A certain type of time travel movies

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As was made evident via the Shoutbox, I watched Premonition recently. Nothing to write home about, for sure. Some review said it epitomises ‘what’s awful about the time-bending subgenre’, but didn’t elaborate. I think to me the issue with such films is that we know from the start
WARNING: spoilers below
that the husband dies, and die he does, so there’s absolutely nothing that we learn from the whole thing. I do think that the take on the trope where someone does upset the space-time continuum and the world doesn’t end but changes irreversibly, e.g. The Butterfly Effect is at least a bit less hopeless.
I’m also wondering whether the genre really is hopeless in that sense - can you ever have an actual plot hook with time travel, or will it always be a mere gimmick, as with Tenet?



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There are some really good time travel type films with plot hooks that draw the viewer in.

Triangle
Timecrimes
Coherence

are the ones that stand out.

There's a film called 'The One I Love' with Elisabeth Moss, which isn't exactly about time travel but it's cleverly done.



There are some really good time travel type films with plot hooks that draw the viewer in.

Triangle
Timecrimes
Coherence

are the ones that stand out.

There's a film called 'The One I Love' with Elisabeth Moss, which isn't exactly about time travel but it's cleverly done.
Yes, these are all great. My favourites, pretty much. I’ve seen most time travel films but think what I outlined in the OP is pretty common in the less original ones.



I rarely think of time travel in films as a gimmick. I've definitely seen it used as a cheap trick to undo narrative elements the audience probably would like to see undone (ie. character deaths), but when it is the central element of the story, I look at its use more as a philosophical lens, where we get to contemplate the inter-connectedness of past/present/future, or challenge/enhance the notion of fate. This, of course, doesn't get into all of the logical fallacies which come as a result of employing time travel in a films story. Those are almost always unavoidable. But if you put that to the side and don't kill yourself with all of the inconsistencies you are bound to find, I think it is a great device to confront many of the inherent paradoxes of existence, or cast an interesting light on how we are hopelessly stuck in a barely existent present that is composed almost exclusively of looking back at what we can't change, or looking forward to what we can't know.



minds his own damn business
Triangle
Timecrimes
Coherence
All excellent, especially the latter two for being so low-budget, showing how a cleverly executed concept is more valuable and satisfying than all of the convoluted FX in Nolan's closet.

I can only add Primer as a similarly excellent example.
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All excellent, especially the latter two for being so low-budget, showing how a cleverly executed concept is more valuable and satisfying than all of the convoluted FX in Nolan's closet.

I can only add Primer as a similarly excellent example.
Yeah, Primer is the best hands down.



minds his own damn business
I've definitely seen it used as a cheap trick to undo narrative elements the audience probably would like to see undone (ie. character deaths)




This is a pretty perfect example of time travel just being introduced into a film to solve problems. This at least has the benefit of being hilariously stupid though.



minds his own damn business
Although it's fairly popular, I'd say that Looper is one of my least favorite of the recent ones. Just dumb, imo. Seems like organized crime in the future has little imagination for how to use time travel profitably. Or seems some teenager's half-written comic book draft. Either way, laughably incoherent.



minds his own damn business
This is a pretty perfect example of time travel just being introduced into a film to solve problems. This at least has the benefit of being hilariously stupid though.
Still love the movie tho

Rest in power, Otis.



Hard disagree on Looper! We can discuss it or not, just throwing that out there in case that dissuades the OP from skipping a movie that I really enjoyed.



Source Code. Even though it isn't inherently time travel, it does work in a similar way, and I'm always fascinated by it.
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Still love the movie tho

Rest in power, Otis.



I rewatched it at the beginning of the pandemic, and while I liked it more than the general meh I've felt towards it since I was a kid, it still is only a very modest like. I definitely prefer it to the vast majority of superhero films I've seen in the last few years though. Which is saying....probably nothing.



minds his own damn business
Hard disagree on Looper! We can discuss it or not, just throwing that out there in case that dissuades the OP from skipping a movie that I really enjoyed.
Again, I know it's very popular, and I'm the minority report here. But I just think that if you had the power of time travel, using it almosty exclusively for
WARNING: spoilers below
hit jobs rather than global political control, for ex
shows a lack of imagination. It feels like a film where the basic premise was devised -
WARNING: spoilers below
of the hit man meeting his younger/older self
- and then forcing the rest of the film to fit that narrative.


There's the other stuff, but I'll stick to strictly a critique of its application of the time travel concept.



Does Scrooge count? Because the lapels of ghosts should definitely count as a time travelling device. It's not like we would really want an actual Dickensian time travelling machine anyways. He wouldn't have been able to resist a scene where Tiny Tim's hands get crushed in its dimension defying cogs, and Tiny Tim already has enough ********* problems without being literally crushed between the wheels of progress.



I rewatched it at the beginning of the pandemic, and while I liked it more than the general meh I've felt towards it since I was a kid, it still is only a very modest like. I definitely prefer it to the vast majority of superhero films I've seen in the last few years though. Which is saying....probably nothing.
Casually I also rewatched it around the same time. I've always loved it since I was a kid, though. I do think the first half is stronger than the second half, but like you said, it is still better than most of the recent superhero films.

As for the "time travel" aspect, I understand it might come across a bit silly and dumb on the surface, but I do think it carries the implications of who the character is... an all-powerful alien/being torn between his unmeasurable powers and his affection for humankind. Maybe that scene could've been executed better, but I still think it works from that perspective.



Professional horse shoe straightener
Source Code. Even though it isn't inherently time travel, it does work in a similar way, and I'm always fascinated by it.
I've only seen that once but remember thinking the ending was totally botched. Is that right?



I've only seen that once but remember thinking the ending was totally botched. Is that right?
That's how most people see it, but as far as I'm concerned, the ending is what makes it work for me.

WARNING: spoilers below

I happened to see the film shortly after some quantum physics documentary on cable TV, so I think the pairing was perfect... but the notion that this machine that humanity has created and thinks has control over, has gone beyond what they thought and expected, to create this alternate timeline... I would probably need to rewatch it or take a bit more time to get into a deeper discussion, but I just found it fascinating.