(CBR) It’s all "Groundhog Day’s" fault.
The 1993 comedy hit, which stars Bill Murray as a snarky weatherman forced to re-live the same day over and over again until he becomes a better person, made the idea of a time loop a very popular narrative device for movies and television — and for good reason. There isn’t one person who hasn’t had a day they wish they could take a mulligan on. It’s a very relatable idea, and it’s easy to see why Hollywood keeps going back to the time-loop well.
With "Edge of Tomorrow" becoming the latest member of the “Groundhog Day-ing It Club,” SPINOFF looks back at some of the most memorable TV and movie do-overs.
Actually, maybe we should blame this fifth season episode of TNG, which aired in 1992 — a year before "Groundhog Day."
The episode kicks off with the series’ best teaser — the Enterprise explodes with all hands aboard — and the crew struggle to learn why they are repeating the same event over again, always resulting in a fiery death. Picard and Company eventually discover that they are caught in a temporal causality loop (naturally), and free themselves from its broken record-y clutches. Their reward? A FaceTime convo with Kelsey Grammer!
It’s "Groundhog Day" with a strong dose of speed, as Jake Gyllenhaal struggles to stop a bad guy from blowing up a train in this underrated 2011 sci-fi thriller.
"Source Code" adds a new wrinkle to the time loop conceit, as our hero only gets to repeat the last 8 minutes that led up to the tragedy — by way of occupying another’s consciousness. The less you try to make sense of that, the better.
Jonathan Silverman(?!) and Helen Slater headline this 1993 TV movie which aired on Fox. The "Weekend at Bernie’s" star plays a scientist who witnesses the fatal shooting of his colleague (Slater), suffers an electrical shock and is forced to re-live the same terrible events whenever the clock strikes one minute past midnight.
This time, the whole world is stuck in a time loop and it’s up the star of NBC’s "The Single Guy" to sort it all out. (We’d be better off having Bernie save us.)
This 2007 Spanish-language film is full of “what the what?!” moments, as a seemingly normal guy — Hector — accidentally finds himself stuck in a time loop, being chased by a bandaged man through a secluded area of town. Time machines and paradoxes abound in this imperfect, but engrossing, time travel tale.
“Mystery Spot” ("Supernatural")
This Season 3 episode of the CW series is a great example of what the show does so well: Take a trope and push it to its most fun and self-aware limits. While investigating crazy things at the titular location, Sam is forced to witness his brother Dean die over and over again — with increasingly graphic and sometimes hilarious results.
Director Tom Tykwer puts his titular character through her paces in this 1998 cult hit, as Franka Potente is forced to re-live the same “runs” three different times in an effort to score enough cash to save her boyfriend — a small-time criminal. Hitting the re-set switch results in a “Choose Your Own Adventure” vibe, giving Lola and the characters in her orbit different outcomes to their actions — which rightfully keeps the audience at the edge of their seats.
“Monday” ("The X-Files")
"The X-Files" is at their self-reflexive best in this sixth season installment, which opens with Mulder bleeding out from a gunshot wound at bank robbery gone wrong. He then wakes up the next day — unharmed — atop his waterbed, which has sprung a leak. This sets off a series of events that finds Mulder reunion tour-ing with the wrong end of that bank robber’s gun, resulting in a very inventive and comical episode from co-writer Vince Gilligan.
This 2004 indie is the film equivalent of that pain you get from eating ice cream too fast — but in a good way.
"Primer" makes "Timecrimes" look like a straight line with its crazy faithful commitment to what would really happen if someone literally invented time travel in their garage. Headaches and crossed eyes ensue as the film centers on the paradoxes its lead characters must endure when they reach back in time and don’t like what they find. Like most time travel films, this one benefits greatly from repeat viewings. (See what we did there?)
Copyright © 2014 Comic Book Resources. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.
1995 | Drama | RSummary: On the run after murdering a man, accountant William Blake encounters a strange North American man named Nobody who prepares him for his journey into the spiritual world.Director: Jim Jarmusch
Cast: Johnny Depp, Gary Farmer, Crispin Glover, Lance Henriksen
1939 | Comedy | NRSummary: Greta Garbo is an icy Soviet agent who thaws in romantic Paris whilst on the trail of three Russian ex-pats and the Imperial Jewels they’re meant to be selling off. Keep an eye out for Bela Lugosi, in a great appearance.Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Cast: Greta Garbo, Melvyn Douglas, Ina Claire
2015 | Comedy | TV-14Summary: This bright and hilarious comedy has a strange current of the bizarre as a young woman escapes life in a cult, then tries to adjust to life in New York City.Director: Robert Carlock, Tina Fey
Cast: Ellie Kemper, Jane Krakowski, Tituss Burgess
1989 | Comedy | NRSummary: The "show about nothing" follows friends played by Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards and Jason Alexander as the find the worst ways to deal with problems big and small.Director: Larry David, Jerry Seinfeld (creators)
Cast: Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards, Jason Alexander
2014 | Animation | PGSummary: Surly, a curmudgeon, independent squirrel is banished from his park and forced to survive in the city. Lucky for him, he stumbles on the one thing that may be able to save his life, and the rest of park community, as they gear up for winter - Maury's Nut Store.Director: Peter Lepeniotis
Cast: Will Arnett, Katherine Heigl, Brendan Fraser, Liam Neeson
1984 | Documentary | NRSummary: The story of the life and influence of Harvey Milk, one of the first openly gay US politicians and a dedicated activist who worked to improve thousands of lives prior to his 1978 assassination.Director: Rob Epstein
Cast: Harvey Fierstein, Harvey Milk, Anne Kronenberg
2004 | | NRSummary: Tessel is determined to give her boyfriend the day of his life by marrying him. But the closer the big moment gets, the more Tessel starts to doubt everything: her dress, her boyfriend, her ex and most of all herself. In the end only one thing is clear: this will be a day to remember.Director: Marcel Visbeen
Cast: Ricky Koole, Martijn Nieuwerf, Anke Engels, Romijn Conen
1997 | Drama | NRSummary: Brutal and compelling series about the experimental unit of Oswald State Penitentiary, which houses a wide array of prisoners, who are organized in a strict power structure. Ernie Hudson, J.K. Simmons, and Dean Winters are just a few members of the impressive cast.Director: Tom Fontana (creator)
Cast: Ernie Hudson, J.K. Simmons, Lee Tergesen
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Intense but humor-laced story of a romance between the town “good girl” and a charming senior that becomes difficult with the introduction of adult problems. Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller excel as the young couple.Director: James Ponsoldt
Cast: Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Kyle Chandler
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