of a Dracula dad scared of letting his little bat-let fly off into the future is funny, sweet and--thankfully--fine for youngsters to see.
You can't say that about too many Adam Sandler movies.