This week: Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a mob hit man who has a crisis of conscience when his latest target is his future self (Bruce Willis) in the sci-fi thriller "Looper," directed by Rian Johnson.
Also new this week is the latest David Cronenberg movie, "Cosmopolis," starring Robert Pattinson as a billionaire drifting through New York City in his limo, as well as the Blu-ray of "School of Rock," now available in stores everywhere.
Box Office: $66 million
Rotten Tomatoes: 94% Fresh
Storyline: Time travel has been invented but is banned and only available on the black market in this futuristic sci-fi thriller. The mob sends targets back in time 30 years to be killed by a waiting hired gun, a "looper" like Joe (Joseph-Gordon Levitt). Joe collects a lot of silver and life is good until the mob sends his future self (Bruce Willis) back through time for Joe to assassinate. Rian Johnson directs this brain tickler that also stars Emily Blunt, Paul Dano and Jeff Daniels.
Extras! Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain commentary tracks, deleted scenes, scoring featurettes and a hidden Easter egg titled "Evil Demon Golf Ball from Hell" that you must poke around to find on your own. The Blu-ray also has the exclusives "The Science of Time Travel" as well as 17 deleted scenes.
We Say: "Looper" keeps you on the edge of your seat as Willis' continued interaction with his younger self messes with the space-time continuum the more Willis remains in the past and changes the events that will shape his own memory. Gordon-Levitt — with just the simple addition of some contacts and a prosthetic nose — expertly portrays a younger version of Willis, stubbornly resisting as his older self tries to convince him to follow a path that leads to true happiness for both of them.
Box Office: $763,556
Rotten Tomatoes: 65% Fresh
Storyline: David Cronenberg's latest has Robert Pattinson playing a 28-year-old billionaire asset manager who glides across Manhattan in a stretch limo to get a haircut as he conducts both business and pleasure from his ride. Things go from cushy to crazy when it's brought to his attention that someone is trying to kill him in this dark drama co-starring Juliette Binoche, Paul Giamatti and Kevin Durand.
Extras!: Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain a commentary track by Cronenberg, interviews with the cast and crew and the featurette "Citizens of Cosmopolis."
We Say: Although it's a treat to take in the strangely detached, oddball conversations that only happen in Cronenberg's universe and to see Pattinson play something other than a sparkly vampire, the "Cosmopolis" story slowly goes around in circles and ultimately arrives nowhere in much the same way as Pattinson's limo stuck in traffic.
'School of Rock' Blu-ray
Box Office: $81 million
Rotten Tomatoes: 92% Fresh
Storyline: This love letter to classic rock stars Jack Black as a fraudulent substitute teacher who sings the praises of '60s and '70s rock to his young class raised on a saccharine diet of corporate pop and prepares them for a Battle of the Bands competition. Joan Cusack plays the uptight principal with a secret rock-loving past.
Extras!: All of the bonus features are ported over from the previous DVD release, including commentary by Black and director Richard Linklater, kids' commentary, "Lessons Learned on 'School of Rock,'" "Jack Black's Pitch to Led Zeppelin," a music video, a "Kids' Video Diary" from the Toronto Film Festival, "MTV's Diary of Jack Black" and, most importantly, an interactive "History of Rock" chalkboard detailing all the rock gods and goddesses people should be listening to.
We Say: Previously a Best Buy exclusive since August 2012, "School of Rock" is now available everywhere on Blu-ray. You have to be either a Black fan or rock 'n' roll enthusiast to truly connect with this spirited comedy, but if you're one or the other this movie will rock your world and maybe even compel you to dust off some vinyl and get schooled yourself.
Also New This Week:
"Mardock Scramble: Second Combustion"
"The Trouble with Bliss"
"War of the Dead"