All-time Great Time Travel Movies

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All-time Great Time Travel Movies

Postby fueryIre » 03 May 2017, 08:43

Watching the Spierig brothers' over-looked Predestination the other night, began to think of just how many time travel movies there are. In the interests of widening the net a bit, suggest we each choose one well known title and one largely and unjustly forgotten (in the mists of time) one...

My personal fave would be Terry Gilliam's Twelve Monkeys. My neglected classic would be Nicholas Meyer's Time After Time (about David Warner's Jack the Ripper jumping through the ages closely pursued by Malcolm McDowell's HG Wells). Well wroth a look for those of you who've not seen it should it ever pop up on TV down your particular rip in the space-time continuum.
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Re: All-time Great Travel Movies

Postby Darkness_Fish » 03 May 2017, 08:55

I only came here to make a pun about all-time great travel or all great time-travel, and it turns out that the original topic is just as confused as me.

Still, I shall give it some thought. Bill and Ted...
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Re: All-time Great Travel Movies

Postby The Savage Young Gash » 03 May 2017, 09:41

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Re: All-time Great Travel Movies

Postby martha » 03 May 2017, 15:28

So time travel movies?
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Re: All-time Great Travel Movies

Postby Goat Boy » 03 May 2017, 15:30

Stating the blindingly obvious but Back To The Future is a joy
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Re: All-time Great Travel Movies

Postby martha » 03 May 2017, 16:38

12 Monkeys is okay, but Chris Marker's inspiration for it (La Jetée) is infinitely more beautiful and manages to do most of what makes 12 Monkeys interesting in only 28 minutes and without inflicting Bruce Willis or Brad Pitt on anyone. That would be my top pick.

One of my favorite time travel stories is Philip K Dick's “Paycheck,” which was disappointingly adapted by John Woo into an sub-par action movie in 2003 starring Ben Affleck. Had they stuck with the sci-fi premise instead of just making it an action movie, and had there been any chemistry between Uma Thurman and Affleck at all it might have been a great movie... I was so excited to see it and it was a bigger let down for me as a Philip K. Dick fan than Total Recall...

I love me some Groundhog Day, which is just an all-around great movie, so at first I thought that would be my pick, but upon reflection, after La Jetée, my favorite time travel flick so far is probably Donnie Darko, followed maybe by Terry Gilliam’s Time Bandits. Time Bandits is a hoot.

Donnie Darko hit my sweet spot with it's blend of time-travel, dark comedy, teen-movie pathos and fantasy. Unfortunately, it performed so poorly at the box office that it was initially seen as a flop. The poor performance was because it was badly mishandled by people with no faith in it commercially who failed to properly distribute and promote it.., although to be fair it narrowly avoided going straight to home video and might be lost to obscurity had it not been promoted by Drew Barrymore's production company which gave it a limited release. I was one of the lucky folks that managed to see it on it's original release, and I fell in love with it instantly. I saw it three times in one weekend...and it rose to the top of my favorite films list at that point... Since then of course it's developed a cult following with fans like myself and done well on DVD...the theatrical release did very well overseas in Britain, so the DVD sales and British BO numbers led to someone trying to make a buck off of it by financing a "director's cut", which in my opinion, sucked the greatness from the orginal and spat out a regurgitated turd...but de gustabus, some people like turds apparently. See the original (with the Echo and the Bunnymen Killing Moon intro) if you can. Arrow just released a nice 4 disc remaster box set with 4K and SD versions of both releases. Worth the $30 bucks or so they are currently charging on Amazon IMHO.

Runner's up after Donnie Darko, Groundhog Day and Time Bandits would be the wonderful anime The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, the somewhat dated Time After Time in which Jack the Ripper visits 1970's San Francisco and is chased by H.G. Wells who amusingly orders himself "a Big Mac, fries and a cup of tea" at McDonalds....and Somewhere in Time (1980), a truly under-rated romance in which the time travel elements are poorly explained but the film gets everything else just right.

Also on my list of loved time travel flicks are The Terminator movies, 12 Monkeys, Les Visiteur, Flight of the Navigator, the Back to the Future series and Brigadoon, Guilty pleasures are Bill and Ted, Hot Tub Time Machine, Final Countdown, The Last Mimzy, Peggy Sue Got Married, 13 Going on 30, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home , Freejack and the somewhat cheesy, but classic,1960 version of the Time Machine.

I've yet to see Primer (2004), Looper (2012), Midnight In Paris (2011), About Time (2013), Predestination (2015) and Safety Not Guaranteed (2012) all of which feature time-travel as a plot premise. I'd love to read comments and reviews on them from anyone here on the boards who has seen them.
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Re: All-time Great Travel Movies

Postby pcqgod » 03 May 2017, 20:02

fueryIre wrote:suggest we each choose one well known title and one largely and unjustly forgotten (in the mists of time) one...


For a well-known one, I would pick 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' (2014). It should be noted that the original 'Terminator' pretty much ripped off, from the original 1981 comic book story it's based upon, the premise of a person going back in time to prevent the arrival of a dark, apocalyptic world where killer robots ruled the world. Plus, the movie is highly entertaining in its own right and one of the best superhero movies in recent memory.

For a lesser known one, 'Je T'aime, Je T'aime' (1968), by director Alain Resnais. I wrote a review several months back here, but basically it involves a suicidal man who, as a result of a time-travel experiment, goes back and relives brief segments of his life in non-chronological order, eventually revealing to the viewer what drove him to suicide.

A couple of the better ones I've watched recently are 'Looper' and 'Source Code.'

There are many more I could mention, but '12 Monkeys' is my favorite, and the 1960 'The Time Machine' is an absolute classic in terms of effects and art direction, plus it's a fairly clever adaptation of the H. G. Wells story, incorporating nuclear-disaster fears into the story, even if it isn't as dark as the original novel.

The best time-travel story involving someone changing history is, of course, "The City on the Edge of Forever" episode of Star Trek.
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Re: All-time Great Travel Movies

Postby Snarfyguy » 03 May 2017, 22:17

martha wrote:I've yet to see Primer (2004)... and Safety Not Guaranteed (2012) all of which feature time-travel as a plot premise. I'd love to read comments and reviews on them from anyone here on the boards who has seen them.

Primer is great, one of my all-time favorite movies, even though its invitation to ponder its internal logical consistency may lead you to conclude that its more of a head-scratcher than you'd bargained for - or maybe not! There are nerds out there who have sketched out such elaborately recursive timelines based on it that you'd be concerned for their well-being if they weren't totally anonymous strangers on the internet. In any event, I'm not at all convinced that it ultimately makes sense, but it's so well done I just don't care.

It was made for something like $5,000 all in, and doesn't look anything like what we think of as a "low-budget" movie. I just love it.

Safety Not Guaranteed is really sweet and charming and I bet you'd like it a lot, martha. I know I did. Kind of like on a Brother from Another Planet tip.

Not strictly speaking time travel, but in the same neighborhood, the film adaptation of Ursula K. Le Guin's The Lathe of Heaven is very enjoyable.

Has anyone seen the adaptation of The Girl, the Gold Watch & Everything? I quite liked the John D. MacDonald novel.

pcqgod wrote:The best time-travel story involving someone changing history is, of course, "The City on the Edge of Forever" episode of Star Trek.

I'd nominate "A Sound of Thunder," by Ray Bradbury.
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Re: All-time Great Travel Movies

Postby pcqgod » 03 May 2017, 22:54

Snarfyguy wrote:
pcqgod wrote:The best time-travel story involving someone changing history is, of course, "The City on the Edge of Forever" episode of Star Trek.

I'd nominate "A Sound of Thunder," by Ray Bradbury.


Well sure, if we're bringing literature into this discussion. The movie adaptation was risible, however.
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Re: All-time Great Travel Movies

Postby Snarfyguy » 03 May 2017, 23:01

pcqgod wrote:
Snarfyguy wrote:
pcqgod wrote:The best time-travel story involving someone changing history is, of course, "The City on the Edge of Forever" episode of Star Trek.

I'd nominate "A Sound of Thunder," by Ray Bradbury.


Well sure, if we're bringing literature into this discussion. The movie adaptation was risible, however.

Didn't know there was one - will avoid. Sorry, you said "story" so my mind hopped to... stories!
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Re: All-time Great Travel Movies

Postby The Write Profile » 04 May 2017, 00:20

martha wrote:Donnie Darko hit my sweet spot with it's blend of time-travel, dark comedy, teen-movie pathos and fantasy. Unfortunately, it performed so poorly at the box office that it was initially seen as a flop. The poor performance was because it was badly mishandled by people with no faith in it commercially who failed to properly distribute and promote it.., although to be fair it narrowly avoided going straight to home video and might be lost to obscurity had it not been promoted by Drew Barrymore's production company which gave it a limited release. I was one of the lucky folks that managed to see it on it's original release, and I fell in love with it instantly. I saw it three times in one weekend...and it rose to the top of my favorite films list at that point... Since then of course it's developed a cult following with fans like myself and done well on DVD...the theatrical release did very well overseas in Britain, so the DVD sales and British BO numbers led to someone trying to make a buck off of it by financing a "director's cut", which in my opinion, sucked the greatness from the orginal and spat out a regurgitated turd...but de gustabus, some people like turds apparently. See the original (with the Echo and the Bunnymen Killing Moon intro) if you can. Arrow just released a nice 4 disc remaster box set with 4K and SD versions of both releases. Worth the $30 bucks or so they are currently charging on Amazon IMHO.


When I first saw Donnie Darko, I was most taken by its portrayal of mental illness in a way that was sympathetic to all involved (and the people playing Donnie's parents was crucial to this). You got a real sense of the emotional toll it was taking on everyone, but also the strong family bond (helped of course by the fact that Maggie Gyllenhall and Jake Gyllenhall had actual sibling chemistry). If anything the time travel aspects worked in the original cut because they were so oblique. There's a couple of scenes with Donnie's father that are so moving for what they leave unsaid. In its original version, it's a very human film.In the director's cut, they try to "explain" them, and that's where it falls down. We're drawn to the film because of how the characters interact with one another, not because of its "accurate" depiction of time travelling.
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Re: All-time Great Travel Movies

Postby fueryIre » 04 May 2017, 07:59

Darkness_Fish wrote:I only came here to make a pun about all-time great travel or all great time-travel, and it turns out that the original topic is just as confused as me.

Still, I shall give it some thought. Bill and Ted...


Doh!

My brain must have been scrambled by too many jumps though the millennia...
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Re: All-time Great Travel Movies

Postby fueryIre » 04 May 2017, 08:02

pcqgod wrote:
The best time-travel story involving someone changing history is, of course, "The City on the Edge of Forever" episode of Star Trek.




Saw that on SyFy or some other channel only last week and almost certainly influenced my posting of the thread.

If not the very best then at least my personal favourite Star Trek ep ever. Pretty sure I'm correct on saying it was the only one ever written by the mighty Harlan Ellison after much rowing with Gene Roddenberry over budgets.
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Re: All-time Great Travel Movies

Postby pcqgod » 05 May 2017, 16:17

fueryIre wrote:
pcqgod wrote:
The best time-travel story involving someone changing history is, of course, "The City on the Edge of Forever" episode of Star Trek.




Saw that on SyFy or some other channel only last week and almost certainly influenced my posting of the thread.

If not the very best then at least my personal favourite Star Trek ep ever. Pretty sure I'm correct on saying it was the only one ever written by the mighty Harlan Ellison after much rowing with Gene Roddenberry over budgets.



I read somewhere that Ellison wasn't happy with the changes they made to his story, which probably explains why it was his one and only Trek writing credit.
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Re: All-time Great Time Travel Movies

Postby Loki » 08 May 2017, 06:30

fueryIre wrote:My neglected classic would be Nicholas Meyer's Time After Time (about David Warner's Jack the Ripper jumping through the ages closely pursued by Malcolm McDowell's HG Wells).


Always loved this one - it's quite well-done, and McDowell's comedic bits are priceless. It really bugs me tho how Steenburgen's character takes a sleeping pill instead of going straight to the hotel. DUH!

McDowell and Steenburgen fell in love during the filming.




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Re: All-time Great Time Travel Movies

Postby Loki » 08 May 2017, 06:33

HOHHH, a remake! A series.....


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Re: All-time Great Time Travel Movies

Postby fueryIre » 08 May 2017, 08:26

Loki wrote:HOHHH, a remake! A series.....




A cancellation after just five shows...
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Re: All-time Great Time Travel Movies

Postby Darkness_Fish » 12 May 2017, 09:29

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Not by any means a great film, but I like the low-key cheap sitcom air about it all. Beats big glossy shit with CGI crapping everywhere and pretending to be all philosophical and stuff.
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Re: All-time Great Time Travel Movies

Postby pcqgod » 15 May 2017, 20:09

I watched 'Predestination' over the weekend. It's the ultimate time-travel paradox movie. Based on the story "All You Zombies" by R. Heinlein.
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Re: All-time Great Time Travel Movies

Postby Neige » 16 May 2017, 09:01

Loki wrote:
fueryIre wrote:My neglected classic would be Nicholas Meyer's Time After Time (about David Warner's Jack the Ripper jumping through the ages closely pursued by Malcolm McDowell's HG Wells).


Always loved this one - it's quite well-done, and McDowell's comedic bits are priceless. It really bugs me tho how Steenburgen's character takes a sleeping pill instead of going straight to the hotel. DUH!

McDowell and Steenburgen fell in love during the filming.


Ah, I didn't know that... I had a huge crush on Mary Steenburgen at the time.

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Other than that, I'm a big fan of Time Bandits too.
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