Old 08-02-2005, 10:23 PM   #1
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Question "Mirror Image"/"Mr. Destiny"

Has anyone ever seen the film Mr. Destiny? It stars James Belushi and Michael Caine and I happened to realize that there are a few similarities to this film and "Mirror Image." The film is about a man named Larry Burrows (Belushi), who is unhappy with his ordinary life, and, on his birthday, has his car break down. He enters a nearby bar to call a tow truck and meets a mysterious bartender (Caine) while he's waiting.

The bartender, known only as "Mike" ("No, not Calavicci"), is an easy-going guy who listens to Larry's problems, just like Al the Bartender in "Mirror Image," and they discuss a point in Larry's past in which he regretted not acting differently. This incident was a baseball game in which Larry was the last person who could have saved his team from losing, but struck out in the bottom of the 9th inning. As a result, he grew up depressed and bored with his life. Mike offers Larry a special drink, which gives Larry a glimpse into how his life would have turned out had he not struck out in the ball game.

Aside from this premise (man unhappy about life, gets a second chance and a tragic event in his past is changed for the better) sounding like it could be straight out of Quantum Leap, there are other similarities between this film and QL's final episode that make it seem like Don Bellisario could have been inspired to write it from this film.

For starters, it's Larry's birthday, and he enters a mysterious bar, The Universal Joint (Universal? ), which seems the equivalent of Al's Place. Mike is a bartender who is "not exactly" an angel, yet he is definitely no ordinary man, either, and has the power to "make a few adjustments" in peoples' lives. Sound familiar? Not only that, but his entire personality is very similar to Al's, having a laid-back attitude and coming across as a wise, yet ambiguous and mysterious person. He offers Larry the option of changing his life, just as Al offers Sam the option of changing Al's life for the better. Is he an angel, God Himself, or something entirely different? Once Larry gets a glimpse of his new life, old familiar faces (including his wife) now do not know him at all, just as the leapees didn't know Sam in "Mirror Image." At the end of the film, we're taken back to when Larry is a teenager again, and Mike is there in the audience to tell him that everything will work out just fine. Apparently Mike has been watching Larry at different points in his life, another similarity with Al.

Anyway, the more I think about it, the more it seems as if this movie could have been Don's inspiration to write "Mirror Image." What do you think?
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Old 08-03-2005, 07:18 AM   #2
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I have always enjoyed that movie, but I never delved that deep into it. Now that you mention all the QL connections to Mirror Image, I can't believe that I never noticed them before.
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Old 08-07-2005, 11:37 AM   #3
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I too am a fan of Mr. Destiny. I can't believe I've never noticed the similarities between it and Quantum Leap: Mirror Image. Next time I see the film, I shall be watching it with a re-newed interest.

Prehaps this could explain who "Al" is in Quantum Leap. Rather than being God or an Angel, he could be a manifestion of Sam's conscience. Makes sense, what you all think?
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Old 08-08-2005, 01:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggysego
I too am a fan of Mr. Destiny. I can't believe I've never noticed the similarities between it and Quantum Leap: Mirror Image. Next time I see the film, I shall be watching it with a re-newed interest.

Prehaps this could explain who "Al" is in Quantum Leap. Rather than being God or an Angel, he could be a manifestion of Sam's conscience. Makes sense, what you all think?
That is what I've always thought of Al the Bartender. Read my story The Impossible Dream. It's a kind of re-imagining (not Battlestar Galactica type of re-imagining -ICK!) of "Mirror Image". In my story, Sam has a serious accident and slips into a coma. During the coma, he basically dreams up "Mirror Image", the characters in the episode being parts of his conscience trying to tell him something.

Kat
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Old 09-28-2005, 07:19 PM   #5
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I happened to catch this movie again on cable and noticed yet another similarity with Quantum Leap. There's a brief scene where Mike appears using his "powers" to talk to Larry as his reflection in a mirror. Larry is tightening his tie when his reflection turns into Mike, and of course, it immediately reminded me of QL.
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Old 09-28-2005, 09:07 PM   #6
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"Mr. Destiny" always seemed to me as a "be careful what you wish for" type of movie, in that Larry is granted his wish to see what his life would've been like if only he hadn't struck out. Temporal mechanics calls this a temporal "junction point", because it acts like an intersection of roads. "The Butterfly Effect" takes this principle and amplifies it to graphic effect. "Mirror Image", on the other hand, is far more philosophical than either movie, surrounding Sam with familiar characters and two mysteries: why does he look like Sam and who exactly is this bartender, anyway? From beginning to end, Sam gets what he considers double-speak and evasion of his questions, while trying once again to make a difference, albeit in a situation that has obviously happened before (a temporal causality loop?) and with an unknown person who is obviously in cahoots with the bartender.
But in the end, he gets positive reinforcement as to what all his leaping about has done, and as such gets to hear something which most people can identify with, that he made a difference, but that he has a chance to go on making a difference.
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Old 09-28-2005, 09:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpt Jules
That is what I've always thought of Al the Bartender. Read my story The Impossible Dream. It's a kind of re-imagining (not Battlestar Galactica type of re-imagining -ICK!) of "Mirror Image". In my story, Sam has a serious accident and slips into a coma. During the coma, he basically dreams up "Mirror Image", the characters in the episode being parts of his conscience trying to tell him something.

Kat
Kat;
You don't like the new BSG? It certainly is not the original series, and sometimes (like last week) I wish they weren't so graphic. The story is good enough to avoid "working blue".
Dreams are a whole different study altogether. I could tell you stories about dreams, and what they sometimes can lead to, but it would bore everyone to tears. But than again, they can sometimes lead to you having your picture taken with a former astronaut.

Dave
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