Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Time After Time

I remember catching bits and pieces of this movie on cable and thinking to myself,

"That is an interesting concept."

Time After Time begins with a very straightforward introduction of noted serial killer Jack the Ripper, as played by David Warner. After a quick bit of business we find ourselves in the home of noted author H.G. Wells (played by Malcolm McDowell) who is about to introduce his latest work to a group of friends, but is waiting for a straggler, Dr. Stevenson. Once Dr. Stevenson arrives, Mr. Wells presents his Time Machine. The presentation is interrupted when the police arrive at the door looking for Jack the Ripper. Only when the police come across Dr. Stevenson's bag does Wells realize that his "friend" is indeed the infamous Ripper.

Dr. Stevenson quickly makes use of the Time Machine and in doing so eludes the police. Shortly after the police leave the Time Machine returns empty. Feeling guilty for allowing Stevenson to escape, Wells hops into the Time Machine, and the chase begins.

Time After Time has 70's cinema written all over it. It's a little over the top in flaunting the setting of San Francisco in the 70's (which is where Stevenson and Wells end up). Watching a very rigid, conservative McDowell blather about women's lib with a very modern (for the 70's) Mary Steenburgen does induce sympathetic discomfort in the viewer, but at least it works for the film. It's an interesting concept film that never oversteps its bounds, is honest about its intentions and delivers a sly bit of social commentary to boot.

Tidbits:

  • Shhhh... Time After Time is a steampunk movie.
  • Time After Time was directed by Nicholas Meyer, whom also helmed the notorious made-for-TV-movie The Day After.
  • Malcolm McDowell was cast in another film with Jack the Ripper, Love Lies Bleeding.
  • This was Mary Steenburgen's second film, her first film was Goin' South in which she was directed by, and acted with Jack Nicholson.
  • Mary Steenburgen married Malcolm McDowell after this film in 1980, they had 2 children together but divorced in 1990.
  • Malcolm McDowell and David Warner both voiced the character Zarm for Captain Planet and the Planeteers.
  • McDowell and Warner both participated in the Wing Commander series.

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