10 Awesome Movies Like Looper

February 7, 2013 at 9:49 am

10 Movies Like Looper | Looper 2012


Looper was one of my favorite movies of 2012.  I absolutely loved it.  It was such a great take on the familiar Time Travel genre.  Director Rian Johnson did a remarkable job creating a fascinating character driven tale.  If you haven’t seen Looper ignore the other films on this list and watch it immediately!  But then watch the other ones anyways.

I don’t think movies like Looper have to incorporate Time Travel though many do.  I associate Looper with many intimate science fiction tales with BIG ideas.  These movies take a much smaller approach to science fiction.  I suppose the opposite end of the spectrum is home to movies like Star Wars, The Matrix, Inception, Pacific Rim, Back to the Future etc…

XTRA | Looper Review


Science Fiction Element: Aliens/Monsters

Monsters is the very definition of big ideas with intimate approaches.  Monsters is very much about aliens on our world but the real focus is on it’s two main characters.

REVIEW | Monster amount of character


Science Fiction Element: Time Travel

To me, Frequency is one of those movies I could watch any time.  I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the film.


Science Fiction Element: Time Travel

Once you get your head wrapped around the technology behind this movie, you’ll start wondering whether it’s really possible.


Science Fiction Element: Aliens/Monsters

A marketing campaign that captivated movie bloggers world wide.  What does the Cloverfield monster look like!  It’s a question that made the wait that much more satisfying when I finally saw the movie.


Science Fiction Element: Super Powers

Found footage.  Check.  Strange powers.  Check.  Somehow, Chronicle manages to shed it’s familiar plot devices and tell a touching and painful story about power.

REVIEW | Chronicle, Action Figures & The Super Power Dream


Science Fiction Element: (Can’t ruin movie)

The story of a man who works alone on the moon is definitely worth a look.  More of a psychological dissection than any other on this list.  Fantastic movie.


Science Fiction Element: Time Travel

Before The Matrix came along, this was the penultimate ‘Whoa’ movie.  To this day I pick up something new whenever I watch it.


Science Fiction Element: Time Travel

I’d put Source Code right next to Frequency.  Director Duncan Jones created a phenomenal follow up to the highly entertaining Moon.  They’re both entertaining and thought provoking though I’d give the edge to Source Code.

REVIEW | Go back in time and see Source Code again.


Science Fiction Element: Aliens/Monsters

Aliens as refugees.  When I saw the trailer for the first time I was blown away.  It was one of those awesome trailers that didn’t spoil the movie.  In fact, District 9 far exceeded it’s trailer’s ambitious promise.  I can’t wait to see Director Neill Blomkamp’ follow up Elysium.


Science Fiction Element: Aliens/Monsters

Super 8 was my favorite movie of 2011.  Like the kids in the film, I grew up at that time making movies with my friends.  Super 8 captured my imagination like no other film in 2011.  I loved it.

REVIEW | Super 8 Unspoiled

COUNTDOWN | J.J Abrams’ Best Work

XTRA | J.J Abrams & Star Wars

10 Flicks: Best Film Editing Oscar Losers

February 21, 2012 at 7:22 am

10 Flicks: Editing Oscar Losers | Movie Blog | Academy Awards

As a professional editor, I have a particular soft spot for this category.

Best Film Editing

There is a huge amount of work, dedication and passion that goes into the final edit of a film.  These unseen heroes deserve their time in the spotlight.  There are so many talented editors who have been nominated but didn’t not receive their prize.  This list is dedicated to them.

Here are the Top 10 Best Film Editing Losers:

Million Dollar Baby

Edited by Joel Cox

LOST TO: The Aviator

Apocalypse Now

Edited by Richard Marks, Walter Murch, Gerald B. Greenberg, Lisa Fruchtman

LOST TO: All That Jazz

Die Hard

Edited by Frank J. Urioste & John F. Link

LOST TO: Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Pulp Fiction

Edited by Sally Menke

LOST TO: Forrest Gump

XTRA | Inside The Edit: Kill Bill Volume 1


Edited by Dody Dorn

LOST TO: Black Hawk Down

One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

Edited by Richard Chew, Lynzee Klingman, Sheldon Kahn


The Silence of the Lambs

Edited by Craig McKay


10 Flicks: Best Film Editing Oscar Losers


Edited by Richard Francis-Bruce

LOST TO: Apollo 13

XTRA | All Time Best: Jumpy Movie Moment

District 9

Edited by Julian Clarke

LOST TO: The Hurt Locker

XTRA | I Call These Movies: Awesome Movies

The Dark Knight

Edited by Lee Smith

LOST TO: Slumdog Millionaire

XTRA | More posts about The Dark Knight

A MONSTER Amount Of Character

November 12, 2010 at 7:25 pm

Review Monsters 2010: A MONSTER Amount Of Character

Movies like District 9 and Cloverfield have definitely changed things over the last few years.

The idea of taking a huge concept, basing it in reality and focusing on a few well developed characters is a new, excited and successful way to tell a story.

Gareth Edwards’ Monsters is the latest in a string of incredible movies.

READ: Gareth Edward’ Monsters is inspiring

After months of waiting, I finally got my chance to see one of my most anticipated movies of 2010.

I’m happy to report I wasn’t disappointed.

Gareth Edwards Indie Alien Invasion Monsters 2010

Monsters, is a fantastic movie.  What’s even more impressive is how little resources the director used to pull it off.

True, it’s evident in the ‘lack’ of monsters in the film but that’s not what it’s about.  This new trend in filmmaking doesn’t rely on action sequences every 10 minutes.  Sometimes, a little mystery can pay off.

In this case, Monsters relies almost entirely on it’s 2 main characters.

When the monsters (Who look and sound incredible by the way) do make appearances it means so much more because of WHO is in danger.

I found myself hypnotized during the final moments of the film.  Staring at the screen and imagining what our world would be like if it were real.

To me, that is the defining factor of an amazing story.

A tale that grips my imagination and makes me wonder what it must be like to be those characters.

Monsters would have fallen flat if the main characters were boring and uninteresting.

Thankfully, everything comes together in one hell of an entertaining and fascinating movie.

My goal for this review?

If you were on the fence about whether you should see it or not allow me to push you into the theater ASAP.

Note: Don’t do it if you didn’t like District 9 or Cloverfield.  Chances are this movie isn’t for you.

PS: How could you not like District 9 or Cloverfield?

Movies That Changed Everything: Once

September 9, 2010 at 11:35 am

Movies That Changed Everything: Once

I’m an aspiring filmmaker.  Like every filmmaker out there, I have a lengthy list of films that have inspired me along the way.  This series will examine twelve of the films that changed the way I looked at movies forever.  Films that have greatly influenced the filmmaker I hope to become someday…


Movies That Changed Everything: Once

I didn’t know what to expect when I saw Once for the first time.  I had heard all of the positive buzz but I’ve never really been a fan of musicals.  Still, I was curious to see it so I gave it a shot.

Once blew me away.  It literally changed the way I’ll look at musicals forever.  I think my issue with music filled movies is how jarring it is when they jump out of the story to sing and dance.  It’s a style that definitely works as there are hundreds of fantastic musicals out there but it just wasn’t my type of entertainment.

Then Once came along. It integrated the stellar music seamlessly into the story and the results was an incredibly original and wonderful movie.

If anything, Once taught me never to write off a genre.  Every movie deserves a shot.  I could have easily dismissed Once because I didn’t like musicals and I’d be missing out on one the best movies I’ve seen over the last 10 years.  It simply stuck with me.

So much so that we are currently co-producing a musical called Strings that I wrote.

It’s funny how a random independent film can affect the way you look at an entire category of movies.  That’s what good storytelling does.

  • For every Friday The 13th there is a Paranormal Activity.
  • For every Independence Day there is a District 9.

There is always room to be creative within a genre and change the game.  What I loved about Once was how deep and detailed the characters were.  Both are talented artists and becoming friends through music is endearing regardless of any romantic tension they share.

It’s not about the romance.  It’s about being passionate about music.  About anything.

That in itself is inspiring. 

Especially for people who live to be creative in whatever medium they love.

Yet another reason why Once was a movie that influenced the filmmaker I wish to become.

It’s a fantastic independent film that deserves every single positive word it receives.

2009′s All Time Top 5 Movies

December 22, 2009 at 12:05 am

I have a very different system of reviewing movies than most.  It’s based on a number of factors but I’ve come up with a list that sums things up nicely.

The Filmmaker’s Intentions – What did they set out to make?  It’s not fair to bash an action movie if you don’t like action movies is it?  If they set out to make a fun action movie then that’s how I base my opinion.

The Entertainment Factor – Shocking twists, action sequences, tears, drama, laughs.

The Story – I’m all about story.  Love good stories.

The Overall Experience – Going to the movies is supposed to be fun.  Disappointing movies feel like a waste of time but some movies leave you with a satisfied smile on your face.

The Lasting Appeal – Movies we love stay with us forever.  If I’m still thinking about a movie the next day, it scores high in this category.

No Scores – I don’t give ratings or stars.  I make my recommendations based on who I’m talking to and what type of movies they like.

With that in mind, here are my favorite movies of 2009 or as I like to call them:

Five Awesome Movies That Are Awesome

Honorable Mention: Inglourious Bastards

5 – The Hurt Locker

I was sold 100% on this movie after seeing the trailer.  Then the positive reviews came along and finally the release date arrived.  The Hurt Locker is an intense movie and I loved it.  The premise alone pins you to the edge of your seat.  At any moment the bomb could go off.  Fantastic movie.


4 – District 9

Viral Marketing at it’s finest.  District 9 was one of the most unique experiences of 2009.  An ‘indy’ sci-fi action movie with an incredible story.  I put District 9 in the category of “Why didn’t they think of this years ago?”.  I was pretty disappointed with most of the big summer blockbuster movies but District 9 reminded me that you don’t need a massive budget to entertain.  You just need a good story.


3 – Up

My sister and I have seen pretty much all of the Pixar films together and Up was no different.  I knew it was going to be good but I didn’t expect it to nearly knock Toy Story off the top spot.  While Toy Story remains my favorite Pixar movie, Up is a very close second.  It was everything we’ve come to expect from a Pixar film.  It was funny, it had heart, it looked gorgeous and it entertained.  Bring on Toy Story 3.


2 – The Hangover

One of the funniest movies I’ve seen in theaters in years.  Ironically, I saw this the day after seeing Up so it was a pretty great movie filled weekend.  There is a tradition among people who enjoy a night out at the bars that is absolutely vital to a successful night. Pre-Drinking.  A tradition among pre-drinkers is watching movies together while you drink.  (Old School.  Dumb & Dumber. Superbad.) The Hangover is a worthy edition to an already stellar lineup of classics.  Welcome to the team!


1 – Paranormal Activity

The most FUN I’ve had in a theater in years and hands down my favorite movie of 2009.  I saw this movie in a packed house full of terrified people and I was one of them.  Every time the scene changed to their bedroom at night, the entire audience began shifting in their seats.  It was an amazing experience.  I feel bad for those who either waited to long to see it or are waiting for video.  You missed out.

Check out my other posts on Paranormal Activity HERE, HERE, and HERE.


So long 2009

2008 was a slow year for me.  I couldn’t seem to get to the theater enough but 2009 was a return to form.  More movies, more fun, more entertainment and most importantly, more inspiration.

Going to the movies is an addiction.  It’s an obsession I can’t live without.  I can’t to see what’s in store for 2010.