Timecrimes (2007): It’s all about a time paradox (Part 3)

Continuing with Part III of my multi-part article about Timecrimes.

In Timecrimes, Hector is caught in a what appears to be an infinite time loop with no apparent beginning or end, which is consistent with a predestination time paradox, but does beg the question how the paradox may have originated in the first place. One solution to the problem could involve a scenario in which an original attacker (not Hector) knew about the girl’s bicycle route and so lay in wait for her by the path to the woods, before assaulting and forcing her into the woods, where she is made to undress, then rendered unconscious.

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Spying the girl from his garden, Hector subsequently becomes interested after she removes her shirt, and unaware of the rapist wanders towards her and blunders into the scene. On hearing Hector’s approach, the rapist then hides before attempting to stab Hector, but only succeeds in slashing his arm, instead. The attacker now chases a fleeing Hector to kill him, and a desperate Hector is given all the motivation he needs to scale a barbed wire fence, and break into the science compound. The attacker then leaves Hector briefly to return and dispose of the girl’s body, before going back for Hector.

On explaining his horrific story to the scientist and seeing the attacker approaching once more, the scientist may have tried to hide Hector in the time tank before later hiding somewhere else himself. Importantly, the scientist only activated the untested time machine less than two hours ago and so does not know if it works. He may have subsequently decided to risk Hector’s life by sending him back in time, knowing if the attacker does kill them the timeline will be restored to an hour earlier with the arrival of Hector 2. As to what happens to the attacker in the movie, well one can speculate that Hector 2 forcing the girl into the woods takes the opportunity away from the rapist who has now missed his chance and is frightened off by Hector 2’s presence.

Hector 3 attempts to prevent the bandaged Hector 2 from getting into the time tank, in order to stop Hector 2 accidentally killing his wife. At the end of the movie when Hector 3 realizes that Hector 2 didn’t accidentally kill his wife, but instead the young girl from earlier, Hector 3 locks his wife in the shed and allows Hector 2 to frighten the girl into falling to her death, knowing full well that Hector 2 would then try to prevent his wife’s apparent accident by driving off in the rain to scare Hector 1 into the time tank before also traveling back in time to become Hector 3 and “save” his wife.

A self-sustaining stable timeline is thus created in which the two anomalies have now resolved themselves into a self-correcting loop, and history for Hector 3 is allowed to continue, while nothing significant affecting Hector’s going back in time in the first place is altered

To be continued

Sofiane MEROUANI

Timecrimes (2007) : Free Will within the Limit of Perception (Part 2)

Continuing with Part II from my multi-part article about Timecrimes.

In Timecrimes, Hector 2 was jealous about Hector 1 being with his (Hector 2’s) wife. Ignoring the scientists’ warning  not venture in the forest in an attempt to deal with the original Hector (Hector 1) , Hector 2 decides to reproduce the earlier events in an attempt to draw Hector 1 off his house into the forest.

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Hector 2 has just thrown himself into a trap of a crooked time-loop in which he believes he witnesses the murder of the girl before inadvertently becoming the murderer himself.

During a certain point in the movie, the girl is seen naked and unconscious. Then she is seen alive and well, guiding the battered Hector 3 back to his home. Then she is dead thrown off the ledge of the house.

One might ask, wasn’t she lying naked amid the bushes ?

The young woman has a picture of Schrödinger’s Cat on her shirt, which is a reference to the observer’s paradox first proposed by the Austrian scientist which states that an object or outcome of an event is not determined until being observed. A cat placed inside a box with a device which may or may not poison it is theoretically both dead and alive simultaneously until the box is opened and observed, forcing the object into just one of these possible states.

 

As Timecrimes writer Nacho Vigalondo explains about his movie:

The quantum mechanics aspect is the girl. We put an image of Schrödinger’s cat on the girl’s shirt – there’s a point in the movie where she’s dead and alive at the same time; it depends on what Hector sees, he defines whether she’s dead or alive. The theory of this film is that you only have free will within the limits of your perception. If you haven’t seen what happens inside a room, you can change what happens there, but if you have seen inside the room, you cannot change anything.

What can we understand by that. As far as my understanding is concerned, that Hector 1 has seen the woman naked and possibly dead. The end-result, that he can’t do anything to change of the outcome. Hector 2 inadvertently kills a woman (wearing a pair of converse) by throwing her off the ledge of his house. Hector 2 believed that the dead woman was his wife) . However when Hector 3 had the accident with the red-van, he stumbled upon with the young woman (wasn’t she naked and unconscious), alive and well. So, the situation clearly fits the Schrödinger’s cat’s experiment whereby the outcome of an event all depends on how the observer sees.

To be continued in Part III

Sofiane MEROUANI

 

Timecrimes (2007): A Trip to The Past From The Present to…(Part 1)

This is a multiple part article that deals with a sci-fi movie. Spoiler Ahead !

Time-travelling has been a fascinating theme for aspiring screenwriters, attempting to depict how the world would look like in the future, how a minor event could endanger your existence. You can think of Terminator (1984), where a killing machine is sent to the past to kill the mother of the resistance leader. When it comes to time-travelling, you can think of the Delorean, the iconic car from Back to The Future Trilogy (1985 1989 1990).

TV Show like Quantum Leap (1989) also depicts time-travelling by encompassing the notion of the string theory, whereby a the traveler can only travel in time from the moment he was born until his death.

When it comes to literary, Future Times Three (1944) by René Barjavel, where young scientist jeopardizes his existence by altering the past.

In a nutshell, time travelling was the cash-cow for Hollywood filmmakers in the 80s, 90s and early 2000.

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However, sometimes, you don’t need all these fancy multi-million movies, or lot of CGI to create a good time-travelling movie. Sometimes you all need is a crazy scientist, a sexy woman alone in the forest riding a bicycle and a lazy everyday man. The Spanish director/writer Nacho Vigalondo and Karra Elejalde star in this wickedly dense serio-comedy Timecrimes.

In this multi-part article, I will start the first part with the storyline of Timecrimes. (WARNING SPOILER AHEAD) Continue reading “Timecrimes (2007): A Trip to The Past From The Present to…(Part 1)”

He was a Hardworking Farmboy. She was an Italian Supermodel

The Rosetta Stone ad that covers an entire page with information of why the software is ideal for everyone. The upper half of the ad has a black and white picture of a “hardworking farm boy” in a plain white shirt holding a colorful Rosetta Stone box that teaches Italian. The farm boy is gazing nervously at something not in the picture as he holds his hat with his left hand over his head and the box he holds with his right arm. The picture shows a cloudy horizon behind the young farmer who stands on some sort of grass field. To the right of the black and white image the page is entirely yellow with writing in black bold letters saying “He was a hardworking farm boy. She was an Italian supermodel. He knew he would have just one chance to impress her.”

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Visual Rhetorical Analysis

The ad uses a very interesting contrast in its layout since the top of the page is split between a black and white image with a colorful Rosetta Stone box and the black writing over the yellow background. Because the entire page design involves bright colors except for the picture, the eyes are essentially forced to examine the picture first. The picture itself complements the simplistic black and white layout since the model has a simple farm look to his face and body. His facial expression hints that he is innocent and nervous at the same time, and more importantly, he has an average body. The ad purposefully made sure the farm boy look nothing like what someone would expect an Italian supermodel to date. Making him look plain attracts a larger audience to the ad than if they would have chosen a more attractive model. Any average male can look at this advertisement and place themselves right in the picture waiting for that very same Italian supermodel. The bold letters on top of the yellow background quickly explain what would otherwise be a random picture on the magazine page. The overall message idea that the ad gives the reader is that the Rosetta Stone will help any guy attain an attractive foreign girl by giving them a way to impress them.

Impressive ?

Sofiane MEROUANI

On this day, 28 years ago, H.B “Toby” Halicki died in a freak accident

It has been twenty eight years since the crash king Harold Blight “Toby” Halicki died in a freak accident while shooting the much anticipated sequel of Gone in 60 Seconds.

Known to his friends as Toby Halicki, the crash king lived his American dream. Starting as a car repairman, and escalating to his stardom, eventually becoming the writer, producer and director of the greatest chase movie ever filmed. In 1974, he wrote, directed and starred in an independent movie Gone in 60 Seconds. Halicki played a car theft/ insurance investigator Maindrian Pace who is approached by a South American cartel kingpin who offers him a huge amount of money in exchange of stealing 48 cars. The climax of the movie featured the most famous’s 40 minute-car chase ever filmed as Halicki tried to elude a horde of police cruisers through several states behind the wheel of his “Eleanor”.

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Halicki starring as Maindrain Pace “Gone in 60 Seconds” (1974)

With the success of his first movie,  Halicki embarked to film The Junkman, another car chase movie that took almost five years to complete.  The Junkman was released in 1982 and featured a series of car crashes, police chases, and a twisted plot where Halicki staring in his own role as Harlan Hollis must find out who is behind the assassination plot, aimed to pin him down once for all.

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Rest in Peace Toby!

Halicki later on married Dennis Shakarian shortly before he begins to film his third (and sadly) his last movie.

Unfinished, Gone in Sixty Seconds 2, promised to be huge, bigger than life budget movie. Halicki would reprise his iconic role of Maindrian Pace. His wife Dennis would have starred too. However, only portions of scenes were filmed, including, the Slicer car, escaping the warehouse and Halicki stealing a 18-wheeler, while chased by hordes of police cruisers across the streets in a scene reminiscent to the opening  truck-chase scene of Eddie Murphy’s Beverly Hills Cop (1984)

However, one of the climatic scene in Gone in 60 Seconds 2, involved the aforementioned [stolen] 18 wheeler raming into a series of parked cars  before hitting a water tower. However, the cables securing the tower into place, snapped prematurely, severing a telephone pole which fell on Halicki, killing the director.

Ironically, the scene of the falling tower was caught on a camera.

Halicki’s death was reported that night on KNBC 4 on August 20, 1989.

May He Rest in Peace

Sofiane MEROUANI

I will stick around with my HTC Desire 628

When it comes to opt for a smartphone, HTC is a no-brainer. I have owned at least five models in the past five years, spanning a Windows Phone powered Mozart all the way up to HTC One and One 7.

And here is my latest acquisition. The mid-range HTC Desire 826.

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Sorry Mondi Ess. I will stick around with my HTC.

Sorry Mondi Ess. I will stick around with my HTC.

Desire 628 is HTC’s midrange offering to take on the growing competition from various Chinese and Indian brands. Instead of opting for the usual phablet form factor that most brands are offering, HTC has kept the Desire 628 as a compact device with a 5-inch display.

HTC has continued the same design language as the previous Desire phones including the dual colour scheme. The 628 doesn’t look any different from the 626 or the 820, except for a different style speaker grill. Looking from the back, you can’t tell the difference between the Desire phones as the camera placement is exactly the same.

The back panel has a glossy finish on the Desire 628 which is a fingerprint magnet and requires constant cleaning. Also, the power and volume button sit flat with the frame on the side – when pressed they don’t give the satisfying clicky feel of a button. Even though it’s an all-plastic body, the phone looks and feels premium for its price.

It has a 5-inch display with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels which keeps everything pin sharp. It has slim bezels on the sides and the on-screen navigation keys can be customised with up to 4 buttons). You can also adjust the colour temperature as well as enable three finger gestures for ease of use.

Inside is a 1.3 GHz octa-core Mediatek MT6753 processor, 3GB RAM, 32 GB storage and a 2,200mAh battery. With day-to-day usage, the phone impresses with zippy navigation.

Image quality from the rear 13MP camera is surprisingly good with minimal noise in daylight as well as indoors. You get a plethora of modes to shoot including a full manual control mode. The shutter speed is zippy although the focus does take a sec \nod to lock on the subject in landscape photos. The front 5MP front camera is a letdown; we got grainy photos with soft details.

There are a few other issues with the phone as well :

First, the in-ear speaker volume is on the lower side – we had trouble hearing the person on other end while travelling on a road with traffic around us. Second, it doesn’t have a fingerprint scanner – this is now commonly available on a number of phones that cost less than this.

As a mid-range offering, the HTC Desire 628 has its share of pros and cons. However, it faces strong competition from cheaper devices that offer much more features such as the LeEco Le 1s, Redmi Note 3, Yu Yunicorn and Asus Zenfone Max.

Sofiane MEROUANI

 

 

For less than $ 30k, you can own this massive Nintendo collection

As a retro-gaming collector, back in fall 2012, I began to spend every month a penny (so to speak) to get a relic of the past, whether a console or a cartridge. As of today, I managed to get my hand on several pieces from the past. My latest acquisition is a Nintendo Advance. Next one is a Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii.  However, if you are a Nintendo fan, waste no time, there is a massive collection of games, consoles and other related merchandises you can grab for $ 29.900.

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Unlike my collection, there is approximately 730 cartridges here, from the NES, Super NES, Game Boy, and Nintendo 64. Why exactly is he looking to sell off this treasure trove? Life, of course. “Between the talk of having kids and moving to a house with no dedicated video game room, I’ve decided to sell my collection,” Amble wrote on the eBay listing. “For the past 10 years I’ve spent weekends at garage sales and making Craigslist deals, and this is the result. I hope my collection goes to someone who enjoys it as much as I have.”

So, better prep you wallet.

Sofiane MEROUANI