“(500) Days of Summer” Posters, Stills, & Quotes


During the composition of my “(500) Days of Summer” review I came a cross a mountain of alternative posters, movie stills, and inspirational quotes tied to the film.  There is an insane amount of material for this movie.  The fan have successfully ‘cultisized’ it, so I decided to do a supplementary post showcasing some of the cool promo pieces that the studio and the fans have come up with–check it out!

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“(500) Days of Summer”


“(500) Days of Summer” with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel, Geoffrey Arend, Chloe Grace Moretz, Matthew Gray Gubler, and Clark Gregg

Directed by Marc Webb, Written by Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber

(500) Days of Summer“(500) Days of Summer” struck me, and not in a good way.  I enjoyed it upon reflection, but not at first.  I felt sad, depressed, and filled with angst immediately following my Valentine’s viewing of “(500) Days of Summer.”  However, like aforementioned, my initial reaction was more based in the circumstance, rather than the actual quality of the film.

“(500) Days of Summer” falls into a sub-genre of the standard romantic comedy–one that I can’t really put my finger on.  I am almost positive that there is a name for it, yet my knowledge of film classifications is most impressive once I strike moot.  At parts “(500) Days of Summer” fit the rom-com bill perfectly; however, on the whole it’s an entirely different beast.  It exists in a subset.  It tries to more deeply explore the idea of love, rather than giving audiences another difficult kindling of a couple not meant to-be/meant to-be.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays, Tom.  I wouldn’t call Tom ‘helplessly romantic,’ but he is definitely more-inclined to romanticism.  He believes in true love and the concept of a soulmate.  His counterpart, Summer played by Zooey Deschanel, feels oppositely.  She possesses that certain kind of ‘x-factor’ and subsequently has been hit on her whole life.

So what would happen if these two met and fell in love?

That is precisely the intent behind screenwriters, Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber’s “(500) Days of Summer.”  The plot is uniquely structured in that it skips around a 500 day period of Tom’s life during which Summer played an influential role.  The two obviously fall in love (after meeting as coworkers), but the real heart of the movie begs the question: Is this the one?

Ringo Starr Quote from (500) Days of SummerAs an audience member we get to see the goofy moments, the fights, the make-ups, and all-of-the other little joys and horrors of life’s relationships.  The story skips around never linearly progressing through the ‘500 days,’ yet the conversations amongst Tom and the rest of the cast compound to create a cohesive and synergetic film.

Funnily enough, the end of the film is quite surprising and poignant in the fact that it doesn’t end in the manner that you would hope or expect it to.  Not only does “(500) Days of Summer” focus on the trials-and-tribulations of relationships, but the gray.  That area between Venn Diagram circles that causes most so much anguish and joy.

I found the acting to superb.  Joseph-Gordon Levitt nails his performance and Zooey Deschanel is excellent company.  They have wonderful onscreen chemistry.  It seems a bit of a different role for her (not the typical Manic Pixie Dream Girl role), but it works.  The supporting cast is small, but their scenes are wonderful.  Tom’s friends and sister, played by Geoffrey Arend, Matthew Gray Gubler, and Chloë Grace Moretz, add to Tom’s personality by creating a funny trio (sometimes quatro) of banter–a type of banter that we have all had with our friends and can easily relate to.  Clark Gregg’s portrayal of Tom’s boss is perfect.  At times, I wish I had such a pragmatic boss!  Talk about rolling with punches and playing to people’s strengths during a time of emotional turmoil.

The nonlinear structure definitely plays to the quality of the cinematography in a very positive manner.  Life is chaotic and doesn’t make sense, until you start to piece it together after the fact.  The cut of the movie accentuates this, which (again) furthers the relatability of the film.

Directing-wise, Marc Webb keeps things in focus when they could easily have gotten off track and into confusing tangents that would have been detrimental to the film.  His skill is definitely praiseworthy and on that note I will leave you with this:

Check out “(500) Days of Summer.”  It’s not your typical romantic comedy.  It’s something more.  Something to be covenanted and something to entertain ideals with in spare moments.  It’s a great film.  Even with my initial reaction I can say this comfortably.

“Looper”


Looper” with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Paul Dano, Noah Segan, Jeff Daniels, and Garret Dillahunt

Directed and Written by Rian Johnson

I love action films; the cheesier the better. Obviously much depth cannot be gleaned on the whole from those sorts of movies, but I enjoy them because they are cheap, nonsensical thrills. The bulk of my childhood was in the 90‘s, and Stallone and Schwarzenegger were in their prime; action movies were in abundance. Action movies, nowadays, have evolved slightly, but the same nonsensical eye candy is still prevalent…it’s just flashier.
Personally I expected “Looper” to fit this bill–a flashy, new age action flick with little depth, but a great ride regardless of the stigma. However, I was pleasantly surprised by its depth, wit, and stunning cinematography–it was better for it, and by the end of the film I was better for it.
Essentially, the film follows Joe. He is a Looper in the year 2044. He explains to the audience that thirty-years from his present, time travel will be made possible with the invention of a time machine. The device will be instantly outlawed by the government, but organized crime syndicates will get a hold of it and use it as means to kill off anyone they want. In the 2070s everyone is easily tracked, and it is impossible to ‘whack’ someone and get away with it. However, with the use of a time machine the mob can send back their enemies and have them executed and disposed of in 2044 without anyone the wiser in their own time.

This is where the Loopers come in.

The Loopers are hired hitmen. They wait at a predetermined location at a specific time everyday, and when their mark pops into existence (from the future) they immediately kill them and dispose of the body. The body is always laden with silver, which the Looper can then trade for cash and other goods. For the most part it is a a fairly easy gig, except it has one immense drawback: If the Looper is still alive thirty-years in the future the mob will eventually round them up there, send them back, and have their past selves “Close their loop.” Essentially, they assassinate themselves. They get a huge paycheck, they celebrate, get released from their contract, and they have a guaranteed thirty-years of life, but they are the device of their own demise.

This is where the main conflict arises for Joe. His future self is not on the same page as him, and this results in some…let us say, ‘issues.’ The film unfolds from this complication in a flurry of mob secrets, time loops, telekinetic powers, and bloodshed–all resulting in a unique science fiction film that is more than what it seems. I found the plot to be ingenious. The time paradox is explained relatively simply through the cinematography, rather than complex exposition. It cuts away at the precise moment and explains the timelines succinctly and without ambiguity. Besides using the cinematography to explain the multiple timelines and loops, Director Rian Johnson also creates some truly beautiful scenes. Whether the shots are action sequences or drug trips the scenes represent a type of creative cohesiveness not seen in film terribly often.

The acting is top notch as well. Even with a facial prosthesis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt manages to capture many of the mannerisms in speech and gestures that Bruce Willis is know for. This creates a sub-realm of believability that adds credence to the plot. Two actors playing the same character could easily go awry, but in this instance it worked superbly. However, I think that it is a rare occurrence and could only be achieved with a certain caliber of actor. Paul Dano plays a fellow Looper and has unfortunately fallen into the whiney, screw-up character that he always seems to play. For granted he is good at it, but I would love it if he played a character outside his abilities. I am hoping that it is a typecast issue and not of his own doing, but after his role in “Cowboys vs. Aliens” and now this film I am a bit worn out. Jeff Daniel’s role of the mob boss sent from the future (Abe) completely threw me off guard. I haven’t seen him in ages, but he manages to fill the role perfectly. I honestly forgot how much I missed him! And, finally a special mention to Garret Dillahunt. He is a personal favorite of mine. I love him from the television show, “Raising Hope,” and I am excited to him in a large-scale, feature film. I am crossing my fingers that this indicates a blossoming career on the big screen.

Besides the stellar lineup of actors I also noticed a fairly deep and blatant allusion to the story of Judas. Small facets of the allusion include that the Loopers are paid in silver and that a near mystical individual singlehandedly unites all the crime syndicates in the future. Once you get to the ending the story comes full circle–fully realizing the Biblical parallels.

Overall, I found “Looper” to be a layered and powerful film. It touches on numerous topics including child murder, addiction, and time travel while staying grounded under the guise of science fiction and the traditional action movie archetype. “Looper” is a truly splendid film that should be enjoyed and watched repeatedly. At the end of the day, it may not be the happiest of films, but it is a profound one.