Beyond what has already been shared in your application, what do you believe makes you stand out as a strong candidate for admissions to the University of California?

“The title Looper implies time is a continuous loop, right? The future interacts with the past like it always does, because it’s meant to. So how does Bruce Willis break away from it, all of a sudden? And when he does break away, how doesn’t he mess everything up? It’s his own past he’s interfering with, his own loop of existence—”

“It’s a movie! Who cares?”

“I care!”

“Making you the only one that does, then.”

I sat there in silence for several minutes, dumbstruck. Perhaps that was the case. Perhaps I was preventing myself from suspending disbelief and fully enjoying a decent film by overthinking it (“it’s not real; it’s not supposed to make sense”). Perhaps I was simply a ‘hater,’ looking to nitpick something that everyone else seemed to enjoy (“it has a 93 percent on Rotten Tomatoes; it must be good”).

But then it occurred to me: What would happen if I and everyone else on the planet decided to enjoy all movies at face value? How many more impossible, contradictory, headache-inducing time travel films would be produced if this one went uncriticized?

My critical disposition has always been my defining trait, my most valuable identifier (even though many would consider it to be rooted in cynicism). I look for the best and the...

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