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Looper

From director Rian Johnson comes a futuristic action thriller that is sure to take you for a ride.

“Looper”, starring actors Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, is set in the year 2074, when time travel is invented and immediately outlawed.

Despite the fact that it is forbidden, the mob uses time travel as a means to get rid of people. To do so, they send their target 30 years into the past, where a “looper” (hired gunman) will kill them.

Levitt plays Joe, a looper whose journey to getting rich is cut short when he is faced with the task of killing his future self, played by Willis.

At first glance, the story line may seem confusing and rather boring, but this film is nothing of the sort.

Sporting a fake nose and unusual eyebrows, Levitt does an outstanding job of breaking down his “pretty boy” image. Viewers will see him in a new light, far different from the lovey-dovey character he played in  (500) Days of Summer.

Of course, his usual charm is still present, alongside a shotgun and some hefty fighting scenes. But his “bad boy” image would not be complete without Hollywood’s action veteran.

Known best for his merciless roles in the Die Hard series, Willis is at the top of his game in this cinematic picture.

Whether its taking out mobsters one by one with his two-barrel shot guns, or beating Levitt‘s character to a pulp, Willis proves that he’s still got it.

This action-packed film will have viewers on the edge of their seats.

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Paranormal Activity 4

With Halloween just around the corner, movie viewers are turning to spooky films for a taste of the season.

Topping the list of tempting horror films is none other than “Paranormal Activity 4,” but do not be fooled movie goers-this one is a disappointment.

Directed by Ariel Schulman, this newest film in the supernatural horror series picks up where “Paranormal Activity 2” left off; in the aftermath of a disappearance.

In the second film’s finale, a woman named Katie (played by actress Katie Featherston) becomes possessed by a demonic spirit and kidnaps her baby nephew after murdering his parents.

“Paranormal Activity 4” continues the story five years later, by introducing a new family comprised of a disconnected father (played by Stephen Dunham), a distressed mother (played by Alexondra Lee), a young son (played by Aiden Lovekamp), a teenage daughter (played by Kathryn Newton), and one utterly sarcastic boyfriend (played by Matt Shively).

The movie focuses on the strange encounters that Newton‘s character, Alex, experiences when the new neighbors move in (Katie and her son Robbie). Robbie becomes close with Lovekamp‘s character, Wyatt, with the intention of making him a part of the demonic clan living across the street.

Though the film delivers a number of tense moments, like the casual door opening by itself, it fails to bring the real scares. The only time it seemingly sparks attention is during the rushed ending, when characters are dying left and right.

Without the occasional humorous jab thrown in by Shively‘s character Ben, this film would put one to sleep.

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Pitch Perfect

Pitch Perfect strikes a high note in the  musical comedy world, grossing over $45 million with its October release. Led by a talented group of female actors including Anna Kendrick,  Brittany Snow, and Rebel Wilson, this film is nothing short of hilarious.

Directed by Jason Moore, the film follows the story of Beca (played by Kendrick), an aspiring DJ and freshman at Barden University, who is forced to join her school’s  all-girl acapella group.

Following a series of comical auditions, six odd females join “The Bellas”: a red-head, a lesbian, a mute, a sex fiend, a control freak, and a fat girl.

Despite their negative labels, these characters still manage to promote female empowerment with their witty demeanor and effortless confidence.

Portraying the antagonists of the film are “The Treblemakers,” an all-male acapella group led by actor Adam DeVine, who plays Bumper.

These groups ultimately set the tone for a “battle of the sexes” theme, leaving the audience to decide who they want to win.

The real winner here, however, is none other than actress Rebel Wilson. With her hysterical portrayal of Fat Amy and unforgettable roles in Bridesmaids and Bachelorette, Wilson is this year’s breakout star.

Very few movies are willing to capitalize on funny women, but Pitch Perfect teaches us that females truly are the queens of comedy.

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The perks of being a wallflower

It is always exciting when Hollywood decides to recognize amazing works of literature. Recently, Mr. Mudd Productions (produced Juno), hired author Stephen Chbosky to adapt his 1999 novel, The perks of being a wallflower, into a major motion picture.

Released in select cities on September 28, this film is the perfect combination of adolescent humor and dramatic enlightenment. Starring actor Logan Lerman as Charlie,  Perks follows the story of a shy teenager facing his first year of high school.

As the book depicts, Charlie is not the average teen; haunted by childhood memories of molestation, Charlie resides within a  bubble of insecurity and isolation. This bubble is ruptured, however, when he is befriended by two high school seniors named Sam and Patrick, played by actors Emma Watson and Ezra Miller. Sam and Patrick take Charlie under their wing, introducing him to the world of teenage parties, first loves and never-ending high school drama.

The film follows the novel almost perfectly; from Charlie’s journey of friendship, to his breakdown and subsequent hospitalization, it abides by every chapter’s framework. The only variation worth noting is the relationship between Charlie and Sam. Although these characters kissed at one point in the book, their friendship never took quite the romantic turn that it did in the film. Towards the end, the actors’  behavior towards each other can be described as puppy love, yet in the book they never actually became a couple.

The slight variation isn’t exactly surprising, however, as we all know that sex sells in Hollywood. And when you have two good looking celebrities in a PG-13 flick, it is no secret what the audience wants to see.

Despite that truth, it is impossible to ignore the great performances of Lerman, Watson, and Miller. Lerman, known for his roles in Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010) and The Butterfly Effect (2004), proves he is a rising star with his quirky nature that the audience can not help but love. Then there is Watson, the more famous of the bunch, who shows that female characters can be just as complex and intriguing as males, by staging an american accent and daring personality. Last but not least, there is Miller, known for his roles in the films City Island (2009) and Another Happy Day (2011), who portrays his amicable homosexual character with such substance and heart that he completely steals the spotlight.

Ultimately, this movie is a complex and inspiring coming-of-age tale about finding one’s self. It is a short and easy-read for book lovers and a heart-felt, cinematic experience for movie buffs.

Definitely not one to miss.