Looper

Discussion in 'Movies' started by DaveF, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Looper: the trailer excites, but i worried that would be all. nothing but a grand concept and two hours of Willis blowing stuff up.
    It was more.
    Mouth agape, I watched in amazement as a powerful drama unfolded, worked through bleak scifi underpinnings.
    A movie that shows little gore, but transfixes and horrifies with visceral violence. A time-travel concept I'm still puzzling over, taking me back to when Termintor blew my teenage mind. And an unexpectedly mature story that speaks to forward looking youth, backward knowing age...and something even more.
    Something beautiful emerges. From a story filled with terrible people. Terrible motivations. Grace emerges. Tragic grace.
     
  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I just got back from a matinee viewing of this film and I have to concur that it's a very fine film and probably one of the best sci-fi films in the last 10-15 years.
    Crawdaddy
     
  3. Greg Kettell

    Greg Kettell Screenwriter

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    I saw this today. Lots to like and to think about but some of the premise doesn't really make any sense. And trying to resolve the paradoxes is giving me a headache.
    But otherwise I think it's first-rate. I think the actor who played the kid (Cid) deserves a supporting actor Oscar nom.
     
  4. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    The paradoxes are tricky :)



    Typical time travel story is a single, infinite loop: Sgt Reese is sent back by John Conner to save Sarah Conner, thus becoming the father of John Conner...





    This has two, going on three. It indicates a fatalistic loop, and then breaks it.

    Young Joe grows old, (Rainmaker becomes evil) Old Joe loops back, and is killed by Young Joe



    Young Joe grows old, (Rainmaker becomes evil), Old Joe decides to not be killed, loops back, and escapes



    Young Joe pursues Old Joe, (becomes cause of Rainmaker becoming evil), Young Joe kills himself, kills Old Joe, Rainmaker does not become evil, and loops are broken.




    Ultimately, in this story, it's not crucial if the time-travel is self-consistent.


    I see the point of the story of being Joe's character growth. Young Joe is a wretched person. Old Joe is a wretched person. Old Joe is 'saved' by his wife, but he is still wholly self-centered in willing to kill even children to try and save his life.


    Young Joe then realizes this, and becomes able to sacrifice himself to save another person, Cid.
     
  5. Greg Kettell

    Greg Kettell Screenwriter

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    Yes, but...
    This doesn't explain why Rainmaker turns evil in the first time loop, when old Joe dies. I guess he was borderline and would turn evil anyway if it wasn't for the example of young Joe's sacrifice? Maybe because he and his mom now had a bunch of silver bricks? :)
    Other questions: Why require the loopers to kill their own old selves in the first place? Seems too risky, have a different looper do it. Or why not kill them in the future, and just send a corpse back to be disposed of? If they have to send a live person for some silly reason, sedate them first. It also seems pretty risky to let former loopers go free anyway, they have 30 years to ponder their pending demise and figure out how to prevent it. Why are they suddenly a "loose end" 30 years in the future when they're running around free with full knowledge of what they did prior to that? It just doesn't seem like a well thought out process. :)
    And how did Sarah know so much about Loopers?
    Anyway, I did enjoy the movie in terms of character growth.
     
  6. Jason Charlton

    Jason Charlton Ambassador

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    Color me intrigued. I've watched the trailer and am interested, though these sorts of films often miss more than they hit. I doubt I'll be able to catch this in theaters (and I appreciate the use of spoiler tags) but based on your comments, I think I will definitely Redbox this when it's released.
     
  7. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Greg. I've been noodling the same questions. I've got some thoughts, if I can get time to write it up :)
    Jason, this one hits. It's more than the trailer shows.
     
  8. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    re: time travel self-consistency
    Rian Johnson first shows that time travel isn't a fixed loop by showing you two versions of Joe killing himself. The first is Joe not being able to kill himself, then Joe killing himself, flashing forward 30 years, losing his wife, then coming back and avoiding having his looped closed. So very early on it's established that the future could be changed.
    So right off the bat Dave is right in that it's not important to this movie if time travel is self-consistent, Johnson shows you from the beginning that it's not.
    Regarding the Rainmaker:
    I think even though in Future 1, where Joe does close his loop, the Rainmaker does go bad even without Joe's intervention. He had inadvertently killed his "mom/aunt" and probably ends up doing the same to his real mom. It's established early on he has abandonment issues, calls her Sara, won't kiss her, etc. He was going down that road. Then in Future 2, where Joe doesn't close his loop, and Old Joe is about to kill his mom, the effect on the kid would have been the same, maybe even more traumatic because Sara had finally gotten through to him as a child, getting him to stop from killing old Joe in the field. Then when Young Joe self-sacrifices, it changes the Rainmaker for the good as he accepts his mother for what she is, and is shown giving her affection in ways he never did before. The fade to white I take as symbolic that the future is now unwritten, but I take those last clues to mean the Rainmaker doesn't become the monster that Old Joe knows him to be.
    Saw a free screening at Sony last night, wasn't sure what to expect, came away very impressed. Dave's first post hits it on the head. Interesting that a film with largely unlikeable characters can pull off such a compelling story.
    Don't go into it trying to "analyze the time travel mechanisms" because it will, just like every other time travel film, fail. Just go in and accept the premise of time travel for what it is, and enjoy two hours of an intense emotional ride.
    Oh, and for the finale:
    I thought another way they could have gone, if they didn't want to kill off Joe, was that when Young Joe has the epiphany in the field, had he concentrated on remembering that epiphany hard enough Old Joe would have had it too, and probably not fired on Sara or the kid. But to close his own loop in the way he did does give the film's ending the gravitas it needed.
     
  9. Lou Sytsma

    Lou Sytsma Producer

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    Loved it.
    Great performance from the leads and extra special mention for the young boy - fantastic performance - if a bit creepy.
    This was a solid character study movie and the story kept me off balance as I unsuccessfully tried to ascertain where it was going next.
     
  10. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Lou - I agree, it was an unexpected and well done character story.

    Carlo, I'm with you on the time travel. I saw two interpretations:



    As you explain, future is not fixed, but the Rainmaker exists in all past versions for unknown reasons. In future 2, Joe realizes he is becoming the specific cause, but can actually change it, giving Cid a chance to not become the Rainmaker.



    For that reason, I didn't think the kid would be the Rainmaker, initially, since there was no proximate cause for him to become the Rainmaker until Joe entered his life. But, I can accept that the Rainmaker had other paths to his future, before Joe become involved.



    The second option is that time is actually looped, but it works in back on itself over multiple cycles. There is a Rainmaker, because Joe intervened, because Joe closed his loop. But rather than being a fatalistic cycle, it gets broken. This one is unsatisfying to me.



    The first explanation, while less explicit than I like, works better in my mind.
     
  11. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Okay, so I liked most of the build-up of the film, along with tip-toeing through the paradoxical spaghetti that time travel that can happen with this type of film, but I will say that my main issue with the film was the 3rd act, it was paced soooooo slow, almost felt like a different film at time during that last segment of the film. Tighten that bit up, and I'd be a bit happier with the film. It easily worth a matinee showing if you like sci-fi time-travel films.
    I was also a little put off by Gordon-Levitt's make-up (trying to look like a younger Bruce Willis). It was just a weird choice. I understand the eye color issue, but the eyebrows, and a bit of nose prostetics was made him look weird to me. But even if that's all I'm really complaining about, it was a solid film.
    I give it 3 stars or a grade of B.
     
  12. Pioneer14

    Pioneer14 Extra

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    Really enjoyed the movie ! I already know there will be a lot of extras in blu ray to at least give us some more insight to the director's thinking. I stumbled on this link while I was trying to add to my sony rewards.
    Click on the 6 locked icons (It will be ulocked while the video is running) to get your silver blocks and more insight to the movie.
    http://www.loopermovie.com/videoplus/
    Hope you all enjoy it!:cool:
     
  13. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    I found this movie interesting for the time travel aspects, but like the director's first feature "Brick," it doesn''t connect on an emotional level, even though there are some significant human interest aspects to the plot.

    Willis's character was "saved by love" and that love is supposedly motivating everything he does, but the script doesn't give us an opportunity to get invested in that relationship. The flashbacks (or flashforwards) don't add much to Willis's words in the diner, just giving us a face to reference. We don't know why she finally accepted him and helped him, why he was willing to change for her; we are just told "it was love."

    The young boy did a great job with the role of a mass murderer in the making, but his creepiness, and the moral-philosophical conundrum of the final act, is a double-edged sword that keeps us from connecting with the character.

    Obviously the film affected me on some level, otherwise I wouldn't be spending time analyzing it, but I've found my response largely cerebral. Compare that to a movie like "12 Monkeys," which has similar themes, but hits me in both the head and the heart.
     
  14. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Funny you should reference 12 Monkeys, as Bruce Willis is in that one and, yes, does meet a younger version of himself in that movie as well. :D
     
  15. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    http://www.muleradio.net/thetalkshow/21/
    The Talk Show had writer / director Rian Johnson as guest last week.
     
  16. dmiller68

    dmiller68 Supporting Actor

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    I saw this movie a couple weekends ago I thought it was very well done and a very interesting twist on time travel. Just when you think the movie is going to end on a happy note... Well another twist occurs. I agree one of the best syfy movies in a while.
     
  17. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Loved it, this part really threw me:
    Sarah tells Joe: "He's you, you know, a Looper." They have sex I''m thinking, wow this guy has REAL Oedipal issues!
     
  18. Russell G

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    I've watched this one twice now and it still leaves me flat. A cool premise, a decent first act. Once we arrive at the farm though it goes for a wander into Hollywoodland with the forced/dumb romance angle and never recovers. I'll stick with 12 Monkeys as my Bruce Willis time travel film of choice.
     
  19. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    The movie was enjoyable enough, but didn't have that mind altering punch that I was expecting. In many ways, this was a terrific Twilight Zone episode stretched too thin. I agree with Patrick about Gordon-Levitt's attempt at mimicking Willis as being distracting. He was close but didn't pull it off -- as a result, it felt very uncanny valley. I actually love time travel plots, so the ideas of paradoxes and such don't bother me. But there were two parts that made no sense: 1) The first Looper who came back and took off started heading to Wire Street. In the process, he loses fingers, then nose, and then limbs, all as a result of past torture/dismemberment. Now, I can accept that thing done in the past to change the timeline may, like memories, appear contemporaneously in the older self. But they don't happen in real time. If the henchmen were dismembering the younger version, it should have appeared as soon as the dismemberment started. It's a cool looking scene, but makes no sense in the context of time travel.
    2) It's apparently so difficult to kill people in the future that they have to resort to time travel to dispose of the bodies. And yet when they go to snatch Old Joe, they threaten him with guns. Doesn't he realize they can't really shoot him or cause problems with the authorities or whatnot? But wait, no -- they casually shoot his wife dead in the same scene. Huh? If they can just kill people like that, why in the world is there a vast time travel network to cleanly kill people?
    And yes, the first thing that popped in my head when the movie was over was, "why are they having the Loopers close their own loops"?
     
  20. lanalowe

    lanalowe Auditioning

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    I was disappointed in this film. I was so glad I didn't see it in theaters because it put me to sleep, literally. Looper got my hopes up, good thing Joseph Gordon Levitt is so attractive or I would have totally hated it.
     

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