What is your favorite time-travel movie?
Back to the Future (Any)
44.4% (123)
44.4% (123)
12 Monkeys
12.6% (35)
12.6% (35)
Looper
7.6% (21)
7.6% (21)
Planet of the Apes
1.4% (4)
1.4% (4)
Terminator (Any)
8.7% (24)
8.7% (24)
Primer
7.9% (22)
7.9% (22)
Star Trek (Any)
2.5% (7)
2.5% (7)
Other
14.1% (39)
14.1% (39)
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Poll: The Best Time-Travel Movie

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OlasDAlmighty:

LAAAAAAAAAAAAAME!!!!
I don't see how you can possibly call 12 Monkeys dull or drawn out compared to that 25 minute snore-fest. The only thing I'm ashamed of is actually sitting through the whole thing. I'm not saying time travel movies should look like they were directed by Micheal Bay, but I'd appreciate at least a little production value you know.
And what exactly makes this more atmospheric? The fact that it's in black and white? Come on, how pretentious do you have to be to pretend to enjoy this over the rich inventive visuals of 12 Monkeys, especially in the future scenes. Terrence Gilliam is a master of visual aesthetics, 12 monkeys may not be the best example of his talent but it's still leaps and bounds over most boring uninspired sci-fi flicks in terms of atmosphere.

In fact, I believe you've made me realize what it is about 12 Monkey's that I like so much, it has the creativity and boldness of vision we typically associate with an art film with the large budget and production value of a hollywood blockbuster. That's just something you don't see much, and 12 Monkeys totally benefits from both.

And don't attack the mental institution scene. The main characters uncertainty of his own sanity throughout the film and lingering doubt over whether the future memories are even real is one of the best parts of that movie. It's in many ways reminiscent of The Shining or the ending to Inception where we don't even know if we can trust what we're seeing to be anything more than the protagonists imagination. Just another way in Which 12 Monkeys is more conceptually interesting than this little slideshow. And don't even get me started on all the nature and religious symbolism in 12 Monkeys which this little terd obvious has none of.

Sorry to shit all over the thing you like, but you did do that to me and several other people, so I don't think it's exactly unfair. I suppose this little short film works to some degree in it's own minimalistic way. judged purely on it's own accord I can see what some (very patient) people could like about it and how it could inspire a full feature length film, I just wouldn't go around comparing the two side by side if I were you.

How anyone... ANYONE could sit through the one-hundred-and-twenty-nine minutes of 12 monkeys and then say the 25 minute film it's derived from is boring...

image

And no, being black and white has nothing to do with it's atmosphere, and I happen to find 12 Monkeys' visuals to be -anything but- rich and inventive. Terry Gilliam isn't a master of asthetics, he's just a master of weird- and whether or not his visions actually work on film is an entirely different matter. Nine times out of ten he just creates an absolute mess. The film wasn't bold (though the funding of it almost certainly was), and definitely wasn't creative: it just took an existing self contained story, and chucked a bunch of other loose concepts in to pad it out.

Considering how little material of any value whatsoever 12 Monkeys added to La Jetee while expanding the running time more than five time over!, you can keep your nature and bogus religious symbolism- the short film does just fine getting the point across without relying on such cliches.

Still can't get over the idea of needing to be more patient for the short film than for the looooong movie!

Squilookle:

OlasDAlmighty:

Snip

How anyone... ANYONE could sit through the one-hundred-and-twenty-nine minutes of 12 monkeys and then say the 25 minute film it's derived from is boring...

image

You're surprised? You think that somehow simply being shorter makes it more interesting or engaging? That 25 minutes felt like an ETERNITY! It has about 1/5th the run time and roughly 1/50th the content. The GIF you just posted is more interesting to watch.

It helps that 12 Monkeys isn't a tedious slideshow of uninteresting photographs with slow, brief, and infrequent narration being the only real source of a story. 12 Monkeys actually has character development. The characters have backgrounds beyond "He was the man who's story we are now telling", dialogue beyond "She asks about his medallion. He invents an explanation". And when 12 Monkeys spends long periods of time on a visual it has an actual visual worth stopping to look at, not repetitive montage of people's faces.

I mean La Jetee is little more than the skeletal framework for the story that 12 Monkeys used and added to enormously, it's almost hard to understand why we're comparing them at all. 90% of the story elements from 12 Monkeys, including the central conflict of the main character questioning reality and how he actually creates the organization he was originally trying to stop, the best parts of 12 Monkeys essentially, aren't even from La Jetee but were original concepts. The biggest thing it borrowed, him seeing his future self get shot, really isn't even that important to the story or significant beyond being an ironic coincidence.

La Jetee has very little going for it. I threw you a bone when I said it worked in it's own minimalistic way. Why you feel the need to press this and try to compare these respective artworks of completely different scales is beyond me.

And if it isn't the monochrome that you think gives your film more atmosphere, what the hell is it? You've been leaving this detail out. In fact, you haven't really explained why this movie is good at all except that 12 Monkeys apparently sucks by contrast.

Unlike every person I have ever spoken to about this movie, I loved Deja Vu.
Although 12 Monkeys was great too.

nomzy:
I'm gonna say Back to the Future.. But I suspect that's because of the rose tinted nostalgia goggles.
Haven't seen any of the films in ages.

They are the only movies mentioned here that have made it into my (Annoyingly) limited Blu-ray collection, and I bought them the first weekend they came out on Blu-ray. That said. I really don't remember the others of the movies mentioned that I have seen (Terminator isn't a time travel movie, in my opinion, only because we never see any change in what happens from one movie to the next. Furthermore, why not send the Terminators further back in time, rather than keep sending them at such long intervals between attacks? Hell, why not send 10 T1000s at the same time and get the job FUCKING DONE!)

Bill and Ted's excellent adventure for this reason alone: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8UGAbAPPkk . Extreme lead guitarist is so badass

It is sadly more accurate on what would happen, people acting their age and getting arrested. Well fine not all Different, but it was funny.

P.S. 12 Monkies was so boring, it almost made me want to do drugs, instead I took the DVD player to the back yard and unloaded 3 shotgun shells into it.

Truth be told, as soon as I saw that gif I knew I just had to use it somewhere... someday :P

I'm sorry if I'm coming across as angry or anything like that- it's really more just bewilderment. We're just coming at this from two completely opposite angles, and I'm finding it increasingly frustrating that the deeper I get into the 12 Monkeys fanbase, the more and more of them I find don't even know about the film's originator.

OlasDAlmighty:
12 Monkeys actually has character development. The characters have backgrounds beyond "He was the man who's story we are now telling", dialogue beyond "She asks about his medallion. He invents an explanation". And when 12 Monkeys spends long periods of time on a visual it has an actual visual worth stopping to look at

See, I just can't agree with you there. Look, I'll admit Jetee was bare bones- there's more to think about after the story than while watching it, sure, but it's a short film. Less content is par for the course, and the stuff to ponder once it's done is a bonus. I really didn't see much in 12 Monkeys that actually expanded on anything in a meaningful way. I did not see the main character in 12 Monkeys develop any more than the one in Jetee. Sure he gradually got better at his job, but that's the same in both films. Yes he questioned reality but that ultimately went nowhere either. There were other elements to 12 Monkeys put in, but they'd all been seen done better elsewhere, and saying they make up 90% of 12 Monkeys seems a bit of a stretch.

And if it isn't the monochrome that you think gives your film more atmosphere, what the hell is it? You've been leaving this detail out. In fact, you haven't really explained why this movie is good at all except that 12 Monkeys apparently sucks by contrast.

It's hard to say for sure, but I think it's the way it implies rather than outright shows the bleakness of the future, and maintains a feel of not rushing itself while moving along at a more or less constant pace. The way, for instance, that it had the camera linger on the healthy leaves on the trees and the animals in the museum (possibly being the main character's point of view) gave the film the feel of seeing what is commonplace to you and me through the eyes of someone who did not grow up with them and is consequently fascinated with them. I'm sure you get a similar feel from 12 Monkeys, but where I think they differ is that Jetee has a clear goal of how it's story plays, and sticks to it knowing exactly what it's doing. 12 Monkeys meanders around in the darkness trying to pad out the existing plot with other strands that are ultimately pretty forgettable. To be honest I don't know if anyone could stretch Jetee into a feature-length movie and make it work. Perhaps it could be done, but I just don't think 12 Monkeys was that film. Though like you said, it didn't go the standard sensationalist sci-fi route, so it definitely deserves points for that.

We're on the third page and not one shout for Army of Darkness?

Escapist, I am dissapoint.

The Back to the Future trilogy, hands down. Ironically, its concept of time travel makes no fucking sense in retrospect, but that doesn't matter when they're such clever and enjoyable films. I wouldn't really count any of the Terminator films as "time-travel films"; they're more like just "sci-fi films", as they don't deal specifically in time travel (there's only those initial scenes that show a naked Terminator/John Connor coming back to the past, with a few flash-forwards to the future).

TheKasp:
What I dislike about the Back to the Future series is that it implies that it is a-ok to change the past / future if it fits you. Especially the second movie has the premisse of where Doc Brown jumps out of character and wants to change history to prevent shit in the future when his biggest gripe in the first was that you are not allowed to change time (though he breaks his standard due to human flaw). The changes made are also on a too small scale for my liking. Biffs entire life is ruined but is that all? No, I'm pretty sure a lot more is changed and people who never did a bad thing are now pretty much fucked.

I think Cracked did a video on this a while ago, so just watch that. But anyway, my point still stands. They're still good, unrestrained fun.

SecondPrize:

TheTechnomancer:
Just two words
Groundhog Day

I was going to say Time Bandits but then I read this. He's right.

I voted other because I agree with these guys, Groundhog Day. That was such a great film! I don't know if it counts, but it is some sort of time travel.

Also I am going to give a mention to The Time Traveller's Wife. It was a good film in my opinion, good use of time travelling.

Relish in Chaos:
snip

If you can't be assed to link me to the cracked video (which like most videos not the universal truth about something) then I can't be assed to search for it. Because I rewatched Back to the Future recently (about a month ago) and my point is not rebuked by ignoring the whole first movie.

I really don't generally care for Bruce Willis movies, but 12 Monkeys is my favorite out of this list, followed by Back to the Future. 12 Monkeys was so weird, but it was pretty awesome.

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