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old wave

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  1. old wave

    Looper (2012)

    No, that's not the issue. The issue is that Old Joe comes from a future that did not exist until he went back and was stopped from causing it. It's easy enough to accept the premise that actions in the present affect visitors from the future contemporaneously, in the same timeline from the perspective of present observers. Granted this, there's no logical problem with Old Seth watching his fingers disappear one by one as Young Seth's fingers are cut off, with Old Joe acquiring and losing memories in real time depending on Young Joe's actions, or with Old Joe coming back from the future and then disappearing as Young Joe shoots himself, leaving the mother and child in the field where Joe's actions led them. Those things don't involve causal loops: x causes y, and y causes x. That's where the logical problem arises. The causal loop the film seems to posit is that the Rainmaker causes Joe to come back, but Joe's coming back causes the Rainmaker. That's a different logical configuration than the situations in the previous paragraph. That, unlike them, is a true paradox. Now, I think there's a way to get around that seeming paradox. My solution is that there are three possible timelines: the "first" one with Rainmaker #1, the one Joe would have caused but that never actually came about with Rainmaker #2, and the final one with no Rainmaker. But I do recognize that, unless you contrive something like this, the ending is problematic in a way that the trans-time causality in general is not. Ahh, I see. You're right. I think the argument that you and others have been making is correct.
  2. old wave

    Looper (2012)

    In fact, I'm not only arguing that, I'm arguing that if you want the story to be consistent in the way that you're saying, you don't need an explanation for just the ending, you need an explanation for at least a half dozen other things that happen in the film. I mean, I understand what you're saying: you're trying to explain how Old Joe could come from a future that presumably does not exist after Young Joe shoots him. Because if the Rainmaker never comes to power, then Old Joe couldn't have come back in the first place. I get that. But the same logic means that Old Paul Dano shouldn't be observing a scar appearing on his arm, either. Instead, Old Paul Dano should have ALWAYS had a scar on his arm, since it happened in the past. When they cut off Old Paul Dano's first finger, he shouldn't be surprised that he doesn't have a first finger, since he's been living without that finger for the past 30 years. And so on.
  3. old wave

    Looper (2012)

    That's actually not true. It would still be a problem that Old Joe's actions supposedly create the Rainmaker, when without the Rainmaker those actions would never have been performed. The movie's time-travel mechanics don't resolve that causal loop. I'm proposing a way I think it can be resolved, but I might actually agree with someone who argued that I'm imposing a complicated, logical explanation on the film from outside, when a simple, illogical one is all the filmmakers intended. That's precisely what I'm arguing.
  4. old wave

    Looper (2012)

    I just got back from seeing this. I loved it, the best SF movie since THE MATRIX. I've got to confess not understanding the fact that people are wound up over the causality loops at the end of the movie. The filmmakers go through a lot of trouble to show that the effects of time travel happen contemporaneously in the timeline that is viewed as the "present" from the POV of the observer. When Young Seth (played by Paul Dano's character) is having his fingers cut off, the result is that Old Seth watches his fingers slowly disappearing (the results are happening in the contemporaneous timeline) NOT that Old Seth never had any fingers to begin with. If you can accept that, then the rest of the movie makes sense. If you can't accept that, then the movie stops making sense wayyyy before we arrive at the ending.
  5. old wave

    Cloud Atlas

    I don't know how it's going to end up turning out, but I'm rooting for it to succeed after seeing that trailer.
  6. There was a very good article in The LA Review of Books speaking of the Old Testament moral universe of Breaking Bad.
  7. old wave

    Man of Steel (2013)

    New teaser trailers are out. They look amazing, but Superman always makes for good trailers. The Superman Returns teaser trailer should be in the pantheon of Great Trailers for Mediocre Movies, along with the first trailers for Garden State and Prometheus.
  8. You know what the scariest thing about Prometheus is? The prospect of Blade Runner 2.
  9. It's worth noting that this is directed by Shinichirō Watanabe, director of both Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo, with music by Yoko Kanno (also of Cowboy Bebop and GITS:SAC, among other things). So I'm not too surprised that it's good. Has anyone checked out Planetes? It's a hard SF about a team that collects Earth-orbiting space debris. I'm 4 of 26 episodes in, and I'm really enjoying the script and art.
  10. I couldn't convince my wife to go, but I went anyway. Amazing and epic. It took a day of my life, but it was a day well spent. This effusive, somewhat inarticulate review is also entirely accurate: http://www.sfgate.co.../DDLD1NPQTM.DTL
  11. If I can convince my wife to go, I'm going to see this on the 1st.
  12. Except I'm not sure that humanity ever seems to have genuinely fallen in THE TREE OF LIFE. There is a kind of disorder of the human state suggested here, but it never really suggests there was a time or period before such disorder (unless we're to believe in an idyllic childhood, and somehow Jack departs from the inherent proper state of mind through the influences of his parents). The narrative in the cosmic section is evolutionary history, a story of perpetual conflict, violence, and development, and within it, we never get a look at a pre-fall humanity. Indeed, despite the film's cosmic scope, there seems to be little consideration of the story of humanity itself, which strikes me as a major problem with the film. I guess if you construe the cosmic stuff as being a Genesis account of creation, then that makes sense. But if you think of it as the response to the Mother's question "why?" and the ensuing cosmic voyage, then it directly mirrors God's response to Job. God's narrative of creation in response to Job doesn't speak of the fall of humanity, or even humanity itself. Neither does it distinguish between between pre and post fall Earth, just blends the two together. I think this Malick wanted us to think of Job, not Genesis, which is why he goes out of his way to make at least two overt references to the story of Job.
  13. I disagree, and I can't see how that make sense. If simply "acting willfully" transcends nature, then what do you make of the phrase "human nature" and all it denotes and connotes? I can't understand how you got that from that sentence. I said that the brother's death serves as a DIRECT CHALLENGE to the idea that nothing bad can come to someone who follows the way of grace; which is what we see this brother symbolizing during the movie.
  14. My other thought was that people are mishandling the mother's frame: "the way of nature v. the way of grace". For one thing, I think it's a bit odd to say that Malick mislabeled "the way of nature", and that it should have been called "the way of will". While it's true that this might have made things a bit more obvious, I don't think it would have made it more accurate. Post-Eden, the "natural order of things" IS the way of will. Secondly, I think it is a mistake to think that Malick takes the mother's frame completely credulously. After all, immediately after the mother claims that nothing bad can come to someone who follows the way of grace, we hear about the death of the middle brother. Since he, along with his mother, are avatars of the way of grace, this early death (especially if you take into consideration Malick's brother's own suicide) serves as a direct challenge to this view.
  15. I saw this for the second time yesterday, and I wholeheartedly agree. I think it takes a lot of contortion to imagine that Jack is seeing heaven. After all, his father, at least, is still alive. We see him talking to him on the phone. Also, the first person we see him following into the mountains is himself as a boy, which also wouldn't make much sense if this was intended to be a vision of a present or future heaven. I think it's obvious from the mother's look of joyous disbelief on being reunited with this particular son that it's the middle child that dies. Also, it's the middle child who walks away through the door (after/before?) the mother says that she's releasing the child to God. This latter image is another reason I don't think the "people milling around" image at the end is not heaven. Also, someone earlier said that one reason they believed that the closing image is heaven is that they didn't see anyone else from Jack's past other than his family. This isn't true: we see the burn victim kid and (I think) the woman whose nightgown he stole.
  16. I just saw this playing in front of HP. Plays much better in the theatre.
  17. old wave

    Woven Hand

    They are all friends, yes. Sufjan, after all, was a touring member of Danielson for awhile (and now an official member as well, for the new album). They've taken turns producing and working on each others' albums (Daniel Smith produced Seven Swans and lent his family to play on the record, and wrote and played on Ten Stones), and Asthmatic Kitty and Soundsfamilyre are sister labels. It doesn't surprise me that Sufjan would say he has a lot in common with DEE faithwise; he goes to a PCA church, which while not "fire and brimstone" is very orthodox. And read the lyrics of Seven Swans again: We didn't sleep too late There was a fire in the yard All of the trees were in light They had no faces to show I saw a sign in the sky Seven swans, seven swans, seven swans I heard a voice in my mind "I will try, I will try, I will try I will try, I will try, I will try" We saw the dragon move down My father burned into coal My mother saw it from afar She took her purse to the bed I saw a sign in the sky Seven horns, seven horns, seven horns I heard a voice in my mind "I am Lord, I am Lord, I am Lord" He said, "I am Lord, I am Lord, I am Lord" He said, "I am Lord, I am Lord, I am Lord" He will take you If you run He will chase you He will take you If you run He will chase you Because he is the Lord Not too far from a DEE song, I'd say.
  18. old wave


    Even though its buggy and has few features, I'm pretty much CONSTANTLY on Turntable.fm. I can't explain WHY I am, I just am. Something about the combination of music and social networking is incredibly addictive.
  19. If I were doing it, I wouldn't
  20. Apparently not if you live in the U.S. or Canada.
  21. I see that Judi's lines (as 'M') haven't gotten any better. "1 in 4" women are abused at home. Let's make it equal!!! Um... yay?? What a strange reading of that commercial.
  22. I very much doubt that it's coincidental. Interesting (or not so interesting) factoid about yours truly: "We have all the time in the world" is engraved on the inside of my wedding band (same goes for my wife), and the Louis Armstrong song of the same name was our wedding song. That this was a romantic statement and a nod towards our own mortality was undoubtedly lost on most of our guests, who had not seen ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE. Doesn't the Bond girl, you know, die at the end of that movie?
  23. It's remarkable how much Martin Freeman-as-Bilbo looks like a younger version of Ian Holm-as-Bilbo.
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