Looper/Primer Reviews

So I've been waiting for Looper to be available on DVD. I finally saw it last night.

Very very meh. And it got such great reviews.

What I liked about the movie was that it tried to be a "real movie" science fiction movie. By "real movie," I mean it wasn't just a carnival attraction, a Universal Studios Theme Park ride without the actual ride part. 95% of movie science fiction is just that -- they dial up the comedy, action, and fantasy levels so high that the movie winds up being completely artificial. A funhouse attraction -- fun, maybe, if done well, but no one mistakes a funhouse for a genuine experience. Everything in it is designed to activate one of most primal and childlike responses -- laugh, cringe, say "Whoa."

Looper tries to be more like a real movie. I'm 99.9% sure Rian Johnson had in mind his own type of Philip K. Dick story. One thing Philip K. Dick does (I think) is casually introduce some crazy premise and just say: This is how it is. He doesn't defend it, he doesn't argue about it. It's just this way, okay? Accept it or don't.

Looper does that with both its time-travel premise (which is rickety and crazy enough-- in the future, they send people back in time to be executed? Really?) and the early introduction of a completely unrelated sci-fantasy premise, that in the future, about 10% of the population is telekinetic, but only comically so, able to levitate light coins and perform other useless tricks.

Well, as in Philip K. Dick, whether or not you buy these wacky premises determines whether you can enjoy the story. I didn't buy into either.

But the movie displeased me in other ways. I don't mind a little creative pilfering, but Looper swipes major and minor premises from other time-travel movies, including The Terminator and 12 Monkeys and the very underrated, very twisty time-travel movie Frequency.

And Bruce Willis, of course, was in 12 Monkeys.

It also borrows from a famous Twilight Zone episode and a major ongoing movie franchise which I won't mention because I don't want to spoil things. But major elements of the middle and ending were already done, almost exactly the same way, in a big well-regarded science-fantasy movie that everyone's already seen.

It's not a rule that the hero must be likable, but when you've written an unlikable hero, you're certainly increasing the difficulty factor for yourself. If the hero doesn't make for a strong rooting interest, you have to make sure everything else is so compelling that the viewer is still interested despite not liking the hero. For me, it wasn't.

And although the movie tries to be a "real movie," with real people, real drama, and genuine realness, it wasn't ever real for me, so I found the efforts to treat this material seriously... misplaced. Its tone of gritty "realness" seemed unearned to me, because it just wasn't real.

It reminded me of how Monk used to be written. There were three elements designed to draw the audience in Monk-- Comedy, Cleverness of mystery or its solution, and emotional stuff/mythology stuff about Monk's enduring love of his wife and her unsolved murder. Now, most good episodes had two of these elements, but not all three; poor episodes had only one, or none at all.

It was a frequent occurrence on Monk that the mystery element was either not terribly clever or else highly derivative, swiped from Agatha Cristie or Columbo. So, you'd seen it -- possibly four or five times before. And when this happened, I think -- when the mystery of an episode was pretty weak, and they had no good comedy bits to make up for it-- the showrunners would say "Put something with Trudy in here, pull some heartstrings. We need something more here; the script won't stand on its own as it is. Let's make Monk remember the first day he met Trudy in flashback. Wait, we've done the first meeting? Okay, let's make it... the first time he took her to the Museum of Vacuums and Cleaning Supplies. Have we done the Vacuum Museum yet?"

And while some of the emotional bits with Trudy were touching, other times they felt like filler or like replays of things we'd seen before. When these didn't work, they didn't feel organic or real. They felt like a cheap attempt at compensation-- when you haven't thought of anything clever to tickle the brain, go to the easy limbic-system play of trying to evoke sympathy.

That's the whole ending of Looper for me-- Johnson failed to come up with something both clever and new (as I said, the clever bits were not new, but pretty well-done in 12 Monkeys), so he tried for the cheap emotional stuff, and to me it felt forced. It was all kind of silly, like Monk, and silly's best form is "Clever." Not profound or moving. "Merely clever" could have worked -- a bloop single that gets you on base. But the film has trouble hitting that single, so it hacks for an emotional home run, or at least a "deep" one, and flies out.

I just don't know if a movie with this goofy a premise can try for deep or moving. Though I guess Source Code managed it, somewhat.

I was disappointed in the movie and looked up its Wikipedia entry to see if I'd missed anything, and there I saw a reference to Primer, a movie commenters keep talking about which I'd never seen. So I rented it. I don't know how I feel about it -- I feel like I definitely have missed something, and won't know whether I like it or not until I understand exactly what the heck happened in the film. Not only is the time-travel in this film particularly twisty and complicated, but the film deliberately makes it more difficult to understand by never having a character clearly explain the rules or implications of how time-travel works; it's all "explained" obliquely and by very subtle and vague inference. A critic wrote you'd have to see it two or three times to even almost understand what's going on, and that (for me at least) has turned out to be correct.

The whole movie was shot for $7000. Seven thousand. Almost all the money just went to film stock, and they were on such a tight budget they could only afford two takes per scene. The filmmaker was apparently entirely self-taught and just decided he'd make a time-travel movie for $7000. That right there is pretty interesting.

I don't know yet if I can recommend it as an actual movie experience. It's definitely recommendable as an interesting experiment (if you go for interesting experiments). The guy made a movie for $7000 and it looks pretty decent (for $7000), and seems to have some thought put into it.

Maybe too much. I don't understand what the hell happened. But I guess that's something different for a movie, huh?

Posted by: Ace at 02:34 PM



Comments

1 Barack Obama is a stuttering clusterf*ck of a malignant traitor.

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) Channelling Breitbart at January 02, 2013 02:36 PM (8y9MW)

2
Time travel. Very tricky business.

Posted by: soothsayer at January 02, 2013 02:38 PM (ptD6d)

3 So is that a thumbs up or down?

Posted by: Navycopjoe at January 02, 2013 02:38 PM (LDwc9)

4 I enjoyed Looper. But then, I always like Time Paradox plots, even if I pick them apart. They can give you a brain ache.

Posted by: toby928© for TB at January 02, 2013 02:39 PM (QupBk)

5 Figures. My only shot at first 5 comments and I have nothing relevant to say, given that I haven't seen either.

Posted by: Klawnet at January 02, 2013 02:39 PM (ePxxX)

6 Primer was horrible. I like my movies to be watchable in only one sitting, not over a dozen.

Posted by: EC at January 02, 2013 02:39 PM (GQ8sn)

7 Well thumbs down (yeah I read it) but if you're bored would you rent it?

Posted by: Navycopjoe at January 02, 2013 02:39 PM (LDwc9)

8
but, come on, the scene where the guy's foot disappears??

that was wacky shit

Posted by: soothsayer at January 02, 2013 02:40 PM (ptD6d)

9 Ace,

You lost me on the middle/ending being stolen.
I mean I recognized that it was cribbed from several sources (I even leaned over and told my wife what I suspected would be the ending.) But I still enjoyed the ride (A solid B+ movie, I'm glad I saw it, I'm not sure I'll see it again.)
But there was a specific movie it was ripped from? Like it was a sorta crypto-remake? I missed that.

Posted by: tsrblke (work) at January 02, 2013 02:40 PM (4F5x1)

10 And Shane Carruth has come out with another movie called Upstream Color. The trailer is out.

And just like Primer, it looks undecipherable too.

Posted by: EC at January 02, 2013 02:40 PM (GQ8sn)

11 The telekinetic powers were needed to explain the bad guy. If minor psy powers are relatively common, super powers are more possible.

Posted by: toby928© for TB at January 02, 2013 02:41 PM (QupBk)

12 it's a thumbs down for Looper and a thumbs up for Primer, but the latter thumbs up is with the caveat "only if you're in the mood for a highly experimental, very twisty time-travel movie in which the writer/director attempts to make the complicated action in the film even MORE difficult to understand by never having the characters explain what the hell is going on."

It feels like one of those plotless "challenging" European or independent movies, except this one just happens to be not about sex but about engineers accidentally inventing a time machine.

Posted by: ace at January 02, 2013 02:41 PM (LCRYB)

13 Ace, did you see Chronicle?

Posted by: toby928© for TB at January 02, 2013 02:42 PM (QupBk)

14 But there was a specific movie it was ripped from? Like it was a sorta crypto-remake? I missed that.


I think Ace might be referring to "Frequency". There's a scene where one person changes the events from the past and the future person sees the new reality taking shape as it happens in real time.

Posted by: EC at January 02, 2013 02:42 PM (GQ8sn)

15 >>>The telekinetic powers were needed to explain the bad guy. If minor psy powers are relatively common, super powers are more possible.

i don't understand why the Bad Guy needed to be a psi at all. For two thirds of the movie, he was just a Bad Guy.

I don't understand the need for the premise. I'd accept it, I guess, if it were needed for the plot. But it's not needed for the plot; it's just needed to make for a "Big" climax. but I've already seen all this stuff before. It's not that big.

Posted by: ace at January 02, 2013 02:42 PM (LCRYB)

16 Never even heard of Primer. If it's that "intellectual" I don't care. I go to movies for bewbs and explosions. If I want a "real" story, I'll read a book.

As for Looper... if the primary problem with it is that you have to accept the premise to have fun with the movie, I'll probably check it out. I don't typically have a problem accepting such premises (premii?).

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) Channelling Breitbart at January 02, 2013 02:43 PM (8y9MW)

17
A critic wrote you'd have to see it two or three times to even almost understand what's going on...

Exactly! Why?

Because it's an amatuerish film made by amateurs on the cheap who didn't know how to edit. Primer makes very little sense and has a rushed ending that adds to the confusion.

Posted by: soothsayer at January 02, 2013 02:43 PM (ptD6d)

18 I watched Looper this weekend as well. Thought it was a bit confusing and the pieces did not fit together at the end.

I'd give it 2.5 out of 5 with the caveat of it being better than anything I've seen lately.

Posted by: © Sponge at January 02, 2013 02:43 PM (UK9cE)

19 >>>I think Ace might be referring to "Frequency".

NO, I wasn't, but I specifically meant to mention it ripping off Frequency, and then forgot to mention that.

Yes, a good part of it is from frequency.

Posted by: ace at January 02, 2013 02:43 PM (LCRYB)

20 Can we discuss Looper even if our comments contain spoilers?

Posted by: toby928© for TB at January 02, 2013 02:44 PM (QupBk)

21 Almost every "highly rated" movie I have seen in the past twenty years has stunk. I haven't see either of these but if they are anything like the "highly rated" Hangover they suck.

Posted by: Vic at January 02, 2013 02:45 PM (53z96)

22 Primer was horrible. I like my movies to be watchable in only one sitting, not over a dozen.
Posted by: EC at January 02, 2013 02:39 PM (GQ8sn)


Did you ever see "Deja vu?" With Denzel Washington? I got through that movie and my wife went "what the hell just happened." It dawned on me that in addition to the crappy ass timetravel, there were unshowed timelines that you had to infer from events in the movie.
Yes that's right, if you trust wikipedia I think estimate is that he went back in time 4 times or some nonesense.

Posted by: tsrblke (Work) at January 02, 2013 02:45 PM (4F5x1)

23 Good SF generally only does one suspension of belief moment in a single story.

If your novel has time travel in it, you have to project believable use of this time travel.

You don't get to use time travel to excuse more unreal stuff because "hey, time travel!".

Posted by: Kristophr at January 02, 2013 02:45 PM (wYVte)

24 >>>Ace, did you see Chronicle?

yup. Shockingly good, huh?

Posted by: ace at January 02, 2013 02:45 PM (LCRYB)

25 I sort of "got" Primer, but the movie didn't make it easy. And there was so much talk it was hard not to tune it out for large chunks of time, then I'd have to rewind and MAKE myself pay attention. Never really a good method of film-making, I think.

Posted by: BeckoningChasm at January 02, 2013 02:46 PM (P7hip)

26
I liked 12 Monkees better.

Posted by: Dr. Varno at January 02, 2013 02:46 PM (3JFLq)

27 Yes, a good part of it is from frequency.

Yeah, the whole "watching future changes take place immediately" crap. That doesn't make sense as the future person wouldn't know of the other alternate future where the changes didn't take place. As far as the future person knows, things were always like that.

Did you ever watch the Christmas Carol Dr. Who special? The one where he and the Scrooge character get that superhawt opera singer out of the icebox? The whole episode is built upon instantaneous future changes from meddling with the past.

Posted by: EC at January 02, 2013 02:47 PM (GQ8sn)

28 Almost every "highly rated" movie I have seen in the past twenty years
has stunk. I haven't see either of these but if they are anything like
the "highly rated" Hangover they suck.


I find this to be universally true. IIRC, Star Wars got 2 stars. One of the most profitable franchises in history, and the movie got 2 stars.

In fact, I tend to use critic reviews (well, not Ace reviews, because he seems to get the point: was it fun, was it worth my $15?) as inverse indicators. The better some "critic" thinks it is, the worse it probably is, and the reverse is also true.

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) Channelling Breitbart at January 02, 2013 02:47 PM (8y9MW)

29 >>>id you ever see "Deja vu?" With Denzel Washington? I got through that movie and my wife went "what the hell just happened." It dawned on me that in addition to the crappy ass timetravel, there were unshowed timelines that you had to infer from events in the movie.

I'm a huge fan of that one. I love twisty stuff with time-travel.

The one place the film falls down for me is that they establish, and then reinforce, that what has already happened is unalterable -- Time refuses to be changed -- but then at the end Denzel Washington just stops the bad guy and saves the day and they never say one damned word as to why the Unbreakable Rule can now be broken.

Posted by: ace at January 02, 2013 02:47 PM (LCRYB)

30 I don't understand the need for the premise. I'd accept it, I guess, if it were needed for the plot. But it's not needed for the plot; it's just needed to make for a "Big" climax. but I've already seen all this stuff before. It's not that big.

Well they were trying to explain how the badguy came from nowhere and took over the mob in the future. Psy covers that.
But I suspsect the movie was intending for you to put several pieces together either before or at the same time as the main character was. (They dropped lots of hints throughout the movie for you to know what was going on. Like the reference to Rainmaker's "Iron Jaw.")

Posted by: tsrblke (Work) at January 02, 2013 02:47 PM (4F5x1)

31 I watched Looper over the weekend too. Wasn't that impressed. Then I went to AMC and watched all three of the Mad Max movies. The older I get, the more I enjoy the road warrior.

Posted by: Soona at January 02, 2013 02:48 PM (ki2Vw)

32 Maybe Rian needs to spend some time with a few Weeping Angels.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 02, 2013 02:48 PM (TCGmg)

33 Fucking time travel into the past. The cheapest, slimiest, shittiest form of "Science Fiction."


Posted by: Al at January 02, 2013 02:48 PM (V70Uh)

34 I liked Looper although I was struck by how 12 Monkeys it all was.

I was very disturbed by the runaway looper scene and was amused at where the movie went to in its last hour (a farm, what?) and then pretty much meh-ed to the max in the ending, but it was a good enough ride, so so what. Enjoy yourself.

Posted by: joeindc44 wonders if anyone has any advice for the GOP at January 02, 2013 02:48 PM (QxSug)

35
In the future, everyone will sleep with the fishes for 15 minutes.

Posted by: Dr. Varno at January 02, 2013 02:48 PM (3JFLq)

36 Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) Channelling Breitbart at January 02, 2013 02:47 PM (8y9MW)



Same here. If the "critics" like it I generally hate it.

Posted by: Vic at January 02, 2013 02:49 PM (53z96)

37 It's probably been done, but the only realistic time travel premise to me is information. That is, you can send messages backwards in time as long as you have a receiver. I think that'd make for an interesting story or two. Alas, not a movie so much.

Posted by: AmishDude at January 02, 2013 02:49 PM (T0NGe)

38 Did you ever see "Deja vu?" With Denzel Washington? I got through that
movie and my wife went "what the hell just happened." It dawned on me
that in addition to the crappy ass timetravel, there were unshowed
timelines that you had to infer from events in the movie.

Yes that's right, if you trust wikipedia I think estimate is that he went back in time 4 times or some nonesense.


Yes.

Four times? He only went back once, at the very end. Each time they tried to send something back, a blackout happened because of the power drain. The movie sort of hinted that the team only did that once or twice before.

Posted by: EC at January 02, 2013 02:49 PM (GQ8sn)

39
Incidentally, the comedy Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel is a lot better at the whole time travel thing than Primer, and it was half-cute, too.

Rent it if you can.

Posted by: soothsayer at January 02, 2013 02:49 PM (ptD6d)

40 I'm pretty sure that if you asked a hermit who has never seen, heard about or read a single movie, book or TV show to write a screenplay, the end result could be legitimately criticized for ripping off some previous movie, book or TV show.

Posted by: Hollowpoint at January 02, 2013 02:49 PM (SY2Kh)

41 yup. Shockingly good, huh?

I liked it. Power corrupts, always.

Posted by: toby928© for TB at January 02, 2013 02:50 PM (QupBk)

42 >>>Yeah, the whole "watching future changes take place immediately" crap. That doesn't make sense as the future person wouldn't know of the other alternate future where the changes didn't take place. As far as the future person knows, things were always like that.

oh yeah. True.

In "Frequency" they cover that, though, or at least they claim a premise that covers that. They establish that you remember things "two different ways" for a while, after a timeline affecting you has been altered. Then, at some point, you catch up and remember it as it has (now) always been.

That same rule is invoked in Looper.

Though, as you say, there's not really much logical sense in claiming your mind is somehow temporarily unaffected by changes in the timeline.

Posted by: ace at January 02, 2013 02:50 PM (LCRYB)

43 Still waiting for the Ace review of Django Unchained...

Posted by: Jordan at January 02, 2013 02:50 PM (Hz1zc)

44 That doesn't make sense as the future person wouldn't know of the other
alternate future where the changes didn't take place. As far as the
future person knows, things were always like that.


That assumes alternate timelines exist. Which may or may not be true. Since time travel is an unknown (and probably impossible), none of us are likely to know the answer to that.

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) Channelling Breitbart at January 02, 2013 02:51 PM (8y9MW)

45 The one exception that proves the rule on that was Matrix. However, the sequels sucked big time.

Posted by: Vic at January 02, 2013 02:51 PM (53z96)

46 Hey Ace, you do a great job on the movie reviews. I don't watch many movies so I feel like I have seen it after reading. You save me money. That's a big deal. If you ever want to do a book review, I wrote a book. I'll send you a free copy, I'll sign it. I'll role my penis in ink and give you a print if you want. Although that's gross and you prolly wouldn't. Maybe I can talk Mrs Sailor into a nipple print. They are really nice.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet, aka Jack July author of Amy Lynn available on Amazon. at January 02, 2013 02:51 PM (l86i3)

47 The problem is, and Crichton's Timeline addresses it, you don't change your time, you branch off to another point in the multiverse, like Sliders your previous reality, exists but you can't get back to it,

Posted by: phillip fry at January 02, 2013 02:52 PM (Jsiw/)

48 I'm sorry to hear that about Looper because Brick is way way up there on my list of favorite recent movies so I was looking forward to seeing Looper.


Maybe too much. I don't understand what the hell happened. But I guess that's something different for a movie, huh?



Part of the point of Primer, at least for me, is that the incomprehensibility of it reflects the inherent contradictions of time travel itself. It doesn't make sense because time travel creates exactly such paradoxes. I also liked that it makes the viewer work to figure out what's going on. In a weird way, it reminded me of Spartan. In that, you're dropped into a situation where people are spitting out names and references and it takes a bit for the viewer to figure out what's going on. That's a very interesting movie, btw. It is Mamet being very Mamety and it packs quite a bite.


ace, you've seen Pi, right? Early Aronofsky and plays with some of the same denseness as Primer though in Pi you're never quite clear how much is external and how much is internal. The lead character's solution to his problems makes me shudder just thinking about it.

If you haven't seen Triangle, you really should watch it. Melissa George is fantastic in it and I appreciated how the film makers didn't hit you over the head with exactly what story they are retelling. The touches that reveal what it is are decently subtle and well placed.

In other random movie thoughts, I was watching May the other night and forgot how well done it is. The ending is amazingly creepy.

Posted by: alexthechick - SMOD. Team Stompy. at January 02, 2013 02:52 PM (VtjlW)

49 John Titor Unchained.

Posted by: Dr. Varno at January 02, 2013 02:52 PM (3JFLq)

50 In other news;

Chris Christie says the House Leadership and the Hamburglar are "Solely Responsible" for delaying the Sandy Aid Package. But mostly the House Leadership.

However, I still will don't count out the Hamburglar. That bill is so laden with pork it's the size of Chris Christie's trousers. A tempting target for the Hamburglar indeed (maybe there are a few extra Big Mac's in the pockets??).

Posted by: marcus at January 02, 2013 02:52 PM (GGCsk)

51 The one place the film falls down for me is that they establish, and then reinforce, that what has already happened is unalterable -- Time refuses to be changed -- but then at the end Denzel Washington just stops the bad guy and saves the day and they never say one damned word as to why the Unbreakable Rule can now be broken.
Posted by: ace at January 02, 2013 02:47 PM (LCRYB)


See that's why I wasn't a fan of the movie. I think they were trying to get at the idea that Time could be changed, but everything would have to align just right. Hence the 5 or so timelines to get it to work. (4 according to the graphic on Wikipedia.)
Seriously...graphic....needed to explain the movie.

Posted by: tsrblke (Work) at January 02, 2013 02:52 PM (4F5x1)

52

Oy. I guess I'll have to see it. IMDB gave it a 7.8 (so far). Rotten goes 94/87, and I only focus on the Audience reviews anyway. Ace seems to be in the IMDB range.

I watched Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale (Sàidékè balái (original title)) and wasn't impressed.

Haven't gotten Headhunters/Hodejegerne (original title) out of my head, yet, though. So, that movie left a mark. Synnøve Macody Lund was stunning in it, as well.

Posted by: beach viewer at January 02, 2013 02:52 PM (LpQbZ)

53 For someone seeing his timeline alter. Go back to Ray Bradbury and his story 'A Sound of Thunder.' A team travels back to the age of dinosaurs and one member steps off the safe path and kills a butterfly.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 02, 2013 02:52 PM (TCGmg)

54
Primer is really good. Yeah, it's confusing. But, I just read the wiki on it and got the confusing parts explained without having to watch it again.

Not that Primer isn't worth rewatching - I just hate to rewatch movies.

Posted by: Comrade Arthur at January 02, 2013 02:53 PM (qkP36)

55 I thought Looper was going to be a prequelof Bill Murray's character in Caddy Shack. You can't imagine how disappointed I was that it wasn't. How about a little something for the effort.

Posted by: polynikes at January 02, 2013 02:53 PM (m2CN7)

56 I enjoyed Looper as a distraction/entertainment.

Seen in the theater, the future scenes were well done. You never seem to be swayed by the visuals, Ace. But they are important to me. I like to be entertained visually, and that's why I see most movies in the theater.

Anyhoo.. the story was meh plus 2.. interesting, but somewhat predictable ending. In all, though, I would recommend it for a couple hours of entertainment.

Posted by: Chi-Town Jerry at January 02, 2013 02:53 PM (f9c2L)

57 A great science fiction movies should be mind blowing, eye popping, and heart tugging. A good science fiction movie should have two of these three elements.

Posted by: WalrusRex at January 02, 2013 02:53 PM (Hx5uv)

58 I also liked that it makes the viewer work to figure out what's going on.

F that. Give me bewbs and explosions.

Much simple just to blow things up.

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) Channelling Breitbart at January 02, 2013 02:53 PM (8y9MW)

59
It doesn't make sense because time travel creates exactly such paradoxes.

/single eyebrow arch

Posted by: soothsayer at January 02, 2013 02:53 PM (ptD6d)

60 I've seen Primer twice and I STILL don't get it. The handwriting thing and the hidden cell phone that guy was listening to were creepy as fuck. Or how they secretly drugged themselves, I WTF??

Posted by: Eaton Cox is kind of a LIBNO at January 02, 2013 02:54 PM (q177U)

61 If there's someone on the planet that can shoot an "OK" movie for $7k, maybe he's the one that needs to be managing the nation's finances?

I'm just saying...

Posted by: @PurpAv at January 02, 2013 02:54 PM (hc3eM)

62 I'm sorry to hear that about Looper because Brick is way way up there on my list of favorite recent movies

There's a lot of the jargon stuff in that movie too. It took me a while to figure out what the kids were saying. Kind of like A Clockwork Orange, there's all sorts of new usage for words and I had a tough time trying to grasp what they were saying for the first half of the movie.

Posted by: EC at January 02, 2013 02:54 PM (GQ8sn)

63 "oh yeah. True. In "Frequency" they cover that, though, or at least they claim a premise that covers that. They establish that you remember things "two different ways" for a while, after a timeline affecting you has been altered. Then, at some point, you catch up and remember it as it has (now) always been. "


Haven't seen Looper but I did like Frequency.

Posted by: WisRich at January 02, 2013 02:54 PM (hdpay)

64 Four times? He only went back once, at the very end. Each time they tried to send something back, a blackout happened because of the power drain. The movie sort of hinted that the team only did that once or twice before.

You're watching I think the 3rd iteration of that timeline. So he only goes back once in the movie, but it's described that he's already gone back at least one prior time and this timeline is the result of that.

Posted by: tsrblke (Work) at January 02, 2013 02:55 PM (4F5x1)

65 If we can discuss spoilers, I'd like to know what people think happened to the Joes after the movie ended.

Posted by: toby928© for TB at January 02, 2013 02:55 PM (QupBk)

66 If there's someone on the planet that can shoot an "OK" movie for $7k, maybe he's the one that needs to be managing the nation's finances?

I'm just saying...
Posted by: @PurpAv at January 02, 2013 02:54 PM (hc3eM)


Put EOJ on a green screen with a quart of Bourbon, maybe?

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet, aka Jack July author of Amy Lynn available on Amazon. at January 02, 2013 02:55 PM (l86i3)

67 I haven't seen a movie I liked in years. I have been watching a bunch of woody allen movies b/c they are so bad. Same plots, same lines, hammy acting. And he gets these fools to appear in them for minimum wage.

Posted by: red at January 02, 2013 02:55 PM (ymJbM)

68 Saw loppers last night
Even if you get by the time travel and to
Why not close the loup with another louder that way no one is ever biased. End of plot and movie.
Now what should have happened is it should have been a triple loup with him also being the little boy and of course he could have been the father too. That would have made it more interesting
Which goes to the heinline thing travel back in time, have a sex change have sex with your self, and create yourself. That is interesting

Posted by: Carl forshage at January 02, 2013 02:56 PM (ECUKc)

69 Farscape's Eienstien explained everything about time travel. Didn't any of you listen.

Posted by: polynikes at January 02, 2013 02:56 PM (m2CN7)

70 >>>You never seem to be swayed by the visuals, Ace. But they are important to me. I like to be entertained visually, and that's why I see most movies in the theater.

no I am. I would recommend Prometheus -- a movie I kind of hated in almost all respects -- for the visuals.

The third Transformers movie had visuals I'd recommend it for. The squid-ships prowling the skies of Chicago, the building toppling over.

I thought Looper looked good enough for a mid-budget flick but it wasn't so terrific or novel visually that I'd recommend it on that ground.

I loved Brick, btw.

Posted by: ace at January 02, 2013 02:56 PM (LCRYB)

71 Chrichton might have explained it better with the branching off. But look at H. Beam Piper's Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen. It is time travel. There is one civilization that has mastered time travel. They have time cops even as they exploit alternate versions of their world. The cops are there to prevent the criminal elements, even corporate criminals, from setting up their own satrapies.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 02, 2013 02:57 PM (TCGmg)

72 "two different ways"

yeah, well, you have to set ground rules for how it all works, the narrator/protagonist gets to observe the changes he did because he's seen the before and after, like Twin Pines->Lone Pine

Otherwise, you have that episode of Star Trek TNG where they continually, unknowingly loop and you the viewer get to watch them unravel the loop

Posted by: joeindc44 wonders if anyone has any advice for the GOP at January 02, 2013 02:57 PM (QxSug)

73 Can you say what the "big well-regarded science-fantasy movie that everyone's already seen" is here in the comments? (Maybe we need spoiler tags)

I don't plan on watching this movie if there's a better one I could brush up on instead, but I couldn't figure out your reference even from the Wikipedia plot summary of Looper (I'm pretty loopy).

Posted by: Cliff at January 02, 2013 02:57 PM (9yGfP)

74 :::i don't understand why the Bad Guy needed to be a psi at all. For two thirds of the movie, he was just a Bad Guy.

I don't understand the need for the premise. I'd accept it, I guess, if it were needed for the plot. But it's not needed for the plot; it's just needed to make for a "Big" climax. but I've already seen all this stuff before. It's not that big. :::


It explained how the Bad Guy sprang out of nowhere and co-opted all these large criminal organizations without having his own stable of heavies with which to stage a takeover. He was a big mystery and the other possible explanation for his effectiveness is "ninja."

Also, I am OUTRAGED that your taste in movies does not overlap 100% with mine, you fucking RINO.

Posted by: Empire of Jeff at January 02, 2013 02:57 PM (4uh3z)

75 I've seen Primer twice and I STILL don't get it. The handwriting thing
and the hidden cell phone that guy was listening to were creepy as fuck.
Or how they secretly drugged themselves, I WTF??


The takeaway is that the guy already did the time travelling before and is going through the motions to throw off his buddy. He steals the time machine in the very end and is constructing another one, much larger and powerful than the garage one they built first.

Posted by: EC at January 02, 2013 02:57 PM (GQ8sn)

76 I must be some kind of freak. I don't like SyFy.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet, aka Jack July author of Amy Lynn available on Amazon. at January 02, 2013 02:57 PM (l86i3)

77 Saw Watchmen last night. Thought it was very, very well done.

Ace, as I'm relatively new here, is there a place on the site where one can read all of your past reviews? Tnx.

Posted by: eureka! at January 02, 2013 02:58 PM (HPRku)

78 Time travel is always perilous from a writing standpoint (The Terminator annoys me to no end because the time travel part of it--specifically the part about John Connor sending his best friend from the future back in time to protect his mother, and then the guy impregnates her with John, and then he dies in the past...I'm getting angry just thinking about it...this article has a good breakdown of all the time travel problems: http://www.cracked.com/article_17390_5-reasons-terminator-franchise-makes-no-goddamn-sense.html). My favorite time travel example is Bill Ted's Excellent Adventures. When Rufus explains that they'll be traveling through time, Bill asks how. The answer: "Modern technology, William." Perfect.

Posted by: John at January 02, 2013 02:58 PM (S32Hg)

79 I liked Primer for what it was.

There's a jpg out there explaining the ~7 timelines if you wanna hurt your brain.

Posted by: HoboJerky, now with 74% more DOOM! at January 02, 2013 02:58 PM (FsUAO)

80 The problem is, and Crichton's Timeline addresses it, you don't change your time, you branch off to another point in the multiverse, like Sliders your previous reality, exists but you can't get back to it,
Posted by: phillip fry at January 02, 2013 02:52 PM (Jsiw/)


---------------------------------------------


That's a theme that hasn't been used much in Hollywood and I've always wondered why. It's much more interesting, and certainly more "believable". It also correlates with contemporary theories of astrophysics.

I like Sliders until it became apparent that perhaps there are infinite universes with basically the same story.

Posted by: Soona at January 02, 2013 02:59 PM (ki2Vw)

81 Ace, as I'm relatively new here, is there a place on the site where one can read all of your past reviews? Tnx.
Posted by: eureka! at January 02, 2013 02:58 PM (HPRku)


You suckass.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet, aka Jack July author of Amy Lynn available on Amazon. at January 02, 2013 02:59 PM (l86i3)

82 Closed time loop. James P. Hogan's first three novels about Humans and Ganymeans.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 02, 2013 02:59 PM (TCGmg)

83 I think my real recommendation here is "Watch, or watch again, Deja Vu, Frequency, 12 Monkeys, and Brick."

Posted by: ace at January 02, 2013 02:59 PM (LCRYB)

84 it only received somewhat positive reviews because it is original relative to the crap the sequel factory churns out all the time.

generally speaking, movies suck, especially relative to books. books are about telling a story, movies are intended as vehicles for some hollywood celeb/s.

Posted by: yankeefifth at January 02, 2013 02:59 PM (Z9EHQ)

85 What I have been doing lately is going back and watching old classics on Blu Ray. My most recent is Once Upon a Time Out West. The detail and colors on the Blu Ray are amazing.

Posted by: Vic at January 02, 2013 02:59 PM (53z96)

86 F that. Give me bewbs and explosions. Much simple just to blow things up.

Ah, Joe Bob Briggs at the Drive-In meets Farm Film Report.

http://youtu.be/_dfoVqhQVyQ


Posted by: Count de Monet at January 02, 2013 02:59 PM (BAS5M)

87 Also, I am OUTRAGED that your taste in movies does not overlap 100% with mine, you fucking RINO.

And we're wasting valuable minutes discussing entertainment frippery when we should be out fighting the Second American Revolution. *snork*

Posted by: HeatherRadish™ needs a beer at January 02, 2013 02:59 PM (ZKzrr)

88 Agree on Prometheus.. awesome visuals.

Posted by: Chi-Town Jerry at January 02, 2013 02:59 PM (f9c2L)

89
I like the way Dragon Ball Z does time travel. You can travel into the past. You can return to your time. But nothing you did in the past matters in YOUR time because, when you travel into the past, that becomes a new, independent, timeline.

But it does allow you to go to the past, find your enemies' weakness, then return to the future and vanquish them.

And, of course, that's what DBZ is all about. Vanquishing.

Posted by: Comrade Arthur at January 02, 2013 03:00 PM (qkP36)

90 I missed the time travel in brick.

Posted by: joeindc44 wonders if anyone has any advice for the GOP at January 02, 2013 03:00 PM (QxSug)

91 Larry Niven wrote a Gill Hamilton ARM story that involved murder and a time machine. That should be made into at least a TV special.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 02, 2013 03:00 PM (TCGmg)

92 Lady Beware on the youtube.

http://tinyurl.com/b66u7sb

I highly recommend this one.

Posted by: Bobby Shandy at January 02, 2013 03:00 PM (QeXjy)

93 You're watching I think the 3rd iteration of that timeline. So he only
goes back once in the movie, but it's described that he's already gone
back at least one prior time and this timeline is the result of that.


Really? I totally missed that. Where did they insinuate this was the second or third instance?

Posted by: EC at January 02, 2013 03:01 PM (GQ8sn)

94 Larry Niven wrote a Gill Hamilton ARM story that involved murder and a time machine. That should be made into at least a TV special.
Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 02, 2013 03:00 PM (TCGmg)


Larry Niven was hugely talented.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet, aka Jack July author of Amy Lynn available on Amazon. at January 02, 2013 03:01 PM (l86i3)

95 Same here. If the "critics" like it I generally hate it.


Posted by: Vic at January 02, 2013 02:49 PM (53z96)


Well, they're gushing over MATT DAMON's new movie, so I'm agreeing with you 100%.

Posted by: © Sponge at January 02, 2013 03:01 PM (UK9cE)

96 MATT DAMON!

Posted by: Matt Damon at January 02, 2013 03:01 PM (ZKzrr)

97 And, of course, that's what DBZ is all about. Vanquishing.

Each episode is 30 minutes long including commercials. Each episode is also 29 minutes of posturing and talking, and less than 1 minute of actual combat.

Posted by: EC at January 02, 2013 03:02 PM (GQ8sn)

98 Primer was good. . .given that it did so much with so little and made you think a bit. . .but I think it could have been a LOT better with better story construction (ie writing/editing) if it weren't trying to be so clever-for-clever's sake.

IE if you HAVE to watch the movie a few times to "get" it, something is fundamentally wrong. I simply never had the time to do it. Why would I want to go back and watch this basically unfinished movie a second time, when I have other ones that ARE finished that I haven't seen? Its not that rewarding.

In general, I think you're probably asking too much of a sci-fi time-travel movie to really "make sense" since time travel itself doesn't really "make sense". The most you can ask for is an engaging story and internal consistency.

And boobs.





Posted by: looking closely at January 02, 2013 03:02 PM (PwGfd)

99 generally speaking, movies suck, especially relative to books

This is particularly true of Phil Dick's stuff which is usually mangled beyond recognition.

Posted by: @PurpAv at January 02, 2013 03:02 PM (hc3eM)

100 I played Halo 4 all weekend...

Posted by: cajun carrot at January 02, 2013 03:02 PM (UZQM8)

101 Posted by: Oldsailors Poet, aka Jack July author of Amy Lynn available on Amazon. at January 02, 2013 02:59 PM

Suckass? And what favors might there be? I was hughly series. I like the reviews although they are too short.

Posted by: eureka! at January 02, 2013 03:02 PM (HPRku)

102 how about the Butterfly Effect? That was good too with timelines a changing

Posted by: joeindc44 wonders if anyone has any advice for the GOP at January 02, 2013 03:03 PM (QxSug)

103 >>>but pretty well-done in 12 Monkeys

12 Monkeys suffers from the same problem almost any time travel movie suffers from and as a result it kills much of its clever plot devices. That is poor understanding of time paradox, and not sufficiently dealing with it.

Time paradox takes two general forms. The first is easy peasy to spot. Negation paradox. Wherein time travel changes events that impact the original trip in time. Nullification paradox. Where the trip nullifies itself or even the need for itself in some way.

For instance in Deja Vu Washington's characters prevention of the disaster nullifies his characters need to travel in time. Hence nullification paradox.

The other paradox is origination paradox. It is far more subtle. Nothing can originate in a time loop. Nothing, not even an idea can be stuck in a time loop. In the 12 monkeys, the voice mail tape is being examined in the future because it has information relating to the virus. This is told to Bruce's character, who subsequently leaves messages on that machine relating to the 12 monkeys. In this way it becomes like the watch in somewhere in time. It appears in a time loop passed back and forth in time forever with no origination, no maker. This is why my future self doesn't travel back in time and hand me plans for a time machine and a billion dollars. This type of paradox is the one most commonly mishandled in time travel plots. And any film attempting to be real science fiction that violates either paradox rule without explanation on how they get away with it is a FAIL and just fantasy writing.

Posted by: MikeTheMoose is Shrugging at January 02, 2013 03:03 PM (0q2P7)

104 Sneak a fifth of Rum into the theater and you will enjoy the movie a lot more.



Posted by: DiogenesLamp at January 02, 2013 03:03 PM (bb5+k)

105 *looks at posts* I guess I just proved I read a lot of science fiction....

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 02, 2013 03:03 PM (TCGmg)

106 >>>Can you say what the "big well-regarded science-fantasy movie that everyone's already seen" is here in the comments?

okay, here's some spoiler space at the beginning and the end.

SPOILER

SPOILER

SPOILER

All the visuals, and the whole *story*, of the impossibly powerful telekinetic seething with childish rage was already seen in X2: X-Men United. I mean, you compare Jean's telekinetic rages to the kid's and they are identical. One happens in the house, and a man is killed, and all the furniture rises earily. One happens outdoors, and all the bits of things in the scenery eerily rise. In X2, its stones from the beach, here, it's bits of corn-stalk.

These are virtually the same scenes.

Add into that the Boy Who Wishes You Into a Cornfield and it all just feels so damn "I've seen this before, and better."

SPOILER

SPOILER

SPOILER

Posted by: ace at January 02, 2013 03:03 PM (LCRYB)

107 I only read this part of the way through, I hope you don't mind.

The problem is, I think, they're not really making these movies for us anymore. It's for the Low Information Viewer (see what I did there?), who doesn't know how much has been ripped off from better, previous films.

You reach a point where it's all been done because it has.

I watched Ted, recently. The one where Marky Mark has a teddy bear. It was just like every other movie about slacker buddies who must grow up because the hot chick demands it. Yawn...

Posted by: BurtTC at January 02, 2013 03:03 PM (TOk1P)

108 I was pleasantly surprised by Looper. The trailers and premise seemed
like a big yawn, but being bored over the holidays I decided to watch
it and found it quite enjoyable.

I kinda-sorta liked Primer too, though I thought it was unnecessarily obtuse. Unless that was the point.

Posted by: Waterhouse at January 02, 2013 03:04 PM (S/WR4)

109 :::And we're wasting valuable minutes discussing entertainment frippery when we should be out fighting the Second American Revolution. *snork*:::

You've seen THIS show before, I see.

Posted by: Empire of Jeff at January 02, 2013 03:04 PM (4uh3z)

110 Posted by: EC at January 02, 2013 03:01 PM (GQ8sn)

For starters when he arrives at the house the first time (when the women is dead and he's investigating) he finds the "You can save her" message. (Which he then leaves after time traveling, but changes his mind and takes her with him.)

Basically you'll notice as he's investigating you'll notice that he comes across many of the things he'll do later in the movie, just slightly different. (Wikipedia can explain it beter than I can.)

Posted by: tsrblke (Work) at January 02, 2013 03:04 PM (4F5x1)

111 How come Dude, Where's my car? is always left out of time travel discussions?

Posted by: toby928© for TB at January 02, 2013 03:04 PM (QupBk)

112

Watched The Hedgehog (2009) / Le hérisson (original title) recently, too.

Classic french movie. Slicing out a piece (sliver) of one's (typical) human life and delivering it large, exaggerated and honestly on the screen.

Poignant.

Posted by: beach viewer at January 02, 2013 03:05 PM (LpQbZ)

113 I need to break open my Halo4 and start doing my favorite thing, killing aliens.

Posted by: joeindc44 wonders if anyone has any advice for the GOP at January 02, 2013 03:05 PM (QxSug)

114 I haven't seen a movie I liked in years. I have been watching a bunch of
woody allen movies b/c they are so bad. Same plots, same lines, hammy
acting. And he gets these fools to appear in them for minimum wage.

---

Speaking of which I watched Midnight in Paris over the weekend because my daughter is going to France next summer and I wanted her to see some landmarks. It's a Woody Allen unfunny comedy about time travel.

Posted by: WalrusRex at January 02, 2013 03:05 PM (Hx5uv)

115 Jean-Claude van Damn in Time Cop investigates a murder and finds more than just a simple murder. Geez that concept has been done literally to death.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 02, 2013 03:06 PM (TCGmg)

116 "It also borrows from a famous Twilight Zone episode and a major ongoing movie franchise which I won't mention because I don't want to spoil things."


Shit. It's Jar Jar, isn't it?

Posted by: RWC at January 02, 2013 03:06 PM (fWAjv)

117 http://thepiratebay.se/search/looper/0/99/0

Ahrrrr....

Posted by: @PurpAv at January 02, 2013 03:07 PM (hc3eM)

118 I was a frickin' Time Cop fer cripes sake. And there were gratuitous boobehs!

Posted by: Jean Claud Van Damme at January 02, 2013 03:07 PM (O7Q1u)

119 Can we send Rian to the cornfield to meet the Weeping Angels?

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 02, 2013 03:07 PM (TCGmg)

120 Have to see it. I watched some of it being filmed from my office window. Hope it is better than The Green Lantern. Its location surrounded our building, had a thousand extras it it.

Posted by: Javems at January 02, 2013 03:07 PM (nTgAI)

121 Dude!!! Sweet!!!

Posted by: toby928© for TB at January 02, 2013 03:07 PM (QupBk)

122 For instance in Deja Vu Washington's characters prevention of the disaster nullifies his characters need to travel in time.

I liked how the Time Machine movie (in the early 2000s) directly addressed this when the hero asks "Why can't I save her?" and the super bad guy basically says (it may even be a quote), "Because if you'd saved her, you never would have built the machine."

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) Channelling Breitbart at January 02, 2013 03:07 PM (8y9MW)

123 I also watched Dead Space 3 trailers all weekend... many tissues were lost...

Posted by: cajun carrot at January 02, 2013 03:07 PM (UZQM8)

124 Not to be snide (cause I save that for my husband), but what was the last movie you saw that was not "meh"?

Posted by: katya the designated driver at January 02, 2013 03:08 PM (DoZD+)

125 Been watching and rewatching a lot of movies myself lately...

Flixster and Vudu streaming of Ultraviolet digital copies for the win, otherwise I would never get the chance to watch anything thanks to my wife and kids.

The ability to pick up anything in my collection at whim and watch it hasn't existed for me since before I met my wife.

Posted by: Brandon In Baton Rouge at January 02, 2013 03:08 PM (YcNMX)

126 I see I took too long typing gratuitous boobehs. Anna Puma beat me to it.

Posted by: Jean Claud Van Damme at January 02, 2013 03:08 PM (O7Q1u)

127 @Ace,

In fairness, you're "Angry Telepathic" options are kinda limited visually speaking .

Posted by: tsrblke (Work) at January 02, 2013 03:08 PM (4F5x1)

128 >>#111 How come Dude, Where's my car? is always left out of time travel discussions?

Cause it wasn't as good as Bill and Ted 2?

Personally, I'm looking forward to the Hebrew Hammer vs Hitler, as the "ultimate" crossover Jewsploitation-Time travel film, but it remains to be seen if that one even gets made.

http://tinyurl.com/create.php?url=about%3Ablank

Posted by: looking closely at January 02, 2013 03:08 PM (PwGfd)

129 Lace Wigs takes it on the chin.

http://tinyurl.com/b4qezga

Posted by: Bobby Shandy at January 02, 2013 03:08 PM (QeXjy)

130 And, of course, that's what DBZ is all about. Vanquishing.Each episode is 30 minutes long including commercials. Each episode is also 29 minutes of posturing and talking, and less than 1 minute of actual combat.
Posted by: EC at January 02, 2013 03:02 PM (GQ8sn)



Check out Dragonball Kai. Toei went back and re-cut DBZ to remove all the filler bullshit and 20 minute long power-up scenes to actually present the story the way it was in the manga, plus they remastered it for HD. Good stuff. Unfortunately, they ended with the Cell saga, though the whole series was condensed to like less than 100 episodes, whereas the original was well past 200 by that point.

Posted by: mugiwara at January 02, 2013 03:09 PM (W7ffl)

131 The problem is, I think, they're not really making
these movies for us anymore. It's for the Low Information Viewer (see
what I did there?), who doesn't know how much has been ripped off from
better, previous films.




Posted by: BurtTC at January 02, 2013 03:03 PM (TOk1P)


This is it. Movies nowadays are made for idiots. I see this problem less with Foreign movies than I do with American movies.

Posted by: DiogenesLamp at January 02, 2013 03:09 PM (bb5+k)

132 But wait Bobby Shandy! There are still machine parts in lace wigs to sell! Order now and get a second for free! Just pay separate shipping and handling. Operators are standing by, since we stole their chairs.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 02, 2013 03:10 PM (TCGmg)

133 Can we tie the Final Destination franchise into this? Timelines trying to repair themselves?

Posted by: toby928© for TB at January 02, 2013 03:10 PM (QupBk)

134 Poor Monsieur Jean-Claude. Merci.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 02, 2013 03:10 PM (TCGmg)

135 This is particularly true of Phil Dick's stuff which is usually mangled beyond recognition.

---

I think part of the reason for this is that Dick generally dealt with average people doing average things as opposed to princesses of Mars saving the world from Ming the Merciless. Hollywood takes these Joe Sixpack characters and turns them into Hollywood extravaganza. It just doesn't work.

Posted by: WalrusRex at January 02, 2013 03:10 PM (Hx5uv)

136 My most recent is Once Upon a Time Out West. The detail and colors on the Blu Ray are amazing.
Posted by: Vic at January 02, 2013 02:59 PM (53z96)



That is a fantastic transfer/restoration.

Has anyone seen Safety Not Guaranteed? That looks like a great take on the whole time travel thing.


I loved Chronicle and thought the found footage method really worked with the story. I'm not a huge fan of hand cam stuff, mainly because I get motion sick, but it made sense for the story that was being told.


Okay wait what Stoker was written by Wentworth Miller? I'll admit it, I had no idea that he actually had a brain behind the pretty.

Posted by: alexthechick - SMOD. Team Stompy. at January 02, 2013 03:10 PM (VtjlW)

137 Watched it NYE. Did not like it. Also looked like Bruce phoned in his parts.

Posted by: navybrat at January 02, 2013 03:10 PM (BzGtc)

138 **Movies nowadays are made for idiots.**

yup, and it doesn't help that they're also made by idiots.

Sometimes, the only thing they can offer is a bunch of whiz bang CGI.

I was amused at how the new Total Recall was worse than the old Total Recall, in terms of special effects, story, action, resolution, deep thoughts, etc.

Posted by: joeindc44 wonders if anyone has any advice for the GOP at January 02, 2013 03:11 PM (QxSug)

139 SPOILER





:::All the visuals, and the whole *story*, of the impossibly powerful telekinetic seething with childish rage was already seen in X2: X-Men United. I mean, you compare Jean's telekinetic rages to the kid's and they are identical. One happens in the house, and a man is killed, and all the furniture rises earily. One happens outdoors, and all the bits of things in the scenery eerily rise. In X2, its stones from the beach, here, it's bits of corn-stalk. :::


Seriously? Not that I'm Joe Cool, but that was so nerdy I could actually hear the 20-sided dice you were rolling in the background.

Posted by: Empire of Jeff at January 02, 2013 03:12 PM (4uh3z)

140 Also looked like Bruce phoned in his parts.

Bruce has been phoning in his acting appearances for at least the last decade.

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) Channelling Breitbart at January 02, 2013 03:12 PM (8y9MW)

141 Movies nowadays are made for idiots.

---

And by idiots.

---

I see this problem less with Foreign movies than I do with American movies.

---

It's the Zeitgeist.

Posted by: WalrusRex at January 02, 2013 03:12 PM (Hx5uv)

142 Prometheus. Do not make Ace repost his review. You will be sorry.

Great visuals. Horrible story. And bad acting. So a bad movie.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 02, 2013 03:12 PM (TCGmg)

143
It's probably been done, but the only realistic time travel premise to
me is information. That is, you can send messages backwards in time as
long as you have a receiver. I think that'd make for an interesting
story or two. Alas, not a movie so much.


You're right, it's been done. Prince of Darkness, John Carpenter horror movie.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093777/

Posted by: Jay in Ames at January 02, 2013 03:12 PM (i2Lsf)

144 >>>In fairness, you're "Angry Telepathic" options are kinda limited visually speakin

fair enough, and it all goes back to that one in the 70s, anyway, I forget the name, but some people were killed in a rollercoaster accident, I think.

But given that the Angry Telepath wasn't even needed for this story (at least as I see it), why throw it in there when you have absolutely nothing new in your take on it?

I mean, yes, all these elements have been done before. But we don't mind re-done elements when they add a new wrinkle, when they add a new variation. Like blues -- yeah, the basics of it well-known, but what we appreciate are the minor variations of the well-known basic structure.

But here I saw nothing new at all. So why do it? What's the point? Especially for someone like Rian Johnson, whose breakthrough movie was a very novel take on something everyone's seen before.



Posted by: ace at January 02, 2013 03:12 PM (LCRYB)

145 Stick with Ice Age, Madagascar, Rio, & Kung Fu Panda. At least you know what you are getting ahead of time.

Posted by: rickb223 at January 02, 2013 03:13 PM (GFM2b)

146 Not to be snide (cause I save that for my husband), but what was the last movie you saw that was not "meh"?

In a theater? "Lawrence of Arabia."

Posted by: HeatherRadish™ needs a beer at January 02, 2013 03:13 PM (ZKzrr)

147 For starters when he arrives at the house the first time (when the women
is dead and he's investigating) he finds the "You can save her"
message. (Which he then leaves after time traveling, but changes his
mind and takes her with him.)


I just read the wiki and it doesn't say anything about him going back 2 or 3 times. He only goes back once, at the end to save the ferry passengers. He does send a note back in time earlier in the film, though.

I noticed the message on the fridge when I saw the movie the first time, and then later realized that he had set it up in the future when he does go back in time to leave a message to himself. I always chalked that up to a time paradox, meaning him travelling back had already happened and was a done deal.

Posted by: EC at January 02, 2013 03:13 PM (GQ8sn)

148 I love when you cranky old people discuss music and movies. You sound like my old dead grandparents. Nothing good ever came after 1955 or so. Damn these color talkies!!!!!

Posted by: Libtardo at January 02, 2013 03:13 PM (kmLUz)

149 This is particularly true of Phil Dick's stuff which is usually mangled beyond recognition.
Posted by: @PurpAv at January 02, 2013 03:02 PM (hc3eM)


My wife insists "A Scanner Darkly" is a really good portrayal of the book.
PKD never ends a story though (it's always open ended) which I think is not pleasent from a Hollywood Standpoint (and frankly, I'm not a fan of it in general personally.) which leads to some mangling.

Posted by: tsrblke (Work) at January 02, 2013 03:13 PM (4F5x1)

150 Angry TKs - Scanners and Carrie.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 02, 2013 03:13 PM (TCGmg)

151 If you can make a movie for seven freaking thousands dollars and it's even worth an Ace movie review that sure as hell is something.

I will be watching it.

Posted by: eleven at January 02, 2013 03:13 PM (KXm42)

152 lolz, I can't believe we haven't stumbled upon a granddaddy of modern time travel movies...the Terminator series and what the fuck timeline are we in on now?

Posted by: joeindc44 wonders if anyone has any advice for the GOP at January 02, 2013 03:14 PM (QxSug)

153
Also looked like Bruce phoned in his parts.

Bruce Willis has been awful, lately. The last time he 'acted' was in Tears of the Sun.

Posted by: soothsayer at January 02, 2013 03:14 PM (ptD6d)

154 I don't see what is so difficult about time travel; hell, if Mr. Peabody and his boy Sherman could do it with no harmful effects to either themselves or to the periods of time they travelled to, why couldn't anyone else?

Posted by: DaveinNC at January 02, 2013 03:14 PM (boNGU)

155 Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago when Tinseltown/Cinemark was doing that special 100th Anniversary UA celebration. That was truly great.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 02, 2013 03:15 PM (TCGmg)

156 The movie sounds like it is somewhat based on the short-story by Phillip K Dick called "The Skull".

Posted by: perdogg at January 02, 2013 03:15 PM (oSdsj)

157 "angry telepath visuals"?

I tell you what, that Looper kid was teh creepy. I guess that's one way to make it visual

Posted by: joeindc44 wonders if anyone has any advice for the GOP at January 02, 2013 03:15 PM (QxSug)

158 My favorite time travel movie was Back To The Future. A close second was the original 1960 version of The Time Machine.

Posted by: Vic at January 02, 2013 03:15 PM (53z96)

159 This is it. Movies nowadays are made for idiots. I see this problem less with Foreign movies than I do with American movies.

I think it's being done because of the international market. Anything subtle may be lost in translation so if it's to be translated into 40 languages, keep it simple.

Posted by: AmishDude at January 02, 2013 03:16 PM (T0NGe)

160
I was amused at how the new Total Recall was
worse than the old Total Recall, in terms of special effects, story,
action, resolution, deep thoughts, etc.

Posted by: joeindc44 wonders if anyone has any advice for the GOP at January 02, 2013 03:11 PM (QxSug)

Many of them are so busy pushing Propaganda that they overlook the obvious. People have pointed out that any civilization capable of Star Travel can nuke the Avatar indigents into vapors and then take the unobtanium.

I have always said that we should not be taking advice from people who play "make believe" for a living.




Posted by: DiogenesLamp at January 02, 2013 03:16 PM (bb5+k)

161 Stick with Ice Age, Madagascar, Rio, & Kung Fu Panda. At least you know what you are getting ahead of time.
Posted by: rickb223 at January 02, 2013 03:13 PM (GFM2b)


hehe, I've watched all of those. lol

Posted by: beach viewer at January 02, 2013 03:16 PM (LpQbZ)

162 As long as we are discussing Pop Culture, does anyone else make an absolute point to NEVER under any circumstances read an Oprah's Book Club pick? It may be extremely petty on my part, but, if I have not read it before she picks it, I don't bother with it.

Posted by: Sherry McEvil, Wily Wrepublican Wench at January 02, 2013 03:16 PM (kXoT0)

163
speaking of Monk...

he's in a new movie coming out in April with The Rock and Mark Wahlberg directed by Michael Bay.

judging by the trailer, the movie and characters are totally absurd, and I think it might be pretty good

Posted by: soothsayer at January 02, 2013 03:17 PM (ptD6d)

164 George Pal should always be given great kudos for his 1960 version of The Time Machine Vic. The Roddy McDowell Time After Time was eehhh.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 02, 2013 03:17 PM (TCGmg)

165 Sorry Anna but Dr. Zhivago was utter poop.

Every .Single. Interestesting. Thing... happened off camera.


Posted by: eleven at January 02, 2013 03:17 PM (KXm42)

166 Watched Looper yesterday with Mrs dananjcon...we dug it. It was cool. Total Recall was the carnival ride Ace so richly described, but entertaining none the less. Cosmopolis?? Total piece of shit DO NOT waste your time, worse than TTSP.

Boehner is a pussy
Christie is dead to me.

Carry on.





Posted by: dananjcon at January 02, 2013 03:17 PM (jvd3N)

167 propaganda, yeah and they get that wrong.

Like Hunger Games is a blah blah of capitalism, no it's an indictment of feudalism, you dolts.

Posted by: joeindc44 wonders if anyone has any advice for the GOP at January 02, 2013 03:17 PM (QxSug)

168 My favorite time travel movie was Back To The Future.

Brilliantly-executed film. Every Chekhov's gun goes off perfectly.

Posted by: AmishDude at January 02, 2013 03:18 PM (T0NGe)

169 12 Monkeys suffers from the same problem almost any time travel movie
suffers from and as a result it kills much of its clever plot devices.
That is poor understanding of time paradox, and not sufficiently dealing
with it.


I find it amusing that people agonize over "the rules" for time travel to the past. Because it's impossible.

It's not a question of technology or paradoxes. It will not and can not be done. Ever. It's like arguing over unicorn mating rituals or what Santa's flying reindeer would taste like.

And yes, I'm being a pedantic killjoy curmudgeon. I know.

Posted by: Hollowpoint at January 02, 2013 03:18 PM (SY2Kh)

170 "angry telepath visuals"?


If there's a SciFi premise I have trouble accepting, it's telepathy. Not that I don't think it could exist, but that it's almost impossible to do correctly even in literary format, forget doing it in movies.

The closest any move I've seen has gotten to doing telepathy "correctly" is the first X-Men movie, and even that only did it as a one-time trick (to introduce Prof. X) and didn't play with it at all.

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) Channelling Breitbart at January 02, 2013 03:18 PM (8y9MW)

171
I don't see what is so difficult about time travel; hell, if Mr. Peabody
and his boy Sherman could do it with no harmful effects to either
themselves or to the periods of time they travelled to, why couldn't
anyone else?

---

I read some time ago that they were making a Mr. Peabody movie but I have heard anything since.

Posted by: WalrusRex at January 02, 2013 03:18 PM (Hx5uv)

172 @EC
In Wikipedia, Section 4 "Implied Timelines" has a graphic with all 4 implied timelines. You'll notice in Timeline 2, Doug (Washington) goes back into timeline 3 screws everything up, creating Timeline 4 (which is the one you see in the movie.)
What's not really covered though is his going back into the movie creates a Timeline 5 (of course that's the end of the movie.)

Posted by: tsrblke (Work) at January 02, 2013 03:18 PM (4F5x1)

173 What about that Star Trek movie where they save the whales? Yeah, it sucked.

Posted by: Vizzini at January 02, 2013 03:19 PM (O7Q1u)

174 WalrusRex. Mr. Peabody went back in time to kill the project.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 02, 2013 03:19 PM (TCGmg)

175 . . . what was the last movie you saw that was not "meh"?

1984 - This Is Spinal Tap. In the theater.



The guy in Scanners blow'd up real good!


Posted by: Count de Monet at January 02, 2013 03:19 PM (BAS5M)

176 It strikes me that all this haughty poo-pooing of how certain movies don't handle the complexities of time travel to his taste is how a selfish bastard what owns or has access to a time machine, but won't share it, would have himself a nice little laugh at our expense.

I'm just sayin'.

Posted by: Empire of Jeff at January 02, 2013 03:19 PM (4uh3z)

177 Anyone seen Primer? It's time travel the way it should be -- brain melting.

Posted by: 29Victor at January 02, 2013 03:20 PM (ES9R7)

178 yeah, i always assumed that time travel was magic, not tech. So....rules are arbitrary too.

Posted by: joeindc44 wonders if anyone has any advice for the GOP at January 02, 2013 03:20 PM (QxSug)

179 Primerthat is.

Posted by: 29Victor at January 02, 2013 03:20 PM (ES9R7)

180 ok. Linky no worky for Primer. Maybe now? http://tinyurl.com/anlxq5e

Posted by: 29Victor at January 02, 2013 03:21 PM (ES9R7)

181 The Roddy McDowell Time After Time was eehhh.


Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 02, 2013 03:17 PM (TCGmg)

The only good thing in that movie was Mary Steenburgen. She almost made the movie watchable. And wasn't that Malcome McDowel?

Posted by: Vic at January 02, 2013 03:21 PM (53z96)

182 A pretty good (and rather faithful) adaptation of Philip K. Dick is "Screamers" from his story "Second Variety." Worth seeing if you can find it.

Posted by: BeckoningChasm at January 02, 2013 03:21 PM (P7hip)

183 Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Which was basically Star Trek:The Motion Picture. But far better written. And less of the geegawism of 'hey we got a budget so lets waste money on long boring SFX shots of Enterprise traversing the huge breath of V'Ger. And we will throw in a psychedelic trip for Spock for free!'

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 02, 2013 03:22 PM (TCGmg)

184 Uh oh. I looked up the Mr. Peabody movies and found this:

http://preview.tinyurl.com/ar2hhrv

Posted by: WalrusRex at January 02, 2013 03:22 PM (Hx5uv)

185 The big trick with "Primer" is that the timeline gets corrupted fairly early on in the movie with one or the other of the major characters coming back in time to influence events to their advantage.

You're never quite sure which iteration of the character is talking/interacting with which iteration of the other character.

ie.- whether character A is the normal timeline guy or character A visiting the past for the third or fourth or sixth time after the past has been affected and interacting with Character B from the normal timeline or some other variation.

Plus, there's more than one time machine.

But given all that, if I "got it", they can't change the one event they wish to change in the future no matter how hard they try.

Posted by: naturalfake at January 02, 2013 03:22 PM (UgFxe)

186 >>This is it. Movies nowadays are made for idiots. I see this problem less with Foreign movies than I do with American movies.

What do you mean "nowadays"?

If you're targeting a movie for people with IQs over 125, you've just eliminated 94% of your potential audience. If you want to potentially capture 94% of the public, your target audience IQ is 75.

Damn bell curves!

I'd almost argue that if you're paying $15 just to go to a theater to see a movie you might want to question your position on said bell curve, but that aside, this largely explains the "stupid factor" prevalent in mass entertainment.

The bigger the budget, the bigger your needed return, meaning the bigger your target audience has to be. This is why blockbuster movies are invariably big, loud, dumb, and formulaic.

Posted by: looking closely at January 02, 2013 03:22 PM (PwGfd)

187 Angry TKs - Scanners and Carrie.
Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 02, 2013 03:13 PM (TCGmg)



I'm cautiously optimistic about the remake of Carrie.

It's probably been done, but the only realistic time travel premise to me is information. That is, you can send messages backwards in time as long as you have a receiver. I think that'd make for an interesting story or two. Alas, not a movie so much.
Posted by: AmishDude at January 02, 2013 02:49 PM (T0NGe)



Try The Tomorrow Code, though that's a book and not a movie. Two kids find messages, start to decode them and realize they are from the future. Not a classic by any means but it does play fair with the rules of its own universe.


Hell, you could argue that The Maze Runner books are, effectively, time travel books in that the main characters help create what is to be the solution, then have their memories wiped and are tossed into their own creation to find the solution they created. I must say, the first book is really good but then the series as a whole goes off the rails. I was very disappointed since it was shaping up to be an interesting take on zombies in which patterns of brain wave activity were to be the cure.

Oh and soapbox time. Why the hell those books and the Hunger Games books are considered YA is beyond me. There is no way in hell I would let anyone other than an older teen, by which I mean 16 or so, read them. They are about killing other people, sometimes in very brutal fashion. For fuck's sake, the last few HP books were pretty damn dark. Just because teens are the protagonists doesn't mean they are kid's books.

Posted by: alexthechick - SMOD. Team Stompy. at January 02, 2013 03:22 PM (VtjlW)

188
What about that Star Trek movie where they save the whales? Yeah, it sucked.


Posted by: Vizzini at January 02, 2013 03:19 PM (O7Q1u)

I thought that was the best of the Star Trek movies. Especially the wet t-shirt scene at the end.

Posted by: Vic at January 02, 2013 03:22 PM (53z96)

189 Vic, it probably was Malcome now that I think on it. Been a long time since I watched it. Pal's Time Machine I will always watch.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 02, 2013 03:23 PM (TCGmg)

190 or what Santa's flying reindeer would taste like.

Tough and gamey. Tough from using the muscles and gamey from adrenaline and lactic acid.

Posted by: rickb223 at January 02, 2013 03:23 PM (GFM2b)

191 If you can make a movie for seven freaking thousands dollars and it's
even worth an Ace movie review that sure as hell is something.


I ran a publishing empire you could buy for a dollar and I still couldn't get anyone to read Newsweek...

Posted by: Tina Brown at January 02, 2013 03:23 PM (QKKT0)

192 My wife insists "A Scanner Darkly" is a really good portrayal of the book.

PKD never ends a story though (it's always open ended) which I think
is not pleasent from a Hollywood Standpoint (and frankly, I'm not a fan
of it in general personally.) which leads to some mangling.

Posted by: tsrblke (Work) at January 02, 2013 03:13 PM (4F5x1)


I've owned the book "A Scanner Darkly" for decades, but never bothered to read it. I genuinely never liked any Phillip K Dick stories/books I had read in the past. After seeing the movie "A Scanner Darkly" (which I regard as excellent, by the way) I decided to read the book. The movie is very close to the book, and after reading it, unlike other Phillip K Dick stories which I have read ("Confessions of a Crap artist", and "the Zap gun") I actually liked it.

Posted by: DiogenesLamp at January 02, 2013 03:23 PM (bb5+k)

193 >>>>Sorry Anna but Dr. Zhivago was utter poop.

Dr. Zhivago was a boring story about being around an interesting story without really being part of it.

Compare to Ben Hur which is an interesting story about being around an epic story without really being part of it.

Posted by: MikeTheMoose is Shrugging at January 02, 2013 03:24 PM (0q2P7)

194 Final Countdown wasn't bad as a time travel pic. Sending aircraft carriers through time gets my attention.

Posted by: WisRich at January 02, 2013 03:24 PM (hdpay)

195 I liked Mr. Looper back in the 80s on Sesame Street.

Sesame Street was never the same after they got rid of the one heterosexual white man.

Posted by: Your Moron pal, Truman North at January 02, 2013 03:25 PM (I2LwF)

196 I don't go in for even the idea of "intelligent entertainment".

Want something intellectual? Then do something interactive.

Posted by: AmishDude at January 02, 2013 03:25 PM (T0NGe)

197 Let's make something clear Tina is right, Hillary never lies cheats steals or murders people.


I should know. I'll testify anywhere any time to those facts.


Just bring me some aspirin.

Posted by: Zombie Vince Foster at January 02, 2013 03:25 PM (wR+pz)

198 lolz, I can't believe we haven't stumbled upon a granddaddy of modern time travel movies...the Terminator series and what the fuck timeline are we in on now?
Posted by: joeindc44 wonders if anyone has any advice for the GOP at January 02, 2013 03:14 PM (QxSug)



-------------------------------------------------------


I never could understand why the mother, while pregnant, and knowing what she learned in the first movie, just pack up and move to Costa Rica.

Posted by: Soona at January 02, 2013 03:25 PM (ki2Vw)

199 Double dumbass on you

Posted by: Dr. Varno at January 02, 2013 03:25 PM (3JFLq)

200
Agreed. Butterfly Effect was a damn clever time travel movie.

Posted by: Comrade Arthur at January 02, 2013 03:25 PM (qkP36)

201 >>Oh and soapbox time. Why the hell those books and the Hunger Games
books are considered YA is beyond me. There is no way in hell I would
let anyone other than an older teen, by which I mean 16 or so, read
them. They are about killing other people, sometimes in very brutal
fashion.

You should check me out sometime.

Posted by: The old testament at January 02, 2013 03:26 PM (PwGfd)

202 $7000 is a nice budget for a time-travel flick.

If you go back to 1932 to spend it.

Posted by: West at January 02, 2013 03:26 PM (1Rgee)

Posted by: looking closely at January 02, 2013 03:26 PM (PwGfd)

204 For fuck's sake, the last few HP books were pretty damn dark.

I agree with you on the Hunger Games. As for Harry Potter, remember that the target audience got one (and a couple of times two) year(s) older with each book. The TA was still the original 11 year olds who read the original book when it first came out.

That means they were 16 (IIRC) by the time book 5 came out, and 18 by the time book 7 came out. They were "Young Adult" because that's how the book sellers labelled the entire series.

In fairness, I can't think of another series that grew with its audience (in age and theoretical maturity) as closely as HP, so it would be hard to classify it.

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) Channelling Breitbart at January 02, 2013 03:26 PM (8y9MW)

205 ace,


SPOILER

Here's some graphicy goodness for ya.

http://tinyurl.com/8j7k4n4

SPOILER


*Don't know if it is really a spoiler though.

Posted by: RWC at January 02, 2013 03:26 PM (fWAjv)

206 George Pal should always be given great kudos for
his 1960 version of The Time Machine Vic. The Roddy McDowell Time After
Time was eehhh.


Posted by: Anna Puma at January 02, 2013 03:17 PM (TCGmg)


While we're on the subject of time travel movies, have you seen "Somewhere in Time" starring Christopher Reeve? I loved it. It was very poignant.

Posted by: DiogenesLamp at January 02, 2013 03:27 PM (bb5+k)

207 >>>Want something intellectual? Then do something interactive.

Halo is interactive.
Il Trovatore is not.

Posted by: MikeTheMoose is Shrugging at January 02, 2013 03:28 PM (0q2P7)

208 Anyone read the Axis of Time trilogy? Okay, but kind of a stretch.

Posted by: Dr. Varno at January 02, 2013 03:28 PM (3JFLq)

209 Somewhere in Time" starring Christopher Reeve?

---

chick flick

Posted by: WalrusRex at January 02, 2013 03:28 PM (Hx5uv)

210 :::Oh and soapbox time. Why the hell those books and the Hunger Games books are considered YA is beyond me. There is no way in hell I would let anyone other than an older teen, by which I mean 16 or so, read them. They are about killing other people, sometimes in very brutal fashion. For fuck's sake, the last few HP books were pretty damn dark. Just because teens are the protagonists doesn't mean they are kid's books.:::

When you have kids of your own and they are searching for more challenging and realistic concepts to read about and understand, then maybe you'll get it. 16 years old may be where you draw the line, but it's still arbitrary. My oldest daughter enjoyed it immensely and it sparked some interesting conversations.

Posted by: Empire of Jeff at January 02, 2013 03:28 PM (4uh3z)

211 oh right...Christoper Reeves? What about the very cogent and well done time travel deal in which ever Superman movie that was in?

lolz

Posted by: joeindc44 wonders if anyone has any advice for the GOP at January 02, 2013 03:28 PM (QxSug)

212 >>Halo is interactive.Il Trovatore is not.

Combine the two, and now you've got something!

Posted by: looking closely at January 02, 2013 03:29 PM (PwGfd)

213 Wow the dislike for Doctor Zhivago is strong today. Being in a theatre was the only way I could watch that movie or Lawrence. So bloody long and the visuals on even my 40in screen were reduced to being miniscule. Zhivago is all about a guy who just wants a normal life but events kidnaps him. So he and those around him suffer for it.

Do not get me gushing about Ben-Hur, love that movie heaps!

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 02, 2013 03:29 PM (TCGmg)

214 >>>>I loved it. It was very poignant.

Yeah? Who made his watch? How many years old was it?

Posted by: MikeTheMoose is Shrugging at January 02, 2013 03:29 PM (0q2P7)

215 >>>I thought that was the best of the Star Trek movies. Especially the wet t-shirt scene at the end.

Were there pointy... ears?

Posted by: Dr. Varno at January 02, 2013 03:29 PM (3JFLq)

216 It strikes me that all this haughty poo-pooing of how certain movies don't handle the complexities of time travel to his taste is how a selfish bastard what owns or has access to a time machine, but won't share it, would have himself a nice little laugh at our expense.

I'm just sayin'.
Posted by: Empire of Jeff at January 02, 2013 03:19 PM (4uh3z)



My God, it's full of awesome!


Sekrit message to a Certain Someone Who Is Lurking. We know you're here. We know what you're trying to do. The over/under remains at four.

Posted by: alexthechick - SMOD. Team Stompy. at January 02, 2013 03:30 PM (VtjlW)

217 In fairness, I can't think of another series that grew with its audience (in age and theoretical maturity) as closely as HP, so it would be hard to classify it.
Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) Channelling Breitbart at January 02, 2013 03:26 PM (8y9MW)


----------------------------------------------


And the author was brilliant in doing it that way too. Just five books and a very very luxurious retirement.

Posted by: Soona at January 02, 2013 03:30 PM (ki2Vw)

218
> 130 And, of course, that's what DBZ is all about. Vanquishing.Each episode is 30 minutes long including commercials. Each episode is also 29 minutes of posturing and talking, and less than 1 minute of actual combat.
Posted by: EC at January 02, 2013 03:02 PM (GQ8sn)


Check out Dragonball Kai. Toei went back and re-cut DBZ to remove all the filler bullshit and 20 minute long power-up scenes ...
Posted by: mugiwara


I actually like the long version. It's like pro wrestling. The long power-ups are like the wrestlers setting up the big match on Pay Per View!

And anybody who uses a One Piece moniker can't complain about long series!

Ending Kai after the Cell saga is sensible. Buu was fun, had some good moments, but got a little silly.



Posted by: Comrade Arthur at January 02, 2013 03:31 PM (qkP36)

219 I thought that was the best of the Star Trek movies. Especially the wet t-shirt scene at the end.

Were there pointy... ears?


Them too!

Posted by: rickb223 at January 02, 2013 03:31 PM (GFM2b)

220 My oldest daughter enjoyed it immensely and it sparked some interesting conversations.


"Daddy, do you think I would make a good tribute?"

Posted by: EC at January 02, 2013 03:32 PM (GQ8sn)

221 Since people are talking about The Butterfly Effect. Here is Bradbury's 'A Sound of Thunder' to read.

http://tinyurl.com/69wzof

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 02, 2013 03:33 PM (TCGmg)

222 Think it's too early for a shot of moonshine? Psshhaawww. Bottom's up.

Posted by: Lincolntf at January 02, 2013 03:33 PM (tkoGU)

223 207 >>>Want something intellectual? Then do something interactive.

Halo is interactive.
Il Trovatore is not.
Posted by: MikeTheMoose is Shrugging at January 02, 2013 03:28 PM (0q2P7)


And Doritos along with gallons of Mt. Dew are healthy.


just F'ing with ya. Coworker spent 16 hours yesterday playing Halo.

Posted by: RWC at January 02, 2013 03:33 PM (fWAjv)

224 Do not get me gushing about Ben-Hur, love that movie heaps!
Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 02, 2013 03:29 PM (TCGmg)


----------------------------------------------------


Saw that as a kid when it first came out on a three screen wrap-around picture. Fucking awesome movie.

Posted by: Soona at January 02, 2013 03:33 PM (ki2Vw)

225 Ironically, I don't care for time travel stories.

Posted by: John Titor at January 02, 2013 03:34 PM (xKC/c)

226 Idiocracy is probably the most realistic of all time travel movies.

Posted by: Gristle Encased Head at January 02, 2013 03:34 PM (+lsX1)

227 If this is the thread to discuss offbeat time travel movies, I wanna ask if anyone's gotten around to the (spoilers!) time travel "Mocumentary" Lunopolis yet.

Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain at January 02, 2013 03:35 PM (BIJKO)

228 Primer was good but you have to be in the Art House / Indie flick mood. And, yes, more than one viewing is required.

Looper worked for me for some reason. I like the downplayed future setting; that's just something I like seeing validated in flicks rather than the showcase, "Hey, Looook! A flying car!!!" version of the future in other 'sci-fi' movies.

The telekinetic baddy didn't bother me and I do see what you are saying about it not being necessary. I think the idea was the answer to the question, "How would you stop a mafia that had the power of time travel?" Seemingly impossible without some other extraordinary answer.

The only minor problem with the plot is that Willis' character would have begun to remember what the protagonist was doing before the conclusion, I think.

Posted by: weft cut-loop at January 02, 2013 03:35 PM (KDq5l)

229 ::addy, do you think I would make a good tribute?"::

No, more like, "Who would be so sick as to watch people kill each other for fun?"

"The Romans."

Posted by: Empire of Jeff at January 02, 2013 03:35 PM (4uh3z)

230 Try The Tomorrow Code, though that's a book and not a movie. Two
kids find messages, start to decode them and realize they are from the
future. Not a classic by any means but it does play fair with the rules
of its own universe.


Interesting. I'm thinking of a society built around such technology.

Posted by: AmishDude at January 02, 2013 03:35 PM (T0NGe)

231 I have seen Somewhere in Time with Reeves. Not sure even now if it really was time travel. Or just his infatuation inside his head caused him to think he had that soiree with the lovely lady.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 02, 2013 03:36 PM (TCGmg)

232
I'd almost argue that if you're paying $15 just
to go to a theater to see a movie you might want to question your
position on said bell curve, but that aside, this largely explains the
"stupid factor" prevalent in mass entertainment.



Posted by: looking closely at January 02, 2013 03:22 PM (PwGfd)

For years I have been getting in for free. I am no longer able to do that, but nowadays when I do have to pay, I average $1.50/person. I regard it as my civic duty to deprive Hollywood of as much money as I am able. In any case, to address your point, I would argue that people nowadays are quite a bit stupider than they were decades ago. The Older Generation was much more commonsensical than what we have now. They had no choice.




Posted by: DiogenesLamp at January 02, 2013 03:36 PM (bb5+k)

233 The Dems must be loving the fact that we are all promising to vote 3rd party.

Posted by: Fresh at January 02, 2013 03:36 PM (O7ksG)

234 My oldest daughter enjoyed it immensely and it sparked some interesting conversations.
Posted by: Empire of Jeff at January 02, 2013 03:28 PM (4uh3z)



Okay, point, but it does depend on the parent knowing their child and knowing what the books contain. I'm speaking more towards the parents who see Young Adult and assume that means Kid's Stuff and not Kids Who Are Killing Other Kids stuff.

If she liked Hunger Games, she might enjoy the Divergent series. Very very interesting universe which is exploring the idea of how any good quality, taken to the extreme, can turn into a bad quality.


As far as HP, I do think JKR did a good job scaling up the complexity of both language and plots of the books to the age of the characters. I still admire that she turned Harry into an insufferable jackass in book five. Well, yeah, he would be.

Posted by: alexthechick - SMOD. Team Stompy. at January 02, 2013 03:37 PM (VtjlW)

235 >>>Anyone seen Primer? It's time travel the way it should be -- brain melting.

it's official -- no one reads the blog.

Posted by: ace at January 02, 2013 03:37 PM (LCRYB)

236 Free Val-U-Rite for everyone!

Ace has spoken!

No one reads any of this!

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 02, 2013 03:38 PM (TCGmg)

237 in fact, no one even reads the headlines.

I figured people at least read the headlines.

Or skimmed them, at least.

Posted by: ace at January 02, 2013 03:38 PM (LCRYB)

238

169
I find it amusing that people agonize over "the rules" for time travel to the past. Because it's impossible.

It's not a question of technology or paradoxes. It will not and can not be done. Ever.

Posted by: Hollowpoint


Actually, we know how to do time travel now. The math works. Building the machine is impractical.

What machine?

You need a big* cylinder of neutronium spinning at half the speed of light. Fall towards that and you get zapped elsewhen. Or, itty-bitty pieces of you would...

*infinitely long but I gather shorter lengths should work.

Posted by: Comrade Arthur at January 02, 2013 03:38 PM (qkP36)

239 I watched some of "A Sound of Thunder", with Ed Burns, this morning and it was terrible.

>>>Has anyone seen Safety Not Guaranteed? That looks like a great take on the whole time travel thing. --ATC

I thought it was hilarious.

Posted by: Dr Spank at January 02, 2013 03:38 PM (4cRnj)

240 I don't go in for even the idea of "intelligent entertainment".

Want something intellectual? Then do something interactive.




Pretty sure the style book says you can't use "intelligent" and "intellectual" as synonyms, because they're not.



I get where you're going with this, but lots of interactive
entertainment is not particularly intelligent, either. Bar dice down at
the corner watering hole...interactive, interpersonal, not particularly
intellectual even in a college town. If you're trying to stretch your brain, you're probably
better off home alone reading Ben Hur.

Idiocracy is probably the most realistic of all time travel movies.

We're gonna take you back, to the year 1939 when Charlie Chaplin and his Nazi regime enslaved Europe and tried to take over the world...

Posted by: HeatherRadish™ needs a beer at January 02, 2013 03:39 PM (ZKzrr)

241 Posted by: ace at January 02, 2013 03:37 PM (LCRYB)

I come here for the Horde.
And didn't you once comment that someone should write something that was a post you had already written?!

Posted by: tsrblke (work) at January 02, 2013 03:40 PM (4F5x1)

242 Daddy, do you think I would make a good tribute?"::


No, more like, "Who would be so sick as to watch people kill each other for fun?"


"The Romans."



Reality TV execs would soooo do that today if it were legal.

Posted by: MikeTheMoose is Shrugging at January 02, 2013 03:40 PM (0q2P7)

243 it's official -- no one reads the blog.
Posted by: ace at January 02, 2013 03:37 PM (LCRYB)


--------------------------------------------


Ah, c'mon. I read most of it.

Posted by: Soona at January 02, 2013 03:41 PM (ki2Vw)

244 Final Countdown was a pretty interesting take on the whole time travel paradox thing. Captain Matthew Yelland decided he would take it minute by minute and skip all the agonizing over paradoxes. So he launched his air wing at the Japanese.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 02, 2013 03:41 PM (TCGmg)

245 it's official -- no one reads the blog.
Posted by: ace at January 02, 2013 03:37 PM (LCRYB)
---------------------------------------------------------------
You have a blog?

Posted by: Truck Monkey at January 02, 2013 03:41 PM (jucos)

246 @Ace,

In fairness, I read enough to be confused by your attempt to be spoiler free.

Posted by: tsrblke (work) at January 02, 2013 03:41 PM (4F5x1)

247 t's official -- no one reads the blog.

Posted by: ace at January 02, 2013 03:37 PM (LCRYB)


A famous man once said he only reads the comments.

Posted by: EC at January 02, 2013 03:42 PM (GQ8sn)

248 Yeah? Who made his watch? How many years old was it?


Posted by: Mike the Moose is Shrugging at January 02, 2013 03:29 PM (0q2P7)


Not getting your point.

Posted by: DiogenesLamp at January 02, 2013 03:42 PM (bb5+k)

249 39
Incidentally, the comedy Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel is a lot better at the whole time travel thing than Primer, and it was half-cute, too.

Rent it if you can.

Posted by: soothsayer at January 02, 2013 02:49 PM (ptD6d)

Yes it is. Detention is pretty cool as well.

Posted by: Mike Hunt at January 02, 2013 03:42 PM (G6kli)

250

208 Anyone read the Axis of Time trilogy? Okay, but kind of a stretch.
Posted by: Dr. Varno


(2020 naval task force falls back to 1942)

Yeah that was fun.

All through the series I was wondering - where are the nukes, where are the nukes? Then, right at the end... Bwa ha ha ha.

Posted by: Comrade Arthur at January 02, 2013 03:43 PM (qkP36)

251 The big problem for me with "Looper" as a time travel story occurs right at the beginning. It's a huge plot hole:

SPOILER

SPOILER

SPOILER

SPOILER


OK, Young Joe kills Old Joe near the beginning, closes his own loop and then goes on to live his life until he's Old Joe.

But, somehow, Old Joe even though that loop has been closed, reacts differently in the future than he has in Young Joe's past and escapes.

There's no reason for that to happen because it's already happened.

And don't say, the Rainmaker caused the timeline to change because that always was the timeline until Old Joe changed it.

That's why, they brought in the telepathic kid I guess. In effect, that the Rainmaker was so powerful that he warped the timeline.

but logically that makes no sense.

Posted by: naturalfake at January 02, 2013 03:43 PM (UgFxe)

252 Didn't like "Dr. Zhivago" (1965)?
Yer kidding.
That's like Werner Daehn's line as Kirill in "XXX" (2002) when he retorts about the dangers of smoking, "I like smoke better than air. If I could, I would smoke in my sleep."
One wonders what else you like better than "Dr. Zhivago", film-wise. One could watch that movie without soundtrack or subtitles and get the story in large part.
The fact that it is set in Minneapolis and North Dakota in 2033 just adds to the enjoyment.

Posted by: Thorvald at January 02, 2013 03:43 PM (1V6Pv)

253 Wait a tick...

Didn't we just cover something like this before on the blog?!?!

Posted by: EC at January 02, 2013 03:43 PM (GQ8sn)

254 Spock, "Didn't Dr. McCoy give you those glasses?"

Scotty, "Who's to say he didn't invent it?"

Two time paradoxes mentioned in Star Trek IV.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 02, 2013 03:43 PM (TCGmg)

255 Check out the Spanish film "Timecrimes" - it's time travel done well and you can actually understand it in one sitting. Pretty satisfying.

Posted by: negentropy at January 02, 2013 03:44 PM (27KAF)

256 :::Okay, point, but it does depend on the parent knowing their child and knowing what the books contain:::

But that's what parents do.

Whenever she's asking for more mature books to read, either my wife or I will read them and discuss whether we want her reading it, yet.

Because frankly, when she's of age, she'll be reading whatever she wants. But you absolutely cannot discourage a kid from wanting to read ever more challenging books. A live of reading is the best contribution to a child's education you can make.

I'll get the Divergent series - I had that in mind for her. Thanks!

Posted by: Empire of Jeff at January 02, 2013 03:44 PM (4uh3z)

257 Posted by: naturalfake at January 02, 2013 03:43 PM (UgFxe)

Or: Multiple timelines. (i.e. the recollection we saw was a different timeline than the movie we were actually in.)

Posted by: tsrblke (work) at January 02, 2013 03:44 PM (4F5x1)

258 226 Idiocracy is probably the most realistic of all time travel movies.

Posted by: Gristle Encased Head at January 02, 2013 03:34 PM (+lsX1)

Idiocracy is a rough take on C.M.Kornbluths The Marching Morons.

Posted by: Mike Hunt at January 02, 2013 03:45 PM (G6kli)

259 I am from your future and let me just say, you're wrong-o, old bean.

Posted by: Future Guy at January 02, 2013 03:46 PM (3ZtZW)

260
Another time travel SF series I like are Leo Frankowski's "Conrad" books where a 21st century Pole falls back to medieval Poland and realizes he has about 10 years to get Polish shit together before the Mongols show up and kill everybody.

Posted by: Comrade Arthur at January 02, 2013 03:46 PM (qkP36)

261 We watched Looper last night. It had potential, they fucked it up. Ending was gayer than Justin Beiber giving Elton John a foot massage while sucking on a popsicle as Justin Timberlake braided his hair.

thatisall.

Posted by: tangonine at January 02, 2013 03:46 PM (x3YFz)

262 @249

Yes! Detention is a great time travel comedy.


This movie is hard to find- it's Japanese - but if you want to see a fun movie with time travel done properly/logically.

Then watch-

"Summer Time Machine Blues"

Really, it's great.


Also, the anime "The Girl who Leapt Through Time" is pretty darn good.

Posted by: naturalfake at January 02, 2013 03:46 PM (UgFxe)

263 H. Beam Piper - Day of the Moron
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/18949/18949-h/18949-h.htm
Union thugs and nuclear power make a bad mix.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 02, 2013 03:46 PM (TCGmg)

264 Final Countdown was a pretty interesting take on the whole time travel paradox thing. Captain Matthew Yelland decided he would take it minute by minute and skip all the agonizing over paradoxes. So he launched his air wing at the Japanese.
Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 02, 2013 03:41 PM (TCGmg)


---------------------------------------------


I never could get past the contridiction onto itself when the "mysterious" limosine showed up at the beginning of the movie. It all would have worked much better for me if they had left that out until it showed up at the end of the movie.

Posted by: Soona at January 02, 2013 03:47 PM (ki2Vw)

265 How It Should Have Ended : Looper

Posted by: Funemployment at January 02, 2013 03:50 PM (0F6Sg)

266 AnnaPuma/etc beat me to it: can anything be more satisfying to the readers of this smart military blog than "The Final Countdown" (1980)?
Btw, for what it's worth, I haven't figured out if you're female. Weird, huh?

Posted by: Thorvald at January 02, 2013 03:50 PM (1V6Pv)

267 >>>Not getting your point.

The watch is handed to Richard by Elise, who then goes back in time to hand the same watch back to Elise who carries it forward in time and hands it to Richard who then travels back in time...

It's called bootstrap, ontological, or origination paradox.

Posted by: MikeTheMoose is Shrugging at January 02, 2013 03:51 PM (0q2P7)

268 @

Posted by: tsrblke (work) at January 02, 2013 03:44 PM (4F5x1)

Well, yeah...that's right.

But then that's kind of a big cheat.

Posted by: naturalfake at January 02, 2013 03:51 PM (UgFxe)

269 Looper is an adult story. Although written by a young guy it's for an adult audience. More than anything it's a film noir. The story at its essence is a modern-day throwback to the pulp crime fiction of the likes of Lawrence Block and Don Westlake. The Sci Fi angle is tertiary. It's the means to the end, not the end in and of itself. Excellent acting. Perfect pacing. The plot makes you think. You care about the characters. It's not designed for immature fanboys.

Posted by: Tsar Nicholas II at January 02, 2013 03:52 PM (pmsMR)

270 We had a conversation about time travel before on the blog. There was someone at Reddit who posted a short story about a Marine Expeditionary Unit traveling back in time to ancient Rome and wondering if an entire Roman Legion could take on an MEU. Who would win?

I think the author of that short story got his script optioned and they may be working a screenplay.

Posted by: EC at January 02, 2013 03:52 PM (GQ8sn)

271 OK I may take a look at primer. It seems to at least want to do time travel right. I'll probably end up watching looper too. Because I'm too much of a scifi junkie.

Posted by: MikeTheMoose is Shrugging at January 02, 2013 03:52 PM (0q2P7)

272 Soona. Why is it a contradiction if the time loop was closed. Nothing was changed. Nimitz went back in time to rescue one person and then strand two people in time. Pearl Harbor was still attacked. Those two people then carefully built up an empire that caused Nimitz to travel back in time.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 02, 2013 03:52 PM (TCGmg)

273 OK I may take a look at primer. It seems to at least want to do time
travel right. I'll probably end up watching looper too. Because I'm too
much of a scifi junkie.


Be sure to set aside several hours to watch Primer at least 2 or 3 times before you finally understand what the hell is going on.

Posted by: EC at January 02, 2013 03:54 PM (GQ8sn)

274 Thorvald deary if that was a pick up line. Work on it some more. I am SO not into the online dating thing. Bad results have I suffered due to that.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 02, 2013 03:54 PM (TCGmg)

275 But that's what parents do.


Sadly, not most of them. It's stunning to me how cavalier parents are about this stuff. I got into a discussion with someone about hooking up my xbox so her son could play some games. I said sure but warned that the games I had were not really for a 10 year old. Her son pipes up with how he's great at GTA. I stare at him and turn to his mother and say "You know what that's about, right? You know that one of the missions is to run a string of girls and I am not exaggerating." She said "Oh he really likes it and is good at it!" I just stared at her. I mean, how do you respond to that with anything that is even vaguely polite.

Posted by: alexthechick - SMOD. Team Stompy. at January 02, 2013 03:55 PM (VtjlW)

276 >>>Anyone seen Primer? It's time travel the way it should be -- brain melting.



it's official -- no one reads the blog.

Posted by: ace at January 02, 2013 03:37 PM (LCRYB)






Least of all, the blog proprietor.

Posted by: IllTemperedCur at January 02, 2013 03:55 PM (TIIx5)

277 David Drake and his lost Roman Legion fighting in outer space.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 02, 2013 03:55 PM (TCGmg)

278 262 @249

Yes! Detention is a great time travel comedy.


This movie is hard to find- it's Japanese - but if you want to see a fun movie with time travel done properly/logically.

Then watch-

"Summer Time Machine Blues"

Really, it's great.


Also, the anime "The Girl who Leapt Through Time" is pretty darn good.

Posted by: naturalfake at January 02, 2013 03:46 PM (UgFxe)

Have it, and Time Crimes and John dies in the end, haven't watched them yet.

Jasper Fforde has one of the more interesting takes on time travel. I think one of the quotes regarding a character was that at times he would be leading Chronosec raids, at times he would be running from Chronosec, and at others he would be leading raids against himself..

Just to toss them out Doctor Who, Time Tunnel, and Poul Andersons Time Patrol.

And the ultimate All you Zombies by Heinlein.

Posted by: Mike Hunt at January 02, 2013 03:55 PM (G6kli)

279 Thorvald,

The way to AnnaPuma's heart I have found, is to have a deep conversation about anime and WWII trivia.

Posted by: EC at January 02, 2013 03:56 PM (GQ8sn)

280 The line in the diner that Willis's character gave about the movie's timeline being too hard to explain absolutely ruined it for me. From that point on the time travel is no longer sci-fi but instead an ever increasing number of plot holes that you know will never be explained or resolved. Why place so much significance on the time travel and create all those holes in the first place when the goal was something more akin to Terminator?

Primer, otoh, I enjoyed because it demands your attention to follow the plot and rewards you when you can piece together a narrative of how things happened/are happening.

12 Monkeys was brilliant not because of the time travel plot, but rather how Willis's actions mirrored schizophrenia and the confusion over whether he is insane or telling the truth. Though the time travel plot breaks apart under scrutiny, the movie still has the fallback of the main characters being crazy.

Posted by: Sjg at January 02, 2013 03:56 PM (yYvCT)

281 AlextheChick. Parents are afraid to draw lines in the sand. Or even worse, they so want to see an R rated movie they drag the kids to watch it with them, even the 4 year old.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 02, 2013 03:57 PM (TCGmg)

282 Stephen King did a short story on time where teleportation is used. A family is teleported from a far-far-faraway place back to Earth except it fucks up and doesn't bring back their little boy. Then about 50 years later he suddenly shows up in the teleportation room. Strange ending.

Posted by: Soona at January 02, 2013 03:57 PM (ki2Vw)

283 112




Watched The Hedgehog (2009) / Le hérisson (original title) recently, too.



Classic french movie. Slicing out a piece (sliver) of one's
(typical) human life and delivering it large, exaggerated and honestly
on the screen.



Poignant.

Posted by: beach viewer at January 02, 2013 03:05 PM (LpQbZ)
They made a Ron Jeremy biopic?

Posted by: galloglass at January 02, 2013 03:57 PM (WVIkK)

284 #270
Yep, Rome Sweet Rome. Currently in development.

I like Primer, by the way. It was different, and at least tried to take a more thoughful approach to time travel.

Posted by: brak at January 02, 2013 03:57 PM (iEoiA)

285 Although written by a young guy it's for an adult audience. More than anything it's a film noir.


And Brick is apparently far far far better and done by the same guy. That's a modern noir story done right.


"I've got all five senses and I slept last night, that puts me six up on the lot of you."

Posted by: alexthechick - SMOD. Team Stompy. at January 02, 2013 03:58 PM (VtjlW)

286 Jack Chalker even dabbled in time travel. Downtiming the Dark Side. And of course he did his usual sex change the male character into a woman.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 02, 2013 03:59 PM (TCGmg)

287 Lest I forget both The Simpsons and Futurama have done epic time travel episodes.

Posted by: Mike Hunt at January 02, 2013 04:00 PM (G6kli)

288 @274, No... my pickup lines tend toward the seismic; but thanks for answering my question.
Btw, I am something of a Patton fan. OK, my name is Thorvald and I am a Patton fan.
And I loved that daikon spirit anime with the little girl who has the adventures, but I'm pretty sure that disqualifies me from just about everything.

Posted by: Thorvald at January 02, 2013 04:00 PM (1V6Pv)

289 269
Looper is an adult story. Although written by a young guy it's for an
adult audience. More than anything it's a film noir. The story at its
essence is a modern-day throwback to the pulp crime fiction of the likes
of Lawrence Block and Don Westlake. The Sci Fi angle is tertiary. It's
the means to the end, not the end in and of itself. Excellent acting.
Perfect pacing. The plot makes you think. You care about the characters.
It's not designed for immature fanboys.

Posted by: Tsar Nicholas II at January 02, 2013 03:52 PM (pmsMR)
We got that, me and the missus, as we watched it. We were good up till halfway through the farm. Then you get the idea they just needed it to end to fill the run time requirement and it ended oh so 1) melodramatically and 2) cheap.First half was well done, second half showed nothing. Saw everything coming a mile away.

Posted by: tangonine at January 02, 2013 04:00 PM (x3YFz)

290 Daikon and little girl. Oh yes Studio Ghibli 'Spirited Away.'

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 02, 2013 04:01 PM (TCGmg)

291 290 Daikon and little girl. Oh yes Studio Ghibli 'Spirited Away.'

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 02, 2013 04:01 PM (TCGmg)

No love for Pom Poko and Porco Rosso?

I watched it with my son when he was ten or so. I kept joking about the Racoons and their magic ball sacks.

He still blushes when I joke about the movie.

Posted by: Mike Hunt at January 02, 2013 04:04 PM (G6kli)

292 Soona. Why is it a contradiction if the time loop was closed. Nothing was changed. Nimitz went back in time to rescue one person and then strand two people in time. Pearl Harbor was still attacked. Those two people then carefully built up an empire that caused Nimitz to travel back in time.
Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 02, 2013 03:52 PM (TCGmg)


-----------------------------------------


I don't like closed loops. That's one of the reasons that Looper kind of fell flat for me. I don't think entities from different times can share the same reality.

Posted by: Soona at January 02, 2013 04:04 PM (ki2Vw)

293 Porco Rossa, "I'd rather be a pig than a fascist!"

Pom Poko, why energy drinks became a craze in Japan.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 02, 2013 04:05 PM (TCGmg)

294 I also need to add the Canuck show Continuum. Season 2 starts this weekend along with Lost Girl and Republic of Doyle.

Continuum avoids much of the contradiction in time travel and season one was well plotted. Not every episode was great but worth it.

And Fringe is all timey wimey.

Posted by: Mike Hunt at January 02, 2013 04:06 PM (G6kli)

295 I don't think entities from different times can share the same reality.

That's how Jean Claude Van Damme killed the villain in Timecop. The same matter can't occupy the same space at the same time! He throws the evil future Senator into the past Senator and makes him all melty and gooey.

Posted by: EC at January 02, 2013 04:06 PM (GQ8sn)

296 Soona, because a closed loop destroys the concept of people acting of their own free will? Or are we talking of the possibility of new and old self touching and blowing up the universe?

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 02, 2013 04:07 PM (TCGmg)

297 293 Porco Rossa, "I'd rather be a pig than a fascist!"

Pom Poko, why energy drinks became a craze in Japan.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 02, 2013 04:05 PM (TCGmg)

Nothing like good anime.

Keroro Gunsou was a real hoot, so was Ranma. Rorouni Kenshin was awesome. Naruto and Bleach, man I could go on all day.

Posted by: Mike Hunt at January 02, 2013 04:09 PM (G6kli)

298 That's how Jean Claude Van Damme killed the villain in Timecop. The same matter can't occupy the same space at the same time! He throws the evil future Senator into the past Senator and makes him all melty and gooey.
Posted by: EC at January 02, 2013 04:06 PM (GQ8sn)


----------------------------------------------


I just have a feeling that if I'd travel back in time and be young again, I'd make the same stupid fucking mistakes I made the first time.

Posted by: Soona at January 02, 2013 04:10 PM (ki2Vw)

299 Yes! "Spirited Away" (2001).
I cried most of the way through "Millennium Actress" (2001). I watched it again months later: same deal. Wtf?!?

Posted by: Thorvald at January 02, 2013 04:11 PM (1V6Pv)

300 296 Soona, because a closed loop destroys the concept of people acting of their own free will? Or are we talking of the possibility of new and old self touching and blowing up the universe?

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 02, 2013 04:07 PM (TCGmg)

You understand time travel doesn't really work that way.

You either generate a new timeline from the point where you interfere, or time forms itself around a predetermined line. Kill Hitler and his mistress takes over, something similiar. Most likely you never even get close enough something comes between you and your goal.

But the most interesting idea is if timetravel continually changes our present we would never know. Reality would just shift and no one would remember anything different.

Posted by: Mike Hunt at January 02, 2013 04:13 PM (G6kli)

301 299 Yes! "Spirited Away" (2001).
I cried most of the way through "Millennium Actress" (2001). I watched it again months later: same deal. Wtf?!?

Posted by: Thorvald at January 02, 2013 04:11 PM (1V6Pv)

Watch My Sassy Girl. A real Korean tear jerker. Musa is another one that tweaks the heart strings but for different reasons. Hell running out of time and real mob story do too. Most Andy Lau works have that added quality.

Posted by: Mike Hunt at January 02, 2013 04:15 PM (G6kli)

302 I just have a feeling that if I'd travel back in time and be young
again, I'd make the same stupid fucking mistakes I made the first time.



"Hmmm...I wonder if I can feel up Mary Jane in the projector room again?"

Posted by: EC at January 02, 2013 04:15 PM (GQ8sn)

303 Soona, because a closed loop destroys the concept of people acting of their own free will? Or are we talking of the possibility of new and old self touching and blowing up the universe?
Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 02, 2013 04:07 PM (TCGmg)


---------------------------------------------


I think, once again, Stephen King treated time travel like I would imagine it in a recent novel "November 1962" (???). Where events will become more resistant to change as to the change's importance to overall history.

The grander the change, the more cataclysmic the historical results.

Posted by: Soona at January 02, 2013 04:17 PM (ki2Vw)

304 The grander the change, the more cataclysmic the historical results.

Dr Who does this.

He explains that certain events in the universe cannot be changed and are fixed points in time. Certain people are destined to die a certain way, and no amount of time-traveling can alter their fates.

Posted by: EC at January 02, 2013 04:20 PM (GQ8sn)

305 It hilarious that there is this whole "canon" of thought regarding time travel. E.g. The same person must NEVER be in the same room as himself. LOL Retards.

Posted by: Al at January 02, 2013 04:36 PM (V70Uh)

306 You cry because you intensely identify with Chihiro. Her struggle to stay herself and to rescue her parents from the curse of Circe become your struggles. You want her to brave the challenges and succeed.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 02, 2013 04:38 PM (TCGmg)

307 It is a common concept in this subset of science fiction literature that the bigger the event, the more the space time continuum will resist any attempt at changing that event. Or in the Who-verse fixed points or time/places Doctor Who has already been - None shall pass.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 02, 2013 04:40 PM (TCGmg)

308 This is so funny. I am laughing my ass off. You all are complaining about how Hollywood makes films that appeal to the average idiot. In the next breath, your discussing time travel and multiple threads of time.


Posted by: Al at January 02, 2013 04:41 PM (V70Uh)

309 I actually enjoyed Millennium by John Varley.
Came out a couple years before the movie.

Cheryl Ladd was hot though.

Posted by: Dr. Varno at January 02, 2013 04:42 PM (3JFLq)

310 Al, time travel is possible. In fact every time you drive you are experiencing a small time dilation effect. The math that allows FTL allows time travel. You can arrive before you leave if you do not take precautions.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 02, 2013 04:43 PM (TCGmg)

311 >>>In the next breath, your discussing time travel and multiple threads of time.



FIRST!!!!!11!!!

Posted by: Dr. Varno at January 02, 2013 04:43 PM (3JFLq)

312 two good sci-fi movies dealing somewhat with time travel:

Triangle - a horror movie wherein there is a time loop and

Timecrimes (spanish movie) - which has similar issues to Looper and Primus in terms of running into yourself.

I liked Looper for what it was, a decent, not great sci fi movie. Better than many sci-fi movies that come out, but not memorable and with too many plot holes. Yes, all sci-fi is going to have plot holes, particularly when dealing with time travel - so you have to be willing to overlook those in order to enjoy.

SPOILER

SPOILER

SPOILER

Biggest plot hole for me? Once young joe learns old joe's motivation for coming back and killing the kid - he could just deliberately decide to not ever get married, not get in any serious relationships. Once that was decided, assuming that he was serious, Old Joe should disappear. He never got married, never settled down, and likely died in his future from drugs/violence. Also, Old Joe's appearance and actions alone would change young joe making it unlikely that young joe meets and falls in love with the same person old joe did. So - nullifaction.

2nd plot hole - organized crime is powerful enough to basically run the future and have time travel devices that nobody else has, but can't murder anyone b/c they can't hide the bodies? What about Old joe's wife that was murdered? they cover it up with fire, but so what?

The time travel itself wasn't my problem with this movie - it was the use of it that is absurd. If you are a criminal in 2077 and have access to time-travel (and can take things back with you), wouldn't you simply come back with a few books on all the sporting event outcomes for the next 30 years and make millions? Instead you waste it on dumping bodies?

The psi kid didn't bother me either. Yes - it is a rip off of many other such types in movies (X-Men, Carrie, etc). No big deal. Lots of good movies rip off other movies. However, the problem here is that the mother/son stay at the farm. Killer's coming to kill son. Therefore, you leave for a few weeks while young joe tries to kill old joe. You don't hang around and wait for him. That is more horror movie trope than anything else.

Posted by: Monkeytoe at January 02, 2013 04:55 PM (sOx93)

313 Damn, just got home from work and I missed gettin' in on Ace's review of Looper! I watched it and liked it ok, BUT I really enjoy movies with Bruce Willis any more, so I'm biased as long as the movie isn't stoopid. Now I'm ready for Ace's review of the Aquatic Life of Dr. Sizzou. I recently rented it and loved it, but I'm of the age where I grew up in the 70's watching Cousceau (sp?)..

Posted by: Yip at January 02, 2013 05:00 PM (/jHWN)

314 I think trying to "get" Primer by mapping timelines or whatever is a nerd error--an error that maybe the filmmaker, outside the film, encourages. I don't know, but I'd hope not. The Donnie Darko guy fucked up his movie by talking about it too much in a too nerdy way (and by releasing a director's cut that's a stupid pile of ass, when the studio cut was an ideal-world best possible version of the material).

Primer works just like it is, self-contained, first time through. "Time travel = briar patch. The end."

I kinda liked it. I don't kinda like many things.

Posted by: oblig. at January 02, 2013 05:16 PM (cePv8)

315 Primer, by the way, was a very good movie. Not all movies have to be so easily understood that you can watch them while also playing on your laptop, drinking booze, and emailing your friends.

Primer requires some thought - yes it is convoluted, but it is supposed to be convoluted, that is partially the point. Similar to a movie like Memento. Granted, you will never have a huge audience for a movie with complex ideas that doesn't tie everything up neatly with a bow at the end.

In Primer, there are multiple copies of the same two individuals with different motivations interacting and you are never sure which copy you are watching. The idea behind Primer is that you can travel as far backward as the point the machine was turned on (assuming the machine is continuing to run). So, you have 3 or 4 of the same guy running around and even fighting himself b/c the "older" version knows things the younger version doesn't - while at the same time you have that guy versus his partner and/or different versions of his partner. then, in order to trick each other into not realizing it's a future version and trying not to change things, they do things like listen to tapes of conversations while conversations are going on in an effort to say the exact same thing in this version of the conversation that was originally said. It gets very confusing - but purposefully so. Adding to the confusion is that the 2 main characters are basically racing each other and their past selves, so they are going without sleep as they keep getting back in the machine to go back in time and try and fix a past mistake or prevent the other guy from doing something. So, person "a" version 4 has been without sleep for 72 hours, while person "a" version 2 has only been up 20 hours, etc.

It was an extremely well thought out, paced, and acted movie considering that it was a) a first time filmmaker and b) had a $7k budget. Was it perfect - no, but it was better than most major Hollywood movies and again, with no budget and a self-taught first time filmmaker. I would actually love to see a big budget version of Primer where it was cleaned up a little, but my guess is that a big budget version would ruin what makes it unique by over-simplifying everything for the audience.

Posted by: Monkeytoe at January 02, 2013 05:24 PM (sOx93)

316 Haven't seen Looper yet. Personally, after seeing Primer, I Google'd up a flow chart mapping out the plot and the time lines, and then it made much more sense.

Posted by: Ms. Jack at January 02, 2013 05:38 PM (q1kTP)

317 Al, time travel is possible. In fact every time you drive you are experiencing a small time dilation effect. The math that allows FTL allows time travel. You can arrive before you leave if you do not take precautions.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 02, 2013 04:43 PM (TCGmg)



I don't know that the math "allows" FTL, but more that if we can do FTL, we can violate casuality - ex: returning before you left.

There's some weirdness with certain particles, but we haven't figured out a way to transmit information past the speed of light, which is necessary to violate casuality. Maybe they'll figure that out in the future - but then why haven't they told us yet? = P

Time dilation definitely does allow time travel "to the future", but with ridiculous energy costs. Time travel to the past is doubtful (but not disproven!).

Posted by: ConservativeMonster at January 02, 2013 05:51 PM (FzhYM)

318
300+ Comments? oy! Alone in the crowd...
Primer was brilliant! A movie about time travel where they never once call it time travel. You like your movies spoon-fed to you? The ending wrapped up neatly with a pretty bow? Avoid Primer since you have to pay attention and THINK!
Hint: In Primer, the effect comes first, then the cause... they never tell you this of course, but he scribbles it on somepaper in frustration.
PK Dick was a brilliant writer, his works are filled with genius! He takes the most amazing things and makes them... boring. Mundane.Atelepathic Slime-Mold from Ganamyde is oozing underthe door: the Hero's response?"Don't you people ever knock!" "I'm sorry sir, I lack the physical appendages to 'knock' on your door". (Lord Running Clam. Clans of the Alphane Moon.) Making SciFi seem ordinary = genius! And skillful too. News Clowns...

Posted by: 5Cats at January 02, 2013 06:05 PM (EbYrW)

319 Wow Ace! Meh??

I thought Looper was brilliant. I saw it soon after opening and loved it.

Posted by: sdavis at January 02, 2013 06:13 PM (njVMI)

320 The movie Chronicle made me wonder why Jedis don't just levitate/fly around as a basic mode of travel.

Posted by: ArrMatey at January 02, 2013 06:18 PM (Vf2XE)

321
Looper sucked balls.

Posted by: thebronze at January 02, 2013 07:18 PM (QatNX)

322 >>>12 Monkeys was brilliant not because of the time travel plot, but rather how Willis's actions mirrored schizophrenia and the confusion over whether he is insane or telling the truth. Though the time travel plot breaks apart under scrutiny, the movie still has the fallback of the main characters being crazy.

I think I agree that the schizo part is the brilliant part, but the time travel part does put a neat button on the ending. A film needs an ending; the prescience-by-time-travel provided it.

I don't think it 'breaks apart" but I don't remember the specifics. Generally I don't find that these movies "break apart" like people claim -- what people often mean is that an impossible Null-Cause Paradox has been created.

I don't know if that's what you're saying, but a lot of times people just mean that.

That's not a problem -- that's the point. It's supposed to warp your mind about cause preceding effect.

but yeah the Schizos are Really Sane bit is the part that really stuck with me. that was the Novel part for me.


Posted by: ace at January 02, 2013 07:21 PM (LCRYB)

323 Primer is one of my top favorite movies ever. My first time watching it I didn't know how to feel about it, but it seeped into my brain post viewing and I had to watch it again. This site has the best attempted explanation of the plot I've read: http://qntm.org/primer . It is consistent with everything I had a pieced together myself, plus plenty of stuff I hadn't figured out yet but makes sense.

I think it's a great example of how you don't really need to understand the specifics of a story to understand and feel the central conflict and drama of it. Another good example of this is the indie game Thirty Flights of Loving (http://store.steampowered.com/app/214700/). There's no spoken dialog, it only has about 20-30 minutes of content, but it is well reviewed (metacritic score of 89), it's sold on Steam, and everyone I know who has played it really enjoyed it. None of us have any idea what the story was, but we all enjoyed it.

Also, for people who have seen Primer once and expect they would understand the plot on their second viewing: No, you probably won't.

Posted by: some guy at January 02, 2013 07:52 PM (BCYnA)

324 I just watched Primer. Enjoyed it very much. I wish they made more thinking movies, especially higher budget ones.

If I watched it the way I watch most of Hollywood's crap I would have zoned out and not gotten anything, but Ace's review intrigued me so I glanced over the Wikipedia entry and then I followed closely. It starts off slow, but around 10-15 mins in, it takes off and stays interesting thereafter.

Posted by: Stan at January 02, 2013 08:08 PM (TzqhC)

325 Forgot how I cam across Primer some years ago but I loved it. Yes, filmed in DFW for about 7k. Very, very interesting film that you need to watch at least twice to catch enough to make some sense of it. Recommended.

Posted by: Primer! at January 02, 2013 09:22 PM (IGplW)

326
Disagree with the review wholeheartedly, Ace. Loved the movie and found it easy to follow along with. I watched it with my wife and we had to stop several times along the way to piece it together along the way, but didn't get lost.

Will have to pick up primer, thanks for the bonus review.

Posted by: ALittleEnglish at January 05, 2013 04:48 PM (L+mph)






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