Apologies for lack of blogging lately, literally nothing happening in my life at the moment. I shall post something tomorrow but today is guest post day and I have a belter for you today…
We’re Gonna Go Back in Time! The Top 5 Time-travel Movies of… All Time!
Time travel is one of my favourite escapes—or thinking about it anyway. It's not so much that I'm smitten with Victorian England and wish I could travel back to that time and wear a top hat and monocle (though let's admit, who wouldn't want that?). It's more that I am obsessed with the idea of doing things over again: when I was trying to ask that gorgeous girl out and I used a disastrously cheesy pick-up line, instead of just trying to get to know her; when I cheated on that history exam; when I was late to that job interview.
I can roll out entire films of alternate endings for every situation I've been in, and sometimes spend more time doing that than planning my next move. And while the human race may not actually be able to travel through time (or should I say displace themselves along time-like curves?) we can content ourselves to imagine and produce expensive and sometimes thought-provoking movies about time travel.
What follows is a list of my favourite time travel movies. They're not all high art, and most definitely don't make sense, but they feed my addiction to second-chances and re-living the past.
5. The Butterfly Effect
It may not be the most refined on this list, it at least presents an interesting look at the implications of changing seemingly insignificant events in your past. Ashton Kutcher leads this film about a man trying to save the love of his life from dying by going back into the past to change some of the horrific things that happened to her. His actions in the past always have grim consequences in the future, my favorite of which being when he tries to stop a prank with fireworks as a teenager, he wakes up in the present as an amputee. Priceless.
4. Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure
Again, not classy, but certainly a fun, and frequently hilarious, though admittedly dim-witted, romp through history with two lovable valley dudes as guides. After seeing this movie, I stopped in every phone booth I saw, just in case it happened to be a time machine. Too bad there aren't any phone booths where I live.
3. Terminator 2
I don't care who you are, there is hardly a cooler idea in cinema than a robot mercenary coming back from the future to protect the same target he once tried to kill from assassination by another, more advanced robot mercenary. The time travel aspect of this movie isn't exactly prominent in the dialogue or action of the movie, but it counts.
2. Back to the Future
The classic time-travel movie. Marty McFly travels back in time to save Doc Brown, and inadvertently makes his mother fall in love with him. This movie gave the "grandfather paradox" a new meaning. The rest of the trilogy is good, too, but you can't beat the original. Not to mention that is served as the structural skeleton for Hot Tub Time Machine, which, regrettably, did not make this list.
1. La Jetée
Call it obscure, pretentious, French—but whatever you call it, Chris Marker's short film about time travel shot almost entirely in still frames, still represents one of the most impressive meditations on time travel ever to hit the screen. The enigma of the opening line—"This is the story of a man, marked by an image from his childhood"—and the later revelation of its meaning, still haunts me. Few movies attempt to do what Marker did in this film, and even fewer succeed.
This list covers a broad range of films, and certainly leaves a few out (Primer, for instance), but all of them hold a special place in my memory, and each time I watch them, it's like going back in time.
Have you seen these films, do you agree? Let me know in a comment!