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Looper 
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Post Looper
So I just saw Looper, and I'm pretty taken by it. Now I know I'm probably reading into it more than I should (oh you know me, if I see the stars on the water and I dive right in to try and catch them, only look up if someone points it out.) but this movie really resonated with me.

See, to me it's not really about time-travel, that's just a gimmick. To me it's about escaping destiny, about the power of free will over predetermination.

Looper wrote:
Then I saw it, ... , laid out in front of him, the bad path. I saw it and the path was a circle, round n' round. So I changed it.


We see it through out the movie, our hero is enmeshed in an organization where your fate is decided the moment you join, to break free of your destiny is to invite death, it is feared, rejected. You do your job, you close your loop, you live the remainder of your life. You accept death.
Joe is fully aware of what this means, he doesn't care. Indeed he is determined to close his loop and move on, and in another life that's exactly what he's done. It is only when, far into the future, he finds something that truly matters to him that he is first compelled to break the loop... his loss of cherished love sends him on a mad quest of revenge, a desperate grasp at redemption through a soulless act of murder. Ironically this would do nothing but precipitate fate, he would have changed the future yes, but to no better end... It is when he steps back from himself, and sees the cycle as whole, sees the consequence of his own selfish need to save what is his, that he is able to finally break the loop.
The question remains, did he break the loop? We don't really know, since the movie ends before Sid can grow up to finally become whatever he is going to become. But I like to think that Joe did have an impact, that he did change his fate.


...And that's what free will is sort of about. Far removed from the discussion of whether we truly do have free will, there is this idea that things (parents, events, friends, etc.) define us in inescapable ways.... they do have an impact on who we are, I'm not saying that they don't. But the things is, we choose how those things affect us. Each of us has a choice in how he responds to the world in which he lives.
Viktor Frankl wrote:
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.





Last edited by VMLM on Sat Jan 26, 2013 2:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.



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Sat Jan 26, 2013 2:24 pm
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Post Re: Looper
Looper was a really good movie.

I recommend everyone take a look, i just think they had problems keeping their time travel plan ordered.




SPOILERS FOR LOOPER BELOW









Spoilers start now:



I had no problem with how much fun this movie was. But if we start thinking about what there is to learn about fate and all that, then we HAVE to get into the time travel problems this movie has.

Willis is from an alternate time line in which Levit did kill his future self. So going back in time and escaping the scene where Levit kills his future self means that THIS Levit cannot be the same Levit which ends up being Willis.

SO... no matter how Levit gets injured, or what he witnesses it should have no impact on Willis because they are from different time lines. YET Willis says he can "remember" everything that happens to Levit as it happens, and he gets scars that Levit acquires in this diverging timeline that he never got when he successfully killed his future self.

So the movie is trying to have it both ways. Willis is from an alternate future, yet anything that happens to Levit happened to Willis.

If that's the case then there are a number of scenes which should have caused Willis to disappear. One of them is the diner scene. Willis tells Levit about his future love and that being the cause of Levit's headaches trying to close his loop. So Levit decides to never stay with any woman for any length of time for the rest of his life, Willis would and should disappear.

In the last scene where Willis is closing in on Rainmaker, Levit recognizes that THIS is why Rainmaker grows up to be a mean bastard who kills Willis' wife trying to close the loops of all loopers... because a looper ruined his life as a kid when Willis shoots Rainmaker's mom. So the instant Levit realizes that THIS is why rainmaker kills Willis' wife, Willis should have "remembered" that just as fast as he 'remembered" that Rainmaker was the kid in the farm when Levit sees the TK attack on the gunman.

Willis should have walked off the field as soon as Levit realized that, or disappeared, since Rainmaker wouldn't grow up to want to close all the loops and therefore wouldn't have killed Willis' wife.

If Willis is Levit's future the whole movie would get short-circuited right there. If he's from an alternate dimension, than a major plot point of the movie, that what happens to current loopers effects their future couterparts, would not have been possible, and Levit shooting himself would have made no impact on what Willis was doing with Rainmaker and his mom.

This could have been resolved with a bit more work on the part of the producers.


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Confidence being an expectation built on past experience, evidence and extrapolation to the future. Faith being an expectation held in defiance of past experience and evidence.


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Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:17 pm
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Post Re: Looper
I personally would have shot off my trigger finger rather than end my life... Bruce Willis has terrible aim with his left hand.


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Post Re: Looper
but that's my argument. He shouldn't have had to shoot anything. Merely recognizing that THIS was the reason his future wife would die should have stopped Willis in his tracks, or erased him from the timeline.


_________________
In the absence of God, I found Man.
-Guillermo Del Torro

Have you tried that? Looking for answers?
Or have you been content to be terrified of a thing you know nothing about?

Are you pushing your own short comings on us and safely hating them from a distance?

Is this the virtue of faith? To never change your mind: especially when you should?

Young Earth Creationists take offense at the idea that we have a common heritage with other animals. Why is being the descendant of a mud golem any better?

Confidence being an expectation built on past experience, evidence and extrapolation to the future. Faith being an expectation held in defiance of past experience and evidence.


Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:29 pm
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Post Re: Looper
Time travel movies can never stand up to close scrutiny.

Be like a theist and don't think about it too much (Doh!)



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Post Re: Looper
I think "12 monkeys" did a good job.

Bruce Willis (again) is sent back from the future to collect information, but he never actually changes anything. The timeline always included bruce willis, in other words, so it unfolds like any linear story.

As a kid he sees a guy get shot right before the apocalypse, then as an adult he gets shot infront of himself... right before the apocalypse.

Good movie.

So the key to writing a non paradox time travel movie is to make sure that your character's intervention can't change the future, i think. Which makes sense anyway. Anything a character from your future does can't change the present to the point that they can't come back in time to your timeline.

Looper could have escaped this paradox as well by just sticking to "willis is from an alternate timeline". Then the points about him coming back and fighting Levit would have been fine, but they'd have had to scrap the "What happens to Levit happened to Willis" plot points.

So like i said, i think their problem was trying to make Willis the future of the movie's timeline.


_________________
In the absence of God, I found Man.
-Guillermo Del Torro

Have you tried that? Looking for answers?
Or have you been content to be terrified of a thing you know nothing about?

Are you pushing your own short comings on us and safely hating them from a distance?

Is this the virtue of faith? To never change your mind: especially when you should?

Young Earth Creationists take offense at the idea that we have a common heritage with other animals. Why is being the descendant of a mud golem any better?

Confidence being an expectation built on past experience, evidence and extrapolation to the future. Faith being an expectation held in defiance of past experience and evidence.


Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:09 pm
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Post Re: Looper
johnson1010 wrote:
I think "12 monkeys" did a good job.


I'll totally be checking that out.


johnson1010 wrote:
So the key to writing a non paradox time travel movie is to make sure that your character's intervention can't change the future, i think. Which makes sense anyway. Anything a character from your future does can't change the present to the point that they can't come back in time to your timeline.


Well... unfortunately hollywood movies don't often hold up to scrutiny, Looper's no exception.... But see, there I go reading too much into things... in movies, and in general, there's this preconceived idea that the future is linked to an inescapable past, linked to an inescapable future. Yes, in every good non-paradoxical use of time-travel in fiction (sorry Back to the Future, I still love you.) nothing is ever really changed... in fact there's this idea (let's call it a fear) that the merest alteration would change the future. But see how this resembles the whole idea that fate is inescapable? That we should be afraid to do anything about it? I think maybe, just maybe this guy is commenting on that. For one thing he's challenging the idea of unalterable fate through the use of time-travel as a metaphor, so he modifies the relationship. But he's also challenging the idea that the future is extremely fragile. The second Seth met himself I was calling shenanigans, movies are usually so careful making sure time travelers don't meet themselves exactly because the consequences this might have seem overly complicated.. and in fact would probably invalidate the entire future from which one of them came, thus popping him out of existence.
Yet over and over the future proves to be much more resilient than it ought to in this movie. It's very consistent. It takes a very gross change in a person's life to alter it beyond recall..... And really the writer is free to have a little fun with the concept, nobody really knows the consequences of time travel, given it's never been done.
obviously that's just my interpretation, unfortunately the truth is probably as simple as: the producers didn't give a damn about paradoxes.

johnson1010 wrote:
Looper could have escaped this paradox as well by just sticking to "willis is from an alternate timeline". Then the points about him coming back and fighting Levit would have been fine, but they'd have had to scrap the "What happens to Levit happened to Willis" plot points.


That'd probably be an acceptable change, those plot points aren't that definitive anyway except in two places where the mechanism could probably be substituted. And then there's the ending, which would've probably had to be different. I do feel the metaphor wouldn't be that clean. I would have probably walked away a bit more confused if the structure of the story didn't conform to my interpretation of its meaning...

johnson1010 wrote:
So the instant Levit realizes that THIS is why rainmaker kills Willis' wife, Willis should have "remembered" that just as fast as he 'remembered" that Rainmaker was the kid in the farm when Levit sees the TK attack on the gunman
Well there's always the possibility that old Joe just doesn't care. He'd rather kill the rainmaker and be sure the whole thing is over and done with it. He's just being stubborn and not paying attention.


But you know what? Let's face it, I'm rationalizing and defending a defenseless position xD. Whenever I start going into hypotheticals about plot holes I know I should probably take a step back.

Interbane wrote:
I personally would have shot off my trigger finger rather than end my life... Bruce Willis has terrible aim with his left hand.
:lol: fair point.

Dexter wrote:
Be like a theist and don't think about it too much (Doh!)
Well, unfortunately fiction starts to crack the more you know about the subject being touched. Enjoying fiction does require some suspension of disbelief. How much you enjoy a specific piece of fiction has a lot to do with how willing you are to accept its premise, and that varies from person to person and subject to subject.



Last edited by VMLM on Sat Jan 26, 2013 8:15 pm, edited 5 times in total.



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