Movies and TV, some time travel, some not (#SFWApro)

KUNG FURY (2015) is a short Swedish parody in which a 1980s style super-cop (think Chuck Norris starring in Miami Vice) discovers time-traveling martial artist Hitler attempting to kill him, so he goes back in time to assassinate the “Kung Fuehrer.” Not bad, though only for the appendix. “Before I could pull the trigger, I was hit by lightning and bitten by a cobra.”

paddington_at_largePADDINGTON (2015) is the story of Michael Bond’s (all rights to cover with current holder) bear from Darkest Peru who arrives in London and settles in with the dysfunctional family of Hugh Bonneville until he can find a real home, unaware he’s become the target of Taxidermist of Doom Nicole Kidman. This adaptation uses a lot of familiar tropes but ends up being entirely charming, which is better than I expect for adaptations of my childhood favorites. With Imelda Staunton as Paddington’s aunt, Jim Broadbent as a disapproving geographer (“This expedition will be stricken from the record!”), Michael Gambon as an eccentric uncle and Peter Capaldi as a bear-hating neighbor. “I’m giving you a hard stare—my aunt taught me how to do it when people forget their manners.”

EARTHFASTS (1994) was a British five-part miniseries based on William Mayne’s same-name book: two Yorkshire boys exploring a local stone circle discover a drummer from the 1700s army walking out of the side of the hill. After he returns, they discover his passage through time has woken things up, including King Arthur—can they restore things to normal? Like Weirdstone of Brisingamen, very steeped in British lore.  “You’ve been 200 years walking.”

POWER RANGERS TIME FORCE (2001) is the only iteration of that venerable kidvid institution I’ve ever watched (I doubt that will change): after a mutant from the 30th century kills a member of the Time Force then travels back to the 21st century, the victim’s comrades head in pursuit, recruiting a present-day teen to fill out their roster. The big finish to the series was quite effective, but there were a whole lot of loopholes along the way—questions such as whether the Time Force are tampering too much with history get raised, then vanish, for instance. “Your heart is as black and filled with hate as your father’s!”

On the other hand, TERRA NOVA (2011) was intended for Serious Adults and a lot more boring with its tale of polluted 2149 establishing a colony 35 million years earlier in time (a concept that’s cropped up in print SF in May’s Pleistocene Exile series and Simak’s Mastodonia). The big problems here are a lot of “bottle shows” (plots that you can just pour out of a bottle, like a new predator suddenly attacking the colony) and that the characters are dreadfully bland. The core family are so generically whitebread they might have been the Cleavers, and Stephen Lang as the Terra Nova commander can’t convey any emotion beyond steely-eyed. “I’d beat it out of you, but I’m afraid you might like that … dear brother.”

And two anime for the appendix (I only watched the first episode of each): SAMURAI GIRLS gets in because it’s set in an alternate history where the shogunate never fell (but has no time-travel element beyond that) and C is a Pokemon-style monster-battling story in which the battles can alter people’s history (or so I gather—there’s only a couple of episodes available online). Neither one will be missed—Samurai Girls is particularly sexploitative. “I hate to interrupt such a rousing soliloquy but it’s time to go.”


1 Comment

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

One response to “Movies and TV, some time travel, some not (#SFWApro)

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

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