There’s currently a film on VOD called Predestination, which has to be one of the trippiest time travel flicks I have ever seen. Based on the Robert Heinlein short story “All You Zombies,” directed by the Spierig Brothers (don’t worry, I didn’t know who they were before this either) and starring Ethan Hawke and Sarah Snook (if there is any justice, a star should be born here) as two temporal cops hopping through time to stop the crimes of the Fizzle Bomber, it blew my mind that this had not been given a major theatrical release. Had the similarly minded Wachowski Siblings made this right after The Matrix, it would’ve been a huge hit and they would probably be remembered today for the latter and not the former. But it blew my mind more for what it was able to achieve in storytelling. It’s impossible to talk about what happens in detail without giving away major plot points. Early on I had a hunch what might be happening, but I was totally floored by the depth of what was happening and how the filmmakers dragged us down deeper and deeper into this endless temporal loop. It makes no sense while simultaneously it makes beautiful sense in its own twisted logic. It made me wonder…could this actually be one of the greatest time travel movies ever made? Only time will tell…
…for the purpose of this musing list, let’s be optimistic on its lasting impression and notch it at number 10. Let the rest of the countdown begin:
9. Somewhere in Time (Jeannot Szwarc, 1980) – Legend has it this was one of the first films to find success in the early days of video cassette rentals (ahhh…somewhere in time indeed). I remember making my parents let me watch it with them when I was very young (maybe 6 or 7) because Superman (Christopher Reeve) was in it, and it left me confused as I didn’t understand how one of King Henry’s wives (Jane Seymour) was still alive and acting in movies. Also during this timeframe in my life I was similarly confused as to how a medieval Saint (Joan Van Arc) ended up staring on TV’s Knots Landing. At any rate…lush visuals, haunting music, a beautiful setting and a love story beyond time has made this a huge cult hit, and rightfully so.
8. Happy Accidents (Brad Anderson, 2000) – This is not a romantic comedy. I repeat: this is not a romantic comedy. It’s actually one of the best time travel movies ever made. It’s a shame Brad Anderson has never really found the huge success he deserved after delivering a trio of thoughtful, well done genre pieces (this, Session 9 and The Machinist). This one is also a bit of a miracle as it made the always annoying Vincent D’Onofrio actually likable for once in his miserable acting life. Oh yeah, and Marisa Tomei is lovely here, too. Continue reading