The only time travel film I got to this week was (shudder) MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE (1987)—I’ve watched it before for the book, but I must have given up in despair too soon, as I missed the last minute bit of time travel at the end. So this qualifies for the appendix, but lord, it’s dreadful.
THE DRAGON PEARL (2011) is a standard kidvid in which the tween protagonists must recover a magic McGuffin that will allow the Last Chinese Dragon to return home. I thought this might involve an actual time trip, but no.
BURN AFTER READING (2008) is the Coen Brothers’ black comedy in which CIA analyst Jon Malkovich’s decision to quit and write his memoirs has disastrous fall-out for faithless wife Tilda Swinton, her lover George Clooney, and health-club staffers Brad Pitts and Frances McDormand. With very little tinkering, this could be another noir from the Coens, but as is, extremely funny. Nice to have time to watch their films again. “Hollywood would laugh at me—I have very limited breasts.”
PAL JOEY (1957) adapts the John O’Hara/Rodgers and Hart stage musical that gave Gene Kelly his big break. Frank Sinatra takes over the role of Joey here, a weaselly womanizer who discovers becoming kept man to widow Rita Hayworth guarantees him financing for his own night club, if only he can get past his feelings for showgirl Kim Novak. Sinatra is terrific here, Hayworth is good and there are lots of Rodgers and Hart classics (“My Funny Valentine” and “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered” are probably the best known); Novak, however, is way too bland to be serious competition. While this keeps Joey’s unscrupulous side it unsurprisingly softens the cynical ending for a more conventional finish. Not a classic in my book but worth watching (all rights to poster with current holder). “When Joey told you to keep his clothes on, it was the greatest love scene in his career.”
Now, the TV—MAN DOG is a six-part BBC miniseries from British author Peter Dickinson in which three teens discover refugees from a dystopian future hiding out near their house to complete some kind of weapon—and of course, the future’s secret police are on their trail … unfortunately there’s only one episode available online and I can’t find much about the rest of the plot, or what role the title character (a dog with a human mind trapped inside it) plays. “The dog does not look as if he will change the world much.”
THE MR. PEABODY AND SHERMAN SHOW is a new Netflix show turning the Jay Ward characters into hosts of a cable talk show running in Mr. Peabody’s penthouse. The part of the show actually dealing with time travel in the old series style is fun, but the talk-show set up just doesn’t work for me. As it doesn’t seem to have any series arc (not that it needs one) I’ll just check the episode guide to see if there’s any after the first two I need to catch—otherwise I’ll just skip it. “For my first performance, I shall impersonate Ludwig von Butthoven!”
GOD’S GIFT—14 DAYS is another one I’m skipping: it’s good enough, but as it’s a Korean TV series, I can put it in the appendix. The premise is that after a serial killer murders a small child, the mother commits suicide and wakes up two weeks previous—can she find the killer in time?
The new TV series BLINDSPOT could turn out to be time-travel: Jamie Alexander (MCU Sif) is an amnesiac whose tattoos all seem to relate to significant, imminent crimes or terrorist action, but even she doesn’t know how or why. The show isn’t quite good enough to watch on its own merits—the premise by today’s standards isn’t that unusual (John Doe did something similar a few years back), and the cast aren’t terribly interesting besides Alexander—so I’m just going to check the “Previously” clips at the beginning of each episode and if I discover this is indeed time-travel, I’ll resume watching. Otherwise, no.