Sunday, September 30, 2012

2 Movie Reviews: The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Looper

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower (2012)
Director - Stephen Chbosky
103 Min; PG-13
Logan Lerman - Charlie
Ezra Miller - Patrick
Emma Watson - Sam

I walked out of the theater thinking this could be my favorite movie of the year thus far.  I knew nothing about this high school drama set back in the day when mix tapes were all the rage, but it is a novel written by Stephen Chbosky who also wrote the screen play and directed the film - hell of a trifecta Mr. Chbosky.  Charlie is an introverted freshman dealing with a multitude of demons and desperately in need of friends and something normal.  Patrick and Sam are senior misfits of sorts who welcome Charlie into their version of a clique.  What could end up being a totally cliched high school coming of age flick turns out to be extremely moving and extremely cathartic. 

I loved the way Logan Lerman played Charlie, his mannerisms really giving off the highs and lows that his life goes through.  Ezra Miller is at times too over the top for me as the openly gay kid, but he reigns it in at the right times to put in a good performance.  Emma Watson - no longer playing Harry Potter's sidekick - is so vulnerable as the girl with a past who wants nothing more than a fresh start it makes you want to just give her a hug. 

The film does suffer at times from a little Dawson's Creek type dialogue and actions for kids this age, but it really comes together very well by the end when you piece it all into one year in the life of these kids and their bond.  If you're looking for something different and you're open to a little reminiscing about the good and bad days of high school I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

***** out of 5

Looper (2012)
Director - Rian Johnson
118 Min; R
Joseph Gordon-Levitt - Joe
Bruce Willis - Old Joe
Emily Blunt - Sara
Jeff Daniels - Abe

A hit-man time travel themed movie filled with blood, profanity AND a pretty damn good story - yeah, this movie is pretty bad ass and I loved it.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis are equally solid in their roles as young and old Joe, and even though we all know how terrible some time travel movies can become, this one does a pretty good job of not reminding us to think too hard about all the ramifications.  I really liked the unexpected story lines and the mixed emotions had by all the characters as they each struggled for their own survival.  I'm sure someone can find fault in it, but I just sat back and enjoyed this one.

***** out of 5

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