Because I’m posting my time-travel reviews tonight and doing my week’s progress report tomorrow! OMG, game changer!
Unfortunately, well below my usual number of films, and most of them dreadful.
100 MILLION BC (2008) was an Asylum mockbuster in which goverment scientist Michael Gross uses repurposed Philadelphia Experiment tech to send a search/rescue team after a previous military expedition lost in Southern California—er, the Cretaceous, but when you see the film it’s an easy to make the mistake. Better than usual for asylum, but the dinosaurs are more like super-saurians given how unkillable and powerful they are. Greg Evigan plays a military officer.“People assume that because dinosaurs have small brains they aren’t intelligent—that isn’t true.”
I often find that movie synopses list immortality films as time-travel stories. Case in point, THROG (2004), in which the eponymous medieval dimwit becomes an immortal godly champion and blunders through endless stupid and unfunny adventures on the way to the present. I think this is actually the worst movie I’ve watched to date for the time-travel book, which is saying a lot (if I run into a worse one, God help me). “Start over—because the old you isn’t worth the trouble.”
A KID IN ALADDIN’S PALACE (1998) is nowhere near as bad, but it is fairly familiar in having an insecure teen (the survivor of a time jump to Arthurian England in a previous movie I haven’t seen yet) gets sent back to the Arabian Nights to save Aladdin from his treacherous brother and to fall for Sheherezade (Rhona Mitra). From my perspective, the most interesting detail is that the princess finds her way to the present, rather than the usual cliche of “Oh, I met her exact double, I’ll just fall in love with her!” Otherwise unremarkable. “New rule: don’t take jewelry off a dead guy.”
I cannot for the life of me see why anyone finds those annoying, nattering characters in MST3K funny, so I was most irked their version of TERROR FROM THE YEAR 5000 (1958) was the only one easily available. I can see why I confused this with The Astounding She-Monster as both have a radioactive woman wreaking havoc without meaning to. This is definitely the superior movie, which is not to say it’s a great movie, as it spends way too much time on dull drama and talk about the Big Time-Travel Experiment. It also has an ending that feels more like a cop-out than anything. Still there are nice touches, such as the future people believing the present lingua fraca is Greek because one of the items the scientists send into the future is a phi beta kappa key. So it deserves better than MST3K send-ups, but then, pretty much everything does. “That’s what I said—it tells you how old things are.”
LEGEND OF THE MILLENIUM DRAGON (2011) has a time-traveling Japanese noble transport a tween boy back to the Heian era where the kids ancestral ability to control the eponymous kaijin can deliver victory over the Oni. However the boy is thrown for a loop when he discovers the oni (here humans wearing monster masks) are as much sinned against than sinning and that even the origin of his powers is in dispute (“It’s not because you have noble blood you can command Oroshi, it’s that you descend from our clan!”). Familiar but nicely done, and points for acknowledging that the narrators in time-travel tales may be unreliable. “I thought you’d dodge.”