LOOPER Above: filmmaker Rian Johnson, a motherfucking TIME MACHINE.
  • LOOPER Above: filmmaker Rian Johnson, a motherfucking TIME MACHINE.

As I noted in the paper a few weeks ago, Looper is fantastic, and you should go see it. And then, after you've seen it, you should listen to these two things!

1) Director Rian Johnson's theatrical commentary track. Here's how Johnson describes it:

I recorded a commentary track to be downloaded, put on an iPod and listened to in the theater as you’re watching Looper. This is an odd thing I tried with Bloom, and have gotten a few requests for it again, so here it is. It is totally different from the commentary track that will be on the Blu/DVD, a bit more technical and detailed. Needless to say, this is NOT to be listened to on a first viewing, or before you’ve seen the film. Also, please work it so that a glowing screening is never out of your pocket during the movie. (Via.)

This is something I wish way more filmmakers would do. At least the filmmakers I like, anyway. I'll be seeing Looper again in the next week or so, headphones in.

2) The Looper episode of my favorite movie podcast, the Slate Spoiler Special. I think of just about every episode of the Slate Spoiler Special as mandatory listening after I've seen the movie in question, and even though I've written/attempted to write an obscene amount of film criticism over the years, I... uh... don't really like reading most movie reviews? (EXCEPT FOR THE ONES I EDIT AND PUT IN THE MERCURY'S AWARD-WINNING FILM SECTION! THOSE ARE THE CRÈME DE LA CRÈME!) What I do like reading—and listening to, and engaging in—are the discussions that take place after people have seen the movie. That's where the interesting stuff happens. That's what the Slate Spoiler Special is, and the Looper one is particularly interesting because (A) movies with a whole lot of spoilers generally work well on that particular podcast, for what I hope are obvious reasons, and (B) The podcast's host, the always charming, normally 100 percent reliable movie critic Dana Stevens, is completely and utterly 100 percent wrong about Looper. Which means it's great to hear her and Dan Kois (who did like it, high five Dan!) pick the movie apart. I can't think of an episode of Slate Spoiler Special that I wouldn't recommend, so even if you haven't seen Looper yet, go and download a couple of the episodes that're about movies you've already seen. I've really dug the recent ones for The Master, The Bourne Legacy, and Total Recall; I also like going way back and listening to ones for movies like, say, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.