More time-travel stuff (#SFWApro)

Continuing with my book …
In HOT TUB TIME MACHINE (2010), John Cusack reunites with two long-lost buddies to relive their big 1980s ski vacation when a freak hot-tub accident (if the Connecticut Yankee can travel in time via a blow on the head, why not?) plunges them back into their 1980 selves (but just like Quantum Leap, they look the same to us). Possibly mystical repairman Chevy Chase warns them against screw up their timelines, but of course, it’s so tempting to tinker with stuff … This do-over movie isn’t bad in concept, but a mediocre Hangover-knockoff in execution. And in the endbit, I’m surprised Cusack’s nerdy nephew didn’t have bigger changes to his life after all this. “I write STARGATE fan fiction so I think I know what I’m talking about.”
MINUTEMEN (2008) is a Disney Channel movie in which a trio of high school outcasts start using a time machine they invented to protect their fellow dorks from social embarrassment, for example, thwarting humiliating pranks by bullies. The time-travel elements aren’t bad, but the stock high-school plots and relationships (the main protagonist’s big decision is whether to stick with his friends or use time travel to hang with the cool kids) and the movie’s ending seems to imply there are now two sets of the heroes running around school. “I know how much you like pistachio nuts but in the rush to get over here, I picked up pasta shells.”
THE GIRL WHO LEAPT THROUGH TIME (2006) is a charming do-over anime in which a high school student discovers she can literally time-jump (physical leaping is key to the process) and uses her new ability for such luxuries as sleeping late without missing class or changing the day so her platonic male friend can’t ask her out. I don’t think the ending entirely works, though: A time traveler promises to wait for the protagonist to reach his future by the normal methods, but since it’s strongly implied his world results from an apocalypse, that doesn’t seem very comforting. Still, a very good one overall. “If you want to borrow my bike it’ll cost you 5,000 yen!”

The second season of CONTINUUM was a vast improvement over the first as Kiera and Liber8 find their war complicated by other time-travel agendas. We have Escher, a mysterious businessman seeking to invest in companies he knows will pay off big; the Freelancers, who don’t like anyone but themselves messing up the time stream; Theseus, who will become a future terrorist leader; and Jasmine, a Liber8 member who turns out to have a special mission of her own. I still think they could do more on the difference between Kiera’s era’s view of legal procedure and the present, and when convenient they forget first-season speculation that whatever they’re doing is already part of the future history. Still, I find I’m looking forward to this year’s Season Three (it should be Netflixable before the book is done). “Time travel’s not just a technological marvel—it’s a family business.”


Filed under Movies, Now and Then We Time Travel, TV

11 responses to “More time-travel stuff (#SFWApro)

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