Time Travel In Film

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28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
The other day I caught the flick Triangle which was an interesting concept that I actually enjoyed, but felt that it cheated with the core concept. Since I included the film title in this thread, you can guess what the film involves.

Time Travel.

So I don't give away my problem with it, I'll wrap what I have to say about it in spoiler tags, then we can move on.

In the film a group of people enter a storm while on a boat, the boat tips over and they wait for rescue. A cruise liner comes along and they get on board, only to discover that it's empty and they are being hunted by hooded figure, one by one.

WARNING: "Triangle" spoilers below
We discover that the person killing everyone is our lead character, because she finds herself in a TIME LOOP. We follow the her the whole time going through this ordeal. In this time loop she sees her friends (who were just killed) get back on the boat with her doppelganger. Now we see events that happened the first time from the opposite perspective. Then the time loop happens again, we then see the same events play out from a third perspective, so on, so on. We eventually find out that it's happened dozens of times BEFORE because there is about 30 or 40 dead bodies of this one girl in the corner of the ship. So time loop = 40 some odd times. Anyways, the girl eventually gets off the boat, finds her way back home to her son...but sees another doppelganger. So she knocks this woman out with a hammer, hides her in her trunk, takes her son and decides to get as far away as she can to start a new life and hopefully stop this time loop. She gets into a car accident, which kills her son and the doppelganger. So she goes back to the marina, where her friends are and we are back to the beginning of the movie. They go back on the boat, which will tip over, which will make her go back on the cruise liner and go through the whole ordeal again. Very interesting concept, fun movie that deals with time travel and horror.

My problem is this. Just before she gets into the car accident, a bird flies into her window. So she gets out of the car to pick up the dead bird and throw it over the ledge. It's revealed that there are dozens of dead pigeons. So she has escaped before.

We are brought back to the beginning of the film, where we first meet her. So it's safe to assume that everything that happened during our initial viewing, has happened before, yet she does NOTHING to change anything. She still is confused by events and still attacks the hooded figure, which we know is actually herself. Why doesn't she remember? It JUST happened. Why would she go through killing everyone so many times, why not just jump over the side of the ship?

The time loop constant, which is the case in many films (Terminator) but the problem with this film is the main character chooses the same choices she did before, when she knows it will end up a failure. She never attempts to break the cycle.

/End Rant


So now the thread, Time Travel films.

I want to discuss Time Travel in film, the paradoxes, the rules set by each film, what rules work, what ones don't.

EVERYTHING.



Can people forgive Terminator for not having a "start point" in time? It's an enclosed time loop. Son sends father back in time to ensure his own birth. Which came first? The chicken or the egg?

Do people like Back To The Future's rules? Every time you change something, it creates an alternate timeline? IS that just an easy way of trying to get around potential plotholes? Does that rule apply to something like the Butterfly Effect?

Kutcher is in prison and he goes back in time to when he was a child and he purposely injures himself (stabs his hands) to prove to his cellmate that he can alter time. In the movie the holes suddenly appear before the cellmate, but if he had the injury as a kid, he would have had them when he entered the cell. Which one is correct? Did it create an alternate timeline? One where he always had the injuries and one where it instantly happened?

Ever hear of the Grandfather Paradox?

Suppose a man traveled back in time and killed his biological grandfather before the latter met the traveler's grandmother. As a result, one of the traveler's parents (and by extension the traveler himself) would never have been conceived. This would imply that he could not have traveled back in time after all, which means the grandfather would still be alive, and the traveler would have been conceived allowing him to travel back in time and kill his grandfather.
-wiki

Where do the Time Travel Film rules fit in on that one?

The TV show LOST has the rule that "Whatever happened, happened" which means that you have no choice in the matter. If you go back in time and have a gun in your hand, you can either shoot the man before you, or let him live. Whatever choice you make, it what already happened. If you choose to shoot him, but he lives, he was always meant to live. We can't change anything in our past. It's a fulfilling your own destiny of sorts. They caused themselves to crash on the island, right?

They crash on the island, because a man didn't put a code into a computer in the allotted time, which caused a massive magnetic force to pull the plane down from the sky.

The people crashed on the island and through whatever sequence of events, went back in time.

While back in time they caused an incident. There was no way to fix the incident, only contain in. Every 108 minutes someone has to input a code that will keep the massive magnetic energy contained.

They caused the events that led to their own crash. They were always meant to go back in time and do that.


Then we have Bill & Ted where you must ensure that whatever happened happened. It's not fate, it's you that must follow what's already happened. They see themselves from the future, have a conversation, go on their journey, then see themselves from the past. Since they already had the conversation with their future selves, they know what to say to their past selves. They choose to follow in their future selves footsteps because if they don't, past selves won't know what to do, in order to continue to cycle.

Whoa.



Where does the self fulfilling prophecy work? I stated how it worked in Bill & Ted's instance, how does it work in Minority Reports?

The Precog shows Anderton his crime of killing a man, which sets into motion Anderton being in the situation seen by the Precog. Yet he only goes into motion to clear his name because of what he was shown. If he was never shown that, he would never "kill" a man. He would have no idea who he is or imagine killing him. The Precog didn't see the future, the Precog MADE the future.

It's clear in the film that the future CAN be altered, otherwise the Precogs would be seeing arrests and not murders.

I'm just throwing out things I think about and things I've seen other people discuss. I'm not concerned with the Minority Report business, but thought it would be food for thought in this thread.

Finally what is the urgency in time travel movies? If you have a device that can make you travel through time, like something out of Hogwarts, for example, then you can sit back and relax cause you have all the time in the world.

Do you have a Time Travel plot hole/paradox question? A Nitpick? A Theory? Anything?
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Regarding the Terminator point, definitely the egg. It's a plot hole on the original Terminator film's part, but Kyle Reese was born years after Connor's birth, and if he hadn't been sent back in time, by Connor, Connor would never have been born. Connor is the center of the situation; without him coming first it doesn't work (even though, technically, Reese came first ).

The best time travel film, outside of Terminator 2, that really deserves discussion, is 12 Monkeys.
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James Cameron carefully used the Causal Loop in the Terminator movies.. Sarah even refers to it at the end of the film, saying it's crazy if you think about it.

There are lot of movies that use Causal Loop.
Donnie Darko, Timecrimes, 12 Monkeys.

I always found these things interesting, Self Fulfilling Prophecy is another plot device that amuses me.



Honestly everyone likes anything that is handled properly, be it self fulfilling prophecy or time travel.

Worst thing related to Time Travel is Superman rotating earth backwards. damn you Mario Puzo!



I didn't say I hate the film, I said I don't like how he turns back time.
Also, this was my major issue with Donner's Cut of the second film.

Fight the villains, get beaten up, ultimately ridding the universe of a terrible threat & in the end he turns back time, just so Lois could forget his identity, once again putting the world at risk of the villains appearing once again.



With Triangle, I didn't see it as time travel,
WARNING: "Triangle" spoilers below
I saw it as a punishment for what she did to her child and so on, she has to go through it in a twisted way over and over and whatever she does to try and change it, it doesn't work. Look up Sisyphus,
it's mentioned in the film from what I can remember.



Good whiskey make jackrabbit slap de bear.
I didn't say I hate the film, I said I don't like how he turns back time.
Also, this was my major issue with Donner's Cut of the second film.

Fight the villains, get beaten up, ultimately ridding the universe of a terrible threat & in the end he turns back time, just so Lois could forget his identity, once again putting the world at risk of the villains appearing once again.
Sorry for making that conclusion. I'm very protective of Superman, considering I never thought I'd like it, and it turns out to be the greatest superhero film of all time, IMO.



Don't get me wrong, I love it too.. & I almost love Reeve as Superman.
He did such an incredible job as Kent & Superman. & I am one of the who like the third film as well.. Kent Vs Evil Superman was just too awesome.

But I still don't get the need for the time travelling.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
For the record, yes Minority Report has no time travel, it was just in connection to the self fulfilling prophecy device.

Re: Triangle.

It's the same principal in Groundhog's Day.
WARNING: "Triangle" spoilers below
The fact that she repeats the task over and over and goes back, to me is time travel. It's a different form of it, in that she's stuck in the endless loop. The problem that I stated before still stands though, she acts like she doesn't know what's going on, this issue is what is never addressed in the film. They should address a memory wipe device as well for it to work better, imo.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Regarding the Terminator point, definitely the egg. It's a plot hole on the original Terminator film's part, but Kyle Reese was born years after Connor's birth, and if he hadn't been sent back in time, by Connor, Connor would never have been born. Connor is the center of the situation; without him coming first it doesn't work (even though, technically, Reese came first ).

The best time travel film, outside of Terminator 2, that really deserves discussion, is 12 Monkeys.
Without Reese first it doesn't work either. It's an enclosed endless loop that creates a paradox. Just like in the TV show LOST, with a compass.

Present: Richard gives John a compass, and says that the next time they meet, he should return it.

John goes back in time.

Past: John gives Richard the compass and says next time you see me, give it to me.

sidepoint - Richard is ageless

He holds onto it for all that time, meets John again in the present and gives him the compass, he says he was told to do it.

John goes back in time...repeat.

So where did the compass originally come from? This device is 'stuck' in a time loop.



Just watch Primer and be done with it.

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Time travel in movies is always wrong. No matter how good the overall film is/was.

Filmmakers tend to place certain plot elements that completely destroy all scientific credibility in the premise of the time travel genre.

Most of the time it has something to do with family and friends of the time traveller and the traveller having to change something in the past or the future, this actual change was never part of the original timeline. In making these changes happen it would, on a scientific standpoint, change the circumstances of the traveller's existence, and the existence of everything the traveller has come to know in their timetime and, most importantly, the very existence of the world they left behind when they went time travelling in the first place.

Point #1: If there has never been an older version of yourself suddenly appear, then you're destined not to be a time traveller.
Point #2: If there was/is an older version of yourself in the past/right now, then your destiny, at some point, is to time travel. If you don't time travel when and where you're supposed to, your older self can't have been here now, which would cause a paradox.


Travelling Backward

Terminator is another prime example of Point #2 above. If they stop the war, Reese won't have a reason to find out about Sarah through John, Reese won't go back and tell her about the war as it has now not happened and John would never be born either.
But, the circumstance to Reese going back in time must have have happened, because he is here, in this time, with Sarah. Which means there is nothing they can do to prevent the near extinction of mankind.
The Terminator movies themselves actually show changes in the future as the sequels came out. The war still happens, but the future has changed.
This would be impossible, because, though it's close in regards to events, the things that Reese told Sarah aren't actually happening as he said they would. The future has changed, which means the past as Sarah knows it and the things that Reese told her, have not happened.

As I said, it's a paradox. Cannot happen.


Traveling Forward

The biggest plothole in time travel movies is, for a specific example: Why does the Marty McFly of the future not simply make sure that the two Jennifers don't meet one another in the hallway?
If young Marty has travelled to the future to change stuff around with his kids and stuff, then old Marty would know about it, surely, and would simply intercept the things that are going wrong as they happen, instead of time travelling and risking the destruction of the universe (as Doc put it).
Even if young Marty had never time travelled, he still has knowledge of the future because Doc told him and he would be able to do the above, intercept as it happens.

Doc also says to Marty "We must make sure you don't run into your other self"
Why? Old Marty would know his younger self is knocking about and it wouldn't be a shock, secondly he would, as I said, purposely make sure that the family was out for the day, just to be safe.


Time Travel Movies are all the same. They're all based on cod science and simply, just wrong.
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Originally Posted by doubledenim
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I've always wondered why no time travel film address the fact that in order to travel successfully through time you also have to travel through space. For example, in Back to the Future they always make a point to say that the time machine will end up in the same place in a different time...but they neglect the fact that Earth is constantly moving! If the machine stay in one place then the first trip to a different time would result in the machine landing somewhere in space because the planet wasn't in the same place at that time.

Bet none of you ever thought about that!



I've always wondered why no time travel film address the fact that in order to travel successfully through time you also have to travel through space. For example, in Back to the Future they always make a point to say that the time machine will end up in the same place in a different time...but they neglect the fact that Earth is constantly moving! If the machine stay in one place then the first trip to a different time would result in the machine landing somewhere in space because the planet wasn't in the same place at that time.

Bet none of you ever thought about that!
I did.
Not just that earth is moving around the sun,but sun is moving even faster around black hole in a middle of galaxy,even galaxy travel through space speed of light...
So going only 1 second in past or future would make you more than 300 000 km further in space.
Btw,very good movie about time travel is Time crimes,so i recommend that movie.



A system of cells interlinked
Technically, Rodent is spot on. There is no actual science to put time travel up against, just fictional science and wild hypothesis.
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