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Looper (2012)


Tyler
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The most recent post I could find on Looper was from May 2009, so hopefully it hasn't been abandoned. I think Johnson is one of the most promising directors around today, and his comments on Looper have me intrigued:

"It’s not like a 'I, Robot'–type thing. It’s a very character-based film, and it’s very violent and very dark," Johnson revealed. "It’s set in the near future, and things are very bad in an industrial town in Kansas. The worst crime you can commit 30 years from now is messing with time travel, so the only people who will mess with it are big criminal groups. It’s a weird mixture; it has elements of the first 'Terminator' and 'Witness,' bizarrely enough."

Johnson had also noted in past interviews that the film will:

- depict a dystopian society that has gone to hell
- deal with time travel as
part of the setup but not as an active part of the ongoing story
- have events catalysed by a disruptive element that will have traveled back in time from even further in the future
- be "very dark, very violent" and "is the complete opposite of 'Brothers Bloom.'



Anyone have some more current information about it?

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IMDB still has it listed as "in development." All articles on the internet are old.

Links to Rian's Brick (2005) and The Brothers Bloom (2008).

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

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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  • 3 months later...

CANNES: Bruce Willis Plays Mature Joseph Gordon-Levitt In Time Travel Pic 'Looper'

EXCLUSIVE: Bruce Willis is joining the cast of Looper, a science fiction time travel tale that reunites the Brick team of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and writer/director Rian Johnson. The Terminator-esque action film has a clever premise. Loopers are hit men whose victims are sent back in time from the future to be executed. The Loopers bump them off in the present, so there is no trace of a crime in the future. I'm told that Willis and Gordon-Levitt will play the same character, in those different time frames. . . .

Mike Fleming, Deadline.com, May 14

"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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  • 6 months later...
io9.com has seen the screenplay (or at least a draft of it).

"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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io9.com has seen the screenplay (or at least a draft of it).

When we interviewed Johnson last year, he told us he aims to make Looper like Children Of Men — but after reading these pages, we're actually reminded a bit more of Twelve Monkeys. Which is by no means bad news, and is sort of fitting since Bruce Willis plays someone from the future who's come back in time. (Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the other main character, Joe.) The movie is very, very dark, and a return to the "noir" feel of Brick after Johnson's more light-hearted The Brothers Bloom.

Sold.

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When I saw Anonymous last night, I was handed a couple of passes for a test screening to Looper for this coming week. However, when I took a close look at the invite today, I realized I can't attend. Not because of scheduling conflicts, mind you, but rather because I am too old! The invite specifically states that no one outside the ages of 17 - 44 will be permitted into the theatre. ID's will be checked!

edit: I wonder how closely they do look at ID's. I'm half tempted to still try to go. Any advice?

Edited by Baal_T'shuvah

Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
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When I saw Anonymous last night, I was handed a couple of passes for a test screening to Looper for this coming week. However, when I took a close look at the invite today, I realized I can't attend. Not because of scheduling conflicts, mind you, but rather because I am too old! The invite specifically states that no one outside the ages of 17 - 44 will be permitted into the theatre. ID's will be checked!

edit: I wonder how closely they do look at ID's. I'm half tempted to still try to go. Any advice?

That's really bizarre. I've never heard of someone getting a fake ID that says they're younger than they are, but you could try it.

At least it means they actually shot the movie, though. I hadn't heard anything about it for quite a while.

It's the side effects that save us.
--The National, "Graceless"
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  • 4 months later...

Entertainment Weekly was there for a Looper first look at WonderCon.

Out Sept. 28, the film stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a hitman who specializes in a unique method of execution: His victims are sent back to him from 30 years in the future, to be dispatched within seconds of popping into the past. The job pays handsomely, and life is dandy for him, until one day his victim turns out to be his future self (Bruce Willis).

The premise meant that Gordon-Levitt took on what he called “the most transformative” role of his career, undergoing three hours of make-up a day to modify his face — especially his lips, nose, and eye-color — to look like a younger Willis

It's the side effects that save us.
--The National, "Graceless"
Twitter Blog

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So ... I can't figure it out. If the Bruce Willis from 30 years into the future came back to the present and interacted with his younger self, would he already have memories of what did with his past self before he did them in the present? In other words, would he already remember both what he did and what he was about to do (just only from the perspective of his past self)?

Edited by Persiflage
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I stopped trying to 'figure out' time travel movies a long time ago. I just willingly accept the paradoxes and enjoy the flick. Concept films hold little interest for me.. which is why I have a hard time appreciating Twelve Monkeys or Primer, which seem to be far more focused on unraveling an intricately coherent plot structure with as few plot holes as possible (although as far as I can tell, there will always be plot holes). Accepting the concept of time travel is to suspend your belief to at least some extent, which is why I prefer Donnie Darko, which allows me to simply accept the paradoxes without insisting that everything make sense, allowing me to focus on Donnie's spiritual journey.

From what I can tell, Looper looks primarily focused on JGL vs. his older self and the philosophical implications of that concept, and less concerned with the time travel system itself.. which is why I'm looking forward to it.

..also, I dislike the trend of dubstep in movie trailers. >_>

Edited by Jeremy
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So ... I can't figure it out. If the Bruce Willis from 30 years into the future came back to the present and interacted with his younger self, would he already have memories of what did with his past self before he did them in the present? In other words, would he already remember both what he did and what he was about to do (just only from the perspective of his past self)?

Well, since the Primer guy helped with the time travel in this movie, maybe it's more that when you time travel you create multip...no nevermind, I'm not even going to try and figure this out.

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It *used* to be that time-travel stories were expected to be internally consistent: If you watched The Final Countdown, The Philadelphia Experiment, the original Terminator or various other movies and TV shows way back when, the person who went back in time always ended up fulfilling the future they came from, whether intentionally or not. But that's not the case so much any more; I can remember how utterly perplexed I was when Terminator 2: Judgment Day came out and violated the internal consistency of the original film's timeline to present a story in which, actually, yes, a person coming back in time *could* change the timeline. And then, years later, Terminator Salvation had to go and make things worse by suggesting that it was still possible -- even necessary -- to fulfill *aspects* of the original timeline in this utterly new and different timeline. I don't mind films that follow the T1 principle or the T2 principle, but I do object to the same films being part of the same continuity -- and I'm definitely *not* a fan of films that follow the T4 principle.

(I do like Back to the Future, which is sort of a T4 film, inasmuch as Marty has to make sure his parents meet, thereby somehow guaranteeing that he himself will be born, even though he has made all sorts of *other* changes to the timeline; but Back to the Future works on the level of fable, and the T4 aspect doesn't really become evident until the final moments, and the internal inconsistencies of the film's temporal mechanics don't really become a *storytelling* problem until the sequels.)

A couple years ago, I was tempted to do a blog post on the changing sensibilities with regard to time travel as demonstrated by the various branches of the Star Trek franchise over the past 45 years.

In the original series, the past is the past and must *remain as it is*, which places a moral imperative on everyone who travels into the past to make sure that nothing is changed, or that any changes which *have* been made are undone.

But things began to change with the 'Yesterday's Enterprise' episode of The Next Generation, in which we learn that the original past (i.e. the history between the Enterprise-C and the Enterprise-D) was revised when the Enterprise-C, having jumped into the future, went back to the past and changed everything -- so everything we've seen that took place after the original series has actually been taking place on a *second* timeline that obliterated the original one. However, I don't think the writers quite realized what they were doing there, since everyone on the original timeline kept speaking as though the second timeline was the one that *should* exist (presumably, of course, because the second timeline was the one that viewers were familiar with). So the moral imperative to prefer one timeline over another remained.

Then, by the time you get to Voyager, you have episodes (including, but not limited to, the series finale) in which people casually decide to go back in time and prevent their friends' deaths by changing the entire timeline -- thereby changing *EVERYONE'S* histories and not just those of the people they wanted to save. This is sometimes even presented as something that our heroes do in active defiance of heroes from the other shows (in one episode, the surviving Voyager crewmates change the timeline right after Geordi LaForge, formerly of The Next Generation, orders them not to).

And then, finally, J.J. Abrams' Star Trek comes along and says that going back in time doesn't erase any of the original timelines anyway, so it's okay, you're just adding another set of branches to the multiverse. (And yes, the existence of the multiverse *was* established in an episode of The Next Generation, but I don't think it had ever been linked to time travel in this way.)

But I never got around to blogging that, because, um, I didn't have much time for blogging back then. Maybe now that my blog is moving to Patheos, though...

"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, I hate it when people who have advanced screenings post the "so I've seen it already" posts...but I'm going to be a hypocrite and post one here because I want to put on my SDG hat for a second and recommend that if you are planning on seeing it to steer clear of the reviews until you do. I'm not usually a big must-avoid-spoilers-at-all-costs kind of guy b/c trailers usually give away the whole film, but fwiw my enjoyment (which was substantial) was seriously enhanced by the fact that there were wrinkles in the film that I was unaware of beyond the initial premise. I'm not talking huge twist reveals, but there was stuff in the film that I didn't know about. Enjoy.

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Agreed on the avoid spoilers thing.

I saw this tonight (at an advance screening) and liked it a lot. I think it's a much more serious movie (and deserves more serious engagement) than many would think/expect from the trailers.

Edited by Timothy Zila

@Timzila

"It is the business of fiction to embody mystery through manners, and mystery is a great embarrassment to the modern mind." (Flannery O'Connor, Mystery and Manners).

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That's usually true of most Rian Johnson movies Timothy. Which is why I'm excited to see this. I've been avoiding reviews myself which is something I usually never do. I just know it's certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

"The truth is you're the weak, and I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin Ringo, I'm tryin real hard to be the shepherd." Pulp Fiction

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That's usually true of most Rian Johnson movies Timothy. Which is why I'm excited to see this. I've been avoiding reviews myself which is something I usually never do. I just know it's certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

I haven't seen Brick (well, I've seen half of it), and I would have loved The Brother's Bloom if it hadn't been for the last fifteen or so minutes. I think Ebert nails it in his review:

The problem with the movie is that the cons have too many encores and curtain calls. We tire of being (rhymes with perked) off. When an exercise seems to continue for its own sake, it should sense it has lost its audience, take a bow and sit down. And even then"The Brothers Bloom" has another twist that might actually be moving, if we weren't by this time so paranoid.

I'm happy to report Looper has no such plot-twist problems. Everything that happens in this film feels deserved and justified.

@Timzila

"It is the business of fiction to embody mystery through manners, and mystery is a great embarrassment to the modern mind." (Flannery O'Connor, Mystery and Manners).

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