Time Travel Cinema

So yesterday I mentioned that I'd finished my latest movie-watching project, and I can't help myself,  I gotta start a new one. Not that I need any help getting motivated to watch movies (as you will have realized by now), but such projects lead me to seek out movies I normally wouldn't have, and though there's not guarantee they'll be good, I've made a lot of cool discoveries as well.

One particular love of mine is the time travel narrative. Whether history is rock solid or completely fluid. Whether the characters use a time machine, a set of doors, a block of ice, or the power of dreams. Whether they go to the past, the future, or get stuck in time loops. I just love time travel stories, and I love time travel MOVIES, even if quite a few don't stand up to scrutiny.

Now, that does cause a bit of a problem. I've seen so many (my list on Letterboxd says around 130, and doesn't count most TV shows) that initiating a movie project on the subject would likely lead to a lot of REwatching, not new discoveries. So here's the idea. There are still time travel movies I haven't seen, so there's that. And there are time travel movies I might be very happy to revisit, especially if I never reviewed them on here. But I want to use each one to essentially time travel somewhere else in the cinematic time stream.

In other words, my attempt here will be to do a double feature MATCHING each weekly time travel movie (or TV show, or even book or comic, why not?) to a non-time travel film I haven't seen or feel I need to revisit.

To use famous entries in the genre as examples, one might match The Terminator with Westworld (machines rebel), Back to the Future Part 3 with A Fistful of Dollars (a direct reference, but any western might do), or Frequency and Backdraft (firemen). Could be fun, right? As usual, I'll discuss my progress in This Week in Geek, hopefully on a weekly basis.

Some of the time travel movies and shows I'm thinking of watching or rewatching (if I can find them, of course), include:
7 Days
The 4400
The Amazing Mr. Blunden
Ashes to Ashes
Continuum (season 4)
Doctor Who (I'm sure some classic serials will crop up)
El Ministerio del Tiempo
Flight of the Navigator
Frequency (tv show)
Hot Tub Time Machine
Il Mare
Je t'aime, je t'aime
Lee's Adventure
Lost Highway
Love in the Time of Twilight
The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey
Nothing Left to Do but Cry
Outlander (season 2+)
Repeat Performance
Time After Time
Time Bandits
Time Crimes
The Time Machine (1960)
Timeless (season 2)
Tru Calling
Young Gun in the Time

That's just off the top of my head and may not reflect just what will happen, week to week, but I'm gonna rev up my TARDIS and give it my best try. And if I fail, I can just go back to this day and tell myself not to make certain mistakes!


tomg said...

If you have access to it with English subtitles, I would like to recommend My Mother, the Mermaid (인어공주)(2004).
It's a Korean time travel film that I think you might enjoy.

Siskoid said...

And I can pair it up with The Lure, which I've wanted to find for a while.

Mike W. said...

That's an interesting list. I'm sure I saw Time Bandits as a kid, but I can't remember anything about it so I should probably watch it again someday. I just saw Pleasantville last week; it's pretty good, though not 100% what I expected.

Anonymous said...

Did you ever watch the TV series called "Voyagers!"? It is from 1982 and only lasted on season.

Siskoid said...

Of course! I even wrote an RPG article about it: https://siskoid.blogspot.com/2011/01/doctor-who-rpg-voyagers-edition.html

Jonathan Sargeant said...


Siskoid said...

If you click the Letterboxd link, you'll see every time travel movie I've ever seen. Primer's in there, just not on my rewatch list, but you never know.

Anonymous said...

Early edition was a newspaper that appears on the guys front door with tommorows news I think. And you cannae forget quantum leap of course!

Siskoid said...

Oh yeah, Early Edition... was that any good?

As for Quantum Leap, I've seen the series many times and am not due for a 5-season rewatch.

Siskoid said...

For the record, TV shows I've seen that are time travel related:
Doctor Who
Star Trek (often goes to that well)
Sapphire & Steel
The Time Tunnel
Quantum Leap
Nine: Nine Time Travels
Timeless (Season 1)
Legends of Tomorrow
The Umbrella Academy
Continuum (Season 1-3)
Life on Mars (UK)
Primeval (including New World)
The Sarah Connor Chronicles
Outlander (Season 1)

I think that covers it.


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