Looper

Super trooper – ★★★★

Director Rian Johnson is a curious case. Having knocked everyone’s socks off with his 2005 debut Brick, the follow-up The Brothers Bloom floundered and performed poorly at the box office. In the four years since its release, he has passed the time behind the camera on some episodes of AMC’s “Breaking Bad”, but the main challenge has been to secure financing and get through production on his latest effort, the time-travel action film Looper.

The film is set in 2042 and tells the story of a “looper” (contract killer who kills people sent back in time by the mob) who runs into trouble when he recognises an older version of himself as his latest prospective victim. Killing the future version of yourself is called “closing the loop” and is basically the equivalent of a retirement carriage clock leaving you free to blow the pension on hookers and amphetamines – until that fateful day thirty years from now when you will get sent back to be killed by yourself… It sounds high-concept but it’s actually remarkably simple and Johnson’s script quickly sets out (and sticks to) the rules for the wee bit of time-travelling which is used to set up the story.

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Your Sister’s Sister

This film was previously reviewed by Mick McGovern after its screening at JDIFF 2012. He quite liked it too. 

Lord help the mister who comes between me and my sister – ★★★½

Lynn Shelton’s fourth feature sees her re-uniting with her Humpday star and the hardest working man in mumblecore, Mr. Mark Duplass. Emily Blunt and Rosemarie DeWitt form the other 120° of an incredibly unusual love triangle.

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The Five-Year Engagement

Something borrowed… – ★★½

The latest from “The House of Apatow” sees Jason Segel and Emily Blunt teaming up to play a couple who can never quite tie the knot. The delay is all down to geography, logistics and that old cinematic rom-com favourite… “fear of commitment”.

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A “JDIFFerent” perspective on the first half of the film festival…

This is a guest post by Irish arts (distinct lack of theatre writing though) blogger Mick McGovern, who deposits his thoughts at amawaster.blogspot.com.

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I love the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival. In between darting between cinemas and screens, queueing, Q&As and helping with market research (I studied sociology and statistics once upon a time so I have a compulsive need to fill out questionnaires and forms), I even managed to watch some films during the first half of the festival.
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And the award for worst title of 2012 goes to…

Swedish film-maker Lasse Hallström hasn’t made a movie I’ve been remotely interested in since 1999′s The Cider House Rules. A quick look at his IMDB reveals he is, to put it crudely, a director of “women’s pictures” – Dear John, Hachi: A Dog’s Tale, Casanova, The Shipping News? Blugh.

But his big release for 2012 actually looks interesting, and dare I say it, kinda watchable… Infinitely more watchable if I were a 50-year-old woman, but hey.

Aside from the cast -Kristin Scott Thomas, Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt – the one thing that is going to catch audience’s attention is its atrocious title.

SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN

Seriously?

By way of explanation the screenplay, by Slumdog Millionaire scribe Simon Beaufoy, is based on a novel of the same name by Paul Torday. Studios don’t really tend to change the name of adaptations from books for fear of upsetting fans of the original work. But in this case they really should have considered it as it’s reaaaalllly lame.

Anyway, despite the fact no one calls The Republic of Yemen “THE Yemen”, I’m sure there’s some logic to it. It received its premiere at TIFF and got very positive reviews.

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is simultaneously released in UK/US on March 9th. Trailer was released last month and is below. Warning – it contains uplifting soft rock.