Monday, May 19, 2014

Journey to the Center of Time

Note:  This review is one of my reviews that were originally posted on Epinions.

I think I figured out why I write movie reviews. There are some movies that are classics. People will watch these because of the impact that they’ve had on society or because they’re great movies. Most people will know which ones these are unless they‘ve been living under a rock. I may review these movies if I watch simply to voice my opinion.

There are some movies that are so bad that I have to wonder why they were ever made. Some are bad, but can still be watched if only to laugh at them. (Mystery Science Theater 3000 aired almost 200 episodes based on this premise.) There are a few movies so bad that I feel compelled to warn people not to watch them. They are only a waste of time and money. They’re barely even worth renting on NetFlix. Journey to the Center of Time is one of these movies.

In case you’re wondering, there are two reasons I finished watching the movie. One was that it was one of those bad-accident movies that I couldn’t stop watching. The other was that so that I could write an accurate review. I had to see exactly how bad it was.

For those that have never come across the movie, it’s set in 1968. (The movie was released in 1967, so I have to assume that it’s supposed to be the not-to-distant future.) Scientists are on the verge of being able to see 24 hours into the past. If this works, they will eventually be able to look far into the past or the future. The problem is that, like all interesting projects, they’re in danger of losing their funding. Stanton is the name of the man initially responsible for funding them. He recently died, leaving his money to his son. Stanton, Jr., is making the rounds to decide which projects get the axe.

Stanton wants to see everything. He even goes into the area where the experiments are held. It isn’t long before Stanton and the team of scientists are sent 5,000 years into the future. Once there, they’re greeted by advanced aliens who reminded me of clowns. The time travelers are given a warning that humanity hasn’t changed much. In fact, we’re on the verge of destroying ourselves. The aliens want to send a warning back to 1968 so that humanity might better itself. This, of course, is assuming that the group can get back at all.

They do go back, but too far. They end up going back to 1,000,000 B.C., where they see a dinosaur that looks a lot like a lizard made to look big through forced perspective. For some reason, everyone decides to go out and explore the area, starting with Stanton. From there, it only gets stranger. This is one of those movies that I won’t spoil the ending only because I didn’t understand it at all.

I think this movie was done on a severely limited budget. (If I recall, the time travelers were about 64,000,000 years too late for dinosaurs. They couldn‘t even afford fact checkers?) Not only was the script really bad, but the sets looked like they were set up in an abandoned warehouse. This isn’t even a case of outdated technology. Have you ever seen the Star Trek episode Specter of the Gun? I think this movie may have had the same set designer.

The version that I got from Netflix had no real extras to speak of. There was a trivia game that relied on knowledge of other movies. That was the only thing I bothered to look at other than the movie. Do not buy this movie for yourself or as a gift. If you must, rent it, but I think you’ll find it to still be a waste of 82 minutes. I never watched Mystery Science Theater 3000 that much while it was on. I have to wonder if they ever came across this movie. It would have been perfect for them. I mean, leave it to scientists desperate for money to go 5,000 years into the future and not look up lottery results.

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