I have three favorite movies about time travel. One is a sweet film about love. The second has a young couple living on the very edge of life. The third delves into murder, most violent and foul.
The lovely low budget Brit flick “About Time” brings together Demnall Gleeson and Rachel McAdams as the romantic leads. The males in the family line of the Gleeson character can flit back in time, but only in their own life span. When he courts McAdams, he can repeat the courting as often as it takes to get it exactly right. That made me smile. But daddies and grandpas will like another scene even more. When Gleeson finds out that his dad, Bill Nighy, has only a short bit of life left to him, the two male family members go back in time to a day they spent at the beach together when the son was just a wee lad. What a wonderful scene that made for me. How often do we think of some special time we had with our children?
Kiwi director Richard Curtis also directed “Pirate Radio,” which you should see.
“In Time” has more of the aspect of an action film. In this mythical universe, people die at age 25. Unless they can capture time from others, in which case they continue to live, but do not age. Justin Timberlake, the singer, plays the lead. He can never accumulate enough time to be secure, he always lives just a few hours or minutes away from oblivion. That makes for some exciting times. He falls for Amanda Seyfried, the daughter of a family with thousands of years of time stored up.
I liked this one much more than other reviewers did and I bet you will too.
Writer/director Andrew Niccol also directed the very watchable “Lord of War” with Nick Cage.
With “Looper” we get a much grimmer tale. Things in the future for the mob have advanced so far that disposing of a rival mobster’s corpse has become impossible. The police can track everyone, dead or alive. So the mobsters send the victim back in time. Upon arrival, a “Looper” greets them with hot lead, thus “closing the loop” on the victim’s life. The mob capo has no pesky body to deal with.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the Looper and Bruce Willis, his future self. Also playing are Piper Perabo, Emily Blunt, Jeff Daniels and Paul Dano. I would watch it again just for the cast.
Rian Johnson directed, as he did, “Star Wars VIII” and the engaging indie flick “Brick.”
These three films had production budgets ranging from $12 million (“About Time) to $40 million (“In Time”) with “Looper” in the middle at $30 million. All made big bank. It shows that imagination and talent counts a lot.