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63

According to this review answering such questions in the movie itself would have "ruined" it. The original script contained an explanation of the start of the time loop - a voodoo spell - but that was considered a poor idea. So, I wonder if there is a conclusive answer to your question. It was deliberately left out by Harold Ramis. We are left speculating ...


44

I haven't seen any director commentary, so I can't speak with full authority. However, I don't think they thought that hard about it. I think it is put in there for dramatic effect. The antagonist was defeated, and now instead of the big man on campus, he practically begs from George McFly for work. It is a triumph of the little guy over his oppressor. ...


43

From what I remember about the books and the films, Hermione only gets given the Time Turner device in her third year at Hogwarts. She was given it, with the permission of the Ministry of Magic, so that she could attend two sets of lessons at once. In this link, you can see that she stated that the pressure of using it to do twice as much work became too ...


42

Even if they would notice, they would never accept it as a truth, because it is much against a normal understanding of the world. It would be probably like: "Ever notice how much Marty looks like that one guy I nearly fell in love with?" "Yeah, funny that". And thats it :). They could never imagine/reason, that Marty did time travel. So it is not even a ...


41

There is a definitive answer to one part of this question: Is it likely that the producers simply overlooked this? No. It was intentionally removed from the original draft. (Obviously this version is fairly different) Here's the original ending of the script: INSERT – CLIPPING A story with the headline, “Police Quell Near Riot At School Dance,” ...


39

I don't believe a formal answer was ever provided in the movie, but it seemed to require Phil to finally diverge from a path of pure selfishness and embrace the ideals of love and respect for other human beings. He started the movie disrespecting the cameraman Larry (Chris Elliott) and the producer Rita (Andi MacDowell) by blowing off the ceremony by being ...


28

It's a very very hidden big irony. He started the movie as a jerk and egotist, with everything in his mind being about him and not caring about others. At least, on a minor, 1-person scale. We are led to believe that this perception of things being about him are wrong. Then, as we find out after the movie ends (see wbogacz's excellent answer), the whole ...


24

Remember that cat your parents took in for one week when you were a child? Isn't it strange that it looks exactly like the kitten you've been raising down to the last stripe? You don't remember what that cat looked like? I don't remember my childhood best friend's face very well and I knew him for years. Had I met him and knew him for a week I doubt I ...


23

It's not clear that Biff was trying to rape Loraine. Although he was clearly taking liberties he should not have. McFly subdued Biff in the fight at the dance. After that, Biff learned to take his place behind McFly. The car-waxing scene was really just to prove this. 30 years had passed. The new, wiser McFly was undoubtedly able to forgive ...


22

She is "insurance" that the virus will successfully be spread around the world. The key is that the scientists were never interested in stopping the virus in 1995. As Cole says early on, "I just have to locate the virus in its original form before it mutates. So scientists can come back and study it and find a cure. So that those of us who survived can ...


18

I'm not going to repeat the excellent plot oriented answers - but its my opinion that JKR probably realized that freely available and controllable time travel can critically damage your ability to make a problem that cannot be simply resolved by the protagonist. Magic itself has that problem too - but at least she can put limits on the magic and the fact ...


18

You do have a point on that the fuel could have been syphoned. However, it's more likely that there just wasn't any. When the doc gets back to 1885 with broken time circuits, he first tries to fix it. When he realises it can't be fixed, he buries the car in the mine after first draining it from all fluids. While it is unclear if the car could be dug up, it ...


16

Speculation: Old Biff returns to the changed 2015 (designated 2015A). Doc and Marty "transitioned" to 2015A without noticing. Why didn't they notice? Maybe because they were out on the street when it happened and Hilldale looks the same in 2015A. BTW, time travelers "transitioning" between changed timelines is implied by Doc Brow when he tells Marty not to ...


15

Suppose the parents did notice the similarity. What would the chances be that they noticed exactly in the '85 time frames the movie shows? Nil.


15

I've only seen the movie once, but when Jeffrey Price shows us the case with the single time travel device in it, there was an empty space next to it that suggested he had two devices.


14

It doesn't matter His parents never mention the similarity in the movie because: Before the 1955 part of the movie, it would be somewhat of a spoiler. After the 1955 part of the movie, it might have worked, but it would have been "cute dialog of convenience" and not really realistic there. Ultimately, if you accept the underlying premise of Back to the ...


14

Cole's assignment was not to stop the virus, but to locate the source. The insurance person I believe was sent to get a sample. The virus will spread, because it already has. The goal to the time travelers was to figure out (in the future) how to combat the virus. Edit: Here is my take on how time travel works (IMHO); Anything that is known in the future ...


12

The movie just shows us the never ending loop in which Jess is stuck seemingly forever. What actually happened that left her in this loop is never shown. Only subtle hints are given throughout the movie. There is no starting point to the loop. That just seems so to the viewer. I would say that the instant she has the car crash with her son was the starting ...


11

From reading the books I'd say that in a sense a Time-Turner can't really be used to change the past at all. In The Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry and Hermione use the Time-Turner around midnight to travel back three hours in time, endeavoring to save Sirius and Buckbeak. However, everything they do in these three hours has already happened: At the end of ...


11

My understanding is that yes, it was a second "miscarriage". Although not a traditional miscarriage, but rather the fetus had time-traveled, which of course lead to the unborn baby's death, as it could not survive outside the mother's womb.


11

Film.com has an infographic by Rick Slusher: [click link for a larger image] Timeline A: In Timeline A, the looper hitman Joe successfully “closes his loop” in 2044, executing his time-traveling older self at the prescribed moment, earning his golden payday and proceeding to live out the rest of his life. Regarding the other key ...


11

I think the intention is that it's a lot easier and cleaner to have someone on the other side there to make sure the victim is taken care of, rather than just popping them to a location that they'll die at. Think about it this way. Lets say that they did pop people into a furnace to kill them. What happens if said furnace is down that day and the victim ...


11

I believe that the movie has nothing to do with time travel and, as Oliver_C mentioned in a comment, the butterfly effect is not an ability, it is just cause-effect gone to extremes("Does the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas?"). The following lines are solely based on my own interpretation of the movie, hence no external ...


9

While I like wbogacz's and DVK's answers very much, I humbly suggest they are incomplete. It's about more than overcoming selfishness or solipsism (all about me) or even insufficient solipsism, as keen an insight as that is. For me the answer to the original question comes when the movie is taken as allegorical, an analogy for one of life's deepest ...


9

Yes, just in-case they couldn't stop him in the airport, she is the backup...insurance. At least that's how I interpreted it.


9

I actually always saw this as coincidence with her being the "original past version" of this woman, who's unaware of her future. Whereas your interpretation makes much more sense I have a major problem with it: causality! They cannot stop the outspread of the virus because this would prevent Bruce Willis' and her future actions and therefore the whole movie ...


9

How about The Final Countdown (1980)? From the Wiki article: In 1980, the supercarrier USS Nimitz takes on a civilian observer, Warren Lasky (Martin Sheen), at the orders of his reclusive and mysterious employer, Mr. Tideman (who helped design much of the ship), just before it departs Pearl Harbor for a training mission in the Pacific Ocean. Out ...


9

Henry does have a relationship with another woman named Ingrid in the book. This takes place before he meets Clare. Ingrid doesn't appear in the movie, but it's her lipstick that Clare finds in the book, so I assume it was hers as well in the film, but they just dropped the character due to time/budget constraints. I've only seen the film once, but I ...


9

I think it's just because the "loop" in which Joe kills himself is that final loop, and something like killing someone is irreversible. But who knows, another Looper that knows Joe could come back and kill Joe before he kills that boy, and so in that loop the boy will live. Basically there are many loops with many different versions of our world, depending ...


9

Caveat: Looking for logic in time-travel movies is an exercise in recursive futility. The idea in 12 Monkeys is that the past is, in many ways, read only. You can go back and "read" all you want, but you won't be able to "write" anything that will (meaningfully) change the timeline. Alternatively, you can attempt to change an event, but since the timeline ...



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