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monday morning movie club

Monday Morning Movie Club: Let’s Discuss In Time

In Time, the Justin Timberlake vehicle in which time is literally money and everyone stops aging at 25, didn't exactly clean up at the box office this weekend. But those who did see the Bonnie & ClydeHunger Games mash-up will have a lot to say (or at least a lot of groan-inducing time puns to recount). Here's a list of talking points to get you started.

1. Justin Timberlake, Action Hero
It's one thing to watch a former pop superstar flirt with Mila Kunis (or flirt with nerds); it's another to watch him run around a futuristic society with guns blazing. So, how does the Serious Actor pull off his first major action role? His dramatic running is maybe a little awkward (especially in his first sprint toward Olivia Wilde), and most of the movie's early sequences involve JT finding the nearest closet in which to hide. But congratulations to Justin for his legitimately badass fight scene against Alex Pettyfer, especially since duels in the In Time future are so spectacularly lame. (Arm flipping? Intense staring? Come on, future.) We did not expect JT to make those last three seconds so awesome, and they were.

2. An Incomplete List of the Delightful Time Puns and Wordplay Featured
(We tried to catch them all, but there were so many!)

• Timberlake: "I want to wake up with more time on my hands [literally] than hours in the day."
• To a random rich dude: "That, sir, is a very nice watch."
• The living districts (which are based on wealth) are called Time Zones
• Cillian Murphy, bad cop (or "Time Keeper"), on how he will track down a presumed thief: "I'll follow the time."
• Prostitute, to Cillian Murphy: "I'll give you ten minutes for an hour."
• Justin Timberlake, upon walking into a members-only casino: "I assume my time is as good as anyone's."
• Vincent Kartheiser, as a super-rich dude, upon seeing Justin Timberlake's watch: "You must come from time."
• A repeated phrase: "Is it stealing if it's already stolen time?"
• Timberlake, to Amanda Seyfried: "How much is he worth?" Seyfried: "Eons."
• Spotted in the background: a loan agency called "Time Shares"
• Justin Timberlake, during a stick-up: "I'd say your money or your life, but since your money is your life ... "
• Cillian Murphy: "I didn't start the clock. I can't turn it back. I just keep time."

3. How Are People Not Murdered Constantly in the Future?
The premise of In Time dictates that characters are able to trade minutes of their life in exchange for goods and services; this means that all humans have an adjustable life clock embedded in their wrist. Each person's time allotment is clearly visible in green digits on his or her forearm, and a simple wrist grab allows one person to give or take time from another. Simple is the operative word: As the roving gangs of "Minute Men" illustrate, it is really, really easy for one human to steal another's minutes. How is everyone not killing everyone else all the time? One person falls asleep, and boom: You take their minutes. A rich dude wanders into the ghetto, life span clearly visible on his wrist (this happens early in the movie), and boom: You gang up on him and divide the minutes. And it's not like this society has some sort of higher moral code. Witness the bus full of people who refuse to lend Olivia Wilde 30 minutes. Did we miss something, or should everyone be dead already?

4. Amanda Seyfried Is Secretly Pretty Funny
Apart from the half-baked backstory of Justin Timberlake and his vigilante father, character development is not really the focus of In Time. But Amanda Seyfried gets a few humorous moments as the clueless rich girl turned rebel runaway (a part she already amusingly tried her hand at on Veronica Mars), and she makes the most of them. The accidental gunshots? Amusing! We hope Seyfried will give the weepies and the Chloes a rest long enough to try her hand at a rom-com (maybe even one with Timberlake? There was a little chemistry there, we'll admit).

5. Why Does Everyone in the Future Have a Bob?
Olivia Wilde, weirdly, did not revisit her Tron do for this particular trip to the future, but Amanda Seyfried commits to the look. Is this the only haircut we will be allowed come 2050? And if so, are the bangs optional, at least?

6. What else can we turn into currency for a movie?
Vulture has a few suggestions to get you started:

• Sandwiches (Everyone lives on their own farm, and spectacularly obese people run the world, until their health complications lead to a revolution.)
• Insects (The world markets collapse owing to the sudden bee disappearance.)
• Cell-phone minutes (Poor people become monks and achieve enlightenment through their solitude.)

Photo: Stephen Vaughan/ Twentieth Century Fox