Monday, July 28, 2014
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The Time Traveler's Paradox

Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana are one sexy couple in The Time Traveler's Wife, the film based on Audrey Niffenegger's popular novel about the guy (Bana) whose genetic anomaly causes him to slip in and out of time. But am I the only one who gets brain cramp during time-travel movies such as this where the past is dependent upon future that is dependent upon the past? As Roger Ebert noted earlier this year of J.J. Abrams' Star Trek -- where alternative universes intersected, enabling the Old Spock and the Young to be in the same mobius-strip timespace -- these movies are more fiction than science. It didn't bother me so much in Star Trek, but when I start thinking whether it's possible for a character to be in and out of time at the same time, it takes me out of the movie. (Having said that, the Harry Potter film -- was it Azkaban? -- where Harry and Hermione warn themselves of imminent danger, had a reasonable explanation, which I can't remember.)

The Time Traveler's Paradox

Eric Bana as the time-impaired husband to Rachel McAdams in The Time-Travellers Wife.
Eric Bana as the time-impaired husband to Rachel McAdams in The Time-Travellers Wife.

Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana are one sexy couple in The Time Traveler's Wife, the film based on Audrey Niffenegger's popular novel about the guy (Bana) whose genetic anomaly causes him to slip in and out of time. But am I the only one who gets brain cramp during time-travel movies such as this where the past is dependent upon future that is  dependent upon the past? As Roger Ebert noted earlier this year of  J.J. Abrams' Star Trek -- where alternative universes intersected, enabling the Old Spock and the Young to be in the same mobius-strip timespace --  these movies are more fiction than science. It didn't bother me so much in Star Trek, but when I start thinking whether it's possible for a character to be in and out of time at the same time, it takes me out of the movie. (Having said that, the Harry Potter film -- was it Azkaban? -- where Harry and Hermione warn themselves of imminent danger, had a reasonable explanation, which I can't remember.)

Still, from The Time Machine to Time Bandits, I've always been a sucker for time-travel stories (including, as I admitted sheepishly in another post, the much-maligned but preposterously entertaining The Lake House and Kate & Leopold). In time-travel films I much prefer the wormhole explanation to most others. Very much like Contact, and also a little-known film called Happy Accidents (with Marisa Tomei and Vicent D'Onofrio), and Alain Resnais' underrated Je t'aime, Je t'aime. Also Terry Gilliam's The Twelve Monkeys and the movie that inspired it,  Chris Marker's La Jetee, And of course, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, Terminator and Peggy Sue Got Married. Your favorites?

Carrie Rickey Film Critic
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Carrie Rickey Film Critic
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