Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Hirsute - Time Travel Short Film

I saw this short film about time travel called Hirsute a couple years ago at a film festival and love the tone and simplicity of it.

A man trying to invent time travel is visited by a future (parallel) self who is more arrogant and devoid of body hair. The movie plays with time travel and sexual themes, but in my mind is really about identity and self-perception.

It's well acted and directed and takes you places you probably don't expect. All things a good movie should do.

You can watch the entire movie at the Internet Movie Database site. Here's the URL.http://www.imdb.com/video/wab/vi1670644505/ You can also catch it at the Vimeo site here: Hirsute. It's about 14 minutes long.

Visit the film makers A.J. Bond and Amy Belling website at http://hirsute.thesiblings.ca/

Read a review of the film here - TIFF 2007: Hirsute And The "Many Martys" Theory

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Beatles Time Travel - Get Back

It was recently reported by the Hollywood Reporter that actor Jason Lee (My Name is Earl, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Chasing Amy) is working on directing an independent film tentatively called "Get Back".

The film will be produced by Matt Berenson whose questionable track record as a producer includes Let's Go to Prison and the Daddy Day Care/Camp franchise. The story will involve two music-obsessed friends who travel back in time to 1966 London where one gets involved in a love triangle with John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

Whether or not it will include any of the other Beatles or more importantly any of their signature music remains to be seen.

Just a little anachronistic foot-note in 1966 John Lennon was still married to Cynthia Lennon so technically it would make the situation even more complicated.

No word on when we might see this in theatres.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Don't forget ABC's FlashForward debuts on Thursday September 24th, 2009.

Based on the award-winning 1999 novel by Canadian author Robert J. Sawyer, the series features a stellar cast including Joseph Fiennes, John Cho, Jack Davenport, Courtney B. Vance, Zachry Knighton, Peyton List, as well as a couple of LOST alumni Dominic Monaghan and Sonya Walger. The premise involves a global event that causes everyone's consciousness to "flashforward" 6 months into the future. The event lasts for 2 minutes and 17 seconds during which time everyone on the planet blacks out. The character are forced to deal with the ensuing chaos from the black out and trying to reconcile what they saw in their own future.

And you have no excuse for missing this. For starters, ABC is repeating the first episode this Friday night. And secondly it has been sold to 44 markets:

* Australia: Seven
* Canada: /A\
* Cyprus: Fox International
* Finland: Nelonen
* France: TF1
* Greece: Fox International
* Hong Kong: TVB
* Iceland: RUV
* India: Zee Cafe
* Ireland: RTE
* Korea: OCN
* Malaysia: Media Prima
* Netherlands: SBS
* New Zealand: TVNZ
* Norway: TV2
* Philipines: ABS-CBN
* Portugal: AXN
* Singapore: MediaCorp and Signtel
* Southeast Asia: Fox International
* Spain: AXN
* Spain: Cuatro
* Turkey: Digiturk
* UK: Five

Watch it and then check out http://www.jointhemosaic.com/ where people can relate their flashforward stories and piece together a mosaic of what the future looks like.

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Monday, September 7, 2009

Wyld Stallyns Rule!

Wyld Stayllns - Bill and Ted

For a few years between 1989 and about 1992, you couldn't go anywhere without running into two of the most unlikely time travelers since Marty McFly hit 88 mph in a borrowed time machine.

Released in 1989 "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" - introduced the world to Ted "Theodore" Logan and Bill S. Preston, Esquire. Legends in their own mind this high school duo dreamed of the days when their band Wyld Stallyns would be bigger than Van Halen - only problem was they needed to learn to play the guitar first. On the verge of flunking history, the duo with the aid of their most excellent guide Rufus (George Carlin) and his time machine travel through time kidnapping the likes of Joan of Arc, Genghis Khan, So-crates, Bill the Kid, and Abraham Lincoln.
Little did they know that the fate of the universe depended on them passing their high school history class and becoming a most excellent band.

The movie was so successful, that it spawned a sequel in 1991 - "Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey" less of a history lesson than the first, the second film featured killer robots from the future, a la Terminator, sent back in time to kill Bill and Ted and prevent them from winning the battle of the bands and become mega stars. Bill and Ted are dispatched to the afterlife where they have to match wits with the grim reaper DEATH and win their freedom.

This movies spawned both a Saturday morning cartoon series and limited run comic book, Bill and Ted's Excellent Comic Book that began with a film adaptation of Bogus Journey and then proceeded to a 12 part series. I recently came across a copy of issue #10 in my local comic store's delete bin and picked it up for 25 cents.

There were video games, action figures and even a breakfast cereal that was apparently a mix of cinammon oats with marshmallow musical notes. If you don't believe me head on over to Linda Kay's most excellent site BillandTed.org where all things non-heinous about the dynamic duo can be found.

I think I'll spend the rest of Labour Day with a Bill and Ted marathon myself.

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Time Traveler's Wife

I first read Audery Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife when it came out in 2003 and while I enjoyed it immensely, but I almost never got past the first two chapters.

I can see why she had troubles finding a publisher for this first novel. Stories told in the first person can be hard to sell, but a story with TWO alternating first person view points AND jumps in time is enough to make most publisher's heads explode never mind the general reading public. Luckily the author's decision to preface each chapter with a little 'title card' giving the date, the relative ages of Henry and Claire, as well as indicating who was narrating the chapter helped guide the reader through the novel. And what a fine journey it is. Emotionally moving and rich in secondary characters, it's a real page turner from what I recall.

Here is a link to my review of the book The Time Traveler's Wife.

The book was optioned as a film virtually the moment Niffenegger signed her book deal, but it wasn't until 2007 that a script and casting started to firm up for the movie. Eric Bana was cast in the role of Henry and Rachel McAdams in the role of Claire. The majority of the film was shot in the fall of 2007 in and around Hamilton and Toronto, Ontario. An initial release date of February 2008 was announced, but was quietly and quickly withdrawn. At the time I suspected the studio had lost faith in the movie and was quietly pulling for a DVD release or dumping in a few markets . In the end it was rescheduled for August 14th, 2009 release date. The explanation for the delay that has been circulating was that reshoots were needed and could not be rescheduled until the locations were available (the outdoor meadow) and Eric Bana's hair grew back after his role in Star Trek.

I haven't had a chance to see the movie since it came out this week, but hope to see it in the next week or so. Based on reviews and the dismal 36% freshness rating over at Rottentomatoes.com, I am afraid it won't match the magical nature of the book.

The Official Time Traveler's Wife Site

Have you seen the movie? What did you think?

Have you read the book as well?

I appreciate your thoughts, but please not too many "spoilers" for those that haven't read the book or watched the movie.

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Friday, July 31, 2009

Time Travel in Commercials

Time travel references always show up in the strangest places including television ads.

One of my favourites from back in the day was a Pepsi commercial that featured some intrepid inventors preparing to test their time machine and send an individual back to 1885. The time traveller accidentally takes a Pepsi he is drinking with him into he time machine. When they realize he error the one scientist exclaims to the other "This is catastrophic - it could change history!" The other scientist tries to reassure him "Relax Smith, you don't think one can of Pepsi can alter 100 years of history do you?" As the pair leave the lab, a Coke machine with the banner - 100th Anniversary disappears as does a transport truck emblazoned with Coke disappears as well a factory for Coke.

So, what are you trying to say with this commercial? That your product, Pepsi isn't good enough to beat the competition, so you need to go back in time and eliminate Coke? I am surprised they went with the "Back to the Future" ripoff and not a "Terminator" spoof. Despite being primarily a Coke drinker most of my life, I still love this commercial.

Watch for a young Bruno Kirby as one of the scientists that send the kid back to 1885.

Our second time travel commercial for today is more recent one for Bacardi Mojitos. The premise is simple but well executed both from a visual time travel experience and from a marketing one as well. A guy at a night club finishes his very tasty Mojito and decides to head to he bar to get another. As he crosses the club he passes through a variety of decades, 1960s, 1950s, 1920s, and finally the 1860s. The guy retrieves his drink and the voice over says - "Since 1862 the best mojitos have always been made the same way. Bacardi. The Original Mojito"

It reminds me a bit of Will Smith's 1999 video Will2K, but better.

Do you know of any other commercials that use time travel?

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Rob Sawyer in Sudbury

One of my favourite SF authors, Robert J. Sawyer is coming to Sudbury on Monday the 25th to host a reading and signing of his latest book Wake. I'll be there, book in hand.

Rob has made numerous contributions to the Time Travel/Alternate History genre in his long and short fiction over the years. I have reviewed End of an Era and Hominids on my site a few years ago. One of his other fantastic novels that deals with time (travel) is Flashforward (or Flash Forward as it has now been republished as).

If you've been living under a rock, you may not know that ABC has developed Flash Forward as a series (13 Episodes) for the fall 2009 line up and has been running teaser ads for during the final few episodes of LOST.

You can catch one of the teasers here on YouTube FlashForward Teaser. It's being hailed by many as LOST's replacement and I think rightly so.

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Monday, April 27, 2009

First Mouse Through Time

Mickey à travers les siècles

While googling "Titans" of Greek mythology the other day I came across an odd time travel reference a French comic/series called - Mickey à travers les siècles (aka Mickey Through the Centuries). The stories featured Mickey Mouse as a time traveller. From what little I can gather the series ran from 1952 to 1970 as part of a larger Mickey Mouse comic. In 1970 it appears to have gotten its own comic which continued until 1978.

Here's one link to a list of the various series and the historical characters that appear in each one. It also lists whether or not the series was historically faithful for a particular time period.

No word on whether he owned a time machine or just simply showed up in each of these time periods unexplained.

Anyone ever read/own one of these issues?

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Friday, April 24, 2009

Asimov's - The End of Eternity

One of the reasons I started Andy's Anachronisms was to discover new sources of time travel material to enjoy. When I say "new" I mean new to me, not necessarily new to the world.

Thanks to the website io9.com for the heads up that Asmiov's 1955 novel The End of Eternity is being made into a movie. Currently attached to direct is Kevin MacDonald (Last King of Scotland, State of Play, Touching the Void).

The novel focuses on a group of time travellers working for an organization called Eternity. They travel the time stream modifying events and change reality to minimize the impact on humans. The reasons for their existence and whether or not they are doing more harm than good become the focus of the novel from what I understand.

I'll definitely keep an eye out for a copy of the original novel, and look forward to how it might translate to the big screen.

Here's a link to Wikipedia article on the novel - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_End_of_Eternity

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Sunday, April 12, 2009


Horror and time travel sound like an unlikely pairing that shouldn't be able to co-exist, but they manage to do just that in Nacho Vigalondo's 2006 debut Los cronocrímenes aka Timecrimes. Featured at a number of festivals in 2007 and after receiving a small theatrical release in December 2008, the film was released on DVD this past week. I rented it this weekend and just finished watching a little more than an hour ago.

It's an interesting take on Heinlein's By His Bootstraps and without giving away too much the film folds a couple of timelines back on itself. The logic of the timeline gets a bit muddled for me near the end, but what I really enjoyed was the transition of the main character Hector over the course of the film.

Hector and his wife are living at a house in the country where Hector seems to be recovering from something stress-related. He comes off as timid and frazzled by everything around him. When Hector witnesses a young woman disrobing in the woods through his binoculars he goes to investigate. Hector finds the unconscious girl, only to be stabbed by an unknown assailant whose face is obscured by a pink bandage. Hector flees from the man only to take refuge in a facility where a lone operator is experimenting with a time machine. Hiding in the time machine Hector is sent back in time an hour and change setting in motion a vicious cycle.

The tagline on the DVD is "The Future is Never the Same Twice" an appropriate sentimen given the twists the film takes. I'll be giving it some more thought over the next few days before I attempt to write up a more thorough review. It's interesting to note that this movie has been picked up by Hollywood for a remake, should be interesting to see where they go with it.

For now I'll recommend the movie more for the time travel aficionado out there or someone looking for something different. If movies like Primer and Donnie Darko make your head hurt, then this movie is probably not for you.

*Note: The movie is in Spanish, but the disc I rented defaulted to the English Dub. I had to stop the movie and change the setup to get the original Spanish dialogue and English Subtitles. You may prefer the dubbing, but I much rather read subtitles and listen to the original performances rather than some sub par voice actors reading the dialogue.

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It's Deja Vu all over again...

I have a bad habit of getting excited about the release of a new time travel movie then never getting around to watching or reviewing it.

Back in 2006 I was excited when I first saw the trailers for Deja Vu featuring Denzel Washington as an Federal ATF agent investigating a domestic terrorist accident with the aid of some very high tech time travel related gear. Fast forward to March 2007 when the movie was released to DVD, I bought the day it came out.

You think I would have watched that weekend. Nope. One thing lead to another and it sat on my shelf until tonight. It wasn't for the lack of trying. I must have lugged that DVD on every trip I have been on in the last two years thinking I would get a chance to watch it on vacation.

Anyhow enough about my natural tendency to procrastinate. Or was I delayed in watching it because I wasn't destined to watch until tonight. Hmmmm.

As with any time travel movie, Deja Vu has a tendency to leave you scratching your head at times. I followed a long well enough, or so I think. It's definitely no Donnie Darko or Primer when it comes to "Huh?" moments, but its still out there on the edge.

I've got a soft spot for time travel stories that rely on remote viewing of sorts to travel to the past. I think its a much more believable method of time travel than sending object or people to the past. Having said that the movie does shift tone a bit in the final act of the story and I think that's where most people had problems with it when it first came out.

I'll be reviewing this in more detail on the site in the near future. Would love to hear other people's thoughts on the movie.

I also have a copy of Timecrimes on my desk that was just released this past week that I need to watch before tomorrow night as well.

Too many time travel movies, never enough time.

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Do You Believe in Time Travel?

I often get asked whether or not I believe in Time Travel. You think that would be an easy answer for me given the fact that my hobby, as it were, is time travel. Problem is the question is a bit of a loaded one.

Some people that pose the question are trying to judge what I like to call my “sanity factor”. What they are really asking is “Can I have an intelligent conversation with you or are you going to try and convince me that you are from the future and have a time machine in your basement?” For the record, I am not some conspiracy theorist nor do I think that time travelers walk among us. Besides, I flunked my time pilot license so it’s all just tachyons under an Einstein-Rosen Bridge. As a writer and lover of a well told story, I generally respond by saying “Regardless whether it’s scientifically possible or not, I think Time Travel* is a great story telling device.”

Seriously, time travel stories, whether it be in movies, on TV, in print, or on your computer screen, allow us to juxtapose different time periods, explore “what if?” scenarios, and to examine the vary nature of time. Yes it can also give you a Grade ‘A’ headache if you think too much about the paradoxes and improbabilities, but that side-effect can be lessened by a skillful storyteller.

At Andy’s Anachronisms I’ve tried to highlight some of those superb storytellers that manage to weave a good tale, entertain, and hopefully give you something to think about when its all said and done. Also part of my job has been to put up caution signs around the less than stellar examples of time travel that give the sub-genre a bad name.

I’ve been compiling some of my own top ten lists that I plan to post on Andy’s Anachronisms in the coming months. First up will be my “Top Ten Time Travel Movies”. I know it’s bound to be controversial for a number of reasons. For starters I have not seen every time travel film out there – yet. I know I am bound to overlook some gem. Secondly, taste is very subjective. Not everyone is going to agree with what I like, so be it. My advice to anyone who disagrees, get their own blog and post your own Top Ten list or go out and make a time travel movie make my top ten list.

In the meantime, I am planning on highlighting some of my favourite time travel authors starting with Jack Finney who will be the focus of my next entry.

*When I use the phrase “Time Travel” to describe the sub-genre I am also including its cousins Alternate History and Alternate Universe stories.