In this episode we try to figure out the mechanics of time travel by examining its appearance in pop-culture. All three of the guys review a different movie!
Any question answered in the recap episodes will get you an entry in the draw to win an official BIABP mug!
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Episode page: http://www.bradisabadperson.com/2018/07/22/time-travel/
TRAVELLING TO THE PAST THEORIES
In the episode we discuss these three theories of time travel, plus the do-over idea
Back to the Future power rankings
Lachlan: 2 > 1 > 3
Brad: 2 > 1 > 3
Morgan: 1 > 2 > 3
TRAVELLING TO THE FUTURE
The bootstrap paradox in Back to the Future
JCVD splitting his way out of a jam in Timecop
MORGAN’S MOVIE REVIEW
Timecop is about a time-travelling police officer who goes back in time to exact revenge against the future president for the murder of his pregnant wife.
The movie stars Jean-Claude Van Damme as Max Walker, the titular Timecop and agent of the Time Enforcement Commission, set up by the US government as a reaction to the invention of time travel, because just policing the planet isn’t enough, they have to police all of time as well.
As expected from a Jean-Claude Van Damme film, Timecop leans heavily on its action scenes. Showcasing his signature martial arts skills, JCVD has his foot above his head within 90 seconds of his first appearance on-screen. He kicks and karate chops his way through the entire movie, and does the splits to get himself out of a jam on more than one occasion. There’s plenty of close-range gun battles, and we’re even treated to a knife fight reminiscent of the Steven Seagal v Tommy-Lee Jones scene from Under Siege.
While these fight sequences made me yearn for a simpler time, when stuntmen could take a kick in the mouth and cameramen didn’t have Parkinson’s disease, the action isn’t enough to carry the rest of the film.
Timecop has an excellent premise but it just does not live up to its potential. The acting is stiff, the script is weak, and the plot is full of holes and predictable. I saw every twist in the story coming well before it happened. The mechanics of time travel are never explained and not a single one of JCVD’s one-liners is based on a pun. Perhaps the worst example of wasted potential is the fact that we never see a bad guy helicopter-kicked by new-Van Damme and old-Van Damme at the same time.
In spite of all this, and as a surprise to me, the movie did very well when it was released in 1994. It got a spin-off TV series in 1997 and a sequel in 2003, and the original somehow remains Jean-Claude Van Damme’s highest grossing film despite his objectively better works like Universal Soldier, Hard Target, and Sudden Death.
Is Timecop a good movie? Not really. Is Timecop a good time travel movie? Definitely not.
4/10, and that’s only because I got to see Mia Sara’s nipples.
Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1988) is the ultimate time-travel movie. Rather than ignoring or trying to explain away the inevitable paradoxes that arise from travelling to the past, Bill and Ted’s actively embraces the illogical. In fact, the movie continuously punishes you for even trying to make sense of the timeline to the point where you are forced to relax and revel in the nonsense.
In order to pass a history report, Bill and Ted are visited in San Dimas, California, 1988, by Rufus (George Carlin) who explains that the fate of a peaceful and harmonious future rests on Bill and Ted getting an A+ on their oral presentation. Considering the importance of this mission, Rufus lets the duo use a time machine to go back and visit important historical figures. But, will these two goofballs catastrophically alter the present by interfering with the past? No, Rufus tells them “you can do anything” and so they begin whirling their way through history with reckless abandon, kidnapping notable figures to bring back to 1988 like a game of historical Pokémon.
But the real essence of Bill and Ted’s comes from the dialogue, which includes a mix of antiquated English words and 80’s surfer slang. This iconic dialogue, fun plot and the fact that the jokes are accessible to everyone makes this movie a classic that anyone can enjoy. The film signals low, with fart jokes and goofy dialogue and it signals high, with meta jokes and historical references.
George Carlin sets the tone for this movie immediately when, in the first scene, he describes a future utopia by saying “bowling averages are way up; mini-golf scores are way down.” If you even try to take the movie seriously after this introduction, then you don’t deserve to go on the excellent adventure that is this classic film.
Brad also wrote a great review but he wrote it down on paper, rather than typing it up. In fact, you can hear him shuffling his papers during the review.