Looper

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Looper

Postby charliepanayi » Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:53 am UTC

Anyone else seen this yet? Thoughts? I enjoyed it a lot, though as even the film acknowledges if you start to think about the time travel stuff for too long it'll just get messy.
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Re: Looper

Postby Zohar » Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:21 am UTC

I liked it, there were some very good scenes there, and it wasn't what I was expecting it to be. I do think they tried to cram a bit too much in the film, specifically
Spoiler:
It seems the only reason for the inclusion of the telekinesis idea is to convince us the kid is really very terrible and if he dies then everything is solved. In some ways it's a bit of a cop out, an easy answer to why it's justified to kill him, because without him everything else falls apart. I don't mean to Godwin myself in the foot, but there's a valid argument about whether or not getting rid of Hitler would have stopped WWII and the Holocaust, and in this case - there isn't. The kid's Akira, and that's it.

In any case, having both time travel, a futuristic environment and telekinesis seemed a bit too much, I think they could have gone without the TK.


I was surprised at some of the scenes there, they were very well done. You know the first one I'm talking about, of course (at the beginning, it involves the doctor), but also
Spoiler:
The fact Willis actually killed a kid practically on camera, and shot another kid, directly on camera.


I found it a bit funny how the creators decided they'll work around Bruce Willis to make JGL appear like him - so JGL had eye contacts, a prosthetic nose and acted like Bruce Willis, but Willis... just played himself.
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Re: Looper

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:06 pm UTC

Yeah, the early scene with
Spoiler:
oldSeth having bodyparts disappear
freaked me out. Also, I don't like it when touching a gun means it goes *klickalik*, or when getting shot throws you back 10 feet even when the gun has minimal recoil.

The time-travel is not worth thinking too much on, because then the entire plan of the mob makes no sense. I mean, if the people can be teleported not just through time but space as well, why not just teleport them into the Earth's mantle? And if you have access to time travel, wouldn't you be able to make a lot more from stock-market manipulation and Grey Sports Almanacs than from corpse disposal? But, no loopers, no story. So just repeat the MST3K3 Mantra, "it's just a show; I should really just relax", a few times while watching this movie.

The ending does bother me a bit,
Spoiler:
I mean, movies don't always have to have happy, sappy endings, but couldn't Joe have shot off a finger to prevent Willis from murdering the mother, or maybe convince Willis not to kill the kid and then Willis could disappear but it's the mother's picture in the pocket-watch.

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Re: Looper

Postby Isaac Hill » Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:19 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:The time-travel is not worth thinking too much on, because then the entire plan of the mob makes no sense. I mean, if the people can be teleported not just through time but space as well, why not just teleport them into the Earth's mantle? And if you have access to time travel, wouldn't you be able to make a lot more from stock-market manipulation and Grey Sports Almanacs than from corpse disposal? But, no loopers, no story. So just repeat the MST3K3 Mantra, "it's just a show; I should really just relax", a few times while watching this movie.
Maybe time travelling objects can only displace air, not solids or liquids? I just figure the future mob has seen enough James Bond movies to know that you don't send someone into a seemingly inescapable death trap without someone there to make sure they actually die. Presumably, they send people to the time and place when they had enough influence to cover up Looper activity. They may use time travel for other things, but we wouldn't see those from our 2040's vantage point.

CorruptUser wrote:The ending does bother me a bit,
Spoiler:
I mean, movies don't always have to have happy, sappy endings, but couldn't Joe have shot off a finger to prevent Willis from murdering the mother...
I thought almost the exact same thing, well...
Spoiler:
I wondered why he didn't shoot his hand off. Thinking back on it now, I realize that Joe didn't see what happened to Seth, so he may not know how body modification works. Plus, he didn't have a whole lot of time to think about it.

My girlfriend and I made the same erroneous assumption during the end, and I was wondering if anyone else did.
Spoiler:
Joe narrates about watching his mother being killed and escaping by train, then we see that about to happen to the Rainmaker. We each thought, briefly, that they were setting up another loop where Joe is the Rainmaker. We each figured out that wasn't so before the movie ended, but it kind of confused us for a bit. I guess they made the cases that similar to make looping a metaphor for the cycle of violence. With Joe and the Rainmaker creating each other, it'd be more of a mobius strip of violence.
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Re: Looper

Postby SurgicalSteel » Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:58 am UTC

Isaac Hill wrote:My girlfriend and I made the same erroneous assumption during the end, and I was wondering if anyone else did.
Spoiler:
Joe narrates about watching his mother being killed and escaping by train, then we see that about to happen to the Rainmaker. We each thought, briefly, that they were setting up another loop where Joe is the Rainmaker. We each figured out that wasn't so before the movie ended, but it kind of confused us for a bit. I guess they made the cases that similar to make looping a metaphor for the cycle of violence. With Joe and the Rainmaker creating each other, it'd be more of a mobius strip of violence.

Spoiler:
The narration wasn't about Joe watching his mother being killed, it was Joe realizing what was about to happen to the kid and what it would probably lead to.
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Re: Looper

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:29 am UTC

Spoiler:
Yeah, Abe (the mob boss from the future) was able to pick out kids that were going to go bad, could see where their life would lead, and save them from evil by training them in the honest trades of murder and corpse disposal. It was kind of a call-back to what Abe had done, only for good reasons this time.

But anyway, if there was even a fragment of a chance of the victim escaping, the death-trap should be more foolproof than just a single person with a shotgun. Guns can jam, people can miss, sometimes a bystander could come along at the exact wrong time and disrupt the process. There were contingency plans in place for "letting your loop run", which amounted to, well, you saw it, so the mob must've known that their loopers weren't 100% effective. This is a crapsack world where people can be shot in broad daylight without anyone so much as caring, the couple bars of silver per job would cover a half dozen 'loopers'. Silver is currently about $27.50 per troy ounce, or roughly $400/lb (about 14.1 troy oz per lb), and I'd guess there's about 10 lbs of silver per job for $4k/murder. Maybe more, I'm probably not the best for judging the weight of silver. Anyway. There are people in Brazil who are paid $50 for each street urchin they kill. Yes, that's right, people in our world we live in who will murder an orphaned child for less than the price of Skyrim.

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Re: Looper

Postby 3fj » Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:26 pm UTC

I really liked it.

Plot stuff
Spoiler:
I agree with the TK being unnecessary, and I literally said "Here we fucking go" right before the random love subplot started. Called it from the second we saw her in bed gripping the hem of her dress.


Timetravel stuff
Spoiler:
They trade the silver in for cash at a place explicitly for loopers. ('Looper blunderbuss "here"' :P) Which says to me that it's in the mobs control at it's own exchange rate. The problem comes when you realise that this silver has probably passed through several different loops over and over again. On second thought, I'm assuming there's some sort of mob rule about the silver not entering a loop like that, but it means that they have to come up with a rather large sum of silver after spending all their money on paying the loopers who have closed their loop.

Why don't we know more loopers? Surely there would be thousands of them, an ever increasing amount. There's a limited number of people that lived between a start date (where everyone knows loopers exist, and there's facilities in place for them to operate, specifically where the mob guy was sent back to) and the time when this scheme is initiated (i.e, when they sent him). This means that the bodies keep piling up but there's only a certain number of people who kill a handful of times per day to take care of it. To be fair, it could also be self-regulating given that what we see is limited to a handful of loops (at least two, more depending on things to do with Seth: original, where he kills himself, redemption, where he escapes); it could be that this is just one of many loops, with differing start and end dates as the mob requires them.

Also I thought they'd do more with the mob guy that they sent back. What happens to the guys who haven't had their loops closed? That's still a loose end, but there's no way to send them back to themselves because they now have no communication with the future.
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Re: Looper

Postby Jesse » Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:49 am UTC

This film proved to me that I am effectively racist when it comes to Hollywood's white, blonde women. I could not tell the two actresses apart for some reason, and had to depend on scene context.

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Re: Looper

Postby charliepanayi » Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:39 pm UTC

Confusing Emily Blunt and Piper Perabo? :?
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Re: Looper

Postby EdgarJPublius » Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:38 pm UTC

Jesse wrote:This film proved to me that I am effectively racist when it comes to Hollywood's white, blonde women. I could not tell the two actresses apart for some reason, and had to depend on scene context.


This seems to be an increasingly common problem for me in movies. It happens with a couple of common phenotypes, but White, Blonde actresses are definitely the worst.
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Re: Looper

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:09 am UTC

2 hours is not nearly enough time to develop more than a few characters anyway, so it's best to condense all but maybe 3 characters into their tropes for simplicity's sake. They are going to look alike to your mind, because they are so interchangeable anyway. Had the whore's kid been the rainmaker instead, and Joe ended up with her, it would've been more or less the same story. Almost; the farm girl helps Joe get clean instead of the Chinese girl in 20 years, and it really feels like this movie underwent quite a few rewrites and forced edits. That or I just wanted a different ending.

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Re: Looper

Postby Jesse » Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:36 am UTC

charliepanayi wrote:Confusing Emily Blunt and Piper Perabo? :?


They look totally different everywhere else but in this film, where with every scene change I was all "What, which blonde woman is this? Oh, there's the boy, it's FarmGirl"

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Re: Looper

Postby Jorpho » Sat Oct 06, 2012 2:56 am UTC

Ugh. To be sure, it's competently done and all the acting is believable, but in the end it's TV movie quality, at best – wait for the video.

It gets off to a promising start, but then it just quietly flatlines, and then it throws in
Spoiler:
a psychic kid who can't control his powers
which is just one of the most tiresome, overwrought science fiction cliches of all. Has that ever worked out well?

The person with whom I saw it liked it a lot more, and thought it had an interesting perspective on age confronting youth. I didn't really see it that way.

The director's previous film was "The Brothers Bloom", which I felt had a similarly hollow, empty quality about it and it kind of makes me wonder if there was deeper stuff again left on the cutting room floor.

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Re: Looper

Postby eSOANEM » Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:09 am UTC

Isaac Hill wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:The ending does bother me a bit,
Spoiler:
I mean, movies don't always have to have happy, sappy endings, but couldn't Joe have shot off a finger to prevent Willis from murdering the mother...
I thought almost the exact same thing, well...
Spoiler:
I wondered why he didn't shoot his hand off. Thinking back on it now, I realize that Joe didn't see what happened to Seth, so he may not know how body modification works. Plus, he didn't have a whole lot of time to think about it.


Spoiler:
He used the bodymod trick to get willis to the cafe in the first place.
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Re: Looper

Postby Jorpho » Sat Oct 13, 2012 12:22 am UTC

You can read the director frantically attempting to handwave here:
http://www.slashfilm.com/ten-mysteries- ... n-johnson/

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Re: Looper

Postby EdgarJPublius » Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:53 am UTC

I feel like that whole list could just be replaced by the scene with Abe where he refuses to talk about time travel ' 'cause then we'll be here all day making diagrams with straws and shit.'

I mean, you can watch a movie where the point is to talk about the time travel and diagram it and figure out how the plot advances through time, that movie exists. It's just not called Looper, that movie is called Primer.
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Re: Looper

Postby Jorpho » Sat Oct 13, 2012 2:03 am UTC

Even Primer does a pretty shoddy job of it, in my opinion.

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Re: Looper

Postby SurgicalSteel » Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:11 am UTC

Because that's not the main point of even Primer. The main point of Primer is the effect this technology has on the friendship between the two main characters.
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Re: Looper

Postby charliepanayi » Sat Oct 13, 2012 7:17 pm UTC

Jorpho wrote:You can read the director frantically attempting to handwave here:
http://www.slashfilm.com/ten-mysteries- ... n-johnson/


It's hardly 'frantically attempting to handwave' when the film cheerfully admits that the complications of anything involving time travel aren't worth thinking about.
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Re: Looper

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:12 am UTC

I loved this. The scene when
Spoiler:
the kid falls, and JGL runs to grab him, Emily Blunt runs to... something... and the assassin aims to the ceiling to indicate he's not going to shoot a fucking kid god you monster! and the kids falling, and JGL is about to get to him and wait, why is Emily tackling JGL out of the... OH MY FUCKING GOD EXSANGUIBOOOOOOOOOOOM

was amazing.

So... This film had time travel. Lets take a moment now while everyone points out the numerous flaws and inconsistencies that crop up as a result of this fact.

One inconsistency I don't understand is where JGL got A ) his blunderbuss after escaping the diner, and B ) where he got the accoutrements to clean it given his circumstances.

@Isaac Hill:
Spoiler:
Joe knew about the body modification thing; remember how he branded himself with the waitresses name so his future self would go to the diner?
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Re: Looper

Postby pseudoidiot » Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:18 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:One inconsistency I don't understand is where JGL got A ) his blunderbuss after escaping the diner, and B ) where he got the accoutrements to clean it given his circumstances.
Spoiler:
It's kind of easy to miss, but when he's going through the corn-fields on the hover bike, he reaches down and pulls out a blunderbuss before hopping off. Presumably it was Seth's.

As far as the stuff to clean it with? Probably nothing special there and he may have found those tools in the barn.


Also, agreed that scene was awesome.
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Re: Looper

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Oct 16, 2012 3:05 am UTC

Oooooooooooh, it was on the Rocket Jockey knock off! I vaguely remember that.

I thought the kid was a pretty good actor, and pulled it off well.
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Re: Looper

Postby mosc » Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:26 pm UTC

It was a weird movie to me. Felt like a twilight zone episode (it's good you did that Anthony, real good!) crossed with inception crossed with your favorite Keanu Reeves movie (Johnny Mnemonic, Chain Reaction, Matrix, whatever).

The very loud, adamant refusal to talk about the critical elements of their flavor of time travel were partuclarly amusing. After that I just sat back and said "ok, they really don't want to have this movie make sense to anyone". I mean it mostly made sense, I guess.

So, future bruce willis comes back and interacts with himself knowing what happens to his old self implies old self MUST be sent back 30 years from now into the past. Otherwise how would bruce not just dissapear like he did later? So everything that happens must lead to the kid still being sent back 30 years later. Which... I mean how are they going to send the kid back 30 years later if he kills their entire operation when they do it? Wouldn't they, like, NOT send him back? I don't get it.
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Re: Looper

Postby charliepanayi » Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:20 pm UTC

I don't think Johnny Mnemonic/Chain Reaction and the word 'favourite' will ever go together.
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Re: Looper

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:30 pm UTC

mosc, the movie handwavy explains it away by saying there are multiple timelines, that affecting the timeline now will immediately change any future people who are back in the present (think Seth), but not their actions up to the timeline. You just have to accept that, and relish in the fact that the film is at the very least internally consistent. It bugged me, and I don't think that's how time travel works (if I go back 10 years and cut off my past self's leg, I feel pretty strongly that present day me won't just fall to the ground as my leg vanishes... BUT I DUNNO! Time travel! Fuckit!)

Don't over think it. Bruce Willis even yells at you (the audience) for doing so with that monologue in the diner. Just treat it as a plot device with some vague rules.
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Re: Looper

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:10 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:... I don't think that's how time travel works (if I go back 10 years and cut off my past self's leg, I feel pretty strongly that present day me won't just fall to the ground as my leg vanishes... BUT I DUNNO! Time travel! Fuckit!)
It depends on if ten years ago, a one-legged lunatic who looked like you wandered up and hacked your leg off or not.

Of course, if that happened, then you only have one leg when you travel back to whack your leg off. If it didn't happen, then there's potentially multiple outcomes.

The other possibility is that time is only relative to the observer, basically meaning that if you travel back and adjust things, whatever you return to won't be *your* future, but some other future and while you yourself will still have both legs, there will be an alternative you with only one leg. Because relative to your observation, you climbed in a box or something, wandered about a world that looks like the world a decade ago, hacked off some person's leg that looks just like you did a decade ago, climbed back in the box and popped out again in a world that doesn't quite line up with what you remember and also everyone thinks you should only have one leg and are probably going to try and arrest you for impersonating someone else.
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Re: Looper

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:42 pm UTC

How I feel talking about my ideas on time travel paradox resolution, and how you should too ST

Internally consistent. That's all I can ask of a film that plays with things like time travel.
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Re: Looper

Postby mosc » Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:02 pm UTC

so also does nobody get prosthetic limbs in this super distant future? Or scar removal? If I carved a name into my arm, I think 30 years from now I might have had time to get that taken care of. If I lose a leg, I probably have some prosthetic something. So it's a weird "both ways" kind of deal. Your past you still effects you, but not in a way that makes any reasonable sense.
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Re: Looper

Postby Isaac Hill » Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:42 pm UTC

eSOANEM & Izawwlgood, you're right. I forgot about that.

mosc wrote:so also does nobody get prosthetic limbs in this super distant future? Or scar removal? If I carved a name into my arm, I think 30 years from now I might have had time to get that taken care of. If I lose a leg, I probably have some prosthetic something. So it's a weird "both ways" kind of deal. Your past you still effects you, but not in a way that makes any reasonable sense.
The alternate timelines in this movie branch out, so when 2070 Joe goes back to his past of 2040, old-Joe is also in the past of several (infinite?) other timelines. As old-Joe progresses through the past, changes to young-Joe appear on old-Joe only when they've passed a point in time to cause young-Joe to have the change, forcing Joe's life down the other timeline.

To use your prosthetic example, say old-Joe arrives on Monday, causes young-Joe to lose a leg on Tues, and young-Joe gets a prosthetic on Thurs. Old-Joe would see his leg spontaneously disappear on Tues, spend Wed legless, and see a prosthetic leg spontaneously appear on Thurs.

At least, that's what I got out of Bruce Willis' explanation of his memories in the diner. Because the future he came from is only one of many possibilities, his memories were distorted until those possibilities became certainties. Which also means,
Spoiler:
as old-Seth loses body parts, his memories of his closed-his-loop party are going away and being replaced with whatever was going through young-Seth's mind during the torture. Memories of his 30 years after that may have been fading as his injuries made them impossible.
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Re: Looper

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:34 am UTC

Yeah, the inconsistencies with the time paradoxes are obvious, which is why I think Bruce Willis had that monologue in the diner telling us not to think about it. Just look the other way. Because in this movie, time paradoxes work like this. Why? Because they do.
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Re: Looper

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Oct 18, 2012 3:29 am UTC

The questions that arise from time travel are probably the reason time travel is so very, very illegal.

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Re: Looper

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Oct 18, 2012 4:05 am UTC

Criminals have no respect for the space-time continuum.
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Re: Looper

Postby sccdemir » Sat Oct 27, 2012 7:21 pm UTC

It just came out here and I have to say this movie is screaming 'make me into a video game'. Think of the possibilities.

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Re: Looper

Postby Jorpho » Sat Oct 27, 2012 9:54 pm UTC

sccdemir wrote:It just came out here and I have to say this movie is screaming 'make me into a video game'. Think of the possibilities.
I can't imagine why you would say that. By far the most likely possibility would be a bland, forgettable, linear action game.

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Re: Looper

Postby Izawwlgood » Sat Oct 27, 2012 11:03 pm UTC

On further reflection, I've come to the conclusion that the film was meh. Both time travel and TK are weakly used plot devices, interchangeable for 'prophecy' or 'just trust me, this person is important'. I still enjoyed the action, and the grittiness of the future, but the more I thought on it, the less compelling the writing/story seemed.
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Re: Looper

Postby sccdemir » Sat Oct 27, 2012 11:07 pm UTC

Jorpho wrote:
sccdemir wrote:It just came out here and I have to say this movie is screaming 'make me into a video game'. Think of the possibilities.
I can't imagine why you would say that. By far the most likely possibility would be a bland, forgettable, linear action game.


It depends on who takes up the project. We're talking Bioware/Valve quality story writing here. CD Projekt's Cyberpunk is what I have in mind for the setting. But you are probably right, not enough content to explore and no one would bother anyway. I really enjoyed the film though, one of those rare ones that keep you entertained while watching and kind of leaves you playing with the idea in your head afterwards. I was left more satisfied with it then I was with the DK Rises. 8 out of 10.

Izawwlgood wrote:On further reflection, I've come to the conclusion that the film was meh. Both time travel and TK are weakly used plot devices, interchangeable for 'prophecy' or 'just trust me, this person is important'. I still enjoyed the action, and the grittiness of the future, but the more I thought on it, the less compelling the writing/story seemed.


I agree the whole TK thing was far-fetched and unnecessary to an otherwise credible future. Also another reminder of how much I hate child actors. (some)

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Re: Looper

Postby mosc » Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:47 pm UTC

Isaac Hill wrote:The alternate timelines in this movie branch out, so when 2070 Joe goes back to his past of 2040, old-Joe is also in the past of several (infinite?) other timelines. As old-Joe progresses through the past, changes to young-Joe appear on old-Joe only when they've passed a point in time to cause young-Joe to have the change, forcing Joe's life down the other timeline.

To use your prosthetic example, say old-Joe arrives on Monday, causes young-Joe to lose a leg on Tues, and young-Joe gets a prosthetic on Thurs. Old-Joe would see his leg spontaneously disappear on Tues, spend Wed legless, and see a prosthetic leg spontaneously appear on Thurs.

At least, that's what I got out of Bruce Willis' explanation of his memories in the diner. Because the future he came from is only one of many possibilities, his memories were distorted until those possibilities became certainties. Which also means,
Spoiler:
as old-Seth loses body parts, his memories of his closed-his-loop party are going away and being replaced with whatever was going through young-Seth's mind during the torture. Memories of his 30 years after that may have been fading as his injuries made them impossible.
Of course, that doesn't make any sense. If he's from a specific possible future, he should disappear as soon as the first possible thing is changed in the timeline. If he's part of a predetermined and unalterable loop, he should already experienced everything and nothing should change his memories or attributes. If he's a conglomeration of all possible futures like they seem to be saying, then he should have some resemblance to a likely statistical outcome based on the current chain of events. Clearly in some universes, he dies in a car accident in 2065 or somesuch. Others, he avoids the return trip. Making him disappear only after all possible universes have been deterministically set to not have them in him means that he has to exist as a changing possibility of likely outcomes. The likelihood that he doesn't get a prosthetic limb is got to be pretty f-ing small, I'm sorry. It makes no sense. Even by the logic you propose, he aught to look down and see a prosthetic leg, lose some memory from his past, and remember having his leg chopped off. He also aught to remember when he got a prosthetic limb some years later.
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Re: Looper

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:01 pm UTC

mosc wrote:then he should have some resemblance to a likely statistical outcome based on the current chain of events.

Again... willing suspension of disbelief; at least the film was consistent with how they executed this.
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Re: Looper

Postby Isaac Hill » Fri Nov 02, 2012 1:52 am UTC

I don't know if it's reasonable to even expect a time travel story to "make sense". When we say something makes sense, we just mean that it lines up with the expectations we've developed over decades of life experience. Since none of our experience involves time travel, we don't know what to expect when cause doesn't precede effect.

It's similar to how relativity and quantum mechanics don't make sense to most people, but that doesn't make them false. They just deal with reality in a way different than what we encounter in day to day life, so our expectations don't apply to them.

Izawwlgood has it right; all you can really ask for is consistency. Then, you can base your expectations for the later parts of the story on what happened in the beginning.

And if Seth did get a prosthetic, the mob probably took it away before sending him back.
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Re: Looper

Postby novax6 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:32 am UTC

Related. (warning if you haven't ever read any of his stuff before, it's all caps. Just part of the charm)

Loved the movie though. My current favorite for this year.


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