Saw It For You: Looper (2012)

A service of Saw It For You isn’t just previewing movies that haven’t been released yet — or in some cases, even made yet — it’s also to save you time on entertainment available right now. So here is our review of Rian Johnson’s Looper, which opened this past weekend. WARNING: ENORMOUS SPOILERS.

Looper (2012)

Synopsis. In the future, crime lords control time travel, but there’s just one problem: everyone you send back in time turns into Bruce Willis.

Trivia

  • Director Rian Johnson spent $30 million of the film’s budget on building an actual time machine. Another $750,000 was spent on hospital care for Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt after their exposure to it.
  • The first draft of the film contained over eighty different time puns, such as “isn’t it time we got out of here?” and “I must be a hungry time traveler, because I’m going back 4 seconds.” After three extensive rewrites, Johnson went with the first draft.
  • To film small numbers of Bruce Willises, lookalike extras were fitted with bald caps. For crowd scenes, makeup artists had the 500-plus lookalikes stand beneath a single flesh-colored parachute.
  • The ending was changed after test audiences responded poorly to Joseph Gordon-Levitt looking at the camera to say “ehhh, ain’t I a stinker?” followed by an iris out.
  • In order to maintain an authentic mood, Looper was shot over the course of the next 30 years.

Mistakes

  • In the first time travel sequence, Joseph Gordon-Levitt enters the time machine via its top hatch, but when he arrives in 2043 he emerges from an old witch’s cauldron.
  • According to the film’s logic, de-aging might have restored Bruce Willis’ missing arm, but de-aging further would not have given him a third arm, let alone an arm he “never knew was missing.”
  • Continuity. When Emily Blunt wakes Joseph Gordon-Levitt up, she is sipping chocolate milk from a cup. When she offers Gordon-Levitt a sip, she is sipping chocolate milk from Gordon-Levitt’s open mouth.
  • Incorrectly regarded as goof. Because of a product placement deal, the only thing to eat in the future is French’s Yellow Mustard. It is conceivable that the hardy mustard seed was the only plant to survive the Time War of Twenty-One-Twenty-Never.
  • Despite the multiple times Rian Johnson appears in frame shouting “edit me out in post,” he never was.
  • Knives do not “mature” into guns when buried.
  • Billy goats are not “nature’s time travelers.”
  • Plot hole. Grand theft auto would not produce enough energy to power a time machine, even if said machine did run on “crime energy.”
  • In the final scene of the movie, Bruce Willis tells Emily Blunt that he “was Hitler all along.” This is obviously dubbed in; Willis’s lips clearly mouth the name “Gandhi.”
  • Hitler was not an old bald Indian man.
  • Telling someone that they die in the future — regardless of the existence of time travel — would not cause them to dramatically fade from existence while screaming “noooo.”

Memorable Quotes

Young Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). So you’re me? From the future?
Old Joe (Bruce Willis). Shut your stupid child mouth. I got something important to tell you.
Young Joe. I guess I timed that poorly.

Sara (Emily Blunt). The mob is coming after you, Joe.
Young Joe. Then I guess it’s go-time. And Joe-time. And Joe-time.

Old Joe. You’ll never catch me!
Young Joe. I don’t have to! I’m placing myself under arrest!
Old Joe. Damn! (clothes suddenly change to prison uniform)

Sara. I don’t understand. You did all this?
Old Joe. Yeah. Turns out I’m from the past. I was [Hitler] all along. That’s how I knew my young self would use passive resistance. He’s a [Nazi].
Sara. Namaste.

Saw It For You: Ghostbusters 3 (2014)

Ghostbusters 3 (2014)

Tagline: “Bustin’ Makes Me Even More Feel Good!”, “Bustin’ Makes THREE Feel Good!”, “A Third Ghostbuster Movie”

Production Technique: A Columbia Pictures lawyer discovered that the studio’s rights to Bill Murray’s existing likeness extended to new movies. This is how the production of Ghostbusters 3 was able to move forward without Bill Murray’s involvement.

Revealing Mistake: Dan Aykroyd believed that they were filming a Ghostbusters documentary, not Ghostbusters 3. Fortunately, Aykroyd also believes that he is Dr. Ray Stantz of the Ghostbusters.

Trivia: The role of Gozer Jr. was originally offered to Slavitza Jovan, as a nod to her role as the original Gozer the Gozerian. However, casting directors chose Jersey Shore’s Snooki as a playfully-unexpected nod to modern pop culture.

Trivia: A prior agreement between Columbia Pictures and MTV was still in effect at time of shooting, explaining why the rest of the cast of Jersey Shore is also credited with the role of Gozer Jr.

Cameo: Justin Bieber played the man on the bus who, watching the battle with the Demonox Brute, exclaimed “Baby, baby, baby! I believe in the Ghostbusters!”

Incorrectly Regarded As Goof: During the So You Think You Can Dance? scene, Efron Spengler (Zac Efron) can be seen enjoying a 7-Eleven Slurpee from a 48-ounce Ghostbusters 3 commemorative movie cup. This tongue-in-cheek joke is lampshaded by the ensuing 30-second in-movie commercial for the 7-Eleven Ghostbusters 3 tie-in.

Revealing Mistake: The characters “Slimer” and “The All-New Slimer Boyz” were a late CGI addition to the film, which explains why no one in the movie seems to notice or react to their zany antics, including the scene where Spengler explains the central conflict of the film to the hushed New York Supreme Court while Slimer plays, shouts, and flies around inside Spengler’s mouth.

Cameo: Jim Parsons reprising his role as Dr. Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory. After the Terror Puppies explode through his apartment wall, he exclaims “Bazinga? More like Ba-ghost-a!”

Incorrectly Regarded As Goof: Dr. Peter Venkman, being a superimposed image of Bill Murray from 1984, often appears incorrectly scaled on screen compared to the other Ghostbusters. For example, depending on the camera angle in the diner scene, Venkman seems to range from six inches tall to nine feet tall. However, this is covered by Stantz’s exclamation that Venkman’s “spirit tethering” experiment would have “unforeseen consequences.”

Director’s Trademark: QR code in bottom-right corner of theatrical version.

Revealing Mistake: Although it is promised throughout the movie that signing up at “whatsyourghostbuster.com” will “transport you to the wild world of the Ghostbusters,” no world transport of any kind is experienced when the site is visited.

Continuity: During the haunted zeppelin scene, Venkman is seen levitating a copy of Ghostbusters 2 Special Edition on DVD. A moment later it appears to be a copy of Ghostbusters 2 Special Edition on Blu-Ray. (This is fixed on the Blu-Ray version of Ghostbusters 2 Special Edition. However, the mistake is still visible on the DVD version of Ghostbusters 2 Special Edition.)

Trivia: Winston Zeddmore (Ernie Hudson) has no lines of dialogue. He is also conspicuously absent in the mayor’s office scene, after the mayor had demanded to see “all the Ghostbusters.”

Memorable Moments
Efron Spengler: With this many spirits in close proximity, these paranormal capacitance readings are off the charts.
Peter Venkman: Whoa, whoa, nice shootin’, Tex.

Gozer Jr.: We’ve seen a lotta things on this shore, but (unintelligible) get those Ghostbusters.
Ray Stantz: My God… some form of matricular interference has split Gozer the Gozerian into eight powerful Jersey devils!
Peter Venkman: Bite your head off, man.

Winston Zeddmore: (no audio)

Ray Stantz: Ghostbustin’ is tough work. I’m gonna take a break at whatsyourghostbuster.com.
Peter Venkman: Bite your head off, man.
Ray Stantz: Easy, Venkman! No need to get mad, it’s just a great website.

Saw It For You: Paranormal Activity 4

I’m a fan of supernatural horror with a slow burn. That’s why I was so thrilled to be a part of a test screening of the upcoming horror movie Paranormal Activity 4. It comes out October 21, but thanks to my signing the wrong name to the NDA, you don’t need to see it! I saw it for you.

Paranormal Activity 4 (2012)

Synopsis. A new family moves next door to Katie’s, but little does she know their supernatural activity… is also paranormal.

Trivia

  • To provide the most realistic performance possible, actress Madison Briar spent two months living in a haunted house. After her death she was replaced by Katie Featherston.
  • Animal handlers had great difficulty training the family dog to act frightened of The Possessor (actor Micah Sloat), due to Sloat’s “overpowering cooked meat smell.”
  • The rickety house that spectacularly collapses in the movie’s climax was not a CGI special effect. It was also not intentional. The construction company is currently under investigation.
  • In interviews, character actor Martin James Kelly remarked several times that he’d had “one ghost of a time” on set; director Ariel Schulman later confirmed that Kelly had had sex with a ghost.
  • Featherston’s line about wanting to “haunt the fuck out of an Arby’s Beef-N-Cheddar right about now” was ad-libbed.

Mistakes

  • In the backyard scene, the ghost is noticeably distracted by his trainer off-camera.
  • All the video footage Katie records inexplicably shows her in frame, holding the same video camera she’s taking the footage with.
  • In several exterior shots, another film crew can be seen filming the original Paranormal Activity (2007) across the street.
  • Boom mic in shot. In the shower scene, right after a voice screams “Doug, watch your goddamn boom mic.”
  • When Professor Weissgeist demonstrates the SpectroFinder 9000, he rotates the Poltergauge to “Vaporonic” even though he says the ghost is classified “Paranormous.”
  • Plot hole. Katie’s father paralyzes the ghost by shooting it through the C7 vertebra.
  • Professor Weissgeist tells Scared Fisherman #2 that ghosts can only possess bones — but  sharks have cartilage, so there would have been no way for the aquarium to become “giga-haunted.”
  • The opposite of “paranormal” is “normal.” It is not “regu-normal” as Katie says in the last line of the film.
  • “The End” was misspelled.

Memorable Quotes

Katie: What a creepy family to move next door to. I hope they’re not haunted or something.

Man on Bus #1: Seems like another normal day.
Spooked Man on Bus: Yeah… but something about it is a little spooky.

Katie: Dad, what if there is a ghost in the house?
Katie’s Father: Katie, for as long as I’ve known you I’ve been your father.

Professor Weissgeist: And when the switch is set to detect negavertic energy, it sends an autologic pulse vector back along the thaumaturgic ley conduit!
Katie: Talk English, Professor!
Professor Weissgeist: It’ll seriously fuck up some ghost asses.

The Ned