Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bob Ghengis Khan

Boy, Tampa looks scary dominant. They're eating the Red Sox alive in this series after looking in over their heads in Game 1.

A List: The 10 Best Films (or Film Series) About Time Travel

10. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

Needs to be included for the sake of being so bad it's barely watchable. On the other hand, it should be noted that this is the only Star Trek film that is practically a comedy, which almost makes it good in light of the fact that the original Star Trek cast seems much more comfortable parodying their characters than they do playing them straight.

9. The Flight of the Navigator

Good stuff all around here. Of course, viewed through the filter of our sense of irony, Paul Ruebens' voicing the space ship is ridiculous, but Pee Wee was still a few months away when this movie was released. Also, the use of Bulgarian as an alien language is sure to offend someone, so it's got that going for it. Bottom line, you could show this to a kid today and most of them would still love this.

8. The Indian in the Cupboard

Better than advertised. One of the most inventive uses of time travel, and a faithful recreation of the book. Features an early appearance in the career of Steve Coogan, and Frank Oz, who rarely does something crappy (not to be confused with unpopular) directs.

7. Time Bandits

I'm sure a lot of people would like me to rank this higher, but aside from its wicked sense of humor and fantastic casting, this is a pretty sloppy movie, and it's time travel logic is virtually non-existent, and remains inconsistent with it's view of dwarves. Terry Gilliam will direct a time travel film that eventually ranks much higher on the list.

6. Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure and Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey.

The first one is more about time travel than the second one, but the second one's time travel is crucial to the plot, even if it's gimmick is a recycle from the original that comes across paler than the actor who played Death. Probably the funniest of the time travel movies, I can only hope to be so on top of my game when I introduce historical figures to my best friend's hot stepmom.

5. Frequency

Jim Caveziel and Dennis Quaid really sell this movie, along with director Gregory Hoblit's attention to creating a richly detailed 1969 in Queens, the year the Mets won their first World Series. The plausible details along with the evocation of popular culture makes this film a standout. Also, good song for the closing credits.

4. Army of Darkness

When your film franchise is already pretty awesome, the only way you can make it more awesome is transport your hero into the middle ages. Raimi and Campbell get the most out of the "fish out of water" situation and in the process redefine hero to the nerdcore culture.

3. Back to the Future I, II, and III

What really gets me about Back to the Future is how involved Robert Zemickis and Bob Gale are in answering all of the questions that fans pose in the face of the films' apparent plotholes, only to prove in the process that there are, in fact, none. Count me among those who think that when something becomes popular, it's because somebody did something right. Back to the Future is a combination of many of the right elements coming together all at once.

2. Twelve Monkeys

It's hard to watch sometimes, but I can't get over how SMART this movie is, and how good Terry Gilliam is at creating an atmosphere that makes film's closing paradox feel like the perfect ending. Also, Brad Pitt demonstrates for the first time that he can act. It's a shame he's been compelled to be more showy in an effort to recapture some of that glory. Bonus points to him for doing The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which may eventually find it's way onto this list.

1. Groundhog Day

This one is so good it would probably make my list of ten best movies, period. Murray and Ramis get explore the truth of human nature while making us laugh. Even Andie McDowell can't spoil this one for me, and she ruined Galipoli without even being in it. Fantastic, fantastic movie, and maybe the most unique use of time travel.

In the time it's taken me to write this, Boston has saved a little face. But not much. Current prediction: Rays in 6, Phillies in 5; then Rays in 6 for the WS.

All for now.


Jack Tomas said...

Bill and Ted belong WAY higher.
This movie is one of the few perfect works of art in film history.

Red Delicious said...

I don't know, Don Tomas. I put a lot of thought into this list, and I couldn't justify putting it above #5. Remember, too, that I'm not ranking these movies in terms of how the movies rate as art, but in terms of how good they are at being about Time Travel. In addition, since I had to lump Bogus Journey in with Excellent Adventure, the original has to suffer somewhat.