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Rian Johnson

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ENTERTAINMENT
March 31, 2006 | Carina Chocano, Times Staff Writer
Rian Johnson's debut feature, "Brick," won the Special Jury Prize for originality of vision at the Sundance Film Festival in 2005, but its description -- a noir mystery set in a California high school -- didn't grab me at all. The prize, it turns out, is as apt as the description is limited. Johnson has taken a well-worn, much-revised genre, adapted to what's become a cliched setting and transcended both in the process.
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ENTERTAINMENT
December 22, 2012 | By Noel Murray
Looper Sony, $30.99; Blu-ray, $35.99 Available on VOD beginning Dec. 31 Writer-director Rian Johnson (of "Brick" and "The Brothers Bloom") subverts expectations with his sci-fi actioner, which stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as an assassin named Joe, who kills and disposes of people sent back through time. When Joe's older self (Bruce Willis) arrives from the future, it threatens the younger Joe's living, prompting a standoff on a remote farm owned by a single mother (Emily Blunt)
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ENTERTAINMENT
September 7, 2012 | By Oliver Gettell
The new sci-fi thriller "Looper" is all about reunions. First, the film reunites "Brick" director Rian Johnson with leading man Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who plays a hit man plying his trade in the near future, taking out targets once they're sent back in time and into his cross hairs. Within this world, "Looper" also reunites a gruff old bruiser, played by Bruce Willis, with a younger version of himself. Unfortunately, his younger self is none other than Gordon-Levitt, and their meeting is decidedly work-related.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 2, 2012 | By Glenn Whipp
Yes, yes. We know what you're thinking. You looked at that headline and thought, "This man is daft. The academy doesn't honor that kind of movie. " Put aside for a moment what type of movie Oscar voters generally recognize and simply consider this question: What if best picture means just that? Best picture. And not best picture within a narrowly confined set of criteria that generally include characters with impediments or accents, preferably working in a historical epic that tackles an Important Issue or two and imparts Life Lessons just as the musical score reaches the sweet spot of its crescendo.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 15, 2012 | By Mark Olsen, Special to the Los Angeles Times
In "Looper," Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a hitman in the near future whose targets have been sent back in time; one day, the man who turns up turns out to be an older version of the assassin. To bring the premise to life, Gordon-Levitt had to look (and act) like Bruce Willis, who plays the older incarnation of his character, and that meant spending three hours a day in the makeup chair. "That was really scary because you commit to that and there's no real way out of it," said "Looper" writer-director Rian Johnson of using practical prosthetics to make one actor look more like the other.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 2, 2012 | By Glenn Whipp
Yes, yes. We know what you're thinking. You looked at that headline and thought, "This man is daft. The academy doesn't honor that kind of movie. " Put aside for a moment what type of movie Oscar voters generally recognize and simply consider this question: What if best picture means just that? Best picture. And not best picture within a narrowly confined set of criteria that generally include characters with impediments or accents, preferably working in a historical epic that tackles an Important Issue or two and imparts Life Lessons just as the musical score reaches the sweet spot of its crescendo.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 22, 2012 | By Noel Murray
Looper Sony, $30.99; Blu-ray, $35.99 Available on VOD beginning Dec. 31 Writer-director Rian Johnson (of "Brick" and "The Brothers Bloom") subverts expectations with his sci-fi actioner, which stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as an assassin named Joe, who kills and disposes of people sent back through time. When Joe's older self (Bruce Willis) arrives from the future, it threatens the younger Joe's living, prompting a standoff on a remote farm owned by a single mother (Emily Blunt)
ENTERTAINMENT
February 12, 2011 | By Steven Zeitchik, Los Angeles Times
Family dramas are a dime a dozen in the low-budget independent film world. But family dramas combined with the conventions of a film noir ? set in present-day Oregon, no less ? are few and far between. That's the unusual mix of "Cold Weather," a microbudget feature (it cost about $100,000 to produce) from 29-year-old writer-director Aaron Katz. If it sounds like a surprising blend, it may help to know that the man who created it was taken aback too. "I don't know, I didn't mean to write something like this," said Katz, sitting outdoors at a Los Feliz restaurant on a recent publicity stop in Los Angeles.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 10, 2009 | Mark Olsen
How best for a filmmaker to avoid the sophomore slump? For writer-director Rian Johnson, it meant employing elaborate ruses and stylish schemes. To follow up his cult-popular debut "Brick," a moody, downbeat post-noir film that turned the minor humiliations and intrigues of high school into the stuff of a hard-boiled detective mystery, Johnson has delivered the ambitiously bright and bold jet-set con-men caper "The Brothers Bloom."
ENTERTAINMENT
March 19, 2006 | Susan King
WHEN Rian Johnson set out to make his first movie, film noir beckoned. He'd long been taken with detective fiction, so it seemed natural to follow the impulse. And when he got the idea of setting his noir in a high school, he stepped onto the path that led to "Brick," a quirky little film that opens March 31.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 7, 2012 | By Oliver Gettell
The new sci-fi thriller "Looper" is all about reunions. First, the film reunites "Brick" director Rian Johnson with leading man Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who plays a hit man plying his trade in the near future, taking out targets once they're sent back in time and into his cross hairs. Within this world, "Looper" also reunites a gruff old bruiser, played by Bruce Willis, with a younger version of himself. Unfortunately, his younger self is none other than Gordon-Levitt, and their meeting is decidedly work-related.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 15, 2012 | By Mark Olsen, Special to the Los Angeles Times
In "Looper," Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a hitman in the near future whose targets have been sent back in time; one day, the man who turns up turns out to be an older version of the assassin. To bring the premise to life, Gordon-Levitt had to look (and act) like Bruce Willis, who plays the older incarnation of his character, and that meant spending three hours a day in the makeup chair. "That was really scary because you commit to that and there's no real way out of it," said "Looper" writer-director Rian Johnson of using practical prosthetics to make one actor look more like the other.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 12, 2011 | By Steven Zeitchik, Los Angeles Times
Family dramas are a dime a dozen in the low-budget independent film world. But family dramas combined with the conventions of a film noir ? set in present-day Oregon, no less ? are few and far between. That's the unusual mix of "Cold Weather," a microbudget feature (it cost about $100,000 to produce) from 29-year-old writer-director Aaron Katz. If it sounds like a surprising blend, it may help to know that the man who created it was taken aback too. "I don't know, I didn't mean to write something like this," said Katz, sitting outdoors at a Los Feliz restaurant on a recent publicity stop in Los Angeles.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 10, 2009 | Mark Olsen
How best for a filmmaker to avoid the sophomore slump? For writer-director Rian Johnson, it meant employing elaborate ruses and stylish schemes. To follow up his cult-popular debut "Brick," a moody, downbeat post-noir film that turned the minor humiliations and intrigues of high school into the stuff of a hard-boiled detective mystery, Johnson has delivered the ambitiously bright and bold jet-set con-men caper "The Brothers Bloom."
ENTERTAINMENT
March 31, 2006 | Carina Chocano, Times Staff Writer
Rian Johnson's debut feature, "Brick," won the Special Jury Prize for originality of vision at the Sundance Film Festival in 2005, but its description -- a noir mystery set in a California high school -- didn't grab me at all. The prize, it turns out, is as apt as the description is limited. Johnson has taken a well-worn, much-revised genre, adapted to what's become a cliched setting and transcended both in the process.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 19, 2006 | Susan King
WHEN Rian Johnson set out to make his first movie, film noir beckoned. He'd long been taken with detective fiction, so it seemed natural to follow the impulse. And when he got the idea of setting his noir in a high school, he stepped onto the path that led to "Brick," a quirky little film that opens March 31.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 17, 2012
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is doing a swell job of reinventing himself as Action Guy this year, with "Looper," the excellent sci-fi time-traveling thriller, the latest. He used to be primarily Hipster Guy, what with "(500) Days of Summer" and "50/50. " Now he's pretty much locked and loaded from the moment he shows up. Earlier this summer, it was as the gutsy bike messenger with a bad guy on his tail in the great whoosh of "Premium Rush. " Now he's an assassin - a "looper" - part of a lethal cleanup crew in 2044 whose job is to eliminate future mob liabilities.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 19, 2012 | By Steven Zeitchik
EXCLUSIVE: Hollywood studios have become accustomed to deleting scenes for Chinese censors. But it's not often that footage is explicitly added for the Asian nation. In a rare switch, two versions of the Joseph Gordon-Levitt time-travel film “Looper” will be released - with the longer, more Shanghai-centric edition coming out in Chinese theaters. Directed by the high-concept auteur Rian Johnson (“Brick”), “Looper” follows a hit man (Gordon-Levitt) who is charged with offing targets sent from the future but finds himself in a quandary after he is ordered to kill his future self (Bruce Willis)
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