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Brandon

"God is so great and merciful that he does not require that we name him precisely. God is even willing to be anonymous for a time. Remember how God led the Three Wise Men from the East to Christ? The Wise Men did not know the God of Israel or Jesus. They worshipped the stars. So God used a star to lure them."--The Twelve Steps for Christians

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  • 2 months later...

'Jumper' ad leaps between products

In 20th Century Fox's "Jumper," Hayden Christensen's character has the ability to teleport anywhere in the world. In the studio's TV campaign for the actioner, that means into another company's ad as well.

Variety, January 7

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I just got the original novels out of the library. Hopefully I'll get a chance to read 'em before the film comes out on Valentine's Day. Anybody here familiar with them?

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Almost finished the first book. Very interesting, if a bit melodramatic (an abusive father and an attempted rape in just the first couple chapters, followed by scenes with murderous and wife-beating neighbours, and finally there is a major subplot spurred by a completely unexpected act of Middle Eastern terrorism; the book was first published in the summer of 1992). And so far, there is only ONE character who can "jump" -- whereas the trailer hints at a "war" between multiple characters who can do so, or something like that. So either they've seriously re-written the story, or they are pulling in elements from the sequels and doing sort of a mishmash (kind of like how Disney's The Black Cauldron merged elements from at least two of the original Prydain Chronicles).

Oh, and I note that the trailer seems to imply that, when Hayden teleports, he keeps his momentum -- note the way he jumps off a ledge or cliff, and then "jumps" (i.e. teleports) to the ground, crouching as though he is "landing". This does not happen in the book. In the book, whenever the main character "jumps" to a spot, he simply ends up standing there, no matter how fast he was falling or whatever BEFORE the "jump". I don't know what the precise scientific terminology would be -- something to do with inertia, no doubt -- but in the book, it is made quite clear that, if this were NOT the case, then "jumping" from one city to another (i.e. "jumping" to a spot that is closer to the equator or further away from the equator) would kill him, because his body would not be rotating around the earth's core at the same speed as the place that he "jumps" to.

- - -

Jumper prequel comic preview and more

Oni Press has a 23-page preview of the comics lead-in it

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just wondering, how many films have featured people who can teleport?

X2: X-Men United (2003) is one obvious example, thanks to Nightcrawler. But beyond that?

The IMDb says it has 126 films listed under the keyword "teleportation", but a number of those spaces are blank, and a LOT of them are for films like The Fly, The Prestige or any of the Star Trek productions, where the teleportation is achieved or attempted entirely through a machine and not because of any power inherent to the individual. (For now, I'm ignoring god-like aliens like Q. I'm interested in HUMANS that can do this.)

So... can anyone think of other examples of characters like Nightcrawler or the protagonist(s) of Jumper? Ideally in feature films? (Though examples from TV could be helpful, too.)

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Jeffrey Overstreet wrote:

: Talk about a case of bad timing. WaterBrook just published a book about a teleporter called Leaper.

Huh. Jumper was first published in 1992, and the sequel Reflex was published in 2004. Steven Gould also wrote another novel called Jumper: Griffin's Story, which gives the back-story for a character who was invented just for the film (which, according to the IMDb, was shot between August and December 2006); that book came out in August 2007, according to Amazon.com, whereas Leaper came out in June 2007.

Bad timing, or deliberate capitalization? ("Hey kids, here's the 'Christian' alternative to Jumper!")

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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I know the folks at WaterBrook, and they're not the sort to see something and deliberately copy it. I haven't seen anything like that in their library of publications. It was just one of those coincidences that made me think, "Weird!" The story of Leaper is altogether different. I've read part of it, and it seemed to me to be a quirky story in which the superpower ends up carrying a character to work through certain relationship challenges. I don't think it's anything like the epic clash of good guys and villains that Jumper appears to be.

Edited by Jeffrey Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Jeffrey Overstreet wrote:

: The story of Leaper is altogether different. I've read part of it, and it seemed to me to be a quirky story in which the superpower ends up carrying a character to work through certain relationship challenges. I don't think it's anything like the epic clash of good guys and villains that Jumper appears to be.

Hmmm. The thought occurred to me yesterday that the cover of Leaper makes a big deal of superheroes and comic-book panels and so forth, so perhaps the novel was inspired on some level by the character of Nightcrawler -- a Catholic teleporter -- particularly following the depiction of that character in the second X-Men movie in 2003, four years before Leaper came out. There is absolutely nothing about Jumper, the book, that would invite comparisons to comic books.

So it's interesting to hear you say that Jumper, the film, seems to have a clash between good guys and villains, while Leaper, the book, doesn't, despite its comic-book allusions.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Quantum Teleporting, Yes; the Rest Is Movie Magic

In a battle waged with popcorn, floodlights, chalk and star power, science and art squared off at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology one night last month.

On one side of a vaunted cultural divide were Doug Liman, director of the coming movie "Jumper," about a young man who discovers he can transport himself anywhere he wants just by thinking about it, and Hayden Christensen, the film's star.

On the other were a pair of the institute's physics professors, Edward Farhi and Max Tegmark, experts on the type of physics the movie was purporting to portray, who had been enlisted to view a few scenes from it and talk about science.

In the middle were hundreds of M.I.T. students who had waited for hours to jam into a giant lecture hall known as Room 26-100 and who proved that future scientists and engineers could be just as rowdy and star-struck as the crowds outside the MTV studios in Times Square.

"I guess I wasn't expecting such a lively group," Mr. Christensen said.

The evening was the brainchild of Warren Betts, a veteran Hollywood publicist who has helped promote a number of movies with scientific or technological themes, including "Apollo 13." Mr. Betts said he had gotten excited after a Caltech physicist told him that teleportation was actually an accomplished fact in the quirky realm of quantum physics. . . .

New York Times, February 5

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This board has a lot of guys, and a lot of sci-fi genre fans. But if anyone starts claiming that Jumper is a good movie, I may have to exile myself from the board for a while. (Those who are bored/angered by my posts now know how to rid the board of my presence temporarily.)

Saw it last night, and it's a spectacular dud. A critic behind me -- a young guy on the radio who had proclaimed "True Romance" as the best movie ever made during the pre-show quiz he had also emceed -- was walking out behind me and said to his friend, "It didn't explain anything. But I'd watch it again. Definitely on video."

I tried to bite my tongue but couldn't help turning and saying, "Wasn't two hours of your life enough?"

To which he replied: "It was only 88 minutes."

It felt endless. He missed the point, while making his one of his own.

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Christian wrote:

: This board has a lot of guys, and a lot of sci-fi genre fans. But if anyone starts claiming that Jumper is a good movie, I may have to exile myself from the board for a while.

Only two stars from me. And I was probably being generous. I remember flirting with one-and-a-half stars.

And what's with this "guys" comment? My wife hasn't seen the movie, but she liked the novel well enough.

: "It didn't explain anything. But I'd watch it again. Definitely on video."

Well, it SORT of explained a few things -- visually, not verbally -- but if you hadn't already read the novel, the explanations might whip by you too fast to notice.

The novel, which features only ONE Jumper, establishes that Jumpers can only "jump" to places that they have strong memories of visiting or seeing with their own eyes. (So if you've only seen it in a movie? Doesn't count. And if you've been there but you don't remember it very well? Doesn't count. But you can use photos and videos as memory aides, to remember places that you HAVE been to. This is why David has that wall of photos from around the world: those photos are memory aides. And this is why David has to walk by the bank vault, before he can "break into" it: if he hasn't actually SEEN the bank vault, it is inaccessible to him.)

The movie, which features at least THREE Jumpers, adds the detail that one Jumper can follow another Jumper through his "jump scar", i.e. the special effect that lingers in the air behind a Jumper after he has left.

The movie also CONTRADICTS the novel on at least one point: In the novel, Jumpers can only take with them objects and people that they are holding in their hands or arms; if you chain a Jumper to a bed or a wall, the Jumper will not be able to leave, and will in fact feel incredible pain at the points where the chains or manacles are holding him down. In the film, on the other hand, Jumpers can take entire vehicles (including a double-decker bus!!) and more. All for the spectacle, I'm sure.

The problem is that the movie doesn't always seem to be FOLLOWING the rules that it lays out. E.g., how does Griffin follow David around, near the beginning of the film? He does not know the places that David knows, and so he cannot "jump" to them based on any of his own memories. But he doesn't seem to be following David closely enough to take advantage of any of David's "jump scars".

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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"Well, it SORT of explained a few things -- visually, not verbally -- but if you hadn't already read the novel, the explanations might whip by you too fast to notice."

This is not an explanation, but a connection to be drawn by those familiar with the source material. Which I was not. So I had no idea how any of the stuff that was happening was happening, and I was mystified as to why a film that should be so kinetic and potentially fascinating could be so utterly boring.

As for the "guys" comment, I was acknowleging that preponderance of people on this board, not trying to say that women would never be "into" sci-fi. That's not true, although fanboys usually tend to be ... boys, not girls, in my experience.

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Christian wrote:

: This is not an explanation, but a connection to be drawn by those familiar with the source material.

No, I think the movie DOES explain it, independently of the source material. You just have to follow the visual cues. (Isn't there a scene where young David tries to teleport to a place that he's never been to, by staring at a picture of it, and he can't do it?) But most of the visual "explanation" takes place during the prologue, which goes by pretty fast, so I'm not surprised that some people would miss it.

Certainly the bit about "jump scars" is explained -- verbally as well as visually -- since it is not even IN the source material, and I picked it up from the film.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Yeah, the jump scar stuff was addressed briefly.

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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I wish my review came somewhere near Joe Morgenstern's fabulous takedown of this movie (scroll down in the column) in terms of outright dismissiveness.

This is why Morgenstern won the Pulitzer Prize:

"Jumper," based on the novel by Steven Gould, re-defines -- downward -- the notion of dreadful. It does so by dispensing with everything a movie needs for a shot at being merely awful. Dramatic development? None. Entertaining dialogue? Ditto. Internal logic? Puhleez. Intriguing characters? No characters, thus no intrigue. Interesting performances? Essentially none, though with an asterisk.

He likes Jamie Bell's performance. So did I. If only that mattered.

BTW, I wonder if Morgenstern's criticism is now available to all readers on a regular basis. I had seen the review in print here at the office and clicked over the Journal's site, fully expecting the review to be locked. What a nice surprise!

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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I'm so glad that, yep, things do change over the years, but at least some of my instincts are still spot-on.

Case in point?

When we first saw the trailer for Jumper in front of our Cloverfield experience, I leaned over to my wife and said, "You couldn't pay me to set foot in a theater with that crap."

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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When we first saw the trailer for Jumper in front of our Cloverfield experience, I leaned over to my wife and said, "You couldn't pay me to set foot in a theater with that crap."

Hmm, no kidding. I saw the trailer in front of two separate movies and both times I thought "I want to see that."

And I still do. :(

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  • 1 month later...

Just a note to say that I FINALLY finished reading Reflex, the sequel to Jumper, on the flight to Atlanta today.

And it so, so, so rocks.

It's a completely different book from the original -- third-person rather than first-, a tale of espionage and marriage (among other things) rather than a coming-of-age story about revenge and maturity (among other things), etc. -- but it works extremely well on its own terms. It might -- might -- even be better than the original novel, because it follows a more traditional sort of arc, without feeling episodic or without tossing in some out-of-the-blue surprises like the first book did. The sequel holds together, is what I guess I'm saying, without feeling arbitrary in places the way the first book kind of did.

And it takes perfect advantage of certain aspects of "jumping" that were spelled out in the original novel but never really USED in the original novel. You'd almost think the writer had written those bits of the original novel simply to set up the sequel, except the sequel came out something like 12 whole years later (which, among other things, affects the technological and political milieu within which these characters work -- a lot of things changed between 1992 and 2004!).

Anyway, it was all I could do to refrain from laughing and cheering as I read the last chapters of Reflex on the plane today. Or to refrain from getting overly verklempt, in a couple places. My goodness, it would seem I've really become ATTACHED to these characters.

Now here's where it gets a little weird. I have the THIRD book with me, too. It is called Jumper: Griffin's Story. And it is written by the same guy who wrote the first two books. But because the movie and the original books have almost nothing to do with each other, this third book is actually based on the movie, and not on the earlier books.

And this is what it says on the third book's cover:

Based on the film JUMPER, soon to be a major motion picture!

Eh? If the book is based on the film, which would seem to put the film in the past, how can the film still be in the future ("soon to be", etc.)? True, the third book came out in August 2007 and the movie came out in February 2008 (possibly after its release was delayed?). But if the book is BASED on the film, doesn't that mean the film is ALREADY, well, a film? Or does a film not become "a major motion picture" until it has been released? Help me. I'm confused.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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