I love movies. I’ve seen quite a few, and in the old days (before kids and a wife who hates my style/choice of films) I watched a number of action adventure films. Many have to do with the idea of time travel. There are some great films regarding this, blending fantastic effects, a good story line, and decent-enough acting. Unfortunately, there seem to be many, many more about the topic that totally suck beyond belief. I’m sure there are others that could be added to the list, but here are the worst ten that I’ve spent time and money watching:
10. Click: A depressing tale with Adam Sandler using his remote to zip himself along into the future. Sort of a ‘be careful what you wish for’ kind of a show.
9. Event Horizon: Thankfully I can’t remember much about this nightmare. Weird, scary and seemingly pointless. I didn’t like it. Set in space, a ship enters what seems to be hell. Somehow time travel is involved too. Weird scenes of piercings, injuries and worms.
8. Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey: And the first one was so good. How can you top Socrates, Billy the Kid and Beethoven? Death, and Satan? Weird choice, terrible show.
7. Black Knight: Martin Lawrence travels in time back to King Arthur’s domain. Enough said.
6. Kate and Leopold: Hugh Jackman a fellow from the 19th Century somehow ends up in modern day New York. It’s never explained how or why, just go with it. Of course they fall in love. I think the tag line is: “If they lived in the same century they’d be perfect for each other.” Oh Boy. I think a time machine would be useful if it could take us to those years when Meg Ryan was starring in films that some people actually wanted to see.
5. Freejack: (Taken from http://www.aetherco.com/timelinks/timevideo-thebiglist.html a big list of time travel movies)
Loosely based on the novel Immortality, Inc. by Robert Sheckley. Emilio Estevez’ racecar driver is transported from 1991 to November 23, 2009 because Anthony Hopkins’ rich guy needs the young “meat” to download his old mind into. Mick Jagger’s distracted performance only underscores the absurdity of the whole thing.
I remember seeing the ads and thinking, ‘this is going to be great!’ – It’s not.
4. TimeCop: I remember in my teens I took pride in the fact that I had seen all of the Jean-Claude Van Damme movies. He had some beauties: Lionheart, Double Impact, Bloodsport, Kickboxer. I had for some reason always missed TimeCop. Then I saw it, it sucks. My son Fischer actually saw about two minutes of the film, and he enjoyed the little bubble that appeared when time travellers warped. It did look OK. But the characters are stale, and Van Damme isn’t really the type of actor who deserves any dialogue.
3. The Time Machine: Apparently H.G. Wells’ novel is genius. The movie, not so much. The 19th century is actually pretty believable, but the hero (time-traveller) Guy Pierce must go back in time to alter something. He accidentally goes 800,000 years into the future. Whoops. Humans have evolved into two separate strands, the Eloi and the Morlocks. It’s dumb. Really dumb.
2. Timeline: The story is written by Michael Crichton one of my favourite authors. But his movies tend to be hit or miss. Jurassic Park, Sphere, Twister, 13th Warrior – great flicks. Congo = Disaster! Timeline has potential, but for some reason Paul Walker was hired as the lead role. First mistake. The book does a great job of describing a type of Xeroxing of people and delivering them to parallel universes. The movie must have blown the budget on Walker’s signing bonus, and transports the team to a B studio lot’s version of middle ages England. BRUTAL!
1. A Sound of Thunder: This movie is so absolutely terrible, it’s difficult to know where to begin. It stars Ben Kingsley and Ed Burns, and is based on a pretty good short (really short actually) story by Ray Bradbury. I’ve read the story online, and was pretty excited to see that they’d be doing a film of it.
The movie’s studio apparently went bankrupt during filming, and the set was damaged by heavy flooding, those however, are not good enough excuses to explain why the movie sucked this much. The effects are absolutely terrible. A troop of monkeysaurusus terrorizes the cities of the future and they look like something a student made for a bad art project.
The story itself has promise, time travellers are taking rich customers into the past to hunt dinosaurs seconds before they would have died of natural causes anyways. The rule is, don’t disturb anything in the past, because it will magnify and cause supreme doodoo in the present. Well, you guessed it, someone steps on a butterfly and all hell breaks loose. Only this hell is really lame, poorly filmed and miserabley acted. Ben Kingsley’s terrible lines are only upstaged by his ridiculous white wig. I heard Ed Burns trying to explain this one away in an interview once. He said something along the lines of, “Sometimes you just know it’s not going to work out and you can’t get out of it and you don’t know what to do.”
Well please, don’t ever do anything like that again…
There are some great time-travelling movies, sometime I’ll have to let you in on those too.