Friday, December 29, 2006
I admit it, I'm kind of bizarre. What I like to read and what I like to watch are often two different things. Why? I have no idea. It may be simply because no one has made any of my favorite books into a movie good enough to change my mind. I don't know. One thing I find more fascinating in film than books is time travel. I ran across a list on the website Sci-fi Signal of what readers declared are the best movies about time travel. They are as follows Time After Time Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home Back To The Future Trilogy The Time Machine 12 Monkeys Planet Of The Apes Army Of Darkness The Final Countdown Bill + Ted's Excellent Adventure Somewhere In Time I have actually seen most of these, though I don't know if I would rank them exactly in this order. But that's not really the point. I guess to me the point is that time travel is such a fantastic idea. What would any of us do if we could travel in time? Would we be the selfish type and simply look for way to profit individually? Or do you fancy that you would be the type who would try to do something for the greater good? Or do you believe that trying to alter history would likely do more harm than good? All interesting things to think about. And have we ever really seen a movie (or read a book) that addresses the issue as well as we'd like? I remember reading Piers Anthony's book from the Incarnations of Immortality series. This is a whole book devoted to the idea of time as something that is managed and can be changed, but I always felt the book fell short. But I often feel that Anthony has a tendency to ramble in his books. What about the movies listed above? I must admit, Time After Time is a personal favorite. It combines the idea of time travel with the horror of Jack the Ripper set loose in the modern world. Add Malcolm McDowell to the list and I'm a happy movie-goer. And Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home is my favorite of the whole series. I don't know if this is because of the time travel element or simply because it was the best one. But I liked the way they tied together how what we do today affects the world tomorrow. A simple concept that they did very well IMO. But I must admit, I am not a fan of Twelve Monkeys. I haven't watched it in awhile, but it didn't do much for me when I watched it. Maybe I'm just not a fan of Brad Pitt in his manic mode. I also enjoyed the lighthearted fare of the Back to the Future series (though the second one kind of stunk) and Bill + Ted. After all, it is kind of fun to watch Keanu Reeves when he still had more than one facial expression. So what do the rest of you look for in a time traveling movie? Is there one out there that you have liked in the past? Or are you still waiting for a decent one to come along? Have you ever read a book on the subject that did it any justice? (H.G. Wells perhaps?) What kind of time travel story would you write?