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

THE LITTLE GIRL WHO CONQUERED TIME (1983) is an earlier adaptation of the same work that became The Girl Who Leapt Through Time a couple of decades later. This low-key novel is closer to the source material, as the protagonist, on discovering her powers, never does much with them (being able to time-jump makes her feel like a freak); unfortunately it’s also very slow-paced and incident-free, so ultimately too dull for me. It also has a downbeat ending, with Kazuko losing any chance of romance in her life. Happy to discover it in English on YouTube nonetheless. “When one discovers a love that transcends reality, is that wonderful or not?”

THE PREACHER’S WIFE (1996) is a remake of The Bishop’s Wife starring Denzel Washington in the Cary Grant role of an angel who comes down to Earth to help a troubled preacher (Courtney B. Vance) and finds himself falling for his wife (Whitney Houston) instead. I think the main reason this didn’t work for me was that in the original, Bishop David Niven was morally compromised (obsessed with building a cathedral as an act of ego rather than faith) where Vance is just the typical family-movie husband who’s let himself get too obsessed with work to remember his family. Houston isn’t as charming as Loretta Young in the original, and there’s (unsurprisingly, I admit) too much screen time devoted to singing scenes. Washington is a real winner in his role, but it’s not enough to make this work. “The Virgin Mary bailed!”

IT CAME FROM YESTERDAY (2010) naturally attracted my attention with the title, but it turns out the “yesterday” refers to the crime-fighting scientist hero’s personal past rather than a time-travel threat. Very much in the pulp mode of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow as the hero and his sidekicks battle an army of other-dimensional invaders. It has a clear idea of the kind of film it wants to be, but doesn’t quite make it—and the villain’s identity was obvious about 15 minutes in.  “Do you think that anything you did on that island was—good?”

For some arcane reason, Netflix doesn’t have most of Woody Allen’s 1990s output available, so as I don’t feel like buying them just now I jumped forward to HOLLYWOOD ENDING (2002) which stars Allen as a neurotic director whose chance at a comeback is threatened when stress turns him psychosomatically blind. Reluctantly, ex-wife Tea Leoni has to help him cover up his sightlessness until he finishes the picture, which also requires lying to her producer boyfriend Treat Williams. The script is a throwback to Allen’s older work, but it lacks the frantic energy the older stuff (and Allen himself) had, and never really caught fire for me. And even given the title telegraphs it, the happy ending is implausible—and while it’s a minor point, Allen’s punk-rocker son is like a parody left over from the early 1980s. Debra Messing plays a bimbo actress, George Hamilton is a stuffed shirt and Tiffany Thiessen is an actor hoping for a casting couch. “God may the day June 19th rot in hell for all eternity!”

strange-days-at-blake-holsey-high-first-season.29116STRANGE DAYS AT BLAKE HOLSEY HIGH (all rights to image with current holder) was an early 21st century kid’s show set at a school built on top of a former physics lab that included a buried black hole. This has a reality warping effect that can, for example, cause an insecure short student to shrink, or force a perfectionist to time loop until she can live with an imperfect day. The main arc concerned sinister scheming  around the accident that shut the lab down, and a mysterious levitating sphere (and a lot of time travel, hence my interest in this rather than similar series such as The Zach Files or Eerie Indiana). This was a fun show and while it does wrap up everything, cancellation made it a little rushed (the arch-villain only shows up right at the last minute). “It’s a personal computer that people can rest on their lap—it only weighs 50 pounds!”

HEROES REBORN was a sequel series to the original HEROES, wherein “Evos” are now out and accepted pretty much by humanity, until an apparent terrorist attack makes them pariahs. But it’s all part of a scheme by a mutie- er, evo-hating businesswoman that involves escaping an imminent apocalypse by time-travel. This was fun but I’m not surprised the network nixed continuing it: the continuity from the old show must have confused a lot of newbies (I might have kept Noah, as one of the most popular characters, and started fresh otherwise). “Look in the mirror—they’re you, they’re me, on our best night.”



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

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