LOOPER: Do I have to go back in time and start a review thread?

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Old 10 October 2012   #16
Originally Posted by Michael5188: First of all my problems with the movie had nothing to do with time paradoxes, so let's just leave out the time travely stuff. Second I'm telling you what bothered me in this film, citing examples of other movies is besides the point. (even though your example aren't the same as what I'm complaining about here, but I don't want to get into that)

I disagree, logic is vital to sci-fi, it's what makes it exciting and interesting. Without logic I can just throw ideas out without any thought and just ignore if it makes any sense. Truly great sci-fi holds up under scrutiny, it holds up under logic, and that's what makes the world feel real.

If those things didn't bother you that's fine, I'm not asking them to, but don't invalidate my opinion by saying logic only belongs in historical pieces or real life, cause that's just an insult to the genre of sci-fi. Logic has nothing to do with what is expected or familiar, really don't see how you do draw that connection.

To give an example of what I feel is solid recent sci-fi- Inception, for me, held up perfectly. I'm sure people had complaints, but I myself never found myself asking why they were doing what they were doing. So for me Inception was perfectly logical, and couldn't be further from expected or familiar or boring old real life.

As hypercube said, we;ll just have to agree to disagree. This is a movie review thread, so that's to be expected.

I wasn't trying to invalidate anyone. Sorry if it felt that way.

I said "pure logic", not "logic" which means you can't be 100% logical about a sci-fi film, there has to be a sense of accepted disbelief in the world in order to absorb the plot. I guess because I was having a nice day, I accepted more bs than you did when watching the movie...who knows...

I agree with you, sci-fi needs to be somewhat logical. In fact, everything has some logic to it, but entertainment takes precedence over logic in movies. Not all movies aim for a highly cerebral experience, because most people pay money to be entertained.

One more thing...inception was full of illogical things, most people had issues understanding the underlying structure of the movie. I actually loved the movie, but that shows how unconvincing it was for many people.

I'm actually really happy when cerebral movie experiences come along, but I usually like a good blend of entertainment in there as well.
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Old 10 October 2012   #17
Originally Posted by leif3d: I'm actually really happy when cerebral movie experiences come along, but I usually like a good blend of entertainment in there as well.


Definitely. You know I really think it just comes down to what little holes or gaps in logic bother you and which ones don't, and in the end if they don't bother you that's all that matters.

I think the lapses in logic that tend to get in my head and ruin a movie for me most often are when I see a much simpler solution to the problem. I don't like when I say, "Why didn't they just do this?" and the response is, "Well then there wouldn't be a movie!" I feel like you shouldn't be able to ask that question period, the audience member shouldn't be able to think of a better way for the hero to come out on top, or the story just feels kinda like annoying filler.

But anyways I'm sure there are plenty of movies I overlooked things in and enjoyed that other people just couldn't stand. It's pretty random.
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Old 10 October 2012   #18
Originally Posted by Michael5188: Definitely. You know I really think it just comes down to what little holes or gaps in logic bother you and which ones don't, and in the end if they don't bother you that's all that matters.

I think the lapses in logic that tend to get in my head and ruin a movie for me most often are when I see a much simpler solution to the problem. I don't like when I say, "Why didn't they just do this?" and the response is, "Well then there wouldn't be a movie!" I feel like you shouldn't be able to ask that question period, the audience member shouldn't be able to think of a better way for the hero to come out on top, or the story just feels kinda like annoying filler.

But anyways I'm sure there are plenty of movies I overlooked things in and enjoyed that other people just couldn't stand. It's pretty random.


Exactly. This is why I go on and on about suspension of disbelief. Look at like a salesman trying to sell you a clunker car. A great salesman will have you forking over money for something you don't need or want. A poor salesman will be easy to turn down. Likewise, if the foundation of the movie (or car) isn't solid, it's going to take a lot of skill and talent to convince you to go along with it. And that happens sometimes - you just buy into it all because it's so well crafted, and you can't help but fall for it.

This explains why there's no "master logic" that can be followed that will make or break a movie. It's a case by case situation. Every movie has a starting point for believability that the viewer takes into (conscious or unconscious) consideration. If you're paying to see a Transformers or Ironman movie, you're already well into the suspension of disbelief curve.
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Old 10 October 2012   #19
About ten years ago there was a script concept circulating online about an older hitman who gets chased by a younger clone of himself. They were thinking of Mel Gibson or Harrison Ford and using cg to make the younger self.

More on topic--this article


"Artistes can be notoriously reluctant to compromise their creative vision at the behest of the Man. Not so director Rian Johnson. He agreed to transplant the plot of his latest sci-fi blockbuster to another continent from Paris to Shanghai in order to gain lucrative Chinese funding."


"The change in location, along with a number of other concessions, allowed Johnson's tale of time-travelling hitmen to become a US-Chinese co-production, allowing it to bypass strict rules on the number of foreign films shown in Chinese cinemas."
Doing business in China means dicing with the country's strict censor board. Earlier this year, the baddies from Men In Black 3 were excised from the China edition after the censors took offence at the fact they were all Chinese.

Portraying any public official in anything other than a glowing light was a risk in China, said Cain: "Police officers are always honest people of integrity who always catch their man. Tthere is no bloody crime in China, no homosexuality, no nudity and no 'excessively terrifying scenes'. Horror is very difficult in China. You can't have ghosts or gore, no demons or monsters."

"China's spiralling demand for movies is propping up the ailing US box office last year Chinese cinemagoers helped offset a drop in the US box office of 3.5% to $10.2bn, the lowest return in 16 years."




**
I read a Chinese business group bought the second biggest theater chain in the US and is looking to spend $10 billion or so on US films. Cant say I am excited when the Chinese market seems to prefer big dumb action films with lots of robots.
 
Old 10 October 2012   #20
Originally Posted by kelgy: About ten years ago there was a script concept circulating online about an older hitman who gets chased by a younger clone of himself. They were thinking of Mel Gibson or Harrison Ford and using cg to make the younger self.

It was ILM doing the tests
http://forums.ilmfan.com/viewtopic....t=1825&start=20
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Old 10 October 2012   #21
Originally Posted by trevanian: It was ILM doing the tests
http://forums.ilmfan.com/viewtopic....t=1825&start=20


Gemini man. That's it.
Interesting how it goes back so far as an experiment and the response of people like Muren.
 
Old 10 October 2012   #22
It has been mentioned why not just transport the body back in time directly in an incinerator.

Well its explained that its impossible to 'dispose' of a body in the future. Why not kill them THEN transport them back??
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Old 10 October 2012   #23
I really enjoyed the movie, there were a few plot points that I felt came too easy, but overall, yeah, I really liked it.
Originally Posted by Michael5188: Why don't they just time travel/teleport the person straight into the incinerator. What exactly is the point of a looper? (or time travel them to before dinosaurs, or any other uninhabitable time period)
I don't have a great answer for this one, but I think it's mostly about the supervision and failsafes they had in place in that timeframe in case the execution fails (Jeff Daniels' character, his crew, etc). I believe there was also a decent amount of talk about how much havoc someone from the future displaced in time could wreak as well. Even criminals want to preserve the space time continuum I guess.
Originally Posted by Michael5188: Why does the looper have to finish his own loop, wouldn't it be easier, safer, and less-risky to just have someone else kill another looper's future self?
Because the Looper reaped the 'special' reward for killing themselves, the gold, which allowed them to retire.
Originally Posted by Michael5188: They talk about the rainmaker being horrible, and suddenly ending all the loopers. Don't the loopers end anyways, and if he was ending them early it couldn't have been by too much, since they were still pretty old when they came back. Also why is this so bad? We never hear of any truly horrible things the guy is doing other than uniting the gangs and ending loopers. Why am I supposed to think he's such a horrible villain? You never hear about him going around bursting innocent people. But sure, I guess I can just assume he was evil.
It was certainly subtle, but along with some of the comments Old Joe made, there was a brief shot of a newscast in China that showed what looked like possibly a terrorist attack on civilians where the newscaster referenced the Rainmaker. The implication for me was that the Rainmaker had only *started* by taking over the syndicates and closing the loops, but that he most likely would end up some kind of worldwide overlord.
Originally Posted by Michael5188: And finally, what's the goal of a mobster, to get rich right? If you had access to time travel wouldn't there be much much easier ways to get filthy rich and never have to deal with killing anyone? Or if your goal as a mobster is to gain power, again, wouldn't time travel really come in handy there? Seems odd to limit this incredible, really, mind blowing tech to simply body disposal.
This kinda goes with my answer up top, but I think they just simply didn't like the idea of messing with timelines. Maybe they'd learned the hard way what can happen with that and this was their way of making do.
Originally Posted by Michael5188: Fun movie, but as full of logic holes as Prometheus was for me.
Oh, I couldn't disagree more. I don't think there was 1/1000th the amount of thought put into Prometheus as there was Looper.

I did hate the Young Joe make up though.
 
Old 10 October 2012   #24
Originally Posted by Bonepuller: Oh, I couldn't disagree more. I don't think there was 1/1000th the amount of thought put into Prometheus as there was Looper.



Fair enough, but I guess if the general premise makes absolutely no sense to me, then that kind of ruins the film for me.


Originally Posted by Bonepuller: I don't have a great answer for this one, but I think it's mostly about the supervision and failsafes they had in place in that timeframe in case the execution fails (Jeff Daniels' character, his crew, etc). I believe there was also a decent amount of talk about how much havoc someone from the future displaced in time could wreak as well. Even criminals want to preserve the space time continuum I guess.


Fail safe? But if they teleport the bodies into the incinerator, or an active volcano, or anywhere lethal, they wouldn't need a fail safe, or a whole team of guys on payroll. Simpler and cheaper.

This wouldn't wreak havok on the future anymore than what they do now, in fact getting rid of Loopers would cause less trouble or change (as seen in the movie.)

Originally Posted by Bonepuller: Because the Looper reaped the 'special' reward for killing themselves, the gold, which allowed them to retire.


But do they have to take that reward off their own corpse? Why not let someone else end the loop, and then the next body the person gets has the gold and is their last, but isn't their own body. Just seems silly and risky to have someone kill themselves. (like when the guy was humming that song and it stopped the looper from finishing the loop)


Originally Posted by Bonepuller: This kinda goes with my answer up top, but I think they just simply didn't like the idea of messing with timelines. Maybe they'd learned the hard way what can happen with that and this was their way of making do.


I guess, but come on, go back in time, invest in something you know will do well, skip ahead and bam, filthy rich. I don't know, maybe wouldn't work, just wish it had been addressed. I just was bothered that the world has made time travel, time travel! And somehow the only ones using it are mobster just to clean up bodies? It's just hard to believe.

But again, these are all the things that killed the movie for me. If other people didn't mind, that's fine. I can't enjoy a movie if I can ask one question and bring down the entire premise.

I mean really... teleport the people into a specific live volcano at a specific time you know it's always erupting! Seriously! Man I should be a future mobster
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Old 10 October 2012   #25
Originally Posted by Michael5188: Definitely. You know I really think it just comes down to what little holes or gaps in logic bother you and which ones don't, and in the end if they don't bother you that's all that matters.

I think the lapses in logic that tend to get in my head and ruin a movie for me most often are when I see a much simpler solution to the problem. I don't like when I say, "Why didn't they just do this?" and the response is, "Well then there wouldn't be a movie!" I feel like you shouldn't be able to ask that question period, the audience member shouldn't be able to think of a better way for the hero to come out on top, or the story just feels kinda like annoying filler.

But anyways I'm sure there are plenty of movies I overlooked things in and enjoyed that other people just couldn't stand. It's pretty random.


Interesting. For me a movie only need to create a set of rules and follow it. I'm pretty easy on the suspension of belief thing. The reason is that too many strange things in this life that we didn't know about. And solutions available to us are not always available to other people.

I once saw a movie where a person with a mobile phone hanging to his neck (a time when mobile phones is a status symbol) is calling his girlfriend from a phone booth. But his mobile phone is working fine, so his girlfriend call call him anywhere from her house. Not having a mobile phone, I was like, why not just use your mobile? LOL!

Only after getting a mobile phone myself do I know that a prepaid will run out within 30 day, but can accept incoming up to 90 day, so the screen writer was using his own experience of having a mobile (status symbol), but only buy a prepaid top up every 3 month.

And of course, your life as a kid in US is different compared to a kid in Kony controlled area in Africa.

For for me a movie only need to provide plant, story, payoff. If they didn't break their own rules, I won't bother them with real life details.
 
Old 10 October 2012   #26
Originally Posted by Michael5188: Fair enough, but I guess if the general premise makes absolutely no sense to me, then that kind of ruins the film for me.
The general premise bothered me when I first saw the trailer (why send people back through time when they can just be killed in the future?), but I think Johnson asked himself that question and put one simple line of dialogue in there: "It's nearly impossible to dispose of a body in the future". That was enough for me. In fact, I liked the way that was handled with all the questions in the movie. Usually it was answered, but not in such mind-numbing detail that it bored me or just raised more questions.
Originally Posted by Michael5188: Fail safe? But if they teleport the bodies into the incinerator, or an active volcano, or anywhere lethal, they wouldn't need a fail safe, or a whole team of guys on payroll. Simpler and cheaper.
Yeah, I guess that was just something I was willing to concede, something I'm generally hesitant to do and was incapable of doing with, say, Prometheus.

A movie about criminals teleporting victims into unseen volcanoes at some unknown time is just not that interesting. It's kinda the equivalent of why didn't Gandalf just drop the ring into Mt Doom with one of those Eagles?...because if he did, there wouldn't be any story.
Originally Posted by Michael5188: But do they have to take that reward off their own corpse? Why not let someone else end the loop, and then the next body the person gets has the gold and is their last, but isn't their own body. Just seems silly and risky to have someone kill themselves. (like when the guy was humming that song and it stopped the looper from finishing the loop)
Again, it might've been more logical, just not as interesting. Like I said, usually I'm a stickler for logic, but I liked that there was a whole culture and ritual surrounding the Loopers and that part of their cycle. They celebrated killing their future selves, because they weren't 'forward thinking people'. They were party-ers and drug addicts, the kind of people hand picked to be Loopers. Maybe Seth (?) just wasn't a very good fit to be a Looper in the first place.
Originally Posted by Michael5188: I guess, but come on, go back in time, invest in something you know will do well, skip ahead and bam, filthy rich. I don't know, maybe wouldn't work, just wish it had been addressed. I just was bothered that the world has made time travel, time travel! And somehow the only ones using it are mobster just to clean up bodies? It's just hard to believe.
Well, I'll just say that opening little narration answered a lot for me. He basically said the future invented time-travel and essentially immediately banned it. And I took that to mean something happened. It kinda sounded like the equivalent of chemical weapons to me, even the worst elements of humanity looked at it with horror and shied away from it. Only criminals used it, but even they went to lengths to maintain the integrity of the timestream and use it for more mundane tasks.

As for the 'go back and invest in Apple' thing, I just don't think this was that movie. They did that in Primer, which is a genius movie in its own right. Well, not that exactly, but I won't spoil it if you haven't seen it.

If it didn't work for you, that's cool, nothing I say will convince you otherwise, and I'm not even really trying. Just enjoyed the movie and enjoy talking about films I like...and dislike for that matter.
 
Old 10 October 2012   #27
I loved Looper. I've been a big fan of Rian Johnson and have been looking forward to this a lot. I think it's a terrifically solid sci-fi world and an equally good story with a surprising amount of emotional interest. These are the kinds of fresh genre movies I always look forward to.

Originally Posted by Whirlwind123: It has been mentioned why not just transport the body back in time directly in an incinerator.

Well its explained that its impossible to 'dispose' of a body in the future. Why not kill them THEN transport them back??


The reason they send them back in time in the first place is to get around the bio-tagging that takes place in the future. If someone dies in the future, the authorities know about it immediately. If they send them back in time and they die, nobody will ever find out that they were killed at all.

Most of the complaints I've heard about the logic in this movie can actually be answered pretty well. Probably to the credit of the movie, Rian Johnson didn't bog it down with exposition explaining away every detail, but it's clear to me that he gave it a lot of thought. So just because it isn't addressed in the film, don't assume it was "hole".

For instance, we don't know the limitations of how time travel works in this world, so maybe it simply isn't possible to send them directly into an incinerator. Maybe they don't have much choice on where to send them back at all. Or maybe they just decided it was safer to have an executioner do it to ensure the death (as letting someone get away is their worst case scenario). One of the points they make in the film is that people in the future are terrified of the implications of time travel, so the system they developed is meant to minimize risk.
 
Old 10 October 2012   #28
Originally Posted by Michael5188:

I just was bothered that the world has made time travel, time travel! And somehow the only ones using it are mobster just to clean up bodies? It's just hard to believe.


It does feel like thieves discovering an unlocked wide open department store but restricting themselves on repeat visits to the sale items in the front and telling all their fellow thieves to do the same-ignoring the rest of the store no matter how many times they go back. And no one else venturing in the open door, cops or pedestrians. Goes against one's understanding of human nature.

But then its a case of the writer pulling double duty as director or vice versa. Something has to suffer usually.
 
Old 10 October 2012   #29
Originally Posted by Bonepuller: If it didn't work for you, that's cool, nothing I say will convince you otherwise, and I'm not even really trying. Just enjoyed the movie and enjoy talking about films I like...and dislike for that matter.


Of course! Not trying to convince you either, and you bring up a lot of good points. You know honestly I want to like this film, so if I hear good answers (like you've given me for my Rainmaker complaint) I'm glad! Cause I want the premise to work, and maybe I did miss something. Unfortunately I'm not hearing anything for the other complaints that work for me, but it's still fun to discuss.


A lot of people are mentioning things, offering solutions, explaining it for the movie and saying when you see things in film you need to assume. I disagree with that line of thinking.

If a character needs to escape a room with a door, and dies trying without ever actually attempting to open the door, that's frustrating as a viewer to see. Sure, someone can assume the door is locked, but assuming isn't enough. We need to see him try the knob, or at least say, "Damn, it's locked." I feel like more and more recently, directors are asking the audience to assume the door is locked without ever telling us that. But on a much larger scale, and often for the movie's overall premise or plot.

There's a difference between mystery, and laziness. It's easy to write a conflict when you don't think it all through. It's easy when you don't have to have the character explain why he didn't go for the door.

It doesn't mean more boring exposition, you reveal these things through the plot. I know it sounds like I just want everything spoon fed, but that's not true. I'm ok with a lot being left in the dark, or hiding clues so that a second or third viewing reveals solutions. But when it comes to basic premise, or the conflict, it needs to be airtight, and if that means explaining the door is locked, we need to hear that.

I guess the reason Looper bothered me so much is I loved the film itself (characters, storyline), and I really wish the writer had spent time really solidifying the premise so the questions I've been asking had real answers, not "it was probably this?" answers. Like if someone was talking to Joe, and said, "You know I always wondered why you fellas don't just teleport them into the incinerator" And then Joe offered an answer. 2 lines. Could have happened at a party or while they were walking. Inception did that a lot, Ellen Page's character was perfect as the audience's voice. She asked all the right questions, and made the premise airtight.

And btw the eagles in LOTR did really annoy me, luckily it was at the end so it didn't ruin my viewing, but yes, that was explained in the book and should have been in the movie. As I said earlier, the rebuttal of, well then it would have been a boring movie! isn't a sufficient excuse for lazy writing. A movie's conflict shouldn't be forced for entertainment value, it needs to be real under the movie's conditions.
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Old 10 October 2012   #30
Originally Posted by Michael5188: Of course! Not trying to convince you either, and you bring up a lot of good points. You know honestly I want to like this film, so if I hear good answers (like you've given me for my Rainmaker complaint) I'm glad! Cause I want the premise to work, and maybe I did miss something. Unfortunately I'm not hearing anything for the other complaints that work for me, but it's still fun to discuss.


A lot of people are mentioning things, offering solutions, explaining it for the movie and saying when you see things in film you need to assume. I disagree with that line of thinking.

If a character needs to escape a room with a door, and dies trying without ever actually attempting to open the door, that's frustrating as a viewer to see. Sure, someone can assume the door is locked, but assuming isn't enough. We need to see him try the knob, or at least say, "Damn, it's locked." I feel like more and more recently, directors are asking the audience to assume the door is locked without ever telling us that. But on a much larger scale, and often for the movie's overall premise or plot.

There's a difference between mystery, and laziness. It's easy to write a conflict when you don't think it all through. It's easy when you don't have to have the character explain why he didn't go for the door.

It doesn't mean more boring exposition, you reveal these things through the plot. I know it sounds like I just want everything spoon fed, but that's not true. I'm ok with a lot being left in the dark, or hiding clues so that a second or third viewing reveals solutions. But when it comes to basic premise, or the conflict, it needs to be airtight, and if that means explaining the door is locked, we need to hear that.

I guess the reason Looper bothered me so much is I loved the film itself (characters, storyline), and I really wish the writer had spent time really solidifying the premise so the questions I've been asking had real answers, not "it was probably this?" answers. Like if someone was talking to Joe, and said, "You know I always wondered why you fellas don't just teleport them into the incinerator" And then Joe offered an answer. 2 lines. Could have happened at a party or while they were walking. Inception did that a lot, Ellen Page's character was perfect as the audience's voice. She asked all the right questions, and made the premise airtight.

And btw the eagles in LOTR did really annoy me, luckily it was at the end so it didn't ruin my viewing, but yes, that was explained in the book and should have been in the movie. As I said earlier, the rebuttal of, well then it would have been a boring movie! isn't a sufficient excuse for lazy writing. A movie's conflict shouldn't be forced for entertainment value, it needs to be real under the movie's conditions.


It is interesting that you angry at a writer and at the same time knew regarding the eagles. Sadly in movies, it's the studio that screw a storyline (due to time or test viewer) first, and the director second and the writer itself last. And even if the original screenwriter get the credit, it still went through a rewrite. Maybe not enough to earn the re-writer a credit, but sometimes enough to screw the original story. In a limited time (movie) to add something usually require to remove something. This is where the director thinks "it doesn't need to be explained", and accepted at face value.

I think Cracked made an article about movies that don't have explanation that was actually removed (and some of it doesn't have an extended cut version).

And like the movie 1408, there could be multiple version of a story depending on the territory or release (Eslin dead or not).

And sometimes, stories get re-written to receive broader audience (eg: Martian Child. The main character was changed from gay to straight, which angers the gay community).

Which is why long long time ago, I was angry at these kind of thing. But after understanding how the industry works, I just take a movie at a face value and let suspension of belief takes me away as long as they didn't break their own rules.

In an example in one of the post, I don't mind if a movie didn't show a door was specially locked. If a bad buy leaves the room with the character inside a burning room, the I can assume that the door is locked. Just make sure that later a cop didn't open it easily.

I'm yet to watch Looper, but I hope it pulls me deep enough to not care about the rest :-)
 
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