Suplemental Viewing : Time Bandit’s

Time bandits is an awesome little movie where a young child from the future named Kevin has time travelling dwarves that come through a hole in time and end up in his bedroom.  Kevin is soon driven by curiosity and fear into the dwarves time traveling little world. He travels with them and meets many people such as Napoleon, Robin Hood, a king, and even end up on the Titanic. The dwarves call themselves bandits and try to steal from everyone they meet, but it does not all ways work out for them. They successfully steal from Napoleon, but then they lose it with Robin Hood. They also are trying to avoid The Supreme Being who created their time traveling map. While we could talk about the ethics of stealing and time travelling, the movie does not really address the very well. It briefly touches on the fact that the dwarves can do so much more with their traveling map than just stealing. I’d rather talk about how this movie relates to some of our books.

It relates to Kindred in a slight way. While Kevin does travel through time willing most of the time, he does have instances like with the King that he does not wish to travel. However the dwarves force him to go without really any choice on his part. Kevin is swept along with the dwarves from the beginning when they first enter his room. Just like how Kevin from Kindred was dragged along into the past with Dana. Also just like Time Bandits, Kevin is left in the past. Both Kevin’s were abandoned by their time travelling sources. He did not know that by following the dwarves he would be time traveling with no real way to get back.

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Supplemental Viewing—The Time Traveler’s Wife

The Time Traveler’s Wife is a story about a man traveling to different times in his life. The movie starts out by this young boy traveling, but then he meets himself but the older version. Henry, the time traveler, is in the library when he meets Claire. He doesn’t know it, but he has visited Claire his whole life. They end up getting married, and after many attempts to have a child, they end up having a little girl, Alba. Alba is a time traveler as well. The difference between Henry and Alba is that Alba can kind of control when and where she is time traveling. Alba tells her dad when he is going to die. He dies when she says he will, however even after his death, he still travels back to see his sweet daughter and loving wife.

There were two things that Henry said in this movie that related to things we talked about in class over the course of the semester.

  1. “I can’t change what happens to them…it just happens anyways.”   In this particular example, he was talking about trying to save his mother. His mother died as a result of a car crash. He has seen her death multiple times and each time he tries to make things happen differently, but the circumstances are set in time. This quote made me think of two things. The first thing was A Sound of Thunder. In this story, everyone was supposed to stay on the path. In A Sound of Thunder, no one wanted to change anything because it would mess up what happened in the present time. However, the difference between The Time Traveler’s Wife and A Sound of Thunder is that Henry wanted to change what happened, but no matter how hard he tried, he could never change anything. That leads me to the next point. In Slaughterhouse Five, the Tralfmadorians believe that everything that happens has always happened and will never change. This mindset lines up exactly to what Henry said. Even though Henry tried so hard to make all things happen for the best, he knew he would never be able to change anything because everything happens like it happens and no one can change them.
  2. “Knowing things about your life will make you crazy.” Henry said this to Gomez when Gomez asked Henry to prove that he was really a time traveler. He said that in order to prove to him that Henry was a time traveler he needed to tell Gomez something about his life like will he go bald or will his wife go bald. Henry then responded with the quote above. When Henry said his response it made me think about Billy Pilgrim. Billy Pilgrim was somewhat insane. Even his kids worried about him. I had to ask myself “why would knowing things about your life make you crazy?” I thought about Christmas when I was a child. I always knew when Christmas Eve was. I always knew that I was going to have presents when I woke up the next morning, but it always drove me insane to have to wait until Christmas morning to actually get those gifts. I would imagine that this is the feeling that Henry is refering to . After Billy went to the Tralfamadorian planet, he realized that even when he traveled back and forth to different times in his life, he would never be able to change things that happened to him or to people around him. Then he went back home and did all this time traveling. When he returned back to present day, he did seem insane. Even Billy’s daughter thought that he had lost his mind a little. I do think that people knowing things about their future would drive them mad. Billy Pilgrim was a great example of Henry’s statement.
  3. Finally, this movie definitely related to Slaughterhouse Five. In Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five, his main character Billy Pilgrim traveled from the present to the future, back to the past, back to the future, then back to present day. Henry also did the same thing. He didn’t just go into the future. He went to the past sometimes (back to the meadow when Claire was a little girl), and he sometimes jumped ahead to the future (when he talked to his daughter at the park/zoo). Billy and Henry are alike, but they are also different. Billy basically lost his mind as he time traveled. He also never really questioned his traveling. He just went with the flow. However, Henry wasn’t so passive. He questioned his time traveling, but he also knew that there was nothing he could do to stop the traveling. So again, there are some connections one could make between Billy and Henry, but they are also very different from one another.

I have seen this movie once or twice before taking this class, but as I watched the movie this time, things were brought to my attention that I haven’t noticed before. I personally thought this movie was sad. Most people would disagree and say that time traveling has to be one of the coolest things ever, but I am looking at it from Claire’s point of view. As Henry’s wife, she just has to accept that he has a condition that there is no cure for. She has to accept the fact that she is alone most of the time. I just find this movie sad and upsetting because it has to be hard on Henry knowing that he doesn’t know when he will travel or where he will travel, and it has to be even harder knowing that he is leaving behind a wife that needs him. Eventually he leaves behind a daughter who needs him as well. However, one thing I did like about this movie was that even after he died, he could still travel and see his wife and child even though he was dead. This movie was definitely different than most movies, but i enjoyed watching The Time Traveler’s Wife.

Supplemental Viewing: Our Friend Martin

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The movie “Our Friend Martin” about how a black student named Miles and a white student named Randy time travel through Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Miles and Randy attend MLK middle school in Atlanta, Georgia, and they take a field trip one day to visit the MLK Museum. While Miles and Randy were at the museum, they go into Martin’s room to look around. While in the room the tour guide comes in and winds and old watch that Martin had; this is what start the time traveling. When Miles and Randy pick up the baseball glove they began their time traveling journey through Martin’s life.

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This movie ties into many works we have read and discussed in class. To begin with, about half way through the movie, the tour guide says “If you mess with the fabric of history, sometimes you can bust a seam,” this passage ties in with the butterfly effect we discussed in Bradbury’s “A Sound of Thunder.” This passage ties into the butterfly effect because Miles and Randy wants to bring Martin back to the future, to the time they live in, because they read on a newspaper that is on display in the museum that Martin will be assassinated. When they go into the future they convinced Martin that he should come into the future with them. They told him that there was no racism in their time and that everything was so much better. When Martin arrived in the future everything was different. Randy was no longer Miles’ friend, Miles no longer attended MLK Middle School and all the racism that was in Martin’s time was now in Miles’ time. Martin realized that he need to go back in the future to fix the problems that has occurred. When Martin returns to his time he is assassinated.

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“Our Friend Martin” ties into Kindred by the way of the racism that is seen in close relationships. In Butler’s Kindred her husband was white, so when they time traveled into the future she told everyone otherwise. Even though Miles and Randy did not have to change who they were, their relationship was altered because of the time travel.

I would definitely recommend this movie because it provides history on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and it also has a great depiction of time travel in a simpler aspect. I loved watching this movie in elementary school, and this class brought this great movie back to my memory. 

Peggy Sue Got Married: Supplemental Viewing

Summary: A divorced woman with two grown children, Peggy Sue, goes to a high school reunion where her adulterous ex-husband, and high school sweetheart, Charlie, shows up. She then faints and wakes up in high school right before graduation and when they married. After knowing what she knows about the future and how much pain they went through, she decides to try altering their path by breaking up with him before her accidental pregnancy. After so many trials, she finally breaks it off with him (it was pretty difficult), and tries to get back to her own world by talking to a nerdy guy in her school about it. She then thinks about her children and decides that all the pain is worth the struggle, gets back together with him, and wakes up in the hospital with him sitting next to her. He apologizes for everything he’s done to her. Was it just a dream? Nope: The nerdy guy dedicated a book to her, which hadn’t happened in the other reality.

There are a few points in this story line that I would like to point out:

  • Method of time Travel
    In Peggy Sue Got Married, they don’t need a fancy machine to transport her back into her past, but her traveling is passive and uncontrollable, like what Dana in Kindred and Billy in Slaughterhouse-five experience. She actually tries to go back into the future once and she goes to her grandfather for help. His Mason lodge buddies and him perform a ritual that fails. (Her boyfriend steals her during it so nothing happened. What the old guys performing the ritual see, however, is her disappearing, so they think it worked.) Compared to Dana, who knows why she travels back to the future, Peggy can’t figure it out, and only travels back into the future once she has set everything right that she had changed for the worse (breaking up with Charlie, thus not having the kids). Compared to Billy, she does not travel multiple times throughout her life, but just once. But again, compared to Billy, her traveling is random and uncontrollable.
  • Did that really happen?
    As in with Kindred, Slaughterhouse-Five, and pretty much every other time travel fiction, many people (and even sometimes the person experiencing the traveling) doubt that they actually traveled through time. Even the reader is not even 100% sure that what the main character is doing is anything other than dreaming or they have a vivid imagination. Billy Pilgrim: potentially crazy. Dana: coping mechanism for abuse. Time Traveler (in Time Machine): mad scientist? Guys from Primer: Hallucinogenic drugs? We will never know: after all, all of it is just fiction. Or is it?
  • Fate
    As with Billy’s view, the end result cannot be avoided. When Peggy Sue accepts that might be the moment she travels back to her own time. The Wikapedia summary here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peggy_Sue_Got_Married stated that Peggy Sue “realiz[ed] that she cannot cheat fate” when she gave in to Charlie and that is what sent her to the future. I don’t altogether believe that, but it doesn’t matter what I believe. It actually doesn’t matter what anyone believes. What happened in the story happened and our opinions cannot change that.
  • Choices affecting our future (trying to change the past)
    It is the theme of many time travel stories to try to change a mistake that was made in the past or to right a wrong, etc. In this case, the mistake would not be righted and even though Peggy made the choice to change what she regretted, she still was not able to alter the event. She could not even stop the accidental pregnancy from happening that led to their early marriage.
  • Abusive relationships
    A common theme in Kindred was the abusive relationships among all of the people involved (Dana and Kevin, Dana and Rufus, Rufus and his mother, etc). The relationship between Peggy and Charlie is abusive in the fact that he cheated on her and treated her unkindly. Time travel was a device used in order for her to see that she would not have avoided that abuse because her children were worth the abuse and pain.

I believe that the writers of this story used time travel to show that mothers would not change what had happened between them and the father of their children in order to avoid that pain that occurred because the children are worth it. I know my mother wouldn’t. The writers uses the passive time travel as a way to teach Peggy that she would not have it any other way because of how much she loves her children and that she should not regret what she did because it’s not doing anyone any good. She can’t really change her choices anyways, even if she does go back into time.

Overall, I think this story is a great reminder to not regret the past when beautiful things come about from our mistakes or bad choices. That boyfriend that you regret dating will show you what kind of guy you want in the future. That tattoo you regret getting will teach you to think about what you put on your body. And that man you regret marrying might have given you beautiful children to help you through your troubles.

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me is the second film in the Austin Powers series. The movie was released in 1999. Mike Myers wrote the movie and also was the main character, Austin Powers. Not only does Myers play Austin Powers, but he also plays Dr. Evil and Fat Bastard. The movie plays off the movie James Bond: The Spy Who Loved Me.

In this movie, NATO has recognized that Dr. Evil has returned after surviving his incineration. However, Dr. Evil has not returned alone. He has cloned a miniature Dr. Evil, which is one-eighth his size, named Mini-Me. Dr. Evil reveals that he has a “time machine” to go back to the 1960’s to steal Austin Powers mojo, which is the source of his sexual appeal. Meanwhile in 1999, Austin Powers is on his honeymoon. He does not know that his “wife” is actually one of Dr. Evil’s robots and he destroys her.

Dr. Evil and Mini-Me go back to 1969 to steal some mojo. They come into contact with Fat Bastard, whom was hired to extract mojo from a frozen Austin Powers. Austin is made aware by British intelligence that Dr. Evil is after his mojo. The British Intelligence also have a time machine, where they transport Austin into the year 1969. Austin and his partner trace Dr. Evil to an island in the Caribbean where they are arrested upon arrival. Dr. Evil and Mini-Me then leave for the moon to install a laser to overtake the world. Austin and his partner then catch a ride upon Apollo 11.

In the end, out in the middle of space, Austin and Dr. Evil finally catch up with each other. Austin tries to retrieve his mojo from Dr. Evil, however, they bump into each other and the mojo is dropped on the floor.

It might be weird, but this movie reminded me of Kindred. It reminded me of the fact that the time travel went back in history and stayed current with the time. In Kindred, when Dana would travel back in time she was surrounded my slaves and treated like one. In Austin Powers, Austin travels back to 1969 where it is very clear that he was in the 1960’s. When Austin traveled back to 1969, he had a VW bug that was painted with the vibrant colors and he had the ultimate bachelor pad that had the bright colors and girls in go-go boots.

I would definitely recommend this movie to everyone. Not only because it is a Mike Myers movie and he is hilarious, but also because of the depiction of time travel.  Nothing about this movie is very serious, and that makes it so fun to watch. It’s also funny at the end watching the Jerry Springer parts with Dr. Evil and his son.

 

Supplemental Viewing: Disney’s “The Kid”

“So, I’m forty, I’m not married, I don’t fly jets, and I don’t have a dog? I grow up to be a loser,” cries Rusty to Russ as he discovers that he does not grow up be all the he had hoped.

In Disney’s The Kid, the question is asked that if you could talk to your 8-year old self, what would you tell them? In the case of Russ Duritz, as played by Bruce Willis, it wasn’t what he told his younger self (Spencer Breslin) but what his former child-self told him. There is also a reprising role of a future Russ who putters around in a crop duster, assuring the younger Russ’ that eventually everything will work out.

Growing up, Rusty was your atypical dorky, chubby American boy. He was raised in Suburbia, America with the usual confusions and derangements that follow suit. Rusty eventually grew into an in-shape, air-tight, career driven 40 year old Russ who is consumed with his career as an image consultant. Russ had found himself in the business of giving advice, when in reality he was the one who needed it.

Alone on his 40th birthday, Russ takes himself out to a local diner. Rather than having an emotional breakdown upon reaching his forties, he is visited by his childhood self. They both find that they have similar ticks and scars, mannerisms and sayings. An awkward and loveable character, Rusty is an overweight schoolboy who is unmercifully teased while only dreaming of one day becoming a pilot. Russ is disgusted by his younger self, a painful remembrance of his past.

The set up with this plot is comparable to that of Charles Dickens’ 1843 time traveling novel “A Christmas Carol”. Scrooge is woken up in his sleep to travel through his Christmas’ past, present and future. The darkest experience for Scrooge was his journey to Christmas past, where he saw the misery of his dark childhood holiday’s spent in his boarding school’s dorms and the ending of an engagement with his fiancée. Rusty could be likened to the Ghost of Christmas Past in that they are both memories of the former self. Meanwhile, Russ is Rusty’s Ghost of Christmas Future. Rusty travels through time to see that his future self is nothing but a “loser”. Eventually, the two find happiness with the appearance of a future older, plane-flying version of themselves.

As a time traveling movie, it is insufficient. There are no clear indicators as to how Rusty, the child, and Russ, the old man, make their way into the present. The only connections to time travel is a “magical” diner that served as a vessel to carry Rusty to the future. It is also not explained how Russ as an adult does not remember time traveling as a child. It seems that Russ serves to guide Rusty through the tough times he is going to encounter in his adolescence while the older version offers no real advice.

All formalities aside, I loved this movie growing up. I have no idea why my 8 year old self was so enamored with this forgettable Disney movie. I had hoped that if I had grew up to be someone my childhood self would disapprove of, that my younger and older self would be able to travel through time to set me straight. The concept is impossible, but I was too imaginative to care of the technicalities of it. Possibly I still feel that way today. Maybe.

In Time

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The movie In Time is not a time travel movie. In Time  is set in the year 2161, genetic alteration has allowed people to stop aging at 25, but people have earn more time after age 25 or die when their time runs out. Living time can be transferred among people through human contact. Time has replaced money and its availability is displayed on an implant on people’s lower arm. When that clock reaches zero, one dies instantly. Society is divided by social class living in specialized towns called “Time Zones”. The poor live in the ghettos of Dayton, where youth predominates, and must work each day to earn more hours of life, which they must also use to pay for everything. The rich live in the luxurious city-like town called New Greenwich, in which the middle-aged and elderly predominate, though they look old, because they stopped aging at 25 years old. The rich can basically have whatever they want and they can live for centuries.

28- year-old factory worker Will Salas (Justin Timberlake) lives with his mother Rachel Salas (Olivia Wilde) in the ghettos. One day, Will saves rich 105-year-old Henry Hamilton (Matt Bomer) from suffering a time robbery in a bar where he shows off his time by buying people drinks. Hamilton is attacked by Fortis (Alex Pettyfer), the elderly British mobster boss of a middle-aged gang called the Minutemen. Will leads Hamilton to safety, where Hamilton tells Will, “For few to be immortal, many must die”, because there is essentially enough time for everyone to live a full life. Hamilton tells will how he longer desires life, because they need to die.

Later, Hamilton gives 116 years to the sleeping Will, keeping only five minutes for himself, which he uses to go sit on a ledge of a bridge. Before Hamilton’s five minutes were up, Will wakes to the astonishing gift that Hamilton has given him. Will sees Hamilton sitting on the ledge, but he does not make it to him in time, before his time ran out. The Timekeepers believe that Hamilton was murdered by a Dayton resident.

Will visits his friend and gives him 10 years of time, one year their friendship. Will waits for his mother at the bus station, where he discovers that his mother did not have enough time to pay for the bus ride after the price increased. He runs to find her and when they find each other they ran toward each other, but Will’s mom expires, before he was able to give her some time. Will decides to seek revenge, so he leaves Dayton to go to New Greenwich, with over a century on his clock. In the casino he meets an old millionaire, time-loaning businessman Philippe Weis and his daughter Sylvia (Amanda Seyfried). Sylvia becomes interested in Will after an intense poker game between him and her father. Will beats her father and wins 1100 years in the process. She invites Will to a party at their mansion.

At the party, Will is apprehended by the Timekeepers, who take away all of his time, but two hours. Will escapes by taking Sylvia hostage. Returning to the ghetto Will drives into an ambush of Fortis, who is disappointed that Will lost Hamilton’s time, but he ends up stealing most of Sylvia’s time. Will call Weis demanding 1000 years’ in exchange for Sylvia. Weis neglects to corporate with Will. As a result, Will and Sylvia take matters into their own hands. They decide to start stealing time to give to the poor. In short, the ended stealing a million years from Weis, to give to the poor, this leads to problems. The Timekeepers decide that there is nothing that they can do about disorder in time. The people in the ghettos have enough time to change zones and the rich are coping with the change in society, since more people are now able to live in the rich time zone. Will and Sylvia continue to rob banks, so that time will continue to remain disordered.

In Time makes me think about Darwinism, because the strong will survive when the weak will not survive, because the weak do not have unique characteristics like the strong have.

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