In Time

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The movie In Time is not a time travel movie. In Time  is set in the year 2161, genetic alteration has allowed people to stop aging at 25, but people have earn more time after age 25 or die when their time runs out. Living time can be transferred among people through human contact. Time has replaced money and its availability is displayed on an implant on people’s lower arm. When that clock reaches zero, one dies instantly. Society is divided by social class living in specialized towns called “Time Zones”. The poor live in the ghettos of Dayton, where youth predominates, and must work each day to earn more hours of life, which they must also use to pay for everything. The rich live in the luxurious city-like town called New Greenwich, in which the middle-aged and elderly predominate, though they look old, because they stopped aging at 25 years old. The rich can basically have whatever they want and they can live for centuries.

28- year-old factory worker Will Salas (Justin Timberlake) lives with his mother Rachel Salas (Olivia Wilde) in the ghettos. One day, Will saves rich 105-year-old Henry Hamilton (Matt Bomer) from suffering a time robbery in a bar where he shows off his time by buying people drinks. Hamilton is attacked by Fortis (Alex Pettyfer), the elderly British mobster boss of a middle-aged gang called the Minutemen. Will leads Hamilton to safety, where Hamilton tells Will, “For few to be immortal, many must die”, because there is essentially enough time for everyone to live a full life. Hamilton tells will how he longer desires life, because they need to die.

Later, Hamilton gives 116 years to the sleeping Will, keeping only five minutes for himself, which he uses to go sit on a ledge of a bridge. Before Hamilton’s five minutes were up, Will wakes to the astonishing gift that Hamilton has given him. Will sees Hamilton sitting on the ledge, but he does not make it to him in time, before his time ran out. The Timekeepers believe that Hamilton was murdered by a Dayton resident.

Will visits his friend and gives him 10 years of time, one year their friendship. Will waits for his mother at the bus station, where he discovers that his mother did not have enough time to pay for the bus ride after the price increased. He runs to find her and when they find each other they ran toward each other, but Will’s mom expires, before he was able to give her some time. Will decides to seek revenge, so he leaves Dayton to go to New Greenwich, with over a century on his clock. In the casino he meets an old millionaire, time-loaning businessman Philippe Weis and his daughter Sylvia (Amanda Seyfried). Sylvia becomes interested in Will after an intense poker game between him and her father. Will beats her father and wins 1100 years in the process. She invites Will to a party at their mansion.

At the party, Will is apprehended by the Timekeepers, who take away all of his time, but two hours. Will escapes by taking Sylvia hostage. Returning to the ghetto Will drives into an ambush of Fortis, who is disappointed that Will lost Hamilton’s time, but he ends up stealing most of Sylvia’s time. Will call Weis demanding 1000 years’ in exchange for Sylvia. Weis neglects to corporate with Will. As a result, Will and Sylvia take matters into their own hands. They decide to start stealing time to give to the poor. In short, the ended stealing a million years from Weis, to give to the poor, this leads to problems. The Timekeepers decide that there is nothing that they can do about disorder in time. The people in the ghettos have enough time to change zones and the rich are coping with the change in society, since more people are now able to live in the rich time zone. Will and Sylvia continue to rob banks, so that time will continue to remain disordered.

In Time makes me think about Darwinism, because the strong will survive when the weak will not survive, because the weak do not have unique characteristics like the strong have.

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Inception

In Inception, Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a skilled thief; he is the most absolute best at stealing valuable secrets from deep within the subconscious during the dream state, which is when the mind is at its most vulnerable. Cobb’s rare ability has made him a popular player in this deceitful new world of corporate intelligence, but it has made him an international fugitive and has pretty much cost him everything he has ever loved. Now Cobb has been offered a job that could potentially lead him to a chance of redemption. The job could give him his life back, but only if he can accomplish the impossible-inception. Instead attempting the perfect heist, Cobb and his team of specialists have to pull off the opposite: their task is not to steal an idea, but to plant one. If they succeed, it could be the perfect crime.

Dreamers are awakened either by sudden shock, or by dying in a dream. Each dreamer carries a totem, a personalized small object whose behavior is unpredictable to anyone except its owner, to determine if they are in another person’s dream. Cobb’s totem is a spinning top that continuously spins in the dream state. Cobb struggles with memories of his dead wife, Mal, who manifest within his dreams and tries to sabotage his efforts to success.

Cobb is appreciated by a wealthy man, Mr. Saito, who wants Cobb and his team to perform the act of “Inception”; by planting a thought within a person’s mind without them knowing. Saito wants to break the energy conglomerate of his competitor, the dying Maurice Fischer; by planting the idea in his son’s mind. If Cobb succeeds Saito promises to use his connections to see to it that Cobb is cleared of murder charges, so that he can reunite with his children. Adriadne, an architecture student has the task of constructing the landscape of the dream. Adriadne learns of the guilt that Cobb struggles with from Mal’s suicide and his separation from his children when he fled from the U.S.

When Maurice Fischer dies, his son accompanies his body to Los Angeles, which gives Cobb and his team the perfect opportunity to try to plant the idea in his mind. The task was more challenging then they had expected it to be, because Fischer has had training in protecting his subconscious. Saito is shot and Mal sabotages the plan by shooting Fischer, but Fischer is able to see what is behind the close door in his dream. Behind the close door is his father and he basically tells him that he wants him to do whatever will make him happy.  After successful planting the idea into Fischer’s mind, Cobb returns home to be with his children, but he test reality and he is distracted by his children before seeing the results.

This semester we have talked a lot about different concepts of time travel. For instance, we discussed how trauma, race, social class and free will can affect time travel. Inception is not a time travel film, but it uses the concept of free will to change someone’s perspective on life. By changing Fischer’s views on life, Cobb was able to return home to his children, so it was a win/ win situation for everyone.

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Emmanuel

What does a name mean? A name is much more than just a name. For instances, Mendel checked into the hotel under the name Emmanuel Lasker. Emmanuel means “God is with us”. The name Mendel means “comforter”. In the novel, the Jewish people believed that in every generation is born a Tzaddik Ha-Door, the potential Messiah the Jews have awaited for thousands of years. Many thought that Mendel was it. As a young man many years ago, he knew things that no one could know, and he had a reputation for performing miracles, like curing cancer. Mendel could not handle the pressure that came with being more than just an ordinary man. Instead of Mendel embracing his “special calling” he decided to neglect his calling and he probably became a junkie, because he did not know how to handle the pressure of his calling. As a result, Mendel asked Hertz to kill him, because Mendel did not want to be what he wasn’t (The Messiah? A junkie? Gay?), but he did not know how to stop being what he was. In contrast, through everything that Jesus went through he did not let his problem stop him from embracing his extraordinary gifts.  Jesus stayed humble to his calling even through all of the things that he went through, but I know if that was me I probably would have said some pretty nasty words, but he did not say ANYTHING or retaliate against the people that did him wrong. 

Source Code

In Source Code, Jake Gyllenhaal plays US helicopter pilot Colter Stevens, whose consciousness is inserted into another man’s body (Sean Fentress, a school teacher in Chicago). Colter’s mind can only enter Sean’s body in the last eight minutes of Sean’s life. As Sean is sitting on a commuter train, which will blown up at 7:58 AM, killing everyone aboard, the goal is for Colter to find the bomber. He cannot stop it from exploding, he is told, because that has already happened. He cannot affect the past, but he can get information as to who planted the bomb to bring it back to the present. By Colter learning the identity of the bomber, it will allow the authorities to prevent a second bomb attack in Chicago.

Colter learns that the reason his last memory is being attacked in his helicopter in Afghanistan is that he in fact died in the crash. His mangled body is kept artificially alive, and his brain can be activated, and sent to occupy to body of Sean Fentress (who happens to be a neurological match). At the end of the movie, after the several failed attempts, Colter manages to identify the bomber. Providing this information with Col. Goodwin (a military officer played by Vera Farmiga) and Prof. Rutledge ( Jeffrey Wright), the scientist who designed the Source code project, the terrorist is caught before he can set off the second bomb, but after, of course, the first bomb on the Chicago train explodes.

While everyone is celebrating the capture of the bomber, the first successful trial the Source Code project, Colter convinces Goodwin to send him back one last time, to try to save the people on the train. At the end of the eight minutes, he tells Goodwin to terminate his life support, which will allow him to actually die, as the world and his father believe happened months ago in Afghanistan. He manages to stop the bomber. He hands the bomber over to the authorities, and kisses the woman who was with him on the train just as the eight minute mark is reached. Goodwin terminates his life support, and she is arrested for violating Rutledge’s instructions.

On the train, Sean/Colter is still alive after the kiss. This implies that he goes on to live happily ever after in Sean’s body, with Colter’s mind, while Colter’s mangled body remains at the Nellis laboratory on life support. As a result, the bomb never went off on the Chicago train, so there was no reason to activate Colter and send him into Source Code, and the project still awaits its first trial. The movie implies that we are seeing to alternative realities, one where Goodwin is pulling the life support on Colter following a successful attempt of the Source Code, and Sean/Colter is alive, where the Source Code has never been activated.

Supplemental Viewing 1 ( The Time Traveler’s Wife)

               

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Henry is a Chicago librarian, who has a genetic disorder that allows him to travel to random events in his life. At the beginning of the Time Traveler’s Wife, Henry and his mother are in a car accident that results in the death of his mother. Henry survives by time traveling back to a past event. Moments later, Henry is visited by an older version of himself, who has also traveled back to reassure him that everything will be okay. Henry is unable to control his time traveling, so he often finds himself drawn to significant people, places, and events in his life, but he is incapable of changing the events, because they have already occurred. Similarly, Henry’s inability to change the things that have already happened is similar to the same problem that Billy Pilgrim had in Slaughterhouse-Five. The difference between the two men is that Henry made several attempts to try to alter some events, but was unsuccessful. Billy does not try to change anything about his life, because he chooses to let fate control every aspect of his life. I often thought about the act of free will while I was watching this movie, because a lot of things could have been changed, because of Henry’s knowledge of the future. But, just like the novel Slaughterhouse-Five, in the movie fate seemed to overpower free will.

  Henry meets Claire, who is very excited to see him even though he is just meeting her for the first time. Claire explains to Henry that she has known him for a very long time and she considers him her best friend. They begin a relationship, which is challenging, because of Henry’s disorder. When Henry time travels he leaves his clothes behind, so he is often forced to do whatever he has to do to get some clothes.  Henry and Claire get married, but the day of the ceremony, Henry time travels, so an older version of him steps in to take his place.

 Henry’s time traveling puts a strain on his relationship with Claire. Even though, their relationship is complicated, Claire has been in love with Henry ever since she was a little girl. As an advantage of being able to time travel to the future, allows Henry to know the winning lottery ticket numbers.  Claire thought what Henry did what was wrong, but they decide to keep the winning lottery ticket! Henry’s disorder causes Claire to have several miscarriages, because Henry’s disorder causes their unborn fetuses to time travel. In order to end their suffering, the older version of Henry has a vasectomy. But, Claire gets pregnant one last time by a younger version of Henry. Claire is able to carry the baby to full term. Henry travels forward to meet their daughter, Alba as a preteen; she tells him that she is a time traveler, too, but she has control over when and where she travels. Henry learns from Alba that he will die when she is five. Henry tells Claire about his encounter with their daughter. And Before Alba’s fifth birthday she is visited by a much older version of herself, who informs her that Henry, is going to die when she is five. Even though, Henry does not want Alba to tell Claire about his death, she does tell her mom. Later, Henry time travels and is shot by Claire’s father as he hunts; he returns in time to die in Claire’s arms, A younger Henry later visits Alba and Claire, giving Claire hope that he will visit again, but Henry does not want Claire to spend her life waiting for him.

I thought that it was a good movie, because Henry and Claire had to overcome many obstacles, but in the end everything worked out fine. I think that it is the perfect science fiction movie about time travel, because even though, Henry could not control his time traveling there were many perks about his disorder. For instance, he could foreshadow the future (expect for how he is going to die) and he could travel to random events in his life to talk to do the people that he loves, like his mother. Also, the movie reminds me of Primer, because when those guys time traveled they had decoys to take their place and Henry had the same advantage. This is a brilliant idea, because when you are time traveling, no one should be able to tell that you are not really that person. Because, in most time travel movies if people discover that you can time travel they are going to pester you about the things that will happen in their future. And, like Prime, in The Time Traveler’s wife, Henry was able to be to bring things from the future back to the present.

 

Changing the Future

In class someone mentioned something about people trying to change the future. And,when I thought about people changing the future, two movies came to mind.The first movie that I thought about was Source Code, which is an action thriller centered on a soldier who wakes in the body of an unknown man and he discovers that he is apart of a mission to find the bomber of a Chicago train.In fact, I thought about this movie because a scientist creates a device to change the future and in the end the man stops the bomber, so that the accident could be prevented, but the device was never really used. The second movie that I thought about was Inception, because it is another amazing science-fiction movie about a man who is able to invade other people’s dreams, so that he can steal their most closely held secrets, but the main reason I thought about this movie is because he is able to invade people’s dreams and convince them to change their mind about something, so that  it will  not occur in the future.

The Advantages of Sleeping for Twenty Years

Rip Van Winkle is an unsuccessful man who is loved by everyone in the neighborhood, but his pesky wife. As a result of is laziness, he cannot support his farm or family. Instead being hard-working, so that he can support his farm and family and prevent his wife from nagging; the most spectacular thing that could have ever taken place in Rip’s life did, because some “magical” liquor, which clearly caused him to sleep for twenty years. Finally, he has reached an age that his idleness is understandable. He has no ambition, he does not work hard for himself, and he does not surpass his achievements from where he began and his wife has died, so he does not have to deal with her constantly fussing at him, because he does not want to work hard, he just wants to talk to his friends.

He also sleeps through what was the defining moment of American history, and upon waking, he does not care. A lot of Rip’s friends fought in the war, but if Rip was woke during that time I do not think that he would have done such a heroic  thing, so by Rip sleeping for several years allows him to bypass all of the things that occurred, which would have required him to be an ambitious man.

Rip’s night in the woods represents the fantasy of escape through one’s imagination. Once he is freed of his duties to his family, he becomes the town storyteller, and it is the story which has freed him from his domestic duties it seems like he literally dreamed them away. The story is intriguing to me because, I think that it is amazing how a slothful man is able to bypass all the years when he should have been providing for his family, sleeps until he is an elderly man. Similarly, elderly people are given the opportunity to be lazy, because of being hard-working as young adults or other previous experiences, which allows them to enjoy their old age. Rip was given the opportunity to skip the days when he should have been working hard to old age when anything is possible.