I like the physicist (Ronald Mallett) more than I like the hobbyist (Rob Niosi), but I’m making judgments off of a 145 second snippet of what is probably a 90 minute movie that is a snippet of the story that these men are living in. That means I’m an asshole who never accepted the intrinsic wisdom of the adage, “Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover”. We all do it. Judge books, judge albums, judge lovers — all by their covers. I digress.
These guys are wannabe time travelers, not the kind from the movies with the puffy vests and the Calvin Klein underwear.
One is a real romantic who wants to cut in line and see how this whole thing shakes out. He wants to know what the end looks like, a common human obsession. Blame that for zombies and Roland Emmerich movies.
We don’t get to the see the end credits and the after-credits scene. We don’t get to the see the flame burn to embers and then ash. We’re placeholders for the ones that will touch a toe to Europa’s surface or some other far flung place that hasn’t even been discovered. Rise above the paper cuts of this life and imagine how far out our species might one day go, hoping from one world to the next like frogs on lilypads. Now get violently nauseous over the bolder and the chain that is our own mortality, and how it makes our imagination into little more than a massive cocktease.
This one guy doesn’t want anything to do with that and I can’t blame him. He’s building a replica of the time machine from George Pal’s 1960 HG Wells adaptation of The Time Machine (and that one episode of The Big Bang Theory).
I can’t tell if this guy has any way to propel his machine besides hope, but when the film comes out, hopefully they’ll get to that question. I do hope it works on the strength of hope or some other fuel.
There is another guy featured in the trailer (above). This other guy is the physicist and his story will punch you in the stomach like a drunk with the strength of a man who has forgotten what consequences are.
His father died when he was a boy and he wants to go back to see him again. Obviously there are “butterfly effect” concerns that come to mind when you hear such a thing, but I can’t see them past the tears that come from a story that makes you want to call your dad and talk about baseball for five minutes because you can and this guy can’t.
As a physicist, you imagine that he’s got science on his side, but cynicism tells us that neither one of them are going to succeed. Do people actually study time travel besides these two guys and screenwriters? It’s become so ingrained in our pop culture as this fictional thing — have people given up on peeking in at yesterday and tomorrow today?
Are these people weird because they haven’t? That’s how it works, isn’t it? The ones that think and do the things that are unlike the things that the rest of us think and do are branded as freaks and weirdos and crackpots and crazies. It’s a neat little trick how we all got together and voted to make that so. I feel so reinforced and wholesome, like that time I accepted the possibility of heaven so I could stop fearing the hell that comes to the non-believers.
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