Time travel reviews (#SFWApro)

AUSTIN POWERS: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999) was the second in the series, wherein Dr. Evil (Mike Myers) sends himself back in time to steal super-spy Austin Powers sexual potency, thereby giving birth to his son Seth Green and leaving Austin unable to satisfy superspy Felicity Shagwell (Heather Graham). The kind of movie that satirizes just about everything, it’s very funny in spots but there are too many spots where I don’t find it funny at all. Time-travel wise, this has Michael York warning us not to take any paradoxes seriously and the usual time-travel malapropisms (“That’s from Jerry Maguire.”) “It’s remarkable how England in no way looks like Southern California.”
XMEN: Days of Future Past (2014) adapts the 1980s comics storyline in which the mutants try to avert Mystique from a killing that leads to a dystopian, Sentinel-ruled future where mutants are hunted like rats (the original is an example of inherent strength, as future history keeps coming back to some version of that timeline). This does a very good job and harmonizes the First Class setting with the original trilogy; I do wish, though, that they’d used the Silver Age model Sentinels at some point (I don’t think Trask’s initial models are that much cooler looking). With Jennifer Lawrence, Ian McKellan, Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman and other familiar faces. “Mutants provide us, for the first time in human history, with a common enemy.”
TIME TRAVELLER – The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2010) is a live-action quasi-sequel to The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (a very popular Japanese novel which has been adapted multiple times) focusing on the daughter (Riisa Naka, who also voiced the lead in the anime version) of the original protagonist. When her mom gets critically injured, she sends her daughter back to 1972 (only by mistake she lands in 1974) looking for the time traveler Mom once loved. I’m curious what the Japanese reaction to this was—as the story is much more familiar there, I suspect they’d have picked up on what’s going on much quicker than I did. I still found it charming though. “My memory might disappear but my heart will remember the promise.”
Tenchi Muyo was a popular 1990s anime based around the often-used theme of a totally ordinary boy who ends up with a beautiful harem of devoted girlfriends. TENCHI MUYO IN LOVE (1996) has Tenchi (who discovered in the series he descends from galactic royalty) fading away after a time-traveling enemy of the imperial house assassinates his mother in the past. The solution, of course, is for Tenchi and his women to head back and stop Kaine, which also gives Tenchi a chance to get to know his long-dead mother. I’m inclined to agree with The Anime Encyclopedia that squeezing in the entire series cast bogs this down, but as it moves to the climax and focuses more on Tenchi and his mother, it works a lot better. “Only one thing is standing between you and total oblivion.”

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Filed under Movies, Now and Then We Time Travel

3 responses to “Time travel reviews (#SFWApro)

  1. Pingback: Time Travel Saturday (#SFWApro) | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  2. Pingback: Fun stuff about indexing (#SFWApro) | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  3. Pingback: Not a great week for ET movies | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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