September 29, 2012, - 8:27 pm

Wknd Box Office: Looper, Pitch Perfect, Perks of Being a Wallflower, Won’t Back Down

By Debbie Schlussel

Sorry for being late with my movie reviews, but I wasn’t feeling well on Friday, when I write and usually post them, so I didn’t finish them in time to post before the Jewish Sabbath. I didn’t particularly like any of the new movies at theaters, this weekend.

* “Looper“: While the movie had an interesting premise, the product is nasty and sick. This is science fiction at its worst, filled with killing porn, and then it gives us a sappy, unbelievable “evil children can change so don’t kill ’em” ending that doesn’t make up for everything that came before . . . and actually makes it worse. I found this movie very cold and unfeeling, and at points, it’s even grotesquely disgusting with dismemberment. Only very warped minds would dream some of this up–warped minds that should long ago have been institutionalized. Sadly, instead, they populate Hollywood’s movie biz. No one in this movie is likeable, and I wanted them all to die instantly, so I wouldn’t have to sit through two hours of twisted cinema. But the makers of this film expect you to like and root for a man who murders people in cold blood for a living.

Excuse me if I didn’t fall for the ruse. Excuse me also if I didn’t fall for the usual lame Tinseltown insertion of an overly smart, saccharin sweet kid and wasn’t, like a typical liberal, pulling for him to be given the chance to grow up to become an evil mobster, instead of being snuffed out, as he should have been, like so many HAMAS kid terrorists in development, who are already throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails when they are seven or eight. Figures that the one person (other than the loopers) that should have been removed from this earth (in this movie) isn’t because liberals tell is we need to give them a chance to change, despite all we know about how they will turn out.

The movie begins with a sort of “film noir” vibe to it, but quickly degrades into bloody, violent garbage.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt (whose far-leftist, self-hating Jew In Name Only parents couldn’t just give him his father’s surname and had to be all “progressive” about it) plays a drug-addicted hitman in the desolate future. But he’s not just any kind of hitman. He’s a “looper.” Thirty years into the future from the already-future setting of the movie, mobsters have discovered how to do time travel. They use it to send people they want to murder to be killed thirty years back into the past. The loopers get paid to wait in some secluded area at a set time, watch a hooded live human appear from the future, and immediately shoot that person in the head from close range, then dispose of the body.

Since time travel is illegal in the future, and the mob doesn’t want to leave any evidence around of what they are doing, they also send each looper back in time to be murdered by their younger selves. That’s what’s known as “closing the loop.” When one looper (Paul Dano), lets his future self go, we see the older man losing his body parts as he’s trying to get away. Then, we see why. The mob has taken his present self, put him in surgery, and slowly amputated each limb off of him, and then the future self is murdered. Yup, pleasant movie, right? This is the sick, demented crap that Hollywood is serving up these days.

After this, Gordon-Levitt is faced with killing his future self–Bruce Willis, who has led a life of crime but for whom we are supposed to suddenly feel sorry for because he’s settled down and married an Asian chick in Asia. But Willis is far smarter than his younger self and gets away. The rest of the movie is filled with Gordon-Levitt and the mob trying to find the younger and older/future looper, while those two loopers are trying to find the younger “rainmaker” who has special powers and grows up to become the head of the evil, murderous mob.

One other thing: in the future setting of this movie–as opposed to the 30-years-plus future of the movie–about ten percent of the population has “TK”–telekinesis powers, consisting of only being able to float objects, such as quarters, around. And this is about the only funny, interesting part of the movie. The narrator, Gordon-Levitt, tells us that when the TK power was first discovered, everyone thought that superheroes with superpowers would emerge. But they were quickly disappointed when all these TK people could do was move around quarters to impress girls . . . and couldn’t do much else with it.

Yes, I gave away some stuff in this movie. Sorry for that. But, frankly, I provided you with a badly needed service, in the case of this movie. If you liked “Looper,” you’re a cold hearted liberal. And there’s something wrong with you. If you go see it, despite reading my review, you’re just an idiot. And since there is no shortage of those in America, I predict this movie will be number one at the box office, this weekend, or pretty close to it.

One other thing: uber-leftist Jeff Daniels (in whose charity golf tournaments I was a “celebrity” golfer a few times–but that was before I knew his annoying politics) is ill-cast as a schlubby mob consigliere. Wasn’t hard to see him snuffed out.


Watch the trailer . . .

* “Pitch Perfect“: If you’ve watched TV’s “Glee,” you’ve seen it all before. While the a cappella/human beatbox singing in this movie is cool, the story is lame. And it’s filled with gross, raunchy, bathroom humor. Massive vomiting by one girl, with another girl falling into the pool of vomit and doing a “snow-angel” in the vomit–that’s supposed to be funny? Yuck. The movie is also very predictable.

A girl (Anna Kendrick, who has a pretty good singing voice) is pushed to go to college by her professor dad. She soon finds herself in a women’s a cappella group that is competing nationally in a college competition. The movie focuses on the dynamics of the group, which includes a slut, a gambling-addicted Black lesbian, a stereotypical Asian chick, and a morbidly obese fat chick–the very fat Rebel Wilson, who calls herself, “Fat Amy.” I know: sounds absolutely scintillating, right? And there’s also the competition against the college’s men’s a cappella group, plus the cheesy “commentators” and their silly, raunchy remarks on the various singing groups.

As I said, the singing is cool and entertaining, but it’s not worth sitting through all the other crap that infests here. Fine if you want to waste two hours of your life on singing and gross, unfunny jokes. For everyone else, skip it. Yes, I know, I’m not the target demo here, which is tweens and 20-somethings. Says a lot about the direction in which American is headed: far downward. And to the epitome of blandness.


Watch the trailer . . .

* “The Perks of Being a Wallflower“: This snoozer was a complete waste of time. I struggled to stay awake. Plus it’s filled with hipsters and hipster-wannabes. I hate hipsters. Sorry. There’s nothing new in this film. It’s the usual cliches about an offbeat, high school student who is depressed and not popular, but suddenly finds his wings when others befriend him. You’ve seen it a million times before, and I liked it much better when I saw this in the ’80s and it was called, “The Breakfast Club.”

Logan Lerman plays a kid who is mentally unstable, especially after his best friend committed suicide. He’s an introverted freshman who is soon befriended by outgoing hipster seniors in high school. He falls for one of them (Emma Watson), after also briefly dating a psycho girl in the group and being propositioned by the gay guy in the group. Filled with way more drama and angst than I needed. And way more hipsterism. A slow-moving bore. Even during the melodrama, of which there was far too much here.

Oh, the perks of skipping this and saving two hours of your life from waste. Annoying to the max.


Watch the trailer . . .

* “Won’t Back Down“: This is another cliche-filled, slow bore of uber-fiction in which all the inner city kids and parents are wise angels who value education, and every problem in public schools is the fault of the unions and bad teachers. In many ways, the lies in this movie remind me of “Waiting for Superman” (read my review), another cinematic fraud in which all inner city (and other) students are angel geniuses who only want to learn and whose parents are excruciatingly dedicated to their kids learning, ‘cuz, hey, that accurately portrays the kids and parents of inner city American culture, right? (As you may know, because I pointed out this fakery in my review of “Waiting for Superman,” Paramount Pictures kicked me off their critics’ screening list, until the New York Times investigated.)

A slutty, single mom (played by the vastly over-rated, homely Maggie Gyllenhaal, the loathsome Marxist who said America “deserved and is to blame for 9/11”) with tattoos all over and a funky wardrobe is very concerned with the education of her dyslexic daughter because, after all, slutty single moms with tramp stamps on their chest are typically the ones who really care about their kids’ education, right? Puh-leeze. Gyllenhaal gets together with a teacher/parent (Viola Davis) to change a Pittsburgh school under a state law that allows them to. They face opposition of unions, administration, and parents, and even though they are dirt poor, they somehow have gazillions to spend on t-shirts, color brochures, etc. Holly Hunter–who looks like an 80-year-old anorexic and is very scary to look at (solid proof that Botox and Restylane injections don’t necessarily make one look youthful)–co-stars in this movie. There is also a cheesy, silly scene of teachers line-dancing at a bar. Oy vey. This is one of those movies billed as “inspired by actual events,” which, per usual, actually has little to do with anything that actually happened in reality.

I hated this movie and it was hard to sit through. It’s not credible, and, yet, it’s so predictable, you don’t need to see it to know the ending. Not that you care. I didn’t. An over-hyped, complete waste of time.


Watch the trailer . . .

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24 Responses

Jeez, what a crappy weekend for movies! That Maggie Gyllanhaal flick sounds worse than Chinese water torture. She and her poncey brother have ruined many, many movies. The part of the teachers dancing at a bar was prolly the REAL part of “inspired by actual events”.

I wondered about Gordon-Levitt’s name. At first I thought Gordon was his middle name but realized it couldn’t be due to the hyphen. *Groan*

I am wondering when Rebel Wilson (an Australian) will wake up and realize that Hollywood is laughing at her and not with her. She needs to wake up and realize with some dignity she can have some self-respect and not have a Hollywood career because Hollywood sees you as a disgusting joke.

I saw Todd Solondz “Dark Horse” this week. It was a weird movie not for everyone but I like how he highlights misanthropy so I enjoyed it somewhat even thou’ it’s not one of my favourites of his (by a country mile). It was weird and annoying to say the least!

Skunky on September 29, 2012 at 9:03 pm

I’m watching “Ronin.” Why can’t Hollywood make good old fashioned capers any more?

Escapist entertainment, is sadly, becoming a lost art.

NormanF on September 29, 2012 at 9:31 pm


    Yep Ronin was pretty good again (I have the DVD). Thanks to Debbie I won’t have to spend my hard earned money on the crap that came out this weekend. Especially any movie with that fugly scrub Maggie Gyllanhaal.

    Ken b on October 1, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Who watches this kind of shit? (Other than the critics of course)

RT on September 29, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    Too many unfortunately.

    Worry01 on September 29, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    I plan to see “Looper.” It’s getting great reviews (from sources other than here, regrettably), has an inventive plot premise, and stars Bruce Willis. The others? Maybe, maybe not.

    I’m a huge fan of “Ronin,” by the way. It was the next-to-last film made by the late John Frankenheimer. Robert DeNiro and Jean Reno were both fine, and the car chase scenes were flat out terrifying. Remember, however, that film came out in the fall of 1998; then as now, self-anointed culture warriors were going through moral pyrotechnics. Some people apparently can’t be pleased.

    Seek on October 1, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Debbie I didn’t know you golfed. I’d be happy to offer you some pointers. But as a member of the male half of our species I have no choice but to overrule your WBD review and give Maggie Gyllenhaal two thumbs up for her unrestrained performance in that trailer.

A1 on September 29, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    A1, what kind of a stalker are you if you didn’t know Debbie golfed?

    skzion on September 30, 2012 at 5:08 pm

“self-hating Jew In Name Only parents”

Just curious, what makes you think they’re self-hating Jews? Just being liberals doesn’t make them so.

D: Where did I say “Just being liberals makes them self-hating Jewish In Name Only parents”? I wrote no such thing.
Jane Gordon and Dennis Levitt, Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s parents, are San Francisco far-leftists who founded the Progressive Jewish Alliance, a pro-Muslim, anti-Israel, self-hating “Jewish In Name Only” organization. (The fact that they gave their son a hyphenated last name should have been a dead giveaway of their wacko politics.) DS

dee on September 29, 2012 at 11:59 pm

Ah, fair enough, I didn’t know much about the PJA, other than it being a generic social justice group. Well, self-hating or not, I think it’s nice, at least for me, to see so many young, talented Jewish people on screen this week and last, from Gordon-Levitt to Lerman to Rudd to the Gyllenhaals (and if we’re being more inclusive, Ezra Miller and Joaquin Phoenix also). In a small way, I think it shows that, despite demographic odds, Jews are still thriving in America…

dee on September 30, 2012 at 2:11 am

    Dee, I am not Jewish and I can get no jollies if the so-called Jews thriving in Hollywood are uber-progressive, self-hating, pro-Moooooooslim and anti Israel. As a non-Jew I don’t see how that can give anyone on the proper side warm feelings.

    It doesn’t make sense and seems ridiculously counter-productive.

    Skunky on September 30, 2012 at 9:58 am

      Skunky, I’m mostly talking about younger actors who are not very political. It doesn’t always have to be about that.

      dee on September 30, 2012 at 7:45 pm

No freaking offence Debbie Schlussel but aren’t you being a little too MERCIFUL on these flicks?

With the remotely-possible exception of “Perks”, I’m surprised that you were that gentle towards “Won’t Back Down”. I saw the trailer and I was insulted by its not-too-freaking-transparent “Vote for Obama” atmosphere. 5 MARXES + 5 OBAMAS!

On “Pitch Perfect”, I saw the trailer and realized that Zach Gallifanakis (sp?) / Jonah Hill can not only act outside of his respective genre, but also outside his gender. Plus it’s proof that, given the target alluded by DS, the war on drugs has been a complete, utter FAIL. 5 MARXES + 5 BAGS OF DORITOS!

For “Looper”: if by liberal you mean someone who worships Charles Manson and goes on a pilgrimage to the Spahn Ranch, then yeah, this would be a “liberal” movie, although I doubt that real liberals would be caught cremated going there – there are too few homos and no freaking unicorns! 5 MARXES + 5 BIN LADENS + 5 CHARLIE MANSONS! And a Unicorn.

That’s it – I’m done. This weekend – “Mongol” and the second season of “Justified” on Netflix (I tech chatted with someone who visits Harlan County on a regular basis yesterday. Sometimes, I love my job.)

The Reverend Jacques on September 30, 2012 at 2:15 am

    That was darned entertaining, Rev.

    skzion on September 30, 2012 at 5:12 pm

      The only thing missing in such movies as “Won’t Back Down” is a sharp, crisp “HEIL OBAMA”!

      At least with Netflix and iTunes (one of the few Apple things that I enjoy), I don’t have to be ordered to appreciate a movie.

      May a little “Fullmetal Alchemist” is the cure for me tonight.

      The Reverend Jacques on October 1, 2012 at 2:44 am

    Hey Rev,

    Sir you owe me a new keyboard. I have unsweetened ice tea all over mine because I was laughing so hard. You’re right thank God for Netflix.

    Ken b on October 1, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Nope. Liked “Looper.”

You want your child to grow up good? You’ve got to be an engaged parent and never stop being an engaged parent. A society that tolerates if not encourages criminal, narcotic and sexual excesses will end up being little more than one massive Ciudad Juarez world. And “green” technology? Solar cells are thrown on outdated automobiles because no one is producing new cars. Solar cells are thrown on tenements, because employment opportunities don’t exist for better standards of living. It’s the hell in a handbasket result of a permissive society that wanted everything to be fair and just, with the result being that the bullies run everything.

I admit the maiming scene was troubling, but it was not graphically shown. It was troubling because Dano’s character was sympathetic and you realized he would spend the next 30 years limbless.

And if you ban time machines, only the criminals will have tiime machines.

I don’t see the four Marxes.

gmartinz on September 30, 2012 at 12:27 pm

That’s why we stopped going to and supporting movies years ago. They will not brainwash us with this garbage.

Fred on September 30, 2012 at 12:27 pm


Debbie was too kind. Not only did the movie have no likable characters, the ending is absurd. Think about the temporal sequence of events from what young Joe does at the end.

Most time travel movies avoid the paradoxes. This one embraces them–and sucks as a result.

“Dano’s character was sympathetic and you realized he would spend the next 30 years limbless.” Oh dear…

30 years limbless in that dog eat dog society, surrounded by people who hate him??? Another unresolved gigantic plot hole. In actuality, he would have lasted about 30 MINUTES.

Yep—A “sympathetic” serial killer.

As Debbie mentions, the kid is *already* a dangerous killer. There is no “saving” him!

Please think this through…

Red Ryder on September 30, 2012 at 2:24 pm

I have . . . I’m a changed man. No more time travel movies for me.

(You are right about the Dano character)

In the Twilight Zone a military tank ended up at The Battle of Little Big Horn . . . and the 7th Calvary still lost. See? You can’t change events.

gmartinz on September 30, 2012 at 3:33 pm


You remember that Twilight Zone. Wow. Many good episodes, including “Eye of the Beholder,” Anne Francis mannikin one (I think called “The After Hours”) “A Stop at Willoughby,” and one not seen very much because of legal problems with Robert Duvall who falls in love with a figure in a doll house. Also there was “Jess-Belle”–a one hour episode, pretty good, and “Ring-A-Ding Girl.”

In Ring_a-Ding, space and time are altered in a way that saves many peoples’ lives.

Red Ryder on September 30, 2012 at 4:07 pm

I’m a totally typical liberal, bordering on socialist, but I agree 100% with your assessment of Looper. In fact, when I watched it, I thought, I guess this is the kind of movie that conservatives like. But obviously I was totally wrong and was just labeling something I don’t like as being connected to a political party I disagree with. So…I guess the real lesson is, regardless of our political perspectives, we can both recognize evil and immorality when we see it. Ugh, yuck. I wish I hadn’t even seen that movie; it was awful.

Ninette on October 3, 2012 at 6:47 pm

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