I love seeing films on the big screen. However, I've gotten to a point where I've seen so many films that I will only see specific ones in a theater.
When deciding whether to see a film in a theater I generally look at three aspects including sound, action sequences and grand scenery. These are the things that I feel are improved when watching a film in a theater as opposed to at home.
This mentality has saved me quite a bit of disappointment when watching films. If I'm not enjoying a film, I do not hesitate to leave the theater or turn it off. That said, films that include those three aspects tend to not disappoint; and as a result of following this standard I've saved myself a lot of time and money.
The films I enjoy the most are the ones that grip me so tightly that I forget I'm sitting in a dark room full of uncomfortable seats, sticky floors and open-mouth chewers - movies that by the time the credits roll I feel that 20 minutes have passed, not two hours ... ones that distract me from the reality I'll have to step back into when I exit. These are the films that I enjoy seeing on the big screen.
I recently saw a movie just like that, and coming from someone who generally doesn't watch films more than once, I found myself wishing for a replay. That film is entitled "Looper." Simply put, it's a movie about time travel. But, writer/director Rian Johnson, who made his debut at the Sundance Film Festival with the 2005 cult classic "Brick," made the movie about so much more.
Fans of science fiction are not unfamiliar with the subject of time travel and the idea of the future being far more technologically advanced than it actually ends up in reality. In "Looper" Bruce Willis finds himself caught in a downward spiral that ultimately leads to an encounter with his younger past self played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. In Gordon-Levitt's time, 2042, time travel has not yet been invented. However, 30 years from his time, it will be.
Jeff Daniels, a mob man sent back to 2042, trains Gordon-Levitt to become a "Looper," which is a hired gun that executes targets also sent back from the future. Altering Gordon-Levitt's destiny also affects his future self, causing Willis to become an incredibly skilled professional killer. However, there is a price to pay for becoming a "Looper." Eventually your future self is sent back for you to execute. On that day, you're given a huge payout that allows you to retire to a wealthy life, which is called closing your loop. But, there are those who make the mistake of letting their future self live instead of executing them. When that happens the mob tracks your present and future selves to kill both. Unfortunately, this happens to one of Gordon-Levitt's "Looper" friends played by Paul Dano.
Dano appears to be a fairly insignificant character in the grand scheme of the film, however. He did set the stage for two of the major arcs in the film though. The first was that he was an example of what happens to those who let their future self live, and he was a telekinetic. When the fact that Dano is a telekinetic is revealed, it is portrayed as an unimportant, cheap slight of hand trick that is considered to be tacky in 2042. Yet, eventually a series of events forces both Gordon-Levitt and Willis to reconsider the implications of the power of telekinesis.
Gordon-Levitt spends a majority of the film trying to figure out why Willis wouldn't let his loop be closed, all the while Willis is off single-handedly killing everyone who gets in his way. It makes for a film that pays homage to Willis' earlier flicks such as "Die Hard," psychological thrillers like "Memento" and "Triangle," and is reminiscent of "X-Men" territory. There were definitely thought-compelling aspects of the film that provoked curiosity about the viability of time travel, paradoxes and destiny, so much so that by the end I had more questions than answers. I'd recommend seeing the film with friends, because I wanted to discuss the subject with others who had seen it. And, it also made me want to see it again, much like films such as "Inception" and "Matrix." So, if you find yourself wondering what to do on a rainy afternoon then give "Looper" a chance while it's still on the big screen.
Jam Session Featuring SYMBA Is Friday: Infinity students Ryan Hawkins and Hayley Restivo will join together to form the ensemble, SYMBA from 7 to 9 p.m. They will perform originals as well as covers from different artists including Joni Mitchell, the Grateful Dead, Cat Stevens and more.
Other musicians may sign up the night of the performance to play in an open-mic style opening set before SYMBA takes the stage.
Infinity Performing Arts is located at 115 E. Third St. in Jamestown. For More information call 664-0991.
Big Time Productions Presents Nightfall With Edgar Allan Poe At The Spire Theater: The Big Time Players are set to take the stage with Eric Coble's "Nightfall With Edgar Allan Poe," a series of spooky tales that portray the literary works of Poe in a theatrical format.
The play will be sure to entertain and give insight into the mind of one of American literature's renowned authors. The spell he weaves brings us a highly theatrical adaptation of the four tales Poe himself considered his best: "The Raven," "The Fall of the House of Usher," The Pit and the Pendulum" and "The Tell Tale Heart." Edgar Allan Poe stands alone in the flickering darkness of his mind, trying desperately to convince himself - and us - that he's not mad. Enter the world of Poe, and check your heartbeat at the door. The play was written by Coble and is presented by Big Time Productions with special permission by Playscripts Inc.. Cast members appearing in the production include Miguel Covarrubias, Michael Frank, Laura Carnes, Shannon Nixon, April Steenburn, Josh McCord, Martin Swalboski, Jolynn Triscari, Melinda Centi and Jillianne Dolce Higgs.
"Nightfall With Edgar Allan Poe" premieres Friday at 8 p.m. and will continue Saturday, Oct. 6, 12, and 13 at 8 p.m. at The Spire Theater of Jamestown, 317 E. Third St. Tickets are $12 presale at The Labyrinth Press Company or $15 at the door.
For additional information call 450-7357 or visit www.in-spire.us.
A Magical Night For The Whole Family With The Spencers' "Theatre Of Illusion:" The Struthers Library Theatre presents a powerful theatrical experience you will never forget. The Spencers "Theatre of Illusion" will be presented on Friday at 8 p.m.
For more than a decade, Kevin and Cindy Spencer have dazzled the world with their engaging personalities, entertaining stage magic and breath-taking illusions. "Theatre of Illusion" is much more than a magic show. It is a magical concert for your eyes. And it is one of the largest touring illusion productions on the road. Working with some of the leading creators, inventors, designers, and builders in the industry, the Spencers feature many original illusions that you simply won't see anywhere else.
Tickets for the the event start at $10. Tickets can be purchased from the Struthers Library Theatre office at strutherslibrarytheatre.com. Call ahead to reserve handicapped seating and assisted listening devices at 814-723-7231.
To include an upcoming show or event in this column, email email@example.com or call 487-1111 ext. 253 by Monday.
Blue Grass Jam: 7 to 10 p.m., Celoron Legion, 26 Jackson Ave. in Celoron. Area bluegrass musicians are welcome to sit in and play.
Queen Concert HD Screening: 7 p.m., 1891 Fredonia Opera House, 9 Church St. in Fredonia.
Movies At The Reg: 8 p.m., Moonrise Kingdom, 116 E. Third St. in Jamestown.
Oliver Burdo: 8 to 11 p.m., Miley's Old Inn, 845 E. Second St. in Jamestown.
"The Lorax" Screening: 7 p.m., 1891 Fredonia Opera House, 9 Church St. in Fredonia.
Jamestown Thunder Drum Circle: noon till 2:30 p.m., Lillian Ney Renaissance Center, 119 W. Third St. in Jamestown. All are welcome, and extra drums are provided.
The Intouchables Screening: 8 p.m., 1891 Fredonia Opera House, 9 Church St. in Fredonia.
Movies At The Reg: 8 p.m., Moonrise Kingdom, 116 E. Third St. in Jamestown.
Richie Leeper with Solid Gold: 8 p.m. to midnight, Celoron Legion, 26 Jackson Ave. in Celoron.
Grand Larceny: 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., Peek'n Peak,1405 Olde Road in Findley Lake.
Tiny B: 9 p.m. to midnight, Steener's Pub, 322 Route 430 in Greenhurst.
"The Intouchables" Screening: 7:30 p.m., 1891 Fredonia Opera House, 9 Church St. in Fredonia.