Love across time, time warriors and other time-travel films (and TV) (#SFWApro)

Jennie_LoganTHE TWO WORLDS OF JENNIE LOGAN (1979) was one I watched years ago for Cyborgs, Santa Claus and Satan; rewatching, it strikes me as a variation of the time traveler meeting the Exact Double of his/her lost love. In this case, time-traveling Lindsay Wagner (all rights to image to current holder) turns out to be the exact doppelganger of 1890s artist Marc Singer’s dead wife—though illogically, even her father and sister don’t notice the similarity. The romance and Wagner’s struggle to change Singer’s tragic fate are OK, but like For All Time, it’s heavy on nostalgia for the 19th century. And given Wagner’s present-day husband is clearly no competition for Singer, the amount of time spent on them struggling to save their marriage seems pointless. “I feel warmed by him.”

TIMESCAPE (1992) is another I watched for that earlier movie book (when it was titled Disasters in Time) and rewatching confirms it’s very good. A loose adaptation of CL Moore’s Vintage Season, it has Jeff Daniels slowly coming to realize that the peculiar tour group holing up at his inn to watch “the spectacle” is actually composed of travelers from a dreary future traveling back to witness the great disasters of history. Which is obviously bad news for everyone Daniels cares about … nicely done. “You’re dead because you don’t feel. You’re dead because you’re so goddamned bored with your own world, you’ve got to come to ours to be disaster groupies.”

FOUND IN TIME (2012) is one of those movies where “ambiguity” seems to a euphemism for complete incoherence. Assuming that the protagonist isn’t completely nuts, however, this does qualify for the book as it involves people with a distorted time sense actually being able to sense the future and in a couple of cases change time, although that still doesn’t explain the Mysterious Figure who gives out cryptic advice. Nowhere near as clever as it probably thinks. “I want you to experience life the way well people do.”

LOVE & TELEPORTATION (2013) has a Mad Scientist struggling to perfect his defective teleporter despite the joint distractions of his loan-shark backer wanting the money ASAP and a Pretty Art Teacher finding him inexplicably fascinating (the writers know the lines, but the actors can’t generate the chemistry). An ending twist (which unsurprisingly I saw coming) turns this into a time-travel film—blandly watchable but not very interesting. “These are the best oatmeal cookies in the universe.”

JOSH KIRBY … TIME WARRIOR (1995) was a six-issue direct-to-video series from Full Moon Entertainment (the same studio that brought us Trancers) in which the protagonist is dragged out of his present-day home and into a quest to stop a villain from the future from assembling the parts of a super-weapon that can wipe out all time and space. This is above average for Full Moon’s kidvid though not above the level of a good Saturday morning live-action show. I watched Planet of the Dino-Knights, The Human Pets, Trapped in Toyland (which was quite amusing) and the closer The Final Battle for the Universe (it’s coincidence I missed parts four and five, but I can probably get by without them at this point). However the ending, like Forbidden Kingdom, suffers from Josh forgetting about his girlfriend’s heroic sacrifice as soon as he meets her Exact Lookalike.  “I appreciate the need to save the world, but I think I’m in over my head.”

Turning to TV we have ALCATRAZ, a short-lived 2012 series in which we learn the real reason the feds closed Alcatraz Prison is that everyone there vanished overnight in 1963. Now the most dangerous criminal of the 20th century are back, unaged, having traveled through time to the 21st; can a government team headed by Sam Neill figure out why this is happening and stop a new crime wave? The fatal flaw for me was that the hoods aren’t very interesting, nor do they seem any deadlier than the guys on all the other cop shows. So I’m not surprised this ended before we learned the hidden agenda behind it. “We can’t get in without the third key.”

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2 Comments

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

2 responses to “Love across time, time warriors and other time-travel films (and TV) (#SFWApro)

  1. Pingback: Some good time-travel films this week, but only some (#SFWApro) | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  2. Pingback: And now fiction (#SFWApro) | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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