October 5th, 2013 at 7:46 am by Sy Becker under A Look at the Movies
1 hour 30 minutes
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johnansson, Julianne Moore
Beware of one word movie reviews that promote the film “Don Jon” with superlatives like smart and edgy, or you’re liable to be as disappointed with “Don Jon” as I am.
This obnoxious sex comedy is about a jerk whose passion for pornography interferes with his love life. Joseph Gordon-Levitt doesn’t just play the title role, he also directed and dreamed up “Don Jon” as a loser with dysfunctional priorities.
Gordon-Levitt went overboard trying to make a satire out of the aimless condition of young manhood in modern America.
Scarlett Johansson’s character certainly sees herself as the epitome of young American womanhood, one who’s not in the habit of mincing words.
We get to meet “Don Jon’s” TV sitcom style family and get a glimpse of his shoddy lifestyle. But nothing of a compelling reason for the ads to describe “Don Jon” as smart and edgy.
Sleazy, yes, describing Don Jon’s sick obsession with porn, putting his relationship at risk.
I want to know if the authors of those one word reviews ever actually watched this movie from start to finish.
Gordon-Levitt’s vision is flawed and so is “Don Jon”. It’s a pretentious fantasy for adolescents, and as such, gets just what it deserves with two stars. Not exactly smart and edgy.
October 7th, 2012 at 7:56 pm by Sy Becker under A Look at the Movies
1 hour 45 minutes
Starring: Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt
Bruce Willis is on a collision course with a much younger version of himself in the clever time travel thriller “Looper.” A lot of thought went into this futuristic science-fiction yarn, along with a lot of good actors.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is an elite assassin who is very good at what he does. Gordon-Levitt’s target just happens to be himself in the person of Willis 30 years into the future.
Willis intentionally puts himself in harm’s way, which only intensifies Gordon-Levitt’s worsening identity crisis. Trying to decipher the mysterious characters who appear along the way helps create the element of intrigue.
What role does Emily Blunt play in this people puzzle of alternate realities? And can Bruce Willis survive being assassinated by the younger version of himself?
You should know that “Looper” doesn’t provide any easy answers to its maze of mystery. The more you get into it, the more complex the picture becomes. The fun is all in the unraveling of this intricate adventure.
For all of it’s mind-bending, “Looper” deserves a cerebral 3 stars. No matter how complicated things become, “Looper” is always entertaining.
September 29th, 2012 at 8:05 pm by Sy Becker under A Look at the Movies
1 hour 30 minutes
Staring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Shannon
Those daredevil, death defying messenger boys on bicycles deliver their “Premium Rush” no matter what. They recklessly weave at top speeds in and out of Manhattan traffic. It’s all in a day’s work for fearless Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
His risk taking adventures make for a clever and quite intense action adventure. Imagine Gordon-Levitt’s surprise when high strung, crooked cop Michael Shannon tries to intercept what seems like a routine “Premium Rush”.
The mystery unfolds in a highly entertaining flashback style. Gordon-Levitt prefers riding a bike with no brakes to intensify his living dangerously lifestyle. We get an intriguing character study of a free spirit who wouldn’t be caught dead working behind an office desk eight hours a day.
Shannon’s persistence keeps getting on Gordon-Levitt’s nerves. What’s in that mysterious envelope anyway?
The thrilling bike riding scenes enhance the carefully constructed story. And for sheer dramatic intensity, nobody beats the edgy Michael Shannon.
“Premium Rush” even pushes the envelope ever so slightly as an exciting chase thriller. And Joseph Gordon-Levitt gives another excellent performance.
Whatever’s inside the envelope probably contains three stars.
We know that moves released this time year aren’t supposed to be much good, but “Premium Rush” is a welcome exception.