It's Groundhog Day Again...

By Peter SM RSS Thu, February 2, 2017

Well, that cute little rodent and fellow Pennsylvanian—Punxsutawney Phil—saw his shadow this morning, which means we have to endure another six weeks of winter.

I don't think it's any coincidence that the movie Groundhog Day concerns living the same day's events over and over again ad naseum because that is exactly what drab, gray, cold, dark-in-the-morning-and-dark-in-the-evening winter feels like! I do however see this as both a blessing and a curse: a curse because I dread cold weather and winter, but a blessing because there's no better time to stay inside and watch movies than during cold winter nights.

Here's a list of other repeating, time looping, time traveling, bend-the-fabric-of-reality type films to watch... again, again, and again.

LooperLooper (2012, DVD)
Time travel—It's a convenient plot device, but oh so messy! In this film, mob hitman "Joe" is played by both Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Both exist in different timeline as they travel through time loops to do their job. In the year 2074, the mob tries to close this time loop, and "Joe" comes face-to-face with his future self and has to hunt himself down to finish the job. Confused yet? I told you time travel was a messy plot device!

Donnie Darko (2001, DVD)
To quote one of the taglines for this film: "Life is one long insane trip. Some people just have better directions." A high school student (Jake Gyllenhaal) is visited by a demonic rabbit (or stranger in a rabbit suit?) who shows the teen different universes, visions, and predictions—both from the past and forthcoming future—and puts him on the path to discovering the power to alter time and destiny. Is this a time travel film? Does it deal with the supernatural? Is it all just a delusionary fantasy of the protagonist. YES, and then some. 

Timecrimes (2007, DVD)
Another time traveling, paradoxical head scratcher is this Spanish-language film about a man being pursued by a murderer who then accidentally finds a time machine, escaping an hour into the past. Time machines, time loops, and a guy with his head wrapped up in gauze like a murderous mummy, Oh My! Truly a bizarre nightmare puzzle of a film.


Run Lola Run (1998, DVD)
You've got 20 minutes to find and deliver 100,000 Deutsche Marks to a criminal organization in order to save your boyfriend. What do you do? Pump up the techno playlist and start running! Lola's adventure splits off into three "What If?" scenarios full of surprises, quirks, and twists that will forever alter her life.


Back to the Future trilogy (1985, 1989, and 1990, DVD boxset)
Perhaps the quintessential time-travel-is-fraught-with-problems film series, Back to the Future traipses across time from the 1980s to the 1950s, into the future to 2015, and even back to the Old West of the 1880s. "Ripples" in the fabric of time are the key to these movies and how our protagonists, Marty McFly and Doc Brown, travel back and forth living and re-living their lives and influencing others, trying to correct and re-correct events on the timeline.

Total Recall (1990, DVD)
What if everything you thought was true was actually an implanted alternate memory of your life? That's the basic gist of this over-the-top action sci-fi film starring one of Hollywood's favorite over-the-top action sci-fi actors (of the 1980s and 1990s, at least) Arnold Schwarzenegger. The truth lies on the surface of Mars... or does it? The film is loosely based on the Philip K. Dick's story "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale".


Christmas Do-Over (2006, DVD)
What kid hasn't wished for it to be Christmas every day? Except this time, the "wish" is really for his father, who ends up having to live through the same Christmas day over and over again until he becomes less selfish and makes changes in his life. Almost a direct clone of Groundhog Day, this family-friendly flick is of the teaches-a-life-lesson-with-happy-ending variety.


X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014, Blu-ray)
Comic book superheroes change the past to prevent the future in this time traveling action adventure. Inspired by the X-Men storyline "Days of Future Past" from 1981 by Chris Claremont and John Byrne, this movie focuses on two time periods, with Wolverine traveling back in time to 1973 to change history and prevent an event with catastrophic results for both humans and mutants.


If you need more of a staycation from winter (or just reality, in general), browse through and check out other Time Loop and Time Travel stories in our catalog.

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