The Velvet Café

A room for thoughts about movies

On the reinvention of Groundhog Day and a few words from the management

with 22 comments

edgeoftomorrow

If you leave aside the movie watching that comes with being a parent (when you absorb whatever your child is addicted to from a distance), Groundhog Day is probably the movie I’ve seen most times.

At this point I know every step that Bill Murray takes during the day that he’s doomed to relive over and over again. With any other movie I would have grown tired of by now, but Groundhog Day has that magic that makes it timeless. With one glaring exception, I should add. Andie MacDowell feels like a relic from the 80s that doesn’t quite fit into the modern taste. Frankly I find her annoying. But her presence doesn’t manage to ruin the film altogether, which is an evidence of how good it is.

Coming from this I was a little sceptical when I first heard about the concept of Edge of Tomorrow. As much as I love time travelling and space invasions, it sounded very much like Groundhog Day to me. Did we really need a remake.

It turned out that I was half right about my suspicions. The beginning of the film is certainly quite similar. A man enters a time loop where he for some reason (further explained in EoT than in GD) experiences the same day over and over again from a certain point. Unlike everyone else around him, he’s able to remember and learn lessons from previous iterations.

In Edge of Tomorrow, the reset doesn’t happen when the alarm clock calls; it happens when he dies. And the genre is different. While there are a few smiles and moments of romance, this is not a romantic comedy. It’s a war movie about the fight against an invasion of aliens from space. But the core idea is very much the same: practice makes skill. If you live the same day again and again you’ll get better at doing stuff, either you’re making ice sculptures or killing enemies. And while doing this, you’ll learn things about yourself and develop into better human being. If you’re a jerk you’ve got the chance to get nice. If you’re a spineless coward you might grow into a fearless hero and save the world.

As the movie went on, however, I thought less and less about the origins and when I had come to the end I had stopped making comparisons. About half way through, it goes in a different direction. While they share some of the ideas, Edge of Tomorrow is far more than just a remake. It’s got a soul of its own and I liked it quite a bit.

Perhaps it’s my previous online life as a gamer that comes into play. I watched the movie in company with some Swedish film bloggers and as we made our way to the pub, I burst into a long speech about the pleasures of having your avatar killed repeatedly, resurrecting and trying the same thing over and over again, but with slightly different tactics until you succeed.

To build a movie on game mechanisms is a hit and miss. Sometimes it works; sometimes you end up with something that is just as tedious as it is to watch someone else playing games. But this one is a hit, at least to me. If there’s something to wish for, I would have liked it to be a little bit darker. But then again – I’m Swedish. You all know how we’re wired.

A time-space continuum issue
Finally – you may notice the date of today and look at the previous post and see that it’s been a while since I last served drinks and thoughts about movies in this café. And you’re wondering: where have I been? Last time you heard from me I was heading for Cambodia. Has someone kept me captured for all this time?

Honestly I haven’t any good answer. Spring happened. Time played a joke on me and before I knew it, it had passed. Please don’t ask me for details about what I’ve been up to, because I don’t have any idea of why or how or who or what or when. I just hope it was something that was worth my energy and that it was Very Important. My memory is blank.

I’ll try not to get drawn into one of those time-space-continuum abnormalities once again. I’d rather stay here, throwing out my thoughts about the world of film to anyone who’s up for listening. While I haven’t been blogging for a while, I’ve kept watching movies and I hope that my memory will be good enough to recap at least some of them. The ones I’ve already forgotten where probably not worth remembering anyway.

Cheers everyone! It’s good to be back!

Edge of Tomorrow (Doug Liman, 2014) My rating: 4/5

 

filmspanarna

 

 

And this is what my fellow Swedish film bloggers made of Edge of Tomorrow

In English:

Fredrik on Film

In Swedish:

Fiffis filmtajm
Filmparadiset
Fripps filmrevyer
Har du inte sett den
Jojjenito
Movies Noir
The nerd bird
Rörliga bilder och tryckta ord
Har du inte sett den (podcast)

Written by Jessica

June 11, 2014 at 6:00 am

Posted in Edge of Tomorrow

22 Responses

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  1. Glad to see you back. That space-time continuum ends up taking a lot of bloggers and it usually keeps them for a lot longer than a few months. Groundhog day is also one of my favorites and I’m really kicking myself that I didn’t make it to the early screening for this movie but I’m still looking forward to it (and because I’m pretty sure the novel was made into a comic before the movie came out it totally counts for me to cover it for my site).

    Bubbawheat

    June 11, 2014 at 6:11 am

  2. So good to see that you’re back. Unfortunately I am refusing to see any movies involving Tom Cruise so I will pass on this one despite your recommendation.

    food science guru

    June 11, 2014 at 6:11 am

    • Haha, it’s your loss. :) I’ve got plenty of other recommendations though in posts to come!

      Jessica

      June 11, 2014 at 9:12 pm

  3. It is great to see you blogging about film again. No need to explain your absence, life happens and we all fall into that space-time continuum at some point. I am just glad to see that you did not lose your passion for both film and writing.

    Courtney Small

    June 11, 2014 at 2:15 pm

  4. I´m glad that this was the film that brought you back. #live(blog)dierepeat in real life ;)

    Fiffi

    June 11, 2014 at 6:20 pm

  5. Welcome back. Nice post. Glad that you enjoyed EoT! I had a blast with it.

    fernandorafael

    June 11, 2014 at 11:07 pm

    • Thank you! It’s lovely to be here and to see that you’re still around, the most loyal and lovely commenter of them all.

      Jessica

      June 12, 2014 at 9:48 pm

  6. I’m swedish and yes, i like it dark. But making this movie darker would make it even more generic.
    I also liked the gamer references. If i recall correct there was some first person perspective action going on in the beginning too. Felt like the intro to Gears of War or something. Good stuff!

    • Funny enough I haven’t played any first person perspective action games. My only gaming reference is World of Warcraft. But that worked too!

      Jessica

      June 12, 2014 at 9:47 pm

  7. Good to have you back in the loop! The “pleasures” of having to repeat everything over and over and over…? I just thought it seemed exhausting :) And yes, it could have been darker but that does not automatically make it better to my mind.

    Sofia

    June 12, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    • Thanks! Well, by darker I mean the end that we had a discussion about, but I didn’t want do dive further into it in order not to get into spoilers.

      Jessica

      June 12, 2014 at 9:47 pm

      • Well, if we’re only talking about changing the ending, I’m with you all the way!

        Sofia

        June 13, 2014 at 6:16 am

  8. Welcome back.

    I’m looking forward to seeing this movie, I always long for more SF movies, they don’t make enough of them. The last great SF movie I’ve seen was Snowpiercer, a month ago. I’m looking forward to some more movie tips from you.

    Anonymous

    June 14, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    • Been so long since I’ve commented that my name fell away!

      carrandas

      June 14, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    • I haven’t heard of Snowpiercer. I need to check that out. Don’t worry. More tips are incoming!

      Jessica

      June 15, 2014 at 7:56 pm

      • Dystopic SF by the director of Memories of Murder! What more can we ask?

        carrandas

        June 15, 2014 at 9:01 pm


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