Causal Loops: Time Travel in Primer, Looper, The Butterfly Effect, and About Time

Today we discuss one of my favorite topics: Time Travel. Specifically, causal loops and how they are mistreated in most time travel stories. We deal with everything from Terminator to Back to the Future to About Time to The Butterfly Effect. None of the mainstays are safe!

Truth be told, this is all in an effort to talk about one of my favorite movies, Primer. A 2004 Indie darling, Primer is a complex look into what would happen if two garage engineers accidentally made a time machine. It's complex, down in the dirt, and all too real of a look into how quickly things spiral out of hand. Add to that, this 77 movie features over 11 timelines, most implicit rather than shown in film.

As for the other movies in this list, Looper had a lot of promise but it's Terminator-style rules definitely turned me off, The Butterfly Effect does a decent job at staying true to causality, and About Time is relatively safe, but emotionally satisfying in a way Primer could never be.

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Be sure to check out my other videos on YellowBrickRoad (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKcS5...), Daybreakers (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoLbg...), and The Ninth Gate (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlZtW...).

Also, check out my deep-dive into Pennywise the Dancing Clown and the main things you'll miss from the original novel while watching the movie adaptations! You can find it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AraBH....

All the Primer Timelines and Graphs
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Definite Timeline for Primer (Paul @ Unreality Mag)
http://unrealitymag.com/movies/at-las...

Time Travel in Primer by Tom-B
https://www.flickr.com/photos/tom-b

Primer Comprehensive Timeline
http://cargocollective.com/lauraells

Primer Timeline by Randall Munroe
https://xkcd.com/657/large/

Primer Definitive Explanation and Timeline
http://imgur.com/VACTBSE

How Primer's Timeline works Correct
http://tylerskrabek.deviantart.com/ga...
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Movies Featured
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About Time (2013) - http://amzn.to/2szYmrP
Back to the Future 1 & 2 (1985/1989) - http://amzn.to/2sA5Mvx
Ghost in the Shell (2017) - http://amzn.to/2sXr85e
Groundhog Day (1993) - http://amzn.to/2uUDPPF
Looper (2012) - http://amzn.to/2u2wX6l
Primer (2004) - http://amzn.to/2u1WrRk
Terminator (1984) - http://amzn.to/2u1TKza
Terminator: Genisys (2015) - http://amzn.to/2u1M3sR
The Butterfly Effect (2004) - http://amzn.to/2uUO7zf
Time Bandits (1981) - http://amzn.to/2sA08cM
Twelve Monkeys (1995) - http://amzn.to/2u2f7jO
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Other Used Media
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"Who's Shane Carruth?" by austinmcconnell
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ietwE...

Shane Carruth (Rian Johnson)
https://loopermovie.tumblr.com/post/2...

Rian Johnson; Photo by Jessica Rao
http://www.interviewmagazine.com/film...

Shane Carruth; Photo by Pari Dukovic
https://www.wired.com/2013/03/primer-...

Beneath Sci-Fi Sound: Primer, Science Fiction Sound Design, and American Independent Cinema by Nessa Johnston, University of Glasgow
http://www.alphavillejournal.com/Issu...

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Justin D. Herd

Justin D. Herd is a purveyor of the weird and strange. He occasionally squawks at friends and family, but does so only under the cover of night. Okay, that's not true. He squawks in full daylight. Drinking games have been built around his peculiarities, but the truth of it is this: he is a loving husband, with two wonderful dem--children. One growls at things he likes, including pretty women. The other has started to learn hand-eye coordination. Neither had made it to the tender age of three. From there, things will only get more interesting. He spends most of his writing time either at a coffee shop or sitting at one of his many desks around his house. Any other place makes it nearly impossible for him to write. He uses horror movies and rock music to help get the juices flowing. His favorite authors are Jeremy Robert Johnson, Alan Campbell, Terry Pratchett, Justin Cronin, and Patrick Rothfuss. He consumes most of his books through audiobooks, but still loves his personal library and getting lost in the printed word.