The Words: The first-time directorial effort from Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal, who also collaborated on the screenplay, is a well-acted but narratively limp indie that’s undermined by a failure to connect emotionally with its audience.
The central plot revolves around Rory Jansen (played by Bradley Cooper), a determined writer who discovers an anonymous manuscript of a spectacular novel. Rory reads the manuscript, then decides to peck out the whole thing on his laptop just to know how it feels to have typed such brilliant sentences. But then hot wifey (Zoe Saldana) reads it, thinks her husband has finally found his gift, and the next thing everyone knows, a novel is published and Rory becomes the Man of Letters. Of course, the novel’s actual author tracks him down.
The Well-Digger’s Daughter: A remake of a 1940 film by French novelist and filmmaker Marcel Pagnol, “The Well-Digger’s Daughter” feels old-fashioned but not necessarily in a bad way. Its theme of the fallen woman — the 18-year-old unwed mother referenced in the title — feels quaint and out of sync, not just with many of today’s movies, but with the modern world in general. Still, the melodrama is classy and convincing, even if the scandal feels somewhat antique.
Looper: Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Joe, a laconic young man living in Kansas City in 2042, where as the film opens he is in a wheat field consulting his pocket watch. Another man suddenly appears and — blam! — Joe blows him away. He explains in a voice-over that his victim has come from the 2070s, when the Mob uses time-traveling assassins like Joe — called loopers — to dispose of bodies that technically don’t exist.
It’s a living, and a pretty good one, until the Mob boss decides to “close the loop” and sends the older version of the hitman back to be killed. That’s precisely what happens to Joe, who when he confronts his older self— played in the film by Bruce Willis — doesn’t quite carry out the orders as planned.
Also: “Something Better Somewhere Else,” “Morning,” “The Wiggles Celebration,” “Veronica Mars”: The Complete First Season, Veronica Mars: The Complete Second Season” and “Veronica Mars: The Complete Third Season.”