Escape to the Movies: In Time

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adamtm:
Just in case people didn't know of this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Momo_(novel)

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....This pleasant atmosphere is spoiled by the arrival of the Men in Grey, eventually revealed as a race of paranormal parasites stealing the time of humans. Appearing in the form of grey-clad, grey-skinned, bald men, these strange individuals present themselves as representing the Timesavings Bank and promote the idea of "timesaving" among the population: Supposedly, time can be deposited to the Bank and returned to the client later with interest...

Its much more enjoyable and much more subtle than the movie.

Don't get me wrong its a "childrens book" but with a very interestingly conveyed message.

I read that book when I was small. It made me cry. Very depressing at some points.

ShAmMz0r:
Not to mention the general population would not very likely be overly grateful when everyone will be starving to death. Everyone, except the rich, who will again be better off due to their intelligence

Because money obviously equals intelligence right?

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Throughout history most of the upper classes have been fairly static. If you are born into a wealthy family then you become wealthy as well as a result. The idea that anyone can become wealthy simply by working hard enough is pure propaganda and has no basis whatsoever in reality.

In order for there to be an upper class there also has to be a middle and a lower class. Thus in order for there to be rich people poor people have to exist as well.

This is all comming from a fairly fierce anti-socialist by the way. Yes, I actually hate socialim. And yet I am still not ignorant enough to be believe in the bullshit that American style capitalism preeches.

I beg to differ, Bob. Although I too found Gattaca and Lord of War to be excellent, this movie was a turd.

I found it too preachy, too unsubtle, and too concerned about appealing to 20-something hipsters playing 'revolutionary' with OCW than making an interesting sci-fi. It not only felt like the entire thing was rushed to the point that I felt like I was watching a flick-book, but everybody was so poorly characterized that I still don't understand why anyone was doing anything for what reasons.

Part of it is due to my own philosophical/political bias; that some government, even bad government, is better than no government at all; even if it is cruel and draconian.

It was an unapologetic piece of pro-OCW propaganda; the "villains" were straw-men, the protagonists were trumpeted up to be these righteous vigilantes even though they sounded more like bleeding-heart twats crying about social injustice while meting out almost equally-horrible crimes against others based solely on the assumption that the rich are evil "just because". Honestly, I could think of several reasons why "the bad guys" of this movie were right and how the protagonists' idea of giving everybody everywhere free and eternal life was incredibly naive and stupid. I am not supposed to root for the bad guys, especially when they put so much effort to make you do otherwise.

"Is it stealing if it's already stolen?" Yes, yes it is when the entire rationale for committing the crimes in the first place is that you're morally superior. Seriously - ever hear of "Two wrongs don't make a right"? This line in the movie wouldn't have annoyed me so much if they didn't repeat it something like seven different times during the movie.

Not to mention all the small issues such as plot holes the size of Pluto, the thing with JT's father that they kept bringing up and dropping again for some reason, the crap pacing, and aforementioned lack of character depth.

Yes, I really hated this movie.

Hardcore_gamer:
snip

Whoa. Nobody is saying that you have to be intelligent to be rich. But in case of this movie there is a huge economy crisis pretty much rendering the current monetary system (that is time) useless. Guess who would rise up from chaos to become new rich guys in this scenario. Surely not the likes of Paris here. And in this movie universe the guys that do become rich will be EVIL. Just because, you know, they would have more than most. And to hell with how hard it was to accumulate that wealth, or how much more useful they are to survival of human species in general than an ordinary factory worker. Who cares really. Take from the rich, give to the poor, right?

In the real world on the other hand it can be pretty difficult for some to make it big financially. Well what can you do? Not everyone is born equal. Deal with it.

EDIT: And just to clarify, by "not everyone is born equal" I meant contrast between healthy and handicapped people. Not between the poor and the rich or something. Though you can inherit wealth, it's not like it is the only way to get rich. Build it up. When you are unable to move due to illness, though. Not so easy to do.

Falseprophet:
The premise actually reminded me of a mid-80s West German film I saw years ago: Morgengrauen (released as "Time Troopers" in North America). They also used lifespan as currency, with the difference being those who lived lavish, decadent lifestyles were guaranteed an early death while those who lived extremely frugally would live well into their senior years. Either way, when your credit was up, the agents called Exit Men showed up to shuffle you off this mortal coil. That's all I really remember about it.

This actually sounds like a more interesting premise than the subject film, better examining the issue of living to excess, and more sensible because it really DOES conflate time with commodities. People wear down their bodies by living to excess, basically running their metabolism into the ground. Luxurious spending being tied to metabolism creates a direct correlation and it makes sense to watch it run down more quickly.

Anyway, if this film is as Bob analyzes it, then it makes the same mistake as the Occupiers, assuming that what is going on in this country is "unrestrained capitalism". To the contrary, the government looms like a shadow over business, and allows it to make its money so long as it complies with the government's notions of social engineering. They go on about the money made on derivatives and forget that the government has spent the last thirty years trying to put as many people into houses as possible, alternately promising and threatening the banks in order to get more mortgages written for social reasons rather than financial ones. And to waylay their fears, they brought F&F into the mix and guaranteed a lot of the derivatives, and eventually bought them all up when no one else would touch them.

People in this film apparently "game the system", but to do so pre-supposes the existence of a system in the first place. The government is tasked with protecting life and liberty, and for the very lives of people to be reduced to a form of currency must necessarily have at least tacit approval of the government, if not the kind of full-scale collusion we see today. Plus, a gamed system involves breaking the rules that are in place, which is not a problem of "unrestrained capitalism", but of subverting the restraints that DO exist. Free-market capitalists, even the staunch libertarian variety, do not presume that there should be NO rules, nor that people should break them at will without consequence. There still exists such a thing as ethics, and most people in "the system" still believe in legal and ethical behavior, and holding to account those who do not. Another oft-forgotten fact is that it was fiscal conservatives that fought NOT to dump the billions into keeping the corrupt few afloat, and even won an early victory before the bill finally passed.

The ones who believe in a free market and a distant government are the ones who were the most incensed about the housing collapse, and who were the first to point out that the bailouts were a joke. Likewise, they would be the first to object to a system such as exist in the framework of this film.

In the immortal words of Dr Breen.
"Tell me, Dr. Freeman, if you can. You have destroyed so much. What is it, exactly, that you have created? Can you name even one thing? I thought not."

Fight the system is great and all, but after the system's gone. Then what?
What they've done is basically screw things up for everyone.

The trouble is that as a metaphor for "unrestrained capitalism" (which is a redundancy--any system which is NOT unrestrained is also NOT capitalism) is that it doesn't take into account how wealth actually functions. It treats wealth as a static quantity which is "granted" and "taken away" by some kind of outside mechanism--and thus "unfairly" distributed. But wealth isn't just "assigned" to people--it has to be produced.

A proper metaphor for capitalism would be a system wherein the resources for *keeping* people alive/happy (i.e. "values") were tracked in some way, and the people who had produced the most of those resources would then be able to trade on the basis of what they produced. Wait, look, it's the price system as it functions in a free market!

In reality, there'd be no need to limit how long people were "allowed" to live even if no one aged at all. Curing aging doesn't cure accidents, illness, suicide, starvation. There's no reason why anyone who was self-supporting couldn't live as long as they could manage. They're producing enough to keep themselves alive.

What this movie represents is not an indictment of capitalism, but an indictment of the silly worldview that life is a zero-sum game where in order for some people to "win", others have to "lose".

You use those storage box things.

That system would make no economic sense, hyperinflation would be rampant with a constantly shrinking 'money' supply.

Well, I wanna go and see it; the movie at least seems to have enough integrity to wear its message on its sleeve. I dig that kind of honesty in a movie; especially since people complain about subtext. If you're going to make a point, may as well make it and see what happens and not talk around the subject.

Even if the overwhelming consensus is that they got economics wrong.

JMeganSnow:
In reality, there'd be no need to limit how long people were "allowed" to live even if no one aged at all. Curing aging doesn't cure accidents, illness, suicide, starvation. There's no reason why anyone who was self-supporting couldn't live as long as they could manage. They're producing enough to keep themselves alive.

You are right about there being a upper bound for population. But the world in which the main limiting factor for population growth is starvation is not the one I'd really like to live in. It's not like we have unlimited space and resources, so without some serious scientific progress, living on overpopulated planet would not be very pleasant.

The solution, that occurs to me, is more along the lines of purchasable time in human bodies. I.E. after you hit a certain age you have to have to start purchasing time (like in this movie), but if you run out of time your consciousness gets transferred to some kind of cyberspace. And if you want to go live in human body again you purchase yourself some more time. That would not be such a bad system, I think. And there'd be no need to permanently kill anybody. In fact, I like that idea so much, I will try my best to create it irl. Here's to hoping I live long enough to see it implemented.

ShAmMz0r:

JMeganSnow:
In reality, there'd be no need to limit how long people were "allowed" to live even if no one aged at all. Curing aging doesn't cure accidents, illness, suicide, starvation. There's no reason why anyone who was self-supporting couldn't live as long as they could manage. They're producing enough to keep themselves alive.

You are right about there being a upper bound for population. But the world in which the main limiting factor for population growth is starvation is not the one I'd really like to live in. It's not like we have unlimited space and resources, so without some serious scientific progress, living on overpopulated planet would not be very pleasant.

This is a Malthusian approach, in other words, an incorrect approach. Starvation does not, ever, *limit* population growth. What happens is that it kills off excess population when conditions change due to war, drought, or other disasters, man-made or otherwise. And starvation is rarely the actual cause of death, instead it weakens people and makes them susceptible to disease.

In a mature society (which is the only kind of society in which this question could ever conceivably arise, considering what would have to happen to make people age-proof), people limit themselves on the number of kids they have given their life, interests, and personal resources. This is why the developed world has single-digit population growth, and in some cases even negative growth. Excess population never comes into existence. It'd be just like nowadays, only instead of the population increasingly aging and thus increasingly becoming decrepit and non-productive, you'd have people with hundreds of years of experience with the health and joie de vivre of youngsters, still productive, still active.

Although personally I think 25 would be a dreadful age to stop at. I'd much rather be 35 or even 40.

Hardcore_gamer:

Throughout history most of the upper classes have been fairly static. If you are born into a wealthy family then you become wealthy as well as a result. The idea that anyone can become wealthy simply by working hard enough is pure propaganda and has no basis whatsoever in reality.

I'd like to introduce you to my family, who came to America as poor immigrants, and are now all upper-middle-class. Or my housemate's family, who share the same story.

It's also rather rare for people to stay wealthy for multiple generations--inherited fortunes in the U.S. are INCREDIBLY rare, and becoming rarer still because no small number of the wealthy aren't particularly inclined to just bestow wealth on their kids. And quite a few of them don't have kids at all.

In fact, it's generally the children of the well-to-do who become unproductive socialist leeches.

JMeganSnow:
snip

Well regardless of what actually kills people, if starvation creates a negative feedback, I'd say it does limit population. But that hardly matters. It's just a bit hard to believe, that in a situation where people don't die of old age, population will stop growing. Come on. Do you mean to tell me, that the amounts of people being born and people voluntarily deciding to end their lives will be roughly equal? No chance in hell. Maybe we'll get a chance to see how it plays out on Earth.

JMeganSnow:

In fact, it's generally the children of the well-to-do who become unproductive socialist leeches.

Why would the children of rich people want to avocate socialism?

ShAmMz0r:

JMeganSnow:
snip

Well regardless of what actually kills people, if starvation creates a negative feedback, I'd say it does limit population. But that hardly matters. It's just a bit hard to believe, that in a situation where people don't die of old age, population will stop growing. Come on. Do you mean to tell me, that the amounts of people being born and people voluntarily deciding to end their lives will be roughly equal? No chance in hell. Maybe we'll get a chance to see how it plays out on Earth.

Curing aging does not cure disease or accidents, which is how most people die ANYWAY.

Hardcore_gamer:

JMeganSnow:

In fact, it's generally the children of the well-to-do who become unproductive socialist leeches.

Why would the children of rich people want to avocate socialism?

Because they've never been poor and have no clue where wealth actually comes from. They may even be terrified of the kind of work involved. It's very easy to say "all those greedy bastards who work hard to get rich should give their money away" when you've never had to dig yourself out of the gutter. When you've been broke and homeless and worked your ass off to get out of it, NOBODY is going to tell you how to spend YOUR money. Granted, most people who work their way up like this are also very generous--if they think you deserve it. People who *know* they can make more money generally aren't too concerned with grasping at it. Which is another reason why they're generally opposed to socialist programs--they prevent the hardworking sort from making more money.

Most of the "Occupy Wall Street" protesters, for instance, are *college students* at schools like Harvard and Yale, where a year's tuition costs more than most people get in wages. The children of poor people don't pay their own way through those schools. You either get grants/loans/scholarships (in which case you're already the beneficiary of wealth redistribution, and who bites the hand that feeds them), or you already have substantial amounts of wealth.

bladester1:
I really hope that the Beaves and Butthead welcome back was sarcasm.... Hoping I like this movie.

I bet Beavis can spell his name right though. Fuck Justin Timberlake.

JMeganSnow:

Hardcore_gamer:

JMeganSnow:

In fact, it's generally the children of the well-to-do who become unproductive socialist leeches.

Why would the children of rich people want to avocate socialism?

Because they've never been poor and have no clue where wealth actually comes from. They may even be terrified of the kind of work involved. It's very easy to say "all those greedy bastards who work hard to get rich should give their money away" when you've never had to dig yourself out of the gutter. When you've been broke and homeless and worked your ass off to get out of it, NOBODY is going to tell you how to spend YOUR money. Granted, most people who work their way up like this are also very generous--if they think you deserve it. People who *know* they can make more money generally aren't too concerned with grasping at it. Which is another reason why they're generally opposed to socialist programs--they prevent the hardworking sort from making more money.

Most of the "Occupy Wall Street" protesters, for instance, are *college students* at schools like Harvard and Yale, where a year's tuition costs more than most people get in wages. The children of poor people don't pay their own way through those schools. You either get grants/loans/scholarships (in which case you're already the beneficiary of wealth redistribution, and who bites the hand that feeds them), or you already have substantial amounts of wealth.

Short answer: As a way to say "Fuck you dad!"

She's right though. Pol Pot, Mao Zedong, Che Guevara, Trotsky, Ho Chi Minh- all highly educated and/or came from money. Most of the people who communism would supposedly benefit don't understand the concept well enough to implement it-or at least that's what the Soviets and Chinese said as they "re-educated" millions of peasants. The only communist leader that was a legitimate peasant was Stalin. Hmm, maybe it's a good thing communist leaders have always been elitist hypocrites...

Wait, a movie featuring Timberlake and Cillian Murphy, by the maker of Lord of War?

Why does every movie (or at least every movie reviewed by Bob) have to be a Metaphor for something? Why does it have to mean something else or make us think about someone else's agenda etc? Why can't critics just accept that MOST people make movies to entertain the public and MOST of the public WATCH movies to BE entertained?

I think about 20 seconds of that whole review actually REVIEWED the movie - the rest was just what we're all supposed to be thinking about while we're watching it. Those of us who aren't too busy actually enjoying it, that is.

Oh, and by the way, Bob - given the average hollywood blockbuster takes a good year (minimum) to be made, it's a bit disingenuous to rag on about the timing of the release & the financial & social issues it raises, seeing as how those very issues DIDN'T EXIST (at least not to the current extent) at the time of inception.

Peace out Man

Scrustle:
The premise of this movie sounds really stupid to me. Maybe it's because David Firth got there way before Hollywood:

At least it looks like it's got cool cars in it.

Great. That was so good I needn't bother with the film now.

My time is at a premium, anyway...

personally I thought it was a brilliant movie, it was the little things that brought it together. like for example

(Spoiler alert: how the mother gives Timberlake 15minutes and if she had had that time she would have made it).

my only 2 complaints were that it sometimes felt like there was a lack of ambient soundtrack and I felt they could have done more with the ending (not saying I was disappointed with it, just saying there was more potential there however I can not think how to improve on at this moment so I guess that makes me a Hippocrit)

Just saw this today.
I remember Bob being pretty positive about the film in this review...
I thought I shared similar opinions as Bob. Apparently not!

This film could have been really interesting, but sadly was just pretty awful.
Oh and it was Cillian Murphy's worst role yet! Thanks for slightly tarnishing my opinion of one of my favourite actors In Time!

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