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Old October 1 2012, 02:27 AM   #31
CaptainCanada
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Re: Looper - Grade, Review, Discuss, ect.

Looking back at the interview, Johnson actually says its ambiguous whether Cid as an adult is purposefully revenging himself on the loopers.

The interview is here, by the way; he discusses ten questions that have been raised about it.
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Old October 1 2012, 02:33 PM   #32
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Re: Looper - Grade, Review, Discuss, ect.

While the movie could have spent its entire running time explaining the vagaries of time travel and making sure it had absolutely no paradoxes, in the end it was a story about the ways in which our choices shape who we are.

It was by no means perfect, but I appreciate that their effort was to make a character piece rather than an action film with sci-fi window dressing. I agree that the first half was stronger than the second half. It was fun trying to stay one step ahead of the story. None of it was too surprising. I had a feeling young Joe would end up "breaking the loop" the way he did.

One thing I appreciated was how you could alternately be afraid of and feel sorry for Cid. Here was a kid too smart, perceptive, and powerful for his own good, unable to control his excesses (like most kids) and who has seen and done things no child should be burdened with. The movie really hinges on how well you empathize with Cid. I initially found myself understanding old Joe's motivation. One man ruling the future in such a way just doesn't sound like a good thing, especially since Joe implied the Rainmaker killed a lot of people to get to where he was. I wasn't a big fan of him having to kill children to save the future, but that sort of thing is part and parcel of this type of story: you have to make sacrifices in the present to save the future, and if you had the chance to kill Hitler as a child, wouldn't you?

But then we got to know more about Cid and Sarah, and Joe gradually warmed up to him, and it became clear that Cid was no inhuman monster, just a frightened little boy who could learn to control his power, given the right upbringing. I got a sense of dire responsibility from Sarah very early on, like there was more to her relationship with Cid than simply a mother caring for her son. When I saw her exhibit TK abilities, I realized that Cid's tantrum wasn't just a subjective portrayal from Sarah's POV, but Cid actually using his abilities and scaring the shit out of her (with good reason.) I found that a pretty clever trick by the director. After that point, why she felt such an obligation to protect Cid from the outside world made perfect sense. She clearly saw it as a very corrupt and petty place, a place she knew only too well, and she no doubt feared the corrupting effects it would've had on her son--and what damage he could do with his abilities, given no moral compass and no sense of family.

I originally thought it would have been nice to see the future Rainmaker and how he might have been changed with his life being saved by a Looper, rather than his mother being killed by one. But in retrospect, it makes more sense that we don't get to see it. Young Joe makes what he sees as the only right choice, but he'll never get to see the results of it--nor should we. You just have to trust that things will turn out better. Maybe they will, maybe they won't.

I feel like the people focusing on how the sci-fi elements work are really missing the forest for the trees. It's not about that. It's just like old Joe said--"It doesn't matter." After all, he wasn't driven by some desire to create a better future in the abstract, he was motivated by love, and the will to get his life back.

Old Joe couldn't think of any other way to secure his future than by killing people in the past. That's who he was. That's how he grew up--as a killer. Young Joe, in seeing this, realized that wasn't what he wanted. Old Joe was incapable of changing his path. Young Joe hadn't yet lost himself, and made a different choice.

In storytelling terms, it's all quite simplistic and easy to follow from A to B. In character terms, there is quite a bit going on here--certainly more than you'd find in your typical sci-fi thriller.

I'll rank it Above Average.
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Old October 1 2012, 05:45 PM   #33
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Re: Looper - Grade, Review, Discuss, ect.

Thought it was pretty good, but from the hype and reviews I was expecting something a LOT more twisty and mind-bendy, or something as cool and original as Memento or 12 Monkeys. But this didn't quite rise to that level unfortunately.

The entire concept of the Loopers just seems awfully silly and contrived, with mobsters using time travel technology and setting up this entire, complicated system.... just to off people?!? (Really? Because they don't have incinerators in the future or something??)

And once the kid enters the picture, it's not too hard to figure out the rest unfortunately.

The best part was the great performance by Willis, and the amazing way Levitt actually seems to look and act like a younger version of him.
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Old October 1 2012, 09:49 PM   #34
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Re: Looper - Grade, Review, Discuss, ect.

I'd rank it Above Average as well. Not, it's not perfect, by any means, but I really liked the overall plot of personal choices, upbringing, who we are and what we do. I think Gordon-Levitt gives one HELL of a performance; he is the one who carries the movie, not Willis.

The choice the character makes at the end of the film is not one I saw coming until right before it happened. I really appreciated that.
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Old October 1 2012, 10:17 PM   #35
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Re: Looper - Grade, Review, Discuss, ect.

I thought the movie was above average. I really liked the characters and the universe created, and would have rated the movie excellent, except the second half was a little slow and the time travel mechanics don't make sense (but I have accepted that element).

(Apparently in the script the scene in the diner actually has them explain time travel with straws but in the movie they just had Old Joe (Willis) ridicule that concept. If anyone actually has the script, I would be interested in reading that scene.)

Anyway, to address the two main points I would like to clarify for people:
1. The basic premise is that murder at some point in the future is too difficult to get away with, so future mobsters send bodies back to be disposed of. You must accept that premise as the background and move forward from there. Critiquing the movie on that point is like critiquing the movie for having time travel at all saying that "time travel inherently makes no sense." Slightly more valid question is why they don't send their victims into the distant past, but again, the premise is the premise; I don't think the details of the "tagging", etc. need to be explored when the focus of the movie is on identity, selfishness, violence, impact on children, etc.
2. Despite still not liking how the mechanics of time travel were depicted (the fact that injuries to the younger versions affect the older versions of people, but nothing seems to affect all the events leading up to that moment makes no sense in any logic), I have come to appreciate the movie slightly more than I did upon leaving the theater. I don't like it, but that is how the time travel works in this movie. The good thing that it does is that it allows for a kind of hybrid time travel mechanic where paradoxes are allowed and not allowed at the same time. In this case, the biggest outcome is that Joe can influence Cid and Cid's mom's lives (preventing Cid from becoming the Rainmaker) and still having his personal journey and duel with his older self.

Right up until Young Joe made the decision to shoot himself I was thinking that the movie would have Old Joe "realize/remember" the revelation his younger self came to, and would put down the gun. In fact, all through the movie when Old Joe was fighting to remember his wife in the face of his shifting memories, I figured that Young Joe's character development would shift Old Joe's character around until they were closer to being the same person. Where at least they would see the big picture in the same way and no longer be enemies, but that is simply not the way the movie went.

Now a thought that later baked my noodle was wondering why the mobsters would still have guns in the future? Especially when going to kidnap a former looper. That looper obviously knows you don't want to use the gun, the whole reason you are kidnapping him is to avoid killing him in that present. So it makes no sense to have it, especially when they have perfectly effective "stun guns" in the same scene. That was obviously a plot point made simply because it had to be and the director didn't think through the logic of it. JGL even alludes to it when he discusses the shotgun at the farm; he isn't afraid of the gun because he isn't afraid of the person wielding it. Old Joe would never be afraid of any mob employee carrying a gun in the future.
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Old October 1 2012, 10:21 PM   #36
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Re: Looper - Grade, Review, Discuss, ect.

davejames wrote: View Post
The entire concept of the Loopers just seems awfully silly and contrived, with mobsters using time travel technology and setting up this entire, complicated system.... just to off people?!? (Really? Because they don't have incinerators in the future or something??)
Supposedly, they have 100% perfect tracking and biomonitering implants in the future. If you kill someone the police will know exactly when they died and who was there with them. That means that the identity of the killer will be pretty obvious.

Sending them back in time means that they vanish from the tracking system, but there is no death signal.
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Old October 1 2012, 10:34 PM   #37
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Re: Looper - Grade, Review, Discuss, ect.

Ometiklan wrote: View Post
the fact that injuries to the younger versions affect the older versions of people, but nothing seems to affect all the events leading up to that moment makes no sense in any logic
The exact same thing happened in Frequency. In 1969, a character's hand is blown off, and his 1999 self watches that same hand wither away into nothing instantly.
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Old October 2 2012, 03:27 AM   #38
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Re: Looper - Grade, Review, Discuss, ect.

Ometiklan wrote: View Post

Anyway, to address the two main points I would like to clarify for people:
1. The basic premise is that murder at some point in the future is too difficult to get away with, so future mobsters send bodies back to be disposed of. You must accept that premise as the background and move forward from there. Critiquing the movie on that point is like critiquing the movie for having time travel at all saying that "time travel inherently makes no sense." Slightly more valid question is why they don't send their victims into the distant past, but again, the premise is the premise; I don't think the details of the "tagging", etc. need to be explored when the focus of the movie is on identity, selfishness, violence, impact on children, etc.
Well, at least time travel leads to interesting "what if" questions. I don't find the tagging technology interesting, in addition to it not making much sense. I think it's a pretty valid criticism for a movie being championed as "brainy sci-fi."
hyzmarca wrote: View Post
davejames wrote: View Post
The entire concept of the Loopers just seems awfully silly and contrived, with mobsters using time travel technology and setting up this entire, complicated system.... just to off people?!? (Really? Because they don't have incinerators in the future or something??)
Supposedly, they have 100% perfect tracking and biomonitering implants in the future. If you kill someone the police will know exactly when they died and who was there with them. That means that the identity of the killer will be pretty obvious.

Sending them back in time means that they vanish from the tracking system, but there is no death signal.
Ok, so they just disappear. Let's think about this. If this system is 100% perfect and never loses tracking, then the signal going dark would be equivalent to a death signal. If not you could exploit that flaw in the signaling system to kill someone and destroy the body/tagging without using time travel (aka the most illegal thing of all).

Whoa, people keep disappearing from the system right after these 3 mobsters abduct them and take them to abandoned buildings!!?!? Someone call Matlock, this it too perplexing!
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Old October 2 2012, 04:57 AM   #39
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Re: Looper - Grade, Review, Discuss, ect.

So I am guess that the tracking and need for a looper only happened after Joe retired and married? It looked like he graduated from being a looper finishing off a blindfolded man to being a gatman doing open murders and shootouts with little concern of any immediate police action.
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Old October 2 2012, 05:18 AM   #40
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Re: Looper - Grade, Review, Discuss, ect.

Levitt was destined to play the Gatman!
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Old October 3 2012, 09:12 AM   #41
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Re: Looper - Grade, Review, Discuss, ect.

I made the point above the Gordon-Levitt is not a good choice because one can't imagine he is physically Bruce's equal.. and I commented that Emily Blunt looks stronger and more formidable.
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Old October 3 2012, 10:09 AM   #42
Dick Whitman
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Re: Looper - Grade, Review, Discuss, ect.

Levitt was cast before Willis.
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Old October 3 2012, 05:39 PM   #43
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Re: Looper - Grade, Review, Discuss, ect.

Just back from seeing it. Enjoyed it for the most part, but wow what a lame ending. Yet another movie where I walk out thinking "is that it?"
Seriously don't understand what all the rave reviews were for. It wasn't terrrible but it wasn't that good.


And despite the acting talents of that little, I really wanted someone to just slap him. What a little git.


I'm never one for writing big reviews, mostly I just ask myself afterwards "would I watch that again? Would I buy it on DVD?" the answer would be no.
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Old October 3 2012, 06:05 PM   #44
davejames
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Re: Looper - Grade, Review, Discuss, ect.

Yoda wrote: View Post
Ok, so they just disappear. Let's think about this. If this system is 100% perfect and never loses tracking, then the signal going dark would be equivalent to a death signal. If not you could exploit that flaw in the signaling system to kill someone and destroy the body/tagging without using time travel (aka the most illegal thing of all).

Whoa, people keep disappearing from the system right after these 3 mobsters abduct them and take them to abandoned buildings!!?!? Someone call Matlock, this it too perplexing!
Ha ha, exactly.

There's gotta be a million easier and faster ways to dispose of someone without your tracking signal being associated with them. Like using a sniper, or poisoning them, or having someone plant a bomb under their car-- you know, things mobsters have been doing for decades.
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Old October 3 2012, 06:30 PM   #45
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Re: Looper - Grade, Review, Discuss, ect.

hyzmarca wrote: View Post
Supposedly, they have 100% perfect tracking and biomonitering implants in the future. If you kill someone the police will know exactly when they died and who was there with them. That means that the identity of the killer will be pretty obvious.

Sending them back in time means that they vanish from the tracking system, but there is no death signal.
But they'd know where it was, when it was, and who was nearby when it happened. Then all it takes is finding evidence that a single one of these mysterious disappearances were killed in the relatively recent past (which they were, hence older versions being sent back to be killed by their younger selves)... argh, nevermind. I give up trying to figure out how to rationalize crummy plot elements like this.

Yes, yes, I know it's really just a prop for the movie. This just doesn't make a lick of sense. Doubly so if the time travel technology itself isn't easily portable (hence the signal disappearing wouldn't give its location away).

EDIT: Oh, someone else ranted about it, too. Sorry. I really need to finish reading a thread before replying.
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