DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

Looper, Blu-ray + Digital Copy (2012)

A highly-recommended and unique sci-fi treatment of time travel.

Published on February 17, 2013

Looper, Blu-ray + Digital Copy (2012)

Cast: Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, Jeff Daniels
Directed by: Rian Johnson
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Video: 2.35:1 anamorphic/enahcned for 1080p HD
Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH
Subtitles: English SDH, English, Spanish
Extras: Feature commentary with Director Rian Johnson and actors Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Emily Blunt; “The Future from the Beginning” featurette; “The Science of Time Travel” featurette; “Scoring Looper” featurette; Looper animated trailer; twenty-two deleted scenes; Preview trailers; Digital copy
Length: 119 minutes
Movie Rating: ****½       Video Rating: ****1/2
Audio Rating: ****½        D-BOX Rating: ****

Looper takes place in the year 2044 and it is where we first meet Young Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt).  Joe is a hired assassin (referred to as a “looper”) for the mob.  In thirty years, time travel is invented but its use will be against the law.  Despite time travel being outlawed, the mob in the future uses the technology to send their targets thirty years into the past where the looper executes them and disposes of the bodies.  All is well for Young Joe in his line of work until such time as his older self, Old Joe (Bruce Willis) is sent back in time to be executed by Young Joe.  Young Joe fails to complete the execution orders and then both Joes are on the run from the mob.

Additionally, Old Joe has his own secret mission to eliminate a child that may become the mob kingpin in the future.  I thought Looper was a great movie.  It is original and a breath of fresh air in the science-fiction genre.  It is one of those types of movies where the ending leaves you with questions, much like Inception.  Gordon-Levitt and Willis give solid performances (Gordon-Levitt even went so far as to wear prosthetic devices to look more like a younger Willis and studied Willis’ films to better impersonate his mannerisms).  Highly recommended!

The overall high-definition video quality of this Blu-ray disc is excellent.  Images are unblemished with exquisite detail.  Black levels are generally fine, although they can occasionally dim.  Colors are vivid and robust with nicely-saturated hues.  Picture defect mastering is commendable with no flaws or compression artifacts.  The overall audio quality is also excellent.   The soundtrack aggressively incorporates all of the discrete channels into its mix.  Dialogue is clean and natural sounding.  The surround channels are very active and utilized for the sound effects and music score.  The low frequency effects channel is potent and is selectively engaged throughout the movie.

Looper is compatible with the “D-BOX” Motion Code™ System, meaning that if you have the necessary D-BOX equipment, your movie viewing experience will be enhanced by adding both motion and vibration to your chosen seating.  Motion effects and vibration are active in about one quarter of the movie.  My favorite D-BOX highlights of the movie are: (1) whenever Joe fires his Blunderbuss gun (I could feel the recoil of the gun); (2) the time travel sequence where Old Joe travels back to the year 2044 (there is powerful vibration and side-to-side movement making me feel like I was along for a ride in the capsule); and (3) the sequence where Cid causes a shock wave in the crop field (a nice combination of motion and vibration smartly simulated the impact of the wave).  Overall, this is a very good D-BOX title.

—Calvin Harding Jr.

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