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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Time After Time: SE
Time After Time: SE
Warner Bros. // PG // August 6, 2002
List Price: $19.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by G. Noel Gross | posted August 18, 2002 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
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CineSchlock-O-Rama

Victory over VHS oblivion! After 17 weeks among CineSchlock-O-Rama's Most Wanted, the unyielding vigilance of all CineSchlockers has been rewarded with another capture! Unlike Simon Wells' flashy, yet vacuous remake, this bizarro thriller deftly Erector-sets H.G.'s classic time travel tale together with JACK THE RIPPER to create the sweet, yet riveting celebration of wonderment Time After Time (1979, 112 minutes).

The movie: CineSchlocker idol Malcolm McDowell is 1890s futurist H.G. Wells who finds himself in quite a pickle when his favorite chess partner turns out to be Jack the Ripper AND amscrays with Wells' trusty time machine. In murderous 1979, Jack (ever-fiendish David Warner) tumbles down the homicidal maniac charts to mousy wannabe, but is pursued by Wells just the same. This leads to some brilliantly goofy fish-out-of-water scenes with Wells adjusting to San Francisco street life at the dawn of the '80s. Sound familiar, Trekkies? Mary Steenburgen is the one-babe temporal welcoming party who stirs the loins of one and the bloodlust of the other. And it all works. Warner's refined mania. McDowell and Steenburgen's romance (buoyed by off-screen canoodling). Even the Nautilus-inspired time machine itself. Most of all it's a great STORY that writer and first-time director Nicholas Meyer expertly enthralls his audience with from start to nail-biting finish. CineSchlockers will revel in Malcolm's convincing turn as a lost, yet wily lamb, especially coming off porn-king Bob Guccione's ambitious Caligula.

Notables: No breasts. Five corpses. Gratuitous Hare Krishnas. Foot AND car chases. Severed arm. Electric toothbrush, garbage disposal and Mickey-Mouse telephone tomfoolery. Puking.

Quotables: In 1893, The Ripper reasons, "The evidence of human history is that we live in a cosmic charnel house. Mankind has not changed in 2,000 years. We hunt. We're hunted. That's how it is. How it shall always be." In 1979, he gloats, "I belong here completely and utterly. I'm home ... The world has caught up with me and surpassed me. Ninety years ago I was a freak. Today, I'm an amateur!" H.G.'s frisky gal coos, "Forcing me? My god, Herbert, I'm practically raping you!" And, finally, Wells declares, "The first man to raise a fist is the man who's run out of ideas."

Time codes: Essentially the same dinner scene from George Pal's flick (7:50). Psychedelic optical effects and historic radio transmissions highlight this journey through time (18:50). CineSchlocker fave Corey Feldman as a youngster (22:55). Wells and the Ripper watch the boob tube (40:40). The riotous movie theater scene (56:02). Herbert tells his honey the truth (1:14:50). Behold the world's LARGEST doorknob (1:37:17).

Audio/Video: Remarkably well preserved W-I-D-E-S-C-R-E-E-N (2.35:1) transfer. Dolby Digital 2.0 track is crisp throughout and nicely showcases Miklos Rozsa's epic score.

Extras: Tricky commentary by Meyer and McDowell. They're recorded separately, yet grunts of acknowledgement are sprinkled here and there in a feeble effort to disguise that fact. It hardly matters, though. Both readily share a great deal of insight on the picture. Meyer is quite candid about his novice errors in direction, but proud of his achievement as a whole, especially what he dreams to be an Oscar-worthy screenplay. For CineSchlockers, Malcolm's the real draw. He has nothing but flowery words for Ms. Steenburgen whom he fell in love with during production and later married. They've since divorced, yet Mary tells their children to watch this flick for the story of their romance. He's also very reflective on his role as a character actor. On embracing his AGE and experience. Sadly, despite eariler reports, Mr. Warner isn't included on the track. Trailer vault featuring this and both Time Machine pictures. "It's About Time" essay. Static menus with score.

Final thought: Serial killing AND time travel! Rarely have such seemingly incongruent elements been so entertainingly melded. Highly Recommended.

Check out CineSchlock-O-Rama
for additional reviews and bonus features.

G. Noel Gross is a Dallas graphic designer and avowed Drive-In Mutant who specializes in scribbling B-movie reviews. Noel is inspired by Joe Bob Briggs and his gospel of blood, breasts and beasts.
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