More time travel movies than I expected (#SFWApro)

Part of wrapping up the book will be going through my lists and seeing if I missed anything. For now, here’s a few—

THE MAN WHO COULD WORK MIRACLES (1937) adapts H.G. Wells story to show bored deities giving Roland Young reality-altering powers, only for him to find himself frustrated by free will (“I can’t get into people’s minds.”) and that no matter how he plans to improve the world, the defenders of the status quo see all kinds of problems (making me suggest a double-bill with Alec Guinness’s The Man in the White Suit in which change faces similar resistance), which makes Young all the more determined to shape the world to suit himself (“It’s going to be full of pretty women.”). Qualifies for the appendix based on the ending twist; fun, though Young’s willingness to try hypnotizing women to fall for him is more problematic than it used to be (though I’m not sure it’s worse than some of his other off-hand actions). All rights to poster image with current holder. “I’ve got my weaknesses, but I’d sooner poison a baby than tamper with whiskey!”

The_Man_Who_Could_Work_Miracles_film_poster-1

As PRIMER (2004) has a certain cult following, I decided to rewatch and see if I liked it better than the first time (no) and to see if I’d missed any details in the complicated plot (no again). As when I first saw it, it strikes me as found-footage style without the footage—key scenes and backstory get omitted, lots of mundane, seemingly dull conversations give it a cinema verite quality, but I find it more distracting than entertaining. And there are aspects of the time-jumping I don’t think make much sense—would knowing what someone’s going to say three seconds ahead of them saying it really be such a crucial advantage?  “I can sleep at night if there’s only one more.”

ME MYSELF I (2000) is an Aussie comedy in the Family Man vein whereinsingle professional Rachel Griffiths enters the What If world where she accepted her old boyfriend’s proposal and is now married with three obnoxious kids. While this has the usual single-shaming so many of this sub-subgenre do (unlike Cage, who clearly loves his single life, they assume an unattached woman, however professional, must be miserable), I give it points for showing that the alt.life is flawed even without comparing it to Griffiths own (both partners having cheated, for instance). “My name is Pamela—you are allowed to call me Mum.”

TIME FLIES (1944) is a British farce in which hustler Tommy Henley convinces his friends to invest in Felix Aylmer’s time machine, which inevitably takes an impromptu trip to Elizabethan England where Aylmer winds up in the Tower (“He predicted the queen would die in 1602 and be replaced by a Scotsman!”), Henley borrows a cloak from Sir Walter Raleigh (“I dub you Sir Thomas.”) and a showgirl gets to meet Shakespeare. Nothing memorable. “Another perfect line—wait, that isn’t one of Francis Bacon’s, is it?”

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Filed under Movies, Now and Then We Time Travel

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